THE WORLD’S CUTEST GODFATHERS OF TWEE
Those more qualified to write these notes may exist, but I put this silly thing together, it’s on my label, and I even play on it. I’m also the one dumb enough to bankroll it, so you get my liner notes, and not some fancy Oxford University Bunnygrunt scholar’s. Me, I’m such a hack of a Bunngalo that an out-of-towner introduced their music to me. Hopefully since then (~MCMXCVII), I’ve proven more dedicated. I’m responsible for varied ’Grunt releases, including what Matt Harnish called “the worst Bunnygrunt song ever,” an early-reunion-incarnation recording of Sun Ra’s “Outer Spaceways Incorporated” (download now!). Hopefully this release is a testament to my latter-day dedication in any case. In the second quarter of the second decade of the twenty-first century, I’m probably as qualified as anyone to write something here.
Bunnygrunt have long eschewed the titles bestowed upon them early in their career—AllMusic.com
still refers to them as “The World’s Cutest Band” and the first night I met Patrick Tape Fleming of The Poison Control Center, he referred to “Bunnygrunt! The Godfathers Of Twee!” a hilariously obnoxious number of times. Alas, let that good-natured goading continue. The subtitle of the record nearly included the above title, but You Wanna Be Just Like Bunnygrunt: A Loving Tribute To The First Twenty-One And A Half Years Of The World’s Cutest Godfathers Of Twee is, if amusing in its lack of brevity, rather unwieldy.
In MMX Pancake Productions morphed from an unproductive film company into a somewhat more productive record label. I instantly sought advice from Matt, whose label-of-a-sort The Bert Dax Cavalcade Of Stars had inspired me via annual Saint-Louis-only Christmas compendia and The Bert Dax Cavalcade Of Stars Travelling Road Show Volume 1: Fantasy Four Vs. Julia Sets which featured Matt and Karen Ried’s new bands. Its liner notes, lovingly rendered in Matt-scrawl, called it “a battle for who gets to call themselves ‘x-Bunnygrunt.’” That MMI release not only apprised me on the whereabouts of one-time Bunnygrunters, it also marked the beginning of the end of my giving much of a crap about music that wasn’t local or made by friends. Maybe Matt was even the record store clerk that sold it to me! Years later, Matt was quick to A) offer record-label how-to guidance, and B) talk Pancake Productions into releasing Bunnygrunt material.
A coupla 45s, a handful of Bunnygrunt-including samplers, two A Very Bert Dax Christmas compilations I helped release, the Fantasy Four LP (PP 002), and live-version covers of some Bunnygrunt songs by my own Googolplexia (one whose recording opens the sole A Very Bert Dax Halloween volume) later, and the Pancake imprint was a real part of the Bunnygrunt family (and vice-versa). I started as a fan, became an associate (gingerly submitting Googolplexia for A Very Bert Dax Christmas, Volume Three), then friend, and eventually partner—accompanying Bunnygrunt on tours, performing alongside them in concert, appearing on a recording, maybe. The honor of being so closely connected AND such good buddies with people I’d adored from afar has lost none of its lustre. This Bunnygrunt were so famous, I was surprised to find they were from the same place as me! They had a song on a CMJ compilation alongside Oasis, Dave Matthews Band, Portishead, and Built To Spill! They had a song on a Billy Bob Thornton movie soundtrack! Wow!
After absorbing these people, their music, their friends, and their friendship for so many years, at some point it just made sense. Live Googz versions of “I Dated A Zombie” were okay, but tribute was ripe to be paid in a next-level way. The result of that, and the last three-and-a-half (plus) years of our lives, is the 26 tracks on the recording you now possess.
Here’s to 21½ more years.
Robert Severson, Pancake Master
(You can also get a CD copy with poster-insert for $12.50 postage-paid over at www.Bunnygrunt.com)
released August 30, 2014
Mastered by Mario Viele. Cover painting by Jaime Lees (www.ProjectTwinkle.com
). Collage, Artwork, Layout, and Label by Bill Michalski. Pancake Logo by Janet Lackey.
THANKS TO: Every single person that had any role, however small, in making Bunnygrunt and this compilation what they are, and have been. Bruiser Queen. Glenn Burleigh. Bill & Mario, my Pancake MVPs. Chris McFarlane. Terry Orf, who introduced me to Bunnygrunt via AOL friendship even though I lived in their town and she lived in Ohio. The Poison Control Center. Emily & Lizzy Snider. Sean Tollefson. Eric Von Damage. Camila & WeePOP! Records. And of course, Bunnygrunt themselves, forever and ever Matt & Karen.