Twisted Fish – Live at Manny’s 1994

Since I uploaded that high school project with Jordan, it made me think about another band I was in with Jordan in high school. This band was actually the best band in the world. Seriously. We had the formula for success and world domination. Great looks. Awesome rocktastics. Killer licks. Wonderful bulges in our jeans. Somehow things fell apart when we left for bigger things, a la higher education.

Regardless of the lack of success, the times we had were priceless. The music isn’t bad for the time and some of it I still really enjoy.

Today, I have remastered and uploaded a live show from the project I was in with Jordan and John. We were called Twisted Fish. We came from a band called Undertow which had a different singer/guitarist while John played a blue bass that wasn’t ever properly grounded. Twisted Fish was me on drums, Jordan on vocals and guitar. John played lead guitar and did harmony vox. And our bassists were abundant. I think Dave Karpf was the first. Then we played with Lauren Rostek for a few times. It was then when Annie came in to save the day. She played bass a few times with us live. Perhaps too few. She also ripped it up on the cello for a bunch of shows. I consider her time with us as Twisted Fish v2. The golden years were more with Dave on bass. Sadly he wasn’t the greatest bassist, but who ever is and the times with Annie were more fun for me. However, Dave made up for it in his hair styles. Which in the case of bass, is just as good.

So this show is live. From Manny’s in Rockville, MD Very early spring of 1994. I think it was very cold that day and/or it snowed. The venue was more a metal club and it was a day show. I think there were about 15-20 people there. Perhaps including us and the engineers and bar tenders. There was another band called IRE which was Jesse Bartz’s band. They kinda rocked my ass. Totally amazing shit. I only remember there being a few people there beacuse when we were originally “mastering” the DAT we added echo for the applause to make it appear larger. Again, we ruled. Hardcore.

So here we go:

Twisted Fish
Live at Manny’s 1994

Jordan Hirsch – vocals, guitar
John Argentiero – lead guitar, backup vox
Dave Karpf – bass
Mat – drums

1. We’re All Liars

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I think this was one of the last songs we all wrote together before John left for college in the fall of ’94. One must notice the incredible sounds of solid state magic that can be heard from not just Jordan’s guitar but John’s as well. It’s incredibly metal. Not like Metallica or whatever, but like actual physical metal. Like steel. It’s amazing there was actually wood in their guitars. But I would never have replaced it for a million dollars. I can’t remember much about this song other than I think Jordan mumbled a lot of the words. Also, this is the longest song of the night tracking in at just under 5 minutes. Just after the 3 minute mark is a stellar John solo. There are some hints of Warrant sounding solos. Much of which one gots to love.

2. Shattered

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If we were to have a single, this would have been it. I was a left over from the days of Undertow. You know, typically breakup song. Except this was for real. For real. I always was pissed with the singer of Undertow, because this was Jordan’s one song he got to sing in that band and the singer would always fuck around and roll his eyes during this song. It was very disrespectful. But I guess that’s what you get when you are 15. I can’t remember if this song was about Kelly or not. 2:20: “Was she an evil girl” – I love how Jordan takes on an english accent. “We were as one but so was she” – It was such a classic line for 1994. Wasn’t it?

3. Run Run

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Like it’s indroduced by Jordan. This was a cover of a band from Brazil, called Second Come. Jordan’s good friend Eduardo was from there and always brought back cool music when he’d visit. I always thought we covered it better than they performed it. Is that cocky? I think people actually danced during this song. The breakdown at 2:26 was always fun. I always liked what John did there. Also note the stellar Neil Peart ride ripoffs. What was I thinking?!

4. Tristessa

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“An old Smashing Pumpkins tune…” – Well it was only 3 years old. But I guess for people that thought Siamese Dream was their first record as it was their first record on a major, well, it might be old for them. The lyrics were copied in our basement one day. We had no clue what he was saying. In fact I wrote to the fan club at that time period to confirm and heard back from Laura Ann and said there were no lyrics. Great. I am not sure if they ever officially came out, but I saw some lyrics for them somewhere online recently and we were so off-base for a bunch of lines. You can hardly tell though live. We also eventually started covering Starla with Annie on cello which I think turned out better. It was awesome. Also, take note of the ending. I fluff it like no bodies business. I rushed the song so incredibly hard that I couldn’t pull off the triplets. Good times. As bad as I remember my time being, it’s not too bad at this show.

5. Four

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Ah, masturbation songs that have no meaning. They were awesome. I think the best part about this song was computing the delay time on our demo for the echo in Jordan’s voice at the end. The live version came out ok. “Playing Manny’s makes we wanna pee…” I thought that was so punk rock. I guess it sorta is. Go Jordan! I don’t know how the rest of the guys felt, but my playing is all over the place. 2:03 – see what I mean about John and Warrant? 2:06 – Nice Lenny Kravitz lift. 2:13 – Why did I stop playing?

6. Tails

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If you ever played Sonic The Hedgehog on Sega Genesis, you’d understand. I always thought Jordan’s lungs and/or innards were going to project out of his mouth when he sang this song. You know, like projectile vomit.

7. Firewood

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Did anyone else hear Julie Bindeman say, “Go John, Go Mat, Go Dave, Go Jordan” at the intro? Looking back on this song I hear a lot of Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots. Bands I never really got in to, but it sounds obvious Jordan and John were in to them. I think the lick in this song was used in a NOT song. 0:38 – John’s guitar was mad moody! 1:59 – Stellar drum break and smooth transition to swung time. I hated swinging and I still do. Unless it’s in jazz or hiphop. Did anyone mention how awesome John is on guitar? And Jordan said Eduardo co-wrote this song.

8. Kill Fred

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Next to Shattered, this joke of a song was pretty successful. Our take on that silly music they called Ska. At least I remember it that way. Maybe it was how I wanted to remember it. At 0:46 John really gets out of wack. I always wondered what he was thinking about there. Perhaps Molly’s boobs? And nice mention of “plastic spoon” – I am not sure of the significance of it, but I know it meant something. Jordan? John?

So what did we learn from this show? We learned that if you ever want to remember the titles of the songs years from the performance, tell your singer to announce all the songs prior. Genius. John, Jordan? Would love your takes on this performance.

9 Responses to “Twisted Fish – Live at Manny’s 1994”


  • I wanna listen… whaaahhh!!

  • Love the Pumpkins cover!

  • Any chance of getting this in a more portable format?

  • Of course:

    http://www.olympus-mons.com/audio/

    Enjoy!

    PS. And April, the audio is back up!

  • Finally, I can listen to Kill Fred on my ipod!

    I can definitely say that this band was the best part of my 9th grade experience. I *did* eventually get a little better on the bass, but that was years later…

    -Dave

  • “…when we were originally “mastering” the DAT we added echo for the applause to make it appear larger.”

    Brilliant. This shit rocks.

  • Don’t forget about your awesome groupies that followed Twisted Fish around: they would be me, jenny, jackie, and mollie…

    Thanks for digging up the old stuff. I still LOVE my twisted fish tape. :0)

  • I remember this being a “big” show, which meant it wasn’t at the high school, or in that one place we played all our other shows. And that we actually shelled out a good deal of cash (probably like $70) to have some guy do a DAT recording instead of our usual “record onto a walkman” treatment of live shows. Nice foresight.

    You know, sadly, I still have the exact same tone, just a better guitar. Something about that Crate crunch just gives me a woody. Screw tube amps, I want metal. And I still play Warrant solos all the time, my current band just doesn’t notice as much.

    Do you have more of this show? I know we played more than 8 songs. We had our “all Smashing Pumpkings, all the time” medley where right right at the start of the solo for Cherub Rock, we’d launch into all of Today, then back to the Cherub Rock solo and finish out the song. Which was always a little awkward since Cherub Rock is in E, but Today is in Eb, and we were “purists” so we didn’t want to change the key. Since, ya know, ya gotta have ideals.

    The stuff we wrote back then is more indicative of the era than I remember at the time. Stuff like “We’re All Liars” is in that vein of plodding grunge that I can’t quite imagine listening to any more. Cool song, but it has that “we’re angry, here’s our song, AND DON’T YOU DARE DANCE TO IT!” kind of vibe. I think Jordan wrote that one about a guy no one liked named Luke. Firewood has that same kind of vibe, but then goes into the inexplicably cool swing section, which I have to think was inspired by Faith No More. I suppose you could at least mosh to Tails, but the stuff I’m writing these days in much more in the Run Run vibe than the Shattered vibe. But I frickin’ love Shattered. I was just always pissed Jordan put a Bb chord in there, since it always hurt my pinky when I formed the chord. But thanks to that, I now have the uber-pinky. Go Jordan.

    Still love Kill Fred. That should have been our breakthrough novelty hit that would have paid for our first house. For the second verse, Jordan threw a pad and paper and me and said “I have to take a shit. Have a verse written by the time I get back, or I’ll kick your ass.” Jordan had no ability to kick my ass, but I still remember the writing process. From the top of my head: “I wear glasses can’t you see the pain and hate and misery, I’m sitting on a traffic cone and licking on my neighbor’s bone, I’m sick, I’m sick I want to leave this place and enter into my own personal dimension where my heart can feed and feed upon the sickness of you boys and girls, I want to run away.” Poetry. As far as I can remember that’s the only lyric I wrote in Twisted Fish, other than the line in Four about masturbation making you feel like a Keebler Elf. Good times.

    Mat, you the man for posting this stuff.

  • Original Twisted Fish Fan

    Yes, you guys definitely rocked “Run Run” more so than Second Come ever did…

    But where’s BUTTERFLY??

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