The Mike Gunn

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Named after a former member of the psych art rock "experience" Schlong Weasel, the Mike Gunn, in its (roughly) half-decade of existence, proved to be one of the favorites and most respected of the Houston,…
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Named after a former member of the psych art rock "experience" Schlong Weasel, the Mike Gunn, in its (roughly) half-decade of existence, proved to be one of the favorites and most respected of the Houston, TX psych rock scene of the '90s. Begun following the dissolution of the multi-located Schlong Weasel by that outfit's members Scott Grimm and Tom Carter, the band was initially nameless and drummerless. By 1990, those issues had been taken care of, with Curt Mackey taking drumming duties and second guitarist Elliot rounding out the newly named Mike Gunn. After their appearance on the multi-band cassette release, "Velveeta vs. Snowplow," (released on Spirit of Liska), and the subsequent breakup of fellow Houston-ites Bongtooth, the band recruited fellow Schlong Weasel alum John Cramer to (initially, anyway) take on vocal duties. After a series of successful shows and garnering a solid word of mouth buzz around the Houston area, Cramer shifted to guitar, and Elliot was kicked out. Recordings would then commence on what would become the bands first official release, Hemp for Victory in 1991. The record, released on Houston punk semi-legends the Pain Teens' Anomie label, was a vinyl only item, which was only seen in limited release. Reviews of the debut were positive, as the band had plunged head first into its experimental tendencies, creating a stew of stoner rock, psychedelia a la the Butthole Surfers, and some very wry inside humor. 1992 would see the release of not one but two Gunn products, the first being the split single (with Smile 69, a band featuring former Bongtooth member Ramon Medina) and the second being the Durban Poison long player, released on Double Naught. Durban Poison would be the first Mike Gunn record also released on CD, a release that included a new mix of Hemp for Victory. The year of 1992 would also find the Mike Gunn releasing one of its members. Guitarist Tom Carter -- according to lore, he was kicked out and chose to quit simultaneously -- left to focus on his own project, named Charalambides. 1993 saw the Mike Gunn release the record that many consider to be their best work, the Double Naught released Almaron. Although Almaron had solidified the Mike Gunn's prowess as a leader in the Houston scene, and recording had begun on Almaron's follow-up, the band would eventually part ways with the departure of Scott Grimm in 1995. After the breakup, the band released Coduh (A Collection of Live and Studio Recordings) to round out their output. The post-Almaron recordings would eventually see the light of day when the German label September Gurls released A Dream About Jim in 1997. Cramer would recover from the breakup quickly, forming the more rock-oriented Project Grimm with Jim Otterson and Drew Calhoun in 1995. Scott Grimm formed the ongoing Houston project Dunlavy, which saw its first release in 1996, and Tom Carter's Charalambides was still a force to be reckoned with on the indie scene -- appearing in avant-muso magazines such as Wire -- as late as 2007.