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Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew was a two-album project from ex-Henry Cow alternative guitarist Fred Frith and experimental Bay Area cellist and multi-instrumentalist Tom Cora. Formed as a duo, the two (occasionally augmented by Zeena Parkins on keyboards and harp) toured extensively with a combination of experimental rock, noise, and folk music, even playing one concert of nothing but Eastern European folk tunes. On stage, both musicians operated drums with their feet, while busying their hands with various stringed instruments, professional or homemade. Tape cut ups were also part of the performance, mostly samples pertaining to America's increasing military world role (this was during the height of the Reagan era). On record -- the group signed to Rift Records -- the visuals aren't there, but the musical invention is. Holed up in a wintry Switzerland for both sessions, they recorded Learn to Talk (1984) and Country of Blinds (1986), the latter featuring Zeena Parkins and produced by Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson. It is rumored that there was enough material for a third album, but it never materialized. (A royalty-free sample album did, however, "for use in your own art work" -- the cost was "only" $100). Both original albums were repackaged later as one CD. Cora died in 1998. ~ Ted Mills
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Country Of Blinds

Disc 1

1. The Country Of Blinds

2. The Border

3. The Hand That Bites

4. Dead Sheep

5. Bingo

6. Man Or Monkey

7. Foot In Hole

8. Hot Field

9. The Birds Of Japan

10. You May Find A Bed

11. Sparrow Song

12. Safety In Numbers

13. Howdywhoola Too

14. Second Rate

15. New Orleans Stomp

16. Hasta La Victoria

Disc 2

3. Not My Shoes

4. The Washington Post

5. We're Still Free

6. Victoryville

7. Los Colitos

8. Learn To Talk

9. Factory Song

10. It's Fine

11. Zach's Flag

12. Sick As A Parrot

13. Automatic Pilot

14. Hook

15. Killing Time

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Pandora, please put up Learn to Talk

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