A few years back, shortly after I got my first Optigan, I immediately began thinking of how I could use it in a band/live context. My first idea was to simply get someone to sing and we’d do cheesy cover songs at the local bars. The first taker was my friend Rob Crow, the singer/songwriter for such bands as Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Pinback, etc. So we got together one night and started goofing around with some ideas, and Rob got quickly bored with the whole “cover song” concept. He thought it would be much more interesting to write new songs with the Optigan, and a few hours later (with the help of my four track) we had completed the first four Optiganally Yours songs: “You’re In My Heart,” “Mr. Wilson,” “Dr. Smooth” and “Nighters.” It seems to me that we played our first live show soon after that at a Christmas party at my house. It was a short set- we only had four songs!!
Anyway whatever happened next is kinda fuzzy, but we wrote and recorded some more songs and Rob slipped a copy of our demo tape to Eric Goodis, head of Cargo Records. Oddly enough, Eric actually liked the material and signed us on for a single album deal. So after stepping up my equipment arsenal to 16 tracks of ADAT and computer editing software, we wrote/recorded the rest of the songs and beefed up the vocals on the original four track recordings. Because I was going for a very “stylized” lo-fi effect, it took me a long time to mix the album, but Spotlight On Optiganally Yours was finally finished in late 1996. We got our friend Josh Mintz to do the artwork for us (basically we stole a couple cool old record covers and had Josh edit them in Photoshop) and the album came out in March of 1997.
“O.Y. In Hi-Fi”
After a far-too-long hiatus, Optiganally Yours is back in 2018 with “O.Y. In Hi-Fi!” This time we’ve raided the original Optigan master tape archive for thousands of loops/samples to construct the basic song arrangements with, adding Rob’s usual vocals/guitar and Pea’s keyboard parts on top. The album can be found here on Joyful Noise Recordings.
“Optiganally Yours: De-Composed (The Remixes)”
Optiganally Yours: De-Composed is a CD EP of remixes of some of your favorite OY tracks by a variety of Japanese and American artists! Featured remixers include: Lesser, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, Brian Kehew (of Moog Cookbook fame), <ahref=”http://home.att.ne.jp/blue/zubai/vagabond/vagabond1.html”>Vagabond Cinema Pops Arkestra, <ahref=”http://www.kitbraz.com/bands/hildegurls/acti/lisabielawa.html”>Lisa Bielawa (of The Philip Glass Ensemble), Fab Cushion, and Les Gibis. Though it was released only in Japan on Vroomsound, copies are also available in America thru Absolutely Kosher.
“Better Than the Beatles – A Tribute To The Shaggs”
Press Release: Volume One in Animal World’s tribute series which aims to give more exposure to groups from the 60s/70s/80s that we like and wish more people liked. The Shaggs tops our list in this category, making them the subject of our first tribute CD. The line-up on this one is amazing, with Shaggs cover songs performed by: Optiganally Yours, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Alva, the Double U, R. Stevie Moore, Ida, and the Furtips. If you don’t own any Shaggs records, then what are you waiting for? Buy Philosophy of the World or the complete Shaggs CD on Rounder as soon as humanly possible!
OY Remixes Eureka!
An Optiganally Yours remix of the song “Cold Fever” by Japanese electro-lounge group Eureka appears to have never been officially released, but we’ve uploaded it here for your listening pleasure.
The reviews and other good press really surprised me! We got our name on the cover of CMJ and were in their top 5 of the month along with Foo Fighters. We also got good reviews in NME and Melody Maker. In fact, I don’t remember the album getting any “bad” reviews at all. We continued to play shows and later on I did radio interviews with Irwin Chusid on WFMU and Brave New Waves on CBC. We also played a live set on KXLU in LA and were featured on their annual “live on KXLU” comp. Dave Sheridan directed a video for “Mr. Wilson,” which was shot at a porno studio in the San Fernando Valley! (Though there’s no actual porno in the video itself… unless you want to count Rob running around in a bikini as porno… but I certainly don’t!) More bigtime press followed, with an article about OY in Mojo Magazine and a blurb about this web site in WIRED Magazine. Anyway, the point is that OY got a lot more attention than I ever thought it would.
Joyful Noise Recordings, released July 2018
Absolutely Kosher/Vroom Sound, released April 2000
Headhunter, March 1997 – Our first full length!
Compilations and other OY related albums
O.Y. Contributes the song “Here To There.”
O.Y. Contributes the song “Here To There.”
O.Y. Contributes the song “And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon.”
O.Y. contributes the song “There Goes A Tenner”
O.Y. contributes the song “You’re Something Special To Me”
Japanese EP of remixes
features Optiganally Yours remix of “Cinnabar”
March Records Compilation, 2000 features: “Empire State Human”
Peterbelly Magazine Issue #2
cover CD, 1999 features: “Powerhouse A” (written by Raymond Scott)
Bliss & Fetish compilation, 1997 features: “Genetic Engineering”