Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Blases - s/t lp (1989)

The Blases lone, eponymous album is the stuff this blog was born for. Not so much a classic, rather a classic example of an album lost to the limits of DIY distribution and homegrown record labels. Until I found this album online sometime in the very late '90s, my affiliation with these Jersey bar-rockers was solely through a grainy video for this album's brilliant "Time Walks Away," which aired on MTVs 120 Minutes, dare I say in 1990-91(?). To my memory, no album or label information was provided with the usual "ID" info, but in years to come, I would learn that then 120 Minutes host, the infamously gravel-throated, Matt Pinfield was keenly familiar with the Blases, so no great mystery there as to why the video was sandwiched between Jesus & Mary Chain and Julian Cope clips at 1:30 AM.

Despite my eventual absorption of the Blases record, and even with the ever expanding "information highway" at my fingertips I have unsuccessfully learned much about the band, with the exception of reading of a one-off reunion show in recent years. The Blases is no magnum-opus, and is probably what Soul Asylum would have amounted to had they pursued the gin-mills and nothing else. However the song that lured me in the first place, the aforementioned "Time Walks Away," is stunning, due in part to it's relatable 'one-that-got-away' motif, and an incessantly, jangle-ridden hook. Side two's "Wasting My Dreams to Sleep," comes in at a fairly close second, and although the nine-song collection is more than listenable, great swaths of it don't particularly stick.

I foolishly passed up the opportunity to buy a Blases single on Ebay many years ago, so if any of you have any juicy details on that, or for that matter the band themselves, don't be a stranger.

01. I Walk Alone
02. She Catches Fire
03. The Point
04. Time Walks Away
05. Oh Mammy
06. Firefighter
07. Alis
08. Wasting My Dreams on Sleep
09. Sorrow My Eyes

13 comments:

Monkey Flinging Poo said...

Thanks much. Really enjoy your blog!

Jack said...

Hey,
It was great to see your Blases post. I knew (and know) them well. The piano player and co-songwriter Bill Donohue is my cousin.He later went on to tour as a member of John Cale's band. Rob Wagner (vocals) is a dear friend of mine who, coincidentally, I am getting together with tonight. They were a band that filled a lot of clubs along the Jersey shore and played a lot of gigs in New Brunswick, NJ (court tavern). Can't wait to tell these guys about your blog.
They really were quite excellent live. If you want any more info on them, let me know.
Peace
Jim

JD said...

Thanks, glad you liked it. We always had a lot of fun indeed. Every one in a while we dust ourselves off and do a local benefit gig or something for fun and to get together. Write anytime.

Cheers,

Joe D.
Bass Guitar, The Blases

elmo balderdash said...

HI -

I saw the band play many times back in the 80's, and I played their acetate on WRSU-FM while I was a DJ there. I've wondered whatever happened to these guys, and was really happy to run across this post. Thanks!

Steve Dockery
http://www.stevedockery.com

spavid said...

Hi Joe,

Just got around to checking my Blases post. Drop me a line if you could. My email is in my profile. Thanks for the kind words

spavid

Mr Sluggo said...

Watching them as I type at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch. The Whirling Dervishes played before them. Very cool. Looks like fun.

Jim Menendez said...

I was actually the first drummer from about 1978 - 1980 when we started as a band playing high school dances and "Battle of the Bands" contests. It's great to see that the band is still on people's minds. I had a rare opportunity to sit in on a few numbers with Southside Johnny and the Jukes last weekend in Annapolis when the drummer didn't show up. I thank The Blases for introducing me to a lot of different artists.

Jim Menendez said...

I was actually the first drummer from about 1978 - 1980 when we started as a band playing high school dances and "Battle of the Bands" contests. It's great to see that the band is still on people's minds. I had a rare opportunity to sit in on a few numbers with Southside Johnny and the Jukes last weekend in Annapolis when the drummer didn't show up. I thank The Blases for introducing me to a lot of different artists.

Jim Menendez said...

I was actually the first drummer from about 1978 - 1980 when we started as a band playing high school dances and "Battle of the Bands" contests. It's great to see that the band is still on people's minds. I had a rare opportunity to sit in on a few numbers with Southside Johnny and the Jukes last weekend in Annapolis when the drummer didn't show up. I thank The Blases for introducing me to a lot of different artists.

bikerbro64 said...

Hey...came cross your website. I played in the Blases for many years back in the 80's. Check out my You Tube channel under Bikerbro64 for some old archived video.
Enjoy!

Duke

Mescalero said...

Hi, is it possible to re-up this gem? Thanks in advance, Alex

spavid said...

Just saw your comment. Link has been fixed.

Mescalero said...

Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!