Genre: post-punk sound that merged art-rock, funk, reggae, Afrobeat, agitprop and group improv into a bubbling hot stew of abandon
Active Years in Eugene: 1984 – 1985
- Sari Morninghawk – Lead Singer/Percussionist
- Daniel Ramirez – Guitar
- Richard Vitale – Drums
- David Soule – Bass
- Robert “Xeres” Shepard – Sax
- William Kreth – Soundman/Manager
The Oregon Bootleg Tapes (MediaGroove; release May 20, 2014) originally recorded in the summer of 1985 at Eugene’s Saturday Market
…For the members of Stick Against Stone, a hungry, percussive Pittsburgh band that in 1981 boarded a near decade-long rollercoaster ride of triumphs, setbacks and tragedies, the grind was sometimes their only fuel. By 1984, they’d already been through several lineup changes and relocations, eventually winding up in Eugene, Oregon where they proceeded to cultivate an infectious post-punk sound that merged art-rock, funk, reggae, Afrobeat, agitprop and group improv into a bubbling hot stew of abandon. And you could dance to it.
…All that woodshedding comes through on The Oregon Bootleg Tapes –(MediaGroove; release May 20, 2014), a long-thought-lost live set, recorded in the summer of 1985 at Eugene’s outdoor Saturday Market, that captures the raw energy of the five-piece Stick Against Stone collective in full mash-up mode. Sounding like a “missing link” between post-punk, funk, no wave and world music – the set is propelled by founding drummer Richard Vitale and groove-heavy bassist David Soule. Together, the band burns through punk-funk (“Cramphead,” with guitar slinger Daniel Ramirez sounding as angular as Vernon Reid in his Defunkt prime); joyful, mutant ska (“The Hopping Frog,” which mimics its title in the call-and-response between Morninghawk and saxman Robert “Xeres” Shepard); industrial samba infused with dystopian alarm bells and Doppler horns (on “Rhetoric”); no-wave reggae (on the politically charged, Talking Heads-like “Products Throughout the Store”) and a whole lot more.