Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tiny Lights, part 3...

After Gaia's collapse in 1989, the band moved to a fairly new startup label, Absolute A Go Go. They reissued the debut LP (Prayer For The Halcyon Fear) on CD, with the 1st 7" included as bonus tracks. At the time, this was quite exciting - A Go Go had a distribution deal with Rough Trade and that seemed like a good thing. They also put out a new studio album, Hot Chocolate Massage. In many ways one of the band's best, this turns up the volume considerably and brings in some funkier classic rock motifs.

From that record, here's one of my favorite tracks:
"Moonwhite Day"

By this point, original cello player Jane Scarpantoni had left the band to become session player for the stars. Although she recorded H.C.M. with the band, she didn't tour the record. Some of her best known work post-Tiny Lights is on records by Kristin Hersh ("Your Ghost") and 10,000 Maniacs. There are a lot more records that feature her, I'm just blanking out right now. The band (with replacement cellist Stuart) was still touring like demons, forging the studio tracks into ferocious improv-oriented jams in a live setting. The only recorded example of their improvisation skills is on a CD bonus track for the H.C.M. album (there were two other extra tracks included as well, definitely get the CD version).

"Tuesday Afterdinner (improv)"

Two years later, Absolute A Go Go was gone as well, taken down by Rough Trade's collapse. For a firsthand account (somewhat bitter but seemingly accurate) you can check out Absolute A Go Go's history page. It was here that I learned Tiny Lights were briefly labelmates with Phish, which on reflection totally fits.

Next up in the label parade was Orange County's Doctor Dream Records, who released the 4th album (Stop The Sun I Want To Go Home) in 1992. From that, here's two tracks:

"Curlyeyed Open Stare"
"Facedown (For Serge Gainsbourg)"

In 1993 the band released a single on Kramer's Kokopop label, produced and recorded by the man himself on yummy bubblegum-pink vinyl. Out of print and never reissued, it contains two of my favorite tracks by the band, at this point a 4-piece without cello.

"I Think I Just Want To Go Away" (A-side)
"Pull It Together" (B-side)

Tomorrow we'll wrap things up with the last two albums and another rare single.

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