Kittenbush

by Christine Wall

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about

In 1993, singer-songwriter Larry O. Dean booked time at Olde West Studio in San Francisco to begin work on his fifth (and first 24-track) solo album, Throw the Lions to the Christians. Among the supporting players tapped to back him up was Christine Wall. Dean met Wall while she was on her job waitressing at a diner in Berkeley, California, where their discussion quickly turned to music (possibly local college station KALX-FM was playing in the background) and the two hit it off, realizing that they had similarly eclectic tastes. It was only a matter of time before Dean asked Wall to sing on one of his projects, and after the positive experience of working with her on Lions, she also contributed backing vocals to Dean's then-band, The Fussbudgets.

During recording of that album (The Naked and the Daft), Dean floated the idea of producing an EP of his original compositions with Wall singing lead vocals. By then, she was familiar with his cassette-only earlier releases, and from those, as well as the Fussbudgets oeuvre, songs were selected, including an unreleased number by Dean's songwriting cohort in The Fussbudgets, Chris Lehmann. Lowdown Studio (where The Naked and the Daft was recorded) was the natural choice, and Dean assembled the backing band, including himself on guitar, Wall on bass, Lee Bloom (keyboards), Joel Mahan (lead guitar), and James Schaefer (drums).

The resulting five-song EP was given a limited cassette-only release, but it did engender positive reviews in the alternative press and radio airplay. Wall went on to marry Lowdown's owner (and in-house producer/engineer), Greg Freeman, and contributed backing vocals on Dean's final SF-era band, Malcontent's sole EP, 1995's Embarrassment of Riches.

In the original liner notes for Kittenbush, Wall stated that her goal was to be either a pop star or a librarian. While pop stardom was not in the cards, she was for a time star-adjacent, providing background vocals on two Chris Isaak records. Her voice can be heard on his classic love song, “Wicked Game.” After earning her library degree, she became an archivist at Pixar Animation Studios where she now sings in the girl-band Chixar. She also sings and plays ukulele the Hawaiian band, Alula. She and her husband have four cats.

credits

released May 8, 2012

Recorded 1993 at Lowdown, San Francisco, CA. Produced by Larry O. Dean. Engineered by Greg Freeman. Remastered January 2012 by Wally Sound, Oakland, CA.

Lee Bloom (keyboards), Larry O. Dean (guitar & vocals), Christine (Wall) Freeman (bass & vocals), Joel Mahan (guitar), James Schaefer (drums).

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about

Zenith Beast Chicago, Illinois

Record label and publisher, founded in San Francisco in 1988 by singer-songwriter, poet, and journalist, Larry O. Dean, now based in Chicago.

Releases include music (and spoken word) by The Fussbudgets, Malcontent, Christine Wall, The Injured Parties, and LOD; books; and the magazine, draconian measures.
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