Thursday, June 02, 2005

I Have Been... And Returned!

Silver Apples I Have Known Love (1998) & Spectrum/Silver Apples Whirlwind (1998)

New York's Silver Apples duo (made up of drummer Danny Taylor and synth manipulator Simeon Coxe), composers of space-travel soundtracks and unapologetic champions of the banjo. Named after a line in Yeats' Song of the Wandering Angus, the group changed and set the standard by which. There would be no Suicide without The Silver Apples, and without Suicide, there would be no, well, you get the idea... (Seattle's Chromatics covered Program on their Plaster Hounds record (Windy & Carl covered it, too), and numerous groups have done the same, such as Meat Beat Manifesto, John Sims, Jessamine and Spectrum (a collaboration), but not as many as those who've pilfered from them.

Their first album, recorded in a cramped studio for Kapp Records by themselves, with no knowledge of recording technologies, and a producer who bowed out, citing possible mono as a reason for abstaining from the process, they recorded Oscillations, which led to: adding member Eileen Lewellen, an aborted in-store jam session with Steve Winwood (a frightened Simeon, not much of a virtuoso, ran out of the store claiming he was hung-over and going to throw up), sharing bills with The 1910 Fruitgum Company, Blue Cheer, Norman Mailer, Allan Ginsberg, The Fugs, and Tiny Tim, staying with The Dead at their San Fransiscan house (according to Simeon, the Dead didn't do much but smoke dope and noodle on their guitars), the airline Pan-Am suing them for $100,000 for the cover images on their second album, Contact, and having NY mayor Lindsay commissioning them to play and perform a song for the 1969 lunar landing viewing in Central Park. After Kapp Records went belly-up, Simeon returned to Alabama in a sailboat, sold some ice-cream, worked in television and advertising and returned to poetry and painting.

After a couple of one-off gigs throughout the 90s, a transformed and revitalized line-up reprised the whirring and looping oscillations that befuddled as many listeners then as it surprised and enchanted now, with Xian Hawkins (he now records as Sybarite, and has released an album with 4ad) and Michael Lerner flushing out Simeon's unique vision. Simeon dueted with Sonic Boom's (Spacemen 3) Spectrum in Boston and New York, performing the Apple's A Pox On You, which led to a later collaboration with S. Boom, the Apples/Spectrum split A Lake of Teardrops album, released on Space Age Recordings.

Apples - Whirlwind(1998).mp3

A third album, recorded at the Record Plant while the Jimi Hendrix Experience was recording was lost and disposed of, (probably sitting in someone's garage, waiting for Warren Hill to ferret it out), but a chance encounter with Danny Taylor revealed that he had a copy of those last recording sessions, and it was released in 1998 as Garden. Taylor rejoined the group, but touring was cut short in 1999 after a messy hit-and-run accident in 1999 that left Simeon with a broken neck, ending the Apples' return prematurely. To compound this, sadly, Danny Taylor died in New York on March 10th of this year.

The below track is from their 1998 return Beacon, a re-working of I Have Known Love, written by Eileen Lewellen.

Silver Apples - I Have Known Love (1998).mp3


Anonymous said...

Dude also MADE the synthesizer he manipulated and called it, aptly enough, "The Simeon". xo Balogh

20jazzfunkgreats said...

Awsome blog.

Even told me some things i never new about Silver Apples (and i'm friends with Matt Colgate - the total head).

Glad your back.

20jazzfunkgreats said...

Just checked and the silver apples are alive and well, they just transported into the body of Manitoba and made him change his name to Caribou.

20jazzfunkgreats said...

Can i ask for some more info on Windy & Carl ??

Anonymous said...

When you mentioned that did you realise health food store indianapolis was for sales here health food store indianapolis ?

Anonymous said...

Great blog you have. I have a site about play clawhammer banjo. You can check it out at play clawhammer banjo