Category Archives: City Heat

Breda 5-Song Demo (1990)

1990 Promo CardMight write more about this later, might not. This one goes out to Joe, in fact, this one is entirely owed to Joe. Find my full reviews of Breda and Fire Choir demo tapes in the 1990 book, up over there in the top right sidebar. Watch for a Fire Choir MP3 playlist here (featuring regular-ish member of Queensryche, Kelly Gray) in the weeks ahead.

For a true taste of late 80’s hair metal fame attempts from Seatown, I present in MP3 format, Breda (note that the E should have an accent above it). A Seattle band that is, by way of New York City (said with a Pace picante twang)!

Original TDK D60 cassette remains intact.

Breda 5-Song Demo Jacket


Dr. Unknown, Red Platinum: Hot Flashes [City Heat – May 1992]

dr. Unknown and Red Platinum

Tonight I saw a groovy, sparsely attended show, and I’m not too shit-faced so I guess I’ll tell you about it.

I must’ve gotten to Pike Place Market’s Colourbox just after the opening band finished ’cause the Pearl Jam CD was playing and it seemed almost over (read: ungodly long break) by the time dr. Unknown took the tiny stage. New guitarist Matt Fox (from Bitter End) and vocalist Jeff Carrell were riffin’ into some tasty breaks while bassist Derek Peace joined them for some hair flying frenzy. Cool songs I caught titles on were Misery and Come Down To Love. I didn’t catch the name of a jazzy little number that truly blew socks.

News from the front is that they’ve accepted an offer and the deal’s in that red tape stage before they can actually announce the signing. Congrats guys.

Next up was an electrified set by Red Platinum. Almost 1:00 by the time they kicked in, they apparently had some serious voltage surging through their equipment as guitarist Eric Wunderlich commented, “Nothing like a little 110 to liven up a performance!” And lively it was, by the time they started the second tune, Doug, his hair looked like someone had rubbed him with a balloon.

They played the best older stuff like Shovin’, and some nifty new ones, Don’t Take It Away and Mother Nature. They probably saved the best new material for last but it was well past my bedtime so I snuck my ass out of the Central/Satyricon shaped club.

Walking to my car I flashed a ‘peace’ to Matt Fox as he turned the corner in front of me, then silently wished him luck as one of Seattle’s finest filed into traffic behind him.


Van Halen at The Tacoma Dome: In Concert [City Heat – February 1992]

VAN HALEN at The Tacoma Dome

Well. first off, the miserable drive down to the Tacky Dome is always enough to get a rainy winter evening off to a foul start. This night was no exception. Couple that with typical TicketMaster annoyances and a mighty ensemble of over zealous south end security and you’ve got a fairly representational Tacoma Dome event.

Due to the distance, we completely missed Alice In Chain’s set, which, opening for Van Halen, was something we’d looked forward to. Due to the wet cattle run/reptilian maze that stood between the tickets and the entrance, we missed the first half of Poundcake. No biggee, but we still gotta find our seats. On the other side.

By the time Judgement Day had started we were set. Runaround completed the initial greet from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge then they went into several Sammy tunes, One Way To Rock and the solo acoustic Give To Live.

For me, the highlight of the evening by far was when they spontaneously launched into Rock Candy (from Sammy’s early days in Montrose) after picking up a local [RKCNDY nightclub] flyer thrown onstage.

Hearing Rock Candy done live suddenly made it all worthwhile. After having witnessed the Van Hagar production three or four times now, and feeling they are rather uninteresting live by this point, I realized that they still can swing flashes of brilliance.

They touched on the last couple VH albums, OU812 and 5150, with Black And Blue, Finish What Ya Started, Best Of Both Worlds and Why Can’t This Be Love. After I Can’t Drive 55, Sammy went into some angry rant about the state of society as an intro to This Dream Is Over. Then they took their traditional unified bow and left the stage. But you knew the old guys were coming back at least once; just like by looking around you knew they hadn’t lost their ability to pack throngs of scantily clad teenyrockers into arenas.

And they did. Returning with a silly Jump during the chorus of which Eddie was only able to get one foot off the ground at a time. Top Of The World was supposed to be the last, but Sammy, feeling good the first night back from a rest that began when they cancelled the show scheduled here in December, just didn’t want to leave.

So getting back at him for throwing the rest of them into Rock Candy earlier, the three original VH members dove headlong into Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, a song Sammy finished by apologizing with,

“We haven’t played that one in five years!”

Sounded okay to me.

Gruntruck – Inside Yours: Hot Flashes Local Tracks [City Heat – February 1992]

Inside Yours
eMpTy / RoadRacer

This is a re-release that a lot of people are glad to see given new life.

Feb 92 HF Gruntruck InsideYoursOriginally produced by Jack Endino and delivered by locals at eMpTy Records in fall 1990, Inside Yours, the debut of star-crossed Gruntruck, has been picked up by RoadRacer – who remixed a track and added two more before presentation.

Gruntruck is the thunderous culmination of Skin Yard’s voice, Ben McMullen, and The Accused’s guitar, Tommy Niemeyer (Tommy’s favorite is Flesh Fever and mine is the other new track on there, Crucifunkin’), joined by Tim Paul (Napalm Beach) and Norman Scott (Final Warning, Skin Yard) these grunge-crunchers create Seattle beauty at it’s heavy best.

Own it.

Nirvana: “Halloween” Cover [City Heat – Christmas 1991]

It was just about 7:30 and we were standing out back by load-in talking to the DGC rep just a few feet from where Kurdt was timidly socializing with a small group (of what from all indications was composed of riot grrls). The three girls surrounding wore a shroud of indifference to him that led one to believe they were definitely traveling with the band in the shabby travel van parked next to the Paramount load-in doors. Kurdt was casually explaining to an acquaintance how he probably wouldn’t have time to get together seeing as how they had only the next day off and then Saturday were flying to Europe to begin that leg of the tour.
Climbing the Paramount’s rear stairway we passed Chris and Kurdt on the thrid flight and once again I was amazed at how insignificant 6’2″ feels standing next to Novoselic. As we exchanged formalities I attempted to succinctly mention what a good album Bleach’s followup turned out to be. More pleasantries and the ascent continued. Fifth floor at the meet-n-greet, radio and retail crowded first around the beer and deli trays then Chris and Kurdt when they arrived. Numerous industry photo ops ensued, pix snapped. Our turn arrived so Karen broke out the Santa hats and both Nirvanites happily donned the soon-to-be legendary black Santa hats. Forming a quick attachment, Kurdt decided that he wanted to keep his black Santa hat as keepsake. Karen let him.
Knowing full well that they were being assaulted this very night by a media and mania trying to get a grasp of the reasons behind the fanatic acceptance, nay wanton embrace, of Nevermind, I held myself to a single, brief question. I asked Chris how the band felt about the deluge of interest and hype, to which he replied, “Well, I suppose it’s better us than Poison.”
After the chatter we ran into “Mrs. Cobain”, who had finally managed to make it inside the venue. Said Wendy, “I’ve never had so much trouble and had to jump thru so many hoops just to watch my kid!” Nevertheless, she was smiling parent proudly as she said it. We went back downstairs to watch Mudhoney’s set from stage left. Possibly (probably?) their first live set from the Paramount’s prodigious floorboards, they were as tight as I’ve ever seen them, fun and showy with their ritualistic beer trips to the drum riser on a speedier pace than usual. The set itself was dramatically punctuated by a rain of change that followed a Mark Arm comment concerning insufficient finances. He was, apparently, quite serious. I later noticed him selectively picking out quarters off the stage. Steve Turner had different (yet similarly sized) priorities as he picked up and placed possessively on his amp the scattering mini-Snickers that appeared, along with coinage, around their feet.
When Nirvana stepped up to the plate for their set, the shit really hit as we felt the noise levels throughout The Paramount bounce up several decibels. They put on their patently energetic/introverted with Chris pogoing about while Kurdt stayed fairly stationary, vocalizing thru his dirty blondish mop of hair. Behind them both, Dave kept the rhythm rollin’.
About this time Kurdt’s mom Wendy re-enters our world, crawling across equipment backstage and generally beaming. I asked her if, now that she had passed The Paramount’s initiation, was she having herself a good time? “I’m having the most fun I’ve had in years and the best Halloween, EVER!”
The Nirvana stage was flanked on either side by androgynous go-go dancers, one male, one female, wering identical blond bobs, shorts, tinted goggles and t-shirts emblazoned with “BOY” and “GIRL” (which inaccurately, judging by their chests, described the occupants. I learned that, at least in live settings, Chris owns the voice that sings the stolen intro to Territorial Pissings. By the time it was over, I was so drunkenly delerious on this particular concert experience, I couldn’t remember what song they played last. I think it was Love Buzz, but whatever it was, it was on.
As are they. Bear witness to this ride, Seattle.

The Posies: “It’s Not All Glitz” [City Heat – July 1991]

Posies cover City Heat July 1991

Posies cover City Heat July 1991

Since they last graced the pages of City Heat (riding the wave of Failure‘s success, April 1989) the Posies have; “learned a lot of new songs, put out another record, played millions of shows,” and as Rick Roberts (bass) falls into Bon Jovi schtick, “Seen a million faces and rocked them all!”
While “millions” may be sightly exaggerated they have, in fact, been playing extensively. Kicking it off in California with Gene Loves Jezabel, then hooking up with The Replacements in the Midwest and bombarding both coasts with Redd Kross

They’ve been in town a couple of weeks to catch their breath, now it’s back to the East coast for some dates of their own. 

Right in the middle of catching that breath, we grabbed ’em for a chat about life on the road, life in the “Big Leagues” and just life in general. You’ll find that theirs, like most of ours, varies. 


It’s Not “All Glitz”

When we last spoke over two years ago it was the beginning of the glitz.

Demo tape, independently released does exceedingly well, major label contract follows quickly, record and release the [major label] debut. No sweat.



Time now to support it, sweat for it.

And that they have. Alternating between headlining clubs and playing larger venues with afforementioned friends.

They have a live reputation that varies depending on your alignment with the album (Dear 23). If you really like it just the way it is, you may agree with the L.A. Weekly who, “said we butchered our record live”.

“Literally, that’s what’s they said,” relates Jonathan Auer (guitar/vocals). “It was mentioned three times by three different writers.”

“They liked the beautiful pop record and we like to rock it up a bit more.”

Others maintain that live is the only way to experience them.

Personally, I’d seen them only twice, at last year’s Bumbershoot and then in March at The Backstage. Neither of which, ponders Auer, was a representational Posies show.

“Those were both weird occurrences. The Backstage was an acoustic thing for thirty minutes and the show with Soundgarden (in the Coliseum) was, how to say, out of our element.”

“Our music was not meant to be played in basketball stadiums.”

Having heard from people in the crowd who preferred one band over the other, I asked how they thought that double bill went.

Roberts replied, “Actually, that’s what we wanted, was to play with them over other bands (ostensibly offered as options by Bumbershoot schedulers).”

Stringfellow adds, “It all depends on who you talk to. There are a lot of people who thought it was weird that we were affected by the audience at all because they enjoyed the show and thought we played a great show.

“Also, our perspective was up front where the pit of people were screaminig for Soundgarden.”

“Our music isn’t really designed for pits,(although they have a song, “The Pit”, slated for the next record).”  explains Auer, continuing, “and sometimes it happens.”

“But definitely, it was weird being that far apart. It’s like, ‘How ya doin over there, Ken?’ Oohh, and back behind behind Ken there’s Rick. I can see him with binoculars for cryin’ out loud. It was so ridiculous.”

However, continuing, he speculates that after they’ve been touring, a coliseum is less intimidating to them now.



Another part of home that can be intimidating is dealing with hearsay and the misinformation that it creates.

Mike Musberger (drums) tells us not to believe the hype.

“There are always rumors about how much people get signed for and what not. I would tell people not to believe most of what they hear about getting signed.”

“We’ve heard things that people think we got signed for like, one million. Nirvana got the same exact record deal that we did and it was not a million dollars.”

To which Auer adds, “Anybody who doesn’t believe that can come take a look at our bank accounts… and buy us lunch.”

Musberger sez: “If you want to make money, immediate cash in pocket, don’t be a musician. Because it’s nly when you sell enough records or tour long enough that you can make money.”

“Or, if you can draw enough people you can go places whether or not you have sold records. We’ve got a lot of money to pay back, that’s for sure.”

“But any band in town that’s signed to a major label – whether it’s Alice In Chains, Soundgarden or any of them – will tell you the exact same story.”

Roberts is tired of the misconception that people think they [the major labels] give you money on a platter. It’s like a bank.”

“I mean, we never have been ‘given’ any money. It’s like you approach them with an idea, trying to get a loan.”

“So we owe them back all that money versus our record sales.”

“We’re frugal. We aren’t trying to be exorbitant about it or anything and probably if we just wanted money, we wouldn’t get it from them!”

“It’s all basically ‘pay as you go’ when you make an album.”

Auer continues, “When we bump into other bands, you kinda know what’s going on.  Because you all are going through kinda the same things.”

“You all had to tour in the van for a long time. You all had to not pay the rent, not pay the phone bill. Several times.”

“You’ve had to borrow money from Mom. And this is all within the last six months you’ve had to do this!”

Musberger nods in agreement, “We are pretty much the same band – finacially or whatever – that we were a year and a half ago. But being a ‘signed band’, we do have that profit potential.”

Stringfellow adds, “Being signed to a major label opens doors to certain industries or institutions that weren’t open before. Like, you can have access to a major booking agent as opposed to doing it yourself.”

Another door open to ‘signed’ acts is the availability of top-flight management. They’ve stepped through that door recently and went ‘national’ with Tim Neece Management.As some of you may know, they were formerly with local manager Terry Morgan. It was an amicable parting of ways as the rules of the game changed.

Stringfellow explains, “It’s easier just to say that it was a situation that deteriorated over time.  “It certainly wasn’t easier for us to not have Terry. It was a lot harder because Mike had to take over for about four months. So we grew up in a lot of ways too.”

“Terry is a super great person but he’d never managed a band on a major label before and I think all five of us were thrown for a loop by what that entailed. So we needed to find someone with the experience who had done that a couple of times.”

And so they did.

Other topics of current interest include Auer’s hand at the helm of what he calls the “Truly” project (including Mark Pickerill and Hiro Yamamoto) and the Posies soon-to-be released single for Popllama.

The single is a tribute to the band Bigstar (anyone hear of Alex Chilton? The Box Tops?) featuring the songs “Feel” and “I Am The Cosmos”.

Like the B side to the single for “Suddenly Mary”, they’ve produced these tracks themselves (at Robert Lange Studios in Richmond Beach). The guys – and their label – have taken a distinct liking to the “hands-on” approach and may just be the Producers of the follow up to Dear 23.

“The record company liked our B sides, that we mixed, better than the record (Dear 23). That was something we did entirely on our own.”

“They thought we caught more of the live energy,” Auer comments.

Do they think that “in-house” production will bring across that live energy better on the next record?

“Most definitely,” he affirms.

“We realized that this is something we are going to be doing for a long time.”

“Touring also made us figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

It can quite safely be stated that The Posies, themselves, work.

Pushing it live on the road, releasing inde singles, and keeping their hands in other projects should keep them busy for a bit.

But in an industry where you’re only as hip as your last album, there’s always more to do.

Billy Idol & Faith No More at Seattle Center Coliseum [City Heat – December 1990]

Hot Flashes – In ConcertDec 1990 City Heat InConcert: Billy Idol Faith No More
Billy Idol
Faith No More

This was  a Halloween not soon forgotten and a concert equally memorable. 18,000 crazed goblins, pregnant nuns, ghoulish beings and just plain night owls gathered to spend All Hallow’s Eve with kindred spirits. Pre-show I asked Faith No More’s Jim Martin if his festive self was dressing up for the occasion. An enthused, “Of course!” was followed by, “I’m planning to change my t-shirt.”

Tho visibly road-weary, FNM smashed open pumpkin night with “From Out Of Nowhere”, marshaling all the tenacity and power that makes their stage show a must-see. Center stage, sporting gorilla fur pants, red flannel shirt (no doubt an ode to our fair city) and a Doris Day wig, Michael Patton went immediately into his flinging, flailing, stomping routine that I overheard one truly un-PC mother describe as a “good imitation of a retarded person”.

Next up was their most current cool cut, “Falling To Pieces”. They crammed “Underwater Love”, “Surprise, You’re Dead”, (my favorite) “The Real Thing” and (the only number from a previous album) “We Care A Lot” into their formidable opening set – highlighted by joyously cheeky renditions of the Nestle’s Alpine White jingle and “The Edge Of The World”.

This being the dangerous combination of both Halloween and the last date of FNM’s stint on the Charmed Life tour, we were in for some surprises. In the midst of thumping out their “Epic” hit, Mr. Idol’s road crew thumped the band with a huge amount of smelt from the lighting rig in an overkill MTV reprise of their iconic video star. After flinging fish into the crowd and taking their bows, FNM returned to the stage for a cover of The Commodores’ “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” with the help of three bath-robed housewives singing backup and opening their robes to flash mammoth false breasts. An un-false mooning from the girls accompanied the curtain call and there was still more fun in store.

As soon as Idol hit the stage with “Cradle Of Love”, it began. A gorilla (looking suspiciously similar in stature to Patton) came dancing around stage right, surprising the beautiful duo singing backups. Then it joined along with their choreographed dance steps, all the while Billy Idol rocking the chuckling crowd, oblivious to the show stealing going on behind him.

Mr. Idol gave an energetic performance that seemed little affected by his recent lameness. A slight limp barely noticeable, he posed and sneered and swaggered as if in top form.

He rattled off his long list of hits, from the latest back to Gen X days for “The Untouchables”. Songs from an MTV generation: “Eyes Without A Face”, “White Wedding”, “Rebel Yell” and “Flesh For Fantasy” which featured a pretty neat-o robotic, chest-baring dance move from the Idol one.

The real kicker, however, came in the midst of his encore, “To Be A Lover”. Heads covered with masks, paper bags and towels, five guys (quite rightly assumed to be FNM) circled Idol, dancing around him butt-naked. Pretty damn scary!

Seattle Times Tempo Section: Word by Patrick McDonald

Remembered in RIPAndrew Wood of Mother Love Bone

November 2, 1992 Tempo Seattle Post-Intelligencer

November 2, 1990 Seattle Times Tempo Section: Word column by Patrick McDonald

is remembered in an interview in the December issue of Rip Magazine. Conducted by writer Michael Browning, the interview took place last March 15, one day before Wood was found unconscious from a heroin overdose. He died four days later when taken off life support systems.

Wood is open about his drug problems, saying “I’m lucky to be sitting here.”He talks about getting out of rehab and insists he is clean. “I was a druggy until I went into treatment,” he says, “I’m not doing it anymore.” He’s upbeat and positive about MLB’s future.

A companion piece includes an interview with Xana La Fuente, Wood’s girrIfriend, who found him unconscious. “It’s really cool and weird, ’cause he wrote so much religious stuff in the weeks prior to his death,” she is quoted as saying. “All these songs about heaven and dying.” Incidentally, the Seattle Times Tempo Word Patrick McDonald 11.2.90same issue has articles on Queensryche and Alice in Chains.

Word by Patrick McDonald