Frog Songs Mixtape - 1985-1994
This 8-track, 32-minute-lo-fi-mono mixtape is from the heart, on the occasion of the 30th birthday of the year 1991, taking me back home to my radical Detroit roots. Ripped on 1-31-2021 from playback on a Nakamichi Cassette deck to Audacity on a Lenovo laptop & then uploaded on February 2, 2021 to Soundcloud. None of the tracks are available anywhere in digital format, to my knowledge. [Ok some of them are probably on YouTube, maybe.] Some of these were extremely limited private-pressing cassettes. None of this is on Spotify.
404 Willis was Detroit’s DIY ‘autonomous zone’ & music-poetry venue & art gallery & soup kitchen from 1991-1994. We opened our doors as some folks read Hakim Bey’s TAZ that same spring & it was a nonstop adventure until we closed our doors after three short years, only to move our energies nearby to the Trumbullplex, which by reports is still going strong after all these years.
This mixtape was born from my boxes & boxes of mostly neglected cassettes, as I have been enjoying some deep nostalgia about that pivotal year in a transformative period in my life. In this mix, I have tried to capture the spirit of the 404, the radical anti-authoritarian movements at that time period more generally, as well as the Detroit/Cass Corridor scene. Two artists not from Detroit that make it into this cut, were ones that both performed at the 404 when on tour, as we became the stop for lots of traveling punk, some folk, & otherwise independent & interesting artists.
1 - The Don’t Look Now Jug Band - Frog Song - Live In The Attic - private press live cassette - 1988
2- Andy Sunfrog - Waiting For Richard - cassette rip from Living Poets radio show - private copy from DJ - 11/27/1994
3 -Roger Manning - Real Estate Blues - White Trash: NY Folk Volume 1 - 1988 - 109 Records
4- Lenny Pops - Talking Proletarian Blues - 1992- 404 Records (“recorded at Lisa & Sunfrog’s apartment”)
5- The Layabouts - I’m Tired - No Masters - 1985 - Non-Serviam - dubbed from a cassette dub of album
6 - Chumbawamba - Happiness Is Just A Chant Away - SHHH - Agit Prop - 1992
7- Mick Vranich & Wordband - Chains Across The Trees - Cloak Of Skin - New Alliance Records - 1994
8- Cathouse - Road Song - Virtue Undone - private press cassette - 1992