Here in Boston, alternative rock reunion fever is in the air. This month has already seen early-’90s mainstays Belly and Letters To Cleo announce plans to get back in the game, and now there are rumblings from another celebrated group permanently etched into memories of our cassette decks: Indie trio the Blake Babies.
The band, led by Freda Love Smith, John Strohm, and Juliana Hatfield (whose own Juliana Hatfield Three, a group she formed after the Blake Babies broke up, reformed last year), has created a Pledge Music campaign based around re-issuing some early demos from their Earwig sessions, recorded at Cambridge’s Fort Apache Studios back in 1988. Earwig was the band’s second album, released in 1989, a year before the release of Sunburn and two years before their breakup. They released a fourth LP, God Bless the Blake Babies, in 2001, but have been relatively dormant since.
So the real treat from this Pledge campaign comes in the rewards sections. The basics are there: $10 gets you the mp3s, $40 nets you the vinyl, and for $55 you get the vinyl and a DVD featuring personal recording footage from the band members. But for $100, you can be invited to one of two private in-studio sessions here in Boston or Evanston, Illinois, and for $20,000, you can have the Blake Babies perform live — acoustically, of course — at your home.
“Beyond the Boston and Evanston Pledge shows, we do not have any touring plans,” they write. “How about we come to your place with our gear to play for you and all your friends?”
As they mention, these are the only promised live dates from the Blake Babies, and admittedly, it’s a far cry from a proper reunion show at the Paradise. But hey — it’s a start. And maybe reunion fever grips tight and we get a nice string of shows that cost less than a hundred bucks to attend (or $20k to host).
Here’s the message from their Pledge, which sits at a 34 percent completion rate on funding with 58 days to go.
“In early March of 1988, we entered Fort Apache Studios in Cambridge, MA to capture our live set in a studio setting. We recorded 12 demos of songs for what would become our debut full length on Mammoth, Earwig. The master tapes from those sessions have been sitting on a few basement shelves since then and pretty much were forgotten about.
In 2015, we rescued the recordings and had the tapes remixed and remastered. And to our surprise, the demos turned out sounding better than anyone remembered.
They sounded so good that we had to do something special with them for you, the fans! We’re happy to announce that the Earwig Demos will finally be heard as intended, on vinyl ONLY here on PledgeMusic. While in our archives, we found some other unique and rare items to add to the pre-order. We hope you find something you will like.
Please join us and be part of the release of these special recordings.”