Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crabstick - Stud or Houseboy?

Darren from West End here in Brisbane has shared this
fab Crabstick album and its wonderful artwork.
Another band David Nichols was part of.
Thanks Darren.

Crabstick's "Stud or Houseboy?" released in 1990 on vinyl,
is an album that i still keep on the list of my all time
favorites. I think the Lp title comes from a line in
the movie "Who's afraid of the Virginia Woolf?"
But I could be wrong on that? Really like all the wonderful
D. Nichols cartoons on most everything he played on,
whether it be on a Cannanes album, Blairmailer or Crabstick.
He used to draw toon strips for some fanzines
(salty and delicious was one fanzine) that were always a chuckle.
Anyway...Stud or Houseboy?
Hope you enjoy it as I have for many years.

Download Here


David said...

Thank you for the kind words and interest.
I have often wondered if it would be possible to put this and a Blairmailer comp out as CDs. I guess that would be a question of whether people are willing to participate in publicity for reissues. Since I wouldn't, and I am pretty sure Michael wouldn't, don't know about James, there's probably not much chance.
There were three Crabstick LPs of which this is the first and if I remember correctly the only one which emerged during the group's existence.
I am also incidentally experiencing feelings of slight perturbation that this was made available without our permission (which personally I would have given without a second thought) but that is of course a worldwide issue that means millions to many and virtually nothing to a little pissant band like Crabstick - and from our point of view all we really wanted was to get the music 'out there', so it was never really a money thing, perhaps it is just a 'control' thing (an example of this is the 'lo-fi' tag which shits me since these albums were recorded in professional studios; but I also realise that I can't do anything about people's perceptions except offer my own 2c). Anyway, as I said, these things don't greatly matter in the scheme of things particularly since obviously we have all moved on. And on top of that I don't feel great 'ownership' of Crabstick anyway since it was really Michael and James and later Danny, and I was just the person who never learnt the songs properly - if that adds texture then so be it but that's all I was from my point of view. I do really like this album though and I am pleased at the idea a few more people might like it if they hear it. It's a pretty good reflection of the band, that's for sure.
Some may be interested that the most recent Huon album, which was a band which in a sense can trace a direct line from Crabstick through Blairmailer, will be coming out this year as an LP + download from 555 records of Flagstaff Arizona. It was recorded about 5 years ago. Title is 'Advance'. Pretty great album, really. Cheers DN

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Hi David, fantastic to get your input. I do hope likewise that many new people, who missed this first time round, will enjoy it.
A lot of music on this blog is what you'd call obscure, or overlooked,
but there seems to be bands of people who loved all kinds of obscure music and who get very excited to find any discussion about it on the net. That's very true about Blairmailer, Crabstick and other related stuff.
Sorry if you in anyway upset about sharing music without permission.
I work on the premise that if an artist or even a taper, as happened recently, doesn't want something here and asks me I'll remove it and it has happened.
Most of the stuff here is out of print and unavailable, or was never released. I try to keep it like that.
Thanks again
ciao bob

David said...

Thanks Bob I know you'd take it down if requested and that's the main thing. I like it being there so from my point of view that's fine. Other people close to me are in even weirder situations eg seeing their music for sale on iTunes from some company they've never heard of and just unable to tell whether this is a legitimate arrangement - which they'll eventually get royalties from - or not. And then there are people who discover that records they made decades ago are scheduled for reissue, another label having bought the rights. In those cases I'm sure it's quite horrible to imagine that someone is making money from your artistic effort and you have no input. As I said, we never expected to get money from Crabstick albums (or if we did, I've blocked out all memories of that insane expectation).
Anyway it's not like I've never listened to free music or copied a CD or whatever, I'd like to meet the one person in the world who's had the opportunity to do those kinds of things and decided not to on principle!
OK, enough from me. Thanks again. DN

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

I remember an interview with Ed Kuepper where he was asked how I'm Stranded" came to be on a Cd called "Greatest Beer Drinking Songs"
He replied he had no control over the use of that song, EMI owned it.
Then he said something like, Let the listener beware, if your a young band as they were, the contracts these companies get you sign, often mean you sell the rights to your songs and have no say on how they are used.
And another artist, a well known one, I have written about here told me in one of our email exchanges how his record company payed him almost nothing in royalties and he had rang up indy record shops and asked them to stop selling them until he could re-release his back catalog with a better company and the record company in question is quite well known.
The whole internet thing just adds to the confusion.
Anyway that's my rant, I'm looking forward to reading the Go-Betweens
book soon, I looked your input on the 16 lovers lane show the other night.
I'd love to hear how you came to write that, it may be all in the book I suppose.
ciao bob

David said...

That is strange particularly in the case of '(I'm) Stranded' which the Saints would have originally paid all production costs for (because they originally released it on their own label) and THEN must have sold on to EMI. It's entirely true that people sign dumb contracts - I mean we do it all the time in all walks of life - particuarly when they're young and hungry and want to be famous or at least loved or perhaps just heard. The other side of that is, if The Saints hadn't signed with EMI, would they have made three great albums, the 2nd and the 3rd in England, in that original incarnation? What if they'd tried to sign a contract with EMI that allowed them to own their own recordings after 5 years (or 20 years)? EMI might have told them to piss off. I mean, a contract with EMI is not the be all and end all, but it did give them access to a lot of resources that made it possible to make some great records. It's all unknowable, really. Ed K may not have control over '(I'm) Stranded', but at least someone has control over it who is interested in keeping it 'out there', which benefits him in some sense if only in the sense that it exposes people to work he once did (though certainly he might justifiably disagree with the ways it is used).

I came to write the GoBs book because it was the early 1990s, they had just broken up, I wanted to write an oral history of a band, and they seemed to be (and were) in the perfect state at that time to interview, it was all still a bit raw, and also, I had heard a tape of Forster and McLennan interviewed on ZZZ around the time of the Beserkley deal, and it was one of the funniest bits of radio I'd heard. The band still had a lot of cachet so it seemed a sensible choice. If you do read the book, try and get the American edition (Verse Chorus Press) which is better (fewer typos) and bigger (currently takes you up to Bright Yellow Bright Orange and a little beyond). DN

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Thanks for that David, I agree you kind of need the record companies, those later saints records indeed may never of been recorded or done on a vastly different budget.
The story I was always lead to believe was Emi were looking for a punk band to replace the Pistols, whom were famously sacked.
The saints came to their attention because they recorded stranded and released it them selves and they if fact just had perfect timing, a bit of luck and a whole lot of talent. Brisbane was hardly the best place to launch an international music career from, they managed it however.
I suppose both Ed and Chris had a very lucky break that allowed them to forge lifelong music careers.
I posted a gobs interview they must be the same one you talk of, 4zzz round 79, bout 1/2hr long, very good with quite a bit of talk about peter walshs involvement with the band.
Let me know if you want a copy.
ciao bob

matt said...

hello, i've been looking for the crabstick track the rain in the lane for about 15 years, after a friend of mine put it on a compilation for me. this is the first time i've come across it anywhere so thanks for posting. cool site, and interesting to read the stuff on copyright/ownership etc.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Wow 15 years, must be like finding the holy grail.
Glad to help in your quest
ciao bob

Senior Developer said...

This is definitely THE holy grail of record collecting / music listening for me. I heard Bring 4 elephants and one other song on John Peel's show at the time of release (1990?) and have been looking for it ever since. It's been very hard to find! It's downloading now and I have no idea if I'm gonna like it!

Mark said...

ThankYOU! i've got a cassette of this album which has just started to die... i can stay happy now! brilliant!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

This was down but back up now

Alec said...

Hi is there any way of hearing the other records? This one is genius

Novemberer said...

Haha, I've always been fond of this album (I still have it too, stashed away in my folks' attic), really good to hear it again. I didn't realise Crabstick had released another couple of LPs though, are they still available anywhere...?

P.S. Terrific blog btw.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Thanks novemberer, sorry i dont think they would be still around and I doubt itas well.

Ryan Martin said...

Would you be willing to reupload this one? I'd love to hear it - the lively conversation in this post's comments has duly piqued my interest, and moreover, the fact that it's on Feel Good All Over seems to me a excellent sign - nearly every release I've heard from that label is superb.

Bob said...

should be able to when i get a chance, maybe on the weekend

Ryan Martin said...


Bob said...

back up

jd said...

Hey there, the links seem to be broken, any chance of a reupload? Dying to hear this :)

Bob Nebe said...

back up

jd said...

thank you!!

jcurrin said...

heh heh heh
dead again

bit of a larf

i vote happy to share
for love, love means being there


what i wish someone cld find is the tape i did with Nees back in '93, "Prosh-a-choot"

really like to hear that one again

well, onwards n upwards

clucas said...

sorry to pester you bob, but any chance of a re-up again? i've heard too many good things about this group, and all i can find of their stuff online are vinyl copies, which i'm sadly not equipped for.
cheers, chris

e6gMan said...

Any chance of a re-up? Thanks