Jen & Bryan.
Delivery 1355, Saturday, October 28, 2017. (Note: today’s delivery is on loan to KTVAACMOJ from the private collection of Coadjutor Curator Robert Bryan James. Robert Bryan also wrote and photographed the exhibit.)
PYLON LIVE. Released 2016 Chunklet Industries. Recorded December 1, 1983 at the Mad Hatter.
Audio Production Manager Hartley Schilling
Audio Engineers Scott Waterberry & Steve Mays
Concert Sound Chris Fulton & Brian Kay
Live Mix by Paul Butchart.
Executive Producer Henry Owings
All songs by Pylon Except “Feast on My Heart” Additional lyrics by Craig Woodall and Batman
Pylon is Randall Bewley, Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Curtis Crowe, Michael Lachowski
This is a double album of the first last show by Athens, Georgia band Pylon.
I first discovered them through my love of R.E.M. and reading an article with an interview with Peter Buck. He was talking about “Radio Free Europe” and the time it came out as a single. That same day Pylon put our their song “Crazy.” He was crushed. He felt they were so much better than his band who were then the darlings of every music critic in the industry.
I was completely intrigued by this. A band who R.E.M. consider better? What kind of heresy is this?
I had to find out.
A trip to the Theory Shop at Jacksonville Beach I was rewarded to find a cassette of Chomp. I quickly loaded into my player in my car and took a drive.
What happened next would be my introduction to No Wave Art Rock heaven. A Southern Band not being lead by guitars??? How was this possible??? Yes Michael Lachowski truly leads the music of Pylon. The bass is right up front, thunderous, driving, and danceable. This was unheard of to me a young man who was born and raised in the same town as Skynard and Hatchet.
Vanessa Briscoe Hay’s vocals hit you like an Ali punch to the jaw. Strong and direct. She lets you know she is a strong woman who belongs on a stage. She can hold her own with any male musician.
I would nearly wear out my tape in the first few months of owning it. Trying desperately to convince my friends that this band deserved much more attention and also air play on the local stations. Something I could sadly not remedy.
A few months later I would have my chance to see them live In concert.
The now legendary venue Einstein a Go-Go had them booked. I could not wait for the show. The true test for me has always been to see a band live. Could they bring this sound and attitude across on stage? Or was I being fooled by studio tricks?
Needless to say I was not disappointed. Twice in my life I was able to see Pylon live and both times they sounded better live than on tape. One of the few bands I know of that I can truly say that.
Fast forward to 2016. Doing a radio show of my own in Boise, Idaho I read on Pylon’s page that a live double album is being released. I must own this! A gift from my now wife and partner in life. For years I have been telling people of the magic this band had live. Forget the other Athens bands this was the real gem of the era.
The album is beautifully presented on hot pink vinyl. A gatefold with a fantastic shot of the band live on stage.
It is a document and recording of the first time the band had played a last show on December 1, 1983.
Having decided to go back to being normal humans again. This album brings you the experience of this band in its prime. Giving their all to their hometown crowd for what they feel will be their final show.
The band would reform again in a few years after the release of Athens Ga Inside Out and R.E.M. covering their song Crazy on Dead Letter Office.
For those who only have heard of Pylon and never had the chance to see them do yourself a favor a find this gem. Listen to band that was better on stage than in the studio.
I treasure this album as an anchor to my youth and to my southern roots. Knowing that this example of southern culture represents art and danceable music without having to be a jerk about it. (written by Robert Bryan James)