Pounding Serfs-related, courtesy of Phil Elverum
At the second annual What-the-Heck Fest, in 2003, my dad and I were curious about an unknown group listed in the brochure. They called themselves Buckets of Blood.
"A name like that is pretty out of place at this hippie festival," I said.
Even more confusing was when we saw Phil Elverum lugging an amp to the park, right before Buckets of Blood's set was scheduled to start.
"Looks like Phil's a roadie now, too," my dad joked.
We were pleasantly shocked when Phil walked up to the mic and plugged his electric into the amp, as Karl Blau sat down behind the drum kit, and Dave Matthies and some other guy joined them onstage. Not that it was actually a stage, more the area in front of the gazebo in the park.
They immediately tore into the song they stole their name from, a true grunge song with enough of the Pounding Serfs in it to make it stand out from that Candlebox (or even Mudhoney) shit you remember. Afterwards, Phil said, "That song was by Gravel. This next song is by Gravel." They played a total of four Gravel songs, with Phil saying almost exactly the same thing in between each, then left the park. I am pretty sure that was their only performance. Here is their entire set:
Bucket of Blood
Sand in My Eye
Who is Gravel, you ask?
Gravel were one of Phil's favorite bands while growing up. Formed in 1990 in Anacortes, WA by Bryan Elliott and Dale Robinson (of Pounding Serfs), and Bobby Vaux and Rich Papritz, they released two full length records, some 7" singles, and one E.P. before breaking up. Their full-lengths are both out of print, though you can find them on Ebay or Amazon's stores section. Bryan and Bobby are now in BURL, who've just released a record (with drumming by Phil Elvrum's dad, Flip) on KNW-YR-OWN. I have no idea what happened to Dale or Rich.
Buy a Gravel single here
Buy BURL's album
I'd like to thank Said the Gramophone for mentioning this blog on their site, http://www.saidthegramophone.com
The best writing about music that I've ever seen, with some really great songs by bands I've never heard of.