Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Polyzylons & RIP Heather Russell

It's already been two months now since Heather Russell of Kansas City passed away at a young age, due to cancer. I wanted to post this as soon as I heard about it, but my ability to be emotionally articulate in print seems to be getting more difficult all the time. So here's what you get.
I knew Heather from the Iowa City music scene in the late 90s, and particularly from Polyzylons, the band she was in with (then boyfriend, later husband) Bill Cave, another friend of mine. I never knew Natalie, the other bandmate, that well.
Polyzylons were a revelation to me. It was the first time I ever felt like I could contribute to the local music scene by turning people on to something they wouldn't otherwise pay attention to. Most of my friends were townie metalheads & wierdos, into noise rock like Pussy Galore, Chrome, and stuff on AmRep, or else far-out chaos like Caroliner & Borbetomagus. Heather, on the other hand, was responsible for turning pretty much everyone in my circle on to Stereolab. I became a fervent Polyzylons promoter, hyping their shows to everyone I knew and playing them a lot on the pirate station I was involved with (ICFR- Iowa City Free Radio). It's probably delusional, but I'd like to think that I helped them gain some momentum in IC, at least. I don't believe they ever played anywhere else.
I think Polyzylons may have gotten together due to everyone working at the local Public Access TV (PATV) station. Musically, it's just incredibly delicate, haunting stuff, seemingly outside of any time frame. It holds up for me now just as much as it did then. In fact, I had melodies from this recording stuck in my head for weeks after pulling it out of storage & hearing it again after so many years.
I burned this straight off the cassette, and may not have the right breaks for each song. In fact, there's 3 or 4 songs that definitely got lumped together in the same track because I didn't want to chance making abrupt cuts. Everything's in the .zip file, link to be found at the bottom of this post. And yes, the furry blue feather in the scan was also included in my cassette. Hope you enjoy it.

RIP Heather