Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Invertebrates "Eat 'em While They're Young"

The Invertebrates were one of the stranger ducks to emerge during the San Francisco punk/New Wave days, and that's sayin' something, considering how off-the-charts eccentric that scene was (Tuxedomoon, Monte Cazazza, The Units, Flipper, Inflatable Boy Clams/Ki-Di-Me, etc.)
The 6 songs on this EP are largely centered around compelling bass lines, sometimes dub throb, sometimes rock power, with all matter of sonic ephemera thrown on top: thrift-store record bits, horn skronk, electronic bleeps. The lyrics often seem to be sung verbatim from newspaper articles.

"The initial shows of fall 1980 depended on numerous film, slide, and overhead projectors. Much of the music was improvised as background to the visuals, though a few loose songs were also a part of the act. But then the songs began to tighten and grow in number. Pretty soon the musical side came to dominate.

An EP, "Eat 'em While They're Young", was released in 1981, followed in 1984 by an LP, "Let's Have Fun" (we still have a few hundred in the garage, so let us know if you'd like one) [I do!].

For a few years in the early 80's we also managed Club Foot, an art/punk hole-in-the-wall out at Third and 22nd Streets. From the beginning we've undergone innumerable personnel changes while generally consisting of a core of from three to ten men and women at any given time, along with an ever-varying group of occasional players dropping by. As of 2006, almost three dozen people have been involved."
Surprisingly, they're still around, still releasing new albums.

The Invertebrates "Eat 'em While They're Young"

1. Phone Dub 1
2. Get It Right
3. Circus Doctor
4. Political Films
5. Please Gimme Another Chance
6. Phone Dub 2

This video of one of my fave songs off the EP demonstrates their visual/performance side:


Whap A said...

Excellent! Thanks a lot!

DJ Useo said...

Good fun.Thanks much for the post.I missed these guys back then,& it's good to finally hear it.
I can't tell you how many times I passed this record up in bargain bins.

Anonymous said...


The Invertebrates: "Burrowing ever deeper into the underground seeking our niche in the fossil r."ecord

I stumbled on your blog and proceeded to download a couple items, when I ran across my band, The Invertebrates, first recordings. I appreciate that you included a link to Circus Doctor and CD baby for our more recent CD's. I just uploaded a copy of "Political Films" to youtube as well. If you are interested a vinyl of copy of Let's Have Fun, send a mailing address to:


There has been a bunch of focus on the early years recently for both The Invertebrates and Club Foot, including an upcoming compilation, which will feature Invertebrate recordings from that era which were never released. I also recently shot and edited a 80 minute performance documentary of the 30th Club Foot Album Reunion Show featuring the folks who opened Club Foot in 1979, The Alterboys, The Longshoremen, Bay of Pigs & Mr. Lucky. Club Foot Orchestra, who have kept the name alive throughout the 30 years, also played.

thanks for the interest,
Tom Wheeler

Mr Fab said...

Great to hear from you Mr Wheeler! I really liked the tune "Youth For Understanding Japan" so I'll def. be contacting you about getting a coy of that album.

Keep us up to date on your current projects - sounds fascinating.

dascoyne said...

I first watched the "Circus Doctor" video on "Alive From Off Center" in the 80's.

I'm happy to see they're still around.

Anonymous said...

My mom was in this band....