Negativland/Seeland Records discography (updated 4/3/95)
Started by Jeremy York, updated by Jim Allenspach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am looking for info on any compilation appearances you might know about.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For availability of the releases that are only on Seeland (Negativland, Points, A Big 10-8 Place, etc.), write to
Negativmailorderland 109 Minna #391 San Francisco, CA 94105
The items that were released only on SST (specifically Escape From Noise, Helter Stupid, and the GUNS EP) are available only through SST (Negativmailorderland no longer lists these items as being for sale). Negativland retains ownership of all other items, including the "Over The Edge" compilations.
Don Joyce is making available complete, unedited tapes of Negativland's "Over The Edge" radio show (see below for information on the edited versions available). For more information and a price list, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
OTE Tapes 497 43rd Street Oakland, CA 94609
You might also want to check out NEGATIVFAN, the semi-regular Negativland zine. Be forewarned, though, that it basically consists of xeroxed (and hand-typed?) sheets of info that most informed people will be familiar with. However, I realize that not all people are regularly following the band's exploits, and you'll probably find at least a couple nuggets of info within its pages. ANYway. The thing is free, but include a buck per two issues for mailing costs.
NEGATIVFAN 6 COOLIDGE RD NAHANT, MA 01908
There are also a WWW site that has Negativland information, and related legal info:
More information can also be found at: ftp://ftp.primus.com/pub/negativland
Appended are a few mini-reviews. Immediately below is a new "short form" of the discography, with titles and dates.
Liner notes from most releases, and a description of a show on the Helter Stupid tour, are in the companion file negtext.
DISCOGRAPHY -- the short form
A compressed form of the discography, for those who just want titles and dates. And in case you never read one of these before, LP = vinyl album, CS = cassette, CD = Compact Disc, VHS = VHS NTSC format videotape.
Negativland 1980 Seeland 001 LP/CD Points 1981 Seeland 002 LP 1992 Seeland 002 CD A Big 10-8 Place 1982 Seeland 003 LP/CD JAMCON '84 1985 Seeland 004 CS 1988 SST 233 CS 1994 Seeland 004 CD No Other Possibility 1986 Seeland 005 VHS Escape from Noise 1987 Seeland 006 LP 1987 SST 133 LP/CD/CS 1987 Rec Rec 17 ? Pastor Dick 1989 SST 901 CS The Weatherman 1989 SST 902 CS Helter Stupid 1989 SST 252 LP/CD/CS Dick Vaughn 1990 SST 904 CS U2 1991 SST 272 LP/CD/CS GUNS 1991 SST 291 LP/CD/CS The Letter U and The Numeral 2 1992 Seeland 008 CD/booklet package Free 1993 Seeland 009 CD negativconcertland 1993 Atomic Novelties CD Crosley Bendix 1993 Seeland 010 CD The Willsaphone Stupid Show 1994 Seeland 011 CD Time Zones Exchange Project 1994 Seeland 012 CD Fair Use: The Story of The Letter U And The Numeral 2 1995 Seeland 013CD-B CD/booklet package
DISCOGRAPHY -- the long form
Negativland (1980) Seeland Records 001 (LP) re-released on CD with same basic packaging, including hand-made cover. Times below are from CD version.
Recorded December 79 -- April 80 Mark Hosler and Richard Lyons -- Tapes, electronics, rhythms, booper, clarinet, organ, viola, loops, guitar, etc. David Wills -- Synthesizer, voice, tape. with Peter Dayton -- Guitar, viola. W. Kennedy M. -- Guitar. Joan Alderdice -- Bellbeating
Side Pre : 1 1:01 2 1:24 3 2:15 4 1:22 5 5:19 6 1:18 7 :56 8 1:00 9 2:01 10 1:36 Side Post : 11 :46 12 :33 13 1:54 14 :38 15 2:11 16 3:17 17 1:11 18 1:34 19 5:03 20 1:09
Packaging -- first edition had original photomontage on front; stencil, wallpaper, and information sticker on back; Negativland logo, recipe, and wallpaper samples inside. My edition is missing back stencil, inside logo and wallpaper samples. Each copy has a unique photomontage on the front...
Available through Negativmailorderland, see header.
Points (1981) Seeland Records 002 (LP) (thanks to Michael Tressler, email@example.com) also re-released on CD 1992; times below are from the CD version
Side One :Harry to the Ferry 2:54 The Answer Is 4:26 The Scolding Box 5:21 That Darn 'Keet 1:50 Dear Mary 1:46 "Clutch Cargo '81" 3:48 Side Two :BABAC D'BABC... 5:03 A Nice Place to Live 2:51 A Bee Fly :58 No Hands 2:16 Potty Air 5:53
(The timings listed for "Harry to the Ferry" and "No Hands" are 3:54 and 3:09, respectively. The shorter times listed above are the actual playing times.)
All instruments by Mark Hosler, Richard Lyons, & David Wills, except: Clarinet on "The Scolding Box" - Bob Jackson Tape Processes on "No Hands" - Ian Allen Bass on "That Darn 'Keet" - Peter Dayton "BABAC D'BABC..." was additionally reassembled by Ian Allen & Mark Hosler
Packaging : Yellow Cover with black/blue shadowed people pointing to a UFO. Back is red with credit in yellow. There is 1 insert paper inside with a collage of paper clips on Graph Paper. On 1 side are a set of note type things with the words list - en, Oh hon-ey I - da, I i - do - lize you. I Love You I-da deed I do. On the other side it says: I walked home with marian that night. Sure enough, she had a five-pound bag of shell-roasted peanuts. Marian filled a small paper sack with peanuts for me to take home, then Mrs. Atkinson appeared with milk and cookies. I was glad I'd come.
A Big 10-8 Place (1983) Seeland Records 003 (LP, CD)
Figured out and Designed by Mark Hosler and Ian Allen Written by Mark Hosler, Ian Allen and David Wills Made by Mark Hosler with Ian Allen and David Wills Narration by David Wills Whistling by Mark's Dad. Contributions by Richard Lyons, Peter Dayton, Chris Grigg, Pyke Allen, Don Joyce, Phil Freihofner.
(timings below are taken from CD version)
First Side :Theme from A Big 10-8 Place, 2:58 A Big 10-8 Place Part One, 13:22 Second Side : Introduction, 0:49 Four Fingers, 3:05 A Big 10-8 Place Part Two (180-G). 15:49
Packaging -- Stiff cardboard fold-around, with the record and the following contained inside : large poster, with words to 180-G translated into several languages; information sheet; "Negativland : No Other Possibility" bumper sticker; "inspected by [bandmember]" slip; "Ham Operator Convicted" UP reprint. Original edition had a baggie of lawn clippings; subsequent pressings may or may not have... Available through Negativmailorderland, see address in header.
JAMCON '84 (1985) Seeland Records 004 (Cassette) (1988) SST Records SSTC233 (Cassette)
Recorded in May 1984 and October 1985. Cassette is edited from live performances by Negativland on Don Joyce's "Over The Edge", a weekly radio program on KPFA FM-94 in northern California.
Don Joyce OTE producer, tapes, records, CB razor blade, mix David Wills Telephone, voice, scanner, booper, tapes Mark Hosler guitar, bass, voice, razor blade, mix Richard Lyons voice Chris Grigg guitar, keyboard Ian Allen tapes, keyboard Anonymous Callers
First side : JAMCON '84 40:32 Second side : The Starting Line with Dick Goodbody 38:35
CD re-release, August '94:
JAMCON '84 (40:10)
1. Introduction, JamJamJam, A Little History, Jam This Guy: An Interview with W6DR, Jamming the "Sports Line", Am I On?, Three Year Olds on the Air, etc. 16:11 2. Crosley Bendix Reviews JamArt and Cultural Jamming 3:33 3. The Worst Programming Ever, Mind Jamming, A Report by Rex Everything, etc. 6:48 4. C. Eliot Fridays' Presidential Campaign Shortwave Broadcast (Live from Howland Island) 5:17 5. Two or Three People Listening, You Motherfucking Son of a Sack of Piece of Shit, Attempts to Jam and The End 8:24
NEGATIVLAND'S 4TH OF JULY STOCKHOLDERS' PICNIC (19:21)
6. Walking and Driving and Hiking to the Picnic, Introduction to the Show, Parade of Condiments 5:22 7. Stockholders' Meeting (with Crosley Bendix), Insects in Your Pop Bottle, An Abrupt Ending 13:59
8. BODY ENGLISH 14:20
No Other Possibility (1986) Seeland Records 005 (VHS/Beta video)
60 CLASS A VIDEO MINUTES. (C) 1983-1989 by Universal Media Netweb.
Re-release version comes with balloon that says:
NEGATIVLAND AND YOUR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LINCOLN-MERCURY DEALERS SALUTE 1976 MERCURY MONARCH 1986 COME AND CELEBRATE WITH US
and a yellow feather. Front of video box features picture of a TV set with family pictures on top of it. Back features anonymous family picture, with the following description:
NO OTHER POSSIBILITY (UMN 1989) - Landon Spearman, Mark Hosler, Richard Lyons, Chris Grigg, David Wills, Don Joyce. In an effort to cure her smoking habit a middle-aged woman discovers that she can communicate with her long lost son while watching a Halloween safety program on T.V. After suffering a nervous breakdown, her husband, a used car salesman, is revitalized when he travels back in time to drive the first car he ever sold. Seventeen years later a powerful canned food manufacturer crashes the same car into a toaster truck while endorsing a brand of yams on live T.V. At the funeral his clergyman experiences a crisis of faith when he and a lifelike Mexican continue their search for a married couple who have befriended an insect who enjoys drinking lime soda. They later meet a young man whose bizarre murder scheme involves four innocent members of an experimental rock band who have all given up smoking. NO RATING.
Escape from Noise (1987) Seeland Records 006 (LP) SST Records 133 (LP, CD) Rec Rec 17 (???)
Recorded at Mark's home 1983 - 1987
Mark Hosler Singing, synthesizers, guitars, voice tapes, percussions, rhythm loops, bomb parts, David manipulation, tiny metal banjo, recorder, lots of other noises, mix. Don Joyce Yelling, talking tapes, electric tympani, synthesizer, lyrics, singing, Booper bee, bomb parts and assembly, noises everywhere, mix. Chris Grigg Drums, synthesizer, singing, computer & software, field recordings, mix. David Wills Talking, shortwave, family tape, bomb parts, regular Booper. Richard Lyons Singing, lyrics, voice.
With contributions from : Ian Allen, Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedies), Das (Big City Orchestra), Dina Emerson, Steve Fisk, Tera Freedman, Phil Freihofner, Ed Markmann, Fred Frith, Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Tom Herman (Tripod Jimmie), Henry Kaiser, Louisa Michaels (Step One Nursery School), Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), The Residents, Reveren Ian Stang (Church of the Subgenius), Rand Weatherwas (CBS), Rob Wortman (Kingshouse).
Announcement 1:51 Quiet Please 2:17 Michael Jackson 2:08 Escape From Noise 2:36 The Playboy Channel 1:32 Stress In Marriage 1:35 Nesbitt's Lime Soda Song 3:08 Over the Hiccups 1:28 Sycamore 2:29 Car Bomb 2:03 Methods of Torture 1:23 Yellow Black and Rectangular 2:14 Backstage Pass 1:15 Christianity is Stupid 3:55 Time Zones 5:28 You Don't Even Live Here 2:30 The Way Of It 1:12 Endscape 0:37 (note : timings, particularly for Endscape, will differ on CD)
Packaging -- LP comes with informative booklet with newspaper clippings, discography as of 1987, pictures, etc. Original edition of EFN included a "Car Bomb" bumpersticker. CD buyers can send in $2 to get the booklet.
Pastor Dick (1989) SST Records SSTC 901 (Cassette)
Recorded in 1982. Cassette is edited from a live performance by Negativland on Don Joyce's "Over The Edge", a weekly radio program on KPFA FM-94 in northern California.
Richard Lyons Pastor Dick David Wills The Weatherman Don Joyce Producer, OTE Mark Hosler Chris Grigg Helen Holt Kent Hastings Anonymous Callers
Side One : Pastor Dick part one 29:45 Side Two : Pastor Dick part two 28:30
Edited by Don Joyce
The Weatherman (1989) SST Records SSTC 902 (Cassette)
Recorded in 1982-1984. Cassette is edited from live performances by Negativland on Don Joyce's "Over The Edge", a weekly radio program on KPFA FM-94 in northern California.
David Wills The Weatherman Richard Lyons Pastor Dick Don Joyce Wang Tool Mark Hosler Chris Grigg Ian Allen Anonymous Callers
Side One : The Weatherman part one 44:56 Side Two : The Weatherman part two 46:00
Edited by Don Joyce
Helter Stupid (1989) SST Records SST252 (LP, Cassette, CD, and 8-track)
Judging from an enclosed picture, and the tour personnel, this is Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, Chris Grigg, Richard Lyons, and David Wills.
Contributions by : Ian Allen, Bob Basenich, Jim Bryan, Maggie Buckles, Cyrnai, Steve Fisk, Ginny Miller, Landon Spearman, Doug Wulfe.
Prologue 4:00 Helter Stupid 17:56 The Perfect Cut : Canned Music 3:27 Rooty Poops 2:18 Good as Gold 3:17 Piece of Meat 3:18 White Rabbit and a Dog Named Gidget 2:41 11 Minutes 4:52 48 Hours 5:37
Packaging : "A Jammer Can" Negativland seal stamped on plastic dust sleeve of LP version (or did I swap the dust sleeve with a different album?) Also, information sheet detailing the series of events involving "Christianity Is Stupid", a cancelled tour, and a mass murder that led to the recording of Helter Stupid. That information is duplicated in a companion file, negtext. Also in that file are the back cover liner notes, describing Dick Vaughn's Moribund Music concept. Also, insert advertises "Christianity is Stupid : Give Up" T-Shirt, available from SST for $9.00
Dick Vaughn (1990) SST Records SSTC904 (Cassette)
Recorded in 1984. Cassette is edited from 3 live performances by Negativland on Don Joyce's "Over The Edge", a weekly radio program on KPFA FM-94 in northern California.
Dick Vaughn, Enrico Gomez, Dr. Oslow Norway, Crosley Bendix, The Weatherman; Richard Lyons, Don Joyce, David Wills, Mark Hosler, Chris Grigg, Jim Bryan, Doug Wulff.
Side One : The California Superstation 47:10 Side Two : Moribund Music of the 70's 47:54
Edited by Don Joyce and Mark Hosler
U2 [The Secret Single] (1991) SST Records SST 272 (LP, Cassette, CD)
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" 1991 A Cappella Mix 7:15 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Special Edit Radio Mix 5:46
Packaging, of course, features a humongous "U2" (with a picture of the spy plane in question) and a tiny "NEGATIVLAND" at the bottom. Inside features a picture of Francis Gary Powers (the U-2 pilot), and a picture of a little dog (named Snuggles?).
GUNS (1991) SST Records SST 291 (LP, Cassette, CD)
"Then" 8:05 "Now" 8:36
Cover features a hand holding a gun (pointed at a U-2 plane), the word "GUNS" in big type, and "NEGATIVLAND" in small (mimicking the U2 packaging). Inside features a pic of a cowboy (looking like Gary Powers), and LBJ's swearing in.
THE LETTER U AND THE NUMERAL 2 (1992) Seeland 008 (CD/booklet package)
CD: "Crosley Bendix Discusses The Copyright Act" 25:56 (taken from Over The Edge, Negativland's weekly live radio show.)
Free (1993) Seeland 009 (CD)
Negativland had help from Steve Fisk (all keyboards on "Freedom's Waiting"), Bob Basanich (slide guitar on "Truck Stop Drip Drop", clean guitar, distortion guitar, synthesizer, plucked violin and percussion on "Happy the Harmonica"), Jane Timberlake (intro/outro lyrics and vocal on "We Are Driven"), Alicia Rose (harmony vocal on "Cityman"), Richard Klein (mandolin and slit drum on "View To The Sun"), Randall Hunting and Scot Whitney (graphics assistance), Byram Abbot (tape contribution), Pat Maley, Dan Ruderman and Scott Guitteau (dollars assistance), and the Universal Media Netweb.
Contents: 1. Freedom's Waiting 2:21 2. Cityman 5:56 3. The Gun and The Bible 2:48 4. Truck Stop Drip Drop 4:00 5. The Bottom Line 3:25 6. Crumpled Farm 4:23 7. Happy the Harmonica 10:01 8. Pip Digs Pep 4:51 9. We Are Driven 7:04 10. View to the Sun 3:58 11. I Am God 5:19 12. Our National Anthem 4:51
Lid of CD box has green "FREE" sticker on it. CD insert features pictures of a Cub Scout (who looks a bit like a young Bill Clinton), a soldier with a rifle and a Walkman, and a black & white drawing of the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. Printed on the inner edge of the CD: "Information wants to be free."
negativconcertland (1993) Atomic Novelties (CD)
Recorded in May 5, 1993 at the Belly-Up Tavern in San Diego, CA
Player Played Mark Hosler Acoustic guitar, CD player, little knobs, horn, samples, harmonica, mixing bowl Don Joyce Tape loops Chris Grigg Electric guitar, little knobs, keyboard, cymbals VCR David Wills
1. Introduction 2:17 2. Dick Vaughn Speaks 5:06 3. The Hellbound Plane 7:02 4. Long Distance Dedication 6:25 5. The Copyright Law (part 1) 9:34 6. Time Zones 5:01 7. The U-2 Spy Plane Incident 7:49 8. U2 Part 1 (with the Weatherman) 7:00
1. The Copyright Law (part 2) 21:27 2. Perfect Scrambled Eggs 7:24 3. Christianity Is Stupid 6:02 4. Proud To Be An American (lip-sync) 3:50 5. (end of concert) 2:25 6. Mark Hosler speaks 2:54 7. Four Fingers 8:47
Packaging consists of: a b&w cover photo of toast popping out of a toaster; a list of "what happened during the concert", which describes some of the on-stage effects; a reprint of a letter from Casey Kasem discussing the U2 single; and a reprint of the "Fair Use" text distributed by the band at the concert.
OTE VOLUME 5: CROSLEY BENDIX: THE RADIO REVIEWS (1993) Seeland 010 (CD)
A compilation of some of the appearances by Crosley Bendix (Don Joyce) on the "Over The Edge" radio program. Besides the members of Negativland, credit is also given to Rob Wortman, Brook Hinton, and Arne Ryason of King's House for participation on the tracks "Fear" and "Technology".
Mr. Bendix reviews: 1. Style (1989) 6:15 2. Domestic Art (1987) 11:33 3. Squant (1993) 8:41 4. Movies (1987) 7:13 5. Dance (1988) 7:25 6. Progress (1984) 3:25 7. Numbers (1985) 3:52 8. Electricity (1987) 7:38 9. Fear (1986) 5:57 10. Technology (1987) 9:14
OTE VOLUME 6: THE WILLSAPHONE STUPID SHOW (1994) Seeland 011 (double CD)
Edited entirely from two five-hour live radio mixes that were broadcast in 1991.
Participants in The Willsaphone Stupid Show I - David Wills, Don Joyce and Richard Lyons. Participants in The Willsaphone Stupid Show II - David Wills, Don Joyce, Buzzy Linhart, Chris Grigg and Richard Lyons. Club soda courtesy of Sparklett's.
The Willsaphone Stupid Show 75:40
1. Moments to Remember, Raining Hard, etc. 13:30 2. I'm the Vegetable, Wired Up House, Steamin' Mad At Dirt, etc. 10:30 3. HOME CABLE T.V. REPAIR CORNER 8:26 4. Fruitcake, Suka-Brand Coffee, Power Failure, Citizens Band Parakeet, etc. 10:34 5. Moldy Bagels 2:05 6. Cats, In Between Frequencies, etc. 3:50 7. (More) Weatherman vs. The Monkees, HOME CLEANING FOCUS CORNER, etc. 12:14 8. A Rash of Rabid Skunks 2:19 9. Dreams About Fire, Mr. Dirt, White Clouds in the Sky and The End 9:43
The Willsaphone Stupid Show II 73:58
1. Oven Noises 3:40 2. Introduction, First Club Soda, Toads, etc. 10:51 3. Fuck You, Tough Darts, Jingle Bells, etc. 5:32 4. Weather Reports, WEATHER HOT LINE 7:54 5. Toilet Noises, Lumpy Gravy, etc. 4:12 6. Comb Music 9:23 7. Acting Silly, Chewing Up ShaNaNa, etc. 5:05 8. Ho-Ho-Ho, No More Recordings, Easy-Off, etc. 6:54 9. FAKE BACON & ELECTRONIC MUSIC HOT LINE 7:38 10. (Still More) Weatherman vs. The Monkees, Casual Talk 5:54 11. Barnacle Bill and Final Comments 6:43
OTE VOL 7: TIME ZONES EXCHANGE PROJECT (1994) Seeland 012 (double CD)
TIME ZONES EXCHANGE PROJECT is edited entirely from several live radio shows broadcast between 1989 and 1992.
Image processing by Dan Lynch. Graphics concepts and design by Negativland and Dan Lynch (firstname.lastname@example.org). Russian language assistance from Taras Titarenenko.
Part One: Time Zones Exchange Project (68:47)
1. Executive Window, Memo to Friday, Memo from the Future. Dickie Diamond and the Media Shifter 11:38 2. The Piddle Diddle Report: Sandamanians, Transinfiltration, Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True 8:12 3. The Piddle Diddle Report: Human Value, Where is Friday?, A Call from Howland Island and the President 6:41 4. The Piddle Diddle Report: Strike It Rich, This Fabled Island, Cary Grant Tapes A Ghost 18:32 5. The Piddle Diddle Report: After the Rain, Let's Take a Few Calls, Photos of Mrs. Gorbachev, Computercoup, Atom Spy 8:46 6. The Piddle Diddle Report: Sergio Caracus, Frankenstein Meets Cyclops, What Was On The Island?, Who Was On The Island?, Agoraphobia 7:27 7. The Piddle diddle Report: A Future Confronting the Past which is Our Future, Last Call from Howland Island, Eaten by a Black Hole, Returned to your Rightful Channel 7:31
Part two: Testwave (72:10)
1. A Unique Cultural Simulcast, Cubulax Guidelines, Dickie Diamond Grabs the Gusto, Russian National Anthem, Take Me Out to the Ball Game 8:13 2. Americo-Soviet Free Market Osmosis, Mertz, Intercontinental Phone Mess 7:29 3. Russian Factoids, Natural Woman, Toilet Paper 4:48 4. Ads and Smiles, Hey You-Buy This!, Innovation, Shilling for Attention 8:08 5. Mertz, A Force of Nature, Hard and Soft Thinking, The Good Life, Cars 6:59 6. One Bar of Soap, Rubles, Mertz, It's As If We Never Left Home, Negativ Thoughts, Nuts-Oh Nuts!, You Will Be Rearranged 9:47 7. Passage To The 4th Dimension, Memo to Howland, Calling Radio Moscow 5:19 8. A Presidential Campaign Shortwave Broadcast by C. Eliot Friday 2:40 9. The Piddle Diddle Report: What's to Come, The Quantum Edge, Fiber Optics, Experimental Sharpness 9:15 10. A Place in Time To Put Time In It's Place, Do You Have A Job?, Das Vedanya, Mertz, Credits, So What Was I Looking For? 9:32
FAIR USE: THE STORY OF THE LETTER U AND THE NUMERAL 2 (1995) Seeland 013CD-B
DEAD DOG RECORDS (46:26)
1. Snuggles 2:46 2. Keep Your Evenings Free 4:20 3. Please Don't Sue Us 4:01 4. Gimme The Mermaid 4:30 5. It Ain't Legit 4:29 6. You Must Respect Copyright 2:30 7. How Long Have You Been Waiting For U2? 7:48 8. A Nickel Per Fish Sandwich 8:00 9. Only A Sample 8:02
10. CROSLEY BENDIX DISCUSSES THE U.S. COPYRIGHT ACT 25:56 (from the "Letter U and the Numeral 2" CD)
Compilation Appearances :
1-20 on Local International (Recommended UK) cassette 1984 Seventy Dreams on Yogi Cometbus Audiocassette Magazine cassette1984 Perfect Scrambled Eggs on Potatoes (Ralph) LP/cassette/CD 1987 Paul McCartney's Penis on Northern California is a Noisy Place Indeed (Sound of Pig) cassette 1987 Radio Advertising on Objekt 3 (Ladd - Frith) cassette 1987 General Cavendish on Zamizdat Trade Journal Cassette 1987 Play It Again on Unsound Last Issue Cassette (Unsound Magazine) 1987 You Must Choose on Live At the Knitting Factory vol 3 (A&M) 1990 Long Distance Dedication on promo CD sold during Negativland's 1992 Knitting Factory tour (Knitting Factory) Bob's Media Ecology (DoV) 198? Happy As A Clam In The Land Of Uncle Sam (with Rougeux, RRRecords) "America The Beautiful" CD compilation 1994
Negativland -- "Negativland" -- The first LP by this Bay area band, made and released while they were seniors in high school. Some of it is difficult/bad, but there's some really charming stuff in here. White supremists taped off of the radio, children reciting the Lord's Prayer, an old record about how to teach your parakeet to talk, pre-recorded civil defense radio messages about what to do after the bomb has dropped, dinner conversation from the family home of a band member, electronics and various odd music all mixed into a fascinating collage. Like I said, it's a bit sloppy and difficult at times, but there are some amazing moments on this LP.
Negativland -- "Points" -- This release is more professional and more cohesive than their first album, and although it has some amazing moments, you have to be patient to get to some of them. There are several sections of extended abstract sound; a very cheesy casio toy keyboard piece (The Answer Is); the sounds of David Wills family again mixed with odd noises (Harry to the Ferry); and excellent found sounds on Dear Mary and A Nice Place To Live. However, I found The Answer Is and some of the abstract sound pieces to have little redeeming value -- you just have to wait through them to get to the gems.
Negativland -- "A Big 10-8 Place" -- My favorite Negativland release, but not the best place to start unless you're into noise and experimental stuff. First, a surreal excursion into suburban America, very spooky and subliminal; a lot of effort went into every moment of this LP, sounds to disturb and affect you. Then comes a real song, then a completely strange suburban travelogue, where tourguide David Wills tells "all you slimy fruitcakes from San Francisco" how to get to 180 and the letter G, so that you can clean the dog juice from the orange carpet and the green slime that's oozing from the front of the house.
Negativland -- "No Other Possibility" -- Their video features much of the same kind of material found on their earlier albums: family talking tapes, cheezy commercials, some music, the Universal Media Netweb, etc. It also features live footage from the Last Supper 1986 show, and the Mercury Monarch giveaway show, also from '86. Reviews of these shows can be found in the Escape From Noise booklet.
Negativland -- "Escape From Noise" -- Another amazing album, and perhaps their most listenable LP, it consists of lots and lots of short bits strung together. Noise is the common theme, street noise, noise at home, "noise -- what it is -- what it does to you". Sometimes humorous, usually wry and cynical. Radio, and music as a commodity, is another theme. If you're interested by any of these album descriptions, this one is the one to start with. Not much of the longer more abstract pieces that make up a lot of the other albums.
Negativland -- "Helter Stupid" -- Not quite as interesting as the above, except for the subject material; half of the album is about a rather unethical media experiment they conducted. The other half is a montage of disco background music; a sales pitch to radio stations, selling those musical station ID's; and various other sounds and voices. It's all tied into the Dick Vaughn Moribund Music of the 90's thing. Interesting but not amazing.
Negativland -- "Pastor Dick","The Weatherman","Jamcon '84" "Dick Vaughn" - Cassettes of Negativland during their live radio show Over The Edge. The show is in the middle of the night on a Berkeley radio station, and people can call in live, they just get edited into the electronics, music, etc that the band are doing. For the true fanatic only -- these are really dense and hard to listen to; also even though it's been edited quite a bit, there's still a fair bit of filler, fluff, and uninteresting sound. Nevertheless, the patient listener will be rewarded. The last of these is perhaps the most listenable, because it's not as dense as the others; it has lots of 5 second excerpts from your favorite Moribund Music of the 70's; also, 70's commercials. All the other shows have themes as well; Pastor Dick is Rich Lyons (same as Dick Vaughn), this time playing a priest with a drinking problem, encouraging people to call in and confess their sins. The Weatherman is David Wills' character; a big chunk of this is the dumb stupid gay come-out line; also, another Wills character, the Clorox Cowboy, makes an appearance. Jamcon '84 is about a mythical jamming convention.
Now that Negativland has regained all ownership of their Over The Edge compilations, they are re-releasing them on CD. The first one to get such treatment is JAMCON '84. Two extra shows have been squeezed onto the CD: a 4th of July (1985) show (which features a version of "Nesbitt's Lime Soda Song"), and "Body English", their fabled simulcast with President Reagan's second inaugural address. (The Starting Line with Dick Goodbody, the original companion piece to JAMCON '84 on the original tape release, will apparently be released as Over The Edge Vol 1.5, sometime in the future.)
Negativland -- U2 ("I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") A terrible value on any format ($7-$14 for 13 minutes of music). The A Cappella Mix is built around David Wills reciting the words to the U2 song (and wandering off into weird ideas in typical Wills fashion), with inserts from Casey Kasem, anonymous jammers, and Bono saying how innovative his band is. The Radio Mix is more musical and more humorous. It's built on a silly, sound-effect filled instrumental version of the U2 song, and features temper tantrums from Casey Kasem and jammers threatening and cussing at each other. My favorite moment is when Casey says "This is American Top 40. This is American Top 40. This is bullshit!"
The single got almost immediately recalled, after SST was threatened with a law suit. The entire story of the single is outlined in "Letter U & Numeral 2" and "FAIR USE", both described below.
Negativland -- GUNS -- Negativland get slightly more socially aware with this follow-up to _U2_, apparently recorded quickly after _U2_ blew up in their faces. "Then" is a look at the Old West, and how gunfighters figured big into the myth. Also featured are excerpts from your favorite Western movies and portions of a commercial for that breakfast cereal "shot from guns". "Now" is a look at those idiotic gun-sellers' videos that use scantily clad models to sell their products. The single ends with sound bites from the assassinations of JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Bobby Kennedy (the single was released at approx. the same time Oliver Stone's "JFK" was playing).
Negativland -- "The Letter U and the Numeral 2" -- The _U2_ controversy is on display, in all its glory, in this 96-page booklet and accompanying CD. Lots of good legal documentation, letters, faxes, press releases, etc. on the trouble the band stirred up. The CD, unfortunately, is rather long-winded and should have probably been released on tape (or at least something other than one 30-minute track disc). Notwithstanding, the booklet is definitely worth the price, and you get some nice pics of all parties involved. (Note: SST threatened legal action because the booklet includes a credit rating of SST Records. They lost, and the band regained the right to publish the package. This original version is now unavailable, and the revised edition came out in February 1995 as "FAIR USE"; see below for details.)
Negativland -- "Free" -- Their big America album. Released at a financial low point in the band's career, this studio album is a lot darker than their previous material, and contains some of their best "real songs". Themes include drunk driving, torture, freedom, city living, the true origins of our national anthem, and 7-11. At least two of the tracks ("The Gun and The Bible", and "Happy the Harmonica") are old material Negativland has done on tour (check the Escape From Noise booklet for references to "Happy"). The high point, without a doubt, is "Happy the Harmonica", an adaptation of an old Frank Luther record. The story is great, the background music is wonderful, and the interspersed sound bites are inexplicably appropriate. This album should please old fans and new fans alike.
Negativland -- "negativconcertland" -- A bootleg recording of a May '93 show in San Diego. With the "Live Stupid" project apparently shelved indefinitely, Atomic Novelties released this double CD, documenting the band's '92-93 tour. Most of the material is solid; one of the best moments comes on disc 2, when a tape of (apparently) Greg Ginn is intercut with samples from "The Little Mermaid". Sound quality is acceptable, though throughout the show, one can hear people playing pool in the background ("Some people just don't get it", the packaging observes), and a couple of the audience members get loud at a few points. All in all, though, a good product.
(New info: in the summer of '94, N-land resolved its legal differences with SST, one consequence of which is the allowance of SST to finally release the "Live Stupid" concert. The band requested to be allowed to create a sticker to go on the release, that says the album is being released as a contractual obligation. From all evidence, however, it would not be surprising if SST decides to sit on this album for an indefinite period of time, simply out of spite.)
Negativland -- "Crosley Bendix: The Radio Reviews" -- The fifth volume of "Over The Edge" compilations, this one focuses on Crosley Bendix, Director of Stylistic Premonitions for the Universal Media Netweb. There are a couple of good tracks here (the only one I can recommend is "Squant", an interesting tale about the discovery of a brand-new color), but 75 minutes of Don Joyce talking in a whiny voice can get to you. There's also some interesting noise on the last track, "Technology", and the "Numbers" speech was included in the "No Other Possibility" video. Other than that, there's not much to recommend this disc to non-band fans.
Negativland -- "The Willsaphone Stupid Show" -- This double-CD set consists almost entirely of material recorded by David Wills, aka The Weatherman. Through the nearly 2 and 1/2 hours of recorded material, we hear a lot of material from his family life; his mother and grandmother talking in the kitchen, a phone call to a friend, tapes of Christmas and Thanksgiving family parties, etc. There are some hilarious bits to be found (especially young David's adventures of "The Monkees vs. The Weatherman"), and the show ends up sounding a lot like "The Weatherman". Its interesting look at one person's well-documented childhood makes the Stupid Show one of the better Over The Edge releases.
Negativland -- "Time Zones Exchange Project" -- This double CD release chronicles two major topics on the Over The Edge show: the life and times of the shadowy C. Eliot Friday, founder of the Universal Media Netweb; and "Testwave", a joint US/Radio Moscow radio broadcast. In presenting these shows, Negativland (which seems to be mainly Don Joyce at the time of these broadcasts) also touch on such subjects as media manipulation, time travel, Amelia Earhart, advertising (a perennial Negativland favorite), and Mertz, the "mental supplement" pills that enhance decision-making, which have apparently been marketed by Mr. Friday for over 100 years. Though the packaging quality is rather interesting (the enclosed booklet is something of a small masterpiece in image processing), the program falls a little short, especially the "Testwave" portion, which sounds a bit unfocused in its message. In short, an interesting concept, great packaging, but mixed audio content.
Negativland -- "FAIR USE" -- A revamped edition of the "Letter U and the Numeral 2" CD/booklet combo. This package has everything you need to know about the case, from the humble beginnings in 1991 up through the latest details in late 1994. The Appendices are very extensive, including nearly all pertinent legal information (John Oswald's 1985 "Plunderphonic" essay is here, along with the 2 Live Crew "Pretty Woman" final decision, and other various legal goodies). The CD alone is worth the price: 45 minutes of new music (including versions of pieces heard first on the "Negativconcertland" CD) that address the issues of copyrights, U2, and Fair Use. The sources of all of their samples are listed, including Casey Kasem, U2, "A Real Dog", and Ethel Merman in an amusing reworking of "There's No Business Like Show Business". In short, if your interests lie in legal matters like the U2/Negativland single, the Copyright Laws as they apply to the music industry, or if you just like a good tape splice, you can't go wrong with this collection.
COMPILATION APPEARANCES As far as I know, the compilation appearances that were on cassette only (i.e., most of the stuff listed in the Escape From Noise booklet) is currently unavailable. I would welcome being contradicted. Below is a list of descriptions of their appearances that are (relatively) easier to find.
"Perfect Scrambled Eggs" -- Potatoes -- A slice-and-dice version of a radio commercial by Graham Kerr. Interesting, but not the band's best work. The original commercial can be found on the Dick Vaughn tape. Live versions of the song are always the big hit of a Negativland concert, as the band throws the ingredients mentioned in the recipe around sloppily, and occasionally toss stuff out into the audience. Mark Hosler also did some editing work on a promo track called "The Mashed Potatoe [sic]", which can be found on the CD version of this compilation.
"You Must Choose" -- Knitting Factory, Vol. 3 -- A live version of "The Playboy Channel", with some intro material on pay TV vs. free TV. Nothing too spectacular. (I heard a rumor that A&M recalled all the single copies of the Knitting Factory volumes, in favor of selling all the records together in a big boxed set. Yet Negativland had single copies of the volumes on sale during their 1992-93 Knitting Factory tour.)
"Bob's Media Ecology" -- DoV -- This is the info I have, donated generously by email@example.com:
Bob's Media Ecology is a cd and a cd-ep (remixes), on DoV records from Canada. Supposedly this Bob is a subgenius-like guy who has a radio show in Canada, not part of Ivan Stang's Subgenius Foundation though it's copping a lot of Bob from Stang. (BTW, Negativland also had some historical connections with the Texas SubGenius folks and would swap bits of tape on their radio shows).
Negativland is credited with a remix on the Media Ecology^2 Ep. They aren't credited on the original full length, credit only goes to "Producers for Bob". But I have heard Don Joyce of Negativland play a cut from it called "Everythings Already Disappeared" before it was released and he said it was a track by Negativland commissioned by DoV for the media Ecology disc. Don did 2 different 3 hour radio shows based on material they had collected or used for the Media Ecology project. This leads me to believe that they substantially contributed to it even though they aren't credited. Given that the band was under contract with SST at that time and the nature of the project anyway (which appears to be the work of many contributors and not just Negativland) I can see why they would be contributing anonymously. On the remix ep other folks are credited with the other remixes.
(My note: Negativland is also credited for doing sounds during live SubGenius shows, according to "Arise!", the SubGenius video.) (More my note: In summer '94, The SubGenius Foundation sent out a press release/catalog, denouncing "Bob's Media Ecology" as a blatant and unauthorized rip-off of the Church of the SubGenius. Depends on who's ripping who off, I suppose. And just to confuse things even more, a "Bob's Media Ecology" track appears on DoVe's "Death of Vinyl" compilation CD, titled "The Xists Have Landed". No Negativland stuff on it, but it does include two cuts from John Oswald and the Tape-Beatles, two bands with Negativ connections. End of blatant plug.)
"Long Distance Dedication" -- Knitting Factory promo -- A live version of the "U2" material. Interesting, I suppose, for those who haven't heard it yet. (Those who are interested in hearing more are directed to "negativconcertland", above.) On Knitting Factory's WWW site (http://www.knittingfactory.com/), this CD is listed as not for sale, due to the nature of the Negativland track. It also features material by the other two acts on the tour, Amy Denio and the duo of Roy Nathanson & Anthony Coleman.
"Happy As A Clam In The Land Of Uncle Sam" -- "America The Beautiful", RRRecords 10th anniversary double CD -- The band is credited for a track on this double-CD compilation, but the track in question is just a recording of a crowd singing "God Bless America" (led by a drunk-sounding man). Hard to tell if it's just a joke, or a commentary on drunken singers.