Tony Coulter here, eager to share a long-treasured cassette: a 1986 demo from the New York City band Songs from a Random House. Formed in 1985 by Steven Swartz and Alan Drogin, Songs from a Random House -- which features material written by Swartz, a student of Morton Feldman -- was very low-profile for the first 15 years of its existence: Its first official release, the CD Random Numbers, didn't appear until 2000. Barring a track on the otherwise mediocre 1988 compilation LP Downtown NYC, nothing commercially available documents their early years. So, with Steven Swartz's permission, I've decided to give you their wonderful five-track 1986 demo in its entirety.
At the time the demo was recorded, the band consisted of Alan Drogin (soprano ukulele, charanga, chord organ, lap steel guitar, backing vocals, percussion), Don Peyton (viola, backing vocals), and Steven Swartz (lead vocals, baritone ukulele, chord organ drone, percussion). Three songs -- "Water," "Born in a Barn," and "White Trees" -- appear on the CD Random Numbers in very different versions and performed by a different line-up; the other two songs are unreleased.
I've really liked the cassette ever since being given it back in 1986; here's hoping you enjoy it too.
5. White Trees