Friday, October 23, 2009


I’ve been absent here at SMM for quite some time now. At first, it was because I was having trouble keeping my own blog current. But I realized that back when I was consistently posting here my blog was seeing multiple posts per week. So I will make my return and hopefully inspire more activity overall.

One of my original goals here was to try to find a Ryan Adams song to fit every theme – with the piles of unreleased sets and nonsense recordings he’s unleashed, that’s not a farfetched idea. And this week’s theme is a perfect fit to resurrect that mission.

Blank Label: Non-Existence

[Out Of Print]

Ryan Adams began his musical career at age 14 at the place most overactive punk teens seem to gravitate to: the drums. In 1991 Adams, Shane Duhe (guitar/vox), Michelle Horn (bass), and Jere McIlwean (guitar) formed a garage band that, according to Ryan, “practiced like once a week.” The group was formed out of necessity after Ryan discovered a Black Flag record. They saved up a few bucks and recorded 3 tracks that were released on very limited 7-inch vinyl pressing by Fishbeat Records. I can’t quite say I endorse this music, but it is the earliest recording from Ryan Adams.

The Patty Duke Syndrome: Texas

[Out Of Print]

Ryan’s first turn at center-stage came two years later in the form of The Patty Duke Syndrome. Ryan provided fierce, Husker Du type guitar work, the aforementioned Jere McIlwean played bass (or as noted in the liner notes, ‘thunder broom’), and Brian Walsby took Ryan’s place on the drums. While still very punk-influenced, you can hear hints of what would become Whiskeytown in the provided track. ’Texas’ and ’History’ were originally released on a split 7-inch with the band GlamourPuss. Of course Ryan got his money’s worth in the studio and a full disc of demos from the session have since surfaced.

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