Friday, June 8, 2007

HP Zinker - "Dancing Days"

Ending Zinker week on an appropriately mediocre note, And There Was Light was the record that sparked my recent Zinker kick. I came upon it during an all-too-brief trip to the Princeton Record Exchange. Having read about it, I knew it wasn't very good, but the $4.99 price tag tempted me mostly for archival purposes. Plus, it had an early version of "Sunshine".

I have yet to mention in either of the previous posts this week that HP Zinker happen to be the answer to the ultimate indie rock trivia question:

What band recorded the first ever releases on both Matador and Thrill Jockey Records?

That's right, the two labels that arguably defined 90s indie- and post-rock more than any others (American, at least) both set foot into this world via a humble Zinker platter. Perseverance, the parent album of Wednesday's track, was THRILL001. And Zinker's first EP was OLE001. So I kind of wanted the record for that reason more than any other.

It stinks, by the way. The whole thing was recorded with a drum machine (foreshadowing Platzgumer's post-Zinker career, perhaps), with which I have no problem in principle, but it just doesn't work for pseudo-epic rock songs. The version of "Sunshine" is particularly bad. Still, I wanted to post one track here just to talk about the record, so I'll go with this Led Zeppelin cover just for its mild weirdness factor. It's not half bad, really.

Interesting post-script to this whole saga: check out the list of past artists at Matador's website. Notice anyone missing? Their album is nowhere to be found in the online store, either. It's as though all traces of Zinker have been expunged from the Matador archives. Embarrassment over such an inauspicious beginnings? That was my first theory, but doesn't explain how the Demolition Doll Rods are still in evidence. I suppose one could always just ask Gerard about this.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: HP Zinker - "Dancing Days"

In conclusion: if you're interested in HP Zinker, Staying Loose has all their essential tracks, including the ones on Monday and Wednesday's posts. Starting price for a used CD copy on Amazon is $0.01, so dive right in.

Next week I'm doing Guided By Voices. Speaking of Matador's illustrious roster. I might even do two weeks on them.

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