Saturday, October 29, 2011

Living Links - Every Sad Night

A. Every Sad Night

B1. You And The Unknown

B2. I Stop Short

LIVING LINKS (Baton Rouge)
Every Sad Night EP
Skratch (SK-002), 1983

In January of 1978, the Sex Pistols played in Baton Rouge on their highly-publicized (career ending) US tour. The show resulted in a music explosion where the next day everyone started putting bands together, writing original music, and booking gigs wherever people would let them play. Amongst these upstart groups were the US Times with Hans Van Brackle and his wife’s all-girl band, the ParalElles.

Hans and Margie eventually started writing songs together on the side. Margie, who had a background in opera, musical theater, and classical religious music, would write the lyrics and they’d collaborate on the music and arrangements. With Hans on guitar and Margie on bass, they added a Dr. Rhythm with eight drum patterns so they could play live as Living Links. They briefly played with a live drummer and on occasion combined the drum computer with the human drummer, but they typically stayed active as a duo.

Living Links played fairly regularly for a few years, often headlining shows or opening for regional touring acts. They even managed to take stage at the 1984 New Orleans World Fair!

Their first trip to a recording studio was in 1983 where they laid down the three songs for the EP featured here. Having the ability to go crazy with overdubs, they added keyboards and extra percussion to their songs. The 7” was released to good reviews and the song “You And The Unknown” even topped the charts on one of the alternative stations all the way up in Toronto!

They followed that up shortly after with a single featuring “I’m Not Streetwise” and “Manger.” The record received moderate local airplay which compelled them to put together a full length LP. 1985's Gathering The Forces, which contains several songs with military and war themes fared well. They were even approached to make a video for the title track, but alas, the project fell apart.

By the mid 80s, the Baton Rouge scene started to dry up. With decreasing venues to play at and a lack of sustainable energy and interest, the band eventually faded away. Hans and Margie have continued playing music to this day, though they have not recorded anything together since Living Links.

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