Richard F. Hay, Sr. – Almost Poetry, Not Quite Prose

Richard F. Hay, Sr.
Almost Poetry, Not Quite Prose
1991 Corpqii Productions

Richard F. Hay, Sr. – Poetry reading
Marc Plainguet – All music

Side 1:

  1. War
  2. Kids
  3. God

Side 2:

  1. Firemen
  2. People
  3. Movies

Now for something completely different. This is a tape of poetry written by Richard F. Hay, Sr., read by Hay in his Boston accent, and recorded over  keyboard / electronic / experimental / alternative music played by Marc Plainguet. Each track listed above is actually a collection of several short poems, with the  track name describing the general theme of all the poems in it. You can see the full list of poems above. The background music also changes with each track. Its rather interesting and engaging stuff, as Hay talks about his life, his time as  soldier, working as a fireman, and his family. This is technically the same general approach that Steve Scott takes with his poetry, but Scott and Hay showcase how there can be very different ways of doing the same general idea.

Graveyard Cafe – Fresh Ground

Graveyard Cafe
Fresh Ground
1992 Corpqii Productions
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Marc Plainguet

Side 1:

  1. Oblivion
  2. The Church of Holy Profits
  3. Godzilla vs. The World

Side 2:

  1. Barbie’s Lament
  2. Afterlifestyles
  3. 100% Pure Beef

This is another Marc Plainguet project. I think this is all Marc, but there aren’t any real credits on this tape other than all songs were performed by Graveyard Café. The sound on this tape would have probably fit in with the Slava artists back in the day. There is an industrial vibe on these songs that is not just from the electronic instruments. But there are also many trippy elements on here – like the rap vocals on the first track. It’s all part of the weird coolness that is Marc Plainguet. Even the ways I would describe it don’t fully capture the sound. This tape seems a bit more accessible than other Plainguet projects, even though that aspect is probably countered by the comfort-level pushing lyrics.

Marc Plainguet – Amebas in Love

Marc Plainguet
Amebas in Love
1986 Corpqii Music (CM-1)
Los Angeles, California, USA

All music and text was written, produced, and performed by Marc Plainguet

Side 1:

  1. Amebas in Love
  2. This Science
  3. Afterlifestyles
  4. Barbie’s Lament
  5. Gaia
  6. The Mountain

Side 2:

  1. Binary Life
  2. Cubist
  3. Chemical Dreams
  4. The Plumber’s Nightmare
  5. The Desert
  6. The Uncle Sammy Show

This is where is all started for Marc Plainguet and Corpqii Music. Well, as far as I can tell. The sound is what you would expect from Plainguet – quirky, trippy experimental electronic music that takes a sarcastic look at the ironies of modern life (as of 1986) through a Christian lens. Many people felt Marc was outside of mainstream Christianity in his lyrics. Sometimes that is true, but at many other times this is not the case. It all depends on where your beliefs fall, of course. This tape seemed to set the standard and style for dozens of future experimental underground electronic Christian releases to follow.

Crazed Bunnyz – Achtung: Musik Klirrfaktor

Crazed Bunnyz
Achtung: Musik Klirrfaktor
1986 Plan 7 Dist. (P7D-002)
Cerritos, California, USA

Shaka Harrison – Vox and munchy crunchies
Futch (Mike Futch) – Bone-sucking guitar and vox
Gadget (Marc Plainguet) – Devo bass-synth and absurd remarks

Side 1:

  1. U.F.O. (the “calling Earl” mix)
  2. Back from the Dead (the Steve Taylor mix)
  3. Don’t Flick That Over Here (the mix)
  4. Flat Brains (the non-partisan mix)
  5. Physical Distortion (the crunchy mix)

Side 2:

  1. The Message (the heat is on mix)
  2. The Killing of a Race (the get-it-on mix)
  3. Church of the Living Dead (the Falwell mix)
  4. Tapdancing into Hell (the chorus line mix)
  5. World Media (the K-ROQ mix)

When discussing the “Christian underground,” Marc Plainguet is usually the center of that discussion. Whether through solo albums, his alter-ego Gadget, or team-ups with others like Crazed Bunny, he pretty much defined the DIY sound and look of “Christian underground.” It is hard to explain why unless you listen. The lo-fi recording of this demo would give one the impression that it is no good; but for some reason, the songwriting and passion make this a classic under-appreciated album. It is drum machine with synth bass and chopping distorted guitars set to deep irony, sarcasm, and social commentary. And it works. You can usually find these songs somewhere if you dig deep enough. Rumor is Plainguet may re-issue many of these someday. That is like a 500 year old rumor, though – so don’t hold your breath.

Update: I obviously did not give Bing Futch the credit he deserves for this project – please see the comments below. Also good news that re-issues for this and other projects from the Underground are still moving forward!

Gadget – Joyful Noise

Joyful Noise
1987 Corpoii Productions (CPCS-5)
United States?

Gadget – All instruments and noises, vocals, production, and song writing

Side 1:

  1. Armageddon
  2. Psalm 23
  3. Will Anyone Survive?
  4. Transfiguration
  5. Psalm 46

Side 2:

  1. Psalm 102
  2. Knock! Knock!
  3. Train to Heaven
  4. Psalm 24
  5. Joyful Noise

This is a bunch of noise. The genre of “Noise” that is, not the insult “noise.” For those that aren’t familiar, noise is sometimes seen as a sub-genre of industrial music that uses samples, found noise, instruments, percussion, spoken word, shouting, and sometimes general mayhem to make very avant-garde music. Gadget uses a lot of creative percussion (hitting on what sounds like all kinds of objects to get a large range of sounds) along with manipulated sound effects, quirky keyboard usage, sampling, some guitar feedback, loops, and other general “noise.” It is all organized into songs with noticeable rhythm and structure if you listen… but it is different. I enjoy this kind of music – you can listen to it as background music as you work/think to change the usually flow of background music, or listen closely to figure out what sounds Gadget is using. Determining where one song ends and another begins is a bit difficult for some songs, as they appear to fade into each other occasionally. Gadget also likes to read Psalms over the noise as well. For those not in the know, Gadget was Marc Plainguet, who released tons of solo tapes and was also a part of other bands (like Crazed Bunnyz and Nutty Faith) as well. This demo was followed up with Gnashing of Teeth in 1990. There is currently a BandCamp website for Marc that is empty – but I hope it get filled up soon.