roughly 150,000 years ago i was talking to kevin from 84 nash and he mentioned that they (of consistent drummer woes up to that time) were almost positive they were gonna hire this dude dan i'd never met and would i like to go "check out" his band even though he played guitar in it? yeah, sure, ok, sez i, so we go to th then-newly-reopened northberg tavern (aka basement of donato's) and see superstar rookie play. i left afterward pretty jazzed aboot it cuz they were doing a sort of jawbreaker thing that was a lotta fun and (i know it seems impossible to believe) no one else was mining th same territory, so (for that as well as myriad musical reasons) it seemed damned fresh. after meeting those dudes my old band (don't ask) played with them many a time and they at one point dragged me to this funky, failing bar/grill they said they were gonna turn into a rock club by badgering th weirdo old dude there who would nuke you a hotdog for 75¢ (which they did, that place is our beloved bobo) and then of course after awhile they broke up like everybody does. dan (bandman) did indeed play with and eventually quit 84 nash and started the handshake and is now back drumming in kyle sowashes and for awhile a coupla th other rookie guys (travis & cop) had a band called early empire (with another handshake guy - joel walter, who also plays with kyle sowash now, but in his other band, animal cubes - as it happens), whose ep i am so nice as to include in this file here available as well. listening to th 'problem with words' disc after digging it out from oblivion a few months ago, i was pleased as PUNCH to note how well it's holdin' up. i ended up playing it three times at th bar that nite and no one bitched.
early empire are maybe a bit more "serious" - with some uncomfortable nods (probably inadvertent) toward th crummy butt-rock side of 'emotion' so prevalent in th late '90s (and still) - but it's good to hear th dudes let go on some of th mid-song passages and fast bits. their love for intertwine-y treepeople guitar figures really shines on "january one" - probably th most rookie-like of th songs on their disc - and their abiility to write sunny day-style stuff without completely ripping them off quite maybe inspired a little jealousy from th rookie's recordist jon chinn. (file includes th aforementioned 'the problem with words' cd & early empire ep - 'resolutions and a gun' - as well as superstar rookie's way-great debut 45 on diaphragm.)