Not all of the live concert footage flooding music lovers' computer screens is new. Some of it is of an older vintage, as old films get transferred to a digital format for sharing with the world. That's the case with a clip of Madison's own Appliances-SFB performing "Neo-Fascist" at the Club DeWash in 1983. A Midwest punk quintet originally formed in the late '70s to play at a private party held at the long-gone Bunky's nightclub located at Park and Regent streets, its lead singer was Tom Laskin, a staff writer at Isthmus.
Laskin describes playing at the Club de Wash, which was destroyed in the Hotel Washington fire on February 18, 1996:
By the time this date took place, the band had gone through several lineup changes and had released several recordings, including an album that came out in both the U.S. and Germany.
Madison didn't boast a lot of post-punk acts, and the Club De Wash was one of a handful of actual clubs bands of that sort could play in Madison. It was an oddly configured room, with a horseshoe-shaped bar set in the middle of the room and a small wedge of a stage crammed in one corner.
There were two entry points for the public (one from the outside and one down the hall from the CafÃ Palms restaurant), and a lot of people tried to sneak into shows for free because of it. I don't have any recollection of this particular show, but I do recall that much of the time the sound wasn't all that great at the Club D.
On the upside, the crowds were usually enthusiastic, and the location on West Washington meant that drunken frat rats weren't around to turn a perfectly good rock show into another dull beer bash.
The vintage live concert video follows below.
While Appliances-SFB broke up in the early '90s, some of their recordings from those final years were compiled and released last year in the form of 3rd & Long. Released in 2004 by the Milwaukee-based Rockhaus, the album feature 15 tracks as recorded by the band's classic quintet of Bill Feeny, Ed Feeny, Laskin, William Siebecker and Meredith Scott Young.
For a look at Appliances-SFB's earlier work, the punk prospector at Vinyl Mine checks out the twin EPs Green Door andThem. He writes:
Most notable in the mix is Tom Laskin's gymnastic vocals -- ranging in style from baritone crooner to Gibbyish derangement to adenoidal headbanging --- and William Siebecker's relentless GRRR-tar and his ability to jump genres from song to song. Part of the reason Siebecker's guitar sounds so big is the welcome decision to place Bill Feeny's synthesizer in the background to create a sort of background effect that only peeps out of the mix during climaxes. If you didn't know the band had a synth and were just casually listening, you probably wouldn't even notice it.
Five tracks from these releases are also available there for listening.