Tuesday, February 21, 2006



NDolphin - Birthday Song
1989

Whatever you are listening to at the age of 14 will forever have a place in your heart. When I was 14, a friend of mine went up to Gainesville, Florida, the nearest hip college town, and came back with a mix of college bands that blew my mind. Aleka's Attic, River Phoenix's band was on there. Henrietta's Lovers, an artsy funk band with a singer who played trumpet, was on there. Ndolphin, a neo-hippie band with male and female singers was on there. I devoured it all without discretion. The big regional trend in Gainesville at the time was percussion, and all three bands had bongos on their songs. I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever heard.

Ndolphin was a short-lived, though popular Gainesville band; they released two EP's between 1989 and 1991 and then broke up. The main songwriters were Ane Diaz and Jack Mason; both sang. After Ndolphin split, Diaz sang with a succession of bands including Sumac and the Causey Way. She now plays in an intriguing duo called Producto. Mason also played in Sumac, but eventually left the music business entirely, as far as I can tell from my research. Another notable band member is Josh McKay, who played bass on the band's first EP but left soon after. McKay later achieved minor success with the Athens, GA band Macha. Although it is rumored that McKay would rather forget about his past bands, two NDolphin mp3's turned up on a website last year and McKay was the last one seen with the master tapes.

The band's first EP, which is pictured above, is pretty solid, containing four gems and one clunker which is a rap song about hating George Bush. Too bad every word of it still rings true today. The band's second EP, called Wail, is less developed than its predecessor, but still has moments of brilliance, especially the opening three songs. Good luck finding either of these tapes. They were released in tiny editions and are virtually impossible to find. Thank god some mystery person uploaded this mp3.