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Saint Cecilia Knows

JACK RUBY - Hit and Run

New lower pricing. "The collected recordings of legendary lost 1970s New York City band, Jack Ruby. Seen and heard by just a precious few, Jack Ruby made only five studio recordings and played an equal number of gigs between 1973 and 1977. None of their music was ever released and, until now, they have existed solely as a word-of-mouth legend among peers. Yet their legacy and influence can clearly be heard in bands that followed in their wake like Sonic Youth and Teenage Jesus And The Jerks. They have been variously described as "The Velvet Underground in a car crash" and the "art-punk Steely Dan." Formed in 1973 by vocalist Robin Hall, guitarist Chris Gray, multi-instrumentalist Randy Cohen, classically-trained viola player Boris (also known as Boris Policeband), and later joined by bassist George Scott (James Chance And The Contortions/8-Eyed Spy/John Cale) and new vocalist Stephen Barth, the first incarnation of Jack Ruby demoed two tracks in a Times Square recording studio in 1974; their signature tune, the nihilistic proto-punk "Hit and Run" -- sounding like some unholy blend of Raw Power-era Stooges, Velvet Underground and J.G. Ballards Crash -- and a bizarre number entitled "Mayonnaise," based around Boris amplified viola and primitive electronic "beats" sequenced on Cohens Serge synthesizer. These two cuts were used to hustle additional studio time from Epic Records through Sly Stones A&R, Stephen Paley. Three more maniacal songs of arch art-punk with killer pop hooks -- "Bored Stiff," "Bad Teeth," and "Sleep Cure" -- were all recorded in one five to six hour session at Columbia Studios in May 1974. With Cohen patching musique concrète sounds through the Serge, set against Grays banshee guitar-playing and Halls snotty vocals, the Jack Ruby sound was formed. But a record deal evaded them. Cohen left and started a new career as a writer for Late Night With David Letterman and, later, as The Ethicist, a columnist for The New York Times solving readers ethical problems. In 1976, Hall and Gray reactivated Jack Ruby as a live-performing unit with George Scott on bass. They played harder, faster and louder than any other band in New York at that time. Their rehearsals at Matrix studios, and dusk-to-dawn parties at the Bowery apartment behind CBGBs shared by Gray and Scott, became a cult draw for other NYC punk and no wave musicians. Hall quit the band unexpectedly in 1977, days before their first scheduled gig. Jack Ruby continued on as a power trio with Gray, by now the only original member, taking over vocal duties for a couple of shows alongside Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and the Fleshtones, before disbanding for good after one last riotous show with new vocalist Stephen Barth at Maxs Kansas City, formerly stalking ground of the bands idols, The Velvet Underground. Hit and Run is a two-disc set of everything Jack Ruby recorded between 1973 and 1977 (across four incarnations of the band) that should see them acknowledged as one of the most radical and brilliantly original groups to emerge from the 1970s New York City music scene. Remastered from recently-discovered master tapes, the first disc collects all five of the bands studio recordings, which although 40 years-old still sound thrillingly urgent and modern, alongside a 1977 cassette of a band rehearsal, and a 2013 remix by producer Don Fleming. Disc two contains another side to Jack Ruby; a series of largely-electronic, avant-garde pieces from 1972 and 1974 -- nine short tracks that play like a library record, book-ended by two longer ones -- some of the earliest extant recordings made on a Serge synthesizer. What Jack Ruby left is a remarkable legacy of recorded music -- hidden for decades, now-revealed -- constituting a previously-unheard secret history of the New York City music scene of the early 1970s." - Saint Cecilia Knows.

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  • Regular price $19.00


After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.



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