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jason on 08/17/2010 at 05:00PM

San Franciscan Art-Punk from Club Foot (Subterranean, 1981)

Club Foot image via clubfootorchestraThe Club Foot LP is named after one of San Francisco's premier artist-run venues of the late 70s/early 80s, and documents the jazz-punk-DIY-situationist sounds nurtured therein. Originally released in 1981 by legendary local imprint Subterranean Records (Flipper, Dead Kennedys, Inflatable Boy Clams), it was recently repressed in a limited edition of 450 12'' LP's to coincide with Club Foot's 30th anniversary and an "Artifacts from SF's Art Punk Cabaret" event at the San Francisco Public Library.

Club Foot was founded by Richard Kelly, a student of John Cage who sought to "marry high art values to the vitality of underground performance art; to fuse Frank Sinatra, Roy Orbison and Albert Ayler and project that onto the art-rock stage" (this from an article on Club Foot's history at the Club Foot Orchestra's website). The Club Foot Orchestra was originally a revolving cast of characters from the local scene, including members of the bands who appear on this compilation: Bay of Pigs, Alterboys, Longshoremen and Naked City (not the Zorn one). Though the original Club Foot closed its doors in 1985, the Club Foot Orchestra it spawned continues in a sort of tribute to the sounds heard on this recording, but now specializing in "modern music for silent film".

A few copies of the Club Foot LP repressing are still available from Subterranean. Bay of Pigs, Alterboys and Longshoremen all performed at Club Foot's aforementioned 30th anniversary celebration earlier this year at Cafe Du Nord, and we hope to hear more from them soon!



jason on 08/18/10 at 05:41AM
Subterranean Steve writes with an update/clarification:

"One interesting point (probably of note only to collector nerds), is that the present Clubfoot Orchestra (two words) is a completely different outfit from the original Club Foot Orchestra (three words) on the LP. Clubfoot Orchestra was started in the mid-'80s and is still led by Richard Marriott, inspired by Richard Kelly's Club Foot Orchestra, which ended when he died in 1983. Clubfoot Orchestra has completely different personnel and does lots of original instrumental soundtrack style music for silent films, along with other compositions. You should check out some of their classics like their "Nosferatu" soundtrack. The original Club Foot Orchestra was assembled by Kelly just for the LP recording."

here's a link to the Nosferatu soundtrack

an aside: Nosferatu is a public domain film from the pivotal year of 1922 (Sonny Bono's Micky Mouse Protection Act extends the reach of copyright for works created starting in 1923). It's also amazing soundtrack inspiration!
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