TGAF vol. 1 now in Md. stores / TGAF’s first year

You can *now* purchase your copy of the first Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts compilation at any of these great central Maryland outlets

Celebrated Summer Records
3616 Falls Road. Baltimore, MD. 21211 (443).866.9988

The True Vine
3544 Hickory Ave Baltimore, MD 21211 (410) 235-4500

KA-CHUNK!! Records
78 Maryland Ave Annapolis, MD 21401(410) 571-5047

The Baltimore band Auxiliary Mammals will be selling copies of TGAF at their shows. This band features several Towson-Glen Arm alumnus (Josh Marchant of Superstation, Decency Squad, Charm City Suicides, etc.; Dew Bena of Decency Squad and Luxuous; Chris Johnson of Charm City Suicides), and TGAF producer/mastering engineer Marc Rothe.

For more info on the first TGAF comp click this link:
“…if you don’t have stories to tell, to share, to entertain [and] philosophize with, you don’t have anything.”

– Joseph Stands With Many commenting on the importance of Native American storytelling traditions in the film ‘The Tacit Tome’

Its been a year since the Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts blog launched and nearly 2 years since the project as a whole (a series of music compilations and this blog) became a huge priority in my life. Since then, I feel like I’ve done a decent job explaining what happened during the TGA days and why much of it happened, but the one thing that I’ve had the most trouble with is explaning how this is more than just an exploration of the past. There may not be a large Towson-Glen Arm scene anymore, but chronicling TGA’s legacy has brought it out of the cobwebs and into a present time and place where its merits can be debated, re-evaluated, criticized, laughed at, and immortalized in ways that would’ve been almost impossible back in the scene’s 90’s heyday. With an audience made up of both young heads completely unfamiliar with TGA and folks who were either fully a part of it or extremely close to the scene’s participants, the vision of Towson-Glen Arm that emerges today is complex and panoramic just like the explosive convergence of political, philosophical, and aesthetic ideas that gave birth to the scene.

The immediate purpose of explaining and archiving the TGA experience then is really not an easy thing to summarize, but the quote above* from Native American actor/artist Joseph Stands With Many comes pretty close to doing that and those words really could be used to describe the importance of almost any kind of common ground where archival work, memoir, and folklore all melt into one another in an organic, coherent way. I’m not sure how close I’ve come to making the TGA story a totally coherent one, but I’ve definitely recieved some amazing, positive feedback from many who have seen my work here. Of course, this is both validating and heartening in more ways than I have time to mention – to all the people who have lent such moral support to the TGAF cause, I must simply say thanks a million.

The funny thing is some of the most important feedback I’ve recieved came from someone who was actually quite critical of my approach to documenting TGA, and his name is Jay “Chwi”. I originally met “Chwi” (pronounced ‘Chewy’, like the character from Star Wars) in late 1994 through my old friend Tim Kabara, and I reconnected with him via the internet shortly after TGAF launched. In so many carefully chosen words, “Chwi” expressed dissapointment in my reluctance to make any detailed acknowledgement of the scene’s connection to hardcore, punk, and other heavy forms of pop music from the 90’s, but I was (and still am) extremely averse to focusing on that stuff mostly because I believe that there’s a blind fanaticism accompanying the culture of heavy music, a sheep-like mentality that TGA kids went out of their way to avoid back in the day.

Still, “Chwi” has been around a minute and has always had an unusual take on these things as he was more of an objective observer on the fringe of Towson-Glen Arm, so I couldn’t help but take his criticisms into serious consideration. As a result, I decided that Eli Jones’ locally popular and very raucous lo-fi metal band Shovel deserved to get special attention sooner than later, so a couple months ago my short list of future TGAF projects got two new additions: an online streaming copy of Shovel’s entire released audiography and an essay exploring the massive impact that Shovel had on TGA’s development. Both of these things have since come to fruition and you can now check out Shovel’s full story and both of their self-released tapes on Alison Kogan’s excellent tumblr blog Eli Lives! …and when you do, just make sure to remember that a really cool guy nicknamed for a Star Wars character had everything to do with it all:

Shovel - first tape cover art by Eli Jones 1994

Here are some other folks who have also positively affected TGAF in an extremely direct way:

Shawn Phase – the leader/founder of legendary video game music project Temp Sound Solutions** just happens to have what may be the most impressive collection of original TGA recordings outside of my own. The patience, dedication, and generosity he has displayed in sharing his collection with me is certainly one of the main things that has made this project so thorough and enjoyable. Next year look for a joint reissue of rare recordings by the mid-90’s TGA band Glorious Fourlane, a cdr that will be jointly released by Shawn Phase and Nuns Like To Fence.

The master copy of the Glorious Fourlane tape cover; art by Shawn Phase, 1995 (courtesy of shawn Phase).

The master copy of the Glorious Fourlane tape cover; art by Shawn Phase, 1995 (courtesy of shawn Phase).

Lou Thomas – Though I’ve only utilized a fraction of it, Lou’s collection of TGA related ephemera is almost unrivaled and his help with fact checking has also been incredibly invaluable here. Over time expect to see the TGAF blog/record series adorned with tons of cool, crazy old pics, flyer scans, and rare recordings from Lou’s vault.

Excerpted graphics from a 1997 show flyer designed by Lou Thomas.

Excerpted graphics from a 1997 show flyer designed by Lou Thomas.

So what does the future hold for TGAF? Here’s a hint on the nature of an upcoming post or two…

megan carberry with quote 1993

(*originally quoted by Rafael Alvarez in his July 31st, 2013 article ‘Fathers, Sons, and Film’ first published in the Baltimore City Paper)
(**learn more about Temp Sound Solutions and Shawn Phase here: )

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