Search This Blog

Friday 15 March 2024

Halo Can You Go

Today is Part 2 in a new series that I'm calling "Things I bought in the Buddhist Bookshop's 3 CDs for £1 offer Friday". There won't be a Part 3 in the immediate future as the third CD was a blues compilation which had a good track listing but the sound quality was so poor as to make it effectively unlistenable.

Last week we brought you Dickson Sings Dylan. This week its "Don't Tell Me Now" by The Halo Benders. They were led by Calvin Johnson (who has featured here previously in various guises including Beat Happening and Dub Narcotic Sound System) and Doug Martsch of Built To Spill (who hasn't).

The Halo Benders were a side project for both of them. They released three albums between 1994 and 1998 before deciding to focus solely on their day jobs. "Don't Tell Me Now" was the middle album and came out in 1996.

I find I'm partial to pretty much everything I've heard by Mr Johnson, and this album is no exception. It is rather splendid and there is a bit of a Silver Jews vibe in places (particularly evident on "Mercury Blues"). My mission now is to track down the other two Halo Benders albums and also to investigate Built To Spill who completely passed me by back in the 1990s.

"Mercury Blues" - The Halo Benders

"Bombshelter Pt. 2" - The Halo Benders

And now, lots of Brits bending on "Beat Club" in the 1960s. Ariel Bender not included but if you want to know what the visual equivalent of the dreadful sound quality on that blues compilation looks like type "Ariel Bender Skegness" into YouTube.


  1. I liked those Halo Benders tunes so much (particularly the second one), that I rushed to the selly party of the interweb in hope of finding a similar bargain to yours. Only to find the cheapest copy of the album going for just short of twenty quid. So they've gone on The List instead.

  2. Built To Spill are well worth investigating - may I suggest Keep It Like A Secret as a starting point even though it was their 4th alb!! There are several great riffy songs on there. Seeing that vid of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich reminds me that Tich (Ian Amey) died a couple of weeks ago. He's the one playing mandolin on Bend It. He also played the spanish guitar part on the Legend Of Xanadu, not that you or any of your young acolytes on this blog were born remotely near that period of ancient history.

    1. I'm more of a 'Zabadak' man myself, but either way RIP Tich.

      Thanks for the Built to Spill advice, I will follow it up.