Every Member of Slushy so Far

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Slushy is a colorful cast of characters. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s a monologue.

Who is Slushy? Who is in Slushy? Who was in Slushy? Who should be in Slushy? These are the questions on the nation’s most in-demand lips. Let’s see if I can provide some answers.

Drum machine roll please…

Chris “Twist” Kramer

2009-204ever

Hi, that’s me. I started writing and recording a lot of songs when I first moved to Chicago, then started playing those songs live solo as Kramer Versus Kramer, then found a bunch of dummies to play them with me, then changed the name of the band to Slushy, and that’s the whole story. I write or co-write all the songs, sing the songs, play many or all instruments on recordings, write emails, draw monsters, and sleep in a basement that is full of junk musical equipment.

Brent Zmrhal

2010-2013

The man about town who left town. Brent is probably the most important member of Slushy and always will be. He lives in Seattle now, but we like to meet up and play shows, write songs, crack wise, etc, etc. He’d like you to know, officially he’s an ex-Slushy.

Max Epstein

2010-2011

The original other member, Max was the bass player in the first 4-piece incarnation of Slushy. Max helped me choose the name Slushy after Brent told us he would only book us a show if we had a different name. He lasted about a year, then said adios to tunes.

Justin Vittori

2014-Present

Justin is one of the nicest people I know. That’s why, when I heard a rumor that he wanted to play drums in Slushy, I went down to the rumor mill and gave him the old formal invite. Good call. He also plays guitar and bass on some recordings and plays in lots of other bands around town.

Luke Tokyo Drifter

2014-present

aka KennDogg Millionaire, Luke plays lead guitar in the current Slushy live band. Unless he doesn’t. Sometimes he doesn’t. But sometimes he does. He’s good at all instruments, really.

James Swanberg

2014-2016

aka Jimmy Swine. We played with Swannie’s band Today’s Hits at Subterranean in February of 2013. Afterwards, he said “If you ever need a bass player in Slushy, I wanna be that guy.” Took me about a year and a half, but I gave him the call up to the majors. He plays bass like he plays drums – Juicy style. Then he quit. But sometimes he’s back.

Sarah Greenwell

2016-204ever

Sarah was in town one day and played the Omnichord while sitting on stage and I keep threatening to have her do that at every Slushy show til the end of time and fly her in just to be in her presence.

C.J. Meyer

2017-Present

C.J. is the terrific drummer in the Pinheads, and an occasional bassist in Slushy. Also he’s currently setting up his drums in the livingroom, I think that’s a good omen!

Donny Walsh

2017-Present

Donny plucked the six strings while Kenny went on a driveabout, which is like a walkabout but for affluent Americans. Donny is very good at the guitar!

Jen Page

2017-Present

Jen knows a lot about flowers, carpentry, and shaking a lit maraca. Guess which she does in the group! (All of the above)

Alexa Roberts

2017-Present

Alexa took me to see the Zombies perform Odessey And Oracle, I asked her to be in my band. That’s the long and short of it!

Jason Meyer

2009-Present

I would have given up on music a LONG time ago if it wasn’t for Jason. I played his birthday party in 2001 or 2002 then we were in a dozen bands together then he motivated to “Just Do It” when I moved to Chicago and pretty soon we’ll come full circle once again.

Sam Mentzer

2014-?

Sam was my roommate and is an all-around good guy. He occasionally sits in on drums and/or tambourine on recordings and at shows.

Colin Croom

2014-201?

I love Colin. When Slushy tried making a new record in the fall/winter of 2014, we enlisted Colin as producer. He took it seriously, and was there more than most of the band, so a lot of that record ended up featuring Colin playing bass, drums, guitar, keys, whatever. Note: none of these recordings will ever be released but I still have them and willing to entertain offers. He’s a terrific musician, which is why Twin Peaks snatched him up. Sometimes he’ll still tickle an ivory or beat a skin or record us racketeering.

Alex Mentzer

2010-2010

The original Mentz, Alex is the original drummer in Slushy. He plays drums standing up, and kicked the kick drum sparingly, more like a Bop drummer. He would drape a horse tapestry over the kick drum, and would make the horses run.

Ben Haley

2010-2011

Ben played guitar in Slushy for a while, and is on the first 2 or 3 abandoned Slushy records (who knows how many of those there are). He played in Boshus before that, my favorite Chicago band ever. I had to go to his apartment and kick him out of the band, which really sucked. Sorry for doing that Ben, not sure why I am so awkward!

Jason Jones

2011

Jason played drums at a few shows. He also played guitar in a NWOBHM band called Wizard Castle as well as Boshus.

Elliott Thomas

2010-2011

EZ recorded us at on point then played drums at a few shows, replacing Jason, but I forget why. When Max quit the band, Elliott quit, too, and the two-piece version of Slushy was born. Now he lives in San Francisco.

Rich Crook

2011-2012

Rich is a great musician/songwriter (see: Lover, Thing). He played drums once or twice in the hazy period shortly after Slushy became a two-piece, and we weren’t quite sure what the heck we were doing. He’s a great drummer and has a great name. He and I were really into the idea of starting a krautrock band for a while, but I think our girlfriends didn’t get along so that never came to be.

Doug Boldon

2011-2012

Doug’s another terrific drummer who played drums with us once or twice in the hazy period shortly after Slushy became a two-piece, and we weren’t quite sure what the heck we were doing. He also plays all the drums on the “Five Little Leaves” tape. Doug and his twin brother Dan used to be in Sleepovers and I couldn’t tell them apart for a long time, but now I can. Doug’s the one who lives in LA now.

Nick Beaudoin

2011, 2014

Nick lived across the street from me, and he’s probably the best bass player in Chicago, so we’ve practiced and recorded once or twice together. He also bassed in two Halloween cover bands with me, once as the Velvet Underground and once as the Modern Lovers, but I don’t think Nick’s ever played in Slushy. Some day.

Shimby McCreery

2012-2014

Shimby recorded “Five Little Leaves” and ended up playing quite a bit of keys, percussion and even a little guitar. He also mixed “Pastime Gardens” and really defined the sound of that record. That counts as being in the band.

Ted Appert, Ron Appert, Jack Callahan

2012-204ever

The Bing-Aires, Illinois’s premier vocal backing group. Sometimes you’ll still catch them on stage strumming a guitar and sweet breathing.

Paul Cherowick

2015-201?

One time we asked Paul to fill in on bass at a gig and he christened it a “Cherry Slushy” and he liked that joke so much that he keeps threatening to make it again.


DJ Residency at The Owl

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In the world of very cool news, Slushy has been invited to do a residency at the Owl in Logan Square, the premier late-night bar in the neighborhood. Running from September 17 through October 8, I’ll be spinning the best bubble gum, doo-wop, soul, and rhythm & blues records from 10 pm to 4 am, plus giving a special live performance each night at 1 am.

September 17: NUGGISH

This is how you kick off a month-long party. “Slushy Presents: NUGGISH – Artyficial Originals from the First Slushydelic Era: Vol I” is the brand new, unofficial Slushy album. Tripp Tapes is putting out 100 copies on cassette, and I’ll be performing a selection of the songs for the first night of the residency.

September 24: FUTURE BOY

Last month I had the pleasure to perform alongside DR. PAUL, wearing a dinosaur mask and rattling a tambourine. DR PAUL rules. And he reminded me that in 2002, I had the idea to record an album under the name FUTURE BOY. I wrote a few songs, never recorded them, and then forget how to play them and all about the project. But DR PAUL changed that, so I wrote a new batch of FUTURE BOY songs! Once again, Tripp Tapes is putting out 100 cassettes, available only at this show, and there will be a live performance by FUTURE BOY himself.

October 1: BIG debut

BIG is a new band comprised of James Swanberg and Chris Kramer. James sings, Chris plays acoustic guitar. This will be our first ever show. Maybe we’ll have a tape out on Tripp Tapes??? James will be co-DJing, and all his records are as good as or better than mine.

October 8: VERY SPECIAL GUEST

Okay, I can’t tell you just what will be going down for the last night of the Slushy Owl residency, but it may include cake, pony rides, clowns (not the scary kind), fire eaters, lots of guitar solos, celebrity lookalikes, those drawings where it’s two images in one depending on how you look at it, kissing booths, another BIG performance, Charo the “cuchi-cuchi” girl, mandatory Simpsons quotes, and live owls flying around the bar all night. Expect at least one of those.

Bye!


Slushy Live on Chica-Go-Go

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Slushy performing “Candy” live on the Chica-Go-Go Show! Thanks to Miss Mia and Ratso for having us, and to Max from The Lemons for filling in on bass!


All The Rad Dudes

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Slushy’s all-new “All The Rad Dudes” is now available from Manic Static. The 8 song cassette release follows quickly on the heels of the Manic Static Compilation, which featured Slushy’s “Baby with the Big Tape Head”. “All The Rad Dudes” builds upon the weirdo pop perfection of that tune and adds in some healthy doses of self-deprecation (“I’m A Disaster”), self-mythologizing (“Noise In My Head”), and hero-worship (“I Love The Beatles”).

The initial run of tapes is limited to 100 on purple cassette and can be purchased from Manic Static here. You can also stream the tunes and download lossless files at our bandcamp.

Slushy All the Rad Dudes cover

Featuring these songs:

1. I’m A Disaster (shy guy)
2. Dumb Dumb Dude (bad decisions)
3. Greasy Hair (love song)
4. All The Rad Dudes (in the know)
5. Noise In My Head (song about songs)
6. I Love The Beatles (duh)
7. Sunny Pair (pubes)
8. Little Hoopy Coopy (Max and D)

All 8 songs were written and recorded over the July 4th weekend. Chris played the Fender Coronado XII, some acoustic guitar, the bass and the drums.


Howl-O-Whine

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Halloween is coming and Slushy is playing two or three very special shows.

First, a one time only lineup of Chris and some special guests are playing a house party on Saturday October 29! Covers! Guitar solos! Ebriation! Covers!

Then Monday October 31 Slushy and Chicago’s own Uh Bones are playing a feedback-drenched set of songs from the first two Velvet Underground albums at The Exit, Chicago’s oldest punk bar.

And speaking of playing sets as the Velvet Underground, we may just crash the Halloween show at Crown Tap Room and do a second set there. Only time can tell.

Update: We did the Mash


She’s Going Away Now

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She’s Going Away Now is a song by Slushy written in March of 2011. It features the chords Bb, C, F, G and D. It does not have a guitar solo. It does have some good changes.

Shimby recorded She’s Going Away Now for the first Slushy LP, “Pastime Gardens”. It sounds great!

This song about about a young woman who is really going places.


Baby with the Big Tape Head

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Baby with the Big Tape Head is a pop song appearing on the Slushy Yellow EP. It was written by Max Epstein and originally performed by Boshus as “Baby with a Big Head”. The Slushy version features new lyrics and copious amounts of synthesized tape delay, earning the song its expanded title.

The tune was later recorded by The Lemons under its original name for their debut cassette tape, “Hello, We’re The Lemons”.

Baby with the Big Tape Head uses the chords E, A and D.


Seashine

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Seashine was written in May, 2009, and features the chords A, F#, E and D.

Although the song is entirely instrumental, it passes through themes or serenity, longing, passion, anxiety, and sects. But mostly it’s about waves.


Down to the Beach

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Down to the Beach was written in March, 2009, and features the chords B, A, E, and F#.

It’s about spending a crappy Chicago winter indoors. Then spring came and I didn’t go to the beach, I still stayed inside. Oops!

If Done (with) Fun wasn’t the first Chicago Slushy song then this one was.


Teenage Frankenstein

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Teenage Frankenstein was first conceptualized in November, 2009, and finished in September, 2010. It’s comprised of the chords E, B, A, D and G.

The track is included as the penultimate track on the debut Slushy LP, “Pastime Gardens”. Brent Z shredded the shred stick from shred city.

The themes of the song are isolation, transformation, and self-empowerment. And Frankenstein.