Archive for the ‘vertical scratchers’ tag

TORRES + Paranoid Style + Crooks on Tape • Cassette Store Day 2014  

Posted at 2:13 pm


8.1 Pitchfork Review

EPs I & II
MAGNET Feature
Featuring members of Bird of Youth + The Mendoza Line

Fingerprint + never-before-heard bonus B-Side
Stereogum Video Premiere
Featuring Members of Brainiac, Enon, Caribou, Vertical Scratchers, Skeleton Key

Stereogum Debuts Crooks on Tape’s Phenomenal “Duper” Video!  

Posted at 9:48 am

The fabulous folks at Sterogum debuted the video for “Duper” — the leadoff track from the band’s debut album “Fingerprint,” out now on Misra.

Crooks on Tape, a brand new band featuring John Schmersal (Enon, Brainiac, Caribou, Vertical Scratchers), Rick Lee (Enon, Skeleton Key) and Joey Galvan, set out on their flagship tour in the heart of the harrowed Polar Vortex™ of 2014. At January’s onset, the band were met with, literally, -20 degree weather in Minneapolis, Madison, and more.

In an effort to keep morale from plummeting during shows that had the National Weather Bureau advising folks to stay inside, Crooks on Tape and tour manager/comedian Bob Schriner sought solace in swanky hotel rooms. Due to Schriner’s connections and prowess, not only were the rooms paid for in-full, but they came complete with superfluous amenities (including bathrobes).

Never a band to miss a creative opportunity, Crooks on Tape seized the moment and recorded video footage for “Duper” — the leadoff track from their debut record Fingerprint, out now on Misra Records. Back home in Los Angeles, the band had filmmaker Paul Cordes Wilm augment the footage and create the wild music video you see here.

Written by leo on August 9th, 2014

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17 Years Since the Passing of Brainiac’s Timmy Taylor, an Artist Who Had a Huge Impact on Misra  

Posted at 5:33 pm

(Brainiac at the Lithuanian Club • Spring, 1995)

This week marks the 17-year anniversary of the passing of Brainiac’s Timmy Taylor. The wildly original 3RA1N1AC were at the forefront of a creative swell that hit Dayton, OH in the 1990s. While the underdog city—the homebase of Misra—is no stranger to innovation (the airplane, the cash register, the starter motor, Zapp & Roger, The Ohio Players, etc. all being born in Dayton), it seemed to be a particularly imaginative time.

Bands like The Breeders, Guided By Voices, Cage, Swearing at Motorists, A Ten O’Clock Scholar, Cigarhead (and so many more) were all buzzing about town. One could head to Canal Street Tavern, The Sub Galley, The Lithuanian Club, The Chameleon Club, Trader Vic’s, Gem City Records, Network, etc. and feel the excitement in the air. All-ages shows were frequent; the whole community was involved.

Alas, I think many heard and saw and believed that Brainiac were The One. The chemistry and ingenuity the four members possessed (Timmy, Juan Monasterio, John Schmersal, and Tyler Trent) seemed otherworldly. It was truly something special. Though it comes nowhere close to displaying the band’s magnitude, you can glean a distorted impression below:

After working with Kim Deal of The Breeders/Pixies, playing Lollapalooza, touring with Beck, and releasing albums on Touch & Go and Grass, the band was posed to sign a substantial recording agreement with Interscope Records. Pre-production for Brainiac’s fourth album was in motion when founder and front-man Timmy Taylor passed away in a car accident on May 23, 1997. A memorial show featuring The Breeders, Guided By Voices, Swearing at Motorists, Mink, and Lazy was held in Dayton shortly after.

Taylor’s effect is still very much alive today. Everyone from The Wrens to The Mars Volta to Nine Inch Nails have cited 3RA1N1AC as an influence. He was a phenomenal artist that had a beautiful and unparalleled impact on so many. Let us celebrate the life of Timmy Taylor.

NOTE: This piece originally ran on Donewaiting — Ohio’s main independent music blog. It was written by Misra overseer Leo DeLuca.

NOTE REDUX: It’s a long, tedious story, but 3RA1N1AC were labelmates with The Wrens back in the day. DeLuca’s old band Southeast Engine (SEE) opened for The Wrens in Ohio — DeLuca geeked with The Wrens over Brainiac ad infinitum. In turn, The Wrens watched SEE’s set and, apparently, liked what they saw enough to put in a good word with Misra Records. SEE signed on with Misra a couple months later.

A few years down the line, DeLuca ended up at the helm of Misra Records. He showed the Donewaiting piece to John Schmersal (Brainiac, Crooks On Tape, Enon, Caribou, Vertical Scratchers); Schmersal sent along the debut recordings for Crooks On Tape and C.O.T. signed on with Misra. 3RA1N1AC!

The Quietus Interviews John Schmersal About Crooks On Tape, Vertical Scratchers, Brainiac, Enon, Caribou & More  

Posted at 3:57 pm


Stevie Chix, the writer responsible for the phenomenal MOJO piece on Dayton legends Brainiac a bit back, recently interviewed John Schmersal of Crooks On Tape, Vertical Scratchers, Brainiac, Enon, Caribou & more about Crooks On Tape, Vertical Scratchers, Brainiac, Enon, Caribou & more. You can read the interview via The Quietus. Thanks, Stevie!

Written by leo on April 5th, 2014

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Pitchfork Gives Nod to Crooks On Tape  

Posted at 10:09 am


Thanks to Stuart Berman and the fine folks at Pitchfork for giving COT a nod in their recent review of Vertical Scratchers—the other brand new band of John Schmersal (Brainiac, Enon, etc). It’s appreciated. You haven’t seen the end of Crooks On Tape.

Written by leo on March 21st, 2014

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VICE Premieres Video for Crooks on Tape “If Feelings Mean a Thing • C.O.T. Heads on Debut International Tour!  

Posted at 1:22 pm

The fine folks at VICE premiered the new video for CROOKS ON TAPE ”If Feelings Mean a Thing”—track 2 off their debut album “Fingerprint” (out now on Misra)! Crooks on Tape is John Schmersal (Enon, Brainiac, Bass in Caribou, Plays with Girls Against Boys, Vertical Scratchers, etc.) • Rick Lee (Enon, Skeleton Key) • Joey Galvan. C.O.T. is also heading on their first-ever tour, drawing praise from Denver Post, San Diego CityBeat, Cincinnati CityBeat, Portland Mercury, Free Bike Valet, Williamette Week, Seattle Stranger, and many, many more. Dates below.
(((Crooks On Tape: A.V. Club full-album stream)))
01/16/14 • SAN DIEGO, CA • Soda Bar
01/17/14 • LOS ANGELES, CA • Bootleg Bar
01/18/14 • SAN FRANCISCO, CA • Bottom of the Hill
01/20/14 • PORTLAND, OR • Bunk Bar
01/21/14 • SEATTLE, WA • The Crocodile
01/22/14 • SPOKANE, WA • The Barlett
01/23/14 • MISSOULA, MT • Stage 112
01/26/14 • MINNEAPOLIS, MN • Triple Rock Social Club
01/27/14 • MADISON, WI • The Frequency
01/28/14 • CHICAGO, IL • Schuba’s
01/29/14 • COLUMBUS, OH • Ace of Cups
01/30/14 • DAYTON, OH • Rockstar Pro Arena
01/31/14 • NEWPORT, KY • Southgate House Revival Room
02/03/14 • BLOOMINGTON, IN • The Bishop
02/04/14 • ST. LOUIS, MO • The Firebird
02/05/14 • DENVER, CO • Hi Dive
02/06/14 • ALBBUQUERQE, NM • Launchpad
02/07/14 • TUSCON, AZ • Club Congress
02/08/14 • SCOTTSDALE, AZ • Pub Rock Live
02/18/14 • VIENNA, AT • Shelter on Tuesday
02/19/14 • PRAGUE, CZ • 007
02/20/14 • UDINE, IT • The Black Stuff
02/21/14 • BOLOGNA, IT • Covo
02/22/14 • VERONA, IT • Interzona
02/24/14 • HASSELT, BE • Mod Club
02/25/14 • GHENT, BE • Vooirut

What’s this?!?! John Schmersal has two brand new bands… Crooks On Tape (Misra) & Vertical Scratchers (Merge)?!… Yes!  

Posted at 11:45 am


John Schmersal (of Crooks On Tape, Enon, Brainiac, Caribou) is more than making up for not releasing music since Enon fell asleep in 2007. In addition to releasing Crooks On Tape’s debut album Fingerprint with Misra (out now), John started *another* brand new band called Vertical Scratchers. VS also has a debut album — out in early 2014 via the wonderful folks at Merge! Hell yes!

Written by leo on November 1st, 2013

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