Friday, December 12, 2008

The Stonecutters

Taking their name from a Simpsons parody on the Freemasons, The Stonecutters were a fun yet short-lived poppy punk endeavor from an assortment of South Bend rock regulars. The band consisted of Kate B. (July) on vocals, Mike C. (decaf) on guitar, James J. (Hace Frio) on bass, Mark H. (Tacklebox, True North) on drums. A couple of these folks were kind enough to weigh in on this recording:

The Stonecutters wrote 11 songs in 11 days then played our first show at the Green House. We then proceeded to play a handful shows (Archi party, Angela Blvd) and recorded and mixed this cassette of 12 songs, including a cover of emiLy's song "Red Line Metro," in about 2 hours in Mark's basement. I remember each practice we'd hit a store to buy cigarettes, a 40 oz for each of us, then we'd drive to Mark's parents house out in Mishawaka to practice. I think we existed for just about 2 months. It was quite a fun experience. -- James J.


The song "Humans" was written the day we made the tape, and was recorded the second time we had played it. Also, there was no PA so I had to sing directly into the 4-track, for better or for worse. Great, great fun, I really miss that summer. -- Kate B.

You gotta admire a band that has the stones to cover an emiLy tune ("Red Line Metro") and do a pretty decent job of it at that. "Blister" is a snappy little ditty that shines in it's pleasant simplicity. "East Race" refers to either the kayak course in the middle of downtown South Bend on the St. Joe River, or the liquor store that was around the corner from the Red Star house. Album closer "August" alternates nicely between a peppy ska-beat and some serious hard rock chops. Also worth noting, the track "Shameless" is a take-off of Heavens To Betsy's "My Red Self," a song originally written about menstruation.

This self-titled cassette was recorded on a 4-track and mixed in two hours in Mark's basement in May of 1996. It was released on Rent To Own Records as RTO12.


see also:
The Stonecutters on MySpace


doug said...

Wasn't "August" actually the original name of the band? I seem to remember a conversation with Kate where she told me that (it was a play on July, her previous band), although she wasn't supposed to tell anybody. That led into quoting the "Shut up! It's a secret!" line from the Stonecutters episode of The Simpsons, and it seems that caught on as the new name.

Julie McCoy said...

This is like Heavens to Betsy meets Team Dresch. I can't believe I missed this. I really like it. My favorites are East Race, Shameless, Red Line Metro and Humans.
Capo- is this you on guitar? This is great.

Kate said...

i don't remember if august was ever actually a serious contender for the name - tho i remember thinking it was a funny option since yet again i was in a band who couldn't seem to think of a name. if i'm not mistaken, the "shut up, it's a secret!" was more a way of dodging the question of what our band name was than actually avoiding talking about a specific name.

and yes, east race was about the canals and walking along them, not so much the liquor store.