Sunday, July 13, 2014

Juan "Transistosauce: One Year Coming" demo + "Live at Emo's 11/12/93"

After an old Juan photo was posted on Facebook today, someone PM'ed me and asked if the Juan demo was out there for download or streaming.  I hadn't ever put it up here on the blog, and I knew I had all the files already digitized, so... here's a new post!

Juan was a band that I played bass in that existed in Houston Texas from late 1992 to sometime in 1994.  We were heavily influenced by Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr, Seaweed and whatever melodic punk bands we were into at the time.  I loved playing in this band, and, looking back at it 20+ years later, I can look at almost everything about the experience fondly.  We got offered to play so many really great shows, opening up for tons of bands that I liked and respected.  Juan was myself (Mark) on Bass, Shawn David McMillen on Vocals and Guitar,  Eric Busch on guitar, and Rudy Duarte on drums.  Click here for the very much incomplete "family tree" for Juan from the excellent website

Our first show was in February 1993 at Emo's in Houston, opening up for Janitor Joe from Minneapolis.  During our time, we got asked to play the opening support slots with such touring bands as Unwound,  Jawbox/Girls Against Boys, J Church/Angel Hair, Phleg Camp, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Grifters, G-Whiz, Scrawl, Babe The Blue Ox, Seaweed (more on that one later), and others that I cannot remember.  Other shows not in support of a touring band featured our favorite bands around Texas, such as El Santo (from San Antonio), Bucketfull, Gut (from Austin), Blueprint, Badger, Sprawl, Sap (from Austin), and American Psycho Band (from Austin) just to name a few.  All of these shows were either in Houston or Austin - somehow, we never managed to play anywhere except for these two places.

About a year after we first started playing together, we wanted to record.  We wanted to do a demo and had no money to spend, so we got my brother to record us using his 4-track recorder in our practice space at Franciscos Studios in Houston, resulting in the 8-song "Transistosauce" demo.  The demo is lacking in any "production" values, but I thought the songs were good and that made up for it.  I dubbed each copy of the demo on my home stereo and made all of the covers myself.  Shawn and his girlfriend hand colored each cover to personalize them.  I sent them out to various zines for review, and we sold them at our shows and mostly received positive feedback despite the recording being so primitive.  This demo was the first thing to be released on Twistworthy Records.

One of the shows that we were asked to play was three dates opening for one of my favorite bands at the time, Seaweed.  Emo's was flying them down to Texas to do a weekend of shows - Emo's Austin, Emo's Houston, and Orbit Room in Dallas.  The Dallas date ended up getting cancelled, but we (along with the great Austin band Glorium) opened the show on the other two dates.  Poster Artist Lindsey Kuhn made a silkscreen poster for the shows - I remember being so excited about this at the time.

In addition, the entire Austin show was being recorded for the "Live At Emo's" CD.  We were told that our set was going to be recorded, and hoped that this meant that we might be considered for inclusion on the CD.  Spoiler alert:  We were not included but both Seaweed and Glorium tracks recorded at this same show did make it onto the CD.  We got a copy of our recording to keep and do whatever we wanted to with it.  I still have the ADAT tape buried in my closet somewhere, but have had no way to listen to it... ADAT machines are not too common anymore.  Just recently, a Facebook friend mentioned that they had an mp3 of the entire show, and forwarded it to me.  I think it sounds pretty decent and is a good representation of what we were trying to do.

Juan - Emo's, Austin TX 11/12/93

Juan - Emo's, Austin TX 11/12/93

We ended up releasing a second demo which consisted primarily of a live recording of us playing on Rice University Radio KTRU 91.7 in Houston, called "Walkee Talkee With The Way Out Range".  I don't have a digitized version of that one yet... otherwise, I would have likely included it here.

Included in the download below is the "Transistosauce" demo (missing one song) and the mp3 file of the entire "Live at Emo's" set.  The Emo's set includes one song which, surprisingly, I don't remember the name of 21 years later (noted as "unknown" below).

Juan - "Transistosauce:  One Year Coming" demo track listing:

1.  Invisible Tesca
2.  Cards
3.  Tune In Tokyo (this song is not included in the download link)
4.  There's a Point
5.  Sack Of Lettuce
6.  Shyster
7.  Under The Tracks
8.  Mouth To Lick

Juan - "Live At Emo's, Austin TX 11/12/93" track listing:

1.  Invisible Tesca
2.  I Shaved For This?
3.  Sack Of Lettuce
4.  unknown
5.  Bubblin'
6.  Shyster
7.  Cards
8.  There's A Point
9.  Under The Tracks

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