Laser Pace - Granfalloon (Takoma - 1974) Wow!

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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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

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

i'll try again.

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

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

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

First seven songs here

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

^^^
this

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

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

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 12 November 2007 23:29 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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: www.myspace.com/johnchrischristensen

Thanks for keeping the music alive!

JC

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

Whoa, hey there! Glad you could find us.

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

Great stuff, John! You rock!

scott seward, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I wonder if John knows what happened to Maureen. And what he thought of her guitar playing.

scott seward, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Sky Fell

Cat Stevens, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Black vinyl RIAA sky!

dow, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Maureen and I are still in touch. I ran into her and Doug aka: D. Distorto, at the NAMM Show last January. We joked that if we had about ten more fans we might stage a reunion tour!! We have heard that the album is supposed to be a minor cult classic in Europe, although it would hard for us to know for sure.

As to Maureen's guitar playing, I appreciate it a lot more in retrospect than I did at the time. I always thought that she was a brilliant lyricist, and her chord vocabulary and their use in composition were amazing. At the time I was much more impressed by her abilities as a rhythm player, which were extraordinary. I've always been disappointed that we didn't actually write some songs together, although the three of us did all the arranging together. Granfalloon was very much a group effort. Looking back, I can see that our individual approaches to lead guitar playing have more than a few similarities.
JC

John Christensen, Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Everything about this reminds me of Annette Peacock.

^^^ OTM.

C0L1N B..., Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:25 (thirteen years ago) link

John, if you want me to take down the mp3s, just let me know.

C0L1N B..., Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks for the info, John!

One more question, if you don't mind. What inspired the use of electronics? What were you guys listening to at the time that might have contributed to the sound of Laser Pace. I can hear different jazz and progressive rock elements in the sound, but not everyone at the time was rocking the synths/electronics like you guys were.

scott seward, Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Please don't take the clips down!

I actually sent out a bulletin from my Myspace (www.myspace.com/johnchrischristensen) telling people where to find the links. Right now, I'd just like to have more people hear it. The record hasn’t been heard much in the last 35 years except for a few playings here and there on alternative/college radio stations. Granfalloon isn’t currently in release, so I don’t really see a conflict. If it were out there legitimately, then it would be a little different.

JC

John Christensen, Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Good question Scott!

I think germ was actually planted in '66.

Doug, his brother Brian, and I were in a band called Opus 1. We recorded for Bob Keane (Ritchie Valens, Bobby Fuller, Barry White, etc.) on Mustang Records. The Deckers father was James Decker, a world class french horn player and studio musician, supposedly Stravinsky's favorite musician.

One day Jim (James) called and said that we had to come to this rehearsal of Stockhausen music he was going to perform in Ojai. At the rehearsal we met either Beaver or Krause, I can’t really remember which one anymore. They were working with one of the first Robert Moog synths. We were knocked out! I know Doug was profoundly affected by it, and so was I. From then on I was trying to incorporate tape effects etc., into my own music in an attempt to get that sound, which of course didn’t work!

In about ‘71 or ‘72 Doug bought a Buchla synth from Morton Subotnik. It was the one used to record “Silver Apples of the Moon.” We already knew even before we started writing songs for Laser Pace that it would be all over our as yet unnamed record. The Buchla would be played by Jim Divisek (who had studied with Subotnik), Doug (the rock and roller synthesist) and pianist Larry Parsons, who really didn’t program it, he just played it while Doug did the various processes. I think Maureen may have played some stuff on it as well, but I don’t really remember for sure.

We all listened to everything. Our tastes were diverse to say the least. I was (and still am) a huge Crimson fan, and was always bringing these records around for Doug and Maureen to listen to; some Airto, some Miles, Cathy Berberian, etc. At first they were a little bugged, and then once they got into it, they responded by ‘buying stock’ in Tower Records! The really good thing about Doug and Maureen back then was that they, like me, were influenced by what they heard, but they NEVER tried to copy it. We also hated it when Synths went from being synths, to being used to copy other instruments. That really was the death of synthesis, the way we saw it.

JC

John Christensen, Saturday, 17 November 2007 01:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks again for the information and the memories! I love hearing stuff like this. I'm wondering if the album would have found a bigger audience if it had been on another label. Takoma was mostly known for acoustic/folk records(experimental acoustic/folk records to be sure - and don't get me wrong, i'm certainly glad that someone put it out),but here's this wildly creative progressive/experimental rock record...well, you get what I'm saying.
In any case, all these years later, thanks for the music! It's an inspiring listen. And certainly unique.

It would be great if someone like Anthology Recordings put it out there for more people to hear. It definitely deserves to be heard by more people.

scott seward, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:09 (thirteen years ago) link

This is really good stuff!

But none of the links above have included "Scatter" yet. Scott's first link matches up with "Endless" from Colin's upload, and the 2nd link matches up with all of Side 1 from ditto. So "Scatter" is the track that hasn't been put up yet. The speed/pitch differences betw. Scott's uploads and Colin's are pretty pronounced, which is closer to "correct"?

Rock Hardy, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:11 (thirteen years ago) link

Holy shit, I suspected that had to be a Buchla or something equally exotic, so bizarre were those sounds! Not that I really know what the hell I'm talking about; but I completely agree with the "death of synthesis" sentiment.

Anyway: Cool record, JC! Thanks for getting in touch.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:18 (thirteen years ago) link

so, wait, that link up there that says side 2 is all of side 1? oh god, i'm so confused. i thought it was all of side 2. i don't know what the heck we were doing.

as far as pitch and all that, i have no idea. i have a brand new turntable. it sounds good to me. we put it right into the computer and into audacity.

scott seward, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I think it's side 2! I thought I heard all eight songs.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:38 (thirteen years ago) link

okay, it is side 2. and it ends with scatter. phew. i just downloaded it again.

scott seward, Saturday, 17 November 2007 02:39 (thirteen years ago) link

About the Buchla. It played in Quadraphonic Sound! Too bad it had to be tracked in stereo. Doug still has the multitracks from the sessions. I always thought it would be really cool to remix the album 5.1 in surround sound.

Also, Sky Fell (Too) is one of my two vocals on the record. I think I began the composition of that song while I was in Vietnam in ‘68. I know it was finished while i was serving in Germany in 1970. D. Distorto got co-writer credit for the improvised bass solo at the beginning of the song that he played reluctantly (and brilliantly) at my urging. D: “Was that what you wanted?” JC: “Absofringinlutely.”

John Christensen, Saturday, 17 November 2007 17:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Yeah, great point about synthesizers aren't meant to imitate other instruments; Brian Eno also said in the 70s that he was determined to stay away from that (and also from the synth as just one more instrument, which was why he sat behind the sound board at Roxy concerts and used the synthesizer to texture the overall mix), and I think it was Chick Corea (or maybe Herbie Hancock) who said he finally realized he had to give up treating it as piano or organ, and start from scratch, which is what Miles was trying to get him to do.

dow, Saturday, 17 November 2007 18:39 (thirteen years ago) link

In about ‘71 or ‘72 Doug bought a Buchla synth from Morton Subotnik. It was the one used to record “Silver Apples of the Moon.”

!!! wow

dmr, Saturday, 17 November 2007 21:49 (thirteen years ago) link

I loved what Herbie Hancock was doing with the band "Sextant" when he had Patrick Gleason doing all the synth stuff. It was textural and environmental, not necessarily tonal. Catching that band live was like the best psychedelic experience you could ever have without drugs! That's the stuff we loved!

JC

John Christensen, Saturday, 17 November 2007 22:24 (thirteen years ago) link

Patrick Gleason! Yeah, forgot about him--wonder what else he's done...also that guy, Roger Something? who did the album Cosmic Furnace, and worked with Todd Rungren, I think.

dow, Sunday, 18 November 2007 04:20 (thirteen years ago) link

And speaking of Silver Apples Of The Moon, Chris, did you listen to the band Silver Apples? Or United States Of America?

dow, Sunday, 18 November 2007 04:22 (thirteen years ago) link

who's chris?

is the roger you're talking about Robert Margouleff of TONTOS Expanding Headband (with Malcolm Cecil)?

jaxon, Sunday, 18 November 2007 08:53 (thirteen years ago) link

That would be Roger Powell. And "Chris" is presumably Mr. Christensen.

Catching that band live was like the best psychedelic experience you could ever have without drugs!

Sextant is pretty good WITH drugs too!

Myonga Vön Bontee, Sunday, 18 November 2007 09:25 (thirteen years ago) link

And speaking of Silver Apples Of The Moon, Chris, did you listen to the band Silver Apples? Or United States Of America?

No, I don't know Silver Apples, but I bought The Unites States of America when it was originally released; I still have my copy of it. Was it Joseph Byrd that was in that band? I know Doug and he became friends years later........ something in the back of my mind says he did something for Takoma, American Band Music, or something like that... Music Box? Shit! Things are getting cloudy in here!

And yes, Sextant was good in an altered stage of consciousness as well........

JC Aka: "Chris"

John Christensen, Sunday, 18 November 2007 09:41 (thirteen years ago) link

I think there is still some confusion over what's been posted. if someone has all eight tracks can you reup them as a zip file? this music is incredible.

best as I can tell from comparing titles with the tracks Colin posted, the file Scott put up labeled Side 2 contains Closet Casualty, Avatar, Whoever You Are You, and Sky Fell

the 4-minute file labeled Side 1 is only the song Endless

and then Colin also posted Oh Yeah and Redemption ... no Scatter

(so either Colin's titles are all wrong or the stickers on Scott's LP are on the wrong sides, basically ... both totally possible. hope this helps get things straightened out. sorry if I am just being dense.)

dmr, Sunday, 18 November 2007 18:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Was it Joseph Byrd that was in that band?

yep Joseph Byrd was in USA ... not sure if he ever recorded for Takoma but he did a post-USA record for Columbia called "The American Metaphysical Circus" under the name Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies

dmr, Sunday, 18 November 2007 18:22 (thirteen 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) link

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

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

Absolutely.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:53 (six 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYLzbR-EEiY

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

She was indeed.

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

eight months pass...

awesome

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

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

Amazing work indeed. :-)

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

WOW!
great work

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

!

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

you the man, scott

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

thanks!

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

i mean also for the record itself

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


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