Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fish & Roses
self-titled EP
Lost Records, 1987

Fish & Roses consisted of Sue Garner (bass, vox, other), Rick Brown (drums, vox) and David Sutter (keyboards, vox). This Lower East Side loft combo jammed sans guitar on an eclectic mix of 80's era Knitting Factory odd metered avant-jazz and songs that, depending on which cut, recall Antietam, 1/2 Japanese and Bongwater but, as noted, without the guitar. Nearly every song has a different feel, beat and influence so its hard to quickly categorize Fish and Roses.

My favorite cuts are the ones fronted by the Georgia-born Ms. Garner, with her voice that's part Tara Key and part Dolly. I put the haunting "Booth" on a mix tape back in the early '90s and out of all the other obscurities it was the only one my correspondent came back wanting more info. Its a bit more Hoboken than LES and stands out among the other cuts. I've included the longish "Apt. 31" as it is more representative of the rest of the album with its light ambient jazz feel and odd metering - listen for Garner's violin in the background.

Sue Garner's later work both with Rick Brown, Run On (a band which included guitarist Alan Licht) and with folkie Angel Dean remains stellar. I've included some links to her more recent songs (free/legal) to create a sort of Sue Garner mix. "Asphalt Road" is a more upbeat cool song from Sue and Rick's CD with a haunting slide guitar and marimba in the mix. "Dayout" is a surprisingly sultry voiced indie rock piece with an easy feel and a C&W guitar riff - it comes from her solo CD. "Losing Ground" is a folkie Jeff. Airplane piece with 60's style protest lyrics that comes from her country-folk CD Pot Liquor with Angel Dean.

A Sue Garner/F&R decade-spanning mix:

"Booth" - Fish & Roses from self-titled EP (1987)
"Apt. 31" - Fish & Roses from self-titled EP (1987)
"Asphalt Road" - Sue Garner and Rick Brown from Still (2000) (via
"Dayout" - Sue Garner from Shadyside (2002) (via Thrill Jockey Records)
"Losin' Ground" - Angel Dean & Sue Garner from Pot Liquor (2004) (via Diesel Only Records)

A recent picture of Sue Garner and Rick Brown (from

NYC Coolness Factoid: Fish and Roses EP was produced by long-time collaborator Chris Nelson (The Scene is Now, Mofungo). Recording engineers for this EP included Martin Bisi (helmed both "Booth" and "Apt. 31") and Mark Kramer.

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