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Live Skull was an experimental rock band from New York City, New York, United States.Read More...
The band created abrasive no wave music not unlike their 1980s contemporaries Sonic Youth, Swans, Rat at Rat R and Band of Susans. Their music featured angular guitar parts interspersed with bleak, quieter passages, for a haunting overall effect. The lyrical subject matter was usually as pessimistic and harsh as the noise rock itself. Live Skull never achieved mainstream recognition, but retain underground notoriety and share a family tree with other relatively noteworthy groups.
Live Skull formed in downtown New York City in 1982, founded by the guitar/bandleader tandem of Mark C. and Tom Paine. The earliest lineup included Julie Hair on vocals and Dan Braun on drums. They were soon joined by drummer James Lo and Marnie Greenholz, on bass guitar. In 1984, a self-titled debut 12" EP saw release on the tiny Massive label. They soon signed with indie label Homestead Records, which released their 1985 debut full-length Bringing Home the Bait. On this LP, vocal duties were shared by Greenholz, Paine, and C. 1986 album Cloud One featured slightly more accessible song structures. A live album called Don't Get Any on You was recorded at CBGB later that year.
Thalia Zedek joined the band as lead singer in 1987, taking over most of the vocal duties so that the other members could concentrate on their instruments. Zedek had previously played in the Boston-area post-punk outfits White Women, Dangerous Birds, and Uzi. The band also replaced Lo with ex-Ruin drummer Richard Hutchins. Zedek and Hutchins debuted on 1987's Dusted, which spawned a black-and-white music video for the song 5-D, likely filmed in the same abandoned warehouse featured in the album's cover art.