29 Dec 2010

Chalk Circle

Chalk Circle – Side By Side & Reflection (Live @ dc space, 1982)

“Chalk Circle played three out of our four shows at dc space, which was another really great place to see bands. It was a small artist-run performance space that had all sorts of music and art events, including shows like Sun Ra and Laurie Anderson and film screenings of underground and experimental movies. It had a very intimate, friendly, comfortable vibe, but I had to walk past the drug dealers, porn shops, and rats to get there. It was at 7th & E, NW, right around the corner from the original 9:30 Club. At that time the area was known as the red light district. But once you were inside dc space, you felt safe and welcomed, like you were in a friend’s living room. Almost every punk / hardcore band in DC in the 80s played there at one time or another. Chalk Circle never played outside of the DC area, unfortunately. It wasn’t like today where it’s easy to book shows in other cities. There was no infrastructure built up, no easy way to communicate other than by letter or phone (and remember this was before answering machines), no easy way to find out about places to play. And it was doubly hard for girls to tour. It was a big achievement for us to have played in the DC area, although I wish we’d been able to tour the US. When we played our first show at dc space in July 1981 (with Sally Berg of REM — later Egoslavia — borrowed on bass), we were the first all-female band to have played in DC since the 1940s!
   Sally worked for District Curators, which was the company run by Bill Warrell that owned dc space. Sally then worked at the 9:30 Club with Tamera, and that’s how we met Tamera and got her to be our bass player. Tamera was originally a guitarist. She didn’t play with us at that first show, but she played with us at our second show at dc space, which wasn’t until Feb 1982.” Sharon Cheslow

Chalk Circle at dc space: Sharon Cheslow and Mary Green (1982).

“Other than punk and the music that evolved out of that, Chalk Circle loved a lot of glam rock, folk rock, psychedelic music, soul, and funk — especially go-go. Go-go was a style of funk native to DC that was very percussive and rhythmic, with lots of repetitive call-and-response vocals, so people really got into a groove at shows. It had a lot in common with hip-hop. There was a great local funk scene in DC, with bands like Trouble Funk and Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, and it became known as DC go-go.”  Sharon Cheslow

“The two songs on the Mixed Nuts comp, 'The Slap' and 'Subversive Pleasure', were taken from our second Inner Ear demo. Those two songs, plus most of the songs we released on WGNS cassettes, will be released on vinyl with digital download in early 2011. Mississippi Records and Post Present Medium will be doing a split-label release. The LP will be titled Reflection, which is the title of one of the songs from our first Inner Ear demo, and it will come with a 16-page booklet. The booklet includes liner notes by Don Fleming, photos, and some press clippings.” Sharon Cheslow

Chalk Circle Reflection LP out in February 2011.

Meanwhile, please visit Decomposition – Chalk Circle for more information.

* * *

Excerpts taken from an interview with Sharon Cheslow in November 2010.

1 comment:

Exeter said...

I am getting interested in this band and in Sharon's other work.