Tainted Candy, Halloween 1997

31 October 1997

posted: 23 January, 2012 20:46

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I don't know why I'm gravitating so much towards the CMU-based posters (or why I have so many of them), but certainly the CMU shows were something special and central to my young music-devouring appetite.  'Tainted Candy' was slightly overhyped amongst my friends - a festival on Halloween to be held in the studio union gymnasium, this was a can't-miss event on my calendar, even though I didn't know that many of the bands. 

What I found was a too-long mess that made me realise why rock bands don't play inside gynmasiums: acoustics.  I remember distinct elements of many sets, but most artists just struggled with the sound in some way.  The 1985 were telling everyone jokingly that they were planning to blow up a goat on stage, which of course didn't happen, but I remember my young vegan friend being angry at the idea.  This was an introduction to hardcore music for me, though I didn't realise it and only Four Hundred Years made any impact - they were possibly the best band overall.  The Impossible Five did a spy music-influenced rock which I liked enough to pick up their CD; Operation Re-Information were the most enjoyable act as I had never seen them before, and their crisp electronica actually worked in the reverberating wooden space.

Don Caballero and Hurl were two mainstays of PIttsburgh music that were both a bit before my time, or I should say I was never really interested in them.  This was the first time I had seen Don Cab and they were notably terrible, angering the audience and at one point throwing a mic stand at a friend of mine.  I left the show completely despising them and never wanting to see them again.  I did twice though - once at the Beehive with Mike Banfield in the lineup, and once in Paris when they had completely changed members apart from Che.

I came dressed as Ric Ocasek, which involved nothing more than sunglasses and a blazer.  Doug, who did a good job organising this despite my griping, dressed as Michael Douglas from Falling Down and it was fabulous. I remember being really disappointed overall with the show, but a friend later pointed out that I still had fun, and I guess this was true.  This was the first big event of my freshman year of college and I saw a handful of people from the local college radio station here.  The woodcut here in the flyer was by Randy Costanza, who I saw the last time I was in New York and was casual friends with for much of my time in Pittsburgh.  I don't remember the games or horror films promised on the handbill, but I'm sure Doug can refresh my memory.

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