the saint.

On Friday, June 14 1996, Footstone did a Dromedary show at Love Sexy with Kid With Man Head.

It was the last Dromedary show we ever did at Love Sexy.  I’d simply had enough with that club, I’d had enough of trying to make it something it wasn’t.  People didn’t want to go there, the room sounded like shit, the sound guy didn’t know how to work with it, Bishop couldn’t even stand up straight on the stage because the ceiling was too low.  The beer selection sucked.

Kid With Man Head played a great set – they were a surfy, skaty, pop/punky thing that sounded like the Descendents or All or Big Drill Car, and did not belong in New Jersey.  Their music was melodic, lots of humor in the lyrics, lots of melody in the guitar.  I liked them.  I wouldn’t have minded putting out something of theirs, maybe including something in the Baker’s Dozen series – I met one guy from the band, Gay Elvis, but the other guys scooted out of the club pretty quickly after their set.

Footstone, as usual, played a blistering set and introduced a lot of new songs.  I hoped that the new songs were from Schmeckle City Rubdown and not some other group of new songs, partially because they were really good songs and partially because I had begun to plan how the next Footstone CD was going to be marketed, and I didn’t want the band playing stuff that couldn’t be purchased somewhere.

I was going to insist that the band do some level of touring in support of the CD.  I wanted them to go up to Boston, then go down to Virginia, maybe west to Chicago.  Ten, fifteen days, tops.  I wanted to be able to have a tour to promote – whether I was going to be running Dromedary full-time by myself, or paying someone else to do it.

What I really wanted to do was hire Rich Masio to run Dromedary.  Rich knew everything that Dromedary had done.  He was at our very first release party, writing a review of the show for a college newspaper, and he was at almost every release party after that.  He knew indie music very well (still does), and knew the ins and outs of running a label.  But he had evolved in his career, becoming an accomplished music journalist, then working with an internet music company in SonicNet, and now running an indie label.

But that was the problem – he was working at a great label up North.  Great lifestyle up there, very liberal, very outdoorsy.  I was running a tiny micro-indie in New Jersey.  Advantage: Vermont.

Plus, I couldn’t afford Rich anyway.  He was a pro, and I still didn’t even know how I was going to pay for our next records, much less pay an employee.  But he would have been the perfect guy to do the job, and I started thinking about other people I knew who were like Rich, that might have been good candidates to work Dromedary full-time.  Off the top of my head, I really didn’t know anyone else who I could trust to run my own label.  And I was so miserable at work, that I was beginning to think that I wanted to do it myself, take a chance and jump into it with no promise of a salary any time soon.  I began to think that maybe once I got my product line built at work, took the first orders and shipped the product, that I’d walk away and try running the label full-time.  I wouldn’t do it before my product line was complete, though – I had made a commitment, and I was going to stick with it, regardless of the circumstances – no career changes of any kind until the product line was hanging on a shelf in a store somewhere.

That didn’t bode well for Footstone or Jenifer Convertible, since it was likely to be late 1996 before my product line was ready, yet both bands were moving towards having master tapes ready to go in the summer.  I was either going to have to make them wait, or I was going to have to give the same part-time attention to two records that were promising to be great ones.  And more and more, I was thinking that it was going to be unfair to the bands to let such great records slowly seep into stores because nobody at Dromedary could pay the right attention to them.

For Schmeckle I wanted to do a coordinated push to radio and press, and to start the press push a few months before the record was actually released.  Although I was firing Dutch East, I felt reasonably confident that I could convince Revolver and Cargo to take the CD, especially if there was a tour.  And I’d also be working the record directly to retail myself.

Rich (Grasso, not Masio) had some resources to print color posters at his new job, and he told me he was pretty sure that he could make a couple hundred for free, based off whatever the actual album out turned out to be.

And unlike Jim, Ralph was perfectly willing to share the mixes with me, as they began to pull together what was soon to become our next CD.  The songs were harder than what they’d done in the past, more aggressive.  They still had that punchy, percussive, twin-guitar thing happening, but they also retained their pop melody.  Along the way, I got two or three cassette tapes of roughs, so I could hear what I was going to be putting out.  What it sounded like was an extension of Lippy, minus the longer and less aggressive tracks that tended to muddy up that CD a little.

Two weeks later, on the 28th, Footstone played another show, this time at The Saint, which was down the Shore.  I don’t know who they played with, but I am pretty sure that this picture was taken at the show, prior to the band going onstage.

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Me at the Saint

That’s Eric, behind me, and Ralph to my left.

I wasn’t aware of the existence of this picture until just recently, and only put two and two together when I got out my 1996 day planner.  What struck me the most about this picture is that I look like shit.  My eyes are dark and red, and I’m just pasty and sickly-looking.  I’m smiling, but I’m clearly physically shot.

I don’t remember a whole lot about the Saint show, other than being happy to be out, doing something social.

~ by Al on November 6, 2009.

3 Responses to “the saint.”

  1. I’m 90% sure that that picture is not the saint, but in fact, Under Acme. Didn’t we play there with Jenifer Convertible once?

  2. You did, and you may be right. However, you did play the Saint on June 28, 1996 and I do look like shit in that picture. 🙂

  3. I was at that Love Sexy show…

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