Bully Pulpit - You Flatter Me
Bully Pulpit was a truly strange band from LaGrange, IL. Their only CD Beyond Elysium... was released on the interesting '90s label Lotuspool. It was hard for me to find information on the band at first since all the bandmembers used pseudonyms. Luckily, Lotuspool co-founder Chris Garibaldi finally helped me get my facts straight.
According to Garibaldi, "the album was recorded in LaGrange and at a barn in Kansas from 1992 to 1994. Most tracks were laid in the loft of a large dairy barn with electricity coming from a single extension chord, which stretched from a Jerry-rigged light socket in the milking facility, just one building away from the barn. The recording was moved to the farm house when the owners of the property discovered the recording and the many highly flammable situations it fostered."
Garibaldi's notes also include a cryptic reference to the band's relationship with William S. Burroughs. Apparently, they all used to shoot various weapons together at the barn.
Beyond Elysium, a demented amalgam of country, avant-garde rock and psych, got some notices at a few CMJ stations and from John Peel, but failed to generate much interest nationally. The band was clearly influenced by the San Francisco music scene of the '90s, especially the skronky experimentalism of the Thinking Fellers. Unfortunately, Bully Pulpit's songwriting rarely reached the same heights as their innovative impulses, and the album is a patchwork affair that is listenable only in spurts (or with the aid of drugs.) Album opener "You Flatter Me" effectively summarizes the band's interests, and remains an intriguing and original artifact of the era.
Bully Pulpit recorded a second album Jockeys in 1995 which was never released, but was available online at one point. I can't find it now. It's supposed to be more cohesive and accessible.