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Bongwater

As much a performance art troupe as a band, Bongwater was the brainchild of guitarist (Mark) Kramer -- chief of the Shimmy-Disc label and a former member of Shockabilly -- and actress Ann Magnuson, best known to mainstream audiences for her role in the ABC sitcom Anything But Love as well as the feature film Making Mr. Right. Kramer and Magnuson first met at her downtown New York nightspot Club 57, where he engineered the sound for her performances with the all-female percussion group Pulsalamma; after forming Bongwater in 1985, the duo enlisted avant-garde guitarist Fred Frith to record their 1987 EP debut Breaking No New Ground, a crazed neo-psychedelic set typified by Magnuson's surreal narratives, often inspired by her dreams about major celebrities and fellow downtown N.Y.C. denizens.

After garnering a reputation for their anarchic live sets, Bongwater re-entered Kramer's Noise New York studios with ex-Phantom Tollbooth guitarist Dave Rick and former Shockabilly drummer David Licht to record 1988's sprawling two-LP opus Double Bummer, a wildly experimental collection peppered by bizarro-world covers of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Pt. 2" and Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" (retitled "Dazed and Chinese" and sung in Mandarin) as well as media satires like "Decadent Iranian Country Club" and "David Bowie Wants Ideas." The follow-up, Too Much Sleep -- a collection of lo-fi recordings mottled with dialogue fragments, sampled answering machine messages and television soundbites -- appeared in 1989.

With 1991's The Power of P**sy, Bongwater parodied sex in all its forms; a European tour with rhythm guitarist Dogbowl in tow followed, but Kramer and Magnuson's complex relationship soon began to unravel, and after one final record, 1992's The Big Sell-Out, the duo parted both personally and professionally. The dissolution of the partnership was acrimonious, and resulted in a protracted legal battle that ultimately resulted in Shimmy-Disc's bankruptcy; Magnuson, meanwhile, mounted a solo career, issuing The Luv Show on Geffen in 1995. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Power Of P**sy

1. The Power Of P**sy

2. Great Radio

3. What If?

4. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

5. Chicken P**sy

6. White Rental Car Blues

7. Nick Cave Dolls

8. Bedazzled

9. Obscene & Pornographic Art

10. Connie

11. What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy?

12. I Need A New Tape

13. Women Tied Up In Knots

14. Junior

15. Mystery Hole

16. Time Is Coming

17. Folk Song

x

Track List: Box Of Bongwater

Disc 1

1. Ride My Seesaw

2. Barely Coping

3. Four Sticks

4. U.S.O.

5. His New Look

6. Julia

7. Lesbians Of Russia

8. Frank

9. We Did It Again

10. Homer

11. Joy Ride

12. Decadent Iranian Country Club

13. David Bowie Wants Ideas

14. Rock 'n' Roll, Pt. 2

15. Just May Be The One

16. There You Go

17. Shark

18. Jimmy

19. Crime

20. Pornography

21. Pew

22. Dazed And Chinese

23. Bullaby

24. So Help Me God

Disc 2

1. His Old Look

2. Stone

3. Number

4. Love You To

5. Reaganation

6. Double Birth

7. Bruce

8. Pool

9. Rain

10. Havana

11. Pentagon

12. Truth

13. You Don't Love Me Yet

14. The Porpoise Song

15. The Living End

16. The Drum

17. Mr. & Mrs. Hell

18. Too Much Sleep

19. Talent Is A Vampire

20. The Bad Review

21. Ill Fated Lovers Go Time Tripping

Disc 3

1. Psychedelic Sewing Room

2. Splash 1

3. He Loved The Weather

4. Teena Stays The Same

5. One Hand On The Road

6. Then The Babies Return

7. Why Are We Sleeping

8. Khomeini Died Tonight

9. One So Black

10. No Trespassing

11. The Power Of P**sy

12. Great Radio

13. What If

14. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

15. Chicken P**sy

16. White Rental Car Blues

17. Nick Cave Dolls

18. Bedazzled

19. Obscene Pornographic Art

20. Connie

21. What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy

22. I Need A New Tape

23. Women Tied Up In Knots

Disc 4

1. Junior

2. Mystery Hole

3. Time Is Coming

4. Folk Song

5. Ye Olde Backlash

6. The Real Thing

7. Free Love Messes Up My Life

8. You're Like Me Now

9. I Wanna Talk About It

10. What's Big In England Now

11. Schmoozedance

12. Celebrity Compass

13. When Johnnie Dies

14. The Big Sell-Out

15. Over The Credit Line

16. Flop Sweats

17. Holding Hands

18. Flute Of Shame

19. On The Cusp Of 1970

20. Her Litigious Nature

21. Love Song

22. Everybody's Talking

23. Love Life (Edit)

Comments

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Good stuff very unique
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Best bar show I have ever seen and I have seen lots and lots of bar shows.
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No child left behind... Otherwise no bongwater... Think about it
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I love you Ann you are awsome always make me trip out when I hear your music
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Saw them @ the 9:30 in DC late 80's with Ann dressed in fishnet body suit with just 2 ribbons placed on her nips. Half way thru, pulled the strings and the crowd went wild (I sure did)
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I have Double Bummer on Vinyl
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Ah the old New Paltz daze. Brings back psychedelic memories.
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saw them play in NYC back in that day, in college.
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Same here! I was fanatical about them in high school. They were different--c o o l odd sounds, and crazy samples. What changed? Still fun though.
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Worth listening to but I don't know that I'd spend any money on it.
Report as inappropriate
I mean I loved them when I was in High School.
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Loved em high school!
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close your eyes
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bromide01
I like B.A.L.L better.
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kmm_2017
flippin genius you mothers!!!

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