How great was Basehead?

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the Cody ChesnuTT thread got me thinking of him - file in the "unfairly ignored" pile for me, every time I come back to those first two albums I'm just struck by how *cringe* unique their sound and approach was. Even now, I can't think of very much like it: the marriage of indie-rock sarcasm and relationship-centric themes mixed with folk-y/vaguely blues-y guitars and hip-hop drum-programming, with a lot of wit and drug-addled hijinks. I always consider their relative obscurity truly criminal, like a path was opened up in music and nobody decided to follow them down it.

Has anyone actually heard their third "born-again" Christian album?

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 6 March 2003 00:52 (eighteen years ago) link

"Play With Toys" and "Not in Kansas Anymore" are both amazing.. I've heard "Faith", and sadly it was really boring. There is also the B.Y.O.B. album, which is pretty much Michael Ivey and guests, which is also pretty good.

I've heard about new material since then that was amazing once again, but never heard the results.

(Dan to thread?)

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:02 (eighteen years ago) link

BYOB album?!? What is this and where can I find it?

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:07 (eighteen years ago) link

It was released on Rykodisc.. self titled. I'm guessing it's one of those things you can only find in the dollar used bins. Just look for that familiar faint Ryko italic font, and hopefully you'll find it.

I haven't listened to the CD in a long time, but I remember it being more background sounding, and not as engaging as the first two Basehead records. But please take that opinion with a speck of salt.. I should re-listen to this CD tonight, in fact.

(This was right around the time Ivey was startin' to wax about God in all his liner notes, but there was still a sense of an evil sense of humor... one of the guests on the album was "Uncle Clarence The Thomas")

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:16 (eighteen years ago) link

divine styler was/is great too

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go.to/stevek

steve k (stevek10), Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:20 (eighteen years ago) link

"Play With Toys" and "Not in Kansas Anymore" are both amazing.. I've heard "Faith", and sadly it was really boring.

Sorry, didnt feel the need to type that out again but its the truth.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:21 (eighteen years ago) link

the byob disc was stylistically pretty all over the place. as i remember it was one of ben watson's "this is great" discs which promptly disappeared.

gaz (gaz), Thursday, 6 March 2003 01:36 (eighteen years ago) link

BYOB album?!? What is this and where can I find it?

It was supposed to be the start of a Basehead label ("Bastard Youth of Basehead") on Ryko, with artists produced/affiliated by/with Michael Ivy, but it never took off. Don't go expecting it to be the forgotten Basehead album.

I haven't heard the second and third albums in years, but the first one is good. When I finally managed to buy it a few years back, it wasn't nearly as hip hop-based as I remembered it being, save a few N.W.A samples. It was more like a Sebadoh album, substituting beer for pot.

Vic Funk, Thursday, 6 March 2003 03:43 (eighteen years ago) link

I only have the first two, but they are indeed great. Especially Play With Toys.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 6 March 2003 03:54 (eighteen years ago) link

"Its not my fault you got be love sick during the quiet storm" = klassik.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Thursday, 6 March 2003 04:39 (eighteen years ago) link

It was more like a Sebadoh album, substituting beer for pot.

>:-O

Hmmmm.

Well, this is a more cogent comparison than I initially thought.

Still though.. eek. This completely ignores the unique quality of Ivey and friends fluidly bouncing back and forth between the song and skit worlds. That is a crucial element to why I worship Basehead.

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:06 (eighteen years ago) link

divine styler was/is great too

I only have the first two, but they are indeed great. Especially Play With Toys.

Quite right.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:10 (eighteen years ago) link

did either of you anteaters see that show with fIREHOSE and the butthole surfers at lake castaic?

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Had tickets but couldn't go. STP was on that bill too. Heh.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:31 (eighteen years ago) link

No :( I mainly wanted to see Basehead for that lineup too.

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:49 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, if you want to listen to some hip hop beats while you sob into your beer, "Play With Toys" is your album.

It also functions as a very funny comedy album, complete with some of the best uptight honky imitations this side of vintage Richard Pryor.

EC, Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I liked the Basehead. I saw them open up for Ween a long, long time ago. Play With Toys was a terrific album - all playful and smart and such.

Bruce Urquhart (Bruce Urquhart), Thursday, 6 March 2003 07:03 (eighteen years ago) link

Church of Toys.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 6 March 2003 08:31 (eighteen years ago) link

bought play with toys after reading a greil marcus rave in the interview magazine. prolly played that record more in 91 than any other save dream warriors. funny, when you search the innernet for basehead reviews, one turns up written by John Waters. he was apparently a huge fan of ivy's. had over for dinner and shit....

thomas de'aguirre (biteylove), Thursday, 6 March 2003 17:19 (eighteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
I'm curious to hear more about the three albums he's released since Not In Kansas. Any particular song highlights, innovative sounds? Does he still sing the same way?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 4 February 2004 02:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, I've only heard "Faith" a while back, and my opinion still stands. I remember it being a hookless, stationary record... especially after the really bitter but hilarious "Not In Kansas Anymore", it was quite a letdown.

I've heard about one new record since, but now you're saying two? Are these albums getting released beyond D.C.? (Assuming Ivey is still based there?)

donut bitch (donut), Wednesday, 4 February 2004 04:05 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
Revive! Update from those who know Ivey. Listened to Play With Toys and Not In Kansas Anymore last night, and it made me remember the good ol' days...

donut debonair (donut), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 20:42 (sixteen years ago) link

..and all those promo CD singles with the remixes and B-sides! some of those were great!

donut debonair (donut), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 20:42 (sixteen years ago) link

:-) They put a smile on my face, those first two albums. I still think they're both better than Beck.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 20:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I very nearly picked Basehead for my ILMiXor contribution. Those first 2 albums are underexposed masterpieces.

Speedhump Bungle (noodle vague), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 20:57 (sixteen years ago) link

three years pass...

"better than Beck" = Ned OTM.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 3 April 2008 05:24 (thirteen years ago) link

The ''intro'' and ''outro'' tracks on Play With Toys are laugh-out-loud hilarious and brilliant.

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 3 April 2008 11:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Argh! Bummed it's not on iTunes. I only own "Play with Toys" on cassette and seeing this thread made me crave it! There was a time you could find ENDLESS copies of this (stone classic) in used CD bins.

Savannah Smiles, Thursday, 3 April 2008 11:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Wonder what he's up to now. I did a big feature/interview with him way back when for the Washington City Paper, with some quotes from him circa the period when he was finding faith. I used to periodically see his name locally, but not in awhile.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 April 2008 13:01 (thirteen years ago) link

I remember reading that piece! It was fascinating. Do you still have it, by any chance? It would be great to revisit that.

Savannah Smiles, Thursday, 3 April 2008 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link

The City Paper online archive only seems to have part of the October 11, 1996 article saved, and the bb codes are getting me error responses when I try to post it.

https://secure.washingtoncitypaper.com/cgi-bin/Archive/abridged2.bat?path=q:DocRoot/1996/961011/basehead11&search=Basehead&SearchString=Basehead&AuthorLastName=Kiviat&IssueDate=mm%2Fdd%2Fyyyy&SelectYear=All&next.x=49&next.y=13

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 April 2008 14:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Basehead was a great band back in the day. "Play With Toys" was one of my favorite albums, and "Not in Kansas Anymore" was still a good album even if I didn't quite enjoy it as much.

"Just because I don't sound like Barry White doesn't make me a bitch!" :)

eeyore19, Thursday, 3 April 2008 22:34 (thirteen years ago) link

This album is so stoned out. Dude is screwed by nature.

Whiney G. Weingarten, Thursday, 3 April 2008 22:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Citizen Cope was Basehead's DJ

PappaWheelie V, Friday, 4 April 2008 04:53 (thirteen years ago) link

five months pass...

..and all those promo CD singles with the remixes and B-sides! some of those were great!

This would be a prime candidate for a nice deluxe reissue. What are the chances?

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:37 (twelve years ago) link

nil. this band is totally unjustly forgotten, I'd wager.

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:43 (twelve years ago) link

Great stuff, and I thought Ivey was sexy as all get-out! (saw him at New Music Seminar...'92?)

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:44 (twelve years ago) link

Mrobz sometimes you are full of surprises

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:46 (twelve years ago) link

http://baseheadmusic.com/images/photos/gallery/1925174.jpg

omar little, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

It's really up to Ivey. I can't imagine that he doesn't have the rights to the Emigre/Imago material after all these years.

Mackro Mackro, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

lolz, John was always more into Basehead than I was.

i am the small cat (HI DERE), Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:51 (twelve years ago) link

Also Faith is still boring but in direct comparison to the earlier albums. When a Faith song on the iPod comes on via shuffle, it's actually kinda nice and calming.

Mackro Mackro, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:51 (twelve years ago) link

he was not all beardy and dreddy back in the day.

Dr Morbius, Friday, 26 September 2008 18:40 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

love Play With Toys so much

"it's not my fault you gotta get love sick during the quiet storm"

Euler, Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:03 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If7bELSqWy0

never knew there was a video!

Euler, Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:03 (nine years ago) link

great album, god knows why i've never listened to Not in Kansas

Looking for Mrs Nutbar (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:04 (nine years ago) link

I should listen to the second album, given where I live right now.

Euler, Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:09 (nine years ago) link

"it's not my fault you gotta get love sick during the quiet storm"

This line pops up in my head all the time, and I wish more people got the reference so that I could, well, refer to it more often.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:24 (nine years ago) link

I should spring the 1 cent that the third album is going for on amazon, shouldn't I?

Euler, Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:32 (nine years ago) link

Now Cody Chestnutt has disappeared too. What's with these guys, too much weed?

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:07 (nine years ago) link

Michael Ivey went Christian, I know that.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:29 (nine years ago) link

There's one ok/good song on the third album, and I can't remember what it's called. Proceed accordingly.

dlp9001, Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:41 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...

Love these first two, thank you ILM

sleigh tracks (1933-1969) (MaresNest), Saturday, 22 October 2011 22:36 (nine years ago) link

What a good prompt! Think I'll listen to them right now...

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 October 2011 23:09 (nine years ago) link

Here's my 1996 feature interview piece on Basehead at the time of the Faith album

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/11235/you-gotta-have-faith

curmudgeon, Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:26 (nine years ago) link

the intro and outro on plays with toys are some of the funniest songs i've ever heard.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:27 (nine years ago) link

Basehead/fIREHOSE/Beastie Boys show at the tiny Troc in Philly in ... '92? still one of my all-time faves

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:33 (nine years ago) link

Are there any other bands that walked a similar dynamic like this without being a bit cheesy?

sleigh tracks (1933-1969) (MaresNest), Sunday, 23 October 2011 09:42 (nine years ago) link

nine years pass...

Two Basehead live recordings popped up today on D1m3ad0z3n! Maybe the last band I would ever expect to see on there, but nevertheless, here we are - early/late shows from a date at Cambridge MA circa '93, desk recordings too.

https://www.fromsmash.com/10CB0ILB2x-bt

Maresn3st, Friday, 2 April 2021 22:20 (one week ago) link


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