The Time We Played With Nirvana

So here’s another chestnut from the Lather Video Vault Series.  Almost 22 years ago, Thornucopia got tapped to open the Nirvana/TAD show at the Cattle Club.  The two bands were doing the Sup Pop Records new upstarts type of tour.  KDVS and college radio stations around the country were playing the shit out of Nirvana’s Bleach album, and Tad’s Gods Balls album was doing pretty good too.  I actually found out that we were playing on the bill when I spotted our name in small print at the bottom of the show poster that I saw while walking to class at UC Davis.

The first clip is of our opening song, “Little Ritual.”  I was never a big Throwing Muses fan, but this song reminds me of them a little.  Oh, and line-up – Thornucopia had a few different configurations.  These clips are from the Jed Brewer (me!), Susan Voss, Brian Grattidge, John Licatesi, and Justin Zimmerman  era. 

The next clip is of our closing song – “La Muerte”.  We weren’t a really loud and heavy band, but we muscled up and saved our grungiest for the end.  Some pretty obvious Thin White Rope worship on this song.  I laughed out loud and then groaned when I heard the total metal bridge on this one.

Thornucopia was our first band and we barely knew what we were doing, which made things pretty original in a mangled way.  We couldn’t play anyone else’s songs.  After Sue moved on, Johanna Galos started singing for us.  Here’s a clip from that era.  After putting out seemingly thousands of cassette releases, we issued the “Wake Up”/”Lullaby” 7″ single and the Dry July CD on Lather Records.

Nirvana totally ripped that night.  See their set here.  Tad brought the heavy – god’s balls and all.  Thanks to Jerry Perry for the footage (and the show) and to Greg Hain for editing it.

About latherrecords

A CoOp label for myself and my friends.
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4 Responses to The Time We Played With Nirvana

  1. nsoulsby says:

    Good evening to you Mr Brewer,
    hope this message might at least amuse you…Or, I hope, not bore…It’s an inquiry about your former band Thornucopia.

    To explain, I had the good fortune to have a book published about the band Nirvana last year (for the record I’m not a professional, I have a day job – I don’t like the idea of something i love turning in to something I have to do for money). I’m preparing one final book at the moment (a lot of draft material is on http://www.nirvana-legacy.com) around the tales of all the indie and underground bands who have always been ignored in the main histories of Nirvana…So I’ve been getting in touch with people and enjoying hearing their memories…

    Would you be willing to let me email you a max. of ten questions about your past and present musical endeavours and the Cattle Club show in Feb 1990 when Nirvana supported you?
    Thank you and all the best,
    Nick
    nicksoulsby@hotmail.com

  2. markweiss86 says:

    I’ve been producing all ages shows in Palo Alto since fall, 1994. The first show was with Mia Levin, who I knew from 7th grade to 10th grade, when she dropped out of school to join Frightwig. She played that show as part of Mudwimin, and I just wanted to show our classmates what had become of her. (She also later got both her b.a. and a masters’, and raised two kids and played in several other bands, still does…) Anyhoo, the connection is that Kurt Cobain wore a Frightwig shirt on MTV Unplugged video. I would say my favorite Sac bands are either Cake or Groovie Ghoulies…
    The second show was with another of our 7th grade classmates, Dan Adams of Oxbow, who recorded with Steve Albini, who recorded with Nirvana. I saw Dave Grohl speak at Pollstar in 2019 February but have never met him nor seen his bands live.

  3. It’s all connected!

    • markweiss86 says:

      My third show featured another kid from our school, Steve Jenkins, of 3rd Eye Blind. In between, because Eugene Robinson of Oxbow had mentioned it, because his roommate Bart Thurber had recorded them, I booked Ragady Anne later known as The Donnas (and in my series The Electrocutes). Eugene wanted these 15 yo girls to open for him but instead we got The New Morty Show featuring Connie Champagne and it took me a few weeks to find The Donnas.
      The other Sac band I supported was Deathray featuring leaving members of Cake.

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