Boston’s Big Boss Sounds – Part 4

We conclude (at least for the time being) our look at mid 1990’s Boston rock bands with Buffalo Tom and Scarce.

The trio Buffalo Tom, guitarist Bill Janovitz, bassist Chris Colbourn, and drummer Tom Maginnis originally formed in Amherst, Massachusetts

“with the stated intention of capturing the din of a “guitar army”

and with Dinosaur Jr guitarist/frontman J Mascis producing their first two albums; and playing lead guitar on the song “Impossible” from their self titled debut the group earned the nickname “Dinosaur Jr Jr.”

The two releases featured here, however, mark a pronounced shift from those earlier releases, as the group unplugs in a big way, odd as both cds were released at the peak of the “grunge” movement. Subsequent releases restore much of the groups earlier guitar fireworks.

Any discussion of Scarce really must begin with the question what if? Formed in 1993 by singer/guitarist Chick Graning and singer/bassist Joyce Raskin they recruited drummer Jud Ehrbar and quickly made a name for themselves in the Northeast U.S. and England, as much for their exhausting live shows as for the fact that Raskin performed dressed in a prom dress and Graning in a black suit or gold lame tuxedo.

Subject of a major label bidding war, their signing was delayed by legal complications Graning had with his previous band’s (Anastasia Screamed) U.K. label. In the interim they released three singles, later released on the Red EP, before signing with A & M in 1994.

This is where what if comes into play. Deadsexy was released in the U.K in June of 1995 with the U.S. release to follow shortly, but Graning suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. The U.S. release was postponed and the single Honeysimple pulled. After nine months of therapy, including re-learning how to walk, how to talk, and then how to play his guitar and sing his songs Graning, Raskin, and new drummer Joe Propatier re-recorded much of Deadsexy. With new songs, and a new playing order Deadsexy was finally released in the U.S. in 1996, but by October 1996 the band called it quits, partly because Graning, after his hemorrhage found that he and Raskin had drifted apart both musically and emotionally

So what should have been a hit album during the alternative rock boom is instead just another forgotten record. Featuring Graning’s sense of melody and his expressive voice; and with dynamic guitar interplay between him and bassist Joyce Raskin (reminiscent of seminal New England alternative band the Pixies) Deadsexy is full of great, catchy rock songs.

DISCOGRAPHY

BUFFALO TOM

ALBUMS

Buffalo Tom (Beggars UK – Ada) 1988

Birdbrain (Beggars UK – Ada) 1990

Taillights Fade (Megadisc), 1992

Let Me Come Over (Beggars Banquet),1992

Big Red Letter Day (Beggars Banquet),1993

Sleepy Eyed (Beggars UK – Ada) 1995

Smitten (Polydor / Umgd) 1998

Instant Live 6/10/05 Paradise, Boston, MA, 2005

Three Easy Pieces, 2007

Bottom of the Rain [IMPORT], 2007

I’m Allowed [LP]

COMPILATIONS

A-Sides from Buffalo Tom (Beggars UK – Ada) 2000

Besides: A Collection of B-Sides and Rarities (Beggars UK – Ada) 2002

SINGLES and EPs

Enemy (Caff Records)

Fortune Teller

Velvet Roof

Tail Lights Fade

Sodajerk, 1993

I’m Allowed, 1994

Tangerine, 1995

Rachael, 1998

Complete Discography At:

The Kitchen Door -Discography and Tour History

Buffalo Tom at Discogs

Let Me Come Over (Beggars Banquet), 1992

Playing Time: 51 minutes 11 seconds

Buffalo Tom - Let Me Come Over1. Staples (3:35)

2. Taillights Fade (3:45)

3. Mountains Of Your Head (3:22)

4. Mineral (4:33)

5. Darl (2:51)

6. Larry (5:33)

7. Velvet Roof (3:55)

                                                                       8. I’m Not There (4:06)

                                                              9. Stymied (4:19)

                                                                  10. Porchlight (4:09)

                                                                      11. Frozen Lake (3:45)

                                                                        12. Saving Grace (3:14)

                                                             13. Crutch (4:04)

Let Me Come Over Part 1   Let Me Come Over Part 2

·Buy Buffalo Tom’s Let Me Come Over from Amazon.com

Big Red Letter Day (Beggars Banquet), 1993

Playing Time: 41 minutes 40 seconds


Buffalo Tom - Big Red Letter Day

1. Sodajerk (4:28)

2. I’m Allowed (4:21)

3. Tree House (4:16)

4. Would Not Be Denied (3:46)

5. Latest Monkey (2:46)

6. My Responsibility (3:34)

7. Dry Land (3:17)

8. Torch Singer (3:03)

9. Late At Night (3:58)

10. Suppose (3:13)

11. Anything That Way (4:58)


Big Red Letter Day

Buy Buffalo Tom’s Big Red Letter Day from Amazon.com

DISCOGRAPHY

SCARCE

Red (CD/CS/12″ EP) (Tumble Gear Records) (Big Cat in the UK), 1994

All Sideways (Big Cat Records, UK), 1994

Deadsexy (A&M Records US, Paradox Records UK), 1995

Honeysimple (CD, Maxi, Promo) (A&M Records US), 1995

Glamourizing Cigarettes b/w Sudden Downtown Polo Club (CD/7″) (Paradox Records UK), 1995

Freakshadow (CD/7″) (Paradox Records UK), 1995

Days Like This EP (Paradox Records UK only) (Limited Pressing), 1996

7″ SINGLES

“Days Like This” b/w “Scorpion Tray” (Delmore Records), 1993

“Hope” b/w “Something” (All the Money Records), 1994

“All Sideways” b/w “Dozen” (RockaMundo Records), 1994

“It Was Dry” Split 7″ with Funland (Delmore Records), 1994

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Volume Ten, 1994

Volume Fourteen – Reading ’95 Special , 1996


Red EP (Big Cat), 1995

Playing Time: 24 minutes 39 seconds

Scarce - Red EP

1. All Sideways (3:53)

2. Dozen (5:48)

3. Days Like This (4:13)

4. Scorpion Tray (4:10)

5. Hope (3:04)

6. Something (3:31)


Red EP

Buy Red EP from Amazon.com

Buy Red EP from djangomusic

Deadsexy (A&M US), 1995

Playing Time: 45 minutes 22 seconds

Scarce - Deadsexy

1. HoneySimple (3:13)

2. All Sideways (3:53)

3. Rains Of Kansas (3:43)

4. Summertime (4:22)

5. Glamourizing Cigarettes (2:24)

6. Crimea River (4:20)

7. Days Like This (3:57)

8. Sing Me Stella (4:03)

9. Freakshadow (3:14)

10. Salvador Sammy (2:04)

11. Sense Of Quickness (4:23)

12. Obviously Midnight (5:46)

Deadsexy

Buy Scarce’s Deadsexy from Amazon.com

Buy Scarce’s Deadsexy from djangomusic.com

2 responses to “Boston’s Big Boss Sounds – Part 4

  1. Scarce are such a maligned band and should have been HUGE and the album is well worth a download, I’ve been tracking their singles down on ebay as their bsides are worth it as well. awesome. Buffalo Tom have also released a record this year that is just as good as their 90’s output.

  2. Pingback: Addendum « Old Fart at Play

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