I must have requested Peter Cherches tape after reading about it in Option Magazine. His 1985 release became a quick favorite after receiving it mainly because of its devolved and whacked humor on the title track (and other songs) and the odd, often repeated lyrics shouted and proclaimed. The music was terrific too, a psychedelic circus affair with an exhilarating performance on guitar and clarinet by Elliott Sharp. C’mon, a tune about Kennedy’s Brain?! This was top notch downtown expression to me.
Peter is primarily a writer these days and even does a blog called Word Of Mouth about food and travel.
The Making of “It’s Uncle!”
I was never part of a cassette trading scene, and as an artist I only produced one, “It’s Uncle!,” by Sonorexia, my collaborative “band” with multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp. Near the tail end of that period, in 1985, we decided to record the material we’d been performing at downtown NYC clubs since 1982. Elliott Sharp had an indie label, Zoar, which we planned to release our cassette-only album on.
I had also been doing other musical work with keyboardist-songwriter Lee Feldman, and for the tape we did material from both repertoires, with both Lee & Elliott on most tunes (though they never performed live together). Katie O’Looney, who was the third Sonorexia drummer, was on the session too.
We recorded in a little studio run by a friend, Michael Simon, in the East Village to 8-track cassette, with Elliott overdubbing some parts. I can’t remember whether we did the final mixdown the same night or later.
It was listed in the Zoar catalog, sold on consignment at some New York and Bay Area shops and at gigs, and sent out to some indie radio stations and review media. We got a couple of nice reviews (including one in OPtion) and a little airplay here and there—especially WFMU in the NY area. I don’t remember how Don first came across it.
By the end of the ‘80s I had pretty much hung up my music and performance career, but continued to write.
I did a blog post about my part in the ‘80s downtown scene:
And most of the cassette can be streamed at my Soundclick page
Due to copyright restrictions, however, I couldn’t include our whacked-out version of “Cherish.”