Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
DAM: Michael Davis Ron Asheton Rob King and Niagara
Destroy All Monsters began in 1974 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They were an experimental and radical noise/arts collective inspired by Dadaism, Futurism, psychedelia, Jack Smith, science fiction soundtracks, big bands, krautrock, Detroit high energy bands, Warhol, thrift stores, camp and bad movies.
Founding members were artists Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara and Jim Shaw. Their only releases were cassette recordings distributed through Lightworks Magazine. They also released six issues of Destroy All Monsters Magazine, and produced many films, collages, drawings, paintings and photographs.
In 1976, Shaw and Kelley left for graduate school in Southern California. Loren and Niagara continued the band bringing in brothers Ben and Lawrence Miller and later Ron Asheton, Michael Davis and Rob King.
This phase saw a marriage of experimental psych rock and Detroit heavy metal but lasted a couple years. A series of three 7" records were released on IDBI records (1977-1979) with Niagara's cover artwork and a live EP on Loren's Black Hole Records label was released in 1978.The group continued as a punk rock outfit led by Asheton and Niagara until about 1985, which later evolved into Dark Carnival.
Loren left the group in 1977 and the Miller brothers left in 1979. They produced one EP together: Blackout in the City under the name Xanadu, considered one of the best releases of 1979 and featured in the book Lost Grooves. The Miller's continued to work in many solo and band projects and are active musicians today.
Loren began the Nightcrawlerz collective with artist/poet Barry Roth in 1979, and began the acid-folk group Monster Island in 1995, which is still active. Niagara and Ron Asheton began Dark Carnival, around 1985 and recorded two CDs in the punk/rock mode.
In 1994, Kelley, Loren and Shaw released the 3-D boxed set Destroy All Monsters 1974-1976, on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label. The acclaimed CD set ("the original primal stew"--Rolling Stone) led to a series of reunion shows in Detroit, Los Angeles and San Diego in 1995. These live shows were collected on the "Silver Wedding Anniversary" CD released on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label in 1996.
Mike Kelley began The Poetics, in the late 1970s with artist Tony Oursler as students at CAL ARTS, Jim Shaw also performed with the The Poetics, he recorded a 7" under the name the Dogz, and is a founder of the group The Perfect Me. Mike Kelley also formed the group Gobbler in the late 1990s with artists Paul McCarthy and Cameron Jamie.
Kelley, Loren and Shaw continue to perform and record as Destroy All Monsters on the bands label's Compound Annex Records and The End Is Here. They have performed in Tokyo and Osaka Japan, Rotterdam Holland, Vienna, London UK (All Tomorrow's Parties), Los Angeles (All Tomorrow's Parties) and Seattle, WA.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I did HELTER SKELTER for Cleopatra Records, a compilation of Beatles songs by various artists called Abbey Road. It's me and Eric Lovre of The Dharma Bums and Joe LaFore on drums. It came out early this year.
BUY THE CD HERE
Click the Triangle to play Helter Skelter (MP3)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Destroy All Monsters after the psychedelic era featuring a more standard line-up with the only original DAM member Niagara on vocals, Ron Asheton of The Stooges on guitar, Mike Davis of the MC5 on BASS ..
Davis spent seven years with Destroy All Monsters, penning the underground punk hits "Nobody Knows", "Meet the Creeper" ,"Little Boyfriend", "Rocking The Cradle" and "Fast City" among others. The band recorded and released on Cherry Red Records, toured the U.K., and then broke up.
FILM BY DAN BOYD WIZARDOLIVONIA
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thirty years after the MC5's turbulent glory days, bassist Michael Davis sounds like a very happy man. He resides a long way from Motor City madness in Tucson, Arizona, where, as he replied when I remarked that they don't observe daylight saving time there, "We're constant. This is the center of the universe."
After the Five, Mike soldiered on with Fred "Sonic" Smith in Ascension, then served jail time on a drug charge. From 1977 to 1984, he was a member of Destroy All Monsters with ex-Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton. More recently, he's performed with the Empty Set, an L.A. band led by ex-DAM drummer Billy Frank. Since 1996, he's been a member of Rich Hopkins & the Luminarios, a band that employs a floating cast of Tucson and Minneapolis musicians, and enjoys a measure of popularity in Europe. Michael joined me at the I-94 Bar from his home in Tucson on May 17 and 31, 1998...
K: How'd you happen to join the MC5?
M: When I met those guys, I was not a bass player. What I did was play acoustic guitar and harmonica and sing Bob Dylan songs. When I heard Bob Dylan about 1962 or '63, it completely changed the direction of my life. I'd never heard anybody sing like that or talk like that or express themselves in those kinds of words. Up to that point, I was at art school; I was at Wayne State University studying to be a painter, an artist, kind of the whole normal thing, and then I went and saw Bob Dylan play at the Masonic Temple -- at that time, he was just playing a guitar sitting on a stool all by himself -- and it took hold of my life. I decided that's what I wanted to do; I wanted to be a musician.
When I met the MC5 and Wayne [Kramer] in particular, that's what I did. He and I got to be friendly and we started hanging out. We'd get acoustic guitars and we'd sit around and sing Beatles songs and learn all the lyrics to the Beatles' stuff. Wayne was still in high school and I had a few years on him. I'd been around here and there -- I'd lived in New York and places and so he kind of looked up to me, and I was telling Wayne where it was at. We'd play the guitar and do all this harmonizing and stuff like that.
Well, I also knew Rob Tyner from living down in the downtown area where the students and the artists would live. So Wayne and Rob decided it would really be neat if they could get Mike in the band somehow, and that wasn't too hard to do, 'cause basically Wayne irritated the bass player to the point where he got mad and quit the band.
He left and then they said, "Okay, Mike, you're on," so I went out and bought a white Fender Precision bass and sat down in the basement with Wayne and learned about 20 cover songs that the band did at the time -- the MC5 was a cover band -- with one original piece; that piece was "Black to Comm," which was totally experimental, atonal madness. And that's how I got in the band. Ironically, the first gig I played was at Wayne State University, where I'd gone to school to become a painter.
read Michael's full interview with Ken HERE