FZ008: Mushroom, “I Don’t Remember Yesterday. Today It Rained” (Sold Out)

Since their inception in 1997, the Mushroom collective has had various floating line-ups and changes in personnel. Since many of their performances tend to focus on instant compositions and improvised material, many of Mushroom’s most interesting moments have occurred just one time – on stage. Luckily bandleader/drummer Pat Thomas records every show, so the music has been captured, if not yet released.

On the suggestion of 4 Zero Records, Pat has begun trawling thru his archive listening for shows that stand out from the pack. I don’t remember yesterday. Today it rained is the first in series of limited edition recordings from those archives. The two track stereo master tape was brought to Seattle based producer/engineer Steve Fisk who gave it the finishing touches of mastering and manipulating the tape for release. Basically what you hear is the entire concert from start to finish with some minor edits and flourishes.

The Tip Top Inn was a tiny “hole in the wall” dive in the Mission District of San Francisco (that existed ever so briefly during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s) that was more likely to host hardcore punk bands than a set of jazz-rock-tribal-psychedelic playfulness. In fact Pat remembers that the club would make him sign a waiver in case anyone got hurt stage diving during the show or busted up the place afterwards.

On this particular night, March 1st, 2000 – it was a special night for Mushroom in several ways. First of all, the band was debuting a new bass player; Jeff Palmer (who Pat knew from Jeff’s brief tenure with grunge godfathers Sister Double Happiness, his long time membership in the quintessential pop band The Mommyheads, and his Checksum duo with Pell Mell’s Greg Freeman). For a quick lesson on the incestuous nature of the San Francisco music scene – note that Mushroom has recorded an album of 1960’s covers with Sister Double Happiness frontman Gary Floyd, and one of Mushroom’s primary keyboard players in the early days was Michael Holt of the Mommyheads.  Also unusual that night – was the use of a 3 piece horn section helmed by trumpeter Marc Capelle (long time sideman of Mark Eitzel and American Music Club), trombonist Carroll Ashby (a veteran of Mushroom’s 1999 European tour) and Mushroom co-founder Erik Pearson on saxophone. Rounding out the line-up was keyboardist John Sanders, drummer Pat Thomas and percussionist Dave Mihaly (who during that era was usually found on stage providing the beat for songwriter Jolie Holland).

Mushroom’s sound is ever changing and evolving, on this night – the band were evidentially channeling a lot of early 1970’s progressive British jazz – such as Ian Carr’s Nucleus, The Keith Tippet Group, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath and Soft Machine’s Third.

Track Listing:

  1. No anagrams found by recursive algorithm
  2. I’ve never understood the importance placed on dance club DJs, they seem like the lowest link in the chain, equivalent to a fluffer on a porn film site
  3. A good writer, like a clever sociopath can convince people to change their minds
  4. Friends who worry about each other depending on what screwed up shit is going on in their lives
  5. A letter from my 5th grade teacher to my Mom, letting her know that I’m not living up to my potential – five  yrs later, I was at a party at his house smoking a joint with him, I guess we patched things up
  6. Lofty Hawk
  7. Blues for an airplane
  8. Taco Heel
  9. I don’t want to clap, it will sound too lonely

Limited edition of just 100 copies on CDR with full colour artwork and housed in a silkscreened gatefold sleeve by Pliny Stevens and Kathy Wolf, was released on 11th July 2011 and is now sold out.

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