Loading... Please wait...

NEWS - Trouble In Mind

APRIL 2019: Part 1 - SPARROW STEEPLE

Posted by

April 2019 was a busy month for us - two vinyl-only albums, one by The Resonars & the other by today's subjects; Sparrow Steeple. I, like probably many others outside of Philly became aware of the existence of Sparrow Steeple thanks to Richie Charles. He released Sparrow Steeple's debut album "Steeple Two" in 2017 on his excellent label, Richie Records. Lisa & I still have a nice chuckle sometimes singing "Chocolate Memories" to each other. Jeff from the band emailed us outta the blue (it's a 'we have mutual friends' scenario) with a link to 3-songs & thanked us for listening. We asked what their plans were & he wrote back saying they had a full album ready to go & if we were interested in releasing it? After a breezy back 'n' forth (seriously I wonder if people who don't work for or have ever run a record label these days realize how mundane "A & R" can be?) we hashed it out & 'Tin Top Sorcerer' came out on April 9th, 2019. Fun fact: it was originally titled "Practice Pad".

Anyhoo, I didn't realize until a few weeks after jamming "Steeple Two" for the first time that it was former/current members of enigmatic Nineties band Strapping Fieldhands. I saw them once in the mid-Nineties (quick internet search reveals it to be July of 1995 at Lounge Ax with Thinking Fellers Union 282). Their idiosyncratic take on "lo-fi" or "indie rock" at the time was a head-scratcher for me. I was going to shows at a brisk clip, (having moved to Chicago from rural Texas three years prior) & absorbing as much music as I could. At age 21 I think I was still set in an "I need to rock" mindset & I remember thinking "I think these guys are great, but I'm not sure why". HA. Chalk it up to foolish youth? I'd already absorbed GBV's "Bee Thousand" by that point, so it shouldn't have sounded too alien to me, but who can say? I'd already had my dome blasted apart by hearing Beefheart, Can & more for the first time within that year, as well as experiencing all manner of experimental music being passed around Chicago. Not too long after, bands like TFUL282 & Th' Fieldhands would sound much more appealing to my young ears. Things were hopping around then & Lounge Ax was usually at the epicenter of it (I mean just look at this list of shows happening right around that same time & ask yourself - who has the time? Needless to say a lot of hard choices were made each weekend). I've been thinking back on the journey my ears have taken a lot lately (it's been a wild ride) now that we have kids. Our daughter is getting to an age where she's curious about music & it's STRANGE to me having the ability to just say "oh, you're curious about The Ramones? Let me pull up any & all of their albums on Spotify or wherever & we'll listen" There's no mystery or "detective-work" involved in hunting down something you read about or some other band referenced in some interview, so I wonder what form her or our son's musical journey will take, as "unlimited access" doesn't necessarily guide you in any one direction. They're both doing pretty good so far, & no complaints from me.

You can buy Sparrow Steeple's "Tin Top Sorcerer" HERE (and by all means, snag yourself a copy of their debut from Richie via the link in the first paragraph. It's GREAT)

MARCH 2019: FACS

(L to R: Brian Case, Alianna Kalaba, Noah Leger. Photo by Zoran Orlic)I've known Brian & Noah from FACS for a while ~ I've lived in Chicago since 1992 & there are just some people you run into over & over again. I used to frequent The Empty Bottle (OK I still do, just [...]

Read More »


FEBRUARY 2019: Sunwatchers

Sunwatchers were a band that I'd been a fan of before we worked with them. I picked up their "s/t" debut (on Castle Face) while on tour drumming & driving for Ultimate Painting in 2016. Jack & I jammed out for many miles in the front seats to it, both of us marveling how they [...]

Read More »


JANUARY 2019: Writhing Squares

(Squares photo by Melissa Centurio)I first became aware of "The Squares" when I was driving Dick Diver on their (hopefully not) last U.S. Tour in 2014. Their tour had been so-so thus far, & we pulled together a super last minute instore gig at the Philadelphia Record Exchange on July 3rd, with a day off [...]

Read More »





Recent Updates

Connect with us: Facebook Twitter Instagram
Instagram