All Night Radio b/w Flying Radio Bat Factory
2003-11-04 / 12″ / Sub Pop / SP631
1. All Night Radio
2. Flying Radio Bat Factory
Jimi Hey: bass guitar, drums, percussion, vocals, fuzz bass guitar
Dave Scher: electric guitar, steel guitar, keyboard, vocals, textures, bat voices
Benjamin Knight: electic guitar on “All Night Radio”
Alexis Brazel: voice, central operator in All Night Radio II (Flying Radio Bat Factory)
Eddie Ruscha: robot repair voices in All Night Radio II (Flying Radio Bat Factory)
The T.P.L. Horns (Slim Zwering/Liam Philpot): horns on All Night Radio II (Flying Radio Bat Factory)
Recorded at Anchovya Studios 2003
Spirit Stereo Frequency
2004-02-17 / CD & LP / Sub Pop / SP623
1. Daylight Till Dawn
2. We’re on Our Wave
3. Fall Down 7
4. You’ll Be on Your Own
5. Sky Bicycle (You’ve Been Ringing)
6. Oh, When?
7. Sad K.
8. Anchovya Suite
9. Winter Light
10. All Night Radio
All Night Radio is:
Dave Scher: vocals, guitar, pedal steel guitar, keyboards, sound effects
Jimi Hey: vocals, drums, bass, glockenspiel, tambourine, percussion, additional sounds
Spirit Stereo Frequency
written, performed and produced by All Night Radio with help from
Nobody: additional mixing, drum programming on “Winter Light”
Eddie Ruscha: robot vox
Alexis Brazel: “LaLaLa” on “Sky Bicycle”, A.N.R. ID
Anchovya the Cat: vocals on “Sad K.”, “Anchovya Suite”
Ariel Pink: ringside announcer, “Fall Down 7”
Benjamin Knight: guitar on “All Night Radio”, “You’ll Be on Your Own”
Paul Livingstone: tambura on “Sad K.”, “Anchovya Suite”
The T.P.L. Horns – Liam Philpot (tenor saxophone) & Slim Zwering (trumpet) with Mikkola Gendron (alto sax): horns on “Fall Down 7”
Mastered by Dave Cooley
Technical Assistance by Bobby Wilks, Bruce McFarlane
Art Direction by All Night Radio, Brian Tamborello, Brandy Flower, Tim Koh
The album: “Spirit Stereo Frequency”
The mood of separation can almost be felt on 2002’s “Make the Robot Cowboys Cry” EP from Beachwood Sparks. There are a lot of things going on on that recording but unity is not one of them. After that EP the band stopped working together as a recording unit (for how long we still don’t know) and a lot of different musical projects were started or focused on instead.
All Night Radio was one of those and it was the product of the musical and spiritual explorations of Farmer Dave Scher and Jimi Hey. They released a 12” single in late 2003 and then this full length album in the winter of 2004. When the word on “Spirit Stereo Frequency” hit the music lovers we initially didn’t really know what to do with it. I think all of us at first took the information as an immaterial canister of fear. Did this mean that Beachwood Sparks were no more? When we heard the music that was Spirit Stereo Frequency this potential message of finality didn’t seem so doom bringing after all.
“Spirit Stereo Frequency” is an utterly amazing album. It combines an almost impossible mixture of vital creativity, stunning musical performance, freaky outcries of psychedelics and beautiful songs of nature and sensuality. It takes the seeds of weirdness which Farmer Dave, with his keyboards and steel guitar, planted all over Beachwood Sparks songs such as “Ballad of Never Rider”, “Old Sea Miner”, “Jugglers Revenge” and “Ghost Dance 1492” and lets them blossom into tall rising sunflowers through the collaboration with the psychedelic rock reincarnation of James Browns funky drummer Jimi Hey. We also see guest appearances from persons such as Ben Knight, Nobody and Ariel Pink.
We had known about what Farmer Dave was capable of from listening to albums of Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde, on which he expands the tradition of psychedelic use of the steel guitar from Jerry Garcia and Sneaky Pete Kudrow, but for must of us this was the first time we were connected to the works of Jimi Hey. In the documentary about British punk band The Clash Joe Strummer says that a band is “never better than its drummer” and this is especially true when it comes to psychedelic music. Rhythms tend to provide a form in which the psychedelic weirdness can exist and flourish in all its unformed beauty. Jimi Heys deserves to be mentioned with the greats of psychedelic rhythm providers Maureen Tucker, Michael Clarke, Klaus Dinger, Gregg Errico etc.
This album sure is a great collection of mind bending, radio shifting work but it is also an impressive display of song writing. Songs like “Sad K.” and “Winter Light” have a confessional, ballad like structure to them which is surprising on an album so sonically experimenting as Spirit Stereo Frequency. We also have really good up-tempo, freak out songs as “Oh When?” and “You’ll Be On Your Own” (whose intro seems to have been borrowed from 1965 classic “ A Public Execution” by Mouse).
For me this is one of the best debut albums ever and surely on of the great albums of the 00s. Sadly though this never became the breakthrough for All Night Radio since they weren’t around for as long as they needed to spread the word of their great creations. In the fall of ’04 word got out that the band had split up for personal reasons and after that Farmer Dave and Jimi Hey quickly moved on to do other things leaving this album only to be valued highly by those lucky enough to have been turned on to it. Through our anniversary celebration of Sprit Stereo Frequency we hope more people listen to this album (again or for the first time). Obviously it would be great to see Dave and Jimi work together again but that seems unlikely… or?