… it was a big day on the desert, a lizard ran by the cactus plant…
LAS VEGAS ON MARS
[May, 2011 – Here is the biography and discography from the old Amhinomcis web page. This will be updated or otherwise molested sooner or later but, first, I’ve got some learnin’ to do.]
What Is Las Vegas On Mars? (temporary biography)
Las Vegas On Mars is a band that started up in Fresno, California about 1983 when Sanoian suggested to Dr. Bob that they record some psychedelic disco punk versions of Fred Astaire songs. Bob thought that was a fine idea and they got to work. After listening to their first efforts, Bob described them as sounding like “Las Vegas On Mars.” After a couple sessions of this sort of activity, Mitch Hamett and Richard Cropper joined up, which resulted in the addition of more rockinness, although not without a struggle. This group got together a few times a year for several years and then, feeling the need for a drummer (all members traded off being the drummer), Michael Longenecker was recruited but he turned out to mostly play guitar so the drum chair continued to be a musical chair, so to speak. In general, everyone rotated instruments. In 2005, Michael left town so the group was back to the quartet.
In the early days, the music was recorded live to cassette and then copied to quarter inch tape which Sanoian edited (by cutting and splicing). Later, music was recorded to quarter inch tape and copied to another tape for editing. In the late nineties, Sanoian got a multi-track hard disc recorder, which is what has been used since then. In general, the music is improvised and then heavily edited. Sanoian later found out that this was the method Can had used for many of their albums, which was kind of cool. There was one recording get-together in Redwood City but, otherwise, all recording has been done in Fresno, cultural center of the Universe. A small part of the recording for the Jandek tribute track was done in San Francisco, in Mitch’s basement. Some of the music for the Davie Allan tribute was recorded in Los Angeles, where Sanoian “lives”.
There will be some reviews here soon but, for now, we’ll just say that Buttrag Magazine used the word “genius” in a review of The Varmint O’ the Sea EP and Bob Mosley of Moby Grape said that if Skip Spence could have heard Motor-Tunk For the Judge, he would have been “rolling in the aisles with love.” On hearing that Bob had said this, Las Vegas On Mars swelled with pride like some kind of blowfish.
The latest Las Vegas On Mars release is a contribution to Evil Fuzz, a tribute album for Davie Allan (King of the Fuzz Guitar) released by Omom Records of Italy. Las Vegas On Mars contributed its version of Born Losers Theme. Although the album packaging and the Omom web page say that Las Vegas On Mars also do Polyurethane, this is not the case. The LVOM version of Polyurethane was left off the album. But that’s OK, it wasn’t as good as Born Losers Theme.
LAS VEGAS ON MARS DISCOGRAPHY
Let’s Go Cut the Lawn (Cassette album – Amphinomics 1983)
Varmint O’ the Sea (7” EP – Amphinomics 1991)
Mo’ Grape (Internet Fan Group CDR tribute album to Moby Grape. August, 2000)
Motor-Tunk For the Judge was a medley of Moby Grape Songs (Ode To the Man At the End of the Bar, Hoochie, Murder In My Heart For the Judge, Motorcycle Irene and Funky Tunk).
Naked In the Afternoon (Summersteps Records SUM0010 September, 2000)
This is a commercially available Jandek tribute album.
Here Without You: A Tribute To Gene Clark (Internet fan group CDR January 2004)
Eight Miles High
Evil Fuzz: Davie Allan Tribute (Omom Records RBKB 9 June, 2005)
Born Losers Theme
This is a commercially available tribute album to Davie Allan released by Omom Records of Italy. The first pressing had a couple tracks with some digital distortion (not Born Losers Theme) and the album was repressed with those faults fixed in January 2006. The album packaging and Omom web page say that a LVOM version of Polyurethane is on the album – it is not. It was recorded and a version combining the two songs was made but not used. The riff from Polyurethane is heard at the end of Born Losers but the LVOM recording of Polyurethane is the complete song, done in a trendy psych-folk style.