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Tar Babies


Among the lesser-known rings within the legendary SST roster, the Tar Infants emerged from Madison, WI, with a unique make of punk-funk that often drew evaluations with their labelmates the Minutemen, along with the Texas-based Big Kids. Colored with items of psychedelia, jazz, and avant-noise skronk, their music quickly advanced beyond their origins in hardcore and developed right into a scratchy but danceable, groove-centered cross filled with horns and George Clinton-style jamming. The Tar Infants were formed from the ashes of Madison hardcore punkers Mecht Mensch, who disbanded in 1982. Guitarist/vocalist Bucky Pope, bassist Robin Davies, and drummer Dan Bitney debuted using the 1982 EP Encounter the Music, released on regional indie Bone Air flow. By enough time of the second launch, 1985’s Respect Your Nightmares, their funk impact had started to enter into concentrate, which helped appeal to SST. The Tar Infants’ first recording for SST was 1987’s Fried Dairy, which their punk-funk fusion really crystallized. For the follow-up, 1988’s No Competition, they performed up that funk connection with the addition of horns — most thanks to woodwind participant and multi-instrumentalist Tony Jarvis — and also flirting with Washington, D.C.-design go-go. Their third SST recording, 1989’s Honey Bubble, also became their last. Following a short hiatus, where a number of the band’s staff shifted, Pope reconvened the Tar Infants, right now with second guitarist Bobby Vienneau and fresh horn participant Andrew Lawton; this lineup slice one record, Loss of life Trip, for the tiny Sonic Sound label in 1991. After its launch, the group disbanded completely. Dan Bitney relocated to Chicago and became a member of the seminal post-rock combo Tortoise being a percussionist and results manipulator, also using Isotope 217 and many other local tasks. Pope and Davies afterwards reunited because the Club Tabbies for regional gigs, and Davies’ kid Jesse Collins-Davies was also an associate from the preteen hardcore music group Old Skull.

Quick Facts

Full Name Tar-Baby
Music Songs Rockhead, Lay of the Law, Link in a Chain, Lab Test Animal, Yama Yama Man, Cure It All, Virgin Sound, Bimbos and Idiots, Reprise Reprise, Spaight and Ashbury, Rhino a Go Go, More Salt, Joy Ride, Loose Convictions, My Spiritual Forklift, Wasted Words, Suffer the Pain, No Light Ever, Be Humble, Ninety Pounds, Paradise Shines, Swing Set, Sound and Color, Storms Over, Economy Pact, Lazy Decision, Love Epidemic, Jeremy's Lament, Native Son, Pig Relevance, Kicking, Ceiling Skies
Albums Fried Milk, Respect Your Nightmares, Honey Bubble, No Contest, Face the Music / Respect Your Nightmares, Face the Music

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Plaster Caster 2001 Documentary performer: "Death of a Star", "1979", "Trials and Tribulations" / writer: "Death of a Star", "1979", "Trials and Tribulations"
Mystery Date 1991 performer: "Rockhead"
Ski School 1990 performer: "Rockhead" / writer: "Rockhead"

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