Oldies, Outies & Unies is a new section on Cringe.com created to celebrate old, out-of-print and/or unreleased recordings by Columbus, Ohio area artists. Each month we will put up MP3s of "lost but not forgotten" recordings of local music. Being our first installment, I'll likely be making refinements to this for weeks to come. Enjoy!
Stories Of Kirk And His Fiat (And A Buffalo Grass Woman, Hester)
Gimme the MP3s
The year was ... Yeah, like any of us remember the specific year. In the early 1990s the foursome known as Clay was one of the most eclectic live acts in town. Anticipation of the next Clay show was always high as you never knew what to expect except that it would likely be a completely different experience than their previous outing ... or, at the very least, different from the majority of the alternatives.
To give you an idea, one of their most memorable and last shows was played behind a curtain on the Bernie's stage. But that's not it. They had someone with a video camera behind the curtain and the TV monitor in front of the curtain for the audience to watch. Of course, the stage front fans began sneaking peeks behind the curtain. By the end of the set, much of that crowd was cloaked behind the curtain with the band. I think the TV monitor was behind the curtain by this point too. So any more restrained audience members saw nothing but ankles and draperies bouncing about.
Then there's the Fourth of July backyard party where Wilfoster stripped down to his socks. He tossed his last article of modesty, his underwear, into the yard landing somewhat appropriately on one of the grills. If I wasn't already a vegetarian, that might very well have turned me.
Then there was the show where they did nothing at all but stand/sit there and play and sing. This might have been their most surrealistic show ever. Clay nearly motionless and emotionless.
After a show there was almost always a gathering at the "Clayboy Mansion" at 2005 Waldeck. Most of the band lived there at some point. They had a commonly broken but functional enough pinball machine right by the front door. There was always a bottle of cheap scotch and Diet K Cola for the non-beer lovers (ahem, mainly me). Cheap scotch and Diet Big K Cola actually mix quite nicely -- the diet of the K kills the bite of the scotch. When it got really late you could discuss the significance of the house number etched in the glass above the door being a mirror of itself.
Along the way, Clay made several recordings. You'll find various 7" releases on Anyway Records and Burnt Sienna Records and cuts on compilations from Eardrop Productions and Red Hour Recordings. But most of their recorded output was never released ... until now.
Clay did have a full CD ready to go with liner notes by the New Bomb Turks' Eric Davidson. But the band began to fall apart based on the ever deadly "artistic differences" before it could be released. At various times, there was talk of still releasing it posthumously through some collaboration between Burnt Sienna, Anyway and/or Seldom Scene Records. But those plans seem to have faded for the last time.
With the breakup of Clay, drummer Bill did a short stint with Pop Rocks (with Pat Dull and Brett Lewis) then moved off to New York. Guitarists/bassists Wilfoster & Q had project together for a short time. Guitarist Jake and Wilfoster also did some solo tapes. These days Jake and Q are both in Flipping Hades while Wilfoster fronts the Guinea Worms.
So what you'll find here is essentially that never released Clay as high quality MP3s. There's no saying this is the order, song selection or artworks they would have gone with back then, but who knows. Unfortunately, the original liner notes have been lost. If we happen to find them, we'll be sure to add them here. In the mean time, experience the Clay album that never was ... Stories Of Kirk And His Fiat (And A Buffalo Grass Woman, Hester).