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Silver Apples

Decades after their influential career first ground to a sudden and mysterious halt, the Silver Apples remain one of pop music's true enigmas. A surreal, almost unprecedented duo, their music explored interstellar drones and hums, pulsing rhythms, and electronically generated melodies years before similar ideas were adopted in the work of acolytes ranging from Suicide to Spacemen 3 to Laika and Beak>.

Prior to forming the Silver Apples, vocalist Simeon Coxe and percussionist Danny Taylor played in a more traditional-sounding '60s rock group, the Overland Stage Electric Band. However, Coxe's addition of a 1940s audio oscillator to the band alienated the other members so much that ultimately he and Taylor were the only ones left, and they began making music as the Silver Apples in New York City in 1967. Coxe added more and more oscillators, incorporating them into an instrument also called the Simeon that (according to notes on the duo's self-titled 1968 debut LP) consisted of "nine audio oscillators and eighty-six manual controls...The lead and rhythm oscillators are played with the hands, elbows and knees and the bass oscillators are played with the feet." Coxe and Taylor also connected with budding poet Stanley Warren, who wrote lyrics for many of their early songs, including their signature track, "Oscillations."

The duo released The Silver Apples via Kapp Records, and although the utterly uncommercial record -- an ingenious cacophony of beeps, buzzes, and beats -- sold poorly, the Silver Apples resurfaced in 1969 with their sophomore effort, Contact, and toured the United States. The album's artwork featured Coxe and Taylor manning the cockpit of a Pan Am jet on the front cover, and a picture of a European plane crash with the duo superimposed over it on the back. The airline sued Kapp and the band, Contact was pulled from record store shelves, and Taylor's drums were confiscated. The Silver Apples' third album, The Garden, was shelved, and the group disbanded in 1970; Coxe then worked as a graphic designer, while Taylor worked for a telephone company.

It seemed the Silver Apples had disappeared completely until 1994, when a German bootleg of The Silver Apples and Contact sparked new interest in the band. Two years later, Coxe re-formed the Silver Apples; unable to find Taylor, he drafted keyboardist Xian Hawkins (also of Sybarite) and drummer Michael Lerner. This version of the band toured America and Europe and released a new album, 1998's Steve Albini-recorded Beacon. Coxe and Taylor were finally reunited after Taylor heard the Silver Apples' music on New Jersey public radio station WFMU, and the duo fleshed out the original recordings of The Garden for release that year. Another album of new material, Decatur, also arrived in 1998 and featured Lerner on drums. Coxe and Taylor also played a handful of live dates, but in November 1998 the band's van crashed on the way back from a show in New York, leaving Coxe with neck and spine injuries. During his years of recovery, he taught himself how to play the Simeon again. Meanwhile, the Spectrum collaboration A Lake of Teardrops was released in 1999; the following year, a joint effort with U.K. psych/noise outfit the Alchemysts appeared.

Though Taylor died from cancer in 2005, Coxe had enough recordings of his drumming to sample them for live performances and new music. Starting in 2007, Coxe toured consistently, playing at experimental music festivals including All Tomorrow's Parties' 2011 I'll Be Your Mirror in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where he collaborated with Cluster's Hans-Joachim Roedelius as Silver-Qluster one day and shared the stage with Portishead on their Silver Apples homage "We Carry On" the next. Coxe continued making music in his home studio in Alabama, working with singer/songwriter Lydia LaVert as Amphibian Lark and as Silver Apples. The project's first album in nearly 20 years, 2016's Clinging to a Dream, featured songs from an opera Coxe wrote about a society of invisible vegetarian vampires as well as production by Bark Psychosis' Graham Sutton. The Silver Apples also appeared on the Dymaxion Groove compilation I Said No Doctors, which included tracks from Dan Deacon, Jad Fair, and David Grubbs. ~ Jason Ankeny & Heather Phares
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Contact

1. You And I

2. Water

3. Ruby

4. Gypsy Love

5. You're Not Foolin' Me

6. I Have Known Love

7. Pox On You

8. Confusion

9. Fantasies

x

Track List: Silver Apples

1. Oscillations

2. Seagreen Serenades

3. Loverfingers

4. Program

5. Velvet Cave

6. Whirly-Bird

7. Dust

8. Dancing Gods

9. Misty Mountiam

10. You And I

11. Water

12. Ruby

13. Gypsy Love

14. You're Not Foolin' Me

15. I Have Known Love

16. A Pox On You

17. Confusion

18. Fantasies

x

Track List: The Garden

1. I Don't Care What The People Say

2. Tabouli Noodle

3. Walkin'

4. Cannonball Noodle

5. John Hardy

6. Cockroach Noodle

7. The Owl

8. Swamp Noodle

9. Mustang Sally

10. Anasazi Noodle

11. Again

12. Starlight Noodle

14. Fire Ant Noodle

16. Mad Man Blues

Comments

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A buddy showed me this band yesterday! Insaaaaaaaan e !
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LOL....I made that comment over a YEAR ago, what's going on with the incorrect comment date? I'll date this one: 03/28/2015.. . .
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Damn!!!! : )
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Thank you, Pandora.
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If you like this, you might look up the High Llamas.
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thanks pandora for shining light
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These guys bite. No wonder I never heard of them
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TRIP JAM
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so freakin' good
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I love Silver Apples! I met Simeon in Austin after their 2009 SXSW show. Amazing show, real nice guy!
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Holy Crap!
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Why did it take me so long to find them, f#ing amazing!
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never heard them back in the day. mabbe too kookey for the radio. i dig ya folly
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Silver Apples will be performing at this year's Albuquerque Experimental music fest Oct. 15th & 16th http://Albuq u e r q u e E x p e r i m e n t a l . c o m
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if you dont know you better ask SOMEBODAAAYY Y Y Y Y Y
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Way ahead of there time!
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i'm sorry mr.ankeny but simeon is still doing live shows.
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Great 2nd Lp, Contact, should be re released on vinyl and left in print!!!!
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I saw simeon and the awe inspiring instrument that he plays down in Lexington Ky about a year ago. He was up and about, so rest easy pessimistic pandora his career is very much alive.
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this is really awesome music

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