What's up with US Maple?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Does anyone know what's going on with US Maple now? They always seem to dissapear in between records.

I love that motherfucking band but it's so hard to get information on them.

anyone?

pppp, Wednesday, 16 November 2005 05:15 (fourteen years ago) link

They played Detroit not too long ago. I've only ever seen them live, never listened to any of their albums. Which ones are good?

js (honestengine), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 17:47 (fourteen years ago) link

JS - It's hard to pick between em, but Sang Phat Editor, Talker and Acre Thrills are all super solid. I think Acre Thrills is my favorite.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

I still haven't bought Purple on Time..I think they might be the best American band of the last 10 years, for serious. Amazing live too.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 18:19 (fourteen years ago) link

i like 'purple on time' the most. it's more "cohesive" and focused than their other discs, i think. which is also why a bunch of my friends didn't like it. 'acre thrills' is also awesome. they were fantastic when i saw them live last year -- there was 30 people there, tops. weirdly enough, they didn't bring any music to sell w/ them - they had about 30 t-shirts and that was it. not sure if they ran out beforehand or what..

6335, Wednesday, 16 November 2005 18:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Acre Thrills is the shit. perfect balance of bizzare song structures and buried melodies.

pppp

pppp, Wednesday, 16 November 2005 23:29 (fourteen years ago) link

such an incredible band.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 23:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I remember seeing them play with Pavement around 1995, and the audience was openly screaming hostile threats at them. I remember being so taken aback by the simmering fury of a Pavement audience (in full disclosure, I didn't "get" U.S. Maple then, but I at least appreciated the freak show quality).

Mugged Outside the Jabberjaw, 1993 (Bent Over at the Arclight), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 23:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Al Johnson's stage moves (the "pout with hand in pocket" the "mess up my hair" the "sorta look like I'm trying to make out with the microphone") are soo awesome.

that band could really piss people off in the early days. i remember seeing them for the first time on a skin graft package tour with you fantastic, mount shasta (?), collosamite...i didn't quite know what to think but i somehow was drawn to it...

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 23:49 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Some interesting answers

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 02:25 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

just make your bedroom goddamn great

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:19 (ten years ago) link

i didn't really like purple on time when it came out but now i'm loving it.

Mountain Dewm (M@tt He1ges0n), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:29 (ten years ago) link

i was listening to acre thrills through my ps3 (because i don't have a cd player in my living room right now) with the visualizer on and it was like a slideshow of planets and stars and space, it was hilarious

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:32 (ten years ago) link

For all that people dismissed Al Johnson as the most disposable member, I was amazed by how much I missed him when I finally heard the Singer album.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:37 (ten years ago) link

al disposable??? heresy.

btw, ritman's new thing, D. Rider, is WAAAAAAAAY better than singer

Mountain Dewm (M@tt He1ges0n), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:55 (ten years ago) link

i bought the d. rider album, can't really get into it for some reason :/ the vinyl/packaging is awesomely obnoxious though, it's like turquoise and neon orange

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 19:57 (ten years ago) link

isn't there another project, not singer or d. rider, but a group w/the other USM guitar player? i can't recall the name of it

Lowell N. Behold (Lowell N. Behold'n), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 21:13 (ten years ago) link

Miracle Condition.

I really like that Singer album, but maybe I am just willing to cut ex-US Maple guys (and Robert AA Lowe) a decent bit of slack. If anyone has the cd and too much free time, take the insert with the linoleum floor on it, place it over the floorboards on the back of the jewelcase and then stand up the cd booklet on it. It forms...some kinda room. As rad as a Mad Fold-in.

Robert Necrofrost, Thursday, 3 December 2009 00:18 (ten years ago) link

I went through a period of trying to describe this band to people who hadn't heard them.

bamcquern, Thursday, 3 December 2009 00:24 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

I just realized that there is a former member of US Maple (about which I know absolutely nothing) in one of my favorite my local synth groups. Huh.

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:58 (seven years ago) link

US Maple is so good, though super-strange. What is the synth group btw?

This one is great and kinda rocks traditionally for them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHepUIx9tKo

grandavis, Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:12 (seven years ago) link

Dhalgren -- lots of stuff on bandcamp, and I can recommend it without reservation.
They're doing a new recording thing on Sundays.

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:15 (seven years ago) link

Thanks, always interested in what the U.S. Maple folks are doing, though I didn't love Singer or D. Rider as much as I wanted to.

grandavis, Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:18 (seven years ago) link

Flashbacks! Al Johnson and Mark Shippy were originally in Shorty, a band on the Skin Graft label. They were the first band I saw at the Empty Bottle after they relocated on Halloween night, 1993. I had mutual friends with Pat Samson and Todd Rittman, who were in Mercury Players. I loved that band, but they didn't really take off. I used to have a 7" of theirs but I can't seem to find those records. Another old acquaintance dated one of them for a long time during U.S. Maple years, but I haven't heard anything lately other than Dhalgren, indeed a quality synth band.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:32 (seven years ago) link

Once saw US Maple (who my wife can't stand) play the U of C's tiny WHPK studio. She really had to go to the bathroom but was afraid to walk around the band-in-progress for fear of collateral Al damage.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:49 (seven years ago) link

Are all of their songs that groovy? What else should I listen to?

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:53 (seven years ago) link

This is my jam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDZucpcvc_w&feature=related

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:56 (seven years ago) link

dead rider (or d.rider) is really good

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:58 (seven years ago) link

I like groovy/messy songs with lyrics that are totally unintelligible or just nonsense repeated over and over and over -- will check it out! I feel like I've heard of this band forever but their name was so boring that I never checked them out. My loss!

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:01 (seven years ago) link

...until today

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:02 (seven years ago) link

I like groovy/messy songs with lyrics that are totally unintelligible or just nonsense repeated over and over and over

Me too!

sarahell, Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:12 (seven years ago) link

u.s. maple is the greatest for realz

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:13 (seven years ago) link

sang phat editor is a great, underappreciated album

charlie the luna (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:20 (seven years ago) link

One of my favorite bands and a hugely important band to me personally. I saw them several times and I cherish every one of those shows.

The greatest.

chr1sb3singer, Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:54 (seven years ago) link

local noise band Tips for Twat remind me of them a little bit, though slower and shaggier

there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 18 October 2012 20:11 (seven years ago) link

by local i mean mpls for those at home.

i mean, two detuned-ass guitars, it's not rocket science i guess

there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 18 October 2012 20:11 (seven years ago) link

Ooh Shorty! I have a 7", "Fresh Breath" I think? Did they make an album?

nice suit (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 18 October 2012 20:26 (seven years ago) link

La Lechera, if you like one or two U.S. Maple songs you will probably like them all. The album "Acre Thrills" is a good starting point, but people differ on which is their favorite. "Sand Phat Editor" is also great.

grandavis, Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:01 (seven years ago) link

I have liked two so far, so I'll look around for that album. What a pleasant surprise in a day full of not-pleasant not-surprises.

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:02 (seven years ago) link

my take:

Acre Thrills is the best starting point IMO
Sang Phat Editor & Talker are probably the most "US Maple" albums of their discography, Talker is particular is them taking their sort of bizarre weird quiet disjointed approach to its extremes
Long Hair in Three Stages is great, but def feels "early", they haven't quite shed the late 80s touch&go type stuff, but i think it's awesome
Purple On Time - they changed drummers and came back with a more straightforward "rock" (using straightforward and rock only in relation to their earlier stuff), it felt like a betrayal to me at the time but now i love it and right now it's probably my favorite and i wish they would have continued as a band

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:16 (seven years ago) link

Yes to Acre Thrills. Start there for sure.

Mark Shippy stuck a guitar pick to my sweaty forehead while they were playing. Rad night.

Burgled Hams (Old Lunch), Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:19 (seven years ago) link

haha awesome.

they were something live! man...

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:21 (seven years ago) link

Really sad that I never saw this band live. Somehow they just never came near me at the right time. I can only imagine what it was like for people in the audience who didn't know what was coming.

grandavis, Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:40 (seven years ago) link

didn't they open for pavement at some point? i can't even.

charlie the luna (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:47 (seven years ago) link

there's also something about the way he speaks in interviews that makes me think it's partly mental illness that's at play. I almost wonder if he avoids reading because of how strongly it affects him.

― michael bolton's reckless daughter (Hurting 2), Thursday, October 18, 2012 3:53 PM (24 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

lol if so...wow....i only saw them on skin graft tours w/likeminded bands and labelmates mostly

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:16 (seven years ago) link

hahaha! that's xposted from neil young thread!

goodnatured lols!

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:18 (seven years ago) link

haha C&P errors very much in character i guess

i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:20 (seven years ago) link

i actually saw US Maple twice! but i never quite "got" them. think i should give it another go.

tylerw, Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:22 (seven years ago) link

didn't they open for pavement at some point? i can't even.

they did, and it was very VERY funny

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:23 (seven years ago) link

one of the only times I've seen a band in a huge venue (the Fillmore) aggressively antagonize the audience, who were booing and throwing shit

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:24 (seven years ago) link

i loled at "roomy ashtrays"

groundless round (La Lechera), Friday, 17 April 2015 18:09 (five years ago) link

Hah yeah. He was on Twitter for a moment, then he was gone. There is some live footage of him somewhere above doing a solo performance/reading.

grandavis, Friday, 17 April 2015 18:12 (five years ago) link

three months pass...

saw Dead Rider over the weekend and they kinda reminded me of like, i dunno, El-P fronting the Minutemen? the drummer had a somewhat pronounced jazz-funk feel and they were all wearing different hats. they also had a fog machine.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 19:34 (four years ago) link

the bass was not as Minutemen-y as the drums iirc

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 19:35 (four years ago) link

No fog machine at the show I saw a couple of months ago, but there's video of much of the set here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfu6shiyD_Q

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Wednesday, 12 August 2015 10:00 (four years ago) link

I'd just go with Bowie + US Maple as the best summation. Really like these guys. Great video. The influence of Al Johnson hangs heavy on their live attitude...

dlp9001, Wednesday, 12 August 2015 23:06 (four years ago) link

Invisible Things album is fuckin incredible

tremendous crime wave and killing wave (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Saturday, 22 August 2015 00:45 (four years ago) link

I need to re-visit Dead Rider - kinda bummed I missed that show. The thread always gets a LHi3S listen outta me.

BlackIronPrison, Saturday, 22 August 2015 01:02 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

http://pitchfork.com/news/61509-tortoise-return-with-new-album-the-catastrophist-share-gesceap-plot-tour/

"The album features vocals from Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley (on "Yonder Blue") and U.S. Maple/Dead Rider's Todd Rittmann (on a cover of David Essex's "Rock On"). "

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 6 October 2015 14:39 (four years ago) link

The album cover is horrifying

I saw Dead Rider the other night, now pared down to a trio, they remain the greatest band currently active.

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 6 October 2015 15:01 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

seeing invisible things tonight with the ex
whee!

La Lechera, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 12:53 (four years ago) link

How was it La Lechera? Should have been a good pairing!

grandavis, Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:21 (four years ago) link

Amazing show!! A guy I know is friends with the invisible things drummer (Jim?) and told me he is a professor and specializes in a particular type of Sri Lankan drumming insert heart eyes emoji here !!! <3 I'm really tired now but super great show.

La Lechera, Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:57 (four years ago) link

Awesome!

grandavis, Thursday, 22 October 2015 14:09 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...

This is one of those weird things, because everyone knows David Bowie and almost nobody knows Dead Rider, but the overlaps between what they've been doing and what Bowie is doing now are kind of major. This live video, btw, is seriously fantastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkgl_N91bU4

dlp9001, Friday, 20 November 2015 18:02 (four years ago) link

It's time to go down the U.S. Maple listening hole again. This is awesome:

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

― grandavis, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 18:32 (1 year ago)

YES

Nose-Punk Era (Mr Andy M), Tuesday, 1 December 2015 17:19 (four years ago) link

I can't remember what originally compelled to click this thread and start listening to the music, but US Maple has to be one of my favourite ILM finds of the year and possibly fave ILM find full-stop. Been listening to Acre Thrills and Talker on near-enough constant repeat over the last few weeks. Their whole approach feels so fresh to me at the moment.

Nose-Punk Era (Mr Andy M), Tuesday, 1 December 2015 17:22 (four years ago) link

They are a treasure that only grows more wonderful with the passage of time. A true wonder of a band.

grandavis, Tuesday, 1 December 2015 19:51 (four years ago) link

We're only talking five relatively short albums, but there's something in them that keeps me thinking there's even more (that I missed the last time) when I go back to them, despite playing them many times. It's not that I'm missing anything specific, but they have that quality that suggests so, keeps them fresh IMO

Master of Treacle, Wednesday, 2 December 2015 01:10 (four years ago) link

Interviewed Al years and years ago, just dug up a couple of great quotes:

A lot of people who may come see the band but who haven’t heard the records may think it’s improvisation. I really want to get away from that. It may sound silly, but in my heart of hearts, I would like U.S. Maple to be taken in as a Black Crowes song can be taken in, on some levels.

I don’t think we’re that complicated. We continue to go back to the still to generate this liquid that has the same ingredients as early Journey. I’m telling you, they’re there. The difference is the arrangements. They’re just presented in a different way.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 2 December 2015 02:07 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

!!!!!!!! acre thrills documentary surfaces online

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loni6SVagbw

Amira, Queen of Creativity (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 24 December 2015 15:00 (four years ago) link

so cool to hear them talk about songwriting and how they worked as a band...and Country Kitchen and Hardee's namechecks

Amira, Queen of Creativity (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 24 December 2015 15:03 (four years ago) link

Pretty sure this is the same thing that's been up for a while. Still great, but I don't think anything has been added.

dlp9001, Thursday, 24 December 2015 16:27 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Purple on Time is literally a masterpiece

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 22 June 2017 04:33 (three years ago) link

New Dead Rider album in September: https://deadrider.bandcamp.com/album/crew-licks

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 22 June 2017 16:46 (three years ago) link

greatest band!!!!!!

I still rock a Purple on Time era Maple shirt and man not many people recognize it but the ones that do it's like we are BFFs

actually was at the May Day parade and met a woman who went to college we Shippy she was like "Why are you wearing my friend's band's shirt?" I didn't get the sense she knew they had gotten much acclaim

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 22 June 2017 16:56 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

Holy shit @ the Grateful Dead cover on the new Dead Rider album!

cwkiii, Saturday, 21 October 2017 02:08 (two years ago) link

there's a new shippy ensemble album out too
https://billingtonshippywyche.bandcamp.com/album/billington-shippy-wyche

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 21 October 2017 02:22 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

just make your bedroom GODDAMN GREAT!

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 21 May 2018 20:01 (two years ago) link

high SCHOOOOOOOOOL

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 21 May 2018 20:04 (two years ago) link

did US Maple and Jesus Lizard ever play any Chicago doubleheader sets where David Yow & Al Johnson did a band swap? that woulda been pretty neat, they shoulda done that

there's still time

del griffith, Sunday, 27 May 2018 22:07 (two years ago) link

who's sitting on the bailey / maple tapes?

massaman gai, Monday, 28 May 2018 19:02 (two years ago) link

I know a few Jesus Lizard fans who absolutely hate US Maple, go figure. I don't remember them sharing a bill, since they only overlapped a little, but I guess it was possible? I wouldn't want to be any band opening for the Jesus Lizard.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:58 (two years ago) link

From an oral history:

DENISON We played a bit with a few different bands, but not that much in Chicago. Pegboy or U.S. Maple or (John Forbes's band) Dirt—which later became Mount Shasta—or Tar. Eventually those bands developed their own things and played their own shows.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:00 (two years ago) link

In my experience Maple had a unique ability to alienate audiences that loved very abrasive or noisy music because those audiences (JL for example) were totally fine with dissonance as long as the music rocked in a pretty conventional way but Maple's rhythmic weirdness and refusal to coalece into a groove you could nod your head to really drove ppl nuts (and Al's whole thing being a lot weirder than Yow who was still in line with an assaultive hardcore template in many ways)

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:38 (two years ago) link

Cows maybe the only other band of the era who could be so uniquely unsettling (in a their own way)

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:38 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

the state of US Maple is bad

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:18 (one week ago) link

US Maple is never bad

grandavis, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:26 (one week ago) link

I dunno man, Dead Rider went nowhere, I haven't seen Al since 2004, what's even going on? What are we left with?

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:28 (one week ago) link

I liked that song they did where it sounded like it was falling apart

the state is bad (Left), Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:30 (one week ago) link

Shippy has been making lots of music in Chicago but I haven't seen him pop up since covid

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 1 August 2020 13:13 (one week ago) link

Yeah I like that trio Shippy has with Ben Baker Billington and Daniel Wyche, though I have only heard the one release on Astral Spirits. Nice to hear his playing in that kind of context though, and they are all very good players.

"What are we left with?": all of the great records that U.S. Maple made. I get the sentiment though hah hah. Very little else like that particular sound.

grandavis, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:51 (one week ago) link

Right, but I was just summoning Left

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 18:48 (one week ago) link

Aw, Dead Rider is certainly no patch on US Maple, but I dug Crew Licks. Never did get around to hearing that record with Paul Williams though.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 1 August 2020 18:53 (one week ago) link

saw Dead Rider last summer at a fest in Iowa, absolutely amazing

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 19:38 (one week ago) link

just bought Talker on vinyl off their Bandcamp, what a record

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 19:38 (one week ago) link

Whoa, cool! May have to grab a copy of that myself (no idea where my CD is).

grandavis, Saturday, 1 August 2020 19:45 (one week ago) link

yeah I don't know why, I wonder if they found a couple of boxes in a closet

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:58 (one week ago) link

Huh, they have copies of "Acre Thrills" too. I mean Drag City has copies of stuff I am often surprised by, so they must occasionally just put stuff back in print when it is sold out (maybe?).

grandavis, Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:21 (one week ago) link

Drag City reissued Talker last year
https://www.dragcity.com/news/2019-07-25-talker-returns-to-the-conversation

Mike Dixn, Sunday, 2 August 2020 00:49 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.