The first time I heard “Billy Pilgrim,” I was convinced that the Sea Monsters were going to make it. I envisioned more shows at Cafe Ambrosia and the Warming House, leading to spots at the Beat Kitchen and Schuba’s, which would in turn garner enough blog hype to propel them into the festival circuit. The Sea Monsters were six wunderkinds from Chicago’s North Shore churning out blood-pumping waves of indie rock. I remember Zack Looman’s muffled warbles, Andrew Heaton and Aaron Ratoff’s shrilly interlocking guitars, Ben Siegfried’s driving bass, Woodie Borre’s kaospads, and Ian Becker’s drums destroying our suburbs one basement show at a time.
The band talked, in their final year, of getting together an Electronic Press Kit to send to Chicago venues after Andrew’s parents paid for studio time at Semaphore (where Sonic Youth recorded[!]) for a graduation gift. Letters were sent, shows were vaguely discussed. But then college scattered the six of them across North America and the Sea Monsters were no more. They had their last show in Woodie’s basement, and in the final moments of the set I realized that a great thing had been lost.
It is in the memory of the Sea Monsters — and so many other incredible bands that have passed all too quickly into and out of existence — that the I Miss That Band project has been conceived. The Sea Monsters left behind them a dozen incredible recordings which, until now, have been stranded in cyberspace and on the computers of the few who were lucky enough to have heard them. IMTB seeks to resurrect dead music everywhere, and to show the music-listening world that bands that burned as brightly — albeit briefly — as the Sea Monsters are worth memorializing.
I MISS THAT BAND is a new compilation project in its fetal stages yet, but with big, big dreams. The idea is simple: capture as much as we can of the great lost music. This refers to all the incredible bands you heard in basements in high school and who played one show eight years ago and then split up with only a couple lo-fi mp3′s to their name. I MISS THAT BAND wants to crystallize the great music that would be otherwise lost through a series of compilations stratified by area and basic time period. Every month or so (depending on YOUR contributions[!]) IMTB will release a new installment, called, say, Kalamazoo, 1998-2003, with maybe ten songs and a liner notes / booklet to boot, of great bands that have been born and died but deserve a proper monument.
So, how to bridge the gap between idea and actual, physical project? That’s where you come in. I MISS THAT BAND is currently (and for the foreseeable future) accepting all submissions!!! Here’s what we need:
- Bands that are for all intents and purposes DEFUNCT. The idea for this format is not to promote current artists but to preserve art for its own sake and blah blah blah. We will, of course, mention any projects the bands/artists have gone on to do in the liner notes, but for the purposes of I MISS THAT BAND send us your old, forgotten bands.
- Any sort of attachment to a recording
- Basic info on the band, such as name, members, years, area, history… anything you can muster. If you don’t know jack about the band, still send it and we’ll try to do some of our research.
- Any leads on worthy music scenes that have flourished and fizzled over the years
- ENTHUSIASM. This project will thrive on people submitting and getting excited about the series.
Hopefully it will evolve into a mail-out service + blog, but that can only happen if people help get it off the ground.
“The words / that you sang / on a track / that you wrote / on a record / that I lost / when I moved two years ago, / Well it all came back loud and clear and made me sad / I miss that band.” – Paul Baribeau
For more info: