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Mud Pie Sun is Steven and Tom writing and record quiet and loud melodic pop-psychfolk-
rock-garage songs in their Philadelphia-area homes.
1989, inspired by the American and New Zealand underground DIY pop and
home-recording ethos, they began home recording 4-track cassette albums with help from
pal Rob. In the early 1990s, they released 3 full-length recordings under the name Mud Pie
on their own and through Englandʹs Acid Tapes, and they contributed to a compilation on
Bostonʹs Sedimental label. Their song "Tilt-A-Whirl" was featured on Gajoob Sampler #6. When Tom moved to San Francisco in 1992, the combo went on
In 2003, Tom moved back to Philadelphia. They resumed writing and recording new songs
under the name Mud Pie Sun in 2004.
2012: released a CD of 14 new songs called Wooden Circle under the Revolving Bell
2015: remastered and re-released the long-lost 1992 casse+e ʺNew
Swing Mood Things/Two At Noon.ʺ
2017: Released "Microcosmic Island: Songs of Jim Rao" EP
by Mud Pie Sun
Jim Rao’s early cassettes from 1990-1992 were critical influences and inspirations for us. We were writing and home-recording psych-folk-pop guitar-based songs on 4-track cassette in those years, and it took no small effort to find fellow travelers back then. We first heard of the mysterious “James T. Rao” via a 1990 review in Fred Mills’ “Cassette Hell” column in The Bob zine. We wrote to Jim via US Mail, and he sent back a nice letter referring us to English psych label Acid Tapes, where we ordered his cassettes, receiving them via British Post several months later.
Finding Jim’s early tapes gave us a real sense of “Ah! Here’s someone doing a similar thing, only better!” His music and voice then were somewhat darker and perhaps more overtly psychedelic than his later Orange Cake Mix recordings. But throughout his body of work we heard an intimate, melancholy sound with strong melodies, floating along on some strange river.
These songs come from the 1991 “Tao Window” cassette, now long out of print. That album stood out to us then and now for the way it flows between catchy songs and bizarre sound fragments, creating an emotional arc that ends with the stunningly beautiful “A Garden Gives You Everything.” Recording these songs came very naturally to us because they feel like they are already embedded in our musical DNA.
You can hear the original version of this song here: tapewrecks.blogspot.com/2011/08/james-t-raos-microcosmic-recording-tips.html
Recent Orange Cake Mix recordings are here: orangecakemix.bandcamp.com.
OCM Discography: www.discogs.com/artist/91109-Orange-Cake-Mix.
This song was recorded for "Orange Daydream,"an upcoming Jim Rao/Orange Cake Mix tribute CD on the Why The Tapes Play label. whythetapesplay.storenvy.com
"Rhythmus 21" film by Hans Richter (1921, public domain)
Outdoor footage shot in Pennsylvania, Autumn 2015
Video by Mud Pie Sun
Video adapted from Marcel Duchamp, "Anemic Cinema" 1926
Did Not Chart (25 October 2012):
This is back-porch psychedelia like the last two Woods albums. It's strung-out folk. It's spare and sometimes despairing like Big Star's Sister Lovers. They say they were inspired by the noises being made on Flying Nun way back when and since they mention it, yes, there's a bit of David Kilgour's Here Come The Cars and there's definitely some of The Bilders' skewed pop. I bet over the years Mud Pie Sun have worn out their copies of Younger Than Yesterday and The Notorious Byrd Brothers.
Wooden Circle was recorded between 2004 and 2011. When they were younger they released three tapes in the early 90s as Mud Pie. You can hear on new track Church Of Bitter Souls a kinship with the old K stuff, particularly Beat Happening.
Maybe if this had been released on a private pressing in 1974 Light In The Attic would have picked it up. As it is, it's released on a private pressing in 2012 by the two guys from Philadelphia who are Mud Pie Sun. It's a pretty special artefact.