Monday, June 16, 2008

Beware The Plastic Jaw

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The infamous Squirrel Bait "Motorola Cloudburst" 7-inch came with an issue of Tim Adams' fanzine, The Pope, one of the many hit-or-miss "me, too" zines that sprang up after the re-emergence of Conflict and Forced Exposure in the mid-80's. I've seen some misleading information passed around about this 7-inch, even from places like the Drag City web site, suggesting this is one last single that Squirrel Bait recorded shortly before their break-up, but it's not.

The source of the two songs on here was a demo that Squirrel Bait recorded around '84 or so. I used to have a copy of the demo, and while I wouldn't rate it as being anywhere close to their Homestead records, some of the other songs from it ended up as-is on Squirrel Bait's first 12" (when you listen to the record with this in mind it becomes pretty easy to tell which songs are from the demo).

Tim Adams has this record up for sale on his 3 Beads of Sweat web site (, with this description:

7" record that came with issue #3 of The Pope fanzine in 1987. Nominally under the band name Motorola Cloudburst, the A side of this features 2 heretofore unreleased Squirrel Bait songs "Tense" and "Earth Shattering," from an unreleased album that preceded their Homestead debut. The B side is a project that David Grubbs recorded for a Gnosticism class while he was attending Georgetown University, featuring ambient noise and a splice-up of a live Phil Ochs recording. Edition of 500.

Not only is this practically the holy grail of Squirrel Bait collectibles, but it's a do-it-yourself project that makes its own jokes, as you can see once you plop the a-side (labeled "Bork! Gerard's dick") onto your turntable spindle-- the by-product of Tim being on the losing end of a feud with Conflict fanzine at the time. The Bob Mould reference on the b-side label is even less funny and more obscure.

The two songs on the a-side, "Tense" and "Earth Shattering", take up less than three minutes total and run into each other on the record, so that's the same way I'm posting them here. The b-side is just a Phil Ochs sound bite that gets chopped and looped over some electric guitar noodling, making it pretty easy to lose interest by the time it's even halfway through.

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Squirrel Bait -

"Tense"/"Earth Shattering"

(this file is now listen-only)

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click for enlarged view

1 comment:

Brushback said...

The mp3 file on this post is now a listen-only (non-downloadable) file.