While in Seattle last weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Les Evans, the guitarist from Cryptic Slaughter. Les is the subject a long interview and booklet created for the Public Collectors project Hardcore Architecture that will be available soon. We spent several weeks going back and forth over email doing the interview but had never met in person before. Les lives just a bit north of Seattle and came down for the afternoon. In an extremely generous gesture, Les brought me these three records as a gift. I owned the originals of “Stream of Consciousness” and “Convicted” on vinyl but I’m particularly enjoying the new version of ‘Stream’ on F.O.A.D. Records, which includes an entire alternate recording of the album that sounds a lot better than the final mix. The “Banned in S.M.” 7″ is completely new to me and I’m looking forward to digging into that.

As for our meet up, we spent a good hunk of the day at the Experience Music Project where we took in exhibits about Hendrix, Nirvana (very strange to see some of this stuff turned into an exhibit), a ton of great old guitars, and a rather awful exhibit of horror and sci-fi memorabilia. You better believe that there were simultaneous expressions of disappointment upon realizing that the razor ball from Phantasm was from Phantasm II and not the superior first film. When we got to a sculpture/costume used in Critters 2, we knew it was time to leave. Perhaps the highlight of the museum was seeing video of Hendrix’s entire performance from Woodstock in the big comfy auditorium. Having only seen the footage of “Purple Haze” and “The Star Spangled Banner” many times, it was a revelation to watch the rest of the performance, and Les is so knowledgeable about Hendrix that he was able to fill in a bunch of interesting facts. One thing that’s incredible in that performance is that Hendrix is so connected to his instrument that he plays nearly the entire set with his eyes closed. It’s really something worth seeing.

Once the Hardcore Architecture exhibit opens in Chicago, I’ll make copies of the booklet available online, so keep an eye on this site.