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From Beyond the Grave: Celindine, At Long Last [3/22/2007 11:38:00 PM]:
This really, truly makes my week. A while back, I stumbled across a two-year-old post over on The Skyline Network about the glory of the ancient-but-amazing It Came From Nowhere... 7" comp, where long-ago scene vets Mark Caperton of Ojet Recs and former Celindine/etc. guitarist/singer Trey Pool both popped up and offered a copy of all the old Celindine stuff on CD. Pathetic fanboy that I am, drool immediately began to form at the edges of my mouth.

So I tracked down Mark & Trey and begged/pleaded for a copy of the old stuff, and just yesterday I got a little envelope in the mail with a CD-R featuring a copy of the sick ghost currently covered in secret ants demo tape cover and a kind, sweet letter from Trey himself about hearing yours truly play the tape on the radio late-late-late one night way back when. Holy fuck. I slap it in the CD player, and it all comes back to me -- ahhh, that's it. Yes.

Really, when I think about it, Celindine were a band that was just too good to last. They were like the Squirrel Bait of the Houston scene at the time -- a supremely talented crew of guys who really just seemed to like to screw around, drink beer, and rock to crowds made up mostly of friends and fellow musicians, but who somehow managed to go on to be in a good dozen other influential local bands:

  • Trey went on to form Trompedo (which was basically Celindine minus other guitarist/vocalist Damon), then Sad Like Crazy, before moving up to Austin w/his very nice wife Mari and their pal Thane...
  • Bassist Shane played in The Linoleum Experiment, then Star City, and then moved off to, um, I've got no clue where...
  • Damon (who himself used to front local straightedge heroes Refuse To Fall) played with a rotating cast of characters for a few years as That Gospel Sound and has since shifted over to the sweet life of a DJ with Boys & Girls Club...
  • Replacement guitarist Jason played solo for a while as The Last Weak before heading home to Florida...
  • Original drummer Jeremy played in The Linoleum Experiment w/Shane...
  • Replacement drummer Gram started great-indie-hope Schrasj, played with Jessica Six, and then moved out to Cali and released an album as Golden Gram before joining Sub Pop indie-psych rockers Rogue Wave (yep, that Rogue Wave)...
  • and replacement-replacement drummer Jeff played in Buzzie Rifle, then The Wholesome Rollers, then Telluride, which became Chasmatic and later transmuted into today's own alt-country slackers Bright Men of Learning.

I'm probably missing several incestuous band connections, here, but you get the idea. Celindine wasn't around long, really, and only ever put out a couple of tape demos, the aforementioned 7" comp appearance, and another two-song 7" before imploding in the face of some serious personality conflicts, but even now, I still feel like I can hear echoes of 'em in the Houston scene.

And what a sound it was. Equal parts Grifters-y backwoods daze (esp. in Trey's vocals), Yo La Tengo indie sensibility, and an Archers of Loaf-ish sideways take on rock, with lots of off-kilter guitar parts that sounded like they shouldn't work but somehow did, slow nod-inducing grooves, a bit of jam band slapdashery, and it fucking ruled. These guys simultaneously made me want to keep playing music because music was too damn cool and give it up because there was no hope of me ever coming near to their coolness. Celindine was honestly the first local band I ever idolized; they made it look so easy to write/play songs that were catchy and strange at the same time.

Okay, so I'll attempt to quit the fanboy blathering now. With Trey's blessing, here're a handful of tracks from the "Collected Works of Celindine" CD-R he's thrown my way; he says he occasionally toys with the idea of getting it all polished up & sending copies to a bunch of the old scenesters from those days, but eh, time moves on... I think the first two are from the sick ghost tape, the third is from the It Came From Nowhere... comp, and the last two are from what was reportedly going to be the band's first actual "real" release (sorry, there's some static, but Trey swears it was on his CD-R, too):

Download 'em, stick 'em on the MP3 player, and throw your mind back to those days back in the early-to-mid-'90s when Rudyard's actually had bands play on a teeny stage where the dartboards are, the mainstream press gave even less of a crap about local bands than it does now, and touring bands routinely gave H-town the finger as they roared past in the tour buses/vans, barely bothering to even slow down, thus forcing us all to make our own fun. Enjoy.

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