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BABYLON DANCE BAND: Someday (7″, Trash Flow TF03, 1990)

Babylon Dance Band - Someday

I’ve mentioned before the pile of American indie 7″ singles that I once bought from eBay (both here and here), and this is another from that batch.

Now, I have no idea whatsoever who Babylon Dance Band are, or how they fit into any kind of lineage of music. I’d never heard of them before receiving that pile of records in the mail, and I’ve never heard of them since. Let’s look at the evidence available on the back of this record’s sleeve, and a bit of internet research, to try and piece together some information:

  1. The record is released on Trash Flow Records, which was based in Hoboken, New Jersey.
    Very little information out there on this label. It seems they also released singles by Seam, King Kong and Love Child, if those names mean anything to you. However! The label owner seems to have been a fellow called Ken, who also ran a radio show called Trash Flow Radio, as well as writing gig reviews. Possibly he still does? (For your information, trashflow.com will introduce you to ‘the first Trash Hauling Software to be available for Windows’).
  2. The photograph on the cover is of 1069 Bardstown Road.
    Where is this road? Is it in Louisville, Kentucky, where the tracks were recorded? If so – that address is now the location of a Taco Bell. But, more importantly, it was previously the site of ‘Louisville’s first “Punk house”‘, where Babylon Dance Band first met! I like how this story is coming together.
  3. The tracks were recorded at Mom’s Recording Studio, Louisville.
    This studio still seems active. They don’t have a website that I can find, but here’s a photograph of what seems to be the building.
  4. The band members are Tim Harris, Tara Key, Sean Mulhall and Chip Nold.
    Tim Harris is now a photojournalist.
    Tara Key is an important figure, and it seems Babylon Dance Band were important also.
    Sean Mulhall now teaches at the University of Louisville.
    Chip Nold wrote The Insiders’ Guide to Louisville and Southern Indiana.
  5. The sleeve copywriter didn’t understand apostrophes.
    Evidence from the back of the record’s sleeve: Back Cover Photo’s by John Nation. Not only a misplaced apostrophe, but also a Questionable Use Of Capital Letters. (And who is John Nation, you ask? Why, he was a photographer for Louisville Magazine for thirty years).

So there you have it – isn’t the internet clever? From this record by a previously unknown (to me) band, I’ve now glimpsed into the world of Babylon Dance Band, who it seems were big cheeses in the Louisville punk/hardcore scene, and who have pleasingly continued to live and contribute to that city and the state of Kentucky. What’s more, I’m now aware of louisvillehardcore.com, and its fantastic ‘History’ section, which is an exhaustingly comprehensive guide to a city’s musical heritage – and remember, Louisville was the birthplace of some cool bands like Slint and The For Carnation.

4 thoughts on “BABYLON DANCE BAND: Someday (7″, Trash Flow TF03, 1990)

  1. Not bad for just surfing the web. To answer a couple of your questions:

    King Kong was another Louisville band of the same era as the Babylon Dance Band and was led by Ethan Buckler, the original bassist for Slint. Various members of KK included Dave Pajo, Todd Hildreth, Ray Rizzo, Willie McClean and others. Pajo went on to play with Will Oldham, The For Carnation, Tortoise, Stereolab, Royal Trux and more, and performed as a solo artist under the name Papa M. He also co-founded Dead Child. Hildreth and Rizzo were core members of the jazz trio The Java Men. Rizzo founded the Motherlodge project as well, which is happening in Louisville this weekend (Oct 2-5).

    Mom’s Music is still in business but the recording studio was bought by Howie Gano and moved elsewhere.

    Tara Key lives in Portland, Oregon, where she pursues art and continues to release records as a solo artist.

    Somehow, Tewligans didn’t get mentioned in all that. That was a club not far from the 1069 house; it was at 1047 Bardstown Rd. and hosted all of the various punk bands of the era. In its way, it was as famous as CBGB’s.

  2. Hi guys-
    Actually Tara Jane O’Neill, another fine Louisvillian, lives in Portland and is a solo artist. I live in NYC, and still have my band Antietam with Tim Harris, my husband and band mate since the Babylon Dance Band.. Check out our website at antietamtheband.com for a thorough history of the Babylon Dance Band and Antietam.
    Tara Key

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