Spazz and Slop Poll 2005: Top Three Bona Fide Releases of the Year
Ok, so I was a bit miffed at being passed over in the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll this year, but since we've only been back for about 6 months, its no big shock. Still kudos to the Voice are in store for their irreverent editor ,Chuck Eddy, whose astute perceptions placed both our Brigman CD's in his Eddytor's Dozen and also staffers Jess Harvell, who interviewed George Brigman and myself for a fine lengthy piece in the Baltimore City Paper, and also George Smith who continues to recognize musical excellence when he sees it!
So without further ado, here are the top three Bona Fide releases of 05 as tabulated from a poll of all our employees who are old enough to drive:
1. Jungle Rot--George Brigman (Anopheles LP)
2. (tie)I Can Hear the Ants Dancin--George Brigman and Split(Bona Fide/Solid CD)
2. (tie)Jungle Rot--George Brigman(Bona Fide/Solid CD)
SPAZZ AND SLOP HALL OF SHAME! DISHONORABLE MENTIONS
Jungle Rot--George Brigman(Radioactive CD091, UK)
Jungle Rot/I Can Hear the Ants Dancin--George Brigman (Synton CD, Austria)
Looks like its a clean sweep for George Brigman! Not only that but we were kept out of the top spot of our own poll by that swell vinyl that we licensed(Bootleggers take note: that means they asked for permission and paid us too!) to Anopheles in San Francisco! Congrats to Karl Ikola for the meticulous attention to quality that resulted in a swell exact repro of George's classic album that for the first time presented the album as recorded by George the way he intended it to sound(actually not bad for a teenager who was learning as he went along). It was something I had unsuccessfully tried to talk George into for 20 years and it was worth the wait! I'd love to fly to San Fran to personally present Karl with his Spazzy award, but I will have to settle for a big Thank You! for now. THANKS! As easy as the top spot was to pick, the runner up was quite difficult. I love the Jungle Rot LP through and through but the incredible songs, psychedelic jams,and flat out rockers of I Can Hear the Ants Dancin also deserved note. The fact the Ants CD was originally one of my very first forays into the music biz back in 82 also weighed heavy. So we wound up in a dead heat, tied for second!
Admittedly, our list of releases was quite modest, though starting from scratch, trying to do give George's unique music the stellar treatment it deserved and simultaneously fighting the sale of two European bootlegs while "negotiating" with the "labels" involved was quite a daunting task.
Another big THANKS to Jade Hubertz who not only helped finance our releases but distributed them as well. He was an immense help and was quite patient while we took forever to get the sound right. I am again finding out what I already knew: its great to have friends in this business, because you certainly need them! Not every one was our friend, and unfortunately, some valued money over doing the right thing and telling the truth;hence, the need for the Hall of Shame.
There's no need to go into details again, but suffice to say if they were at all concerned with helping the artists they release, instead of themselves, all Radioactive and Synton needed to do was cut us a check and say they were sorry. That didnt happen. Radioactive said they would send us a photo of the destroyed CDs in a dumpster. That never happened and they continue to list their CD by catalog # on their site for purchase. So I ask you Jimmy Plummer, mr radioactive big shot, why did you lie to us and just what the hell did you mean by "As far as I am concerned we have pulled the title from sale" and "I will not be providing you with any evidence other than a photo of the boxes in a skip"??? Photo?? What does "There will be no further sales" mean and HOW DID UK CUTOUT/OVERSTOCK DEALERS GET THE TITLE??? Mr. Plummer, your platform shoes will never make you a big man! While I'm at it, why did you boot Bobb Trimble and put out a shoddy sounding CD of his great Harvest of Dreams LP?
Sorry, if I got off topic, but when time is at a premium and you continually have to monitor the marketplace to prevent more bleeding, you get tired off all the bullshit. Anyway I just wanted to point out a few things and give credit where due. One more thanks, a really big one, for giving us some great music that its easy to get passionate about, to Mr. George Brigman, and may the new year see you prosper like you never have before!