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.


  1. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Any chance of posting that Shithaus demo? I know you paid handsomely for it, but man, there is a small army out here DYING to hear it.

    One way ticket to heaven is assured.

  2. Actually I traded a couple 7-inches for a dub. I have been considering posting it. I also own both Dig Dat Hole demos and the first CSC 5-song demo, and some digdathole bootlegs. After I sort it out I'll think I'll post them all simultaneously.

  3. Anonymous3:35 AM

    Looking forward to that. Keep it up. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Firewatercircus regularly posts these obscure albums.

  5. Anonymous1:57 PM

    If you had forgotten, Shithaus was the Jon Spencer Tod Ashley project.
    There are rips of the Shithaus tape Live Crush '84-'85 at the link:
    The link may or may not last. For those unfamiliar with megaupload, you need to
    choose free, wait for a time, and it will eventually download. It works in
    older/crappier browsers may not work properly. A bit more info on the tape is at under the Shithaus page.

  6. Anonymous8:04 PM

    Dig Dat Hole demos; not the unreleased album Kneejerk (which I could use a copy of in its entirety; I only have about half of it):
    CSC 5 song demo; 4/5s different recordings of songs from the Dig Dat Hole demo above. Likely the first CSC stuff recorded:

  7. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Many thanks to the anonymous`s for the links... killer! I`ve been waiting to hear Shithaus ever since I got my hands on that Cinema of Transgression Vol. 1 tape years and years ago (Spencer`s film, in particular the cowboy part, is a total headfuck in the highest order).

    As for the CSC demo`s... all I can say is that I`m glad they went the Foetus route and stopped ripping off the Birthday Party... Actually, and this might be heresy to their big time fans, I think the last album (RELEASE) + the Johnny Mnemonic sessions were the best things they ever did... They were really onto something there, which made it a damn shame they broke up.

    Ah well, saw them with the Jesus Lizard in the mid-90`s. With the exception of 6FS (Providence, RI... wonder if these two bands and their members every crossed paths in the early years... Tod, anyone?) playing to a terrified, empty room in Canada, I haven`t seen a better show since.

  8. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Shit, I thought I`d add another story to the mix...

    Whilst living in Texas, I had the chance encounter with a fine, upstanding drunk who had, as it later came out in a lengthy booze-fueled conversation, played guitar in the reviled (and as I found out later, not very good) BLACKSNAKES with Natz and photographer Richard Kern and I believe, and I`m trying to remember through the drunken haze, an early version of Cop Shoot Cop.

    Thought the guy was full of shit at first, but his word was law. We then talked about death and our hometowns of Detroit and Dallas, respectively, before bidding one another a farewell. I believe his name was either Duane or Darin.

    Fuck yeah! This is history, folks...

  9. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Live at CBGB '89

  10. I can't believe I found this... I was one of the members of Shithaus.

    Correct list of band members is:
    Tom Fry - vocals
    Tod Ashley - guitar
    Stephan Harshman - bass
    Jon Spencer - drums
    James Joaquin - drums

    Noise with Neville show was great. Another Shithaus moment was when we played The Living Room with Throwing Muses and got banned from the club for trashing their mikes.

    I will try to rip some of the old tapes in my possession and post a note here...


    1. I saw the show where you wrecked a microphone. I think a guy from The Living Room beat up a member of the band for doing it. I remember talking to a band member after the show and asking if the name of the band was taken from the band Bauhaus, and asked him what kind of music Bauhaus made (because at the time I only knew the name Bauhaus, not the music). He replied "it's just rock & roll". I gave The Throwing Muses a ride home that night and was jokingly swerving the car around (which scared the shit out of them because I almost lost control on the wet road). I met Neville one time when The Residents played a show at The Channel in Boston.

  11. I just died and went to music-geek heaven.