Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Only a Mother-Riding White Alligators,LP,1987,USA

Since the dark ages of the mid-'80s Detroit music scene, Only A Mother has served as a beacon of musical creativity and imagination, championing combinations of odd sounds and witty ditties. Take the good ole avant-classical songsmithery of Charles Ives, the instrumental invention of Harry Partch and the radical reinterpretation and narrative skills of the Residents, and you'll have just begun to mark some of the parameters of Only A Mother. Decidedly acoustic, they pull out the instruments from left field, from banjos, bassoons and bicycle horns to pots, pans and pepper mills.
The original group was a loose assemblage of musicians centered around Frank Pahl, a multi-instrumentalist and whistler extraordinaire who released a solo cassette entitled Only A Mother Could Love around 1987. Determined to get his vision on vinyl, Pahl released Riding White Alligators, credited to Only A Mother, soon after. "Members of what became Only A Mother played on that piece of vinyl, but I was too spineless to put it under my own name," reveals Pahl.
Eventually, the lineup solidified into the quintet of Pahl, Benson, Doug Gourlay, Marko Novachcoff and Mary Richards. They toured Europe and played many avant-garde music festivals. They also served as an inspiration to many local musicians with an eclectic bent. When Joel Peterson of the Immigrant Suns first saw Only A Mother, he knew he had found some kindred spirits. As he explains, "They were unusual and had a great command of what they were trying to do, too. It affected my attitude about being able to get people together and create music that was that adventurous."
Although the name will soon be one for the past, Pahl and his remaining cohorts will still bring creative music to the area. "I'm sure that we'll all continue to play together, but we won't do anything under that name," says Pahl, who will embark on a solo tour of the West Coast in September.
get this gem here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had this album, as well as the Romantic Warped, back in the day, but a distant and short acquaintance of mine borrowed both albums and lost them. Getting to hear Riding White Alligators again was awesome! If you ever get the mood and the opportunity to post The Romantic Warped as well at some point, Anonymous will send you over 9000 internets!