Category Archives: Music Previews

Saucers, Saucerers, Saucerest

The Saucers were one of the platters on which the vibrant New Haven music scene of the ‘70s rested. They return to the city’s Ninth Square tonight, Sept. 3 (at Cafe Nine) for a night which also explains what the members have been up to lately.

By the time I moved to New Haven in the mid-1980s, The Saucers were ancient history. They’d released some singles around the turn of that decade, but then founder Craig Bell formed the Bell System.

Lightning has struck several of Craig Bell’s music projects. He was the bassist for the legendary Cleveland proto-punk band Rocket From the Tombs, which begat both Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys. An even earlier band, Mirrors, from 1971, still maintains a cult following in Ohio and beyond.

A crucial chapter of the Bell chronicles occurred here in New Haven. Moving here for a job with the railroad, the New York-born, Ohio-raised Craig Bell not only kept active in bands; he started a label. Gustav Records was responsible for the most enduring vinyl document of the late-‘70s New Haven local music scene: the compilation album It Happened… But Nobody Noticed.

Bell has regrouped (restacked?) The Saucers, featuring three founding members: himself and two Malcolms (Malcolm Doak and Malcolm Marsden). Other members over the years included later Miracle Legion frontman and singular singer/songwriter Mark Mulcahy (on drums, though he made his debut as a vocalist on the Saucers single A Certain Kind of Shy), Katherine Cormack (aka Katherine Blossom, who booked bands at Toad’s in the 1980s and ‘90s) and Seth Tiven of Dumptruck fame.

According to this bio, The Saucers’ first public gig was opening for The Survivors, the Stratford-based band who’ve also reunited recently and who coincidentally played Café Nine just a couple of weeks ago.

From the photos above, I’m guessing that Kerry Miller, another icon of the ’70s New Haven scene, will be drumming tonight. Kerry’s local band, Peacock Flounders, is also on the bill, along with Craig Bell’s contemporary act The Down-Fi and Malcolm Marsden solo.

Sonic sorcerers all.

Listening to…

Sleeping Bags, Pehr.
Sometimes a download of just a single song from a forthcoming album seems inadequate. When it’s a seven and a half minute burst of improv, proudly mastered after one take without any subsequent studio twiddling, you’ve got something hefty to promote the album with. It’s a beautiful burst of noise which could, if you wanted, be shorthanded as “2nd VU album,” but deserves its own 21st century considerations. It’s fluid, democratic, deconstructive and the soundtrack to my life right now as summer becomes fall and stuff gets more rigid.