RANDOM CHILDREN AT JC DOBBS


Here are some random shots of Random Children playing at J.C. Dobbs on South Street. There are no details on the backs of these photos as to the date these were taken or which show, but judging by the length of Ralph’s dreads and Greg’s rather impressive two rack tom set-up, we’re looking around mid 1991.

In the first picture, it’s Greg doing his thing while wearing his, now legendary, blue and grey Swatch watch. Next to him you will see my first major musical instrument purchase. A Peavey, 2×15″ bass cabinet that I bought from the folks who ran Rave Records (remember the Rave warehouse?) The cabinet cost me $150 and featured a blown lower speaker cone and more beer/puke? stains on it than one could ever imagine, but it got the job done. I remember driving home with that speaker in the back of my 1982 hatchback Honda Accord and thinking that with this impressive speaker NOTHING would be impossible.


This photo features my back rather prominently. A back that would go on to be featured at many a Franklin show due to a belief that looking forward to the audience who had gathered seemed elitist and too rock and roll.

Again, notice Greg’s kick-ass double rack tom action. Sick.


Lastly, we have TJ mid-jump displaying his patented “falcon-claw” finger posture for the ultimate in power-chord perfection and Ralph in his ever so stylish Christ on Parade t-shirt, 7 to 8 mini-dreads and a sweet fade.

Behind them, a myriad of framed photos that covered the side wall at JC Dobbs. I never did look closely at any of those photos to see if they were of anyone (or anything) interesting. Truly, the only time I made any sort of mental note of them was when Nation of Ulysses played and Steve Gamboa, bass player of NOU, took the head of his bass to several of the photos, smashing them. I assumed, rightfully so, that someone was gonna be upset about that.

FRANKLIN PRESS CLIPPINGS & PUBLICITY

I wish I were a better writer or that I had more patience when it came to writing. I’d love to sit down and adequately express my feelings about the dual nature of being in a band that plays for an audience or hopes to release music to a buying public (or even dreams of playing music for a living) versus simply creating music because you’re innately driven to it. Ultimately, I think there is a huge difference and the difference between those two things is what, to this day, makes me not miss playing music all that much.

So, today’s post has to do with publicity. Attached, you will see numerous scans of press clippings about Franklin. Most of them are reviews about our final self-titled LP and 7″ (soon to be posted here) which were both released on Tree Records out of Chicago, IL. If you are the type that has even a shred of interest in reading what people had to say about records recorded over a decade ago, then by all means, please enjoy. There are also several interviews from local papers about the band. While it’s important to to me to document as much as I possibly can on this blog, I’d hate to be considered egocentric when posting these types of things.

Thus, I’d like to explicitly state that these clippings are posted for documentation purposes only.

Nevertheless, publicity is a slippery slope. When you start a band, you do so because you don’t know what else to do with yourself. Something needs to be said, something needs to be done. The possibility of success stemming forth from that creative outlet in any financial or commercial sense isn’t a realistic thought in your mind. Sure, you might joke about it from time to time; fantasize what it might be like to know that kids you’ve never even met bought your record in a their local record shop and learned all the lyrics while driving around with their friends in their own local towns, but realistically, it’s so not even a possibility that one might just as well fantasize about swimming to Mars.

In that obscurity, in that hopeless but amazingly independent abyss you are making music for the sake of making music.

But then one day, you do make a record. You do play a show and ultimately, people start giving you their opinion. They end up buying your record and the world changes. Your music can actually make money from people buying recordings of your songs and from your songs being playing on horrible television shows. You can actually make money playing on the right bill or touring with the right band. But to do so, you need publicity. By that time, your music is a career. Something to be thought about, analyzed and considered. In that consideration comes music that is made from thinking about music and therein lies the problem.

It’s no longer music for music’s sake but music that has been considered and thus, subconsciously edited for a desired business outcome. That’s awful and ugly. Or at least, eventually, it felt so to me.

But maybe I’m a little too analytical. Anyways, here’s a bunch of stuff from the dusty files.

P.S. – Below, this is the very first “publicity” piece Franklin ever created. It was made to ride along with our first demo. We sent a cassette and this flyer to help us get shows.

Publicity. Ugly, but necessary I guess?

12 TONE SYSTEM – SOUNDTRACK TO SYNTHETIC MUSIC 7″

Today we’re zooming back to the 12 Tone System 7″ released on Keystone Ember. Starring Eric, Mike, Brandon, John and Tim, this 7″ was recorded in May of 1997. Hard to imagine that was 15 years ago but it was and here we are today looking back. Mike did not play on this 7″ but he would quickly join the band after the original drummer moved (I think?) until their eventual break up.

12 Tone System was a short lived band. I have no idea how many actual shows they ever played during their time together, but it felt as though they were there one day and gone the next. Looking back on my own musical history it’s hard for me to relate. The bands I ever played in were long running (maybe too long) and while I always appreciated and perceived that as being lucky enough to find people I truly enjoyed playing music with I also wonder if it wasn’t also habit and a little too comfortable. Maybe the band that is sudden and short lived might also present the opportunity for quick testing, even quicker evolution and ultimately get you to your next developmental stage musically and more effectively than the drawn out, slow death of a “lifer” band. Hard to say.

I first heard 12 Tone System in my car. I think it was one of the numerous Toyota Camry’s I owned that was eventually, destroyed by a drunk driver but I’m not positive. I would go on to have multiple car wrecks in the late 90’s ,all of which weren’t my fault, but I digress. I was given a cassette of what would become this 7″ and thought to myself, “Well this is something different.” The attack of the drums on the first track sounded amazing (you would be surprised how hard it always seemed to get a decent drum set sound), the guitars were fuzzed the effects turned up. As with any community of young kids who start out playing punk/hardcore music, we all started listening to more diverse music and incorporating those influences into the bands we were playing in.

It usually looks something like this:

Punk > Hardcore > Shoegaze > Brit Pop > Beach Boys and so on…

12 Tone System was yet another example that everyone was growing up and expanding their horizons. This made the community so much more interesting because ultimately, you would never know what one person or group of people might be doing musically from one band to the next. And, if that group of people were tearing through short lived bands, the evolution was at Mach speed making it even more jarring and fascinating.

After bands like I Am Heaven, a unique band in its own right (both Eric and Mike had been members), Goodbye, Blue Monday (Mike was a member) and Serephim (an odd twist on the emo/hardcore genre that then lent John and Brandon to 12 Tone System) you had a group of fellas who already had a rather diverse mixture of influences in them. Needless to say, what they spit forth was yet another document of evolution.

Let me apologize now, the encode of these songs is not the best. In fact, it’s rather fuzzy but think of it as added style than sin.

[s]he’s sensational

inner agnew

soundtrack to synthetics

CONTACT SHEET FROM FRANKLIN’S ROY IS DEAD 7″ BY SCHUMOW

Before computers, I’m not really sure how any records cover art was created. It’s still rather baffling to me. In fact, considering some of the disastrous covers that are featured on some early recordings my friends and I were apart of, one could say we were exceptionally bad at getting our design ideas translated into a finished product that actually looked and felt like a real record. Nowadays it’s all ones and zeros, but then…well, who knows what the hell it took but thank god for the simplicity and beauty that is the black and white, photocopied sleeve.

I came across these contact sheets in an old folder. They were shots taken by Jenn Schumow on Ralph’s roof on Wharton Street in South Philly. I believe Roy was living there as well but I could be wrong.

These photos were taken for our Roy is Dead 7″ and as you can see, several frames are cut out. At the time, we cut out the photos we liked to include in the layout. We couldn’t simply send the electronic file to be easily re-sized and properly laid out by a professional. We had to cut the shit out and send it in the mail with crude diagrams and mock-ups. It was pretty funny actually. Fortunately, Yannick Lorraine, the fella who put the 7″ out, had some real design experience and he managed to make the release look pretty spot on.

It was a grey, miserable day up there on Ralph’s roof but I always liked how these photos turned out.

RANDOM PHOTOS FROM RANDOM TIMES

Ever gotten ahead of yourself?

I realized this afternoon that I had uploaded many, many images and photos that I have yet to post here on the GoKidGo blog. Thus, it’s already time for some housecleaning. Meaning, before I add anymore files to our server, I am promising to clean out the backlog. The positive of that being more posts at a quicker clip.

The negative? Well, I’m not sure there is but I’ll keep thinking.

Today, we’ve got several photos that were sent to me a while back. While I don’t have any real stories to accompany these photos, I hope they kick start something from your own memory if you were there.

Most of these photos were taken during matinee shows at JC Dobbs on South Street. I’ve talked ad nauseum about JC Dobbs and how important that space was for putting on shows and seeing shows in the early 90’s but it really can’t be stressed enough. The photo above is actually Chumbawamba playing Dobbs on the Shhh! tour. Fracture opened up the show.


Here’s a somewhat random photo of Dan Goldberg (who had played with Vile, Up In Arms and Public Descent playing guitar with a later band of his. Unfortunately, I’m not positive which band this might be.


I have absolutely NO idea who this is. However, I wanted to post it because it’s just fun looking at old photos from Dobbs. For all I know, this could be Nirvana. It isn’t of course, but that’s how little I know about this photo.


This might be my favorite photos of all time. It features Atom with Rob who played drums for Fracture, Barry and Matt. I believe the name of this band was Pleasant Greene but again, I have no idea. I just like that everyone looks confused.


Finally, here’s a photo of the 2.5 Children playing at JC Dobbs. Again, sadly, I don’t know much about this photo or the band in general but maybe you do!