Toiling Midgets


Toiling Midgets

Infobox musical artist
Name = Toiling Midgets


Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = San Francisco, California, U.S.
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Post-punk, Instrumental rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1979-1983, 1989-1997, 2007-Present
Label = Matador Rough Trade Fistpuppet Thermidor Toiling Midgets Media
Associated_acts =
URL = [http://www.grifterrec.com/midgets/toiling.html Official Website] and [http://www.grifterrec.com/midgets/toiling.html Official Website]
Current_members = Craig Gray, Paul Hood, Tom Mallon, Mark Sullivan, Erich Werner
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Toiling Midgets is an influential rock band from San Francisco, California with "roots in seminal San Francisco punk acts the Sleepers and Negative Trend1." They were "one of the first West Coast punk bands to experiment with dub and post-punk elements1", and have been active on-and-off since 1979. They recently reunited, playing two shows (Dirkfest, a June 7–June 8 2007 festival taking place at [http://www.slims-sf.com/ Slim's] and the Great American Music Hall respectively and honoring the late Dirk Dirksen; the 2007 Haight-Ashbury Street Fair on June 10 2007) in June 2007 and have planned a European tour for the summer of 2008. The current lineup does not feature a vocalist, and the Midgets' instrumental rock is almost always defined as "undefinable."

History2

The Midgets were formed in 1979 by drummer Tim Mooney and guitarist Craig Gray of the local San Francisco band Negative Trend and guitarist Paul Hood from Seattle's Punk bands MEYCE and The Enemy and bassist Nosmo King. Paul Hood had previously been a bassist in Seattle, but picked up the guitar in the hopes of playing in a rock band like his hero, Mick Ronson. The band added the late singer Ricky Williams to its lineup in 1981. The Midgets released their first album, "Sea of Unrest" about this time, before Williams insisted that Nosmo King leave the band, and leaving the band without a bass player. At the end of 1982 bassist Aaron Gregory joined the group, and Annie Ungar (Gun Club) joined as a third guitarist. The formation of the band released "Dead Beats," which represented a return to the all-instrumental approach with which the Toiling Midgets has initially been formed. Toward the end of 1983, the band broke up. Hood moved to Seattle, Washington and Gray moved to the United Kingdom.

In 1989, the band reunited just before the Loma-Prieta Earthquake. Returning to the instrumental format with which the band had begun, the band released and singer Mark Eitzel joined the band about this time. The new group released a CD on Matador Records in June 1992 called "Son" and had embarked on a U.S. tour earlier in May. However, on the eve the tour Eitzel quit the band. When asked during a May 23rd interview with the University of Minnesota's student newspaper if he was still with the band, Eitzel replied,

"Fuck no! They're fucking assholes. They're like these ex-junkie rock stars who expect to be driven around in limousines all the time and they're getting older and they're not doing anything new. Fuck 'em. It's death, y'know, I'm sorry."

Without a singer, the band toured instrumentally. (Williams did not reunite with the band in 1989, instead he moved into a Midget side project that included violinist Mary Redfield (Wade) and recorded an album in 1991 (unreleased). Shortly after rejoining the band, on November 21 1992, [http://www.grifterrec.com/midgets/rickyobit.html Williams passed away] due to respiratory complications and a mixture of drugs and alcohol abuse) Shortly after the tour, drummer Tim Mooney and bassist Joe Goldring (who presumably joined solely for touring) left the band (Mooney went on to join the American Music Club, which Eitzel was also the singer for), and were replaced by drummer and long-time producer [http://www.grifterrec.com/mallon/mallon.html Tom Mallon] and bassist Erich Werner, who had previously been in the Seattle bands Telepaths and the Blackouts.

Mallon and Werner are still part of the lineup today, along with Gray and Hood. Along the way, the lineup picked up keyboardist Mark Sullivan (Lucky, Motorcade). For a brief time during this period (1992 -> 1997), the band was joined by Paul Hood's sister, violist Joanna Hood (who had performed with the Loma Mar Quartet and Paul McCartney), and vocalist David Ripley. The group went on an indefinte hiatus in 1997, but reformed in May 2007 to prepare for the summer of 2007's concerts in San Francisco.

Current line-up

*Craig Gray - Guitar
*Paul Hood - Guitar
*Tom Mallon - Drums
*Erich Werner - Bass
*Mark Sullivan - Keyboard

Former members

*Nosmo King - Bass
*Tim Mooney - Drums
*Ricky Williams (deceased) - Vocals
*Aaron Gregory (deceased) - Bass
*Annie Ungar - Guitar
*Mark Eitzel - Vocals
*Joe Goldring - Bass
*Joanna Hood - Viola
*David Ripley - Vocals
*Carla Fabrizio³ - Cello on "Son"
*Lisa Davis³ - Bass on "Son"

Discography

*"Do the Incendiary," initial demo tape, recorded by Tom Mallon (available [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7298878 here] ) and released by Toiling Midgets Media
*"4 TRK Mind," a four-track recording (available [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7298878 here] ) and released by Toiling Midgets Media
*"God's Man," a demo from 1989-90 also recorded by Mallon (available [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7298878 here] ) and released by Toiling Midgets Media
*"Sea of Unrest," released in 1982 on Rough Trade Records and re-released in 1994 on Fistpuppet Records
*"Dead Beats," released on Thermidor Records in 1983
*"Golden Frog," a 7" released on Matador Records on October 17 1991
*"Son," the band's most recent studio album, released on Matador Records on July 14 1992

References

*1: [http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,502207,00.html ArtistDirect.com Biography]
*2: All information for history, line-up, and discog comes from current drummer [http://www.grifterrec.com/midgets/toiling.html Tom Mallon's website] , the [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7298878 Midgets' MySpace] , and [http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=toiling_midgets TrouserPress.Com's website]
*3: [http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,175995,00.html ArtistDirect info for "Son" album]

External links

* [http://www.grifterrec.com/midgets/toiling.html Official Website]
* [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7298878 Myspace]
* [http://tribes.tribe.net/5fc6c60d-9e5d-42d8-941e-3e2a52d5758e# Midgets @ Tribe.net]
* [http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=toiling_midgets Midgets @ Trouser Press]
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/cgmidget Midgets videos on YouTube]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonrio/sets/72157600346903353/ Photos from the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair Concert @ Flickr]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mark Eitzel — Birth name John Mark Eitzel[1] Origin Walnut Creek, California[2][3] …   Wikipedia

  • Mark Eitzel — Nom John Mark Eitzel Naissance 30 janvier 1959 (1959 01 30) (52 ans) Wal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Crime (band) — Crime L R: Fix, Ripper, Rank, Strike Background information Genres Punk rock Years active …   Wikipedia

  • Mark Eitzel — Archivo:Markeitzel.jpg Mark Eitzel in a promotional photo. Mark Eitzel (nacido el 30 de enero de 1959 en Walnut Creek, California) Es un músico y compositor norteamericano, más conocido como líder y cantante de la banda de San Francisco American… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Matador Records — Founded 1989 Founder Chris Lombardi Genre Indie rock …   Wikipedia

  • Rough Trade Records — Infobox record label name = Rough Trade image bg = parent = founded = 1978 founder = Geoff Travis, in 1987 Jeanette Lee became an equal partner cite web |date=Thursday 26 April, 2007|url = http://www.southwestsound.org.uk/inc/files/JLandDL… …   Wikipedia

  • Hut Records — VC Recordings trading as Hut Records was a British record label brand which was started in 1990 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Records. It was often regarded as an independent label due to the independent distribution, which was used by… …   Wikipedia

  • List of post-punk bands — This is a list of post punk bands, both from the original post punk movement as well as from the post punk revival.Post punk is a musical movement that began at the end of the 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion . The …   Wikipedia

  • List of instrumental bands — #*The 440 Alliance *5ive *65daysofstaticA*The Advantage *The Album Leaf *Davie Allan the Arrows *ApocalypticaB*The Bakerton Group *Because of Ghosts *The Bel Airs *Billy Mahonie *The Black Mages *Boards of Canada *Bohren der Club of Gore *Bozzio… …   Wikipedia

  • List of bands from the San Francisco Bay Area — San Francisco Peninsula/North Bay = * Alienation * American Music Club * Anderson Congress * Animosity * The Beau Brummels * Beulah * Big Brother and the Holding Company * Blaqk Audio * Black Rebel Motorcycle Club * Blue Cheer * Blue Movie *… …   Wikipedia