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Earth Dies Burning - Songs From The Valley lp (Captured Tracks)

$14.99

of the Bored Teenager (1981-84)

"When Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981, the ages of the band members ranged from 10-14. That’s right, from 10-14. You know what I was doing when I was 14? I was wearing out a vhs copy of Purple Rain watching Apollonia cleanse herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, only that ain’t Lake Minnetonka, and the height of cool was watching Prince burn out on his Honda Gold Wing and throw gravel at her. But the guys in Earth Dies Burning were far hipper than I and somehow managed to hook up a bunch of cheap Casios, a beat up drum kit, a bassoon and a mic, and blast out some teenage punk.

Clocking in at 23 songs in 37 minutes, Songs from the Valley of the Bored Teenager (1981-1984), documents the entire output of the San Fernando Valley Band. Song topics range from Fishsticks to Pork Yogurt, and talk about getting laid. The band also pulls out some choice covers in the classic Count Five track “Psychotic Reaction”, PiL’s “The Flowers of Romance”, a disco cover of Velvet Underground’s Heroin and “The Safety Dance”. Pretty heady stuff for a bunch of kids, wouldn’t you agree?
Sonically, the band sounds like prepubescent Screamers, or a less evil Suicide. As the band started to mature, the quality of the songs improves, in both performance and style. The fidelity goes back and forth between studio tracks, live versions, and home rehearsal tape demos, but strangely it holds together well. This is one of those releases that you will either love or hate on first listen. I was intrigued at first, but thought it merely a novelty, until I began to really dig in, and discover that they were indeed on to something good, but it was probably just a little bit outside of their grasp. Fans of Half Japanese should definitely get in on this record, it’s sort of like Half Japanese meets Sparks. If that sounds the least bit intriguing, check this out."
 -
Kevin Poindexter/THE FIRE NOTE
Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Over the years the line-up went through a few changes. Other members included Jim Goodall (aka Donki Donki Dobson), Josh Laner, Spencer Savage, Roger Silverware (aka Wilson Keppy), and Wendy Stone.

Why the name Earth Dies Burning? It sounded good to us, but I don’t think we had any other particular reason. UB40 had a song called “Earth Dies Screaming,” but we only learned of that afterward. Looking back, it seems an obvious nod to the apocalyptic sensibility of the Reagan Era; one of our first songs, “Duck and Cover,” was inspired by the The Atomic Cafe, a collection of mid-century civil defense instructional films.

Rather than guitars, we used Casio VL-1s, cheap consumer monophonic synthesizers that, when hooked up to Brad’s amplifier and backed by a rough assortment of drums and broken cymbals, sounded surprisingly aggressive. Thus we became practitioners of “synth-punk”, though we did not use that term at the time. We may well have been the first teen punk band in the Los Angeles area to feature a bassoonist.

Our success in landing gigs can be traced to Brad’s precociousness (he had sat in with Vox Pop, Nervous Gender and others), Matt’s natural talent for promotion, and the extraordinary openness of the Los Angeles punk/post-punk “underground” scene at that time.

No doubt our appeal was tied to the novelty of our youth (see also: Mad Society, Unit 3 with Venus, heck, Red Cross/Redd Kross). Our tender age was the occasion for many a Menudo joke, and when the pop/reggae group Musical Youth, roughly our age, became huge stars with “Pass the Dutchie,” we covered the song at a show and smashed their record. Competition! One of our early tunes, “Bored Teenager,” was a semi-parodic riff on the trials and tribulations of youth.

EDB’s songs tended to be simple, sardonic or absurdist affairs. We had a lot of songs about food. Blasphemy also clearly had an appeal for us; this was pretty safe territory for secular Jews, but it’s clear that we were disgusted by the increasing power of the Christian right (“Moral Majority” at the time) in American culture. In general we were liberal with our outrage, though our targets shifted unpredictably and sometimes incoherently. Take “Another 6 Year Old”–just who are we sympathizing with in this song?

At our rehearsals, usually at Brad’s house, we might take breaks to listen to music: the Meat Puppets’ “In a Car” EP, Trout Mask Replica, the first SPK album, Public Image Ltd, Crass. Or to eat Twinkies and Ding Dongs while watching videos: Pee Wee Herman appearing on David Letterman’s show; SCTV; or New Wave Theatre. When we wrangled an invitation to a New Wave Theatre taping, we were thrilled. Our performance never aired, its various camera angles presumably all going into storage after host Peter Ivers was tragically murdered in 1983. (What a surprise when a clip from one of the cameras surfaced a few years ago!)

Over the course of three years (1982-84), EDB played maybe 15 shows. One club manager shook his head after we walked in, “no way”; otherwise, age was not a problem. C.A.S.H., BeBop Records and Fine Art, the AntiClub, The Lhasa and Phenomenon clubs welcomed us. Artists we gigged with included Zoogz Rift (one of our biggest fans, who featured us on his “Quarks of the Snout” cassette sampler), Geza X, John Trubee, Phranc, Jimmy Smack, Kraig Grady, Schrödinger’s Band, Uncle Cremation, The Minutemen and Dead Hippie.

EDB shows always ended with a cover of “Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five. Brad first proposed we cover this song at an early rehearsal. Since we didn’t have guitars, we played only the bass line. Matt opted to replace the original’s wistful, lovelorn lyric with a kind of religious psychosis. Where the original veers into a psychedelic “rave-up”, we went for all-out cacophony, which intensified when we traded in the Casios for more versatile synths. The song could go on for a while. People seemed to like it.

EDB recorded one studio session (funded by gifts from Jeff’s Bar Mitzvah, where we also performed), but never really sought a record deal. For some reason, we never even issued a cassette release, although there was no shortage of labels that would have accommodated us (Party Sound, Jookie Thrills, etc.). It seems that only now has the time ripened, dear listener; let the sweet smell of singed terrestrial morbidity flow from the valley of the bored teenager to your ears.

- See more at: http://capturedtracks.com/reissues/earth-dies-burning/#sthash.vYGBDUuH.dpuf
Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Over the years the line-up went through a few changes. Other members included Jim Goodall (aka Donki Donki Dobson), Josh Laner, Spencer Savage, Roger Silverware (aka Wilson Keppy), and Wendy Stone.

Why the name Earth Dies Burning? It sounded good to us, but I don’t think we had any other particular reason. UB40 had a song called “Earth Dies Screaming,” but we only learned of that afterward. Looking back, it seems an obvious nod to the apocalyptic sensibility of the Reagan Era; one of our first songs, “Duck and Cover,” was inspired by the The Atomic Cafe, a collection of mid-century civil defense instructional films.

Rather than guitars, we used Casio VL-1s, cheap consumer monophonic synthesizers that, when hooked up to Brad’s amplifier and backed by a rough assortment of drums and broken cymbals, sounded surprisingly aggressive. Thus we became practitioners of “synth-punk”, though we did not use that term at the time. We may well have been the first teen punk band in the Los Angeles area to feature a bassoonist.

Our success in landing gigs can be traced to Brad’s precociousness (he had sat in with Vox Pop, Nervous Gender and others), Matt’s natural talent for promotion, and the extraordinary openness of the Los Angeles punk/post-punk “underground” scene at that time.

No doubt our appeal was tied to the novelty of our youth (see also: Mad Society, Unit 3 with Venus, heck, Red Cross/Redd Kross). Our tender age was the occasion for many a Menudo joke, and when the pop/reggae group Musical Youth, roughly our age, became huge stars with “Pass the Dutchie,” we covered the song at a show and smashed their record. Competition! One of our early tunes, “Bored Teenager,” was a semi-parodic riff on the trials and tribulations of youth.

EDB’s songs tended to be simple, sardonic or absurdist affairs. We had a lot of songs about food. Blasphemy also clearly had an appeal for us; this was pretty safe territory for secular Jews, but it’s clear that we were disgusted by the increasing power of the Christian right (“Moral Majority” at the time) in American culture. In general we were liberal with our outrage, though our targets shifted unpredictably and sometimes incoherently. Take “Another 6 Year Old”–just who are we sympathizing with in this song?

At our rehearsals, usually at Brad’s house, we might take breaks to listen to music: the Meat Puppets’ “In a Car” EP, Trout Mask Replica, the first SPK album, Public Image Ltd, Crass. Or to eat Twinkies and Ding Dongs while watching videos: Pee Wee Herman appearing on David Letterman’s show; SCTV; or New Wave Theatre. When we wrangled an invitation to a New Wave Theatre taping, we were thrilled. Our performance never aired, its various camera angles presumably all going into storage after host Peter Ivers was tragically murdered in 1983. (What a surprise when a clip from one of the cameras surfaced a few years ago!)

Over the course of three years (1982-84), EDB played maybe 15 shows. One club manager shook his head after we walked in, “no way”; otherwise, age was not a problem. C.A.S.H., BeBop Records and Fine Art, the AntiClub, The Lhasa and Phenomenon clubs welcomed us. Artists we gigged with included Zoogz Rift (one of our biggest fans, who featured us on his “Quarks of the Snout” cassette sampler), Geza X, John Trubee, Phranc, Jimmy Smack, Kraig Grady, Schrödinger’s Band, Uncle Cremation, The Minutemen and Dead Hippie.

EDB shows always ended with a cover of “Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five. Brad first proposed we cover this song at an early rehearsal. Since we didn’t have guitars, we played only the bass line. Matt opted to replace the original’s wistful, lovelorn lyric with a kind of religious psychosis. Where the original veers into a psychedelic “rave-up”, we went for all-out cacophony, which intensified when we traded in the Casios for more versatile synths. The song could go on for a while. People seemed to like it.

EDB recorded one studio session (funded by gifts from Jeff’s Bar Mitzvah, where we also performed), but never really sought a record deal. For some reason, we never even issued a cassette release, although there was no shortage of labels that would have accommodated us (Party Sound, Jookie Thrills, etc.). It seems that only now has the time ripened, dear listener; let the sweet smell of singed terrestrial morbidity flow from the valley of the bored teenager to your ears.

- See more at: http://capturedtracks.com/reissues/earth-dies-burning/#sthash.vYGBDUuH.dpuf

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This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 25 August, 2013.

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