Once Upon A Time Called Now
Cat. No. JB199
- Teenage Angst at 27
- Jehu On A Rollercoaster
- Passing the Crown
- Goddess (Pt. 4)
- Radio Agony
- Not A Jerk
- Oscar Night
• 1997 album remastered and available on vinyl and digital for the first time.
• Pressed on a limited edition of 300 clear vinyl LPs
Secret treasure of the vanguard queercore and riot grrrl era, Longstocking’s Once Upon a Time Called Now was both the odd duck out and, ironically, the recording with perhaps the boldest natural magnetism. Thanks to the confident, characterful immediacy of guitarist and lead vocalist Tamala Poljak’s pop songcraft and the band’s skilled yet quirky musicianship, it’s got a sound that leaps from the speakers to embrace listeners or shake them by the shoulders. Everyone from Donna Dresch to Vaginal Creme Davis to Phranc adored Longstocking. Today, with a vinyl release featuring new artwork by Portland painter Nathan Paul Rice, this ten-song collection is set to claim the broader, more diverse audience it deserves.
Recorded and mixed in five days for $2,000 on analog equipment, including a vintage Neve console beloved by The Cars, Once Upon a Time… balances dry comedic wit and a wildly enthusiastic spirit without hitting a bum note. It scarcely takes a second to catch breath between songs. Team Poljak benefits from the spiky angularity and skillfully synced surging energy of David Gomez’s bass, Sherri Solinger’s drums and Woody Stevenson’s guitar and backing vocals. As captain of the foursome, Poljak’s words and guitar are personalized and political, expressing queer love (“Goddess (Pt. 4)”; “Not a Jerk”) and loathing (“Autobarb”). Classic harmonies and nuanced countermelodies reign supreme as the album touches upon Catholic oppression (“Equator”), Hollywood conformity (“Oscar Nite”), and musical activism (“Radio Agony”). Poljak has a knack for shorthand touchstones: Shakespeare, Prince, Cyrano de Bergerac and Dracula trade love tips while Mozart, Beethoven, Tom Verlaine, Mario Lanza, Kate Pierson, Donna Summer and Angela Davis signal freedom.
Remastered for turntables in tandem with a collection of demos and singles, Longstocking’s debut LP is a record of 1997 with 2020 vision. In fact, the album’s title could not be more accurate: Once Upon a Time… is ready for right now.