We interrupt this sports site for a musical announcement. My life as a music lawyer has intervened, happily, and I releaased the next two recordings in the Jay’s Plays series.
This batch is Ominous Seapods, and it starts with two shows from the Haunt in Ithaca, New York. Both are master DAT soundboard recordings of live shows, from 11-19-95 and 1-18-95 respectively. We released them for free on archive.org. Just in time for virus quarantine listening parties.
Here are the links and liner notes for both shows. Enjoy!
Everyone loves 1-18-95, a truly phenomenal show, epic even by lofty Seapod standards, (I mean come on people, Max was playing his guitar while dangling upside down with his legs wrapped around the rafters! Holy three-toed sloth from Ice Planet Hoth! It’s the hair-raising, high-flying, death defying hi-jinks of that wacky Max Verna!), it was epic, but I think this night from later in the year is not only better, I think it’s the best Haunt show the band ever did.
“The set list is incredible!” said Bob Kelly.
He’s rightâ€¦and there’s a reason for that. I wrote it, (well most of it). Max gave the duty to me because “we lost the set list from the last Haunt show. We don’t remember what we played that night, but you do. We don’t want to do too many repeats. Give us a list of all the songs we didn’t play last time.”
I embellished a few on my list. The prior show was 10-20-95, but that was a really good show too, with solid song selection and a lot of favorites you want to see. So I just produced the set list from one Haunt show before that – 9-14-95 for those of you scoring at home – and worked off that instead. (I’ll refer you to the Guide to Roadside Ecology for chapter and verse of that night, but it was also a good gig in its own right. Set list stats freaks will ooh and ahh over the band’s playing two rarities that sort of fell by the wayside (Gunned Down in Wank City and Sellouts Aren’t Sexy, but that’s a tender tale for another day).
So short story long, several songs from 10-20 were repeated, most notably Cali, which was a slammin’ opener. Max and Tom took my submitted list, went “Wow!” moved the songs around to facilitate certain transitions, added a few things like Twice as Long and Counting Time (which were new), and off they went to mutate.
The entire list is fantastic, straight through, almost non-stop, and the jams are imaginative, explorative, and completely twisted in that inimitable Seapods way. This and the 1-18-95 are unquestionably two of their Time Capsule shows. Highlights include “As I Stand here Now-> a mid-set Jump for Joy, where Max uses several different tones for his solos (pay careful attention to the opening jam in particular, a wonderfully warm tone that Max got from his humbucker-single coil-humbucker set-up that in this instance was both uplifting and hard driving, then contrast it to the almost violin-ish tone of the middle jam solo. Then Counting Time, Stephen O’Rourke and Bong Hits and Porn followed. Schizophrenic Rain->Blackberry was wonderful and set us up perfectly for the mutation to come.
From then on, they went running for the Goof Box at every turn. (Again, for anyone not with term, just check the Guide or consult your local favorite Mutant.) First Max dons the Freckle-faced Girl in Pigtails mask and that ghastly frock and poses as Dana’s girlfriend during the set closing H.D.O. while Dana serenades him with “More than a Woman.”
“You know I aaaaaaaaaaaaaam!” Max chides at the crowd, waving his finger, and lifting up the hem of the dress.
But the lunacy didn’t end there. During the first encore, Bolognius, Dana wore the Reagan mask while Max wore the giant butt head, (which you all recall from the Pope show). Mutated highlights included the Butt Mask insisting that Reagan, “Speak English, Asshole” and then opining that his latest masturbation session went badly: “I’m shooting blanksâ€¦I’ll have to finish laterâ€¦” Scary good, indeed.
It’s also worth noting this date is two days before the Seapods birthday 11-19. Since preliminary research indicates no show was played on 11-18 (odd, for a Saturday) or 11-19-95, this could be considered the de facto birthday show for 1995: “Pods Birthday Observed” as it were.
The famous “Max Swinging from the Rafters” gig, not to be confused with 1-18-96, also from the Haunt, which is up at archive.org as well. Max swung from the rafters by his legs during both H.D.O. and Mr. Blood.
Max confirmed for me later that he was looking at the rafters all night, thinking about how to pull that stunt off. He climbed up to that big I-bar that ran longitudinally down the length of the bar, and then they handed him his guitar. Then he actually swung back and forth upside-down by his legs from the rafters to finish Mr. Blood. Unbelievable.
Other sick nuggets include Monopole, a mid-set John Henry’s Hammer, H.D.O. with Stayin’ Alive Jam, (with Max swinging from the rafters), Millworker’s Lament, and Schizophrenic Rain. Watch especially for a super-hyped up Bob Kelly yelling like Howard Dean while trying to con pretty coeds into dancing with Max and Dana during H.D.O. The triple encore of Blackberry, Cancelled->Mr. Blood also featured Jeff Miller and Animal during the Cancelled Rap saving us from repeated episodes of “The Flying Nun,” among other rerun horrors. (What? No Addams Family?)
Ohâ€¦and did I mention Max played his guitar while swinging upside down from the rafters?