insect trust - rfi, c/d

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And Xgau think highly of Hoboken.

I've only got Hoboken Saturday Night, but's it prescient of this decade's urban freak-folk. With more jazz than all that. Rock critic Robert Palmer was a member.

bendy, Sunday, 9 August 2009 17:52 (thirteen years ago) link

(whoops) Here's the link.

bendy, Sunday, 9 August 2009 17:52 (thirteen years ago) link

I've only got the S/T first record - pretty good and would like to get hold of Hoboken SN. The core of the band was from Memphis, and there's a fair bit about them in Robert Gordon's it Came from Memphis (although they sound nothing like anything you think might come from Memphis)

sonofstan, Sunday, 9 August 2009 18:18 (thirteen years ago) link

I've only got Hoboken Saturday Night, but's it prescient of this decade's urban freak-folk.

this is true, it is pretty bad.

ETERNAL WAR AGAINST THE DICKS IS ALL WE CAN RESPECT (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 10 August 2009 01:39 (thirteen years ago) link

It's not what you'd expect coming from the guy who named Bad Moon Rising album of the year in '85. For sure.

bendy, Monday, 10 August 2009 02:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Hoboken Saturday Night HIGHLY recommended if only for "Glade Song" which access the childlike by building in mad intensity from an actual child's melody. Took me forever to find this before the reissue. But I did find the debut on reissued vinyl (on Edsel maybe?). Less kooky but there's a fascinating bit of audio documentary somewhere on it.

Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 10 August 2009 02:24 (thirteen years ago) link

ten years pass...

Hm. Feel like I remember posting about the Insect Trust more recently than the last post on this thread. Anyway just came across the name of Nancy Jeffries in another context: she's Co-Executive Director of a Buddhist organization that counts as its members Richard Gere and a friend of mine.

Three Hundred Pounds of Almond Joy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:46 (two years ago) link

Oh, here:Big Star

Three Hundred Pounds of Almond Joy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:46 (two years ago) link

I may need a new copy of the s/t.
LOve the bits of that lp that turn up on my walkman.

Or may just need to sort the copy i have out. Think it got scratched a bit.

Stevolende, Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:50 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Author, critic, musicologist, producer and rare rock clarinetist Robert Palmer (June 19, 1945 – Nov. 20, 1997) would have turned 77 today. Palmer is best known for his books, including 'Deep Blues,' and appears in the movie 'Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads.'

— Cary Baker (@Conqueroo1) June 19, 2022

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 00:51 (one month ago) link

Guess he thought the IT (and Ornette) input were well-known enough.

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 00:53 (one month ago) link

Hoboken very belatedly followed the s/t to CD release, though both may be OOP now. The Insect Trust is maybe a bit more diffuse, but I wouldn't part with either. Nancy's vocals are too goofy for some, but I hear 'em as flying through the overall exuberance and inventiveness.

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 00:58 (one month ago) link

I love Nancy's vocals.

Ride into the Sunship (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 June 2022 01:04 (one month ago) link

Why have I never linked Perfect Sound Forever's Insect Trust archives?
Here's the ancient intro:

Tribute and interviews by Jason Gross
(January 1998)
Years back when I just getting to be a record junkie, there was a wondeful record by this band called Insect Trust that I found called Hoboken Saturday Night. It was out of print for years and it was a long time before I met anyone else who knew about them. I was obsessed with the record- it was beautiful, stirring, weird, funny. It had marches, field hollers, rock, blues, jazz, children's music all in there and it actually made sense! These people had to be out of their goddamn minds and high on life. Yet, it didn't have any context to it. Who the hell were these people? Where were they? What was the story of the band? I had no clue and barely anything to go on. The group just HAD to be long gone but who knew what really happened to them? They didn't deserve to be some unknown cut-out in a record label roster.
It took years for some of pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Their first self-titled album was reissued in England. The clarinet player (Robert Palmer) turned out to be a famous rock critic. The singer (Nancy Jeffries) was well-known for her A&R work at Elektra. The banjo player (Luke Faust) was a folk musician still in Hoboken. One of their biggest supporter was another well-known rock critic who was one of Rolling Stone's original editors (Ed Ward) and gave the clarinet guy his first big breaks in writing. The guitarist (Bill Barth) was now a painter in Amerstdam. The saxophone player (Trevor Koehler) had killed himself a few years after the band broke up.

To find even more about this band that I cherished for so long, I talked to Luke, Nancy, Bill and Ed to find what was the story behind the group. For some of them, it was like a psychologist's session, digging up long gone memories that they hadn't thought about (or been asked about) for years. The band never did make it big so people weren't exactly forming lines to find out about this. For the few of us nuts who few in love with their goofy, strange spirit, hopefully this is some compensation to give this great band the due they deserve.

Sadly, just as I was getting in touch with Robert Palmer to talk about the group, he died before he could get the liver transplant that he was waiting for. This article is dedicated to him and all of the great work that he did, making me (and a lot of other people) love and appreciate music even more.

2000 Update: Bill Barth passed away on July 14th. Please see this notice for details.

2005 Update: After a long wait, the 2nd Insect Trust album, Hoboken Saturday Night has finally been reissued on CD. See Collector's Choice for details.

Followed by links to band interviews and tributes/reminiscence:

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 20:31 (one month ago) link

Feel pretty sure I’ve linked that Nancy interview at least once.

Ride into the Sunship (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 June 2022 20:32 (one month ago) link

Like it says, Trevor K. was long gone, but what a discography (I don't think this is complete, but yowza):

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 20:43 (one month ago) link

xpost thanx for that Big Star link, remynding me of how we got to Insect Trust (mention of Jon Hassell here in part because he was from Memphis, buddies there w Charles Lloyd, and now I'm recalling [reading somewhere] that Palmer was roommate of Pharaoh Sanders way back in Little Rock):

...In an alternate universe where money flowed plentifully, how would someone have approached producing Chilton (or Bell, for that matter)? Eno, Chips Moman and Alex, together in a little red house on the outskirts of Memphis, with Jon Hassell sitting in.

― Edd Hurt, Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:14 PM (five years ago) bookmarkflaglink

...In an alternate alternate, still no money, but on his way from school or hooky to the studio, Alex fell in with nascent Insect Trust, and thee rest is history---I just went back to the Insect Trust archives at Perfect Sound Forever, searching on term "Memphis", and wow----Nancy's version is a great place to start: (was thinking there was a picture of Dickinson and maybe his missus in the living room with some of them, ca. '66, but haven't found it yet)

― dow, Wednesday, August 24, 2016 11:52 PM (five years ago) bookmarkflaglink

I love Nancy Jeffries' singing on the Insect Trust albums, and think their version of "Special Rider" on the first, usually not cited LP is one of the finer late-'60s blooze reinterps. I can hear some affinity between her style and Chlton's for shure... Alex performed at a tribute-wake for Robert Palmer after he died in 1997. I saw Palmer play clarinet with CeDell Davis in Nashville in the '80s, butter-knife slide meets buttermilk licking stick, one of the most memorable avant-blues shows I ever saw.

― Edd Hurt, Thursday, August 25, 2016

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 21:01 (one month ago) link

Oh well duh, Ed Ward mentions this in the PSF piece, though still dunno where i got "roommate":

Palmer came to New York to work for Robin Leach's magazine Go, and his jazz connections (he'd grown up in Little Rock with Ferrell 'Pharoah' Sanders) brought baritone saxophonist Trevor Koehler, who came up with the Burroughs-inspired band name, into the fold.

dow, Monday, 20 June 2022 21:17 (one month ago) link

Here's (one of several posts of) the full Hoboken:

dow, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 17:32 (one month ago) link

Oh yeah, and Luke Faust also played with the Holy Modal Rounders, before, after, and maybe during times w IT---like on this 1975 Rounders release: '

dow, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 20:27 (one month ago) link

also an uncredited (from memory) appearance from karen dalton on that lp^

there's a catalogue number in the esp-disk discography for a stampfel/faust lp which i'm not sure exists in any form or not!

s/t is great. still not heard hoboken saturday night.

no lime tangier, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 23:12 (one month ago) link

There was a cd at one point cos I have it. Hoboken that is.
I may need a new copy of the s/t I found my old one had been left under a chair leg on the Solidarity Camp when I took it up there. I think that might be the Ascension edition. Great lp anyway. Think I had it on Edsel vinyl too.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 06:43 (one month ago) link

Collector's Choice did a (now long OOP) CD of Hoboken...

Yeah, and would be pretty expensive now, but it's been on the 'Tube a long tyme. And here's the s/t:

dow, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:11 (one month ago) link

That's beginning of the whole thing as playlist.

dow, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:12 (one month ago) link

My olde computer is weird, but maybe you can play this, by R.L. Watson and Josiah Jones, AKA John Fahey and Bill Barth:

Bill (William Henry) Barth (December 13, 1942 in New York City - July 14, 2000 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands) was an American Blues guitarist who along with John Fahey, and Henry Vestine located 1930s blues great Skip James in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi in 1964. In the late 1960s he was a founding member of the band The Insect Trust. Co-founded the Memphis Country Blues Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Delta blues. Read Full Bio This festival comp is also on Amazon Music, maybe others.

dow, Friday, 24 June 2022 17:20 (one month ago) link

And here they are again, "On The Banks of the Owichita":

dow, Friday, 24 June 2022 17:25 (one month ago) link

Palmer on clarinet with Ornette Coleman and the Master Musicians of Jajouka (supposedly there are a lot more recordings of OC w the MMJ, but dunno if Palmer did any more)(the CD incl. another take of this):

dow, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 17:21 (one month ago) link

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