By Chris Coplan
Ryan Avery’s something of a local music guru. Whether playing with bands like Fathers Day or Drunk and Horny, or booking shows at Trunk Space, they've been involved with hundreds of shows over the years (Avery uses they/them pronouns). Yet there’s one project that stands out among the slew of indie and punk shows: the Real Coachella festival.
"Whenever we'd ask an artist that we want to have perform, we'd say, 'Do you want to perform under the moniker of one of the acts that are playing the other Coachella," they say. "If they said yes, then we'd say, 'Tell us the name and give us some idea of how much time you need or what you want to do. Or don't tell us at all."
The event, which ran from roughly 2005 to 2014, became a kind of satire not just of Coachella but other big, bloated festivals that dominate the music scene and draw talent and attention from smaller operations. But as Avery explains, that wasn’t always the intention.
"When we started doing the Real Coachella, that sort of shit wasn't as apparent," they say. "It was like, here's a bunch of '80s bands reuniting in the desert and people are going apeshit for it. And then indie bands that just a couple months ago that were playing the smaller stage are now thinking that's going to launch their career into something bigger. But as time progressed, it was actually becoming the worst."
They add, "The other thing that was really obnoxious, to me anyway, is it was so frustrating to see a band that we really missed reunite and then only play Coachella. Like, I wanted to see Refused so bad, but I don't want to be surrounded by people who don't care."
While the notion of a faux festival seems silly, Avery admits that all the organizers remained deeply committed to the gag at all stages of planning.
"We'd meet somewhere ridiculous; we wanted every aspect of it to be ridiculous," they say. "So one year, we met at Mastro's and we wore really nice clothes."
Along the way, Avery and company accumulated several memorable performances. There are far too many to encapsulate what made the fest great, but Avery has a couple favorites.
"My old band Night Wolf did a tribute in 2009 to Danzig where we pretty much printed out [his] Wikipedia article and rewrote parts of it to make it sound spookier and make it sound more evil, which is, like, definitely the perception that he wants to give people," they say. "So I read that on stage and my partner Andrew played Misfit and Danzig songs between every couple paragraphs. Then we ended it with the Tuba City incident. But instead of saying that he just got punched, we said that he actually died. Then we reenacted it."
Not every memorable performance had to do with music, either.
"Another performance that I really, really enjoyed, and we did it every year except the last, was JRC, the former co-owner of Trunk Space, performing the opening ceremonies as this performance art project called Pinata Party," they say. "He'd have this spiel about how important the pinata was, and then let people have turns whacking at it. Only it'd be filled with plastic vegetables or rocks or old gumballs."
The event didn't just gross folks out; it actually tricked quite a few hapless concertgoers.
"The year The Specials were going to reunite , it was just some karaoke thing performed by a local ska group," Avery says. "That's the only time that we got regular hate mail from people. They're just like, 'You don't fuck with The Specials like that. I was about to fly down to Phoenix to see them play for $5 at an art gallery.' The same weekend they were going to be in California."
Or, the deeply devoted Scissor Sisters aficionado.
"They just did this real spooky thing for a couple minutes, with white face paint and candles," Avery says of the mock performance. "The person stayed for most of the show. But apparently they went up to the counter and demanded their money back. Like, okay, here's your $5."
Eventually, though, the joke ran its course. However, Real Coachella didn’t merely fold like any other festival.
"The way we decided to send off the Real Coachella, either in 2014 or 2015, was amazing," Avery says. "We'd been getting a lot of heat from this guy on the internet, and he was flagging all of our event pages on Facebook. So we put his name on the event and didn't ask any bands to perform. We told everyone it would be at The Dressing Room, but we didn't ask the people running The Dressing Room. We just set up in the parking lot dressed like ghosts and played Misfits at 16 RPM."
Avery is slightly hesitant to recall the "legacy" of Real Coachella, perhaps because that kind of thinking would only ruin the whole joke. Still, when asked if they were trying to be silly and dumb for the fun of it, or if there’s some deeper meaning, they had at least some insight.
"I wouldn't say that I want to be weird and wacky, but I would agree with the statement that normal things are boring," they say. "There's a book called Welcome to the Music Business, You're Fucked! If you're doing a local show, you're just a local band playing around your home state.
"You shouldn't be upset when people don't go to see you. Because you need to give them a reason to go outside of just seeing live music. That's the way I feel with pretty much any local event. I'm still not going to go unless there's another factor to it."
Which is to say, great music isn’t enough, and what makes a scene feel more real is how we grow and expand its larger role within a community. It’s a nice tidbit to muse on as folks sit at home, contemplating the eventual return of live music. Could that also include Real Coachella?
"I wouldn't want to do Real Coachella again," Avery says. "I think saying respecting the legacy of what it was is accurate, but it feels like the opposite of what should be."
Who are you and are you in a band or do you perform solo? If in a band(s), what is the name of that band?
My name is Ryan Avery (they/them pronouns). I’m in a Queer Ska band called The Terri’s — we don’t have any recordings, havent played any shows and are on hiatus because of COVID but I am one of the 4 singers in the band. I also perform solo under the name “Hi My Name Is Ryan” which consists of me just singing songs and telling stories and doing other forms of performance art.
What instrument(s) do you play?
I don’t play any instruments, but I have played drums and guitar and keys for many different bands over the years.
How long have you been making music? And what first drew you to your craft?
I have been writing songs since I was a child, I have been performing live music and art since 2002. Growing up with older siblings who are into punk and alternative music drew me into the craft of writing music, and seeing live music (specifically local thrashcore/artschool band Hammered Dr. Destructo) drew me into performing live.
What was your favorite show of all the shows you’ve ever played?
Favorite Hi My Name Is Ryan show is any show where I see people cry because I know they are really feeling and hearing me.
What are you listening to during this period of social distancing?
I have been listening to music pretty much constantly since I started social distancing in the beginning of March. If it gets silent and I have to think for too long about how I am feeling I just start to cry so… music and cartoons non-stop in the house. I have been really enjoying these Golden Boots “Burning Brain Radio” mix tapes. The Golden Boots boys have this radio show in Tucson every Tuesday from 4-6 PM on 99.9FM, I never get a chance to listen to it live, but they make copies of the radio show on mix tapes later and they are such good, fun mixes.
I am also loving these Bandcamp days that Bandcamp has been doing every month (I hope they continue, but I think they are probably gonna stop). It’s fun to add things to my Bandcamp Wishlist throughout the month and then come up with a spending budget and spend all that money at once buying music from artists and know 100% of the funds are going directly to them or the organization they donate to. Then spend the next month listening to and enjoying all that new music. You can see what I am buying and wishlisting at bandcamp.com/majesticryan. My top 9 most listened to albums on my mobile Bandcamp app are
1. The Funny Uncles “Writin’ Songs”
2. Dear Nora “Three States”
3. Various Artists “The Rebellious Jukebox Plays Northern Soul Stormers” (This is a comp of 100 different amazing Northern Soul songs)
4. Bessie Jones “Get In Union”
5. Kleenex/Liliput “Discography”
6. They Might Be Giants “Then: The Early Years”
7. Jackie Shane “Jackie Shane: Any Other Way”
8. Neo Boys “Sooner Or Later”
9. The Dezurik Sisters “Yodel and Sing Their Greatest Hits”
I would also like to mention that I feel like the musical works of Dorian Wood is the perfect soundtrack to what I feel like most of the world is experiencing right now, so I have been listening to a lot of their music since I started social distancing.
Ryan Avery joined us for our third episode of Band Basics and we talk the basics on forming a band, running a label, not sinking your money into backstock, plus a whole lot more. Hosted by Mark Anderson, catch this hour long conversation with Ryan and (hopefully) learn a thing or two as they discuss a myriad of topics about being in the music business.
Check out our interview with Ryan below and make sure to tune in to each episode of Band Basics where we feature new guests and advice for musicians on every episode.
So, here’s the deal. We’re always receiving questions from musicians that fall outside the scope of information we usually offer as a publication. Over the history of our website we’ve tried to offer helpful hints here and there on a variety of subjects, from booking shows to contacting the press, but we feel that we should delve even further. Welcome to Band Basics 101.
Ryan Avery dropped by the Radio Phoenix Studios and brought in a host of incredible artists and a playlist created entirely with Bandcamp links. Weirdo, fun, experimental, pop, punk — we have it all in this playlist. Plus, we find out more about Hi My Name Is Ryan and the ongoings of Related Records, now in its fifth year.
Tune into The YabYum Hour every Wednesday at 7:00 PM only on Radio Phoenix — where the Valley come to Talk. Sing. Connect.
Hi My Name is Ryan “Family Values Tours ’98”
Black Randy And The Metrosquad “Sperm Bank Baby”
Dear Nora “Love Song for My Friends”
Charlyne Yi “I Shouldn’t Die Tonight”
Jack Toft “Somebuddy Call in a Bomb Threat (My Baby Just Broke up with Me)”
Wimps “Middle Ages”
Liliput “Ain’t You”
Foot Ox “Cough Blood on the Moon Soon”
The Dad “Downtown”
Nation of Ulysses “A Kid Who Tells On Another Kid Is a Dead Kid”
Galactic Federation of Love “Anu”
Good Throb “Double White Denim”
Gene Defcon “The Wild Boys”
Stephen Steinbrink “Staring at a Rothko”
Like, Listen To “A Woman’s Woes”
James Kochalka Superstar “Pump the Keg”
Ryan Avery is majestic.
The oddball vocalist who practically grew up in the Phoenix scene and now runs a weirdo/specialty label, Related Records. Not only is it an avenue for his own musical projects, he’s released a bevy of albums by some awesome Arizona acts including Dinosaur Love, Human Behavior, Serene Dominic, Space Alien Donald, and Treasure Mammal to name but a few.
And who can forget the compilations? A master curator, Ryan has released such classics as Everybody’s Looking At Their Phone, Where’s The White Shadow? (a tribute to the hardcore and punk catalog of the Beastie Boys), and SELF: a compilation of music that is self aware and self absorbed., again, to name but just a few.
Sure, he’s had a documentary film made about him, played over 1,000 shows, and sometimes DJs — yet he remains the humblest of men. Ryan took the time to catch up with us and fill us in on some history, what’s happening now in Camp Avery, and offer a sneak peek forward to some future endeavors. Read the full interview below…
Ryan Avery of Related Records is a staple of the Phoenix music scene and we are super excited that he has returned to the city after a short bout abroad (in Los Angeles). In addition to heading up the Related Records cast of oddballs, Avery is a musician and performer in his own right with acts like Fathers Day and Drunk & Horny when he isn’t busy throwing shows, promoting bands on his label, or documenting life in pictures for Disposable Babies.
1. Captain Ahab“I Don’t Have A Dick”
Captain Ahab Is one of my favorite bands to come out of the post-9/11 art punk scene of the early 2000’s and features my friend Jonathan Snipes who later went on to form the Hip-Hop group “clipping”.
2. James Kochalka Superstar“Finest French Soap”
James Kochalka is one of my most influential artists of all time. I feel really lucky to have discovered his music at such a young age and have it shape me and my own song writing abilities. This is from his last full length album which is called “Beautiful Man” and was released on Related Records.
3. Splinter Cake“Sugar And Me”
Tempe has always had a very tight-knit, fluid and “cool” music scene. Always changing depending on what’s the most current hip trend for college aged kids. I have never really been a “part” of this scene but have always appreciated and observed it for as long as I’ve been going to shows (almost 20 years now jeez!) and my favorite time musically was between 2005-2009 which is when all these brilliant experimental/folk/minimal-noise acts started forming (French Quarter, Foot Ox, Tent City, My Feral Kin, Businessman’s Lunch…etc.) But the artist who I feel made the biggest impact on me and definitely went the most underappreciated of them all was Splinter Cake. This song is one of his more straight forward/user friendly songs but if you dig into his catalog (if you are lucky enough to find it now that is) you’ll find such a prolific and brilliant scope of music and all of it is inspiring
4. Drew Danburry“Artex Died In Truth Or Consequences, NM”
For about 8-12 years Drew Danburry was one of the busiest and hardest working artists in the underground music scene. He is another artist who has a huge catalog of brilliant music but it’s mostly centered on pop. I put out a 3-cassette album for a new project of his last year called “The Funny Uncles” but this is my favorite song of his and I feel like everyone can enjoy it.
5. Songs For Moms“Come True (How They All Do)”
I booked a show for this band back in 2009. They played the Trunk Space with a couple of other punk bands, everyone played an okay set and barely anyone came. They were selling CD-R’s and had a few DIY packaged LP’s that they sold for cheap. It’s scenario I’ve seen and experienced SO MANY TIMES but there album “I Use To Believe In The West” is honestly one of the most played records I own. It’s just so good.
This is actually an old Uggamugga song that iji covered for a tribute compilation to Tristan Jemsek that came out in 2011. I love iji and wanted to include them on this list but also love (pretty much) everything Tristan Jemsek does and wanted to include a song from both of them that is more obscure and so this is my own sneaky way of doing that.
7. Rotten Musicians“Eggshells”
This group I actually don’t know that much about. My friend B.C. Sterrett burned me a CD-R of this album of theirs because he was excited about it and he supplied some of the samples they use from his massive (and bizarre) record collection. But I love it and whenever someone asks me for a suggestion on something new to listen to I always suggest this group.
8. Quintron & Miss Pussycat“Spirit Hair”
It was really hard to narrow it down to one Q+P song. But I think this is the best example of their music and one of my favorite songs.
9. Realicide“The Shit Punx Hate Part 2”
Realicide is another brilliant and underappreciated post-9/11 art punk band from the early-mid 2000’s. Their music is very brutal, very raw and often terrifying. This is one of my favorite songs they have written about scene politics because I can definitely relate to feeling like a misfit in a room full of misfits.
10. The Dad“Shadow Babe”
Similar story to Songs for Moms I booked these guys in 2013 with some other punk bands, everyone was alright, barely anyone came, and they just had a couple cassette tapes for sale for cheap. This is from their album “Depression” which is easily the most played cassette tape I own. It’s just so fucking real and fun and simple, and this song in particular is catchy as hell.
We have a lot to be thankful this week - especially the release of episode #19. This week Phoenix creatives JRC and Diana Welsch along with Ryan Avery join hosts Jeff Cardello and Rick Larsen for a discussion about everyone's favorite material - glass! Grab your board and get ready...
In each episode a topic is taken at random–I pulled GLASS from their stack–and the assembled crew riff on the chosen subject for about an hour. WMSR is a great podcast, I enjoy it on road trips, waking up on weekend mornings, and while waiting in line at the DMV especially. It’s different from other shows of the type, in that it feels more like a laconic NPR style call in show, with the humor and insight more breezy and constructive, rather than the “go for the laugh and outdo each other” style a lot of other humor podcasts go for.
That unstoppable duo known as Drunk & Horny stopped by the Reading Room of YabYum HQ and performed a couple songs. Jackets were swapped, Guinness was drank, good times and sing-a-longs were had. For more features, visit yabyumwest.com
“Drain Tempe Town Lake” is a new song by intoxicated perverts Drunk & Horny. It’s about draining Tempe Town Lake, a totally real campaign against man-made waterholes, which you can learn more about at www.draintempetownlake.org
Ryan Avery of Related Records as well as the Phoenix bands Drunk & Horny and Fathers Day joined us live at the Radio Phoenix studios in the Phoenix Center for the Arts for our bimonthly installment of Rise! The complete playlist can be found below (he played some deep cuts).
Drunk & Horny “Paddelin Maddelin”
Yairms “The Beginning”
Human Behavior “Whore in Me”
Basement “Glass Breaking”
Dinosaur Love “The War on Terror-Dons”
Wizards of Time “Little Jingle”
Serene Dominic “Solar System”
Sweat Lodge “Sad”
Freaks of Nature “Sick and Tired”
Treasure Mammal “EPT”
Space Alien Donald “Happy as Can Be”
Night Wolf “Freddy Rap”
Mr. Attoms Bombs “Brain Imploded”
Captain Squeegee & the Soap Suds “Ska Core”
Mia Loucks “Drugs”
Fathers Day “Disney World”
Recorded live on March 18, 2015.
From the De’ Lunula Blog
In 2006 I was doing a lot of photobooth art. That is when I got my first offer to be included in an art show. It was a group photography show and my small section of wall space that had photo-booth magnets of my friends wearing my clothes got some criticism for not being “real art” or “real photography” since I didn’t ACTUALLY do anything except pay for the strips to be developed.
By Serene Dominic
It's odd that the initials of Donald Thomas Roth's chosen stage name spell out SAD because Space Alien Donald in performance was nothing but unrestrained joy. Most of us have probably met him where he had the home court advantage, at Funny World, the house he purchased on 12th Street and Madison, which he made into a downtown arts and performance venue in 2011. There, in what would have probably been someone else's boring living room, you could see him and countless other performers do the thing which would have made them Class 1A weirdos somewhere else. The property was supposed to be leveled after six months but through divine, maybe alien intervention, Funny World has lasted all this time and hosted more than 80 shows.
No matter how long it lasts, it will be a monument to Space Alien Donald, who died in his sleep on April 20. He was 79.
In human years, anyway.
Having already dubbed himself Space Alien, the 70-year-old didn't feel that he needed to also include his longer moniker,"The World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper," perhaps surmising that being Canadian was alien enough for most people. With a head-plate festooned with pastel-colored spikes, alien sunglasses and maybe a festive planet print dress, Space Age Donald would rap old-school over a primitive beat box that looked like a Radio Shack tape recorder. What might pass for rap in outer space sounded more like talk-sing to earthlings. No matter. The subject matter could be about how ugly robots shouldn't have sex or the prehistoric history of cell phones but it was always something meant to amuse.
And it did.
Donald was from the era when that's what performers were supposed to do — bring a smile to your face as opposed to the modern blueprint of an artist who sneers at his audience and takes their money without regrets. There is no doubt in this context alone that this septuagenarian had a profound influence over groups like Hug of War, Treasure MammaL, Father's Day, Diners, Dogbreth and Dinosaur Love. And the benefits were mutual, as being surrounded by so many 20-somethings this late in the game probably added a couple of years to his earth-bound life.
Hug of War's Jason Kron, who lived with Donald at Funny World, wrote in a Facebook post after the news broke that Donald was like "a father to me and a grandfather to my daughter. I constantly wanted his approval. He's been more influential to me than anyone I've ever known, and will continue to be a huge influence and inspiration to me for the rest of my life."
"As well-known and well-regarded as he was" he continues, "most knew him as merely an oddity and did not get to really know him. Those who did regularly have real conversations with him constantly learned new things about him. He despised all government and dreamed of a world of peace. He viewed the little details of the world with a fascination that I've never seen in another adult. He was incredibly generous and took care of the people he considered friends, because that's just what space aliens do. And when saying or doing anything, he did not for one second consider what others thought of him. We can all learn a lot from this."
Tyler Blue Broderick of Diners, "Living at Funny World will always be a highlight of my life. Donald was happy to meet everyone who attended a show at Funny World and he was supportive of everyone's art. He never stopped offering advice and he was adamant that we drop the things that make us unhappy so we could achieve our dreams. He is an inspiration to all humans and Earth was lucky to have him around."
Ryan Avery of Drunk and Horny and Father's Day says "Space Alien Donald was one of the first people I wanted to release music from when I started Related Records. But when I asked him he said 'Ahhh, no one wants to hear that.' Almost a year later, Jason Kron finally persuaded him to record an album's worth of material, although there is more that he has written. I am told that when he was recording, he insisted on every song being one take."
That album turned out to be last year's "Must Be Funny," which you can stream or download from Related Records.
Artist Daniel Funkhouser, who lives at Funny World and painted the venue's distinctive name on a carport wall outside the house, wrote a tribute on Space Alien Donald's Facebook page that said " I loved being around him because he constantly surprised me and it was impossible to guess what he'd think about anything.... We went to an art show last year where a performance artist asked him, 'What age are you deep inside?' Without hesitation Donald said 21. I love this memory of him."
Musician Ray Reeves admits "My last album would not have been possible with out him giving me free rent, so I could afford studio time. He was a brave soul, a nice man. I hope I am as cool as that, when I'm that old. "
One thing I always wondered was the talk of Donald being a "backyard scientist" and that Funny World would also be a place where he could conduct physics and gravity experiments. Was this part of Donald's story more alien shtick than reality? Ryan Avery sets me straight. "He had a laboratory set up in the front room of his house on Brill Street for years. He put it all away a few months ago I guess. "
Human gravity weighed heavy on Donald in his last months, having lost the ability to walk early this year and undergoing three major surgeries. But he handled death with the incredible lightness of being. According to Kron, "He spent his last waking moments doing the things he loved most: reading and eating ice cream."
For those who never experienced Space Alien Donald, this video directed by Ben Kitnick captures him at his best.
Travel easy, Space Alien Donald. Your "Not Yet Funny" button will never leave my lapel.
A show Space Alien Donald would've gone to this weekend.
Friday April 24 - Father's Day at Trunk Space
It's the eighth album from Douglas Patton and his charges entitled "That's It!" probably the last word you heard from your abusive dad before losing consciousness. Supporting them will be the Freaks of Nature, Big Vinny and the Cattle Thieves, Mooseknuckle Sandwich and Dinosaur Love. Here's a jazzy track from the album, available on Related Records, which emphatically states that Doug will never take his kids to Disney World. Disneyland, maybe. But not Disney World.
yabyum article - "The Record Execs: James Fella of Gilgongo Records & Ryan Avery of Related Records"
The Phoenix metropolitan area might just be the next music capital added to the map. Especially considering the number of Arizona labels out there continually working to push Arizona artists to the forefront. James Fella of Gilgongo Records and Ryan Avery of Related Records are two such individuals always moving toward a more musical future for our state. They might still need day jobs, but these two record executives are helping to define the sound of our city. Over the past year both labels released several new works, hosted more shows than we could keep track of, and these execs still had time to work on their personal musical endeavors.
Through Gilgongo Records, Fella offered re-issues or releases from several Arizona bands, including Cherie Cherie, Pigeon Religion, Vial of Sound, Mallevs, and others. And, as an added bonus, he even put together a 2014 recap of his projects on Mixcloud for your listening pleasure (here). There are even a few offerings on the mix from 2015 recordings he plans on releasing. Next year you can expect to hear more from Soft Shoulder, Detached Objects, Butter Knifes, as well as some out-of-state acts like Pedestrian Deposit and Silver Shadows, all on the Gilgongo label. This past December marked the 10 year anniversary of Gilgongo Records. We’re excited to see what the next decade brings.
Over at Related Records, Ryan Avery released a host of records from some of the Valley’s more unusual artists like Serene Dominic, Dinosaur Love, Space Alien Donald, and Avery’s own band, Drunk and Horny amongst others. Fathers Day, another Avery musical endeavor, also released a compiliation to commemorate their first ten years that features Soft Shoulder, one of James Fella’s personal musical projects. Related Records is a bit younger than Gilgongo, 2014 marking its second year of operation, but the label shows tremendous promise when it comes to helping the area’s underrepresented artists. In 2015, Related Records plans on releasing a new album from Tucson’s Human Behavior as well as a project known as the “Dick Compilation”.
If you’re interested in what’s going on with local music, you better have Gilgongo Records and Related Records on your radar.
Fathers Day has been shaking up the local scene with their unique brand of punk for, well, a whole decade now. Yes, folks, ten years of the irreverent dad rock we’ve come to know and love.
The cast of characters that currently comprise the Fathers Day lineup include Tony Skyes (a.k.a. Olympic Sports Dad) on drums, Ronald Hayweather (Step Dad) on bass, Frank Brando (Golf Dad) on guitar and Douglas Patton (Business Dad) providing the vocals.
There have been several changes to the lineup over the years, all of whom adopted a “dad” moniker for the band. Many of the changing crew appear on the cover of the“…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day. Over the years, Fathers Day has worked with Tristan Jemsek (Drunk Dad), Emily Spetrino (Classy Dad), Diana Welsch (PTSD Dad), Dave Driscoll (Single Dad), Toby Fatzinger (Little League Coach Dad), Jason Kron (Conspiracy Theory Dad), and Ben Nandin (Step-Dad), amongst others. Ray Reeves even signed on for a short while, but he didn’t have a paternal alter-ego because, and I quote, “because he is Ray Reeves and he is an amazing drummer and played drums for Bob Seger (we figured that’s dad enough)”. Only Andrew Jemsek (Golf Dad) and Ryan Avery (Business Dad) have held to the lineup since the inception of Fathers Day.
Avery, the man with the moniker of Douglas Patton, is a born performer. As Patton, he appears determined to deliver a memorable show every time he gets on stage and this has proven to be the most impressive facet to this longstanding local act. Any band can keep up a long-running joke concept, but Patton really sells it to us by completely disregarding who he is outside of Fathers Day when performing with Fathers Day. Total immersion.
To mark ten years of Fathers Day, the band took an unconventional approach (no surprise) to the tribute compilation marking this momentous occasion. “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day features a host of bands covering Fathers Day songs. Well, actually, they all cover one Fathers Day song, fan favorite “Did I Use the Word Divorce?”
This is a very difficult album to write about. Writing forces judgement calls and I really don’t know if I like Andy Warpigs’ cover of “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” more than Soft Shoulders’ version. Stylistically, the album proves so eclectic it’s sometimes difficult to remember that you’re really hearing the same song 16 times. Even the tracks vary in length which wouldn’t surprise me too much except for how disparate those numbers are. From 420’s 31-second version to Soft Shoulder’s which clocks in at just over 5 minutes long.
Everyone has their own approach to “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” Django Ramone puts a lounge spin on the number while Serene Dominic takes some artistic liberties, both lyrically and musically. Many of the bands I recognize from the local scene, but a few new names were introduced to me by “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day.
Okay, the Treasure Mammal track might really be my favorite. It is the first moment in perhaps the span of Fathers Day that the band breaks character on an album for the inclusion of a short monologue from the real life father of Ryan Avery (a.k.a. Douglas Patton) discussing some of the larger implications behind the project. The misogyny and aggression, the bad dads. The track was in fact recorded by Abe of Treasure Mammal who works with Avery’s father.
In truth, the original will always be my favorite. You can hear the Fathers Day version of “Did I Use the Word Divorce” here, but you really want to want to check out “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day. Listen/purchase here. Do it or your grounded.
One of the more odder tribute albums Related Records has undertaken is set for release on Saturday, October 11 (Yes, in the digital world, you don't have to wait until Tuesday for record store employees to unpack and stock the product).
Ryan Avery's dysfunctional family band Father's Day has been around for 10 years and to celebrate they've contacted scores of bands like Treasure Mammal, Former Friends of Young Americans, Ray Reeves, the Phoenix Sons and Shovel to cover one Father's Day song. The caveat is that it is all the same song. More like a mantra really, it's a 55-second ditty that goes "Did I use the word divorce? It's called a separation." The compilation or at least the Facebook event, is entitled "It's Called a Separation: Father's Day 10 Year Tribute Compilation."
Not since the "Best of Louie Louie" compilation where everyone from the Kingsmen to the Sandpipers to the Rice University Marching Owl Band turned their attention to that three-chord wonderment has one song been twisted and tugged into so many directions. I will disclose to you now, gentle readers, that I have taken a crack at this song myself and should this compilation ever sell in the millions, I will most assuredly go to jail. If that alone isn't incentive enough to check out this collection when she comes, let's go to the video tape.
Here's a great live version of the song performed at Trunk Space in 2008. I love everything about this clip. The way Ryan has kids in the audience pretend he's their dad, the guy with the fake cottony white beard, the two girls trying to slow dance to this rant in a mosh pit and the way Father's Day do the song, step out onto Grand as if it were their backstage and come back to do an even more ferocious version of, you guessed it...
By Serene Dominic
Although it reached this milestone with the minimal of fanfare, Ryan Avery's label of local eccentrics and their music, Related Records, has reached the one year mark and to commemorate it, Related Records is offering to sell its entire year's physical output of CDs and cassettes (15 in all and an $81 value) for only $50. Included in this cornucopia of cool are the likes of Drunk and Horny, Treasure Mammal, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Father's Day, Sweat Lodge, Dinosaur Love, Mary Ocher and three other selections.
In the interest of full disclosure, there are two Serene Dominic cassettes included in this package. Two titles which I've been informed, much to my chagrin, are the worst selling items in the entire Related Records catalog. This confirms Related Records' selling point that I am truly "Phoenix Arizona's most under-appreciated artist EVER!" Related Records are only making ten of these bundles available and if they sell all out, it will be ten more copies than either of these cassette titles will sell likely sell in the near future.
Also included in "The 1st Year Bundle" is a live, direct-to-micro-cassette recording of the Aquabats (yes those Aquabats) playing an acoustic campfire set for their fans at a Cadet Beach Party in 2002 (Ryan Avery was Cadet #3489). Not sure what the legality is behind issuing such a cassette when Saturday morning TV stars are involved. But for an envelope-pushing label like Related that includes used copies of "Vicki Carr's Greatest Hits" and Aaron Carter's "Oh Aaron" on its product page, it goes without saying it's better to be funny than predictable.