Athens, Georgia quartet Pylon were major players in the ’80s pop underground — All Music Guide rightly describes them unassailable “elder statesmen of the alternative rock explosion” — and 1983 was a banner year for the band. They released their second album, Chomp, on Atlanta-based DB Records and toured the country extensively, even playing a few opening slots for some Irish up-and-comers named U2. And then, without a hint of explanation, they quit.
Pylon played their final show at their hometown bar the Mad Hatter, with both audio and video being recorded for a PBS pilot called Athens Shows. Soon after the taping, however, the show failed and the tapes were put away and forgotten… until now.
Shortly after James Murphy’s DFA Records re-issued Pylon’s two LPs with bonus tracks in 2007, Chunklet CEO and Pylon fan club member Henry Owings emailed the band complaining about the lack of promised bonus material on the reissued CDs. “My favorite Pylon is live Pylon,” bassist Michael Lachowski told Owings, marking the beginning of an exhaustive search for live recordings by the band.
Finally, after numerous dead ends, the multi-track recording of the band’s final show at the Mad Hatter was unearthed. Thus was born Pylon Live, a double LP recorded at the band’s best. It includes material from Pylon’s first and second LPs, a song called “Party Zone” that was previously only available only on a DB Records compilation, as well as their never-before-released rendition of the infamous “Batman Theme.” Today we’re premiering a live version of “Volume,” the first track from Gyrate. Check it out below.
Pylon Live is out 7/25, the birthday of deceased guitarist Randy Bewley, with release events scheduled for this summer in Nashville, Atlanta, and Athens. Pre-order it in standard, deluxe, and digital formats.