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Supreme Dicks

Suggesting a fractious meeting point between freak folk, noise rock, experimental music, and psychedelia, indie rock band the Supreme Dicks drifted under the radar of public recognition through the 1980s and '90s, releasing a challenging and eccentric body of work that earned them some high-profile admirers and enthusiastic reviews but few sales. The first lineup of the Supreme Dicks was formed in 1982 in Amherst, Massachusetts by a handful of Hampshire College students; while a sizable number of musicians drifted in and out of the lineup over the group's lifetime, the core ensemble featured Daniel Oxenberg on guitar and vocals; Jon Shere on guitar and vocals; Steve Shavel on vocals, guitars, and theremin; Mark Hanson on drums and vocals; and Jim Spring on guitar and turntables. The Supreme Dicks played and recorded periodically through their first six years, with fan and friend Lou Barlow sometimes sitting in, and in 1988 they made their New York City debut in an unusual fashion. Dinosaur Jr. has been booked to play CBGB but J Mascis didn't feel like playing the show; the Supreme Dicks were sent in their place and instructed to tell the club's managers that they were in fact Dinosaur Jr. Despite this rocky start, the Supreme Dicks started to develop a following for their freewheeling music and their willingness to allow strangers to join them on-stage and improvise (Beck, Cat Power, and members of Neutral Milk Hotel are all said to have sat in with the group over the years).

It wasn't until 1992 that the Supreme Dicks released their first record, a 7" single on Funky Mushroom Records that the group described as a "double B-side." The adventurous Homestead Records label released the Supreme Dicks' first full-length album, The Unexamined Life, in 1993, and a collection of early and unreleased material, Working Man's Dick, appeared in 1994. While the group still occasionally shared stages with Dinosaur Jr. and Thurston Moore name-checked the Supreme Dicks in print, they failed to win more than a cult following, and after the 1996 album The Emotional Plague, the band began to splinter. Late in the 1990s, Jon Shere and Daniel Oxenberg opted to relocate to California, while Steve Shavel and Mark Hanson stayed in Massachusetts. Rather than split up the Supreme Dicks, the two pairs agreed to share the name and both played occasional shows, though the band stopped releasing new recordings after the 1996 EP This Is Not a Dick. In 2005, when the original lineup of Dinosaur Jr. staged a reunion tour, the Supreme Dicks were invited to open their first show, and in 2011 Jagjaguwar Records issued Breathing and Not Breathing, a four-disc box set that collected the group's complete catalog along with unreleased live and studio material. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Breathing And Not Breathing (Complete Recordings)

1. In A Sweet Song

2. Ranada's Demon

3. Synaesthesia

4. Invasion From Mars

5. The Arabian Song

6. The Language You Learnt

8. Untitled

9. The Sun's Bells

10. All That Returns

11. Columnated Ruins/Seeing Distant Chimneys

12. Summertime (Childhood's Impossible Now)

13. Jack Smith

14. In The Whippoorwill's Sad Orchard

15. Along A Bearded Glade

16. The Hunchback

17. That I May Never Forget And Stay

18. Blue Elephant

19. Swell Song

20. Mark's Phonecall From Orgoneland

21. Garden Of Your Past

22. The Pear Thripe

23. Showered

24. Leaning On The Everlasting Arm

25. Jack-O-Lantern

26. Flaming Day Of The Locusts

27. A Donkey's Burial In A Tower On A Mirage

28. Harmonic Convergence (Live At L'Oasis 1987)

29. River Song

30. Andy Herman Song

31. Adoration De L'Agneau Mystique

32. Last Jam

33. The Fallout Song

34. For Now

35. Porridge For The Calydonian Boar

36. Country Of Nuns

37. Azure Dome

38. Descension Song

39. Siberian Penal Colony (Ode To Joel Stanley)

40. Sky Puddle

41. The Forest Song (Or Especially When The October Wind With Frosty Fingers, Punishes My Hair)

42. The Pusher

43. Green Wings Fly Adventure (Showered Reprise)

44. Huckleberry Fetal Pain

45. Hyacinth Girls

46. Cows Of Light

47. Ten Past Eleven

48. Arise! Life Giving Seagull

49. Careful With That Axe, Steve

50. Woody Would've Wanted It That Way

51. Talking Moby Dick Blues

52. Strange Song

53. Shroud-Like Remains

54. The Baal Shem

55. The Searcher

56. Night At The Opera

57. Chateaux Banana! Parts XIII-XVI

58. Viva La Speedy Orgone

x

Track List: Breathing & Not Breathing

Disc 1

1. In A Sweet Song

2. Jack Smith

3. Jack-O-Lantern

4. Garden Of Your Past

5. The Fallout Song

6. All That Returns

7. Country Of Nuns

9. Cows Of Light

Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
x

Track List: The Emotional Plague

1. Synaesthesia

2. CuChulain (Blackbirds Loom)

3. Columnated Ruins/Seeing Distant Chimneys

4. Along A Bearded Glade

5. Swell Song

6. Showered

7. A Donkey's Burial In A Tower On A Mirage

8. Adoration De L'Agneau Mystique

9. Porridge For The Calydonian Boar

10. Siberian Penal Colony (Ode To Joel Stanley)

11. Green Wings Fly Adventure (Showered Reprise)

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