Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Shades - Time For Change

A. Time For Change

B. Shake It

THE SHADES (St Petersburg, FL)
Time For Change b/w Shake It
Direct Hit (DH-001), 1980

Dennis Dalcin started playing guitar, writing songs and singing in bands in 1972. His first project was called Bite with drummer Guy Silvestro. They ended up forming an Alice Cooper meets The Who type band called The Look a couple years later.

Around the same time, Gary Heslin was playing drums with guitarist Terry Carolan in renowned Tampa glam band, Amnesia. By '76 Dennis and Gary had both joined Terry's new group, Just Boys. After just a brief stint in that group, Dennis wanted to form his own band.

He found a bass player named Marla Misenheimer who had been in the Snails with Richard Barone, who later went on to lead The Bongos. With Marla on board, Dennis then called on Gary, who had just left Just Boys, and the three of them began The Shades. Flustered yet? Me too!

They started picking up shows when they could get them (their first one opening for Just Boys). There wasn't much of a scene going on in the St. Pete/Tampa area yet, so most of their gigs were at nearby campuses, playing to apathetic audiences.

At first, the band was heavily influenced by the glam rock scene of New York and London. But when Gary left the group in '78, Dennis changed gears toward a more mod look and sound, heavily laced in the Jam and early Who stylings.

The new line-up consisted of Dennis' old band mate Guy Silvestro on drums and Guy's brother-in-law Ed Siersema on bass. Guy was also a sax player and sometimes at shows would stick the sax between his legs and play the drums with his left hand while wailing on the sax using his right. The people of Tampa Bay weren't quite ready for that yet. However, a neighbor of Dennis believed in what they were doing and shelled out the money to produce a single for the band.

In July, 1980, they recorded "Time For Change" and "Shake It" in a 4 track studio next to Paragon Music. 1,000 copies of the single were released on Dennis' Direct Hit label in a sleeve he put together in art class at graphics school. The single sold well despite not receiving any local airplay. In fact, most of the copies sold outside of Florida.

The band members started going their separate ways and playing different styles of music after that. Guy played in various punk bands, while Dennis formed Perfect Strangers, followed by The Petal Pushers, and most recently, The Lears, who have a CD out on Get Hip. Ed became a geologist.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Standing Waves - Early Warning EP

A. Early Warning

B1. No Judy

B2. Love/Why Not

Early Warning EP
Classified, 1979

Larry Seaman played in a short lived band called Hobson's Choice before discovering bands like Television, Roxy Music and the Velvet Underground through rags like the New York Rocker. Larry's friend, Roland Swenson, then hipped him to a new club in Austin called Raul's that was showcasing local punk bands. A week later, Larry saw the Skunks and The Next play at Raul's and promptly dropped out of school.

Roland's sister Dottie introduced Larry to her friend Shona Lay, who played keyboards. They played their first gig at the Texas Union Ballroom billed as Latent Homos with a line-up consisting of Larry on guitar, his old roommate David Cardwell on bass, Shona on keys, and a drummer named Mark. The October 1978 showcase featured The Huns, as well as the debut performance of Terminal Mind.

Unfortunately, Mark was more of a hard rock drummer and left after that first show. He later joined Bob Schneider in Joe Rockhead. Following his departure, a short-lived replacement named Ian Bailey, who had previously played in the Bodysnatchers came in before Larry's old friend Bob Murray stepped in to fill the position. Bob had played with Larry in Hobson's Choice. Randy Franklin joined about a month later on guitar and the first solidified line-up of Standing Waves came to be.

Within six months, the band found themselves opening up for Blondie in Houston where they played in front of a couple thousand people. Standing Waves appeared in the cult classic film, Roadie, where they played the role of a band called Spittle. The movie also featured Blondie, Alice Cooper, and Meatloaf amongst others.

Near the end of 1979, the band recorded four songs at the Loma Ranch out in Fredricksburg, TX. They chose all but "Crash & Burn" to appear on their debut EP that was released on Classified Records, a label started by their manager Roland Swenson. Unhappy with the quiet mastering job, the sleeve encourages listeners to PLAY LOUD!!

The 500 copies of the 7" sold out quickly, so they went back to Loma to record more tunes. Their second release featured "Don't Worry" and "Integrating Circuits." Following its release, the group started making frequent trips to New York City to play CBGB's, Hurrah's and other hot spots. They even made it to Canada once!

By the end of 1980, Randy left the band and joined F-Systems. David followed shortly thereafter. Larry then rounded up a bass player/songwriter named Bruce Henderson who had previously played in a power pop band called The Fad. Six months later, Bob also left the band, leaving the drummers seat vacant once again. They then called in the help of David Dage, a prolific drummer that had played on The Fad's single and in another band with Bruce back in Stillwater, OK called the International Broadcasters.

Continuing on as a four piece, they started writing together and developing a new sound. In 1981 they released the Vertigo EP before deciding to move to New York. Once there, they all shared an apartment with Roland and Jim Drummond, their sound man/roadie, who coincidentally had also played in the International Broadcasters with Bruce and David. Jim would occasionally play guitar with Standing Waves as well.

After a couple of years, the living arrangement started to take its tole. While everyone else returned to Austin, Bruce stayed in New York and moved on to the next stage of his musical career before becoming an accomplished writer. Having lost the uniqueness of the original version of the band, and then the unity of sound and writing with Bruce in the second incarnation, Larry didn't feel right continuing Standing Waves.

Larry went on to play in a band called Optimistics with Shona and David Cardwell and now plays with Randy Franklin and Terri Lord (formerly in the Jitters) in a band called Why Not Satellite. Jim played in a late incarnation of The Next, while Roland became the managing director of SXSW. David Dage unfortunately passed away in 2003. Standing Waves play reunion shows from time to time.