THE STORY OF FANG
Fang was named after Osh’s Uncle Fang, who was to subsidize our first project, a compilation LP called Antipop, released in 1988. It included Life in a Blender (already burning down New York at the time), Plugbunnies Inc. (featuring young drummer Brian Geltner, who would propel many Fang projects over the years), Church of Betty (which at the time consisted of one person: me), and the legendary original Mommyheads. Off and running, Fang became the hub of a wheel of frenetic activity in downtown New York: multi-band bills at the original Knitting Factory and dozens of other clubs, a co-op of indie groups operating under an art community umbrella, and an eclectic variety of uncompromising original music, unfettered by commercial boundaries of the day.
Fang released the underground classic Acorn by the Mommyheads, the only release by the great Ed Pastorini (101 Crustaceans’ Songs of Resignation), the first Church of Betty album West of the East, Oren Bloedow’s first solo album on cassette-only, the seminal Very Pleasant Neighbor EP, Michael Holt’s extraordinary Pajama Garden, Marlon Cherry’s debut LP Pete, and Thirsty Ears: a dizzying cornucopia of progressive groups performing live at the Knitting Factory, including Betty, the Crustaceans, the Mommyheads, VPN, Brian Woodbury and His Popular Music Group, Bloedow, the shooting-star trio Goulash (featuring Rude Buddha’s Jenny Wade), and rare live recordings by the late, great Dolores, progressive heroes of Providence.
Future generations of unique, independent artists appeared on Fang, including New York legends Penny Arcade and Jayne County, Indian classical masters Samir Chatterjee and Amar Nath Mishra, production genius Hal Willner, Beat poet Marty Matz, award-winning singer/songwriter Dudley Saunders, hand drumming brothers Mecca Bodega, and The Hand, a prolific, devastating underground rock band comprised of early Johnny Society and yours truly. Avant-jazz duo Iconoclast have been on board throughout, releasing their entire catalog on Fang.
Much of the Fang catalog – the early classics in particular – are temporarily out of print. The artists active on this website still have wares available via Paypal. Most of the others are still around, still playing, still accessible. You have Google, seek them out! – Chris Rael
Photo: The link photo for this page is our dear late friend Jan Kotik, original drummer of both the Mommyheads and Church of Betty. Jan also played in Beekeeper, The Hand, Johnny Society and many others. A force of goodness in the world and prodigiously talented artist, Jan was much loved by friends and fans in the art communities of New York and Prague, where he lived with his wife and two sons. Colon cancer took him at the tender age of 35; we miss him terribly and celebrate his memory constantly. Visit http://ourfriendjan.wordpress.com/. Photo by Sarah Simon.