Saturday, November 22, 2008

Act Like Nothing's Wrong

click for enlarged view

Scat Records had a deal once where, if you sent them a blank tape and three bucks, they'd send you back a dub of whatever the most recent Prisonshake show was that they had on tape. They gave up on the idea pretty quickly, but not before I was able to snag a live tape for my very own: May 5th, 1989 at the Phantasy Nite Club in Lakewood, Ohio (right outside of Cleveland), with the track listing hand-written onto the back of a leftover box of playing cards.

Whatever the tape might be lacking in fidelity-- it's not bad, just not from the soundboard-- it more than makes up for in entertainment value. Prisonshake was opening for Mojo Nixon that night, and some of the boobs in the audience, apparently not having any of the then-nascent Prisonshake, started calling out for the more easily-digestible headliner. The band responded to the shouts of "Mojo!!" and "Thank you, good night!!" with a slew of one-liners-- "Anyone wanna hear some Bob Seger tunes?", "I'd rather see him naked than you", "I'm making money being here, you paid 12 bucks", "Don't worry about Mojo, he ain't gonna rot", "Mojo will be out here later, he'll be doing the 'Punk Rock Girl' and 'Bitchin' Camaro' and all those hits"-- that last one flying right over the audience's heads, I'm sure.

The best part came towards the end of the set, when some school-teacherish lady began complaining to Doug Enkler about his protruding butt crack, so Doug brought her up on stage and handed her the mic. Nearly 20 years later, this scene became immortalized on YouTube when the guy who videotaped the show back in '89 for public access television posted it in 2006.

So, for all 1700 of you who searched for "Prisonshake" on YouTube and found that video, now you can hear some of the rest of what happened.

click for enlarged view

Prisonshake -

"I Am Going To Kill You"

"Bedtime Beats You Senseless"

a little friendly banter

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"

"Act Like Nothing's Wrong"

(all of these files are now listen-only)


Mr. HCI said...

Prisonshake is playing and they're screaming for Mojo Nixon? Fucking morons . . .

Brushback said...

Seems weird, doesn't it? Especially with the "home crowd" and all, though you gotta figure that Prisonshake were relatively new at the time (maybe only 2 singles into their discography, I think?).

The late 80's were a bad time for finding good rock music, if you'll remember-- blowhard stuff like The Cult, and Love and Rockets, and The Godfathers all sold like hot cakes at the record store I was working at, and the noise shit like Rapeman sold just based on shock value, but you couldn't give Pontiac Brothers and Prisonshake records away...

Mr. HCI said...

As of May of '89, they'd released the "Fairfield Avenue Serenade" single, the 120 Days EP and the "Deanna" single.

Chris Burgess (bass) and Scott Pickering (drums) took a month off that June to tour Europe as Mark Edwards' backup band for My Dad Is Dead. We were talking at the airport before the flight took off for the Netherlands and I was stunned when I found out they were in Prisonshake and Scott had also been in Spike in Vain. I should clarify: Bastro and Happy Flowers were the other two bands on the tour.

Holy crap, I just counted and I have fifteen Prisonshake 7"s. Every one a keeper, naturally.

The Pontiac Brothers were also excellent and are missed by me.

Brushback said...

I can't even get into how many Prisonshake singles I own (plus it would depend upon if we're talking individual titles, or every color variation / pressing etc).

Wow, Happy Flowers toured Europe with Bastro and My Dad Is Dead? How come I didn't know that?

ib said...

I like that "Mohawk" playing card box cover. Neat.

lex dexter said...

mdid, happy flowers and bastro tour?

Brushback said...

Yeah, doesn't that sound awesome?

ib, I'm guessing that the leftover playing card boxes were from the cards used for the hand-made 7" single sleeves that Prisonshake put out around that same time. Which would be pretty cool.

ib said...

Well. I took the leftovers and made a little Mohawk roundel to illustrate a post. Hope you don't mind; blink and you'd miss it.

Brushback said...

Ha, that's amazing if it came from my post, since it's nearly laying flat in the original picture.

ib said...

A bit of photoshop jiggery-pokery and I can pretend I'm designing shit for Factory Records back in 1979!

Brushback said...

The mp3 files in this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. I've also added to my Vox account two songs ("She Talks Trouble" and "Fairfield Ave. Serenade") that weren't included in the original post. These Vox files are accessible through any of the listen-only links.

Brushback said...

Huh, somebody removed the video.