October 10, 2007

Superdrag? Not a drag, even in demos

One show down, six to go. The original four members of Superdrag kicked off their mini reunion tour this past weekend in Nashville, and from what I’ve read, it was an electric evening that one attendee wrote was “the best damn superdrag show i’ve been to. no, it was the best damn rock show i’ve ever been to.”

I would love to see these guys live but since I can’t, the “rocking in the unfinished-basement” vibe of this new double album helps ease the sting. Superdrag will be self-releasing a limited pressing of their new collection of old demos called 4-Track Rock !!! 1992-1995 + Complete ‘Bender” Sessions that will only be for sale at the upcoming shows.

I’ve gotten to spin this whole opus a few times now and even though it is rough in places, it’s still diamonds in the dirt, baby. These songs were all recorded between 1992-1995, which would predate any of their formal releases. Many of these songs showed up on their first EP (The Fabulous 8 Track Sounds of Superdrag, 1995), or first full-length (Regretfully Yours, 1996).

But these demos trace an interesting evolution, sometimes with more than one version of the same song from different years — the full-on Weezeresque “Six-Eight” is showcased both as acoustic and fuzzy-screaming electric. The demos preserve all of the young, explosive, roughhewn punk-pop glory of Superdrag.

Six-Eight (Bender sessions demo) – Superdrag
[finished version was on their first EP]

Pine Away (1-17-94) – Superdrag
[would later appear on their underrated masterwork Head Trip In Every Key]

Sucked Out (demo, 10-22-95) – Superdrag
[liner notes indicate that this early version of their one and only radio/MTV ‘Buzz Bin’ hit was recorded at “1030 Eleanor St., Apt A, Knoxville, TN 37917″]

In keeping with the source and era of these demos, the album has cool cassette-influenced packaging, which makes me like it even more. The outer cover shows one of those zippered foam cases that we’d all tote around our cassettes in; just call it the original iPod.

open the case; the glory of the inner cover (I cropped it)


October 13 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
October 19 – Knoxville, TN @ Barley’s Taproom
October 20 – Knoxville, TN @ Barley’s Taproom
November 02 – New York, NY @ The “Fillmore”
November 03 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
November 08 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

Superdrag’s Myspace

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  • You should check out John Davis’ solo material – his first is good but his second (just released) sounds great!

    Anonymous — October 11, 2007 @ 7:25 am

  • HOW DID I MISS the news of the Boston show? omg this is fantastic news — off to see if tix are still available. THANK S HEATHER!!

    Anonymous — October 11, 2007 @ 7:51 am

  • It grates on me when people think Superdrag was just a one-hit wonder, when in reality I think they are one of the most talented bands of the last decade. Sucked Out was so not even their best song. All one need do is check out the superb Last Call For Vitriol (seriously, has held up so so well over the past 5 years or whatever) or Head Trip in Every Key — you were right in calling that one a masterpiece. Hopefully the reunion will entice more folks to check them out. Long live Superdrag! Thanks for the post.

    Kev — October 11, 2007 @ 8:34 am

  • October 19th, Barley’s… can’t wait!

    Anonymous — October 11, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  • Kristy sent me a link to this blog. James and I are going to see Superdrag this weekend in Chicago. Yeah! :-)

    :-) Laura

    Anonymous — October 11, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  • I have been eagerly awaiting November 3rd since waaaaaaaaaaay back when I first heard about the tour on this here blog. Weeks! So soon!!

    Lauren — October 13, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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