Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Wednesday, July 6, 1994

The rug stayed behind

Pink House residents all agreed to buy my big living room rug from me for $60 - I think I paid about $90 for it two years ago. I am going to organize a huge yard sale on the Pink House front lawn when school starts again and try to sell all sorts of things I don't want anymore. Until then, I'm going to keep what I don't take with me in the attic, the garage, and at places like Pedigo's and Jyoti's.

Talked with Beth Ising at N.C. NARAL today. She said they didn't need anyone right now, but asked me to mail her a copy of my resume for her to keep on file. She also told me how she meets weekly with the heads of several of the progressive N.C. activist groups and hears about job openings constantly, so she would keep me in mind if an organizing position opens somewhere, to start early next month.

Looked through want ads, too. The N&O classifieds sucked. The Village Advocate was a little more helpful. I am going to apply for a couple of positions. One is an office manager for a firm called Environmental Media. One is a Carrboro medical office assistant. T'boli needs a salesperson. A "medium sized" law firm in Chapel Hill at 100-E Franklin Square needs an administrative assistant. If all else fails, I could go work for Adam and Eve taking phone orders for $5 an hour. Wouldn't that be fun.

- Letter to Jenny, 7/6/94

Friday, July 1, 1994

Clint gets Mad as Faust with Zen Frisbee

In 1994, Zen Frisbee released I'm As Mad As Faust, their first full-length album on the band's own Flavor-Contra Records.

Featuring cuts like "Crazy Steven" and "Marsha Don't Play In The Fire," the record also featured Clint on drums. Having already honed his skills on the skins with Kung Fu Fighting and the Anubis Leisure Society, by the time he joined Zen Frisbee (becoming the latest in a series of replacements for original ZF drummer and Superchunk namesake Chuck "Chunk" Garrison), Clint's drumming was tight, as evidenced by the tracks on this album.

In fact, some believe it's the greatest unheralded indie rock record of its era.

During the heady days of the Chapel Hill, NC music scene in the early '90s, bands like Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and Ben Folds Five made their way out of the clubs on Franklin Street and into the national spotlight. Zen Frisbee was one of the bands to miss the glare of the music business' eye, and has gone relatively unnoticed even amongst the indie-rock intelligentsia (for proof, try finding the band in the Trouser Press Guide). What a shame. The Frisbee was (and is) perhaps the area's best live band, and this, their debut album, is one of the '90's most criminally overlooked albums. The band creates a mesmerizing blend of breezy songwriting, Fallesque controlled musical mayhem, countrified rave-ups, and searing funk that never falls for the cocky panderings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Guitarist Laird Dixon (who also plays in the excellent instrumental combo Shark Quest) is one of the area's most inventive players and the lead singer (whose name escapes me, sorry!) is a dynamic performer and inspired vocalist. "Fraidy Cat" may be the best song released by any Triangle band, and "Clothes," "Crazy Stephen," and others follow a similar REM-inspired songwriting sensibility that is always wholly original. "Martha Don't Play in the Fire" moves with a steady fury--as fierce and wondrous an opener as can be found anywhere. "Cruising With Randy Travis" is simply a blast. A brilliant album indie-rock fans will cherish as a seceret treasure. It deserves to be so much more.

- Anonymous Amazon Customer, 1999

Bottom line, Zen Frisbee should have been a lot bigger than they were. Here's a rundown on ZF's history. And this look back by Ross Grady sheds a little light on why they never caught fire outside of the Triangle:

Zen Frisbee were the quintessential Chapel Hill band, whatever that means. In addition to "I'm as Mad as Faust," there's a singles/b-sides compilation called "Eat at the Burrito Bunker" and a somewhat mysterious release of material by an early/different lineup called something like "10 million years BC." (As far as I can recall, all the material from their various 7"s are included on the Burrito Bunker CD, so it's pretty crucial, as those early singles were most excellent).

They were notorious around town for many things, including the perhaps predictable tardiness, sloppyness and general slackness that concealed their underlying musical genius from anybody unwilling to stick around for the second half of their set, when they'd finally get to firing on all cylinders & would transform into a mesmerizing rockband, fueled equally by the intricate guitar lines of brothers Laird & Kevin Dixon, and by the hypnotic sleaze of frontman Brian Walker's voice.

ZF were also notorious for their Halloween show which involved the members of the band wearing actual flaming pumpkins on their heads.

Guitarist Laird Dixon joined Shark Quest towards the end of Zen Frisbee's lifespan, and you can definitely recognize his guitar playing in both bands.

Laird's brother Kevin is currently playing in a Chapel Hill band called Bringerer, with sometime ZF bassist Shawn Albert, and ex-Pipe frontman Ron Liberti. Kevin is also working on a seemingly endless weekly comic called "And Then There Was Rock" for the Independent Weekly in Durham, which chronicles the long slow rise of Zen Frisbee in a lightly fictionalized manner.

- Ross Grady, 2006

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