Laser Pace - Granfalloon (Takoma - 1974) Wow!

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Fantastic stuff! i haven't even listened to the second side yet and i'm already in love. just amazing. why isn't this album world-famous? did maureen o'connor ever do anything else? i can't find much info. "avatar" is the jam! even the lyrics rule. more later.

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 00:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Describe please!

dow, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 02:05 (fifteen years ago) link

What he said!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 02:10 (fifteen years ago) link

punk prog noise. intense space mellotron stuff. electronic fx all over the place. tons of synth/electronics in general. but also awesome guitar action. the only guitar listed is maureen's and if she played all this stuff then she should be on some list of gods. she sings a little like Anisette from the Savage Rose. But her vocals are also heavily processed for maximum whatthefuckness. some of the electroprog moments remind me of Ubu in a big way. this was recorded in 1973. D.Distorto on bass. The drummer used to be in the garage band The Opus 1. he mentions the record in an interview on-line:

"Doug Decker has had a very successful career doing recording engineering working with Johnny Cash, the Beach Boys, Band of Gypsies, Roger Miller, and John Fahey among many, many others. Today he is doing sound for the "Win Ben Stein's Money" TV show. Doug and I have worked together on and off for the last 30 years. We did an album with his wife Maureen O'Connor in the early seventies for Takoma Records called "Granfalloon." The group was called Laser Pace -- very experimental, lots of electronics."

the bass playing is so Ubu too. There is an awesome instrumental on here called "Scatter" that sounds like King Crimson + Can + PIL. Until it turns into freeform jazz piano/sleighbell/electronic nod-out acid jam. then it becomes something else entirely.

my fave lyrics:

"Cherish and hold the time
scrape off the cream
it'll be so clean
as you glide into a void so strong
vessels bursting from the shit
you brought along."

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 02:58 (fifteen years ago) link

man, i don't know what her voice sounds like. it's crazy. anisette is just the closest i could come as far as a comparison goes.

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 03:05 (fifteen years ago) link

actually david thomas is a pretty good comparison! i wonder if those guys were fans. sure sounds like it.

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 03:07 (fifteen years ago) link

scott, if u could leonardo this and set the music free many hippies and bloggers would hug u.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 03:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Wot Gott said.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 04:16 (fifteen years ago) link

i need 2 hear this i think

sleepingbag, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 04:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Sounds amazing!

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:48 (fifteen years ago) link

did i mention that the cover is an illustration of people running from and being destroyed by a cosmic laser beam?

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 19:48 (fifteen years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 19:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I just emailed Keith of Anthology Recordings about this (Anthology's re-reissue of C.A. Quintet's Trip Through Hell is verra niiice, and new to me; ditto Shoes' Black Vinyl Shoes, and they've also picked up fabulous Satwa, but a fair amount of their stuff is as obscure as Laser Pace--so maybe...?!)

dow, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 05:59 (fifteen years ago) link

they've also picked up fabulous Satwa

You mean the album on Time-Lag, or something else?

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 06:05 (fifteen years ago) link

anthology would have to get in touch with these people:

scott seward, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 14:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, it's the same as on Time-Lag, and they do seem to work out things with (artists whose rarities have previously been reissued by)other labels, so maybe they could do that with (Laser Pace and)Takoma, who mainly keep Fahey & friends in print nowadays (wonder how that Robbie Basho is; I like Peter Lang)

dow, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 18:57 (fifteen years ago) link

basho >>>>> lang!

i am very excited to hear this laser pace LP. looks killer.

ian, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 18:59 (fifteen years ago) link

side 1

closet casualty (maureen o'connor)

avatar (maureen o'connor)

(whoever)you are(you) (maureen o'connor)

sky fell (w.g. christensen, d.distorto)

side 2

endless (maureen o'connor)

oh yeah? (w.g. christensen)

redemption (maureen o'connor)

scatter (d.distorto)

scott seward, Friday, 9 November 2007 23:00 (fifteen years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Friday, 9 November 2007 23:01 (fifteen years ago) link


nabisco, Friday, 9 November 2007 23:02 (fifteen years ago) link

thank you sir.

jaxon, Friday, 9 November 2007 23:43 (fifteen years ago) link

side one is like 3.7 megs, side two 19.5? just checkin'.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Saturday, 10 November 2007 03:39 (fifteen years ago) link

oh and THANKS in 72 pt impact font.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Saturday, 10 November 2007 03:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Both are labelled side one. The first file is 4:01; the second, 21:17. But um...what did John Fahey think of this?

Maureen O'Connor sings like A LOT David Thomas! Check out the 4:01 track.


Kevin John Bozelka, Saturday, 10 November 2007 03:59 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, I think I didn't change the details on the mp3 ID3 save thingy on the second one, so they both show as side 1.

Maria :D, Saturday, 10 November 2007 06:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Maureen O'Connor's vocals remind me of my long-lost friend John LaCroix who people in Boston kept trying to get to attend the opera program at Berklee. He had a band called the Cauldron. I miss him.

Maria :D, Saturday, 10 November 2007 06:02 (fifteen years ago) link

A cool story. :-)

But Maria, is there any reason side 1 is only 3, 4 minutes long?

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 10 November 2007 07:03 (fifteen years ago) link

man. this stuff is strange. i'm always waiting for that cheesy moment, that explosion into gucky supermelodic pop or something but it always heads in another direction. also, it sounds sort of like something a cult would pay to record and release. i like it.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Saturday, 10 November 2007 10:29 (fifteen years ago) link

oops, looks like side one is just the first song! sorry. i didn't check it before posting it. you can all just blame maria. i'll post the whole side today. what do you want for nothin'?

scott seward, Saturday, 10 November 2007 11:11 (fifteen years ago) link

We ain't complainin', just curious. :-)

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 10 November 2007 22:28 (fifteen years ago) link

all day i tried to import the audacity file into an mp3 and every time i tried my computer crashed. so sad. i figured i could at least send it in an e-mail to someone.
my computer is a year old and it apparently can't handle audio/video anymore. so aggravating. it's not like i do a ton of stuff on my computer. why would a computer crash playing a measly cd?

scott seward, Saturday, 10 November 2007 23:07 (fifteen years ago) link

man. this stuff is strange.

If YOU think that, I gotta hear this. thanks Scott!

sleeve, Saturday, 10 November 2007 23:09 (fifteen years ago) link

maria bought me a cd player at radio shack today. god bless her. i've got doom metal to write about! i can't be anxious about CDs. satan didn't put me on this earth to worry about digital audio.

i gotta tell you, it's a cheap teac cd player and it sounds great. way better than my computer's player. mark hollis is now 5 star audio instead of just 4 and a half star audio.

scott seward, Saturday, 10 November 2007 23:12 (fifteen years ago) link

if no one's up to the challenge, i'm down to separate the mp3s into separate tracks and reupload tagged and everything.

that is if we can get the full first side :D

jaxon, Saturday, 10 November 2007 23:13 (fifteen years ago) link

i'll try again.

scott seward, Saturday, 10 November 2007 23:18 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost I heard back from Keith of Anthology Recordings about this: he's def interested in hearing it, and who knows, maybe it will indeed end up on Anthology (although now that Concord Music Group's near the end oftheir glorious 50th Anniversary of Stax[through calendar-wise at least], maybe they'll start excavating Takoma treasures themselves)

dow, Sunday, 11 November 2007 05:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh and speaking of Teac (and yeah, CD players usually sound better than computers to me, esp bass), the aforementioned Anthology reissue of Shoes' Black Vinyl Shoes was recorded on a Teac 4-track in their living room, and sounds amazing--come to think of it, Becker & Fagen said they recorded a lot of Steely Dan demos on one of those--

dow, Sunday, 11 November 2007 05:43 (fifteen years ago) link

jaxon, you around? i think i actually managed to make an MP3 of the first side. I can try and e-mail it to someone. anyone around? Just e-mail me. I don't know how you can share with the class though. Although I guess I can just e-mail it to anyone who wants it. But I'm also kind of afraid that just trying to e-mail the file might crash my computer. we shall see!

scott seward, Sunday, 11 November 2007 21:15 (fifteen years ago) link

e-mail it to me, scott
i'll be home in an hour or so

Maria :D, Sunday, 11 November 2007 23:11 (fifteen years ago) link

scott, if you can upload either the mp3 or the audacity file to and email me the link it spits out (jason @ - minus the spaces) unless maria takes care of it.

jaxon, Monday, 12 November 2007 02:29 (fifteen years ago) link

I've got 7/8 of the tracks as separate mp3s (the one I'm missing is "Scatter"). I'll upload them in a minute.

C0L1N B..., Monday, 12 November 2007 03:11 (fifteen years ago) link

ah there ya go!

i gave up. i need to take an audacity course. i thought i was turning the first side into an mp3 and it turns out i was making the whole album a big mp3. i couldn't e-mail it. too big for me.

so colin has the rest. and scatter is on that side two up there.

scott seward, Monday, 12 November 2007 03:34 (fifteen years ago) link

First seven songs here

C0L1N B..., Monday, 12 November 2007 03:40 (fifteen years ago) link

scott and colin, i declare you co-mayors of ILM for november.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 12 November 2007 04:44 (fifteen years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 November 2007 04:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, extra-special thanks to Colin, Scott and Maria!

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 12 November 2007 23:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Everything about this reminds me of Annette Peacock. The slow, bluesy funk rock. The moog - especially on Sky Fell, that tone. And while her voice doesn't exactly sound like peacock's, her singing through effects does.

jaxon, Thursday, 15 November 2007 17:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Howdy! This is John "Chris" Christensen from Laser Pace. I've really enjoyed watching (and listening to) your dialogue about our album Granfalloon. If you have any questions about the group or our music, I can be contacted at:

Thanks for keeping the music alive!


John Christensen, Friday, 16 November 2007 18:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Whoa, hey there! Glad you could find us.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 16 November 2007 18:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah! (having those Laser Pace tracks posted makes me paranoid about downloading, though--visions of black vinyl helicopters landing on my bank statements--visually hep, otherwise not so much)

dow, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:26 (fifteen years ago) link

that craig moerer has everything, doesn't he?

jaxon, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 02:33 (twelve years ago) link

sheesh, vg- :(

i am so tempted to buy a clean copy of "Down Here On Earth" from Craig fuckin' Moerer, but I don't want to give him any of my money.

ian, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 05:20 (twelve years ago) link

we should have a "takoma one-offs and obscurities" thread; so many weird things on that label. i'm partial to joseph byrd's "yankee transcendoodle."

― by another name (amateurist), Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:51 AM (3 weeks ago) Bookmark


ian, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 05:20 (twelve years ago) link

^^ seriously loving this record.

ian, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 06:07 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

The circle complete! Skot and Maureen O'Connor today, as he just posted on FB:

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 6 October 2012 23:24 (ten years ago) link

And with Doug Decker:

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 6 October 2012 23:29 (ten years ago) link

they are so awesome. can't believe doug did all that engineering work. if you like those early 70's john fahey takoma records, doug produced/engineered them! lots of takoma stuff. and working for wally heider studios he did all the remote work. he recorded band of gypsies and tons of other stuff. the stones at madison square garden in 1969! seemingly, he went everywhere and recorded everyone.

scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 00:01 (ten years ago) link

plus, the hollywood garage rock roots!



scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 00:03 (ten years ago) link

did i mention that they recorded a laser pace album in 1975 that was never released?

scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 00:04 (ten years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Sunday, 7 October 2012 00:37 (ten years ago) link

As suggested more than once upthread, an excellent trans-Takoma thread was later homegrownm, and still ready for the sewing, fertilizing and picking:
Takoma's one-offs and obscurities How'd they come to be in your emporium, Skot? On a Laser Pace mission, I hope.

dow, Sunday, 7 October 2012 01:43 (ten years ago) link

they had to go to new york and took a trip to massachusetts partly to see me! do some sightseeing. i would have loved to hang out with them more, they are staying nearby, but i am going up north tomorrow morning to hang with my parents. we had a wonderful visit though. we chatted and listened to records for a couple of hours. it was great. they inspire me. and they brought me copies of the AMAZING 1980 single they put out under the name New Math. punk funk! its soooooo good. maria played it on her umass radio show tonight.

scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 02:00 (ten years ago) link

i wish i knew someone a la numero group with money who would put out a reissue that is worthy of their stuff. they have live tapes, unreleased album, that cool single, the takoma album. wish i was rich.

scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 02:05 (ten years ago) link

we talked about joe byrd. doug worked with him and he was a big fan of laser pace. i put on a silver apples record and they dug that. they'd never heard them. i even played maureen some cocteau twins. john fahey really dug the band apparently. and he loved maureen's voice and playing. i gave them a harmonic choir album to take home.

scott seward, Sunday, 7 October 2012 02:15 (ten years ago) link

An unreleased Laser Pace album!!!! Someone really needs to do these guys justice and reissue a box set. The market is out there!!

JacobSanders, Sunday, 7 October 2012 03:08 (ten years ago) link

The first time I played Laser Pace for Tera was while driving around rural Pennsylvania, looking for records. It was a damp fogging day and the places we stopped were almost scary, people having thrift stores out of their basements and homes. Laser Pace was perfect was the day.

JacobSanders, Sunday, 7 October 2012 03:34 (ten years ago) link

yeah, lots of intriguing backstory re Fahey etc. when John Christopherson was answering our questions on this thread. If you get a chance, Scott, I'd suggest that you suggest they check with Mumero (the Asterik series might be a good fit; don't know how electronic Numero wants to get, but they def like female voices). Also maybe Light In The Attic? Some of the labels distributed by Forced Exposure? Anyway, since they dig Joe Byrd, might also suggest they might like Broadcast, sometimes compared to the United States of America.

dow, Sunday, 7 October 2012 13:53 (ten years ago) link

Would love to hear any unreleased stuff - surely we can mobilise the ilx army to get some interest?

emil.y, Sunday, 7 October 2012 13:55 (ten years ago) link

Hmm...hold all these thoughts, let me check around here.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 7 October 2012 13:57 (ten years ago) link

Original LP mix is streaming on YouTube--John C. asks if it's the mono version---so they're aware of this, apparently don't mind (it's been up since April). Prob like the attention, as indicated re uploads linked from this thread.

dow, Sunday, 7 October 2012 14:40 (ten years ago) link

Speaking of attention, they may not have continued past the remaster cos figured wasn't so much of a potential audience--and without an expert indie publicity campaign, they may well be right, depending on expectations, required financial return, etc. Maybe Kickstarter, if Granfalloon gets more publicity? But seems like a series, rather than a box set, might work better at this point--does anybody still buy boxes, other than diehard fans of Registered Cult Figures--?

dow, Sunday, 7 October 2012 14:48 (ten years ago) link

According to this article lots of people buy box sets.

JacobSanders, Sunday, 7 October 2012 16:00 (ten years ago) link

weird, spin just did a big feature on those numero guys. impression i got was most sell 1000 & break even due to label fanbase, the big successes are once in a while.

zvookster, Sunday, 7 October 2012 21:09 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

We all had a great time last night at get bent's birthday get-together with Maureen and Doug! Much chat had about all sorts of things. We also all agreed that Scott is the coolest.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 2 December 2012 17:42 (ten years ago) link

eleven months pass...

i don't think i ever saw ned's post. very cool.

i put up the 1980 New Math single. Maureen & Doug and their faithful Buchla doing up post-punk Los Angeles in fine style. i love it.


"Hometown Meltdown"

scott seward, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 17:44 (nine years ago) link

Now that is weird, I was just thinking about this album today

Thomas K Amphong (Tom D.), Wednesday, 6 November 2013 17:48 (nine years ago) link

I'm planning on interviewing Maureen and Doug soon, and have ideas about where to place the results...

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 18:03 (nine years ago) link

i'm glad you're finally doing it. took you long enough! :))))))))))))

scott seward, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 19:07 (nine years ago) link

nine months pass...

rest in peace, maureen. so glad to have known you. you were truly special and an inspiration.

scott seward, Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:19 (eight years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:53 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

I was listening to Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies today, and searching provided this thread, which I had never seen. What a great series of conversations and events! And I'm listening to Laser Pace now, and it is blowing my mind.

eleven months pass...

this is finally happening. very happy. only took 10 years. nice to talk to doug today. did i mention that there is an unreleased second album? but first things first. i wish you guys could have met maureen. she was so awesome.

scott seward, Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:03 (five years ago) link

She was indeed.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:14 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...


i am a proud owner of the CD reissue thanks to you

sleeve, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:28 (four years ago) link

wow!! awesome skot

i swear off RSD every year and then there's always one thing that gets me out....

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:33 (four years ago) link

you should be able to get it from Feeding Tube direct after RSD if you don't see it in a store. or Forced Exposure. pressing of 500.

scott seward, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:46 (four years ago) link

Amazing work indeed. :-)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 21:11 (four years ago) link

great work

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 21:48 (four years ago) link


reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 21:49 (four years ago) link

you the man, scott

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 22:03 (four years ago) link

liner notes by me and doug decker and also chris who posted on this thread so many years ago! his piece on the band is amazing and hilarious.

scott seward, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 22:04 (four years ago) link

just really happy to have it happen for real. and really happy that more people will be able to hear it. listening now and it sounds great.

scott seward, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 22:05 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

Picked up a copy at Cheapo today
What an amazing, demented record

Good job on the liner notes skot

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 27 April 2018 23:11 (four years ago) link


scott seward, Saturday, 28 April 2018 15:02 (four years ago) link

oh shit i gotta pick one of these up just for scott's notes

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 28 April 2018 15:06 (four years ago) link

i mean also for the record itself

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 28 April 2018 15:06 (four years ago) link

i was chatting a little with byron coley at his feeding tube table at wfmu. he said the reissue did really well -- he sold them all out. so grab one from a record store if you see it.

Thus Sang Freud, Saturday, 28 April 2018 23:51 (four years ago) link

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