Eabla Records has added a Rarities page that offers a selection of out of print records and CDs from the Nuf Sed and Amarillo back catalog, including releases by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Sun City Girls, Pop-O-Pies, Job’s Daughters, The Easy Goings, Heavenly Ten Stems, The Three Doctors Band, Zip Code Rapists, Dieselhed, Virginia Dare, Dame Darcy, and others.
Nuf Sed was started in 1984 by Brandan Kearney. It released material by World of Pooh, Caroliner, Archipelago Brewing Company, Tarnation, Wandering Stars, and related acts before being sold to a Korean machine tool company in 1996. It now manufactures CNC lathes, engine lathes, and CNC knee mills.
Amarillo Records was launched in 1992 by Gregg Turkington, who guided it with a firm but fair hand until 2001, when he donated its papers and physical assets to the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation. Its roster of talent included Faxed Head, Harvey Sid Fisher, Anton LaVey, Secret Chiefs 3, and Neil Hamburger. Will York delivers a heartfelt eulogy for both labels here.
We also have a few spare copies of titles that were not released on Amarillo or Nuf Sed, but will be of interest to fans of either label, like Product Music — a legendary compilation of industrial show tunes — and the sweetly nostalgic Sounds of the San Francisco Adult Bookstores. Get ‘em while they last!
Most of these titles were originally released in the early nineties, in editions of 1000 or less; they’ve been priced according to their format and scarcity. Availability of certain titles is very limited (i.e., fewer than ten copies), so don’t dawdle unless you’re planning to buy the Easy Goings’ Cigarettes EP.
All prices include postage.
Of the many mysteries bequeathed by Soul Deep Records to an ungrateful posterity, few are more baffling than Frederick Michael St. Jude’s 1977 album Here Am I.
It’s hard to imagine the Soul Deep team tolerating Frederick Michael’s urban androgyny and lachrymose, Bowie-esque caterwauling, let alone aiding and abetting it.
Did they honestly like it? Or did they simply anticipate the Who’s warning that “music must change,” and select this overwrought oddball as their bridge to the future?
We’ll probably never know. All we can say with reasonable certainty is that Frederick Michael St. Jude is a veritable Vesuvius of talent, and no one who hears him will forget the experience anytime soon.
Soul Deep’s liner notes have captured Frederick Michael’s appeal in exquisite detail:
Frederick Michael St. Jude transmits high voltage electricity to everyone with which he comes in contact. He can “turn-on” an audience just by walking on stage. What’s more amazing is that he has the power to electrify musicians in a studio and spark them into creative frenzy, as he does on this album.
Frederick Michael St. Jude is an imponerable [sic] but highly visible force of nature, who produces light, heat and a billion megawatts of Rock N’ Roll power.
What else can you say, the man is a walking atomic power plant.
Two songs should suffice to convince the average Doubting Thomas or Gloomy Gus that we are in the presence of Genius Salient and Ululant. The anti-modernist anthem About Yesterday details the psychopathology of everyday life in the Big City, where “you hate everyone you meet,” and “you learn to grind your teeth.”
In addition to the insurmountable mope-rock couplet “left alone to die/pardon while I cry,” this track introduces St. Jude’s most formidable stylistic innovation: the use of multiple vowel sounds at the end of phrases (e.g., “we’re not supposed to know about yesterdayyyyyeeeeowwwwuhh”). Once you get used to it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Love You Anyway is even more startling. Over a robot-factory backing that’d be legendary if it had appeared on a Phew album, F.M. St. J. gnaws away at his own oversized soul like a dog trying to worry a mastodon bone. If you’ve read the booklet that comes with Joe E.’s Love Got In My Way, you’ll recall that Joe claims Soul Deep’s producers “worked pretty hard” to perfect his vocals. It’s exciting to consider the possibility that they took the same hands-on approach with the far more adventuresome and eccentric Fred Mike.
If you have any information about this artist (his real name, for instance), please drop us a line immediately!
Although Joe E. Neubauer gave up his performing career shortly after digging the master tapes for Love Got In My Way out of the Ft. Lauderdale dumpster to which his doomed label had consigned them, he never lost his love of singing.
Prior to signing with SRS International, Joe had resourcefully attempted to record an album by singing along with instrumental versions of popular hits. Many years later, the advent of affordable karaoke machines made this approach somewhat more viable…at least in logistical terms.
Joe set up one of these machines in his office a while back, and has since recorded about a dozen CDs comprising his unique take on songs that appealed to him, or to his family members. He generally gives these albums as gifts to family and friends, and hands them out to workers at his local VA office.
We’re pleased to say that Joe’s excitement over Eabla Record’s re-release of Love Got In My Way has inspired him to record several albums of new material in his makeshift home studio. Most of them highlight the “middle of the road” pop ballads he favors, along with a few of the country classics that his wife and son prefer.
We’ve selected three tracks from Joe’s homemade CDs to share with curious fans and well-wishers. While the instrumental tracks and backing vocals for these performances aren’t — and couldn’t possibly be — as compelling as the ones on his album, Joe transcends the limitations imposed by cheap technology, paint-by-numbers arrangements, and his own advancing age, and delivers heartfelt and imaginative interpretations of this material.
We hope that we’ll eventually be able to provide Joe with musicians and songs that are worthy of his talent. In the meantime, we think these tracks demonstrate that even though he’s been offstage for about thirty years, his voice is still strong and affecting!
Don’t(Photo of Joe E. in his home recording studio by Gregg Turkington, 2008.)
How Deep Is Your Love
True Love Ways
Although this blog will of course keep our public informed about the latest doings at Eabla Records, its more noble aim is to offer free downloads of rare music to you and yours.
Each Eabla release will be accompanied by downloadable songs that aren’t available anywhere else. When possible, we also intend to produce PDF scrapbooks for our artists, comprising photos, ephemera, &c. How long we’ll leave these giveaways up remains to be seen, but they won’t be permanent. So gather ye rosebuds while ye may, for old time is still a-flying.
In between releases, we’ll offer obscure tracks more or less at random, either because they relate to our ongoing research into specific vanity labels, or just to be neighborly. Again, grab ‘em while they last!
If you like what you hear, please consider striking a blow for commodity fetishism by buying our CDs. It takes a fair amount of time and money to run a reissue label; in some cases, tracking down an artist, getting his or her permission, and finding and restoring the tapes can cost as much as — or more than — pressing the discs! Also, we believe that our marginal titles cry out for large, informative, nicely illustrated booklets, which tend to exact a heavy toll in cash, strength, time, and patience.
More to the point, a number of the people whose music we’ll be releasing either lost money, or made very little, during whatever passed for their heyday. If you buy our CDs, we can pay them, and thereby tip the scales of the universe ever so slightly towards Justice. You can be certain that they’d do the same for you!
We’re currently working on several vanity-pressing reissues, the titles of which will be announced here as soon as the details are settled. In the meantime, we may as well admit that we intend to reissue a fair amount of material that was originally released on, or otherwise related to, the Amarillo and Nuf Sed labels, most of which has never been released on CD. For instance, we expect to release lavish retrospective CDs by World of Pooh, Zip Code Rapists, and Glorious Din within the next several months. Sales of these attractive items will, we hope, help to fund our other, more complicated archaeological projects.
That’s plenty for now. Thanks for dropping in, and be sure to check back often!