When critics pull out names like Philip Glass, Captain Beefheart, Henry Mancini, Husker Du and Stravinsky to describe the same group, its clear that ordinary is not the operative word. The Ordinaires are a nine-piece band that refuses to keep things neat and tidy for their listeners. Rather than assuming that music audiences need homogenized fodder in order to have fun, The Ordinaires challenge without being pretentious.
One is the name of their newest release, their first for the Bar/None label. It marks the first Ordinaires effort to be widely distributed in America and features a cover which is an eerie computer generated composite photograph of all nine members of the band. Co-produced by Martin Bisi (Material, Sonic Youth, Live Skull), Bill Krauss (They Might Be Giants) and The Ordinaires, One is sure to shatter pre-conceived notions about the group, while opening them up to an ever-widening audience. Rather than using musical styles as posts to tie themselves to, The Ordinaires write and perform compositions, which are simply unclassifiable.
Born as the early '80's New York no wave/noise movement began to take root, the band was both an outgrowth of and a reaction against the shapeless dissonance of their peers. Initially coming together in an outfit called Off-Beach, they christened themselves The Ordinaires after completing two tracks for a Lower East Side compilation record. Since then, they have performed throughout Europe and the US, effortlessly playing the gamut from seedy rock clubs to posh galleries to outdoor festivals.
Their self titled debut, recorded on the stage of New York's famed CBGB's, was released on the German Dossier label and will shortly be released in America on Bar/None. The domestic version will include a previously unreleased track, The Ordinaires cover of The Rolling Stones' "She's A Rainbow." Co-produced by Martin Bisi and Roma Baran (Laurie Anderson), the release throws tag words like rock, jazz, avante-garde and post-punk into a musical melting pot. There was plenty of blood and sweat but they dropped the tears and spiked the brew with fire-water instead.
Composed of Angela Babin (guitar), Robin Casey (violin), Joe Dizney (guitar), Sven Furberg (bass), Kurt Hoffman (tenor saxophone), Barbara Schloss (violin), Jim Thomas (drums), Fritz Van Orden (alto saxophone) and Garo Yellin (cello), The Ordinaires are smart and complex - but they don't make you feel like you have to be dressed up to be invited to their party.
1982 - Peripheral Vision - Bands of Loisaida (Zoar Records compilation)
1986 - The Ordinaires (Dossier Records)
1987 - Island of Sanity - New Music From New York (Rec-Rec Records compilation)
1989 - Time For A Change (Bar/None Records compilation)
1989 - One (Bar/None Records)