Friday, January 04, 2008

Noise from Neville

I recently acquired a cassette demo that I've been seeking for about fifteen years. Band members include Tom Fry and Jamie Jacquin; more notably Todd Ashley of Firewater and Cop Shoot Cop, and Jon Spencer of Boss Hog, Pussy Galore and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. These four were briefly in the same band: Shithaus.

It was made by hand and released in 1985. The exact line up beyond those two names is unknown, as is the total number of tapes in circulation. So yesterday I heard it for the first time. A few tracks in I hear DJ break in. It turns out that most of the tape was recorded during a live broadcast on 90.1 WRIU, Kingston, RI.

The program was "Noise from Neville." Neville was a demagogue of the Providence noise-rock and proto-industrial scenes of the mid 1980s. The program ran from at least the Spring of 1985 into the Summer of 1987. Today the wherabouts of Mr. Neville are unknown. Below is possibly the only existing station ID for his program on WRIU courtesy of the Shithaus tape.

His was not and is not the only noise-rock show in all of college radio. WREK, KFJC and KSPC all sport very respectable but unlistenable programs. But "Noise from Neville" left an impression. It was on air at the right time and made all the right connections to matter. Bands like The Philtres, Astrolabe, Curio and many others performed there. Neville got involved with an art space called AS220 above Club Babyhead that did live shows. I think the other tracks are live and I suspect they were recorded there. I really like seeing radio stations get involved like this. It benefits, the station, the bands, the music and the listeners of both.