out now: Thesda's "Spaced Out" and THE DANCE LP

ariel_calmerariel_calmer 3,762 Posts
edited October 2007 in Announcements
Thesda???s ???Spaced Out,??? a homegrown gem of late-70s funk, is available now. "The story of Thesda begins in the mid-70s, with Eugene Hagburg. Professionally, he was Director of the Management Academy for the United States Postal Service then located in Bethesda, MD. He later became Assistant Postmaster General in charge of Delivery Operations in the US. One of his passions was moonlighting as a music writers and producer. Hagburg and Thomas Crawford led the group in creating two albums released on their private press label IPSI: The Peak Experience???s ???Crawford??? and Thesda???s ???Spaced Out.??? ???Crawford??? was recorded in 1976 in the same studio Linda Ronstad recorded ???Heart Like A Wheel.??? The traditional folk rock sound of ???Crawford??? belies its complex inspirations; ???Oceanic Feeling??? was, according to Hagburg, ???an early Freudian concept stressing the need to be different and to avoid the lulling motions in society which try to mold you.???Hagburg accumulated enough equipment to record in his home by the time Thesda was recorded in 1979. The group is even named after the town Hagburg lived in: Bethesda. The combination of a controlled location and recording tools offered, as Hagburg says, ???more time to experiment with sounds and mixing.??? They weren???t rushed by expensive studio time, but could also record and capture first takes.Everybody arrived past midnight for the sessions, which ran until 7AM. Music arrived spontaneously from Hagburg???s lyrics, with Tom Crawford???s guidance. The goal was to capture a ???freshness of interpretation??? through a group that ???simply wanted to express themselves with creative sounds.??? It was a carefully controlled chaos, with no written notes, but plenty of enthusiasm. The resulting album is sounds at home in the late 70s, and even gracefully embraces disco. It???s especially noteworthy due to the talented musicians, who 30 years later have an edge that still sounds contemporary. "Read the whole story or buy it at: http://www.rerelease.net/catalog.php?RID=5October also sees the re-release of The Dance???s ???Soul Force??? album. Other Music???s Gerald Hammill says, ??????rediscovering Soul Force takes me back to those long gone days when I stumbled on late night college radio and was instantly allured by the exotic sounds of post-punk and new wave. This truly is essential listening for any fan of the aforementioned.??? The album is available with bonus tracks EXCLUSIVELY for the next month on Other Music???s online digital music store. http://digital.othermusic.com/view/10137/0/soul-force
I was rather surprised that the Dance didn't get much of a turn in the revival spotlight a few years back, when all sorts of reissues featuring names like ESG, Bush Tetras, the Contortions, et al. were popping up faster than you could say Ronald Wilson Reagan. Aside from a single track appearing on Soul Jazz's first New York Noise compilation ("Do Dada" -- off their first EP Dance for Your Dinner), I don't recall seeing the group listed on any other collection or re-release. But by no means are we scraping the bottom of the post-punk barrel with this offering. By the time their excellent, second and final album, Soul Force, had been released on the British Statik imprint in '82, the Dance had become a staple act at clubs like the Peppermint Lounge and Danceteria, and were bigger news overseas -- they even turned down the opening slot for what would be the Clash's historic gig at Bond's, choosing to tour Europe in support of their first LP, In Lust.Like much of the downtown music scene of NYC and elsewhere, the Dance's sound was a cultural fusion of music styles, blending the urgency of punk with dance music, reggae, and a large dose of funk, thanks to Louis Watterson's fluid, elastic bass lines. But the Dance also had an accessibility that most of their skronky brethren were lacking, comfortably balancing art school intuition with a sense of melody that might have broken through to the new wave friendly American market had a US label gotten behind them. Soul Force captures the band at their height. Having scaled back their line-up from five members to four, the group began recording this album while in London (the two bonus cuts are taken from these sessions). A much cleaner production than the somewhat murky In Lust, the Dance's lock-tight rhythm section provides a perfect pocket for singer/organist/steel drummer Eugenie Diserio's immediate, expressive melodies, her lyrics blending a sense of romanticism with everyday observations. (The first verse of "You and Only You" is reportedly inspired by an encounter between the Diserio and Joe Strummer at a party.) While there is something distinctly New York about the band in their sense of experimentalism -- a la guitarist Steven Alexander's spidery, 12-string-electric leads and, at times, an almost free-style approach in the music -- the Dance would also sit perfectly between your Delta 5 and Raincoats records. (A friend recently commented that "Looking for the World" sounded like the B-52s' Kate Pierson singing with the Slits. I laughed, went home and put on the record and had to agree. I'm still waiting on his description of their Stevie Wonder cover of "Do Yourself a Favor.")??? Read the review or buy it at: http://digital.othermusic.com/view/10137/0/soul-force

  Comments


  • CosmoCosmo 9,767 Posts
    Copped and copped.

    Now I don't have to flex my OG Thesda vinyl out at clubs anymore.

  • Copped and copped.

    Now I don't have to flex my OG Thesda vinyl out at clubs anymore.

    Good looks cosmo!!

    Everybody, I forgot to mention, Other Music's store is DRM-free and doesn't require using a program to download the tunes. People have PM'd/emailed me asking for this, so here it is.

  • good work andrew.

    although i'm a little confused...i guess i didn't pay attention when you talked about this site on that other board, but are you selling physical reissues or only mp3s ?

    i will probably cop either way but would prefer a physical copy.

    dave

  • good work andrew.

    although i'm a little confused...i guess i didn't pay attention when you talked about this site on that other board, but are you selling physical reissues or only mp3s ?

    i will probably cop either way but would prefer a physical copy.

    Hey Dave, ReRelease is digital-only, sorry.

    Other Music put together an online digital store, if that's what you're confused about?
    http://digital.othermusic.com
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