During January’s National Association of Music Merchants show (NAMM, if you’re nasty), the Roland corporation presented Purple Snow pillars Jimmy “Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis with a lifetime achievement award. For the occasion of their acceptance speech, the production duo lugged their very first Roland acquisitions down to Anaheim—Terry, his TR-808 drum machine, and Jimmy, his SH-1000 synthesizer. While the 808 became a ubiquitous tool for producers across genres, music history has been less kind to the SH-1000. In fact, the monophonic device may be best known for appearing on the cover of Mind & Matter’s previously unreleased masterpiece 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement)(citation needed).
As a token of their appreciation, Roland offered to refurbish the antique machinery, requiring a global scavenger hunt for parts. Now the SH-1000 is fully functional, giving Mind & Matter one less excuse not to do a reunion show. And who better to host than First Avenue, who previously hosted Mind & Matter for this taping of Steamroller? Pay close attention to a bandanna’d Jimmy Jam, who can be seen jumping across the stage with this beastly keyboard slung around his neck.
Filed under: Dynamic, Good God!, Iasos, Lists, Medusa, Mind & Matter, Unwound
Filed under: Mind & Matter
Here is Mind & Matter keyboardist Gary McCray holding the printer’s proof of his group’s unreleased basement recordings, 1514 Oliver Avenue. This photo was from a bygone era known as “Fall,” when humans roamed the Earth without the aid of gloves, hats, or coats to protect them from the harsh elements.
As is popular with record labels (and equally unpopular with record consumers), the vinyl edition for this Purple Snow satellite release lagged behind its CD incarnation by a few weeks. So as Purple Snow balls are being hurled into the world from our basement, hundreds of Mind & Matter LPs will be hitching a ride.
A surefire way to locate amazing photos of the artists on your compilation is to submit that compilation to the printer, have a few thousand copies printed up a few thousand miles away, wait a few weeks and—voila! For Purple Snow, the first snapshots to amble over the finished line came courtesy of Jimmy “Jam” Harris III, whose pre-Mind & Matter ensemble, Paradice, made their internet debut thanks to weekly internet phenomenon known as “Throwback Thursday” (#tbt if you’re nasty).
For more potential throwbacks and level-headed pop music opining, follow Jimmy “Jam” Harris III here.
Filed under: Mind & Matter
Need we say more? The group that propelled Jimmy “Jam” Harris III into the Minneapolis consciousness, performing in the notorious arena from Purple Rain. Mind & Matter’s unreleased basement demoes hit shelves last Tuesday, and so far, no one seems to mind. Dusty Groove went above and beyond in their online summary (“One of the greatest discoveries we’ve heard so far from the Numero Group”, and Dazed caught up with Jimmy Jam to dig a bit deeper (“What did the basement of 1514 Oliver Avenue look like?”). As far as Twin Cities
public access community-oriented teen dance interest shows go, Steamroller seems to have been a blip on the Minneapolis Sound’s sonar, but we are no less grateful to them for inviting Mind & Matter aboard their maiden voyage.
Storm chasers anticipating Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound have no doubt noticed another menacing storm system in the form of Mind & Matter: 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement). Recorded in the Fall of 1977, this 9-song basement odyssey captures one of Minneapolis’s most criminally overlooked ensembles, completing a sonic portrait initiated on their sought-after two-sider “I’m Under Your Spell” b/w “Sunshine Lady”. Benefitting from the sophisticated songwriting of Jimmy “Jam” Harris a decade prior to Janet Jackson’s Control, Mind & Matter combines the twin-keyboard attack that would come to define the Twin City’s sound with a throw-back vocal quartet whose voices sound like Cadillac Coupes cruising in formation. As insane as Purple Snow is, Oliver Avenue is just as crazy—a hailstone amongst snowflakes.
For those following our Twitter trail/Facebook feed, you might have noticed we were in Los Angeles last week engaging “the music industry.” This included many firm handshakes, lengthy dinners, and frequent naps in the back of our $9-a-day Chevrolet Impala rental to supplement the team average four hours of sleep/night. We listened to punk records from Winston-Salem, Aukland, and Johannesburg, drank bourbon that preceded us in birth, and received complimentary mesh caps from Jumbo’s Clown Room. We toasted to the good life at Funkmosphere, where four Purple Snow tests pressings passed the road test with flying colors. Speaking of which, we rendezvoused with Purple Snow anchorman Jimmy Jam, previewing Mind & Matter: 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement) in extraterrestrial fidelity (below).
The moral of the story is that we had a great time and we can’t thank the people of California enough for use of your sleeping bags, citrus trees, and drink specials. Tell your friends to get with our friends and we can be friends. We could, in all honesty, do this every weekend. Until next time, your friends, the Numero Group.