Friday 20 June 2008

Cerebral Corps: Attributed to Jeff Stuart Saltzman

Come with me now back to the early nineties when we were all so much younger and life was, well the usual mixture of okay and crap…But and this was a big but it was also the dawn of the golden age of music, heralded by Jellyfish and Beagle. Before then my musical tastes leant towards lots of the American bands that start with REM opening up the field again. CVB, The Ophelias, Monks Of Doom were (and still are) favourites along with just about anything that Mitch Easter and Don Dixon laid their production hands upon and I was a big fan of the sprawling hope taping genius of R. Stevie Moore.

The there was Adrian Belew fresh from his time with Zappa (for me the seventies was Uncle Frank’s finest era) and Talking Heads and part of Robert Fripp’s cleverly retooled King Crimson, had released two fine edgey avant pop albums before joining the sublime flash pop masters The Bears. ( I would like to add the magnificent and unique Trip Shakespeare to this list but truth to tell they passed by unnoticed at the time and it was via Semisonic that I looked back and found the masterpiece album that was Lulu.)

After my first musical love, progressive had laid down and died at the end of the seventies I had also embraced psychedelia for the first time (because I was ten in 1967 and missed it all the first time)… via the Rubbles. UK psych, Pretty Things, The End, Tintern Abbey, The Move more than American psych unless the US stuff was anglophiled in a Left Banke, Nazz sort of way. Of the current English artists only those with a psych edge, XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, Captain Sensible, Nick Haeffner, The Chrysanthemums, held any real sway with me. A lot of the neo-psych bands around seemed hopeless to me, far too garage bound to suit my more refined taste. Bands like Dog Age, The Moffs, Rain Parade, The Three O’clock and The Tyrnaround were delivering up the goods in a newer sort of way, but besides the beautiful pastiches of Duke Of Stratosphere and the Nick Nicely single there seemed nobody around with the talent and will to pick up the musical banner cast down at the start of the 70’s and carry it forward in the way the magnificent Pillbugs have done these last ten years so effortlessly. Though I got to say, by default, the one and only album by Cerebral Corps came damn close at the time.

Alias were a San Francisco based label who had a couple of genius bands, Game Theory/Loud Family and Harm Farm, a couple of great bands, American Music Club and The Sneetches and a lot of other band I cared nothing for, but it was enough to make me check out anything I came across in record shops on the label. Attributed To…Cerebral Corps looked interesting from the get go, hell worth buying just to hear their brave, some might say foolhardy, attempts of covers of The Fire’s classic Fathers Name Is Dad and Kaleidoscope’s Music…but little was I prepared for the masterwork that would unfold before my disbelieving ears in all its precise chiming psychedelic glory. Attributed To is an astonishing piece of work from start to finish. The creation of mainly one guy Jeff Saltzman from Campbell in the Bay Area of San Francisco.

The two covers that drew me to the album to start with are uncanny, recreating the performances of the originals not only in form but also in energy…though what is strange is that they also sound modern while faithful. Neither foolhardy nor brave but brilliant… Of the other eight tracks present Girl From the Carnival is the only song written and sang by Bob Vickers who was the Molding to Saltzman’s Partridge at the time. It’s a nice song, beautifully played and could easily slip onto a later XTC album with no one raising and eyebrow. The other seven songs are all Saltzman originals and this is where the true magic lies. Of these only Chester Norman Criss Cross is unashamedly english popsike, so detailed in production and so twisted with ideas that its more like a mini rock opera replete with a moral of the story narrative. It’s a splendid and clever invention. But really it’s on the remainder of the album where the genius lies. Myopia, I’m Haemorraghing and Perihelion are musical epics, magnificent and beautiful and each strikingly different from each other.

Sounding Song, The Very Idea and Inertia, which at first sound like pretty breathing spaces between the other magnificent inventions, in time show themselves to be the true jewels here in. Attributed To became my album of that year by about the fifth play and remains to this day a much loved and played friend, as great today as it ever was. Soon after it release all the myriad music of the nineties kicked in and the golden age was upon us. I remember the very next album I bough was The Man Called E album (starting a love affair with the music of Mark Oliver Everett that burns just as strongly today as it ever did) and soon enough The Grays, Daryll Ann, Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Wonderlust, Weird Summer, The Idlwilds and loads more started filling my shelves and my ears. The psych part of my collection faded into the background, as my listening habits move on.

And yet the Cerebral Corps album remained in the active part of my collection and constant visitor to my player. And in time I knew the overiding reason for this was simple. The songs. Saltzman might be a brilliant, imaginative and creative musical force but above all else it’s his ability to come up with jaw dropping beautiful melodies and achingly addictive hooks in the same way that later discoveries like Mark Mikel, Philip Price and Elliot Smith seemed to been born with this magical gene. Through interviewing Jeff I eventually got a copy of his very first release, the tape only Oxide Soxs. Half the tape is more of his uncanny covers, Tapioca Tundra, Pictures Of Matchstick Men, We love You, Baby Lemonade and Corporal Clegg each a stunning faithful recreation, each unmistakably not the origina,l if you listened close enough, in some indefinable way. The rest is more excellent originals like the blissful Sheena Easton’s Ghost and the sardonic waltz of It’s Always Christmastime and early versions of later album tracks. Recorded on four track it’s a vibrant, inviting and inventive collection that easily deserves a CD release of its own.

I also, via the interview tape got to finally hear the monster psych gem that started it all, the Electic Prunes meets Plasticland in a dark fuzz alley and get paranoid together, Pam’s Purple Spirograph, surely one of the greatest psych singles never released. And, in someways, best of all the glorious charming Sweet Bobby Brown, the first track he ever recorded and as beautiful as the girl it was written about. At the time of this interview I was still mad psychedelic over the album first and foremost…when he makes it clear in the interview that he would probably be dropping the more obvious retro psychedelic angle completely for the next album, my heart sank…by the time a few years later when Jeff, out of the blue sent me two brand new songs Too Slow and Blood Gone Wrong that were far more him, as had been Sounding Song, The Very Idea and Inertia from the album, I knew, (maybe not that day but tomorrow and for the rest of my life) not only was he totally right, but that an album of his beautiful songs was going to turn out to be exactly what I wanted too. That Cerebral Corps would become an occasional side project and Jeff Saltzman albums would be the main focus of his musical path. And yet it wasn’t to be, though I’ll get to that at the end.

But first the interview, which for reasons I’ll explain, sees the light of day here for the very first time. Pre-internet it was a total hit and miss thing trying to interview musicians from across the pond. All you could generally do is send a letter with your request and all your questions and thoughts to the record company and hoped they passed it on and that the artist would be up for it. You would wait for weeks sometimes longer before you maybe got any reply. It was like flying blind. I must have only had the album a couple of weeks before I was putting pen to paper, because I wanted to interview Jeff more than anyone at that point. And yet the weeks turned into months and maybe into a year or so and I had all but forgotten about it when one morning out of the blue I got a call from Jeff apologizing for the inexcusably long wait and that the interview was done and dusted and on its way. Great news and great to actually speak to the man, I was one happy bunny. A week later a tape arrived in the post. I’ve got to say now that this interview has always been one of my all time favorites. Not just because Jeff, instead of just plonking himself down in front of a tape recorder as most people would do, decides instead to do the whole thing in his home studio, adding sound effects, slipping in rare tracks like Pam’s Purple Spirograph and Sweet Bonny Brown and generally making it more like a slightly crazed radio show than just an interview. But mainly because of Jeff himself. He’s such a complete sweetheart. Self-effacing, witty, warm clever and honest in his replies throughout, the whole tape is a joy to listen to from start to finish. Besides what gets transcribed below, there are lots of asides to me, lots of funny bits, lots of sweet self-depreciation said with a smile. By the end of the tape I wished that he lived next door, not two thousand miles away and that I could be his friend.

Half way through the tape, Jeff, getting busier and busier with his new production skills, stops and when he appears again on side two it was three months later….At one point Jeff mentioned that a local writer had popped round to interview him a few weeks before…I didn’t give it another thought until I phoned Phil at the Terrascope to tell him of the CC interview only to find out that interview was also for the Terrascope and that I had beaten to the punch. I could have offered it on to Bucketfull but it didn’t feel right, the two most prominent fan mags both covering the same artist at the same time. So I shelved it with the simple plan of waiting for the next album to come out and then updating it and offering it the Bucketfull then. It was such a good interview that I really didn’t want to lose it. I regretted that decision ever since. Firstly because when the PT interview arrived it wasn’t good at all. Jeff sounded blasé and aloof, not because he was in anyway being any of those things, but his natural and charming self-depreciation and joking had been lost in translation somehow. Also it wasn’t the complete and shinning thing he had sent me but fractured and unclear. Maybe Jeff didn’t feel so relaxed in a face to face interview as he did because questioned by my hand written sheets, but I really wasn’t happy with the article at all. (I found out later Jeff felt the same because we talked about it.) So the plan to run it for the second album in Bucketfull now seemed even more important…to address the mistake and make things right..only trouble was, the second album never came. Jeff, famous for his postal tardiness took another year to getting round to sending me Oxide Soxs and when it finally arrived the long letter with it revealed how things had changed. But we’ll get to that later. Because it’s time for Jeff to take it away now. I only wish I could play you all the original tape…it is so much fun (well technically I could because I transferred it onto CD many years ago)…but I hope I get it right enough for you all to read it as it should be read. With a twinkle in the eye. So enough of my reminiscing here is the true story of Cerebral Corps in the voice of the man himself.

Jeff. "I probably got interested in playing music when I was about sixteen. Before then I didn’t really know much about music, I remember one time hearing a Rolling Stone song and not knowing even who they were when I was around sixteen and I decided to help my social life, especially as far as girls went, to learn about music. Probably start even playing music, playing the guitar so what grew out of that was a group of friends who had similar concerns about their sexual well-being. We started a punk band, called The Dischords we played some originals and a lot of music from England, we liked The Clash and The Jam and The Buzzcocks (I still like the Buzzcocks a lot). I’m kinda proud about that because a lot of friends my age who had bands at that time have real embarrassing setlists like Journey and Foghat and things like that. So at least I think I started out on the right foot. I started working at record stores and that was like the end, everything sort of collapsed after that, I didn’t pay attention at school or my parents or anything, it was just guitar music and more guitar music. So it’s a pretty typical story. I wouldn’t say I became a music buff as such, I sort of know about the music I like. I have friends who are music buffs, have thousands of records, these guys are like librarians, they know specific tracks from specific albums and I was not like that. I became a big fan of ELO, which I think is pretty obvious.

When I was eighteen I started doing four-track demos of my own songs like Sweet Bonnie Brown, which was either the first or second thing I ever did. It’s sort of an Irish kind of song, it had mandolin and it was in 3/4. I think my older stuff is kinda charming actually. I think I was working very well with the limitations I had, especially since I knew absolutely nothing about recording. There’s a lot of real naivety there that’s really easy to lose when you have tons of real cool equipment and record company contracts and stuff. I’ve never been that prolific at writing songs, recording is probably the main reason I do music, I usually write songs because I want to record something and you can only do cover songs for so long. Its always more fun recording your own songs but its always been something that facilitated recording. Recording is really just a hobby for me so the songwriting is just a symptom of that. There’s lots of stuff in the archives from this period, most of it is pretty pedestrian four track experiments, like what somebody might do if they were naive and had crummy equipment. There’s some cool stuff, I’ll have to dig it out sometime.
To truly understand the genesis of Cerebral Corps we have to start at Pam’s Purple Spyrograph, which was my very first Cerebral Corps recording and it was done on a lark. I was trying to be as overtly sixties psychedelic as I possibly could. I think I was listening to Plasticland at the time, I liked them a lot, even though they weren’t British, they were pretty close.

A friend of mine who was a music director at a local college radio station heard that and begged me to let him play it so I let him. It was the first thing I had ever given a radio station and it got really heavy airplay, I was shocked. I mean it was really funny. I’m still surprised. I guess that it’s just such a weird song and it sounded so different from everything else on the air, this was like the REM era of college radio. It was way different so it stood out and it was kind of a hit and that sorta started Cerebral Corps because people started wanting to hear more and more. And through all this college radio play I got voted as one of the bands people wanted to see play the Bay Area Talented Showcase. Trouble was I didn’t have a band, it was just me. They called me and said would I be in this showcase which was going to highlight all these unsigned bands and its going to be this big show and this big benefit for all the stations. I said…yes sure…I was so taken aback and after I’d hung up the phone I thought, you idiot how am I gonna do this? So luckily just through playing guitar and stuff, I had some friends who where willing to help me out. It was kinda like the Magnificent Seven or something. That I went around and picked out the cream of the bay area musical crop is not right. In fact I just went around and asked these guys one by one and I sort of put a band together that way. So it was a real hodgepodge stylistically.

Jeff and Bob
Like the lead guitarist was into heavy metal and the drummer was into seventies stuff like Foghat and the bass player was Bob Vickers who became like my collaborator or helper or co core member until a couple of months ago because he couldn’t take it anymore. So this band played some shows before the showcase and they were all disastrous, I thought, though people came up to me afterwards and said they thought we were really great and there were always lots of people there. One show was so bad I actually ran off the stage and that was basically the end of the live band because the band got so pissed at me about doing that they said they just didn’t want to play with me anymore if I wasn’t going to hang out on stage.

I couldn’t really see their point (laughs) well maybe that was a problem. Playing live was such a strenuous thing that I got physically ill, I was in hospital for three weeks after with a stomach condition. I hate to say I’m a wimp but I guess I am. It was really nerve wracking. It’s weird, I can get up and play with other people’s bands no problem but I guess when all the focus is on me, it’s hard. I’ll probably get over that, I hate when people think I’m like the later Beatles or XTC, afraid to play live because its not like that. Its more something I’m gonna have to build towards. I’m not a wimp, I’m not an artist, I’m just a little bit afraid at this point (laughs). And so the live thing at that time was horrid.

So then I put together the Oxide Sox tape and it was fun. I made the tape, I just borrowed a bunch of cassette decks from friends and piggybacked them and just did these big dubbing sessions all summer and I sold about 200 of them. I sold them really cheap for $2.99 because my costs were very low so it was a real bargain for listeners. Oxide Soxs is mildly entertaining, there’s some really cool stuff on it its all four track and that has some charm. I’ve always said I’d rather listen to people’s four tracks than, say, the new Cure album or something because it’s like watching professional baseball players. You know they are always going to catch the fly and on professional records you know they’re going to be right on the dot and four tracking is so cool because of peoples limitations once again. You get these sounds on tape. I listen to people’s four tracks and I just go-how did you get that sound? And they go-I don’t know…it’s just funny.
So it would have been the end because I just didn’t feel there was any point anymore. I enjoyed doing it but I didn’t think a record label or anybody would be interested in me so why try? Right? And I didn’t try and the people at Alias ended up buying the tape from somewhere, I didn’t send it to them because I didn’t send it to any record labels. And they liked it and they went after me, so it wasn’t my fault (laughs).

The album took a year and a half to record, yes true, but its not that it took a year and a half because I was laboring over every chord saying-should that be diminished or A Minor? Because I already had the songs laid out. I had most of them demoed too. The time consuming thing was just the fact that I was arrogant enough to think that because I had come to a certain juncture with four tracking and I was really a hot shot at that, that I could buy 16 track equipment, with the money for recording from the label, that has a frequency response miles longer that four track. And a whole lot of resolution and to think that I could just like go from one to the other in this seamless step was dumb because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I bought all this big equipment and everyone at the label was standing around waiting for something and I was here trying to figure out, you know how do you get signal up into the board? Honestly it was really difficult, I was very depressed.

Those were some down in the dumps stages of my life there. I mean I’d come home crying and I’m not afraid to admit that. It was hard. Basically recording the record for me was like if you got some kid off the street who didn’t know how to play the guitar and gave him the budget to do a classical guitar album. It would take the kid a while to figure out how t even play the guitar first but then he probably wouldn’t be as stupid as I was to agree to it. But it came out and some of its good and some of its not as good. The songs come from all different dates, the oldest being Haemorrhaging which was from the late eighties to Sounding Song which I wrote as I was doing the record. Perihelion is a newer song too. I like my newer songs better, cos you know, they’re fresher, they’re more me, they’re more nineties (laughs).

The reaction to the record been good, and I was really afraid of this, because I’m a very sensitive person and I don’t take well to rejection or people saying bad things about me. I think I get that from my parents because they’re both real sensitive about things like that too. So never say anything bad about my parents because you’ll upset them. So when I finished the record I vowed that I wasn’t going to look at any music press for like the next eight years (laughs) because I didn’t want to even see reviews in case they were bad. So what happened is people brought them to me-look at this you’re in this magazine….and I’m like –NO! I haven’t read many of them but people tell me that they’re good. I have a hard time reading about myself. And I always have a hard time when I get compared to other people because I always think it’s way off the mark. I did read one lukewarm review and it was kinda upsetting…I’m a baby. The most exciting one was this magazine called CD Review which is a real snobby audiophile magazine. They’d reviewed the American Music Club, which was a record I really liked a lot, (in fact Bruce Kaphan plays on and helped mix my album,) and on a double scale of one to ten, the first number is fidelity, the second being the music quality besides the fidelity, and they gave the AMC album a 6/7, something like that, really low. And I saw that and was glad because I thought these guys wont even look at my record anyway. They’re just really hard on people, I mean big label acts get in the fives and stuff. And I walked into a record store about a month ago and the clerk said-hey you’re in CD Review, and I thought-oh shit! And I immediately started thinking about all these low numbers like 3/2 and I was going-I don’t wanna see this, I do not want to see this. But the guy showed it to me anyway and it was a 9/9.

Nine Nine! I mean I was really shocked. I mean shocked to the point of almost unfair. I mean there major label records in there done in 24 track studios that get a four or five, so I’m thinking its not really accurate. The only thing I can see is that it was some kind of mercy review. They probably looked at my press kit and thought- he’s just one guy doing it at home, what a trooper! Let’s give him a nine nine.
But that’s a pretty good resume piece, you know, for getting production work.
“Hey I garnered a nine nine in CD Review….” “Wooo, please record me…”.
So the reactions been good and I’m glad because for me the first record is a little bit of a misstep but I’m glad that people accept it. Talking about feedback from the public, its just weird….I went to a Hypnolovewheel show recently and this guy from the opening band came up to me and said. “Oh you’re Jeff Saltzman, Wow you know I really like your stuff.” I didn’t know how he knew who I was and I didn’t know what to say to him. I don’t know how to take things like that , I find compliments embarrassing so I great you know. So I get some feedback, it trickles in…I don’t get that audience/performer rapport most artists get when your out there “rockin on stage” and people are holding their lighters up. I guess that’s more direct feedback. I’m not a real confident person, I hate to say I hide behind my recording equipment but I probably do. But that’s my strength and playing live and being real visual about music isn’t really what I’m into. So I don’t have much confidence but then again it takes a lot of gall to make a record by yourself so in other ways I do have confidence, I don’t know….

I’ve been doing a lot of recording work recently for other bands and I put a single out through Alias. The A side’s Perihelion and the B side is three songs that didn’t make the album, I recorded them after the record. And I’m pretty proud of that, my seven year old nephew did the cover, he was pretty jazzed about that. I’m a big vinyl fan, its what I grew up on and its neat to look at the grooves and think-ooh that’s me in those grooves.

And a big surprise after my earlier words about playing live..I’ll never do it again and I hate it…is that I got tricked into playing live again. As a favor to a local radio station I did a benefit concert. It was only like a 40 minute set and I just got some friends of mine to help me put it together but it was fun. It was like the first good experience I’ve had of playing live. It was really fun and I think the people who came really enjoyed it.

Future plans for the Corps will be whatever will happen. I not really someone who’s out there thinking that Cerebral Corps is going to be my career and I’m not like shoving it down peoples throats. I have a three record contract with Alias but my second record will only come about if Alias ask me. The first album borrowed heavily from the sixties but that will probably change a lot for the next record just because I am so tired of it now, I don’t like people’s view of the 60’s. They think the sixties is a wah wah peddle and I just don’t know where that’s come from. Oh, one thing I’ve been listening to a lot recently is Nick Drake. I bought that box set and I put that on while cleaning my room or washing the dishes, but then I just have to stop and sit in the middle of the floor in front of the speakers with my mouth open. People on that level I can’t even begin to understand what he’s doing. To me its pretty powerful stuff. Screw drums and electric guitar solos and all that shit, that’s what you need to be powerful, whatever has…or had.

I’d like to do another record actually, just cos I want to prove to everybody and make stuff that’s more listenable because my skills have just grown in leaps and bounds since that first record. And just my understanding of not being so uptight…I just learned a lot…I’ve learnt so much…if you were here I’d probably hug you and start crying (laughs) just because its been such a long hard road and you’d probably go, “There, there.”

So there you have it for the first time ever anywhere in this whole solar system,(I did sneak a copy of the tape onto the Voyager satellite so I can’t vouch for the next solar system) the story of Cerebral Corps from the man himself. About a year later, after a couple of long sprawling and typically grammar free letters from me, a tape of Oxide Sox finally arrived in the post with a long letter from Jeff explaining his silence. Jeff had turned his “strange talent for recording” in to a living recently. He found residency in a couple of local 24 track stuidio and his engineering had become much in demand, recording all sorts of music, rock, rap and even jazz.

Jeff: “Earlier this week I recorded the San Jose Taiko Drum Group which was of the most wonderful and challenging things I’ve ever done with my ears. Just picture me with thirty Asian-Americans playing all sorts of percussion and musical instruments I had never seen before.” So Jeff’s true love of recording was as strong as ever, unfortunately the creation of his own music had suffered a serious blow the year before. He’d had a massive crisis of confidence in the whole Cerebral Corps thing. Jeff: “So much so in fact that I really hate the album, to the point of it being unlistenable to me….when I was dubbing you Oxide Soxs I could only bear it enough to cue up the individual sides and check for proper Hi-Fi levels. This crisis forced me to shut down musically…to purge everything Cerebral from my life for a while.”

Worrying news indeed but there was a silver lining of sorts. Though all his gainful employ gave him little time to record his own stuff he hadn’t been entirely inert in that direction.
Jeff: “You’ll be happy to know that I’ve been trying to overcome this anti-corps phenomenon and have four or five new songs I’ve been chipping away at. But it’s hard.”
(Let me just say now that this all happened such a longtime ago that I’m guessing about the passing of time somewhat) So a couple of years after that another tape arrived in the post. No letter just a Hey Mick, guess who? written on the cover.

Two new tracks and what beauties Too Slow and Blood Gone Wrong are…wonderful songs that have become my all time favorites over the years. (Again this is all so long ago now that I might by out of synch taste wise. I couldn’t say for certain if when I wrote to thank him weather I was still banging keep the corps drenched in acid drum or weather I was at the point of realizing that the man’s greatest talents lay in the songwriting…but whatever…the vast majority of the years since then have been pining for a Jeff Saltzman over a Cerebral Corps album…) (well except for the idea of a new recording and release of Pam’s Purple Spirograph..but that’s another story.)

The last thing I ever got from Jeff, bless him, was an eight track cdr of christmassy stuff, all but one track instrumental. It was beautifully done, that goes without saying really....weird joe meek surf instrumentals of jingle bells and strangely subversive silent night and bless him for thinking of me but really its little more than an oddity really and for me at the time, joyfully tearing open the cd shaped package with my heart soaring at the thought of what I dared dream it to be, a big dissapointment…..
There is one track, though a country song called Sons Of The Desert. I don’t know if it’s an original song, I have a pleasant suspicion it’s tied in with the Laurel and Hardy film of the same name, it’s a really sweet thing.
I think I might have dipped my pen in disappointment ink when I wrote to thank him, I think I upset him, maybe made him feel he’d in someway let me down, (which he hadn’t).…and that was about that…..
I may have lost Jeff but I never lost sight of his music…quietly turned others onto it whenever I could. Dog Age became fans as did the one man psychedelic crusade that is Valis.
As to what Jeff was upto, there were little clues here and there on production credits. I got a John Mooreman EP engineered by Jeff (and with Victor Krummeancher on). And one day I found an album Boyscout Superhero by a Portland band Sunset Valley that had Jeff playing and producing on it.

Truth to tell it’s a patchy affair, beautifully recorded but lacking in enough good songs and performances….though there are some good tracks it’s a band that not quite there yet. (though later I found the album after which is very good indeed) It did give me something to look up on the internet and it turned out that after producing them Jeff liked them enough to become their keyboard player for a couple of years, commuting from the bay for the gigs. Round about this time he made a life changing move to Portland.

Sunset Valley
And since then his career has gone from strength to strength… working with the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and The Decemberists and all manner of new and upcoming artists.
Though I didn’t know all this when I tracked him down a few years back to say hello.
And to mention that these days there are lots of quality bands around who quite happily and superbly mix sixties psych into the mix, The Pillbugs, first and foremost but also Rock Four, the returning Dog Age, Donovan’s Brain, The Quarter After, The Summer Wardrobe (hell half the Rainbow Quartz roster of greats) and that maybe it was time for Cerebral Corps to have their say again, now no longer in isolation.
Jeff was chuffed to hear from me after all these years and we were just about renew our friendship once more when I was taken away from music, writing and my computer by personal circumstances….
Anyway finally here we are after all these years and the article is birthed, blinking in the light of a new century. So Jeff where are you?

Art by Jeff
Go here for a downloadable podcast interview with Jeff talking about all the stuff we didn’t talk about because we were in the nineties at the time….
head over to Valis’ place to watch Pam’s Purple Spirograph live and read Jeff answering a question..


jdrav said...

Thanks very much for this history of Cerebral Corps! I purchased the cd about 12 years ago but never played it until I read this incredible story. Great stuff!! Can you offer any suggestions how I might track down the music on the Oxide Sox or Too Slow cassetes? This music does not deserve to remain in obscurity. I wish Jeff Saltzman would recognize the quality of his own music and return to that pursuit. Thanks again and I'll appreciate any help in finding the other CC music.

jay strange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CB said...

A friend gave me a copy of Attributed To years ago saying that I would like it and he was right! I have periodically looked for anything else by Jeff but never found anything.
The article is great and very helpful.
Can you point me at somewhere I can get hold of Oxide Sox or Too Slow?

Anonymous said...

Hello. This is fresh from the vaults:


noyoucmon said...

What a blast to read. Thanks for this article. I loved Attributed to Cerebral Corps when it came out, and always wondered what happened to its creator.

Gina S. said...

Living in the Bay Area back in the 80's, college radio station KFJC played Cerebral Corps in heavy rotation. Being a fan the Paisley Underground scene at the time, I was completely mesmerized and simultaneously blown away by the full-on psychedelia that CC laid out. Years later, I had my"Oxide Sox" cassette transferred to CD, and it is now instantly accessible via my Itunes playlist. In fact, it remains one of my all time faves to this day!

I certainly appreciate this wonderful article on CC, and for sharing it with fans like me. Thank you Jeff, for releasing one the finest set of psychedelic songs ("via Oxide Sox") ever recorded!

You guys are the best!

Gina S.