Monthly Archives: February 2015

Nature’s Table Archive Vol. 11: The Spores – September 22, 1989

Volume 11 finds us on a hot, late-summer Friday afternoon, hanging out on the Table’s front steps for a happy hour rock gig. If you try hard enough, you can smell the red beans and rice mixed with Augsburger Dark and some chips and salsa drifting out the front door along with the music.

I was hesitant to put a show of my own band in the NTAP; it just felt self-indulgent somehow. However, Jeff Machota told me The Spores were just as much a part of history as any other band, so I finally agreed. Besides, it dawned on me later, that it’s hard to ask other musicians to post their recordings of a time when they were younger and less-experienced musicians and still developing their chops if I’m not willing to post my own music of my younger, less-experienced self out there, too. In the interest of fairness and equality, here ya go.

The Spores were constantly in a state of flux. Personnel changes were always occurring; we had anywhere from six members to, at the largest, ten pieces, including a four-piece horn section (tenor and alto sax, trumpet and trombone). Our musical backgrounds came from everywhere: Jazz, Punk, Grateful Dead, Steely Dan, African, Soul. We were all over the musical map, playing the whitest rendition of tunes by The Meters, and then throwing down feedback and an African talking drum solo during the Motown classic “Respect.”

Spores gigs had this feeling of split reality. The summer of 1989 involved a lot of extremes for a few of the members, which are probably best left out of print. It was about just being in the moment, playing whatever we could muster together at the time. We worked hard, practiced regularly, and grew a lot as musicians, but the non-lethal chaos surrounding the summer of 1989 kept shows sufficiently random that you never knew quite what to expect when you got on the bandstand. It was strange that a group so seemingly random developed a following of any kind whatsoever, but we did….only at Nature’s Table. To those regular attendees, thank you.

On this hot September afternoon, our main vocalist Laura Leonardo was stricken with a flu-like crud, so she stayed at her apartment and slept. As a result, we changed our name to White Dopes On Funk for the gig and played a lot of standards and jazzier stuff we normally wouldn’t do. Four of Joe’s original tunes are on this recording: Blue Funk, Bossa Nervosa, The Ride, and Geeks For Armageddon. He knew how to write.

The Spores – September 22, 1989 (Nature’s Table Archive Vol. 11)

The Band:
Joe Sejud: Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Sean Kutzko: Congas, Percussion, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Dave Tcheng: Keyboards, French Horn, Percussion
Larry McMillian: Bass
Taimur Sullivan: Saxophone, Percussion
Ben Grosser: Trumpet, Percussion
Matt North: Drums

Nature’s Table Archive Vol. 10: The Last Straw – January 27, 1990

Well hey, we’ve hit double-digits in the recording archive! Great news all around, and thanks to all the folks who have brought recordings forward to post here.

Volume 10 came to us through outreach. Guitarist Tim McKeage heard about what we’re up to and very kindly gave us all this little nugget from his group, The Last Straw. This comes from Tim’s collection, and I’m glad to see another non-jazz recording make the archive.

The Last Straw was… I don’t know what you’d call them. Folk? Country? Alt-Country? All I know is they were fun and a hoot, and my band, The Spores, was fortunate to play a couple of double-bills with them, including  Nature’s Table PA benefit (the Mango Zowies were also on that bill), and a gig in Chicago where the memories have all but faded away.

So good to have a recording with Karen Lee Larson on it, and hearing Thad Bales on banjo after a very long time is just great. Hope you enjoy it.

The Last Straw: January 27, 1990 (NTA Vol 10)

The Band:
Paul Budin: Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
Tim McKeage: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Alton Patches: Bass, Vocals
Karen Lee Larson: Violin, Vocals
Thad Bales: Banjo, Vocals
Matt Quirk: Drums, Vocals