Strange Eggs

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It started in Miami, Florida, back in the eighties. The Wind was a fiery popcombo who "recalled the Beatles and Big Star" according to then-Rolling Stone writer Kurt Loder who gave the unknown group an unheard-of one page rave review in that paper. The group were local faves. The thrombosis-inducing live shows that went down at places like the Button and 27 Birds are still spoken of with reverence in the southeast. The band self-released the now-legendary "Where It's At With The Wind" and the Mitch Easter-produced "Guest Of The Staphs". A third LP, "Living In A New World" (Midnight Records) yielded the big MTV hit "Good News, Bad News". Then, like all good bands and butterflies, the Wind shriveled up and died.
End of story? Nah. After getting involved in projects as far flung as TV sitcoms and surrealist musical theater, the Wind's primary songwriters, Lane Steinberg & Steve Katz (now Steve Barry) found themselves living around the corner from each other in New York. Informally, they started gigging acoustically in the city with a young female Brazilian singer, Ella Conchita. They jokingly called themselves Teen Slave, due to Ella's youthful appearance and played mostly fun covers of obscure sixties tunes and soundtrack themes. Then, one day, Ella's number was disconnected and her apartment was vacated. No note, nothing. Lane & Steve were shocked (still are, she hasn't been heard from since) but decided to continue working together. They changed a few letters around and decided to call themselves Tan Sleeve. After outfitting their joint recording studio, they started writing slabs of new songs & recording them at a feverish pace. Many of the songs still retained the soft textures of their newer direction, but also recalled the pop savvy of the Wind. Then things started heating up: last year Lane had a compilation disc of his solo material (Wall of Orchids, Noel Coward's Ghost) released on EM records in Japan, and a Wind retrospective is scheduled to follow later this year. The Yellow Pilz label is slated to release the Wind records domestically, and the enclosed first official Tan Sleeve recordings have been released here on the Bus Stop Label. There is talk of a Japanese Tan Sleeve/Wind tour in the fall and a new Tan Sleeve record is 99% finished. Now if they can only get back the Jobim records Ella Conchita took back with her to Brazil, life would be perfect...
Chris Reilly

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