Thursday, June 23, 2011

Earwacks Discography

Most of these records will be available for sale at the Earwacks concert at the West End Bar and Grill, Saturday, June 24th, 2011.

For the vinyl fetishist, especially those who collect Saint Louis releases, Earwacks is beyond all others both in output and the quality and historical significance of their releases. Three LPs, two singles and a flexi disc is quite a bit of material to collect and listen to. Here's my list of their releases, in chronological order.

Lauren Garbo b/w The Trouble With My Treble Is the Space In My Bass

Dominic Schaeffer's Lauren Garbo was the first song they released on this thick slab of 33 1/3 rpm vinyl. It was engineered by Oliver Sain, the St. Louis R&B legend, at his studio. The b-side was Dominic and David Udell's The Trouble With My Treble Is the Space In My Bass from the same studio and engineer. The classic Earwacks lineup of the 1970s were all here: Dominic and Benet Schaeffer, David Udell and Tracy Wynkoop. The cover reads: Behind the scenes: Mark Gray (who used to roadie and run live sound for them and now owns the Famous Bar on Cherokee), Tim Maue (who helped move gear, too) and Danny (aka Fo Jammi, who was in Jambox at the time). The photographs were by Matt O'Shea. It also says produced by Wax Theatrix (sic). The label number is WTI-1. I bought my copy as a 99 cent cutout at Streetside shortly before they closed. God only knows how long it had been sitting around in there.

The Scrape! b/w Oliver and This Kid's Perspective "Dim"
1980 and 1978
David Udell's tricky and complex The Scrape was a hugely popular song for Earwacks. The 33 1/3 rpm vinyl is slightly lighter than Lauren Garbo, but still quite heavy. The b-side is an aural collage featuring the band sitting around bullshitting with producer Oliver Sain, who claims that "Disco music will eventually drown in it's own puke." and the complex and emotionally-charged David Udell piece "Dim". The photography is again by Matt O'Shea, and engineering by Oliver Sain.

An extremely rare LP, one I only saw back when it was new and never since, and one I currently don't own. Some of their best compositions of the 1970s are on this album. David tells me that less than ten LPs have been found and will be sold at their show at the West End Grill on June 24th, 2011. They are plain sleeved albums without covers or liner notes, but better than nothing. An essential Earwacks disc.

Noisy Paper Flexi-Disc
Songlist: The Magic of Fear, The Motion Song, and Ronald Reagan. Clear flexi-disc inserted into Noisy Paper No. 8. This disc was censored in the mastering process by the persons producing the disc, who even censored non-objectional words that sounded suspicious. Recently seen selling for over $40 on eBay. This was when they changed their band name from Earwacks to Wax Theatricks, though the disc was produced by "Earwacks Inc", though I'm quite sure they never legally incorporated a damn thing.

I'm unsure of the order the next two LPs took, though I'm sure that Wax Theatricks came out in 1984, Fo Jammi's Name Magic (featuring the entire Earwacks lineup) has no date. I'll assume that Name Magic came first, for convenience. Both of these albums are relatively easy to find, as quite a few copies are still in the hands of the artists. Lucky for us, since these are some of their most well-recorded songs.