Taking into account all my years on WFMU, including my original tenure doing the weekly Hip Bone program (1984-1999), this live performance, a world debut by the Raspberry Bulbs 4-man combo, is one event that I shall place among the highest, most gratifying events I have ever had the decided privilege of presenting on the radio. Infused as it is, with a taste of the original rock 'n' roll energy, spirit and earnest delivery that made parents in the 50s fear Gene Vincent, and corporations in the 70s suppress the efforts of The Sex Pistols, this RB set is music + power defined. Something to spring on my hopefully appreciative grandkids.
I purchased the Raspberry Bulbs' debut cassette, Finally Burst...With Fluid, in 2009, from the man himself, long-time Bone Awl drummer, founder/proprietor of Seed Stock records, also known as He Who Crushes Teeth. My intense Bone Awl fandom re-ignited, as he described the tape as a solo project of his own, and my need to be on tap with all things Bone Awl was further satisfied, when I got home, and played this little motherfucker of a tape. The similarities to the parent project were there, sure, but the songs struck an instant chord of originality as well, owing more to first-generation punk, Oi!, and garage rock, and goddamn if the songs weren't catchy as hell.
Thus began a casual email discourse between Mr. RB and myself, I knowing that the tape (and the others that followed) were a one-man effort. I nonetheless threw it out there that were he to ever organize a combo to render this material live, the My Castle of Quiet program would be a welcome place to roll the dice, the invitation was open.
Fast forward to the first third of this year, and much to my pleasant surprise, a Raspberry Bulbs appearance on the show, not only a live set but a sheer *debut* of the newly formed RB combo, was now in the planning stages. And here it is, fulfilling and surpassing any expectations I might have had, like human gunpowder, well-rehearsed and ready to take the world over. Saying "thanks" at this point seems trite, despite my earnest gratitude, as RB & Co. surely know by now that they killed it, bagged it, and took it home.
What to say? Live appearances will follow, and I can't encourage you strongly enough to attend one or all (Saturday 6/30 @ Red Light District, as part of Burning Fleshtival III, and Sunday, 8/21, as part of a great bill @ Secret Project Robot.) Much credit must go to WFMU's own Diane "Kamikaze" Farris, who engineered the set, and lent her expertise, while at the same time being open to input from the band, and myself, as the live sound was fine-tuned. Thanks also, as always, to Tracy Widdess, for rendering my abysmal-as-ever iPhone capture of the band, making it something worth looking at more than once.
All hail the 'Bulbs, finally burst.