Proof of the existence of Mike Hart from Toast came in the form of a demo tape from a band called Nest.

Nest were a San Francisco band, and San Francisco bands in the early and mid 90s seemed to all be tied together somehow.  Nest featured Brad Mossman, who was the singer in an early 90s band called Harm Farm.  Harm Farm, also from San Francisco, had an album out on Alias Records, and a song called “Sex With A Siamese Twin” that received a lot of play on WSAM when I was there.  Mossman’s songs were cleverly written and blended rock instruments with odd instrumentation – just like all the other great San Francisco bands at the time.

I don’t remember much about the “Sex With A Siamese Twin” song except for the lyric “She wants me to have a taste/but she’s connected at the waist.”

I do, however, remember really liking Harm Farm.

When the Nest tape arrived, it included a note (that I no longer have) from Mossman, I would imagine, mentioning the disappearing man that we had taken to calling Mike Toast.  When I read the note, and shared it with Sandy, we both actually breathed a sigh of relief that Mike was somewhere, somehow involved in something musical, and that must mean he was okay.  We were both actually a little worried about him, since we hadn’t heard from him in months and months.  Although we hadn’t actually heard from him, this was the next-best thing – at least we knew someone had seen him, and that he recommended us.

But by that point we had written off Toast entirely. We loved the band.  Absolutely loved them.  But as far as we could tell, they no longer existed, and without Mike I actually had no way of getting in touch with Jon or Guy, the other two guys in the band.  Once in a while when I was talking to Ron Surefire, I would ask him if he’d heard from Mike, or from any of the Toast guys, and he would just chuckle.  I suppose I could have reached out to Dave from Mag Wheel Records and asked him, but I suspect that he wouldn’t have known, either.

But even though we had written off Toast, we loved Mike, and were glad to know that he was okay.  Somewhere.

As for Nest, they were a part of a scene in the San Francisco/Oakland area that seemed, to me, to be an unbelievably fertile, creative, witty, supportive and slightly incestuous collective of musicians.  From a continent away, it seemed exactly like the scene we were trying to foster when we first started Dromedary in 1992.  Only in San Francisco, it was actually working.

When we first received “The Tape” from Ron Surefire, the cassette tape that included Toast, The Mommyheads, Little My and Carrie Bradley, we didn’t realize that three of those bands sprung out of the same scene.  And Toast, from New Hampshire, were tied in with many of those San Francisco bands as well, having played shows together and booked several of the bands in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  We also didn’t realize that Harm Farm and Ed’s Redeeming Qualities – two bands we loved in college – were also part of that scene, or that Carrie Bradley contributed violin to both bands (and also played with The Breeders).

Thinking Fellers Local 282 was also part of that scene, as were the Sarnos, Granfaloon Bus, X-Tal, John Vanderslice and a bunch of other bands that wrote intelligent pop with odd instrumentation.  It was a great scene.

The best song on the Nest tape was a song called “Women Are Better Than Men.”  They lyrics were a hysterical but accurate assessment of the battle of the sexes, essentially stating the obvious fact that men think with their dicks while women are more cerebral and emotional.  The song contained a killer riff that was offset by (what I think was) Mossman’s high-pitched, nasal voice and the odd, almost ethnic-sounding instrumentation.

It was a fantastic song.

It sounded like this:

Great song.

Sandy hated it.  She hated the “nai nai” vocals.  But I loved it to the point of playing it half to death (which annoyed Sandy to no end), and decided that I absolutely needed to have that track as part of the Baker’s Dozen series.

In fact, I began to envision backing them with Footstone, because I could totally hear them adding some balls to the song, fattening up that riff, and Ralph singing it.  I’d just ask him to sing something else besides “nai nai,” so Sandy could hear what a fantastic song it was.

I never wound up contacting Nest.

And rather than wait until the end of the blog, I’m going to do the Paul Harvey thing and tell you the rest of the story.

Nest became a band called Warm Wires, and put out two records, with “Women Are Better Than Men” being on the first.  I just learned this today, while researching some of the details in this post.  The version of the song that’s on the Warm Wires album is exactly the same version I posted above, from the Nest cassette, so I’m assuming that the bands are the same.

Also learned today: Nest also featured Adam McCauley, who, it turns out, was in Little My, a band from “The Tape” that I wrote about earlier in this blog.  Their song “Lusikotta” was one of my favorite demos that I ever got while running Dromedary.  Unfortunately, I was never able to find any way to contact the band.  The band, apparently, broke up and McCauley hooked up with Mossman to work on Nest.

Also learned today: McCauley, just last year, recorded music from Guy, the guitar player from Toast.  Guy, who I completely lost track of in 1994, is still in Portsmouth, still recording, for what seems like a billion different bands.  And now he’s solo, making quiet indie music, which you can hear here.

So there you go.  These bands were even more interconnected than I thought.  And they were all great.

~ by Al on October 28, 2009.

2 Responses to “nest.”

  1. You know those classic rock posters that they sell in student centers? With like, one band’s name in the middle, hand-lettered, and then all the genealogy/connections that sprung from it, showing how different members of one band connected to other bands and projects? I now think there needs to be a Dromedary version – these connections are more complex than they imagined.

    Also, you should hire a young kid who smokes dope to draw the poster. And he should be highly skilled at calligraphy.

  2. […] point.  One of the members of that band, however, was Adam McCauley, who also played in the band Nest that, at Mike from Toast’s suggestion, sent us a copy of their awesome demo late in our life […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: