Crock of Dookey
From The Secret History of the Cedar Valley
Crock of Dookey (aka C.O.D.) was a noisy punk band from Cedar Falls from 1985-1989.
C.O.D. formed in the fall of 1985 and played their first show on March 18, 1986 (with Static Farm and a set by Quentin and Ed Ware of Drednex) in the basement of Jane's Day Care in Cedar Falls. Their first set of music was written by singer Laura McGrew and Guitarist Matt Wilson. Laura left for art school a few months later and in June of 1986, Sara Shelton became C.O.D.'s new singer.
After an initial period where no one would allow them to play anywhere, C.O.D. played in the Cedar Falls area numerous times with other local bands such as House of Large Sizes, Psychotrash, Static Farm, and Aggressive Chubbies. As members got involved in other bands (Kittyvision, Side Q Concept, Looney Tunez, Carpetburns), their devotion to Dookey waned.
C.O.D. broke up in 1988 when members went off to college. They played a reunion show with House of Large Sizes in Cedar Falls during the summer of 1989.
There was a short period of time when C.O.D. was going under the name "Avou Babylon" but that concept didn't last very long.
Their music consisted of short intense songs with polyrhythmic drum beats, a loud buzzing anarchic guitar, screamed vocals and no bass. Their influences included Crass, The Minutemen, Reagan Youth, and T.A.R..
Drummer Brian Stockdale was a fan of more experimental and ambient music such as Brian Eno, King Crimson, and the Velvet Underground. His drumming style was informed by polyrhythmic structures rather than straight-ahead 4/4 punk drumming. This gave some of C.O.D.'s songs a sped up tribal energy which sounded more like Roni Size trapped in a broken washing machine than a hardcore punk band.
Matt Wilson's guitar was inspired by a desire to be noisier and louder than the guitar sound on the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy. He had a 1966 Vox Lynx Deluxe which he duct-taped an extra pickup to. He ran the two separate pickups to two different amps. One was first fed through an overdrive pedal with everything set to 10. This then was fed through a broken Roland amp with everything on 10. The line out of this amp was then fed through a second amp with all distortion and EQ settings on 10. He played through a Crybaby Wah with the Wah set permanently somewhere in the middle of the pedal where the tone becomes phased and metallic. The result was a kind of a abrasive buzzing white noise with no dynamic range--it was either on or off. Feedback was a regular component in the guitar sound.
Sara Shelton's vocals were originally inspired by a 4 song demo of Claire Clark singing with T.A.R.. Her raw abrasive style was compared by one DM zine editor to the UK political punk band Crass. In early 1987, Sara began playing a bass guitar that the group had purchased for $15 from a cool chick named Nancy. It became known as the "Crock of Dookey Bass" and later was smashed and burned by the Looney Tunez.
|1985 - 1986|
|1986 - 1988|
In the fall of 1986, Crock of Dookey played at the Thoreau Center in Des Moines Iowa with the Aggressive Chubbies. They were not received well and one DM 'zine called the performance "a disaster".
In July of 1986 C.O.D. played an acoustic show at Scott Kleppe's farm near Fayette, Iowa. The only people at the show were Scott, the Aggressive Chubbies and troy of the a.c.'s girlfriend, Leah. It was the first and maybe only time C.O.D. did a cover of "she'll be comin' 'round the mountain". The show was recorded and played that same week along with a band interview on John Fecik's radio show on KWAR at Wartburg College.
When the band played in Rochester, MN with the Aggressive Chubbies, Nic Durnin replaced Brian Stockdale on drums, Matt sang, and Troy Youngblut played bass!
- In the March 1988 issue of the Central High student newspaper, C.O.D. is quoted as saying:
Our music is philosophical, anti-authoritarian, and existential. It deals with the self-entity and taking responsibility for your life.
- It has been said that no one ever figured out how to dance to a Crock of Dookey song.
- The band would sometimes play in costume, once arriving at a gig at Dean's Parkade Lounge dressed in Amish garb.
- At one show at Dean's Parkade Lounge Brione duct-taped his drumsticks to his hands, Matt duct taped his guitar pick to his fingers, and Sara duct taped her mic to her hand. COD did not lack concepts.
- Influenced by Italian hardcore bands such as Negazione, C.O.D. once wrote and performed a hardcore song in Italian.
- The name Crock of Dookey came by way of a discussion between band memebers and friends. When hypothetically asked what the band sounded like, it was determined that they sounded like shit. Not wild crazy shit with no boundaries, but contained shit, contained in something with a lid. Something like the Sheds Spread, plastic "crock". Advertising a band called Crock of Shit would have been more difficult than need be, so an attempt at softening the impact of the name was had. Laura McGrew suggested the African American slang word for the stuff she'd heard in the halls of NU High, "Dookey". And thus, Crock of Dookey was born in the basement of a college professors home.
- before many practices, brione would draw the curtains tight and have matt and sara lay on the ground in the dark and listen to eno.
- Brian singing Punk-O was a crowd favorite or maybe just mine.
- Favorite COD show memory... The Luther gig with the Aggressive Chubbies, the light show that consisted of a single colored light bulb. Too many young punks smoking clove cigarettes in the music hall. Ahh, the sweet smoky taste of rebellion.