The Sheep Fiends FAQ
Last updated: 06/17/96
e-mail address: email@example.com
- Commentary by Sheep Fiends Musicians
- Sheep Fiends History
- Sheep Fiends Musicians
- Ordering Information
People are encouraged to copy and distribute tapes by The Sheep Fiends.
The only thing we ask is that you include the following information on any
duplicates. Please check this page occasionally as the URL and e-mail is
subject to change.
Please retain this information on any duplicates of this tape.
(c) (date on tape) The Sheep Fiends
To acceess The Sheep Fiends via WWW = http://www.hypermall.com/sheepfiends/
via e-mail = firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sheep Fiends Web Page and FAQ was put together by Brian Cameron. Thanks
to everyone who helped me gather information and otherwise helped me put this
Special thanks to Dave Hurst for running The Sheep Fiends web page on his
account when I didn't have a publically accessable internet account.
Special thanks to Russ McClay for designing logos and images for these web
pages. Special thanks also goes to Mark Goodman for the use of his
computer-manipulated photographic artwork which we include as inserts in
our tape labels.
Special thanks also to Darin Stumme for his wonderful work designing and
printing tape labels, for taking photos, and for his help with many other
Sheep Fiends related projects.
In May of 1992, three amateur musicans, Brian Cameron, Brian McNally, and
Sid Prise, began to get together at all hours, sit around, eat rice, hang
out, talk, sing and play our guitars. After a month or so of jamming
together we started meeting more people who were really into what we were
doing and new and old people started fluxing in and out of The Sheep Fiends.
Sid came up with the name and nobody really liked it, but those who complain
rarely have suggestions, and before long, we weren't batting an eye at our
new name. Briefly we called ourselves "No Stance (at the Moment)" but that
is a different story and, besides, the name didn't stick. As you might
imagine, a philosophy slowly began to form around us and with us and we
eventually came to the realization that we had defined "The Sheep Fiends"
as a verb moreso than a noun.
The Sheep Fiends resembles a drum circle, with its emphasis on community
and rhythm rather than on individual skill or egoism. We encourage folks
to come up with improvisational lyrics to go along with our music and we
place high emphasis on listening, expressing, and reacting. We feel that
there is a tendancy for music in general to become, in a sense, repressive
and exclusive. In response we have created a very decentralized musical
forum to allow ourselves the freedom that we enjoy. A favorite non-musical
pasttime of ours is, of course, to dream up grand future fantasies of having
huge stadium concerts, with each audience member with their own guitar, drum,
noisemaker, bagpipe, mouth harp, or other thingamajig.
Since our first get-togethers, we've been consistantly recording ourselves;
it seemed like the thing to do and it adds to the fun. Before long we found
ourselves with quite a number of songs that we *really* liked. From time to
time, Brian Cameron spends an inordinate amount of time listening to the ever-
rowing collection of tapes and compile a "Greatest Hits" tape. These tapes
are mostly for the people who play with The Sheep Fiends so that we can listen
to ourselves and have something to play for our friends, show them what we do,
so now we've figured that we'd bounce our tapes off of a few new people and
see what comes back. We have a wild array of different styles spread through
our stuff, from classical to punk to heavy metal to folk to alternative to
psychedelic rock to world music to art rock to blues to industrial.
We are constantly changing, self-defining, making it all up as we go, and
this is the reason why The Sheep Fiends have evolved as a verb moreso than a
noun. To "sheep fiend" has become to mean, in an ideal sense, getting
together with a group of friendly folks making music without pressure or
expectations and to enjoy each others presence and skill. The music is a
by-product. All of our music was recorded in various living rooms with
amateur equipment. With only a few exceptions, our music has been recorded
with 2-4 microphones, a few electric and acoustic guitars with pick-ups, a
few guitar effects like distortion and delay, keyboards, tablas and other
hand-drums that we microphone, occasionally someone brings a flute or banjo
or harmonica or somesuch. We record our stuff on a six-input mixer/amplifier/
equalizer direct to tape with no dubbing or studio processing. Most of our
material is completely improvised with lyrics made up in the flow of the
moment. From time to time someone shows up with a song they made up on the
side and we add our spontaneous energy to their creation. As you can probably
tell, we're proud of our aesthetic. It's down home and very real.
Commentary by The Sheep Fiend Musicians
Mark (caThead) Armantrout
If you're finally ready to move beyond judging music on whether or not you
"like" it (yucch!) then the Sheep Fiends may be for you. Dirtier and less
"like"able than any New Age album I've ever heard, therefore much more
interesting. "But I don't like it!" Well aren't you lucky!"
Too many times I've been asked why I play with the Sheep Fiends, and
usually it's not with a smile. To be honest, that phrase is usually
followed with a blank, almost condesending look. I usually give no awnser
to these people.
To the ones who are genuinely curious, or if the former group of people
press me for an awnser, I then tell them the honest-to-goodness truth,
"I like what they do and I'm really friggin' glad to be a part of it, so
there, pppppppbbbbbtttthhhhhhhhhh!!!" That usually solves the problem
right there but it still doesn't awnser why does some one with a Bachelor
degree in Music Composition from DePaul University (almost done with it
as of 8 Mar 96-- six classes to go!) with more than enough experience
with several different bands in every genre possible on seven different
instruments, would play in a band comprised of mostly people who have no
so-called classical training or people who have picked up a musical
instrument for the first time? The awnser, as most things in life, come
from that unavoidable lady known as Experience. And boy do we have a tale
Early Spring of 1992 (or thereabouts): I happened to be invited to
BrianandBrian's apartment (Cameron & McNally) to have another dinner of
rice topped with rice served on a bed of rice. Yum! Somewhere along the
course of the day, someone brings out a guitar, maybe two and starts
playing. I ask to strum along and somehow come up with a bass line from
that six-stringed harp. At that particular time in my history, I had no
clue how to play the guitar (no foolin'). But something clicked in that
moment; for the first time since I began studying music seriously in my
days as a grade school hellion, I was asked to play not because it was my
turn to or I had to prove myself at something or even be competitive. I
was asked to play because I enjoyed to play. For the first time in a long
time, I was played because I wanted to and I wanted more of it.
Unfortunately, I stayed for only two hours; my concert band had a
rehearsal. Duty calls.
Flash forward to Autumn, 1993. I get invited to a party held by guess who?!
Most of my friends were there, hanging out and being as obnoxious as party
goers are allowed to do within reason. I was still suffering from the
sting of the Chicago AFE breaking up and I was looking for a new musical
home. For some bizarre cosmic reason, still unknown to me by this day,
someone whips out a guitar and begins playing that Jef Jaison classic
from 1969 "Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent." Knowing at this point four
chords on the guitar, I bravely played along on another guitar available
and surprised myself that I could feel at home with an instrument that I
comparatively wasn't used too yet. That wasn't the case. Again, I was
playing what I had felt like playing and there wasn't any "professional"
attitudes to contend with. I felt at home and welcomed. I stayed the
night and later, I played with a bunch of other guys who were, shall we
say, banging, on various instruments and discovering the magic of
creating music for the sake of creating, without any pretensions except
that what we did better've sounded good! It did. I was intrigued by the
whole thing. I was hooked.
The next two years brought some serious changes in my life and how I view
music. No longer is music something that I do because it is something
that I happen to be good at (toot toot). But it is a way to involve
myself in the creation of what is and bringing that what is to a form
most accessible to many. As a result of being a sheep fiend (lowercased
on purpose, thanks Sid), I could look at music not only form the serious
stance of a composer/musician, but from the role of a listener who's
motto is "If you want something done right, hit it with a stick!"
Another discipline that I learned from the Fiends, which every musician
should learn, is the ability to *LISTEN*. Pop open a Sheep jam and you'll
hear what I mean. Does it sound disjointed, loose to the point of chaos at
first? Uh-huh! No Foolin'! But bend your ear a little more. What you will
hear are several musicians dipping into the chaos of sound, struggling to
take another piece of the sonic puzzle in hope that it would fit. Sometimes
a corner, sometimes a blank space. Sometimes those pieces don't fit at all.
But on those moments when, as John Duich would say, "the tone gods smile on
us," we create. And the creation is good. You have several minds working
together, listening to each other--talking to each other in one voice.
It's amazing what happens when music, to a point, becomes not an ideal of
perfection, but an image of what one would experience when playing a
piece of music and discoving it is done well. A Frippian philosopher like
myself would file this under the concept "The assumption of innocence."
But back to the mundane matters at hand. Experience tells me that
something like the Sheep Fiends and all sheep fiending is good because
you get the chance to be yourself no matter what instrument you're
playing---or like to play. There is a lot of encouragement from the others
if you've got what it takes...a love for music that trancends the
traditional ideals of perfection. A desire for a good ol' fashioned
hootnanny! A school-childlike desire to play a game of whatever
after school (or work) just because you like the activity and taking the
moment to "get game".
A sidebar: Just the other day I was playing with someone in her apartment
and we were jamming to a song I learned from an album from her. Learning
the chords the best way I could, I plowed though the song the best way
any professional musician could-with a much confidence as needed. About
five minutes later, she stopped me saying I'm playing the "wrong" chord
(a C Maj 6 against her C Maj 5/3.... gasp!) and that my vocals were crap
and that I'm singing out of my range. Now keep in mind she herself was
singing in an octave lower than what she could humanly do and even though
we each had the theory to back ourselves up in terms of music, she had to
be right. For a rock song? There was no trust there. No give and take in
the fine art of jamming together. I was so mad I wanted to break the
guitar I was playing over her head, but refrained from doing so out of
respect for the guitar. Any musician playing out there has experienced
this and similar fiascos. Thank the gods for the Sheep Fiends!
...And that's why I play with them!
DeLonde J. Bell
In general I tend to avoid delving into the philosophies behind what
we're doing and my reasoning is simply that I try to encourage people
to come up with their own interpretations and philosophies to explain
what is going on. I think that I'm changing my opinion as of late
because I also realize that communication is also important. Here is
my perspective on why The Sheep Fiends "work" and what makes what
we're doing fun.
1) We place no pressure to participate or to play in a particular way
or to play a particular instrument.
2) People are encouraged to express themselves and their expression
is supported. There have been a few exceptions when the group has
felt that a particular musician is being oppressive in their
expression. The participants are free to think about the
experience and interpret it in the way they like.
3) The music we are creating is created for our own enjoyment and not
for commercial profit.
The music we create helps us to define ourselves as a sub-culture.
4) This is because the music is a by-product of the equal sharing of
the energies of everyone involved. Everyone involved is expressing
themselves in exactly the way they choose to. There have been
exceptions and there have been jams where the sharing has not been
equal... Equality is something that we as a group strive to
5) People are educated in their musical skills and philosophies by
participating and doing...rather than feeling that musicians need
to be of a particular skill level.
The above combination makes it very easy for people to participate with
us. I know of no other band where musicians and instruments flow in and
out so freely. I know of no other band that changes its format and
genre as quickly and as easily as we do.
What has been disturbing me is that in talking to other bandmembers,
they have been telling me that they think of The Sheep Fiends as "Brian
Cameron's thing" or as "Brian Cameron and Sid Prise's thing" or somesuch.
This concept is very out of tune with my philosophies. From recent
conversations with Sid, it is also out of tune with his as well.
I feel that The Sheep Fiends is exploring group experience, and is not
something I am doing only with a few core people...we are a continually
morphing, often chaotic experience in which many people are involved.
I share ownership with the other bandmembers. I talk of the Sheep
Fiends as "a band I play in" rather than "my band" because I find that
definition more powerful. Why more powerful? Because if we are a
group of people doing something collectively, then we are starting to
define what it is that we are. This is where things start to get
Stay groovy, folks...
"I never thought of The Sheep Fiends as significant until around the time we
did 'Gray Car Busted,' though I know Brian Cameron and Sid Prise have. I
would like to remind you that there are yucky aspects of The Sheep Fiend's
past, the long jams which didn't work, the nights of loggerheads, the gritting
teeth grinding industrial noise which so much lack of compromise sqeezed
forth--because this characterized my early experiences--this and the fact that
I couldn't really play the guitar. I remember Brian explaining to me once why
he thought we should all play the way we want, and play what we want. He said
that if we could do that we might be able to learn to play together, that we
would enjoy playing together that we would have found common ground naturally
and it would be good. He said then that he didn't think we had done this yet.
I recall this now to demonstrate what I think was a very good articulation of
sheep fiend philosophy. Finally, in my opinion, I disagree that there is no
emphasis on egoism in The Sheep Fiends, I think that it is often, almost
always there, at least when I play, and that the group ethos is an ideal to
strive for. I think that The Sheep Fiends are defined by the ongoing struggle
to play as individuals and as a group, moreover I think that this is the
struggle and continual theme of many many bands, including Phish, the Grateful
Dead, and countless jazz bands. I think that egoism is essential to the Sheep
Fiends and has been a key ingredient in all of its shining moments. It's nice
to emphasize the collective ethic, the Buddhist ideal of egolessness, I feel it
is important to emphasize the struggle, the obstacles, the progress we have
made, that to me is a very real and encouraging history. What can I say, I'm a
history major?!? Take me with a grain of salt and a sqeeze of lime."
A friend of mine from Sweden is a sensational folk guitarist but, like
so many folksingers, she is terribly shy; I didn't know about her
talents for three or four months. She keeps them hidden because, as she
explained to me, when she plays she opens up her insides and sings them out
for all present. This is a little intimidating.
Thinking on this I reflect on why I like the sheep fiends and, I realize,
its so simple; they give me a microphone and let me croon; I'm
Woody Guthrie and I'm Robert Johnson, and my baby left me (again) but thats
okay. I think they actually like it when I open my insides and sing them
out. A tear shed by the glint of the guitar string, is not a bad thing. Its
like folk music. We're playing for the fun of it, cause we need to, cause
we feel better when we do. The competition is more or less banished, this
is not the club for thirteen year old boys who want to be Eddie Vedder.
Maybe I'll bring my Swedish friend.
Marcus (Nomad) DelGreco
I looked for poems directly about music and found only this lusty
proposition that I never made to a musician I had a crush on for about a
week. I thought it a little forward and not at all her style.
Cello player, classical sin,
imagine the ecstasy you
could put me in.
All for the price
of a few spare notes
you could put me in...
you could put me in.
in the zone, a sweet sweet smile creeps across his face.
sweet music ebbs and flows, a current surging forth, moving into the light,
the current force pulling the rest of the flow tentatively with it, then
counter to it. an eddie swirls and twists, soon to dissolve and flow
once again. He looks over to Yippi, head bowed, swaying from side to side,
and around the circle some stare into space, pounding their drum drums.
Another walks into the room, and the current grows stronger. A new voice
sings and the river rounds a bend.
in the zone, he is aware, he chants, he sings, he hears. he feels a new
surge from behind him, at the perfect moment, the only moment, he jumps
into the flow and flow grows soon to break against a stone and shatter
into pieces. some flow around it, but the sense of current fades, slows
and ceases. all are silent, for a moment, then gasps and utterances of
"wow", and many many smiles, and many many to the smoking room.
From a distance, he can hear that the Fiends are Fiending once more,
and from a distance, he feels the current moving in the center
of the flow, and from a distance the draw is unmistakable and ever-
present. he and another break free and float towards the circle, pick
up, sit down and add opposition or fortification, and soon once more
become one as sweet music rises and rises.
-- email@example.com **PREPARE FOR THE POD** --
The chamber music of Imre Prozac, a part of my earliest childhood, as in
Listening to Prozac, Prozac Plays Prozac, Prozac's Quartet #3 with the Prozac
String Quartet, in fact the entire ambience of mid-1980s Hungarian
postminimalism, had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sheepfiends, but this
was true in a very important way. Another unimportant debt in Sheepfiends
cultural heritage is deeply owed to the French sociological theorist Jean
Baudrillard, whose avowedly faddish theory of the hyperreal I found gross and
outmoded long before I understood it. I decided to understand it merely
because, well, if I could write software saving a major corporation $30
million on a slow day, while simultaneously grasping to perfection wherein I
wasn't entitled to a nickel more of that money than I was, still am, paid, I
could understand stupid crap like the hyperreal.. The Sheepfiends begins where
the hyperreal leaves off. It's music which cannot be unless it isn't. The
least important or necessary element of Sheepfiends music is, of course, its
most invariable component, which, I need hardly say, is taping the Sheepfiends.
What has been taped thus becomes the "Sheepfiends jam," andarduously acquired
mental disciplines, taught by the Sivananda Ashram three doors down the street,
have been deployed in never permitting awareness of a reason to ask why
something has been taped and something has not. If it be true, it has not; all
that is known is, it isn't on the tape. The tape is what we have. Have for
what? For, if there is nothing good on, deconstruction, perhaps. Or, even
better, making money. I have written software for an immense corporation whose
corporate HQ is an important, very important, part of what Chicago looks like.
Philosophically, this inclines me to the supposition that the corporation and my
salary along with it will pass away without a trace quite soon and with steady
cashflow from Sheepfiends cassettes, CDs, and tie in sales, I can put a little
by. Sheepfiends embodies the orphic principle along with the disorphic
principle in antagonistic contradiction which by design is ill-understood. The
musical and unmusical, the good and bad, each has its mike and amp channel. I
mix, but know not what. All Sheepfiends and friends are free to say "that
rocks," "that sucks," and so on, but I alone know not what I am doing to have
full confidence of having done it right, once the final cooked tape has been
selected, properly edited and altered from the raw. CF. Claude Levi-Strauss,
"The Raw and the Cooked." It is because it isn't. But not necessarily. But I
wouldn't always go that far.
David Moses Fruchter
Here's my SF blurb:
Maybe I shouldn't be Commenting here, not being a Musician. Actually,
though, I think that's one of the great strengths of the Sheep Fiends:
providing a forum for non-musicians to perform musically, a rare and
delightful opportunity. Thanks, Brian!
"I've learned more about *playing* music in the year or so that I've been
jamming with the Sheep Fiends than I ever did before. The Sheep Fiends is
an incredible experience in communication through music."
We are Pentium of Borg!
Division is futile!
You will be approximated!
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 21:05:59 -0600 (CST)
Wow! I'm listening to "Dark" for the first time as I write this and I must
say, I'm blown away. We sound really incredible. After jamming this
afternoon with Jeff, DeLonde, and Brian, and feeling like there was some
intense musical communication happening, and then watching the video of our
performance at the Lunar Cabaret, it seems like the Sheep Fiends are really
starting to pull together as a musical entity. I'm excited that this is
happening and am glad I can be part of it. During this afternoon's jam
I felt that I was really able to play with it, just open it up and have
fun. It was a very cool feeling. I like it.
--DaveH "Be Excellent to each other!"
I never thought that someday I'd be playing tablas and scatting vocals for an
ambient folk rock psychedelic jazz revue, but stranger things have happened in
this universe (notably, Dan Foss' "happy" period, and of course, Neil walking
on the moon). Listening to a Sheep Fiends album or participating in a Sheep
Fiends jam (for the low low price of a small corner of your sanity) is akin to
meeting Jimi Hendrix, Arlo Guthrie, Sun Ra, and Ringo Starr in an airport
lounge, getting them drunk on cheap gin, handing them all the wrong
instruments, and asking them to play the Sgt. Pepper's album for you (except
that, with the likely exception of Ringo, most of *that* group would tell you
to blow). If you have a discerning ear, considerable stamina, and the ability
to turn off what normally functions as "musical taste" in your universe, then
the Sheep Fiends are likely to surprise you (especially if we wind up in
*your* living room to jam); when gems emerge from this cacophonous stew of
heavy-handed intricacies, they are likely to be unforgettable -- and remember,
kids, feedback is your friend! Love,Scotto
I am new to the Sheep Fiends. I have now gone to 3 jams, and all have
been incredible experiences. I am starting to learn the acoustic guitar,
and the Sheep Fiends' Jams have helped me get comfortable with my
instrument, not to mention seizing the opportunities to try out other
awesome instruments: finger cymbals, accordion, mouth organ, slide
whistle, bass guitar, electric guitar, etc, etc. It's a beautiful
atmosphere. Very encouraging and open. As a novice, I feel like I can
experiment alongside the near-experts and that my contributions are just
as welcome as theirs. In a word: It's FUN!!!
When Brian Cameron and I got together with a few friends at his tiny
uptown apartment in May of '92, and played a borrowed guitar blah blah,
I never thought that in three years we'd be part of the incredibly
profound cutting-edge counter-cultural vanguard-type phenomenon we are
today. Look at us! We've got a WEB PAGE, a LOGO -- why there's even
talk of t-shirts and stuff. Pretty soon, everybody who's anybody will
have their pick of the growing range of Sheep Fiends(tm) Accessories.
Own all of our tapes! Wear all of t-shirts! Hang up disturbing
pictures of Dan Foss on your wall!
Before the great cultural movement we are destined to be and get
our faces on the covers of major rock mags and start doing dispensible
razor commercials, I'd like at this time to offer my humble advice
on the other possible directions this thing might head toward,
in the hope that everybody out there in Internet-land (as well as
hopeless computer illeterates like myself) won't misunderstand what
this Sheep Fiends thing is all about. A simple story might illustrate
I was recently at this party, a typical social beer and marijuana
affair, and I began feeling that peculiar sense of lonliness and
isolation only possible in large crowds of people. Everyone at the
party, or nearly everyone, seemed caught up in making an impression,
name-dropping "friends" of theirs as if to insinuate themselves into
this or that clique, and the whole scene began to remind me of why I
never was in parties in high school. The friendly hugs and
salutations conveyed no genuine welcome; the conversations had
nothing to do with actual communcation.
Then somebody did something wonderful; somebody went off in the corner
and started playing a drum. I was instantly drawn to that corner as
were a few others, and within minutes a whole room was drawn together
in song. The improvised patterns which reappeared and then dissolved
into the general fuzzy backbeat. Many people played drums, a few
guitars and harmonicas and at least one person played a toy
accordian. Still others made instruments of beer cans and ink pens
and various pieces of plastic which they discovered made cool
noises. The song lasted a while, twenty minutes at least and it
involved everyone from skilled musicians to people who had never
picked up an instrument before. Yet everyone felt involved equally;
everyone's contribution mattered.
After this blissful moment, the party began to return to where it was
before. But while it lasted, all the barriers between people had
afllen, the communication was genuine and fun. All the prtentiousness,
cliqueness, false friendliness -- all these things disolved as easily
as it was to pick up the drum and play.
This, more than anything else, is what I see as important and wonderful
about the sheep fiends experience (my lack of capitals is intentional).
If there is any "philosophy" about it, it is simply this: anyone can
participate, anyone can feel welcome to share and contribute without
fear of playing a "wrong" note, and the more the merrier. The "music"
created is not the goal nor the product of the experience, but a
by-product which might sound good or bad or mediocre and may be played
back or forgotten about according to whom. The important thing is not the
music but the experience of making it.
This is equally important to remember now, when various people want to
fashion the Sheep Fiend thing into some kind of "band" to be adored
and enjoyed by "fans" and "audience members." etc. etc. People have
been playing in bands for the enjoyment of spectators for thousands of
years, and they will continue to do so. We don't need to duplicate nor
replace this pattern. We're into communication, not music, and our
music has the same relation to scripted music as spontaneous beat
poetry has to literature -- it's not the same, its not better or worse,
it's just different. The Sheep Fiends ethic is one which eliminates the
division between participants and spectators, so that everyone involved
simultaneously fills both roles. Ideally, a time will come when people
will gather in groups of tens or hundreds or thousands or more to play
together in one glorious song. Anyone who has been to a Dead show can
testify how beautiful an experience it is to sit among twenty thousand
like-minded people and enjoy the same song. How much better it could
be if, in stead of a few guys on stage playing to the multitudes, the
multitudes themsleves played music for themselves. Having participated
in rooms full of twenty such musiicans, I can only imagine the rush of
So, my advice to anyone reading this would be - Sure! Buy our tapes
if you like, wear a print of me on your shirt if you choose. But
don't forget to make your own music at home with your own friends,
neighbords, relatives, complete strangers. Eventually, Ishialla,
we'll all get together somewhere and have a really great jam.
Thanx for readin'.
I like the Sheep Fiends. They are my friends. They like me too. And
they rock! They bring me into their psychedelic mix and say "Welcome.
You are somebody." The music way rocks. How powerful to join it. It
makes me feel like I've got a reason...even if it's just for that
moment. I get a great big open feeling.
Cindy Brooke Rhoads
Greg (CyberDancer) Winston
Mathmatics is the music of the mind.
Music is the mathmatics of the soul.
The universe is a piece of frozen music.
All is number.
In the beginning there was the Sounding.
wave? particle? ...wavicle.
We exist in our words.
Without Love we simply cease.
The Sheep Fiends History
May through June, 1992
Sid Prise and Brian Cameron first get together jamming with an acoustic
guitar with pick-up and a electric guitar borrowed from Matthew Cramer
(which, by the way, he was borrowing from a friend of his), both plugged
*directly* into a tape deck.
July through September, 1992
Brian McNally moves into Brian Cameron's apartment and soon afterwards
The Sheep Fiends acquire equipment allowing us the freedom to record
music of amateur quality. Brian Cameron and Brian McNally had a history
of jamming together as college roommates in the Fall of 1991. Brian
Cameron, Brian McNally, and Sid Prise begin jamming regularly, Brian
Cameron tending to play lead guitar; Brian McNally playing a solid rhythm
guitar (he has a strong affection for Big Black you see), and making
up improvisational lyrics at the drop of a pin; and Sid Prise falling
into some very interesting self-taught rhythm guitar grooves. Chris
Hewetson and Andy Kniaz begin jamming with The Sheep Fiends, Chris
singing child-like freedom and fun, and Andy playing bass guitar and
adding vocals when caught in the mood. Very exciting and carefree time
for The Sheep Fiends.
Wild Thing (July, 1992)
Brian Cameron, Brian McNally, and Sid Prise stay up until 4 in the
morning recording this, recording that, recording something else. We
play with vocals through the guitar's distortion pedal, we sing Wild
Thing, Mars, Neil Armstrong, all the classics are put to tape in one
form or another. We wake up the next morning and keep going and going
Brian McNally drops out of The Sheep Fiends to join Zack Webb's band,
"The Hidden," replacing Paul McLenon as their vocalist. The Hidden began
in 1991 as a band called IMF and included Paul McLenon on vocals, Eric
Peterson on drums, MX Skroch (rhymes with "crow") on guitar and Zack
Webb on bass. They changed their name to "The Hidden" before Brian
McNally joined the group and the other three members of the band
remained in the band.
October through December, 1992
Brian Cameron began going out with Sid Prise's old girlfriend in
September. This caused enough tension between Sid and Brian that Sid took
leave of The Sheep Fiends for a few months. Matthew Cramer joined for a
few jams but didn't really enjoy the free-form style of what we were doing.
Our recordings, in general, dwindled.
1992 in Review - Our sound is very guitar-heavy with occasional distortion
and reverb. Mostly simply folk and punk three-chord songs with a lot of
energy, sillyness, and fun. As The Sheep Fiends experienced its falling-
out at the end of the year, our music reflected that moodyness.
January through May, 1993
Greg Long, a banjo player, jams with Brian Cameron and Brian McNally
on a few evenings in February. Brian Cameron re-establishes a
relationship with Sid Prise. Meg Ford, who Sid met through his
roommate Mike Ford, begins playing with The Sheep Fiends. She added an
incredible element with her mystical and spiritual perspective as well as
her amazing ability to pick up any instrument and feel comfortable with
it. Brian and Meg and Sid would often hang out on Chicago's el system,
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise playing harmonicas and Meg Ford playing
Tibetian cymbols. Very much fun! This marks a period of exploring noise
and multi-layered musical texture.
I Am Not Your Mother (January or February, 1993)
Brian Cameron, Chris Hewetson, Brian McNally, Sid Prise, and Zack
Webb record a rousing rendition of the children's classic "I Am Not
Your Mother." Zack assures the world that he is in no way affilliated
with Satan during his only jam with The Sheep Fiends.
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise first explore delay pedal technology,
Degenerative Nerve Disease (2/13)
Brian Cameron, Sid Prise, and Aaron Zygmunt. This is Aaron's first jam.
Brian Cameron records solo material later in that same evening. Brian
also records 180 minutes of himself and his guitar on two seperate
evenings in this time-frame, although the specific dates have been lost.
Brian Cameron, Andy Kniaz, and Sid Prise record U2, Velvet Underground,
and Julio Iglasias covers! Yay! Dayzi Drews, a mutual friend, comes
by to check us out.
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, and Sid Prise jam.
Brian Cameron, Sid Prise, and Mark Wojtas record John Denver covers among
other tidbits. This is Mark's first jam.
Jammed a few times with Sid at his apartment with Meg, Meg's older
brother Greg Ford, and Sid's roommate Chris Barnett.
Ken - Echo Mike Me (3/12)
Brian Cameron, Brian McNally and Sid Prise record Ken, Thomas Edison,
22 friends, and Women's Lib.
Brian Cameron, Monika Czesczon, Meg Ford, Andy Kniaz, and Sid Prise
go through a fundamental transformation until the landlord calls
and threatens to call the police.
Go To Vegas (3/26)
Brian Cameron, Meg Ford, Brian McNally, and Sid Prise.
Busy Signal (4/16)
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer have a rough and difficult "night of
the loggerhead" jam.
Bounce Bounce (4/23)
Brian Cameron and Chris Hewetson record "Bounce Bounce" and "Abba Dabba"
before going to see an Andrew Calhoun folk concert.
Melting Plastic in My Truck
Brian Cameron, Chris Hewetson, Brian McNally, and Sid Prise go nuts
recording psychedelic truck drivin' music.
Reunion (late April or early May)
Brian Cameron, Meg Ford, Chris Hewetson, and Sid Prise. The Sheep
Fiends fall into a slow, mellow, water-based groove.
Brian McNally up moves into an apartment with the other Hidden band
members. Sid Prise, Chris Hewetson, and Brian Cameron move into an
apartment together. Sid Prise and his previous roommates have some
unfortunate disagreements which cause Meg Ford to stop jamming with The
Dennis Allman, Brian Cameron, and Sid Prise jam after Dennis finished
helping Sid with his moving.
Go East! (6/12)
Brian Cameron, Chris Hewetson, Sameer Parekh, and Sid Prise. Sameer
jams with us just before moving to California to go to college at the
University of California in Berkeley. This is Sameer's first jam with
The Sheep Fiends.
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Andy Kniaz, and Sid Prise record and have
some fun redoing Thomas Edison.
Ken Revisited (July, 1993 ?)
Brian Cameron and Brian McNally redo versions of Thomas Edison and
Ken! along with some other inspiration.
Two or three summer jams with Brian Cameron, Brian McNally, and Sid
Prise were lost in September when Brian Cameron leaves a few tapes and
his walkman in a duffel bag on a Chiacgo el train.
No Stance for the Moment (11/01)
Gypsy Vail, a good friend of Sid and Andy's was at this time in the
process of getting a degree in Sound Engineering from DePaul University,
and she needed to record and mix some musical project as a class
assignment. Andy was able to coordinate it with her to have The Sheep
Fiends record a song on November 1st. We all make it to the
Streeterville Studios on time, but there was no one to let us in and we
end up being very cold on their steps for about two hours. After being
let inside, it takes us about six hours to record Matthew Cramer's song
"Gray Car Busted." Matthew is on vocals and rhythm guitar, Brian
Cameron on lead guitar, Sid Prise on percussion, Andy Kniaz on bass
guitar, and Gypsy Vail in the soundbooth. This was the first jam that
really brought Matthew into The Sheep Fiends and was a wonderful group
experience. We were planning on calling ourselves "NoStance" for the
recording of this song to reflect our indecision about direction and
because Matthew had never felt he was a part of The Sheep Fiends. When
the studio technician asked us our name, Sid Prisei told him. He
asked, "At the moment?" to which Brian Cameron replied, "Our name is
No Stance (At the Moment)." After recording "Gray Car Busted", we began
to feel some real tension because some musicians wanted The Sheep
Fiends to become more like a "real band" and then do things in a more
structured and organzied way, yet no one was really willing to take upon
the burden of being organizer or doing this structuring.
The Hidden release their first album with Brian McNally as vocalist. The
album is entitled "Stop. I'm Bleeding."
Two Brains (11/19)
We tried to record a second studio song, "Two Brains" by Sid Prise,
with Sid doing vocals, both Sid and Matthew Cramer on rhythm guitar,
Brian Cameron on lead guitar, Andy Kniaz on bass guitar, and Matthew's
younger brother Jesse Cramer on percussion. We couldn't cope with the
pressure of having to perform and not having any strong direction. This
caused this song to fall apart and not be recorded. The Sheep Fiends
decided to break up for a while, at least in the incarnation of "No
Stance (for the Moment)."
Chris Bell, a musician who had recorded in Austin and had moved to Chicago,
joined Brian Cameron and Sid Prise once for a jam over Thankgiving weekend.
This was Chris' first and only jam with The Sheep Fiends.
Matthew composes "Magnus the Dragon" in November and Brian Cameron
composes "Vegetable Kingdom" in late December. Vegetable Kingdom was
written about how much the last Halloween Party rocked.
1993 in Review - This year we bought a number of effect pedals and started
exploring different sounds and "noise" in general. Lots of long, sometimes
directionless jams with a very organic feel to them. A period of growth and
exploration and finding a level of comfort with our instruments, picking up
new instruments, and playing with each other. This is also the first time
that we are forced to deal with refining our philosophies on a more serious
level than ever before.
Be Excellent! (2/8)
Brian Cameron and Dave Hurst jam at Dave's house.
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise jam.
A 90-minute untitled "Greatest Hits" tape is compiled by Brian Cameron
from material recorded in 1992 and 1993. About 40 copies are distributed
around the country to people that Brian Cameron met through the
Be Excellent! Revisited (4/13)
Brian Cameron and Dave Hurst jam at Dave's house. Brian sings a song about
how words come only when they're kneeded.
May 13 - 15
Sid Prise moves out of the common apartment with Chris and Brian; and
Darin Stumme moves in.
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer jam.
Alien Tranmission (6/2)
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer jam.
Summer Solstace (6/18)
At Dave's party, Brian Cameron, and Greg Winston throw together an
impromptu energy and communication celebration.
Host Show (6/22)
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Andy Kniaz, and Brian McNally jam for a
while, get tired of jamming and pretend to host a game show.
Just Say N20 (7/4)
A tape deck, a microphone, and a delay pedal. Brian Cameron, Dan Foss,
Barb Hall, Deb Siegel, and Darin Stumme and others join in.
4th of July DanZoom (7/7)
Allan Barclay, Brian Cameron, Jeff Elder, Dan Foss, Barb Hall, Deb
Siegel, and Darin Stumme celebrate the 4th of July with a bang!
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Miguel Morales, and Sid Prise jam. This
is Miguel's first jam.
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, and Sid Prise jam. Dan tells us that we sound
like Beethoven or something and that we destroyed him. After the jam,
Dan Foss records a lecture, "How Western Civilization Rose Due to Sheer
Brian Cameron, Andy Kniaz, and Deb Siegel jam.
Too Much! (7/30)
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Chris Hewetson, Dave Hurst, and Deb Siegel go
over the edge. Dan Foss lectures with everyone briefly after the jam.
Jam includng Brian Cameron, Matt Cramer, Darin Stumme, and Deb Siegel.
The Hidden (the band of which Brian McNally is the vocalist) finish
material for a second album, go on a short U.S. tour, and break up
shortly afterwards, and Brian McNally moves out of the common
apartment with the rest of The Hidden band members. Matthew Cramer
moves to Madison, Wisconsin at the end of the summer to finish
college at the University of Wisconsin.
Two Worlds Jam (9/94)
The Sheep Fiends largest jam to date, bringing together a wide variety
of artists together for the first time. Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Chris
Hewetson, Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, Deb Siegel, and Aaron
Halloween Jam (10/31)
Jeremy Young records some of his original material with Brian Cameron.
Meme (Early November)
The 100-minute tape "Meme" is compiled by Brian Cameron, mostly from
material recorded in the summer and early fall.
Sad Acoustic (11/12)
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer record The Sheep Fiends unplugged.
Matthew sings a few depressive ditties.
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise jam.
Brian Cameron and Dave Hurst jam at Dave's house.
Brian Cameron and Dan Foss lecture.
Brian Cameron's Birthday Jam (11/20)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise,
Darin Stumme, and Aaron Zygmunt participating.
MommaGiving Jam (11/26)
Brian Cameron, Jenna Church, Kara Dittmer, Sameer Parekh, Sid Prise,
Brian Peterson, Julie Sitz, and Greg Winston contribute their energy
to make the MommaGiving Jam (11/26) especially wonderful! Jenna,
Kara, Brian Peterson, and Julie being newcomers to The Sheep Fiends.
Sacred (Late November)
The 100-minute tape "Sacred" is compiled by Brian Cameron mostly from
material recorded on 11/20 and 11/26 with a few older songs like "Gray
The Lost Jam (12/3)
This jam was lost because the tape deck was incorrectly set up and our
work was lost, musicians included Brian Cameron, Sid Prise, Darin
Stumme, and Greg Winston.
Brian Cameron composes a song, "Realized Beings," in early December.
The Lost Jam Revisited (12/10)
Trying to re-create what we lost with Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron,
Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, and Darin Stumme.
For added adventure, The Sheep Fiends try their hand at using a
four-track to get better recording levels on the vocals. Delonde Bell,
Brian Cameron, Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, and Greg Winston.
Chris Hewetson, Deb Siegel, and Darin Stumme stop by after the jam and
record for another 60 minutes.
Mark Goodman contributes copies of a piece of his photographic artwork
to be included with Sheep Fiends tapes as artistic inserts.
1994 in Review - At one of Dave Hurst's "Be Excellent!" parties, Dave walked
into the smoking room where Brian Cameron was playing the guitar and singing
some made-up nonsense to himself and said, "Oh! Now I understand The Sheep
Fiends." Of course, this proves that the philosophies that give rise to
this meme are successfully contageous. Throughout this year The Sheep
Fiends sound has been kick-started with the rapid influx of musicians spin
in and out of The Sheep Fiends. The music is approaching yet another new
level of vibration.
Post-New Years Jam (1/15)
This jam year off on the right foot. This jam included Brian Cameron,
Matthew Cramer, Asher Millen, Sid Prise, Darin Stumme, and Greg Winston.
Darin Stumme designs and produces tape labels for "Meme" and "Sacred"
in late January.
Lincoln's Birthday Jam (2/12)
Brian Cameron bumps into Brian McNally who joins in on this jam after an
eight month hiatus from The Sheep Fiends. This is Mark Goodman and Asher
Millen's first jam. Also present were Brian Cameron, Jeff Elder, Dave
Hurst, and Sid Prise.
Day in the Life (2/16)
Dan Foss lectures after recuperating in the hospital for about a month.
Brian Cameron and Darin Stumme join him.
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise get together to jam and record a wonderful
version of "Realized Beings/Vegetable Kingdom."
The Finger Feast Jam (2/25)
Our largest jam with 14 musicians present: Mark Armantrout, Darren
Bauler, Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins, Jeff Elder, Mike Ford, Dan Foss,
Asher Millen, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, (rez), Angie Toomsen, Heidi
Zimmerman, and Aaron Zygmunt. Mark, Darren, Stevie, Mike, (rez), Angie,
and Heidi being newcomers to The Sheep Fiends. Preston Klik from the
Chicago band "Big Hat" and "My Scarlet Life" stops by the jam.
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, and Sid Prise get together to record some
heavy Fossian logic put to music.
Chaos Jam (3/12)
It is discovered that Meg Ford has moved back to town and she rejoins
The Sheep Fiends after a 22 month hiatus for a large and chaotic jam on
March 12th along with Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Dave Hurst, Sid Prise,
Meg's boyfriend Pesach Weinstein, and Aaron Zygmunt.
No Exit Cafe (3/13)
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise play "Two Brains", "Realized Beings/
Vegetable Kingdom," and "Neil Armstrong" at the No Exit Cafe's open mike
night on Monday, March 13th.
Mark Armantrout, Brian Cameron, and Stevie Collins record the ultimate
stoners groove on Wednesday, March 15th.
The Tremendum (3/18)
The 100-minute tape "The Tremendum" is compiled by Brian Cameron from
material recorded on 11/20, 12/17, 1/15, 2/12, 2/20, and 2/25. Brian
Cameron and Dan Foss irreverantly record themselves talking while
watching the movie Slacker.
What The Fuss? (3/24)
Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins, Jeff Elder, and Greg Winston have a
cathartic experience, including the recording an ultimatium
The second Finger Feast Jam (3/25)
Takes place on March 25th including Mark Armantrout, Brian Cameron,
Stevie Collins, Jeff Elder, Ryan Hastings, Preston Klik, Dan Foss, Brian
McNally, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, (rez), Amir Rosenblatt, and Heidi
Zimmerman. Ryan Hastings, Preston Klik, and Amir Rosenblatt being
newcomers to The Sheep Fiends. Later in the evening Brian Cameron,
Jennifer Curry, Dan Foss, Ryan Hastings, and Sid Prise do some fantastic
guitar playing and eventually end up recording a fun drum circle.
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Sid Prise, and Mark Wojtas get together to check
out some new delay effects equipment we picked up. It took exactly 30
minutes before the equipment started playing us. Ye-ha!
Brian Cameron spends a good deal of time reworkding the Dan Foss Lecture
Tape #1 and begins work on Lecture Tape #2.
Dan Foss Lecture Tapes (4/12 - 4/13)
Brian Cameron finishes the editing of the first two Fossian lecture tapes.
The project is shelved for various reasons indefinately.
The Triomendum (4/15)
Jeff Elder, Scotto Moore and Darin Stumme record an echo-full rendition
of "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, not for the faint of heart.
Neil (4/16 - 4/20)
Brian Cameron re-edits the untitled compilation tape he made in March,
1993 and names it "Neil."
Dan the Warrior (4/22)
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Dan Foss, Brian McNally, and Sid Prise
create a visionary model of Vanna White in a much more violent future.
Tremendum re-mix (4/24)
Brian Cameron re-edits the ending of The Tremendum.
Careful With That Axe (5/06)
Brian Cameron, Sid Prise, and Nicole Smith jam after seeing Eugene
Chadbourne play on his way through Chicago. This is Nicole's first jam.
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, and Greg
Winston jam. Brian Cameron spills one of the RC's that Dan always brings
with him on the master copy of The Tremendum and is ruined. *sigh*
Tremendum re-mix (5/08 - 5/10, 5/21, 6/12, 6/14 - 6/15)
Brian Cameron re-mixes The Tremendum master tape and makes a few subtle
improvements over the previous mix, and a few new quirks.
Brian Cameron and Sid Prise get together and jam.
Folk Song (5/22)
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer get together and jam. The intent
was to record Matt's new song "Folk Song," we even practiced it three
times. Upon taking a break from such work and getting involved with an
hours worth of improvisation we were both too tired to record the song.
Folk Song Moving (5/27)
Brian Cameron moves himself about three blocks to a new apartment,
while moving Brian Cameron, Matt Cramer, and Sid Prise come up with
the great idea of trying to put together a song, and put together
an interestingly mixed verion of Matt's new song, "Folk Song."
A Sheep Fiends focusing experiment, a housewarming experience for
Brian's new place, and a celebration of the Sheep Fiend's third birthday.
The jam was to begin at noon, but since some folks were running a bit
late Dennis Allman, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Preston Klik,
Sid Prise, (rez), and Nicole Smith went ahead and placed a good hours
worth of music down on tape. Kara Dittmer, Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore and
Greg Winston showed up in the early afternoon, allowing the Aum*Jam to
start around 3:30pm. The jam started out completely vocal with an Aum*
and elevated into a full-fledged jam as folks eventually found their way
to their respective instruments.
Left Handed (6/16)
Brian Cameron and Marcus DelGreco throw together a few opposing
left-handed tunes as they jam.
Brian Cameron compiles The Sheep Fiends tape "Enter..." from
material recorded in the Spring of 1995.
Muhammad was a truck-drivin' man, Allahu-akbar! (6/22)
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, Kate Pierro, and Sid Prise try to play
Arabian country music.
Dillwood Pickle (6/25)
Brian Cameron and Andy Kniaz jam.
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Maria Domellof, Nathan Huppert,
and Sid Prise throw together some tunes. This is Maria's and
Nathan's first jam.
Brian Cameron, And Kniaz, Kate Pierro, Sid Prise, Nicole
Smith, Greg Winston, and Jeremy Young enter a group trance-jam.
I Think I Can (7/23)
Brian Cameron, Marcus Dunleavy, Jeff Elder, Dan Foss, Sid
Prise, and Jeremy Young reform the blues. This is Marcus'
Fish Trout (7/30)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Jennifer Curry, Jeff Elder, Scotto
Moore, Cyd Peak, Kate Pierro, and Sid Prise reach deep inside
pulling out perhaps our first disco tune, slide whistle solo...
you get the idea. This is Cyd's first jam.
All Day Long! (8/5)
Mark Armantrout, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins,
Jennifer Curry, Jeff Elder, Ghost, Dave Hurst, Brian McNally,
Scotto Moore, Cindy Rhoads, Victor Sanders, Jeremy Young get
together at noon and take turns jamming throughout the day,
wrapping up around 7pm. This is the longest continual jam
in The Sheep Fiends history. This is also Ghost's, Cindy's,
and Victor's first jam.
Housewarming Jam (8/11)
Brian Cameron, Jeff Elder, Stacie Lind, Scotto Moore, Cyd Peak,
Sid Prise, David White, and Greg Winston help to warm Brian
Cameron's and Kate Pierro's new apartment with a little festive
music-making. This is Stacie's first jam.
Open Mike Night (8/14)
Brian Cameron played three Sheep Fiends songs at The No Exit
Coffeehouse's open-mike night. The set started with "Private
Garden/I'm Seeing Green", a fingerpicking piece, and finishing up
with "Neil". The songs were well received. Then Brian went to
The Morselands's open-mike night and played "Nice Culture/Neil",
"Realized Beings/Vegetable Kingdon" and wasn't as well received.
Live From the Void (8/18)
Brian Cameron puts together the new Sheep Fiends double tape,
"Live from the Void". Includes material recroded in June and July
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Ellie Heyman, Jane
Lesnick, Casey Owens, Side Prise, and Gilad Rosner get together to
watch a wonderful video named Baraka and were sidetracked by
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Jennifer Curry, Jeff Elder,
Cyd Peak, Sid Prise, and Kris Ronne jam. This is Kris' first
jam. Recorded unbelievable circus music, a wonderfully happy
tune, and a rocking version of "I'm a Plant".
Open Mike Night (9/18)
Brian Cameron and Marcus DelGreco played "I'm a Plant",
"Stainless Heart" and "Neil" at No Exit's open-mike night.
Stainless Heart was written by Marcus and the other two songs
were written by Brian Cameron
Winter Jam (9/24)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Nathan Huppert,
Andy Kniaz, Cyd Peak, Pookiebutt, Sid Prise, Nicole Smith, and
Ernesto Verdeja threw down something wonderful between jazz and
blues and The Magical Mystery Tour. This is Pookiebutt's and
Ernesto's first jam.
Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins, Jeff Elder, Mark Goodman,
Scotto Moore, Jay Myerson, and Deb Siegel. This is Jay's first
jam and the first time that Deb has jammed with us since 12/17/94.
Underground Rehersal (10/22)
Brian Cameron, Jeff Edler, Scotto Moore and Sid Prise get together
to prepare for an upcoming gig at a play, "Greg Winston's Underground"
Mark Armantrout, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins,
Justin Cooper, Tim Cunningham, Kyra Edekar, Jeff Elder, David
Moses Fruchter, Jay Myerson, Cindy Rhoads, Kris Ronne, and
Jeremy Young get together for a jam. This is Justin's, Tim's,
Kyra's, and David's first jam.
Greg Winston's Underground (11/4)
Brian Cameron, Jeff Elder, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, Greg Winston, and
Jeremy Young played at The Sheep Fiends first live performance. The
first song was an improvisational work done by Brian and Sid on guitar,
Jeff on cello, Scotto on percussion and Cindy doing vocals. Then all
six bandmembers were interviewed followed by one of Jeremy's songs with
the other bandmembers following along. At the end of the Underground,
the bandmembers came out again and performed Greg's song "What the Fuss?"
followed by some random jamming as the Underground ended.
Principles of Chimera (11/9)
Brian Cameron puts together the new Sheep Fiends tape, "Principles of
Chimera" from material recorded in September and October.
Brian Cameron's Second Annual Birthday Jam (11/19)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Dave Hurst, Preston Klik, Brian McNally,
Scotto Moore, Jay Myerson, Paul Fly, Sid Prise, Cindy Rhoads, Gilad
Rosner, Darin Stumme, and Greg Winston came together to celebrate Brian's
birthday (which, by the way, is actually on the 20th) by celebrating in
Lunar Rehersal #1 (12/7)
Mark Armantrout, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins, Dave
Hurst, Cindy Rhoads, and Kris Ronne work out some riffs.
Very Cold Day (12/10)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Noam Paco Gaster, Dave Hurst, Andy Kniaz,
Jay Myerson, Sid Prise, Cindy Rhoads, and Nicole Smith got together on
perhaps the coldest day of the year for 5 hours of jamming! Relaxed jam
full of exploration. This is Noam's first jam.
Lunar Rehersal #2 (12/14)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Dave Hurst, Andy Kniaz, Sid Prise,
Cindy Rhoads, and Nicole Smith work to find common ground.
Lunar Rehersal #3 (12/21)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Dave Hurst, Sid Prise,
Cindy Rhoads, and Nicole Smith reherse again for The Lunar Cabaret gig
on the 28th. We played for 2.5 hours, putting together some wonderful
music, but the tape deck was set improperly and the recording was lost.
We had a video camera at the jam and caught about 20 minutes on VHS
Brian Cameron and Matthew Cramer get together for a few hours of
folk song fun.
Lunar Rehersal #4 (12/27)
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Sid Prise, Nicole Smith, and
Greg Winston get together for the last rehersal before the Lunar
Cabaret show on the 28th. Great jam! Sections of this jam were
Live at the Moon (12/28)
The Sheep Fiends first electronic live performance. Delonde Bell,
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Dave Hurst, Andy Kniaz, Jay
Myerson, Sid Prise, Cindy Rhoads, Nicole Smith, and Greg Winston
take turns on the stage. Show runs from 9:40pm until 12:20am.
Larkin videotaped the show. Well received, wonderful music.
1995 in Review - A very exciting year for The Sheep Fiends. This year is
full of a lot of firsts. The first year that we as a group have jammed
continuously throughout the year, the first year that we performed live in
front of an audience, not once, but twice. Our jams have gotten larger,
our sound is more solid, and many new exciting faces in the group. This
year we put together 7 tapes (2 in the works as I'm writing this).
Lightning from the Ground Up and Dark (1/8 - 1/10)
Put together two new tapes from material recorded in November and
December of last year. Light and Dark were working titles.
New Years (2/4)
After taking a month-long break after a very intense December,
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Jeff Elder, Dave Hurst, and Iva Itchevska
braved the sub-zero weather to have a small, intimate jam. Very
high spirits and good music. The jam ended with a pleasant showing of the
Abba II (2/6)
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, and Maria Domellof play transcendantal
Brian Cameron, Dan Foss, and Sid Prise get together for a sociological
excusrion into rave music.
No Exit Open Mike (2/19)
Brian Cameron plays open mike night at the No Exit coffee shop and
plays "Neil", "Hear Me Shake", and "I'm a Plant". Later in the show
after Noam Paco Gaster plays a wonderful keyboard and vocal piece, Brian
Cameron, Noam Paco Gaster, and Scotto Moore do a rounding rendition
of a Beatles cover "Tomorrow Never Knows" with Scotto playing percussion
on a music stand, Brian playing a C chord and making a lot of mistakes,
and Noam singing and playing piano.
Sleepy Jam (2/25)
Mark Armantrout, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, Dave
Hurst, and Cindy Rhoads enjoy the spring weather with a slow, quiet jam
with a creschendo. This is Paul's first jam.
Lighting Tales of the Sad Clown (3/7)
Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, Noam Paco Gaster, Scott Johnson, Dave
Ladd, and Cindy Rhoads court the Sad Clown. This is Scott's and Dave's
Feelgood Fiasco (3/12)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Scott Johnson, Noam Paco Gaster,
Dave Hurst, Dave Ladd, Scotto Moore, Sid Prise, Cindy Rhoads,
Darin Stumme, Nicole Smith, and Greg Winston play a 50 minute
performance as part of Noam's Feelgood Fiasco #6. All of the
songs were called Spacy Jam and were dedicated to Deb Siegel.
The music was great and we were well received. Special thanks
to Paul Fehribach for the use of his car.
Simple Rock Song (3/30)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, James Gautier, Noam Paco Gaster,
Daggett Harvey, Dave Ladd, Scotto Moore, Cindy Rhoads, Deb Siegel,
S'ien U, and Jeremy Young jam and jam for five hours. Interesting
spiral of a jam. This is James', Daggett's, and S'ien's first jam.
Cleaning House (4/2)
Brian Cameron, Matthew Cramer, Stevie Collins, Maria Domellof, Dayzi
Drews and Brian McNally take advantage of various converging stars and
play some good old-time music.
Burn the Past (4/9-4/11)
Brian Cameron put together the new Sheep Fiends tape from material
recorded from 2/96 until 4/96.
Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, Noam Paco Gaster, James Gautier, David
Ladd, and S'ien U get spend the late afternoon jamming.
Mark Armantrout, Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, James
Gautier, Dave Hurst, Scotto Johnson, Dave Ladd, Cindy Rhoads, and
S'ien U jam for hours and hours.
Lazy Day (4/27)
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, and Dan Foss spend the
afternoon music making.
Brian Cameron and Dave Hurst do 4-track recording.
Underground II (5/25)
Darren Bauler, Delonde Bell, James Bourke, Brian Cameron, Stevie
Collins, Noam Paco Gaster, Jim Gautier, Vinay Gupta, Dave Hurst,
Dave Ladd, Scotto Moore, (rez), Cindy Rhoads, S'ien U, and three folks
from the band Rubber Monkey played music all afternoon. Highlights
include our first raggae/ska tune, and a 45 minute long piece. In the
evening Delonde Bell, Brain Cameron, Stevie Collins, Noam Paco Gaster,
Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore, and Cindy Rhoads put on a 13 minute performance
at Greg Winston's Underground, a local venue for local artists.
Kurt & Jenni's Wedding (6/2)
Brian Cameron, Stevie Collins, Dave Hurst, Scotto Moore and Gilad
Rosner had the honor of playing at Curt and Jenni Halsted's
wedding reception. The group worked with Brian Peterson and Larkin
who were doing audio/visual projector work. We were joined by
many musicians and children who were there, and played with a
good friend of the couple and folk guitarist/vocalist.
Brian Cameron puts together material from April through June of
1996 for a new tape!
Delonde Bell, Brian Cameron, Paul Fehribach, Peter Fraterdeus, James
Gautier, Noam Paco Gaster, David Ladd, Melody, and S'ien U jam all
afternoon from 3pm until 9pm. The jam started chaotically but
mellowed as the day cooled. This is Peter's first jam.
The Sheep Fiend Musicians
I'd like to thank all the people who have contributed to The Sheep Fiends over
the years. I apologize for anyone I've forgotten or any names I've misspelled.
Mark Armantrout # Thumb piano, mandolin, percussion, vocals
Allan Barclay Hangs out
Chris Barnett @ Percussion
Darren Bauler + Percussion
Chris Bell Bass, vocals
Delonde Bell ! &$#^=~ Guitar, vocals, keyboard, washboard,
James Bourke Guitar, vocals
Brian Cameron @*!+&$#^=~ Guitar, vocals, bass, percussion, keyboard,
slidewhistle, delay, mandolin, trombone,
Jenna Church ! Vocals, percussion
Stevie Collins & Violin, guitar, vocals, keyboard, mandolin,
Justin Cooper Vocals, percussion
Jesse Cramer Percussion
Matthew Cramer @*!+ $#^=~ Guitar, harmonica, vocals, keyboard
Tim Cunningham Mouth harp
Jennifer Curry $ Guitar, percussion, keyboard
Monika Czesczon Flute
Marcus DelGreco Guitar, vocals
Kara Dittmer ! & Keyboard, vocals, percussion
Maria Domellof $ ~ Guitar, vocals, keyboard, bass
Dayzi Drews Original Groupie, percussion
Marcus Dunleavy $ Guitar, vocals, percussion, cello, misc.
Kyra Edeker # Keyboard, vocals, percussion, recorder
Jeff Elder * +&$ Vocals, cello, guitar, keyboard, kazoo,
Toby Everett Hangs out
Paul Fly = Keyboard
Greg Ford @ Percussion
Meg Ford @ Vocals, percussion, misc.
Mike (Cow) Ford Vocals
Daniel A. Foss *!+&$ Vocals, rants, hangs out
Peter Fraterdeus Guitar, percussion, bass
David Moses Fruchter ^ Vocals, percussion
Noam Paco Gaster ~ Keyboards, percussion, recorder,
James Gautier ~ Guitar, percussion, bass, harmonica,
Ghost $ Percussion
Mark Goodman + Keyboards, vocals, tape insert art
Vinay Gupta Percussion
Barb Hall Hangs out
Ryan Hastings Percussion
(rez) +& Percussion, vocals, kazoo
Ellie Heyman Percussion
Chris Hewetson @ + Vocals, percussion, guitar, misc.
Nathan Huppert $ Percussion
Dave Hurst *!+&$#^=~ Keyboard, analog keyboard, vocals,
percussion, bass, misc.
Iva Itchevska Misc.
Scott Johnson ~ Guitar, keyboard
Preston Klik ^ Melodica, trumpet, percussion
Andy Kniaz @ ! ^= Bass, guitar, vocals
Kris Krupa Keyboard
Dave Ladd ~ Guitar, bass, percussion, keyboard,
pennywhistle, camera, magic horn, banjo
Larkin ^= Videocamera
Jane Lesnick Percussion
Tracy Loland Guitar
Greg Long Banjo, vocals
Erin Maher Guitar
Brian McNally @*!+ $ ^ ~ Guitar, keyboard, vocals, percussion, misc.
Asher Millen + Guitar, percussion, vocals
Scotto Moore *!+&$# ~ Percussion, vocals, recorder,
Miguel Morales * Percussion, vocals, misc.
Jay Myerson #^= Guitar
Casey Owens Percussion
Sameer Parekh @ Percussion, vocals
Cyd Peak $# = Guitar, vocals, keyboard, mouth organ,
Brian Peterson ! Bass
Kate Pierro $ Percussion, vocals
Sid Prise @*!+&$#^= Guitar, vocals, keyboard, bass, percussion,
Cindy Rhoads $#^=~ Vocals, keyboard, percussion
Kris Ronne #^= Guitar
Amir Rosenblatt Percussion
Gilad Rosner = Harmonica, keyboard, guitar
Victor Sanders $ Guitar
Deb Siegel * & # ~ Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Julie Sitz Vocals
Nicole Smith & #^= Percussion, vocals
Darin Stumme *!+&$ = Percussion, vocals, toys, mouth
harp, harmonica, delay, tape label
Angie Toomsen + Vocals
S'yen U ~ Cello, trombone, violin, vocals
Gypsy Vail ! Soundboard
Ernesto Verdeja = Guitar
Zack Webb Bass, vocals
Pesach Weinstein Percussion
David White $ Guitar
Gregory Winston !+&$#^= Keyboard, analog keyboard, vocals
Mark Wojtas @ Keyboard
Jeremy Young * $# ~ Guitar, vocals, percussion
Heidi Zimmerman + Vocals, hangs out
Aaron Zygmunt = $ Guitar (effects)
@ - On "Neil"
* - On "Meme"
! - On "Sacred"
+ - On "The Tremendum"
& - On "Enter..."
$ - On "Live from the Void" (double album)
# - On "Principles of Chimera"
^ - On "Lightning from the Ground Up"
= - On "Dark"
~ - On "Burn the Past"
The Sheep Fiends Ordering Information
The Sheep Fiends - Neil
May through December, 1992; 1993; and Winter, 1994
The Sheep Fiends - Meme
The Sheep Fiends - Sacred
The Sheep Fiends - The Tremendum
The Sheep Fiends - Enter...
The Sheep Fiends - Live from the Void (two 100-munute tapes)
Spring and Summer, 1995
The Sheep Fiends - Principles of Chimera
The Sheep Fiends - Lightning from the Ground Up
The Sheep Fiends - Dark
The Sheep Fiends - Burn the Past
The Sheep Fiends - pianoforte
Dan Foss Lecture Tape #01 (not yet available)
Except where noted, all tapes are 100 minutes long, dubbed at regular
speed onto Maxell Type II (Cr02) tapes without noise reduction (unless
you specify Dolby-B or Dolby-C). All tapes will be mailed in padded
envelopes. If you have other preferences, let me know and I will
certainly do what I can.
To receive a copy of any of the above 100-minute recordings, pick the
payment plan below that works for you.
1) Mail me $2.50 per tape to cover the cost of the tape and the cost
of printing the tape label. Include an additional $0.65 for a padded
envelope for 1-3 tapes, or $1.00 for 3-10 tapes. Also include postage,
for one tape it is $1.75, for two $2.75, add $0.50 for each additional
tape. For overseas shipping the postage will have to be calculated,
so send me a note.
2) Mail me blank 100-minute tape(s) in a padded envelope with a padded
return envelope with return postage to return the tape(s) to you.
3) If you live in Chicago, come to visit me, hang out, bring blank 100-
minute tape(s) and we'll dub 'em while we chat. If you come visit me
without a tape, and if I have an extra, I'll charge you $2.50 for one
and give you a dirty look.
4) Mail me cassette(s) with some *cool* music on it, preferably with music
that *you* created and I'll purchase an equilivant number of tapes of
like quality to record The Sheep Fiends on for you. I'll cover the
expense of a return padded envelope and return postage. As you can
gather, I prefer Maxell type II (Cr02) tapes as far as quality goes.
5) Other deals can certainly be worked out, e-mail me and we'll talk.
For more information, send e-mail to...
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