Dromedary Records Reports Josh Silverman of Shirk Circus Has Passed Away
Sadly, we lost one of the Dromedary family today. Josh Silverman, guitarist and singer of Shirk Circus, passed away this morning. Josh was a brilliant songwriter and a monster guitarist who wrote beautiful music that deserves to last forever. We will miss him, and we extend our most sincere condolences to his family.
Shirk Circus bio from www.myspace.com/shirkcircus
and so the story goes...
.... "Amidst a pile of empty chococcino bottles and the blaring background sound of the Descendents', "I Don't Want To Grow Up", Shirk Circus was spawned in January 1991. Josh Silverman (guitar, vocals), Bob Britton (bass), and Chris Maggio (drums) joined forces after a chance meeting in the Ween section of their local record store and got together that night to create some loud, chaotic pop.Plus Britton was old enough to buy booze.
After eight months of innumerable shows and a six song demo recorded at Maxwells' (Hoboken, NJ) drummer Chris was put out to pasture and temporarily replaced by Hippy Paul, who also was thrown out several months later. Josh and Bob endured months of fruitless searching until they finally found drummer Frank Lieberum, who at the time had been working as a male stripper at a local gay bar. After Josh carved Frank's name into his arm at a party, there was no choice but to make him the permanent drummer. This line-up lasted until July '92, during this time the band produced a tribute cassette EP to Gene Wilder, entitled "Miasma, Beamed to Wilder."
A year of inactivity passed until Josh and Frank met up again in a strange, short lived project called 25 Pills, which also featured Anthony Trance from the legendary hardcore band, Sacred Denial and a female singer/actress (star of of "Dirty Debutantes, Vol. 11.")
Frank and Josh decided to abandon this project, and Shirk Circus was reformed in order to take a local indie label (M.Y. Nation Records) up on a long standing offer to do a 7". The four-song EP entitled, "Because of You, I Missed the Guess Who Concert" was recorded by Andy Peters with Frank on drums and Josh overdubbing everything else. Shortly after, an ad for a new bass player was placed in Eunuchs Weekly, a local swingers' paper. Dan Shafer, the first and only audition, was added to round out the reconstituted trio.
Words To Say was the first full length album from Shirk Circus on Bar/Nothing Records. Producer Ray Ketchum was recruited to capture the band live in his studio, the Womb. After spending two days getting sounds, the band recorded all thirteen tracks in under an hour and it shows. All were first takes except for two songs which had to be done twice. The result is an album full of self-destructive surfer girls (we didn't live near the beach) and lots of suburban angst, with so many hooks even a leperchaun and Frankenstein could love it. (whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean.)
After a few months, plans were made for a full-length album on Bar Nothing. Recorded in a quick spurt of energy by Ray Ketchum (drummer for The Melting Hopefuls) in his studio, the Womb, Words To Say is full of hyperactive performances of thirteen of Josh's pop songs with the whole thing clocking in at under thirty five minutes. With the release of the album came a lot of positive press, television and radio appearances, a video for the single "Summer Sun" (which was released on vinyl by the San Francisco-based New Red Archives label), and two tours that included a certain band member having a massive drug overdose in St. Louis and a few attempted murders.
It was during one of these tours that the band got the chance to stop at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis in hopes of meeting Big Star drummer, Jody Stephens. Although he was out to lunch, the band hoped to return someday. When it came time to do the second record, Glenn Morrow, the legendary Bar Nothing Records C.E.O. managed, much to the surprise of the band, to get Ardent for eight days. (Though god only knows why he even bothered since Bar/Nothing barely even released it once it was done.) A good rate was probably secured when the studio booker saw an engineer wearing a Shirk Circus t-shirt.
With producer Ray Ketchum once again in tow and thirteen road-tested songs, the band drove down to Memphis to make a record. All basic tracks, including lead vocals, were recorded live in the first two days. The next several days were spent with Frank, Daniel, Ray and engineer Skidd Mills working on dense harmonies, percussion, and coaxing Josh into doing guitar overdubs. Mixed in record time due to the diligence and hard work of Ray and Skidd, the result is a finely-crafted pop record with the sheen and production values of Big Star but with the immediacy and energy of the band still intact. It's not a punk rock, pop-punk, or indie-rock record. It's called "March." but was only released as a limited edition to band members....
After doing basic tracks for an unfinished 3rd album, the band imploded- or exploded ploding on to obscurity. A 2003 reunion attempt showe the band had lost none of its original spark but it's had to teach an old dog new tricks. Another reunion attempt in 2006 started off with promise but it's hard to show up and play when you're waiting for the man. First thing you learn is you always gotta wait. When you're feeling good-feeling oh so fine, until tommorow but thats just some other time. There are plans to finish the 3rd record this year depending on the how the crop is in Colombia this year.
josh silverman - Vocals/Guitar/Piano
frank lieberum - Drums/Vocals
daniel smith - Bass/Vocals
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