As part of the SonicAnta Archive Series I hope to introduce a number of tracks from projects built and participated in over the years, digging deep into the recorded past and up to the recent past future.

I thought I'd kick off the series with a tribute to Prepping Finger Salad, more a collection than collective of sound experimenters, Prepping Finger Salad burned out on it's own momentum within two years. Ah, but what a two year sound spree that was.

The story begins in a classic Tucson fashion.

A couple of people (David and Emily) fleeing the cold and wet of northern America settle into a vintage home where the rent is cheap and the neighbors don't mind late night sound.

They put up some posters around town seeking sound connections and soon a regular open gig was happening.

At some point I filtered into the space, deep into my sax having expunged all electronics and amplification for metal, wood and wind. But I still kept a cadre of experimental sound objects always at hand.

In time a core formed around Emily, David, Paul and myself.

Everything was being recorded and at one point, around St. Patrick's Day 2000, David officially called us a band and gave us the name: Prepping Finger Salad.

There was a bit of acrimony over the name and a mix David made of the tracks we'd been recording.

But it quickly became water under the bridge and the name stuck.

While rumors of ritual cannibalism and erotic dismemberment swirled around the band's name origins, none of it was true. Instead David had lifted the name off a photo a friend had sent of him chopping leafy greens with the caption:
Prepping Finger Salad.

But the buzz only added to the myth.

Anyway, the first official gig was at a place called
Solar Culture.
Steve Eye had graciously given us the opening spot for Species Being after hearing a tape.

Around that time David had purchased an old projector that played 8 millimeter films and we were experimenting with sound tracks which we included at the Solar Culture show.

The film's plot involved giant bugs, cowboys and soldiers. Naturally it was a success and things moved forward.

The local weekly arts and news publication which labels itself "alternative" but is relatively tame had no idea what to make of us, describing Prepping Finger Salad as "wacked out" and "fringe," which of course became a badge of honor.  To us, the Prepping Finger Salad sound was mainstream. It was all the other stuff that was "wacked out."

"Here's one for those who like fringe stuff. San Francisco's Species Being creates soundscapes alternately jarring and drifting, sort of like a cross between Scenic and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, with a healthy dose of free-jazz experimentalism. Tucson's Prepping Finger Salad is comprised of four whacked-out multi-instrumentalists with a bent for free-noise skronkery. The two bands pair up for a show at 9 p.m." ----
Stephen Seigel, Tucson Weekly.

Over the next year or so we wound up doing another show at Solar Culture (opening for
Konk Pack) and two shows at The Mat Bevel Institute as part of Steve Hahn's Zeitgeist showcase.

Steve Hahn was a huge force in keeping Tucson sonically interesting.

He'd run a late night radio show called The Ragged Edge on
KXCI which was heavy on experimentations (and was very unceremoniously cancelled) and put on shows at The Bevel.

But as with any good Tucson story, the forces of polarity and change were at work from the start. Soon David and Emily headed in separate directions and the space we practiced in was lost. Paul headed to one coast or another and I stuck around to watch the monsoons.

Following a radio story on
NPR I heard from David who had founded the Center for Dyslexistetial Studies and was gaining recognition for his poetry and performance. I also think I read he was kicked out of Japan for an incident at a bar.

Well there it is. A brief history of Prepping Finger Salad. Much more to tell and hear but more some other time. I have laundry to do.

tracks posted were recorded live at The Mat Bevel Institute on 12/01/01 and are culled from the early and late sets.  Enjoy.