Wednesday, June 17, 2009

V/A - The Jericho Sessions

The Jericho Sessions (1991) was the first of three campus band compilations put out by WVFI in the 1990s. Below are the original CD liner notes from the guys that brought it all together.
If I were on the University's 25-year plan, I could never begin to explain to you the rapid metamorphosis of this project. Perhaps Chris can. I called him around Thanksgiving and told him that I wanted to record a CD compilation featuring Notre Dame musicians. I actually heard optimism in his voice. I knew we were on to something.

Well, 5 months and 15 ulcers later, we have the final product. Our baby. The real irony here is that, at the moment, I'm failing "Physics of Music & Sound Reproduction." No matter. I've never thought that art and science had a healthy relationship anyway.

After a host of comedic - and largely sacrilegious - ideas for a name, we decided to call it "The Jericho Sessions." If you're unclear on the meaning, break out your Good Book. It's a great story.

So now the ball is in your court. Chris and I, in conjunction with WVFI 640 AM (Notre Dame's problem child), give you the very first collection of original tunes from your peers. This campus has more artistic greatness than you know, and exciting new music is alive and well. Catholic School was never so crazy.

Tony Graffeo is here. I've watched him play our dorm talent show for 3 years now, and his songwriting is extraordinary. I'm proud to admit that he was the original inspiration for this project.

I went to high school with Kevin Fleming. I can personally attest to his talent behind the skins. I introduced him to Ralph Falbo in the Fall of 1990, and I'd always assumed their skills would fit neatly together. Ralph is so dynamic at the keys, and he has an ear for music that I've always envied. He is the consummate professional.

I met Ted Leo when I did my first ever radio show as a freshman. I think my first phone call home began with the words "Ma, I met a skinhead." I think she cried. If only she knew him. Ted is the free-spirit who never ceases to entertain. I suppose the highest honor I can bestow upon him is to give him an avenue for his art.

There are many more fantastic musicians on this disc. I believe in every one of them. And I believe that you will hear more from them again someday. They'll be accepting awards, selling out stadiums... hell, some of them will probably still be in grad school here. Wherever they end up, there will be one thing that binds them together - their love for music. This I share with them. It is the most important thing in my life.

--Kevin Flaherty

Why did we undertake this project? I don't remember. If we knew then what we know now, the only Jericho Sessions would have been old Joshua's. I don't think Kevin knew what he was getting us into. Taco Bell at 9:00am, a smorgasbord of beer, a lot of late nights, and endless rounds of phone tag. What a blast.

The main reason for all this was for the bands. [and girls, power...] Seriously, there is so much talent to be heard on this campus. Someone just needed to make it happen. Somehow it turned out to be me and Stooge.

We were not without help. Thanks to Mark Bintinger, owner of the official project vehicle, and a really great boss. After I graduate I hope to work for someone like Mark again. Thanks to Nose who listened to me bitch about this project every night. And thanks to my mom for everything she's ever done for me. Apologies for all the things I've screwed up. Through it all she's believed in me.

As I sit here writing the tenth version of these notes Bon is hamming it up to some band's music track. Fried doesn't even come close. 15 bands in 7 days. Think about that. My phone will be off the hook for awhile. Even accounting for the sleep deprivation, I am thrilled to have been involved in this project. And I couldn't be prouder of what we accomplished.

It must be said, nothing that Kevin and I have done is all too amazing. It just needed to be done. Our sincerest hope is that the spirit of cooperation and action that we've begun lives on. [Thanks Anton...] When I come back here in my plaid pants (probably black plaid...), if it's a sunny day (and above 55 degrees) I want there to be a band jamming on Fieldhouse Mall.

Thanks to each and every act; those who made it and those who didn't. Thanks for trusting us with your music and allowing us to let other hear it. Personal thanks go to Chisel and Bone Forest. More than anyone you guys helped me remember what music is really all about... goin' balls out and havin' a blast. Never change!!

Thank you to Joel Fox who took my enjoyment of music to appreciation. Even if it's not your style, listen to a punk song, or a folk song. See past the format to the substance. The talent.

Thank you - thanks for taking a try on some bands you maybe never heard of. You just might find the band of the nineties. Or not. But it beats buying another T-shirt.

Remember, it's all about the music. That's what we all share, how we're all connected. So welcome to our family. We have a pretty good time.

--Christopher D. Walter

P.S. Thanks to anyone who gives me a job after seeing this on my resume.

Track Listing:
1. "God's Answering Machine" - Tony Graffeo
2. "Spacey Floater" - Brian Muller
3. "And She Rides On" - Dominic Campanella & Chris Norborg
4. "Little Lover" - Fresh Water For The Horses
5. "Walk In The Streets" - The Turquoise Sidewalk
6. "Better Off Dead" - Exit 77
7. "Moon Blues" - Little Geneva
8. "Swingin' In The Chapel" - Ralph Falbo Trio
9. "Hide Away" - Don McGahn
10. "World On Its Side" - The XYZ Affair
11. "Censorship Is A Lie" - Doghaus
12. "Swamp Fox/Spike" - Chisel
13. "Autistic For The Night" - Bone Forest
14. "Strange Addiction" - Chronic Desire
15. "Bee Slippers" - 5 O'Clock Shadows
16. "Love Lay Down" - Jester
17. "Another Mission" - Greg Jeffrey
18. "By My Side" - SyR
19. "Scream" - Sigi Loya



Ted said...

Is Dominic Campanella the DC that currently plays in the Quarter After?

The Contrarian said...

Yes, that's Dominic Campanella, Class of '92.

Chris N. said...

I had no idea Dominic was a rocker! That's awesome. If you're out there, Dominic, howdy from Chris Norborg!

Anonymous said...

wow. what a labor of love this project was - no joke. the quality is pretty darn good. thanks for posting this, Ted, and for doing this project in general. the sheer volume of quality, live (often original) music streaming out of the SoB area during that time is truly amazing - made even more recognizable by this blog. thanks. (p.s. this is actually my first listen of the JS, though I'm familiar with several of the bands / musicians. fun ride!)

Mike L. said...

My sister gave me a Jericho Sessions CD when I was in high school. I tried to convince my bandmates at the time to cover "Swamp Fox/Spike."

Anonymous said...

This is David Robinson drummer from XYZ Affair, it was fun being a part of the the Jericho Sessions that were recorded at Acorn Studios with the amazing Cyril Oake and Bon Rideout.