Friday, May 02, 2008

FLICKERING GLORY FILES, PT.1: THE SAWDUST CAESARS

Another In the Red 45 that showed up & went out of print with minimal fanfare was this excellent nihilist spasm of a record from LA’s SAWDUST CAESARS from 1996. “Fuck You / Shoo Fly / World War II” is an artastic gravel-voice punk rock bomb of a record, strange in its dissonance and the way it sorta aims to marginally annoy rather than to out-and-out “rock” you. I’ve never met anyone who saw this band nor who knew much about them, save for the fact that one of the band’s prime movers was Brian Doherty, a guy I’ve been acquainted with – though not in person except for a brief 2006 conversation – since well before this record due to his involvement as a Libertarian journalist and later as an editor at REASON magazine. Why, this month I’m reading his tome on the history of American libertarianism, “Radicals For Capitalism” and am thoroughly enjoying the wild ride. If anyone ever told you that fans of the free market couldn’t shake a tail feather, then shove this record up their piehole & tell them to get bent!

There’s an entry for the SAWDUST CAESARS in the Grunnen Rocks garage punk database that shows two other 45s, but I think this might be bogus & that these records actually belong to some UK band. Anyone know the god’s honest truth?

Play or Download SAWDUST CAESARS – “Fuck You”
Play or Download SAWDUST CAESARS – “Shoo Fly”
Play or Download SAWDUST CAESARS – “World War II”

3 comments:

Barry said...

I just finished RADICALS FOR CAPITALISM myself; you're right about us Libertarians being abunch wildmen...esp. interesting was the influence of LSD: the vision of a buncha suit-and-tie 50s businessmen tripping their brains out and writing gibberish that would be at home on a 13th Floor Elevators album, a full decade before the acid-tests, puts the lie to a lot of the "it all began in the 60s" crap that is still shovelled by the Left.

Brian said...

Gratifying that the Caesars are still listened to. This In The Red single was indeed the only release by "my" Caesars....(me on bass/vox, John Treanor gtr/vox, Randy Metz gtr/vox, Jennifer Carter drums)...don't know about any others with that name.

We probably played fewer than 20 shows in the maybe couple of years we were playing together in mid-'90s...Al's Bar, Linda's Doll Hot, Boardner's, Mr. T's Bowl mostly...never got north of LA I don't think.

John Treanor and I had a later band called Satellyte with Maureen Maki and Mark Mastropietro of Scenic...less crazy dissonant but nice. We never released anything publicly.

Brian Doherty
radicalsforcapitalism.com

Anonymous said...

WOah, Stig's gonna accuse you of coming late to the party on those wacky libertarians...I have a lot of gripes with them and even those the more RAW-Discordian bent rub me raw when they try to push the meme that mega-corps are the BOAPW...Bob Black still summed it up best years ago:
A libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs:
http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/5065/libcon.html

The Sawdust Caesars are cool though. I went to high school with John Treanor in San Diego and got in touch with him a few years ago via Shane Williams actually.
G