Arts Desk

In Stores Today: Black Tambourine

BT-Cover-6We'd have reviewed this record, but we really can't—seeing as, well, one of Black Tambourine's members works here. (In his last e-mail to me pitching record reviews, David Dunlap Jr. wrote, "I would love to do something on Black Tambourine, but am probably DQ'ed after sharing a cubicle with Brian Nelson for four straight years.") So there. Sorry people!

Whether you've heard the D.C. band—which blended the noisy excesses of the '80s underground with '50s and '60s pop music—the anthology (Slumberland Records) is worth picking up. It adds six tracks to the group's small, but increasingly influential oeuvre: two demos, of "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge" and "For Ex-Lovers Only," and four new recordings of songs the band played during its late-'80s/early-'90s existence but never committed to tape. The band reunited (sort of) to record the four songs last summer. Last year Slumberland, the label still run by Black Tambourine member Mike Schulman, celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Christopher Porter, who for years chronicled D.C. indie rock in City Paper's pages, has an excellent tribute to the band at Express Night Out:

In 1992 I released the second and final Black Tambourine 7-inch single, "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge," as the inaugural release on my old label, Audrey's Diary. My friendship with former B.T. singer Pam Berry is what brought me to D.C. from Michigan in 1994, and since then I've gotten married, had kids and bought a house in the Maryland suburbs that birthed Black Tambourine.

It's a good life, and "Black Tambourine" is a great record. Thanks, pals.

He then drops all sorts of cool nuggets, like the origins of the matrix number on the "Throw Aggi" single, why the single references the L.A. riots, a video of the band playing Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" (a version is on the new anthology) at WMUC, and more. Read the whole thing.

LISTEN: "For Ex-Lovers Only"

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