Horny Genius was a seminal indie band from Iowa City, Iowa that played at Dean's Parkade Lounge in June 1986 with Stiff Legged Sheep. A couple of kids bought their 14 song demo cassette My Life with Max, which became somewhat of a cult classic. They started their assault on the world of music in 1983, first in Monticello, Iowa (as The Mental Midgets) and then in Iowa City,performing under varying monikers (The Repomen & That Matters) before playing their first official gig at the Student Union in October 1985 as Horny Genius. They released their first cassette in 1985, "Dogs Under the Car".
Their style was anarchic and frenetic--lots of sharply snapped guitar strings and dissonant melodies on top of fuzzy shimmering rhythms and poppy bass vamps. Their lyrics were both literary and lowbrow, referencing professional wrestlers("Life is Wresting in the Midwest"), General Custer ("An Aesops' Fable"), and Cappy Dick("Cappy Dicks' Insane Avengers") with equal aplomb. My Life with Max contains a wild raw beauty which exerted an true impact on those who heard it. Their live shows were much the same and usually with an excellent homemade light show.
The band stayed together for several more years (up to 1991), touring the Midwest, Holland and Germany (gasp!). Their other released works are the album Burn your Sister!, which was recorded at Smart Studios in Madison WI with Butch Vig (Community 3 Records) in 1990. A 3 song EP Man and Beast (on Pooter Records) in 1988 and one song ("Crane") appeared on a compilation for a fanzine, Away from the Pulsebeat, called Mondo Stereo in 1989.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of My Life with Max, the band re-released the album in the fall of 2011 in various digital formats(Cd and MP3) The band will also appear, though briefly, in a an upcoming documentary on Smart Studios, set to come out in 2015.
- John McNeill - bass, vocals, guitars, Mr. Haneys, bikes.
- Mike Turnis - guitars, vocals, bass, tractor, frogs
- Brian Hageman - guitars, vocals, various yelling (1985-86)
- Jeff Haag - drums, various monotones (1985)
- Scott McWilliams - drums, percussion, reverberating beer cans(1985-1989)
- Scott Siegling - guitars, touchy feely (1986-)
- Tom Schipper-drums, dutch heritage(1990-91)
Additional assistance by: Ed Gray (trombone)& Paul Neff(vocals)
Dogs Under the Car
Self Released Cassette
My Life with Max
Self Released Cassette
August, 1986. Re-released on digital format in 2011.
Burn Your Sister
Singles and EPs
man & beast
Live Shows / Tours
- October 20, 1985 - Memorial Union, Iowa City with the Total Fools
- December 10, 1985 - Amelia's Deli, Iowa City
- February 27,1986 - Amelia's, Iowa City - L.A.S.A. Benefit w/Total Fools, Drednex, others
- March 5, 1986 - Amelia's, Iowa City - w/Camper Van Beethoven
- April 19, 1986 - Amelia's, Iowa City w/ the Turbines
- April 25, 1986 - Elks' Club, Davenport - w/Drednex & Total Fools
- May 31,1986 - City Park, Iowa City - Cornstock III w/Total Fools, Stickdog, Stiff Legged Sheep, others
- June 27,1986 - Dean's Parkade Lounge, Cedar Falls - w/Stiff Legged Sheep and Drednex
- July 4,1986 - City Park, Iowa City w/Prententious Bastards
- November 5, 1986 - Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City - w/House of Large Sizes and Drednex
- November 15,1986 - Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City - w/Shellgame and New World Mutants
- November 25,1986- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City - w/Shellgame and the Hollowmen
- December 18,1986- Gabes's Oasis, Iowa City- w/ Full Fathom Five
- January 7,1987 - Stebs' , Cedar Falls- w/ House of Large Sizes and Bill
- February 5, 1987 Gabe's Oasis- Iowa City w/ House of Large Sizes
- February 24, 1987- the Central, Iowa City w/ Agitpop
- March 17, 1987- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ the Swinging Teens
- March 20, 1987- the Central, Iowa City w/ the Figures
- April 11, 1987- the Central, Iowa City w/ They Might Be Giants
- April 17,1987- the Crows' Nest , Iowa City, Battle of the Bands, Riverfest
- April 24,1987- Main Ballroom Memorial Union , Iowa City ( live Riverfest broadcast on KRUI-FM)
- May 9, 1987- the Central, Iowa City- w/Scruffy the Cat
- June 20, 1987- the Central, Iowa City- w/ Blue Room
- July 23, 1987- the Central, Iowa City- w/ the Catheads
- August 8, 1987- Community Club, Morse ( Scotts' sister, Janet, Class Reunion)
- August 15, 1987- the Central, Iowa City w/ the Meat Puppets
- September 2, 1987- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ the Flaming Lips
- September 17, 1987- the Central, Iowa City w/ Eugene Chadborne
- October 11, 1987- Gabes's Oasis, Iowa City w/ the Membranes
- November 4, 1987- Dubuque Street Brewing Co, Iowa City w/ Zeitgeist
- December 12, 1987 - Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ Rendered Useless
- January 27, 1988- Dubuque Street Brewing Company, Iowa City w/ Brian Ritchie
- March 5, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ House of Large Sizes ( Man and Beast EP Release Party)
- April 22, 1988- Batteries Not Included, Chicago w/ the Didjits and House of Large Sizes
- May 14, 1988- Unknown location in Iowa City, w/ Bong Frog and Xenoglosia( Scott's Graduation Party)
- May 25, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ Agitpop
- June 4, 1988- City Park, Cornstock, Iowa City w/ Iowa Beef Experience among others
- June 11, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ Nice Strong Arm
- July 9, 1988- The Hydrant, Des Moines w/ Paisley Bible
- September 30, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/ the Colors
- October 11, 1988- The Wheelroom, U of I Union, Iowa City w Universal Congress Of
- October 24, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, I.C.A.R.E. Benefit for Aids
- December 2, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/the Stripminers.
- December 18, 1988- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, Nu Wave Benefit w/ Iowa Beef Experience and House of Large Sizes
- February 12, 1989- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, Chicken Scratch
- March 24, 1989- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/Iowa Beef Experience and Dinosaur Jr.
- June 2, 1989-Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/Iowa Beef Experience, Peterbilt and 100 and None Delinquents.
- June 3, 1989-City Park in Iowa City, Cornstock VI w/Iowa Beef Experience and many others.
- June 17, 1989- O'Cayz Corral in Madison WI w/Poopshovel
- August 31, 1989- Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City w/Paisley Bible.
Stiff Legged Sheep, Horny Genius
"Walking in a Volcano" live at the Central in 1987