Why is there no thread on the Bush Tetras?

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What's wrong with you people? Or maybe there is and I just never found it. Oh well.

They were brilliant. Discuss.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:17 (thirteen years ago) link

Despite their drummer's penchant for `round the neck bandana sporting, their bass player's mullet and the guitarist's ill-considered head scarf -- still brilliant.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:18 (thirteen years ago) link

yes! I need to think of more to say but those first two singles and the Rituals EP are ultra classic. There is also a retrospective CD with good outtakes and alt versions and such.

The first really "cool" concert I went to was The Clash in 1983 and I remember the guy who gave us a ride had a huge Bush Tetras poster so to me they were always imbued with that older, cooler, mystic aura.

sleeve, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I remember one of the dudes in Romeo Void bald-facedly admitting that he flagrantly ripped off the guitar-hook from "Too Many Creeps" for "Never Say Never." Listen to it -- it's in there.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Why isn't the title of this thread "Why was there no thread on the Bush Tetras"? Because otherwise it's all Magritte. I guess that's the point.

These Robust Cookies, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:36 (thirteen years ago) link

What was the second single again? (Didn't it have "too funky" in the title or something?) I used to have the first single, the "Too Many Creeps"/"You Taste Like the Tropics"/"Whatever the Other Song On It Was" one, but I stupidly sold it as usual. It was great, regardless. (Used to have the second one too, maybe, but much more briefly. It wasn't as great.)

Never made it through their ROIR tape, I don't think.

But I'm fairly positive they were better than the Bloods (a 7-inch by whom I got rid of once, too, though I probably shouldn't have.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:37 (thirteen years ago) link

i have the rituals ep on vinyl, great 12"!

htshell, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:39 (thirteen years ago) link

2nd single was on Fetish, it was 'Das Ah Riot"/"Things That Go Boom In The Night".

sleeve, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I cannot remember the name of Cynthia's late-80's post-BT project, but I saw them in a club and they weren't that good.

sleeve, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:43 (thirteen years ago) link

'Das Ah Riot"/"Things That Go Boom In The Night".

Nah, come to think of it, I don't think I ever owned that one. I was thinking of "You Can't Be Funky (If You Haven't Got Soul)" or whatever it was called....was that on Rituals?

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:47 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah, it was

sleeve, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Fuck yes. Awesome band. "Stand Up and Fight" is so great.

teflon monkey, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 00:54 (thirteen years ago) link

I have the CD reissue of the ROIR tape, which rules.

Anyone heard their 90s album Beauty Lies? Or the stuff they did last year (rerecordings of old songs, plus a few new songs according to AMG) - Very Very Happy?

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 10:17 (thirteen years ago) link

The Bush Tetras ruled NY the first few years I lived here, probably saw them live half a dozen times in 81=82. best show was new years eve 82 at roseland ballroom: Gang of Four, BT's and Bad Brains. awesome. I reviewed that show in new york rocker and also interviewed the BT's probably in spring 82. sorry for name-dropping.

"Too Many Creeps" is the anthem but I might prefer "Can't Be Funky"

But I'm fairly positive they were better than the Bloods

not better, just different. the Bloods only existed about for a year or two, but they were wicked good, more straightforward rock and soul influenced. "Button Up" is a great song, the closest Adele Bertei ever came to putting her great voice on record. I saw them play a bunch of times too, including a show in some bombed out theatre on Ave B with REM opening in their first NYC gig. talk about being in the right place...

post-BT's Cynthia got married to Ivan Julien of the Voidiods and they had a couple bands in the late 80s.

m coleman, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 10:34 (thirteen years ago) link

this is classic new york city video

m coleman, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 10:37 (thirteen years ago) link

FUKKIN AWESOME. Thanks Coleman.

moley, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 11:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Yeah, that video is staggering in a "then and now" sorta way (you can even see The Gas Station -- which became the venue where GG Allin played his last show.)

Gang of Four, BT's and Bad Brains

Holy Crap -- what a triple bill!

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 13:38 (thirteen years ago) link

also scenes at the infamous Tin Pan Alley bar in Times Square. sullen bartender = photographer Nan Goldin.

m coleman, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 13:46 (thirteen years ago) link

xgau, fwiw:


xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link

i saw the reformed bush tetras play in new york about three years ago! can't remember where it was.. lit, maybe?

"You Can't Be Funky" is horrible guys, come on -- great beat but the lyrics yeesh

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 15:09 (thirteen years ago) link

They played Tonic. Don't know about other shows.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 15:28 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah, they played lit lounge, where i didn't realize there was a DOWNSTAIRS and so i missed their ENTIRE PERFORMANCE >:O

impudent harlot, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 15:31 (thirteen years ago) link

great beat but the lyrics yeesh

Yeah, their lyrics are nothing to -- ummmm --- sing about.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 15:35 (thirteen years ago) link

downstairs at lit is where the COOL nyu students go to do cocaine and make out. Upstairs is for people from New Jersey.

Though it's been a year or two since I've been there!

When I saw Bush Tetras at Tonic half their stuff was from the early 80s and was great, but the other half I'm guessing was from their comeback period which was sorta post-grunge, like they were hanging out with L7 or something. I didn't like those songs as much.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 16:34 (thirteen years ago) link

can you still smoke downstairs at lit? i never understood how they got away with that yet also forced you to do a weird indirect order at the downstairs bar, like you couldn't talk to the bartender directly.

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 17:01 (thirteen years ago) link

I think I went to Lit (downstairs even) when I went to NYC in 2002. I don't remember having to do anything weird to get served though. Didn't see any cool bands unfortunately. Or meet any hipsters. However, I did meet a model who claimed to know the Strokes at a club called Don Hills a couple of days later. LOL 2002.

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 17:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I think everyone who hung out at Don Hills back then knew the Strokes. Talk to Lauren about that.

Lit had some law where you couldn't order from the bartender, they were only licensed for waitress service or something, so the waitress sat next to the bartender and you asked her then she relayed the order and vice/versa.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 18:16 (thirteen years ago) link

i feel like the first erase errata album is such a rip-off of this stuff!

htshell, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 19:27 (thirteen years ago) link

nine months pass...

sad story but great show and good cause:


Laura Kennedy, bassist and founding member of the seminal NYC no-wave band the Bush Tetras, recently received a liver transplant due to complications from Hepatitis C. The bills are enormous and continue to pile up.

On January 17th the Bush Tetras, the Suicide Commandos and Skoal Kodiak will play a benefit for Laura at Nick & Eddie, located at 1612 Harmon Place in Minneapolis.

Laura grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was part of a significant exodus of Cleveland artists and musicians to New York in the late 70’s. She was a roadie for the Contortions before joining forces with guitarist Pat Place to form the Bush Tetras in 1980. Their classic single “Too Many Creeps” became a Top 10 college radio hit. An excellent 12” EP entitled “Rituals” was released in 1982 by Stiff Records, and several full-length releases on the ROIR cassette label also appeared throughout the 80s. The band has continued to perform and record sporadically throughout the 90s into the new millennium. Their recordings remain favorites of hip DJs worldwide, as evidenced by the inclusion of “You Can’t Be Funky” on Soul Jazz’s recent “New York Noise” compilation. Despite occasional offers of lucrative gigs in Europe, these days the possibility always exists that the next Bush Tetras gig could be their last. In any event, you DON’T want to miss this, their first Twin Cities appearance in over 25 years!

The Suicide Commandos formed in 1974 when guitarist Chris Osgood and drummer Dave Ahl asked bassist Steve Almaas to join their new band, thus becoming one of the very first punk rock groups of the era, one whose formative years roughly paralleled the incubation period of the Ramones in Queens, New York. The trio jump-started the Minneapolis punk scene with their arrival at the legendary Longhorn Bar in the spring of 1976. The band released independent singles in 1976 and 1977 before becoming one of two crucial bands (the other being Cleveland’s Pere Ubu) to sign with Polydor's short-lived Blank label in 1977. Their debut LP “Make a Record” is a classic, even though it failed to capture the excitement of their live shows. After a West Coast tour the band felt that they had peaked, and deemed it wise to go out in a blaze of glory. The Suicide Commandos played their last official shows together at the Longhorn in November of 1978. There are those of us who were there who will swear up and down that the Suicide Commandos remain the greatest rock and roll band to ever emerge from the Twin Cities. Their appearance at this benefit is indeed a very rare occasion.

Skoal Kodiak’s Marcus Lunkenheimer plays a modified bleach bottle, with (to paraphrase free-lance scribe Christopher Matthew Jensen) circuit-bends, distortions, and manipulations causing his voice to squelch, gargle and gasp as if he's being devoured by a gigantic meat grinder. The rock-solid rhythm section of bassist Brady Lenzen and drummer Freddy Votel lay down a solid groove informed by dub and early 80s post-punk outfits like Public Image Limited and Gang of Four. Put it all together and you have the most innovative cult rock band in the Twin Cities opening up the evening’s festivities.

A limited number of advance tickets are $25 in advance and available at Treehouse Records, the Electric Fetus, Eclipse Records and Nick & Eddie. Tickets are also available via First Avenue by following the link provided below.:

Read Laura's candid and informative blog--and make sorely-needed Paypal donations, if you are able--at: Laura Kennedy blog.

you can't stop the shinin' (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 5 December 2008 17:24 (twelve years ago) link

for some reason, i've had Too Many Creeps stuck in my head for weeks

(temporary) ilxor (goon) (PappaWheelie V), Friday, 5 December 2008 17:37 (twelve years ago) link

Pls to reissue Suicide Commandos album asap

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO (Colonel Poo), Friday, 5 December 2008 17:42 (twelve years ago) link

Thing is, I could actually envision Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/etc. hosting a clandestine Tetra-fighting circuit in the oval office to unwind after, or get pumped before, war meetings and such.

The Most Photographed Barn on the Internet (Pillbox), Friday, 5 December 2008 18:30 (twelve years ago) link


poo....i will look around some shops in mpls...they obviously are way bigger here than anywhere and sometimes you can find stuff just sitting on a store shelf that's going for big bucks on amazon used or ebay...if i see one i will email you and we could arrange something.

garage d'or (local label) i think could still mail order you copies of the legendary KQRS live show and their last show, which they have reissued on CD recently:


you can't stop the shinin' (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 5 December 2008 18:32 (twelve years ago) link

suicide commandos was reissued digitally by anthology recordings.

dan selzer, Friday, 5 December 2008 18:48 (twelve years ago) link

Jesus, I am astounded at this band. I don't normally like predominantly female post-punk bands for some reason. I WISH I loved Slits. I WISH I loved Delta 5. I WISH I loved Au Pairs. But I just don't. They're okay. Have their high points. Good, but not great, as M.E.S. once said.

But this Bush Tetras "Boom In The Night" is fucking COOLNESS in a MAJOR way. Yikes. Now, that is some damn good post-punk the way I like it. Shit, I think Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth stole from "Too Many Creeps". I'm kindof embarassed about that, because I love Kim, but you know...credit where credit is due.

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:32 (twelve years ago) link

Oh hey Matt that would be cool! Likewise if I happen to see Mush by Leatherface anywhere I'll snap it up - although it seems that's a bit more sought after (and therefore rather expensive) than I'd previously thought. (xpost)

Kim Gordon has played Too Many Creeps in DJ sets before, which makes sense, as you say Bimble :)

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:36 (twelve years ago) link

Dude! I just tried to IM you!!!

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:38 (twelve years ago) link

all good thoughts hopes and prayers (hey why not) sent out her way. reading that blog was -- for lack of a better word --sobering.

m coleman, Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:54 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

Benefit show is this saturday...should be very cool

Dave Thomas of Pere Ubu has been added to the bill

ie: BANGING (M@tt He1ges0n), Wednesday, 14 January 2009 17:34 (twelve years ago) link

Matt, did you (or any other Minneapolitans) go to the benefit? I had good intentions, but oral surgery Friday kinda took the wind out of my sails. Heard Laura interviewed on KFAI Friday morning, though, that was nice.

Dan Peterson, Monday, 19 January 2009 21:14 (twelve years ago) link

yep i went...was awesome....suicide commandos killed it then dave thomas came up and they backed him up on "nonalignment pact" and "final solution"...was fucking amazing.

commandos did "complicated fun" which is like my fav song ever

bush tetras did a set w/o laura and were great, but she came up and said a few words, is in better health

amazing nite all around

ie: BANGING (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 19 January 2009 21:19 (twelve years ago) link

Recently I've been playing 'Too Many Freaks', 'Cowboys in Africa' and Romeo Void's 'Never Say Never' DJing out at warehouse parties. They always go down a treat - I wish there was a shitload more of this kind of stuff.

moley, Monday, 19 January 2009 21:55 (twelve years ago) link

Try "M-Train" by Pylon.

Dan Peterson, Monday, 19 January 2009 22:06 (twelve years ago) link

hey dan

here's Dave Thomas doing "Final Solution" with the Commandos : ) : ) : )

damn this was fun....

also good news: Raised $10,000 for Laura!

CoppaFeelie V (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 22 January 2009 17:52 (twelve years ago) link

Thanks, I saw that linked via tcpunk.com. Wish I could have gone; I didn't manage to see the Commandos at the state fair either. How was the actual Bush Tetras portion of the show? I saw them/liked them several times back in the day. Pulled out my old ROIR live cassette for in-car listening this week. 10 grand = awesome!

Dan Peterson, Thursday, 22 January 2009 18:05 (twelve years ago) link

well, i guess i have no point of comparison and am sad to say i don't know their material very well, outside of "too many creeps", but they were really awesome i thought, like def on par with bands like gang of four and wire that's i've seen in recent years, better actually...but yeah i was super impressed...the woman who played guitar was really mindblowing IMO

btw is tcpunk down now? i tried to go on and couldn't yesterday

CoppaFeelie V (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 22 January 2009 18:08 (twelve years ago) link

moley, also see APB, Method Actors, Delta 5 for a few more in that direction.

dan selzer, Thursday, 22 January 2009 18:19 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Folks on Facebook are reporting that Laura Kennedy from the Bush Tetras has passed away. RIP. She was slowly recovering from the liver transplant I thought. I enjoyed the Bush Tetras when I saw them way back when at the original 930 club on F St in DC in the early 80s.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 05:30 (nine years ago) link


That was her bass playing on "Too Many Creeps"

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 15:28 (nine years ago) link

:( RIP

sleeve, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 16:50 (nine years ago) link

Dammit, I was hoping when I saw this thread revived that this WASN'T the reason. Ferociously great live band that imo never quite harnessed that power in their slim recorded output. Love their funkypunky stuff, but it's this dirge that gets me the most. RIP Laura.


actually good except for brain freeze (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 17:25 (nine years ago) link

very sad. i hadn't heard "rituals" for years and then heard it again playing in generation records in new york the other week. timeless.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 18:39 (nine years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Unreleased album from 1998 finally getting released this month! (they were supposed to play Los Angeles on Sunday, but Sandy scotched it)

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 2 November 2012 03:37 (eight years ago) link

i saw them open for the fall in 1997 and they were not good IMO.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 2 November 2012 03:52 (eight years ago) link

i saw them in 2004 & 2006 and they were good IMO.

stirmonster, Friday, 2 November 2012 04:12 (eight years ago) link

I saw them in 2011 and they were good IMO

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 2 November 2012 04:46 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

video by cynthia sley's son austin, for a track from the lost '98 album


unprepared guitar (Edward III), Friday, 1 March 2013 21:35 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

Playing live in SF tonight annnnd live session later today on PressureDropTV at 2 pm Pacific Time


Ned Raggett, Sunday, 13 May 2018 17:46 (three years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Just saw them tonight... At least two-thirds of the set was all new songs. One in particular (called "Unstoppable Hum" or similar?) is great, full-on motorik with Pat Place's splattery guitar everywhere. Apparently there's a new album coming out soon on Third Man.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 21 April 2019 05:52 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Belatedly heard and like the single on third man. Really good.

candyman, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 19:51 (eight months ago) link

seven months pass...

Bush Tetras Announce New Career-Spanning Box Set

New York punk band Bush Tetras have announced a career-spanning box set. Rhythm and Paranoia: The Best of Bush Tetras features 30 songs across three albums, along with a 46-page book with never-before-seen photos, essays penned by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, the Clash’s Topper Headon, Pitchfork contributor Marc Masters, and more. The box set will be available in 180-gram vinyl and CD editions. It arrives November 12 via Wharf Cat. Listen to remastered versions of the band’s tracks “Too Many Creeps” and the Henry Rollins–produced “Cutting Floor” below (via BrooklynVegan).


Box Set Details


Rigid Lift-Off Box w/Lift Ribbon
3 x 180 Gram Vinyl LPs
46-Page LP-Sized Perfect Bound Booklet w/Never-BeforeSeen Photos & Orignal Essays
29 Remastered Tracks


2 x CD / 4-Panel Digipack
40-Page Booklet w/Never-Before-Seen Photos & Original Essays
30 Remastered Tracks


1. Too Many Creeps !
2. Snakes Crawl !
3. You Taste Like the Tropics !
4. Punch Drunk !
5. Cold Turkey [Live in London] !
6. Things That Go Boom in the Night !
7. Das Ah Riot !
8. Cowboys in Africa !
9. Rituals !
10. You Can’t Be Funky !
11. Moonlite !
12. Dum Dum !
13. Stand Up and Fight !
14. Page 18 !
15. Color Green !#$
16. Mr. Lovesong [Alternate Version] !#$
17. World @
18. Motörhead !
19. Pretty Thing !
20. You Don’t Know Me !
21. Heart Attack !
22. Ocean !
23. Nails !#
24. True Blue
25. Red Heavy
26. Out Again
27. There Is a Hum
28. Seven Years
29. Sucker Is Born
30. Run Run Run [Live in San Francisco] @+
31. Cutting Floor @+


This can be preordered at their Bandcamp page:

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Friday, 1 October 2021 15:21 (three weeks ago) link

We are so very sad to say that Dee Pop passed away in his sleep last night. The band meant everything to him. He was an amazing drummer, one of the best, and a very dear friend. We'll miss him daily. Our event at Howl tonight will be more of a memorial for him and his legacy. pic.twitter.com/g5qR8V7Sxi

— @bushtetrasnyc (@bushtetrasnyc) October 9, 2021

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 9 October 2021 20:07 (two weeks ago) link

Aw, damn. RIP. Such a cool drummer.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Saturday, 9 October 2021 20:26 (two weeks ago) link

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