BIG SPECK: Message to Home

Just as we humans have put a probe on Mars to explore it and transmit information back to Earth, so has an alien life-form put a probe here on Earth to explore and transmit its findings back to its home planet.  To avoid being discovered, the probe alters its appearance to blend in with its surroundings.  A part of the probe’s program is to discreetly share its observations  with some of Earth’s inhabitants.  Why the probe decided to share its observations with Big Speck and why in song, we may never know.  Nevertheless, herein are some of the probe’s objective observations of life on Earth.

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MARK REED: Reedimentary Elements

Reedimentary Elements is a selection of Mark’s Reediments of Music solo piano anthology.  The anthology is an aural documentary of all the music that Mark wrote from age 5 thru 60.  Mark created virtually all of the music on the Reed family piano, the same 1906 Nordheimer upright upon which he recorded the anthology in 2014 and 2015.  A ‘Listening Committee’ of friends and relatives helped Mark choose the songs from the anthology for this album of which a limited number of CDs were produced.

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one2many: You Don’t Know Me

one2many is a primarily original-music rock band in Victoria, BC that Mark was in from 2004 to 2011.  The group was led by singer and lyricist David Jansen.  Mark played keys, sang some BGs, and contributed a few songs.  During his stint in the group, they produced the “You Don’t Know Me” album and a 6-pack EP, songs from both of which can accessed at

https://www.reverbnation.com/one2manyvictoria/songs.

U.N.I: Push Me - Pull You

U.N.I was the indie-alt-rock duo of Susan Baim and Mark Reed, active in Vancouver, BC in 1991 and in Victoria, BC in 1999-2001. This album, ‘Push Me – Pull You’, produced on the Poolwest label in 1991, is the group’s only recording, comprising ten original songs.  The album title refers to the two-headed llama in the Dr. Dolittle story.  Sue & Mark – two disparate heads UNIfied as one. The album features many of Sue’s and Mark’s friends and a guest-vocal by Paul Hyde.  Released on cassette in 1991, Mark had the album mastered and digitized in 2014 and released on a limited number of CDs.

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BACHELORS IN PARADISE

Bachelors in Paradise was a small group of musicians/singers who were active in Vancouver, BC in the late 1980s.  They produced some songs and at least one video, for the song “Living in Japan”.  Graeme Chard, Mark’s bandmate in Jonnē Krōm and The Fault, played lead guitar as a guest on that song and others and sang on at least one song.  They asked Mark, too, to play piano, as a guest, on a few songs on this cassette album in 1990.  They kindly included Graeme and Mark in their album cover photo.  They have never performed live.  Really nice guys.

POOLWEST RECORDS PRESENTS - Unsigned 1990

Poolwest Records, under the direction of Robyn Durling and Latif Charania, produced this compilation cassette record, in Vancouver, BC, to promote some rock/pop artists whom they liked.  Mark’s group, The Fault, was one of them and they contributed Mark’s song, “Apple of Your ‘I’” which Robyn and Lefty had a hand in producing.

 

THE GITKSAN-WET’SUWET’EN ALBUM: Common Ground

This vinyl album was produced in Vancouver, BC in 1988 by Poolwest Records, under the direction of Robyn Durling and Latif Charania, to support the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en aboriginal land title court action, the Delgamuukw court case.  Robyn and Lefty invited several like-minded rock/pop artists, including Mark’s group, The Fault, to each contribute a song to the album.  The Fault’s song, “Common Ground”, written by Graeme Chard, became the title song.  The BC Supreme Court ruled against the Gitksan-Wet/suwet/en in 1991.  The Gitksan-Wet/suwet/en appealed eventually to the Supreme Court of Canada which reversed the lower courts’ decisions and ruled, in 1997, that treaty rights could not be extinguished and that indigenous title rights include land and the resources therein.

THE FAULT - Release Date: 15 March, 2021

See “JONNĒ KRŌM“ below.

The two Fault albums presented here are each a mix of studio and live recordings of most of the group’s songs.  The self-titled album, The Fault, comprises 5 songs recorded on 24-track (multi) at Blue Wave Studios, completed in Dec. 1989, and 5 songs recorded live-to 2-track cassette at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (VECC) on Dec. 22, 1990.  That show turned out to be the group’s swan song.  The Seismic album comprises 9 live performances (to 2-track cassette) and one studio (24-track) recording.  Three of the live performances were at the Commodore Ballroom on June 19, 1990.  The other 6 performances were at the aforementioned VECC concert.   The one studio recording was finished in Dec. 1989.

The Fault recordings have been collected together and will be mastered and released on these two albums in 2021.  Album credits and other details of the recordings will be presented at that time.

JONNĒ KRŌM

Jonnē Krōm and The Fault were essentially the same 5-piece band, but with some personnel changes.  Jonnē Krōm, formed in mid-1984, changed its name to The Fault in early 1988.  The band broke up in early 1991.  Though neither incarnation of the group released an album, the group did record fairly prolifically, both in studios and in clubs around Vancouver, BC.  The group recorded always to produce the best versions of its songs that it could, to share the band’s music with the world, and to introduce the band and its music to industry folk who could help the band do both of those things.  Ultimately, the band did record some remarkable performances of many of its excellent songs.  And it increasingly interested industry folk – most significantly Poolwest – who worked hard and generously to promote the band.  But, aside from those who heard the limited airplay of only a couple of the group’s songs mostly on university/college radio stations in Vancouver and Victoria, BC or attended any of the group’s 59 live performances (24 as Jonnē Krōm and 35 as The Fault), very few people have had the opportunity to enjoy this group’s music.  Until 2021.

The two Jonnē Krōm albums presented here are each a chronological mix of studio and live recordings of most of the group’s songs.  The original recordings, from 1985 thru 1988, are of a variety of tape formats : live-to 2-track cassette, live-to 4-track cassette, 2-track (multi) reel-to-reel, 8-track (multi) reel-to-reel, and 24-track (multi).  They were collected together and mastered in 2020.  For album credits and other details of the recordings, follow the links below.

Listen now…  to Jonnē Krōm

Listen now… to Jonnē Krōm: Krōmagram

BARGAIN AT HALF THE PRICE: A New Wind Blowin'

‘Bargain’ was the first band that Mark was in.  When he joined, in 1978, there were 18 band members.  Over the years, probably about 35 people were in the band at one time or another.  It was like a larger, modern, rockier ‘Weavers’.  It was essentially a folk/rock choir.  Mark sang bass and played violin.  When he joined, the group was 2 weeks away from recording this vinyl album.  Mark barely knew the songs, but was included, nevertheless.  He sang only.  Luckily, he says, his singing was buried in the mix.  ‘Bargain’ performed a lot of live gigs, mostly far-left political – labour, peace – events.  Though Mark was in Bargain for only a year or so, he and many of his bandmates became life-long friends.