A Minor Forest, Melt-Banana, Harriet the Spy, The 1985

11 October 1998

posted: 23 January, 2012 22:28

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Another Connan Room show, this time featuring my then-local-faves The 1985 at the peak of their powers, Harriet the Spy (who are still remembered fondly by fans of that particular time and place), and Melt-Banana, whose performance I actually missed in 1996 at a show that has a very seminal place in my adolescence.  A Minor Forest headlined; at the time, I had their CD Flemish Altruism, which I never could figure out if I liked.

I remember nothing about The 1985's performance, but I saw them around 20 times so that's to be expected - the different shows start to run together.  So many of their best performances will never appear in these archives because I have no artifact to scan: the infamous Halloween 1998 show with Unsinkable which erupted into violence (Chatham REA Coffeehouse, just two weeks after this); the aborted show with Frodus in the Peach Pitt basement; the Lascaux gallery show with Arab on Radar and a brilliant band called Laurels that I'm guessing was late April, 1997; oh, my high school graduation party too!

But this night -- Melt-Banana's performance is only memorable to me because their guitarist wore a facemask the whole time, and there was a rumour that he was deathly ill and couldn't risk breahting in any disease.  But maybe that was horseshit; I later disovered upon visiting Japan that it's quite common to see businessmen wearing dustmasks on the streets of Tokyo.  Harriet the Spy I don't remember at all, either.

As for A Minor Forest ... well, by that point I was acting drunk and rowdy with Luke from Land, except not actually drunk because I was a teetotaling 18 year old.  But we didn't enjoy it; this was of course when we had our own band, Land, and I was sick of the mathy guitar-riffs that dominated Pittsburgh music for so long.  I remember seeing the Fucking Champs in this same room one time, and being similarly bored, or maybe I am confusing two bands.  A Minor Forest was definitely boring; this night Luke was actually heckling them from the back of the Connan Room, calling out song titles from Master of Puppets. I think we left early.

I'm not sure if Doug Mosurak organised this or if this was in the Neal Donnelly era of CMU show organising, or who made this poster, which was 11x17-sized.

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