A FAVORITE PHOTO


Easily one of my favorite photos in my collection, this snap was taken after the three week tour Franklin and Fracture undertook in August of 1994. Our very first. We had just played our final show of the trip in a garage in Virginia Beach and before packing the vehicles to head home, we stopped to grab this shot.

Featuring everyone on the trip save for Chris who was being grouchy (including Rod and the guys from True High Fidelity) it’s one of those great moments that you’re just as happy to have captured at age 20 as age 38 and beyond.

Starting from the lower left hand corner, we’ve got:

Ralph
Greg
Jesse
Mark
Tim
Rod
Jeb
Roy
Staley
Atom
Me
Josh

SOME OLD FLYERS AND RANDOM PHOTOS

Dug up some oldies…this flyer was for a show at the thunderous 508 House in Tom’s River, NJ. This was the final show of the Fracture/Franklin summer tour of 1995. That’s actually a picture of me singing for Astir-Few on the flyer.

These two photos of Franklin playing a Cabbage Collective Show at the church at 48th & Baltimore appeared in a zine that I no longer have. Looks like I just kept the photos. The ego, I tell ya.

From what I can recall, these photos were taken from a show we played with Hoover and Hose.Got.Cable but I can’t be sure.

These two photos were taken in a basement outside of Baltimore, MD. in the fall of 1996. Franklin went on a 2 month US tour taking Atom and Schumow with us. Fracture had disbanded, so Atom had been spending time learning how to use sequencers and 4-tracks to record his own music. Atom booked the tour for us so we wanted him to also play some of his songs before we played on the tour. So, at each show, he’d perform 3 or 4 songs.

This was the start of Atom & His Package and this show here in this basement, I believe, was Atom’s first, actual performance as Atom & His Package.

Another flyer I found of a show that was held out in the Philadelphia suburbs. While we didn’t play the show that’s me playing guitar in Franklin on the flyer.

TRUE HIGH FIDELITY – FINAL RECORDING

Oh lordy, the hits don’t stop. To start the week off right, we have the final document in the True High Fidelity canon.

Last week, I was dumbfounded to discover a hidden shoe box full of cassette tapes and DAT tapes. All of which contained some truly tasty gems that I hope to get to sooner than later. When I found this cassette tape, at first I thought it might be the full recording of the True High Fidelity demo with Mark Scott. However, I quickly realized, that it was in fact the final (and what I believe to be the best) recording True High Fi made.

After the True High Fidelity 7″ on Energy Network, the boys were quickly altering and adjusting their sound. In addition, recent vocalists Chris Staley and Josh Mills were getting more comfortable howling into a microphone. With the boys being not as pleased with their first 7″ as they had hoped they would have been they were very eager to record something new. Their goal being to be release the songs via Energy Network or thru some other, poorly run, record label.

The gents headed down to Virginia, I believe, to record in a studio where bands such as Maximillian Colby had unleashed their elephant sized sounds. The result is a recording that honestly and genuinely reflect True High Fidelity at its very best with all of the boys sharing vocal duties.

Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to turn this up.

Song 1

Song 2

Song 3

Song 4

TRUE HIGH FIDELITY DEMO

Thanks to Atom and his summer break from teaching for unearthing this long thought lost gem!

True High Fidelity, when originally formed, featured Mark Scott of Fracture on singing duties. It was short lived, but this iteration of the gang recorded a demo. At the time, sadly, I recall people thought Mark’s singing sounded odd which is odd in itself because, listening now, it sounds pretty fucking righteous. I had believed there were three songs recorded for this demo, but Atom only came across two. Two is of course better than none.

I shot Mark an email to fill in some of the details and here’s what he had to say:

“Following the first Fracture and Franklin tour of 94, I’d become acquainted with the boys of True High Fidelity. Liked them all. Dave and Josh were hilarious. Chris was charmingly psychotic. Tim was the world’s nicest guy. When they asked if I’d like to sing with them, I was a) honored, b) excited to work with new personalities, c) excited to sing, and d) excited to work on music that was stylistically very different from that of the other band I was in and loved. We got along famously for a while, and in December of 1994, sojourned to Baltimore to record three songs at Social Services with the great Tony French. As happened with Chris O’Neil during the recording of the Fracture LP, I lost my voice from a combination of too many cigarettes in the freezing cold and too much barking into a microphone. We scrapped my vocals, and I resolved to record them back home at Chill Factor. My vocals were recorded by Eric Horwitz.

Shortly after the recording, I was dismissed from the band. With the benefit of hindsight, I think there were two factors. For one, I’d gone batshit crazy. For the other, the boys were moving away from their DC influences and gravitating (pun intended) towards the San Diego destructo sound, and were eager to scream and be crazy. In all honesty, they were much better at this than I was, and I think I enjoyed watching them after my exit as much as I enjoyed performing with them. I did, however, miss it.

My final show with True High Fidelity was on my birthday, March 2, 1995, opening for our heroes Trenchmouth at Haverford University. I drank two 40’s and smoked a joint with Staley in the van just prior to our performance. I was most likely horrible, and hope no video exists, but I did enjoy it. I do think back on my time with those guys fondly. (Ed. note – I forgot all about this! I think Mark spent a good 40 minutes passed out in his mother’s mini-van from being too mucked up!)

Thanks Mark! Enjoy!

True Hi Fi – Mark 1

True Hi Fi – Mark 2

GOODBYE, BLUE MONDAY – SPLIT 7″


If there’s one thing that seems to be a constant with any band it’s that there is always one person that ends up being the odd man out. A band is a gang and ultimately, there tends to be someone that just doesn’t jive with the rest of the group by the end. There’s never a specific reason for it, especially when you look back with hindsight.

After the Tazmanians, my very first band, Chris was left behind. Then in the Random Children we left Ron behind and picked up Ralph. Then when Franklin formed we left TJ behind. It’s never pretty, it’s never fun and it’s kind of sad really.

True High Fidelity kicked it for a couple of years but by the time the band ended, Dave was the odd man out. Josh started playing with Franklin after Roy left and Tim and Chris formed a new band with Mike and a fella named Brian Hutchinson. Mike was the odd man out after the demise of Frail so you can see how this sort of thing happens over and over again. Their new band was Goodbye, Blue Monday. The name taken from a Vonnegut book, one of the guys favorite authors.

When they started, I was immediately amazed by how quickly they just seemed to gel. Almost immediately their sound was dense and complete. Live they could just fill the room with dense, melodic music. Looking back, while it might suffer from the calamity that became “emo” music, theirs was a solid, unique sound at the time. Franklin would tour with Goodbye, Blue Monday in 1996. One of the best trips of my life filled with a million fond memories and destinations that none of us had ever seen before. But I’ll always remember playing with them and thinking, my god, they just sound fucking great and there’s no way in hell we can follow them.

These songs are from the split 7″ they did with Across Five Aprils. The 7″ was the first release that Shawn Scallen released on his Spectra-Sonic Sound label. In fact, the label was started specifically so Shawn could release their song “The Work of Fools”. He loved that song and it inspired him to get a label going.

Pretty awesome.

Summer Nights, Again

The Work of Fools

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