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Old 02.20.2013, 02:54 PM   #1
tesla69
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from today's fusetron update
*Artist: MARS
Title: Rehearsal Tapes and Alt-Takes NYC 1976-1978
Format: Triple Cass Box
Label: Anomia
Country: Spain
Price: $30.00
"Our first project in a series of archival releases. Over two hours
of unreleased recordings by the band Mars (NYC 1977) recovered from
the original cassette source. These recordings are of special value
because they capture sounds from pre-Mars (when they were called
China) sessions up to right before they broke up. Here their sound
runs the gamut from piano jams to pummeling and dissonant guitar
assaults, the latter of which was certainly ahead of its time and has
since functioned as a point of reference for later generations. A
selected compilation carefully extracted from hours of tape and
studio recordings that have been mastered to suit the cassette tape
format in which they were originally recorded." - Anomia.

LINER NOTES: "Connie Burg and I met Sumner Crane and Nancy Arlen in
late 1975 and quickly decided to start a band. Sumner had been 
playing piano since he was a kid and I trumpet, guitar and more 
recently bass, but we were for the most part self taught. Connie
decided to pick up a guitar and we started jamming in Nancys loft on
Broadway and Duane St. where Sumner lived downstairs.

For the first few months it was just piano, bass and acoustic
guitar, with some paper bag percussion from Nancy. Our biggest rock
influence at the time was Velvet Underground so we started jamming
on some of their songs till we found our own. Tape one begins with
Sumner alone playing over a Sweet Jane riff with his own blues
styled fills, then goes onto Pale Blue Eyes, the first song Connie
would sing. Our first original song with Sumners lyrics was Cry,
also the only song to make the transition from our acoustic to
electric line up. The set ends with a blues jam with Sumner
improvising a story about a leather jacket. Here were joined by Jody
Harris on guitar, who had been playing with us in the loft for a
couple months until Sumner, for practical reasons- given that no
clubs had pianos – decided to switch to guitar, at which time Jody
gracefully bowed out. Jody: “Yeah, dim memory, being in Sumners loft
for the first time – maybe hadnt met him yet. It would have been
with Nancy. He was in a back room, hunched over the piano like a
spider, playing great rolling two-handed blues and muttering away in
the most sinister voice I ever heard. It was like something creeping
up on you. So I thought, ok, Toto, this is the real thing.”

So we went electric, and Nancy bought a drum set, after we made a
ridiculous attempt to find a drummer via a classified ad in the 
Village Voice. This must have been around September 76, and we 
practiced a few more months building a set before asking for a
Monday audition slot at CBGBs in January 77. For this we needed a
name so we started off calling ourselves China, for reasons nobody
seems to remember. Hilly Krystal seemed to appreciate our quirky
approach and put us on monthly rotation, which we pretty much stayed
on till August 78. However, as wed cranked up the rehearsal volume
considerably, Nancys neighbors forced us to find another space. We
moved to Donny Christensens place on Warren Street, just a few
blocks away, where the Cramps and others were already installed.

There we met Lydia Lunch and James Chance, who were squatting next
door, and soon started playing together there as well, in Teenage
Jesus. This period is well represented by a complete rehearsal set
on Tape 1 Side B, although the tape was marked Mars, so it must have
been just after we changed our name. Summer 77 was another turning
point, as our sound matured we started to experiment more with song
forms, dissonance and disassociation, the first example probably
being 11000 Volts, several versions of which are on Tape 2, Side A,
from towards the end of that year. We were still playing some of our
earlier songs in mutated versions, but moving further and further
away from our leftfield homespun NY “pop” to some darker unexplored
place, guided as always by Sumner.

The next side is taken from a cassette I carried away from the
recording session for No New York, with alternate takes and rough 
Eno mixes of the same four songs on the album. Dont remember much of
this session but it does away with the notion that we were a one
take recording band, though all takes were recorded live with no
overdubs. Sometime in Spring 78 we moved again, to a duplex on
Delancey Street where Lydia was living and rehearsing, and our
sound continued to evolve, or devolve, with detuned guitars and
bass, warped rhythms and more of Sumners unique words and
madness.Tape 3 begins with the period right after No New York, with
some of the same songs, and others, like Cairo, which were never
recorded in studio. Around this time we played at Irving Plaza, in
August 78, taped by Eno and released recently on LP, but in
rehearsals we were looser, more internalized and often drew the
songs out longer.

The first side unfortunately is cut off in the middle of a song that
I have no recollection of. Side B is from our last month or so of 
existence, probably just before we played our last gig at Maxs
Kansas City in December, as well as our last recording session
forthe Mars EP, soon after. By then wed made our final migration,
to an office in the American Thread Building, back in Tribeca again
still some time before gentrification. The building was empty at 
night and inhabited by ghosts of dead garment workers that we
channeled in our final electric gasps.

Please excuse all abrupt endings, lo-fi sound and dropouts, its
what was left on the tapes once I dug them out of various boxes
after years of hibernation. Keep in mind almost all were recorded on
pre walkman desktop mono cassette recorders, which nevertheless had
a warm condensed sound, faithfully transmitting the atmosphere of
those turbulent long gone but thankfully not forgotten times in late
70s Manhattan."- Mark Cunningham, Barcelona 2012. Very highly
recommended!
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Old 02.20.2013, 03:22 PM   #2
batreleaser
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how do i get it?
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Old 02.21.2013, 06:59 AM   #3
Severian
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Speaking of Mars, A large amount of my older music collection is in a storage unit in another state. I have not had success finding Mars on iTunes.. Has anyone else? I do tend to cut my searches short, as they usually yield Bruno Mars and 30 seconds to Mars as the top results, which kinda takes the fun out of it right away. No torrents please.
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Old 02.22.2013, 02:06 PM   #4
tesla69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batreleaser
how do i get it?

fusetron
maybe downtown music gallery
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