Multi-instrumentalist Dan Friel just put out an EP on Thrill Jockey, but “Ghost Town Pt. 1″ comes off of his 2008 release for Important Records, Ghost Town. Friel is also a member of Brooklyn experimental band Parts & Labor, which went on “indefinite hiatus” after the release of their last album, Constant Future. Earlier this year, Friel recorded a pretty awesome live set at WFMU, which you can listen to here, and in spring of this year, he remixed Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony for the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Beethoven Remix Project.
“One, Two They Fly” comes off of British mod revival band The Moment’s only album, 1985′s The Work Gets Done. The band formed in 1983 and stayed together until 1990, when the various members of the group split off and undertook new projects. Lead singer Adrian Holder moved to Dusseldorf, Germany (where the band’s regular touring had won them a cult following), and became a science teacher. He self-released an album called The Whistleblower in 2008. Bassist Robert Moore collaborated with fellow mod revivalist Paul Bevoir of the Jetset in a group called Smalltown Parade, and they briefly opened for mega-huge British pop act Take That in 1992.
Tangerine Records released a best-of compilation of The Moment’s recordings in 1996, called Mod Gods.
I couldn’t find a video of the recorded version of this Chuck Johnson track, off of his 2011 album A Struggle, Not a Thought, but this version, which was apparently filmed/recorded in someone’s dining room, is just as good. In the ’90s, Johnson was a member of the band Spatula, who worked with Bob Weston (the producer, not the one-time Fleetwood Mac member) on their album Despina By Land. Since the ending of Spatula, Johnson has released a number of albums under his own name and under the name Ivanovich, and he operates a cassette tape label, mostly for putting out his own work.
Stephen Steinbrink, who puts out music under his own name in addition to releasing songs as French Quarter, is a former Phoenix-based musician who relocated to Olympia, Washington over the past two years, where he’s recorded at Calvin Johnson’s Dub Narcotic studios. His first French Quarter album (self-titled, put out in 2008) earned a shout-out by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley over at Arthur Magazine, who deemed Steinbreck’s music “lovely straight folk-yearn,” which is a pretty apt way of putting it. This track, “I Really Want To Be Your Friend” comes off of Steinbrink’s 2010 album, It’s Not Just Kissing, which saw release on Gilgongo Records.
ESG (which stands for “Emerald, Sapphire and Gold”) was composed primarily of a group of sisters, with the group’s original lineup featuring Valerie, Renee, Marie and Deborah Scroggins. “UFO” comes off of their 1981 self-titled EP, which saw release on 99 Records, a small label that to that point had primarily put out releases by post-punk group Liquid Liquid. ESG is a particularly highly sampled group; “UFO” has been sampled by numerous artists since its release, from TLC (on “Das Da Way We Like ‘Em”) to J Dilla (“Geek Down”) to 2Pac (“Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z”). In 1992, the sisters put out an album called Sample Credits Don’t Pay Our Bills, addressing the often-dubious legality of sampling in hip hop’s early days. In 2006, Renee Scroggins participated in an interview with Girl Talk about the usage of samples in music, which is also worth reading.
In 2007, the group said they were calling it quits, but they reappeared in 2009 to open for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in New York. They put out their most recent (and potentially last) album, Closure, earlier this year.