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"Anna Said" and "Frank Black"
09-01-2010, 05:36 PM
Post: #1
"Anna Said" and "Frank Black"
With the more-than-likely final Harvey Danger release approaching, I've been doing digging into the band's formative days, and decided to see if the Seattle Times archived their old articles online. Turns out they do. I give you the band's August 26, 1994 interview.

I guess there may have been debate as to whether or not the songs "Anna Said" and "Frank Black" were real? Let your arguments of the distant past be silenced forevermore.

Quote:Harvey Danger: Loud Boys Playing Lots Of Loud Music
Who is Harvey Danger:

Aaron Huffman, 22, bass guitar. Works in Elliott Bay Cafe. Jeff J. Lin, 23, guitarist. Editor of the International Examiner, a local Asian community newspaper. Sean Nelson, 21, singer. A "concessionaire extraordinaire" at the Varsity Theatre. Evan Sult, 20, drummer. Works at Metro Cinemas.

Style of music:

Noise rock, owing to both Velvet Underground and Smashing Pumpkins, incorporating jazzy drumming and either sung lyrics or spoken monologues.

One-word description of style: Loud. Lin: "I want people to refer to me as "that loud boy.' " Nelson: "Our strategy is to play loud and hope people hear."

How the band members met:

All of them worked at the University of Washington Daily. Sult and Nelson joined in November '93 after several early incarnations of the band fizzled out. They knew they had something when they did a 15-minute version of the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On."

Huffman: "We started in the fall of '92 in our house, and originally, anyone who wanted to be in the band was in. We had a tambourine player, people reading prose, but none of that lasted beyond the first two parties we played."

Lin: "We used to practice at this lecture hall in the Communications Building. It was a really nice amphitheater, and we were careful and wouldn't start until 1 a.m. But then some friends of ours practiced at 7:30 on a Friday night, and KUOW-FM called the police. Our friends were inadvertently played on the air." Sult: "When we joined I didn't have a drum set. I spent the first three months in the band kneeling, playing a snare drum, cymbal and paint can."

What were their influences?

Huffman: "The earliest music I remember, other than my parents' folk albums, was my brother turning me on to The Cure when I was 10." Sean: "Lyrically, I steal from Lou Reed and a lot of movies." Lin: "My early influences were Weird Al Yankovich and Spike Jones novelty songs. My interest in noise rock is probably rebellion against my childhood, where I was classically trained on the piano from age 4 and played violin in various symphonies. The type of stuff where you play really precisely and get overpowered by one trumpet or a bassoon. The first time I heard Nirvana, it was a real visceral experience for me."

Most daunting live experience:

Nelson: "Our Off Ramp show was kind of a minor debacle." Sult: "We were faced with new things, like stage monitors." Nelson: "Our exchange with the sound people went something like this. `What do you want on your monitors?' Silence. `What?' No one had ever asked us that before. We just said. `Oh, a little bit of everything.' " The band that lives together stays together, but builds grudges that could last a lifetime: Nelson: "We all live together, and it's a nightmare." Jeff: "Because some people won't do their dishes." Sult: "Sean with his month-long dish duty." Huffman: "Evan is always throwing what's left of his hair into our food as a practical joke." Sult: "I generally shave over the Ramen."

Where to hear Harvey Danger:

Aug. 31: 10 p.m.; Ditto Tavern, 2303 Fifth Ave., 441-3303 Sept. 1: 10 p.m.; Lake Union Pub, 711 Fairview Ave. N.; 343-0457 The band plans to put out a 7-inch single later this month, of "Anna Said" and the B-side: "Frank Black."

(source: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.c...ug=1927273)
There are some real gems here, including the original number for the phone-in song that reportedly sounded like a vacuum cleaner, but I'm specifically sharing it for the very final line of the article, which mentions that they were planning on releasing a single with the aforementioned songs. So clearly the songs had to exist, and were probably at some point recorded; I'm assuming that the single didn't see release and that the songs were eventually tossed like so many other early Harvey Danger songs. Either way, there's your itty bitty bit of history for the day.
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09-01-2010, 05:36 PM
Post: #2
 
BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH

Aaron and Evan had posted before about demos of these songs, but I never realized there was intent to let anyone listen to them.

My mind, she is blown open.
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09-01-2010, 05:48 PM
Post: #3
 
Frank Black, I Don't Love You Anymore

I followed you
As far as Pistolero
But I was robbed
Of my dinero
Where Is My Mind was bueno


... sorry.

And there you go, I've created a temporal paradox. A minor one, I hope.
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09-01-2010, 05:56 PM
Post: #4
 
I just want a girl as cool as Kim Deal.

We can talk about it later
But there's no later
Is there?
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09-01-2010, 06:08 PM
Post: #5
 
the last few black francis records have been pretty awesome!
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09-02-2010, 09:30 AM
Post: #6
 
That single never came out. It was one of two or three "singles" that we recorded but never released ("Love Bug" was another). "Anna Said" did end up on that old 6-song demo tape, though, didn't it? Maybe it didn't. It was from around the same time.

"Frank Black" was the precursor to "Elvis, I don't Love You Anymore." Very similar to that song in every way.

Both of these songs were from the first bunch of songs we ever wrote, just before the stuff that made it on the demo tape. Looking back at the early days, I sort of divide the songs up in groups: our first batch, most of which have never been heard and are lost to the ages (for a very, very good reason); the second, which is the stuff on the demo; the third, which are also mostly unreleased (but did include the original "Carajck Fever" and an early version of "Old Hat"); then the fourth group, which includes the stuff that ended up on Merrymakers.
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09-02-2010, 11:44 AM
Post: #7
 
fact: i would wait another full year for 'the show must not go on' to hear those tracks.
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09-02-2010, 02:04 PM
Post: #8
 
AaronH Wrote:That single never came out. It was one of two or three "singles" that we recorded but never released ("Love Bug" was another). "Anna Said" did end up on that old 6-song demo tape, though, didn't it? Maybe it didn't. It was from around the same time.
Nope, although it appeared in the track listing here for the tape before the tape resurfaced. I've always wondered if it took its cue from "Anna Ng," and if not, then what.
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09-02-2010, 03:01 PM
Post: #9
 
late frank black > late elvis costello

just sayin
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09-03-2010, 07:24 AM
Post: #10
 
joedecarolis Wrote:late frank black > late elvis costello

just sayin

Any frank black (except for that post FB & the Catholics album I've blocked out of my mind) > any elvis costello (except for that first album which was good but that was a long time ago)
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09-03-2010, 10:42 AM
Post: #11
 
i dunno, i really love armed forces
frank black's got his ups and downs, but i think he's back on the upswing now. honeycomb, bluefinger, and nonstoperotik are all pretty solid. the man is a machine
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09-04-2010, 08:59 AM
Post: #12
 
johnnyfootballhero Wrote:I've always wondered if it took its cue from "Anna Ng," and if not, then what.

There's definitely no similarity to "Anna Ng." (I wish.) I think the main influence on the sound of that song is the fact that we couldn't play our instruments very well. Stylistically, I have no idea what's going on with it.
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09-04-2010, 11:32 PM
Post: #13
 
Thanks for the insight. I guess out of all those early songs that got recorded, this sounds like the best to go uncirculated.

Then again, I unironically like "Dining Car," so what do I know?
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09-05-2010, 11:53 PM
Post: #14
 
An early version of "Old Hat"???
How was it different???

Speaking of duets. was "Problems and bigger ones" ever recorded or played out as a duet, as it was intended???

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09-06-2010, 11:02 AM
Post: #15
 
Guilty And Bitter Wrote:An early version of "Old Hat"???
How was it different???

Speaking of duets. was "Problems and bigger ones" ever recorded or played out as a duet, as it was intended???

The older recording of "Old Hat" was almost identical, just a crappier early recording. The female backing vocal was surely different in some way, or maybe not in it at all.

I have no recollection of "Problems" ever being intended as a duet, and I definitely don't think it was ever performed that way. Maybe that was something Sean was thinking about while writing the lyrics, but it never worked out that way. But that's just a guess.
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