The Produced Works Of Michael And Spider
To hear the following tracks, click here…
My My Girl / Itchy Bugs – 1979 vinyl single
This rare and difficult-to-find single is from the first band in which Spider and I ever played together. Spider was playing back-up guitar and I was the back-up singer. Had it not been for Lynn (the lead singer) asking me to join the band, I probably never would have become a singer in my own right. I owe everything to her. BTW, the idea to incorporate a hair dryer and drill motor into the music came from Spider.
~ Michael Ely
I Hate Dogs / War Is Hell / Queen Bee – 1980 vinyl single
One day Spider and I decided to compose the worst punk rock song ever written, so we came up with a distasteful theme (hating dogs), and I wrote the most lame lyrics I could possibly think of. It was meant as a joke, but as fate would have it, “I Hate Dogs” became Hey Taxi’s most popular and most requested song. The B-side contains two songs – “War Is Hell” (a song about the absurdity of war) and “Queen Bee” (inspired by an old Joan Crawford movie).
~ Michael Ely
Up And Down The Aisle – 1982 vinyl extended play
“Southern California now plays host to an entire bevy of post-punk bands which rival anything that’s coming out of England at the moment. Red Wedding is one of the best of the bunch. Combining an absurdist’s eye view with a funky rhythm section on their record “Up and Down the Aisle,” this band plays music which is reminiscent of Devo one minute and Psychedelic Furs the next. “Sleeping on the Airplane” could be a big dance club hit.”
~ Billboard Magazine, January 1983
Nails – 1984 vinyl extended play
“Red Wedding’s new EP is here at last and its gooooood! In case you’ve never heard them, Red Wedding is sort of psychedelic, sort of dancey, sort of mystical, sort of bat cavish, sort of…..well, get the record and figure it out for yourself. Especially recommended is “Goddess No More” and “Under the Veil.” Send this record to David Bowie immediately, and let’s hope we don’t have to wait for two years to get the next one.”
~ In Touch Magazine February 1985
Red Wedding 1981 – 1985 – 2007 CD
A collection of 19 songs from L.A.’s first openly gay post-punk alternative rock band (1981 – 1985). This limited edition collection contains hard-hitting and controversial songs from Red Wedding’s two EP recordings, early demos and unreleased material. Mixing elements of punk rock, psychedelic rock, and homoerotic retro glam, Red Wedding was not your typical 80’s band.
Smoke And Mirrors
The Perfume of Creosote, Desert Exotica, Part One – 2003 CD
Although each track on “The Perfume of Creosote” stands on its own, this body of work is intricately crafted to take the listener on a daylong sojourn through the desert from emboldened sunrise (“Surya, The Divine Sun”) to the dreamlike, UFO-infused night sky (“As Heaven Falls from the Sky”). With repeated listenings, the journey becomes more joyful and compelling. These unique electronic soundscapes contain elements of ambiance, world music, alternative rock, lounge music, music for film, and hints of psychedelia and jazz.
From the lush and romantic “Inside Saguaros” to the bewitchingly ambient “Mirage”; from the wild, up-tempo, “When The Devil Was A Little Boy” to the beautiful and haunting “Tarantulas,” you’ll hear underlying shades of exotica inspired by such artists as Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Les Baxter. Instead of the tropical flavor favored by those artists, each piece is inspired by the desert–the lush Sonoran desert in particular–capturing the exotic essence of the creatures, fauna and climate.
~ Aural Fixation Records 2003
Smoke And Mirrors
Deities – 2004 double disc CD
Building on the success of their first release “The Perfume of Creosote: Desert Exotica Part One,” Michael Ely and Spider Taylor of Smoke & Mirrors return to center stage with their newest release, “Deities.” This two-disc collection inspired by Hindu gods and goddesses is a mixture of surreal and lush compositions influenced by alternative rock and brimming with powerful beats that set it apart from the usual ambient fare. Fans of Smoke & Mirrors’ unorthodox approach to music will be delighted to discover this unique follow-up work in which alternative rock collides with ambient melodies and tribal rhythms, resulting in a collection of exotic, sensual, psychedelic and atmospheric soundscapes.
Listeners are taken on a hypnotic and spiritual journey from creation to destruction, only to begin again in the never-ending circle of reincarnation. Punctuated by Ely’s mystical strings and Taylor’s passionate guitars, “Deities” is numinous and earthy, partnered with catchy percussions that keep one’s head in the clouds and feet on the ground–most likely tapping to the beat. This two-disc collection contains 22 tracks of dreamy, ethereal, sometimes explosive and always dramatic soundscapes inspired by the ancient and colorful deities of the world’s oldest religion, Hinduism. The “Deities” soundscapes are filled with the romance and spirituality of the Far East as interpreted by two Westerners steeped in modern rock and film score sensibilities. Once again, the multi-dimensional and highly addictive music of Smoke & Mirrors beckons the listener to enter a complex and layered world laced with beauty and mystery where nothing is quite what it seems, like a lotus blossom floating between the earth and the sky.
~ Aural Fixation Records 2004
Smoke And Mirrors
White Roses Painted Red – 2005 CD – re-released in 2007
“White Roses Painted Red,” the third CD from Smoke and Mirrors, takes the listener on a 23-song journey down the rabbit’s hole to Wonderland, a mysterious and dark world that is fanciful, curious and queer, a world of potion and cake, magic mushrooms, mad tea parties and flamingo croquet. Based on the characters from the Lewis Carroll’s “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” and their experiences, “White Roses Painted Red” follows Alice as she encounters the time-challenged White Rabbit, the menacing Duchess, the elusive Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the angry Queen of Hearts, the unhappy Mock Turtle, and the other characters of Wonderland.
Make no mistake, this is not children’s music, but rather, a dazzling array of soundscapes encompassing myriad musical styles, as is commonplace for Smoke & Mirrors. From the bombastic The Mad Tea Party to the surreal Falling into the Underground; from the playful Caucus Race to the dark, psychedelic The Queen of Hearts; from the ambient The Smoking Caterpillar to the beautiful and haunting A Curious Dream, Michael Ely and Spider Taylor’s musical wizardry ebbs and flows, never letting you forget you are in Wonderland. Smoke & Mirrors have once again composed a heavily layered mix of cinematic soundscapes and rock instrumentals featuring sensual, driving guitars, eerie, dreamlike strings, dramatic percussion, and smoky, captivating ambiance. Just like Wonderland itself, this collection of music is guaranteed to enchant and delight you.
~ Aural Fixation Records 2005
** “White Roses Painted Red” was re-released under the name “Michael and Spider” in 2007 on Lavender Records. All artwork for this CD, was also re-designed by Will Lewis.
Michael and Spider
Iridescent Garden – 2008 CD
A collection of lush and exotic tiki-themed soundscapes. Taking equal parts of Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny, along with a dash of Yma Sumac, Link Wray, Santo and Johnny and The Ventures, Michael and Spider have turned vintage exotica upside-down on it’s head, adding their own modern twist while remaining faithful to the genre.
Songs from Iridescent Garden are available on itunes.
Michael and Spider
Aladdin Sane is a song by David Bowie, the title track from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane. The name of the album is a pun on “A Lad Insane”. Taking a great song and making it better is the hallmark of musical genius, which Michael and Spider prove with their rendition of this Bowie classic from their upcoming album “Diamonds”.
Michael and Spider
Big Brother is a song written by David Bowie in 1973 and intended for his never-produced musical based on George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. In 1974 it was released on the album Diamond Dogs. Using their amazing craft and talent, Michael and Spider once again demonstrate their abilities to take a great song to even greater heights with their version of “Big Brother” from their upcoming album “Diamonds”.
Red Wedding Anthology 1981 – 1985
A greatest hits collection of Red Wedding songs released in 2014 on Synthetic Records (a division of Rave Up Records) in Italy. The anthology album features select tracks from Red Wedding’s two released EPs. But this eclectic collection of Red Wedding hits includes something unexpected too, a restored alternative version of the song “Bernardo”, and three never before released on vinyl tracks from their third unreleased EP!
I Hate Dogs/War Is Hell / Queen Bee Re-issued
Hey Taxi!’s kickass 1980 hit single, ‘I Hate Dogs/War Is Hell/Queen Bee’ re-issued single on both pink and white vinyl by Mystic Records in 2013. Hey Taxi! was a straight on progressive punk rock band, with a dash of dark humor and some of the hottest guitar work anywhere on the planet. The re-issue of ‘I Hate Dogs / War Is Hell / Queen Bee’, featuring the original artwork, was limited to 200 records – 100 on white vinyl, and 100 on hot pink vinyl!