WORMWOOD -- Noble Salvages
Wormwood (here called "TheWormwood" because someone else already had the band name) did its performing writing and recording in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley in the early to mid-'90s.
The songs here are what was salvaged from their last, unfinished recording in late '95 or early '96. They are offered "as is," for streaming or download, copious warts and all. Please have them.
Seth Ullian: Bass, vocals
Raissa St. Pierre: Drums!
Mark Marinoff: Sax, clarinet
Liz Boiko: Viola
John Burdick: Guitar, vocals
"Re: George" co-written with Mike Dunn,
additional text on "Re: George" by Mark Aldrich, speaking voices by Mark Aldrich, Sean Marrinan, and David Wills, aka, The Magnificent Glass Pelican Audio Theater.
Started when John Burdick, Mark Marinoff, and Liz Boiko wanted to form a "junkyard orchestra" kind of band in that Tom Waits/Kurt Weil etc., mode: "Cabaret band falling down a flight of stairs" was the target sound. Early trio called The Burdoikoff Brothers played oompah and tango-inflected songs, then "Reed's wedding band." Soon onboard were Raissa St. Pierre and Seth Ullian, and the band began to rock in a fashion, to Mark's chagrin...
First "product" was a six song cassette recorded in the living room on a 4-track. A certain sizable minority of Wormwood's admirers considered this cassette unsurpassed by later recordings and I'm not sure I disagree.
Split gigs with most of the "major" original local bands of the day (and a good day it was in the New Paltz area) but no one really knew what to make of us. Our best gigs included dates split with The Fierce Nipples, Babe the Blue Ox, the Harmonica Virgins, Cellophane, a couple of forays into Manhattan to play The Cooler with Bradford Reed and Nada Surf, among others. One night, we were the only band at The Cooler that didn't feature a digeridoo.
Tracked what would be our main recording, "Who's Mumbling?" in the Boston area with Raissa's brother Jeff St. Pierre manning the console. A lot of people seemed to like it, and at least one guy who thought he was a Wormwood fan was so disappointed by it that he hurled the tape out his car window while crossing the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. This tape recently resurfaced when GE dredged the Hudson, and it sounds better for the wear.
Started to get really good live around '95 or so and wanted to commit some of this newfound competence to tape. Went to Dean Jones' and Warren Perrins' No Parking Studio in Rosendale New York and quickly laid down 5 tracks that sounded pretty tight.
But success killed Wormwood right in the middle of these promising sessions; unfortunately it wasn't Wormwood's success! Seth got into the NYC cast of Stomp and Marinoff left the country on a European tour playing sax for Mercury Rev (who used to come to some Wormwood gigs). Mark tells me he gave a copy of "Who's Mumbling" to one of my personal faves, Stephen Malkmus. I like to imagine that Malkmus hurled it out the window of the jet at 30,000 ft. after taking in the embarrassing lyrics to "Suffocating Kisses." But frankly, I hear our influence all over Pig Lib...and Mark probably gave him the tape on a bus, anyway.
Not in many a year.