Dumptruck, Holy Tunics, Machine Gun Joe
847 N Third Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
This event is 21 and over
The principal songwriter and sole continuous member of Dumptruck is Tiven. Born and raised in Connecticut, Tiven received his Bachelor of Arts in music in 1980 from Wesleyan University in Middletown. In 1981 he moved to Boston, where he performed in several local bands with Swan and drummer Mark Mulcahy.
In 1983, Swan and Tiven formed Dumptruck and began writing songs. The duo recorded six songs with Mulcahy at a local studio. "[They were] demos, really, more than anything else," Swan recalled on the liner notes to the 2004 reissue. "Seth and I played bass on each other's songs... which is how we would tackle the songs live in this incarnation of the band." Pleased with the results, the duo recorded six additional songs with drummer James Clement and released D is for Dumptruck on Incas records in 1983.
The record was well-received "The dozen songs fall somewhere between Joy Division and the dB's", said The New Trouser Press Record Guide. Robert Christgau awarded the record an "A-" in his Village Voice review. The duo added Shawn Devlin on drums and Steve Michener on bass for live performances and signed with Big Time Records.
Their second album, Positively Dumptruck was recorded at Mitch Easter's Drive In studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with Don Dixon producing. The record was played heavily on college radio and Dumptruck won the Best Independent Album Award at the Boston Music Awards.
"By the end of 1986, a year and a half of pretty constant touring had taken its toll on the band," Tiven remembered. "Steve Michener had quit the band shortly after Positively had been released ... When we returned home from a particularly grueling 3-month tour just before Christmas, Kirk and Spike [replacement bassist Michael 'Spike' Priggen] made a decision to leave the band."
When Tiven and Devlin were uncertain about continuing the band, the label urged them to move forward, offering them a chance to record their next album in Rockfield Studios in Wales with producer Hugh Jones. Tiven and Devlin recruited Kevin Salem (guitar, backing vocals) and Tom Shad (bass) and began rehearsing Tiven's new songs.
Machine Gun Joe