Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comeuppance - Tally Ho!



James Kennedy, bass:
Comeuppance is the first band in which I ever played an instrument. I learned how to play the bass by practicing along with a Teenage Dope Slaves tape in my room at Sorin, and thus will always have a fondness for "Death Spa.” I was such an amateur I remember Chris had to literally push my fingers down on the fret board where they needed to go. Chris is from South Bend, so we practiced at his parents' house, in his boyhood bedroom. You can’t get much twee-er than that.




Chris Norborg, drums:
Comeuppance came about because Allison wrote beautiful poems and turned one into a song. Then I wrote a few quickies and cobbled together a drum kit. (The same kit featured in another obscure combo, Ely Parker & the CIAs, that I hope to get Ted to document someday on this site.) I knew Kate could sing from our hours driving around singing Morrissey songs together. James contributed his (criminally underrated) bass technique and "Freak Cathode Accident." A precious few shows, then Tim Schaffler (of the infamous Tennessee Schafflers) recorded essentially our entire repertoire - save a couple clunkers best forgotten - on his big ol' reel-to-reel four-track. And that was that.



Allison Rigo, guitar:
Comeuppance was the fun of being in a band compressed into four brief months: we practiced, we learned songs, we made flyers and T-shirts and stickers, we played a few shows, we recorded, we made a cassette tape – and then it was over. Its novelty and its compactness made it feel like a gift.

The songs were sweet and sometimes melancholy, and that was perfect for who we were – college kids finding their inner fourth-graders through Beverly Cleary motifs, Ludwig Bemelmans references, and the newspaper funnies.




Kate Connell, vocals:
How to succinctly sum up my days in Comeuppance you ask? Well, as my good pal Chuck Dickens once said, "It was the good times, it was the poo times" (I'm paraphrasing here, people). It was my sophomore year at St. Mary's College, a school I never actually chose to attend but was chosen for me. By the time I hit second year there, I was thoroughly depressed. However, there was this gleaming, fleeting light of hope. And that hope had a name... no, not Obama, but rather Comeuppance. Chris, Allison, and James were very much my saving grace(s) that year. Not only did we get to play music together, we also became a family. I know, corny but true. We would practice at Chris' parents' house which to me was the best part. Usually a delicious dinner was prepared and shared with fantastic company. In fact, the first time I ever saw someone have apple pie with a slice of cheese on top happened right there in their kitchen after practice. As for the shows, they're kind of a blur to me. But I still love the songs. Sometimes I find myself these days playing guitar alone in my room I strum and hum "Non Issue" or "Clock" or "Falter." Looking back on our short-lived career, I feel given just a little more time, we could've conquered the world!! Or, at the very least, played another show or two...

listen/download:


see also:
Comeuppance on MySpace

14 comments:

James Kennedy said...

Oh dear. What's happening in that last picture? Is there some lost solo acoustic number I did for Comeuppance? The rest of the band seems slightly embarrassed.

theodore said...

for my money, "Pleasant Hills" is hands-down the best pop song to come out of the Bend during the 90s. glad we finally got this tape posted!

Holly M said...

Funny you mention that last photo, James, I do believe that's me in the right corner in the blue sweater (or something certainly blue). Long brown hair and white tube socks. Well, once you find something that works you stick with it I guess.

James Kennedy said...

I just began listening to the MySpace. Good Lord, I can't believe we put "Larroquette" on there. Self-indulgence has a new name. Everyone, feel free to skip to track 2 ("Clock").

@theodore Thanks! I'm pretty sure Chris wrote that one.

@Holly M My fashion choices haven't changed either. It's like a duckling imprinting.

kate said...

i didn't even know we had a myspace page!

thanks for posting this, mr. hennessy. such good memories.

James Kennedy said...

@Kate The Myspace page is courtesy of South Bend Power 90s. So thoughtful of them!

Listening to the second-to-last track, "Snowman," there's a noisy distorted My Bloody Valentine-ish outro. (It starts at around 2:10.) Strangely, in the middle of all the noise, there's an insistent EXTRA melody THAT NOBODY'S ACTUALLY PLAYING, but arises as an unintended artifact of the noise.

I remember we were all freaked out when we first heard it, like a ghost was playing with us. I still don't understand how it emerged.

Anonymous said...

let me just say I was a fan, you guys were better than 90% of the schlock I drove to chicago to hear,

Dave mcmahon

James Kennedy said...

Thanks, Dave!

JMitchell said...

Taking it back! That first photo of you all was taken on Lael's side of the attic we shared at 226 N. St. Peters. How we decided to live in an attic that you couldn't stand up straight in is beyond me.

And the 2nd and 3rd pic are the 226 basement, african tapestries complements of yours truly. That year at 226 was pretty amazing. Anyone remember the Formal 40 oz. Jazz Festival? No. Of course you wouldn't.

Bottom line, Comeuppance rocks! One of my favorites for sure.

James Kennedy said...

@Justin Are you kidding? I have some fantastic pictures from the Formal 40 Oz. Jazz Festival that I should submit to South Bend Power 90s. Some of them are sepia-tinged and look like they're actually from the 1940s...

Say, Justin, do you have access to those pictures of Allison and me you took for "Double Happiness"? I'd love to see those again.

doug said...

The Formal 40oz. Jazz Festival vies with the Unwound show for my rating of "best show ever at 226 St. Peter." In fact, it remains one of my favorite South Bend house parties, period.

I haven't listened to the mp3s yet, but I can still hear "Freak Cathode Accident" in my head.

I feel especially nerdy for being able to not only name both venues (226 N. St. Peter and Dalloway's) in the pictures, but to also identify whose drum kits (Ted K.'s and mind) are shown.

*waves at Kate C.*

James Kennedy said...

Uh oh. Miatsu has tracked us down!

Allison RC said...

Okay, the recording of "Snowman" with its patched-in distortion partially explains my mis-remembering of our first performance of "Madeleine."

Of course I remember the 40 oz. Formal. I have terrific memories of St. Peter Street. Formal dances, parties, making films, making and watching music -- it was the place to be.

theodore said...

heh, i deleted the asian porn comment. we get those every once in awhile...