At some point in 1986 or so, I bought a copy of the LP, Learn To Whap-A-Dang by a band called The Raunch Hands. I picked it up on the strength of the album’s cheeky title and the band’s equally juvenile name. Way back when, when such things were cheaper, this was a viable method of learning about new music. Often times, it paid off.
I don’t know that I’d call Whap-A-Dang an especially timeless album, but myself and my friends certainly warmed to its sloppy, garage-y roots-rock sound, at the time. They were sort of in the same vein and aesthetic of bands like The Senders. I want to say I saw them play, at one point, sharing a bill with their fellow New Yorkers in the Fleshtones, I believe, and they were something of a beery, slovenly mess, which certainly fit the bill, at the time.
The only reason I’m bringing them up now is that I heard some very sad rumors about the failing health of the Raunch Hands’ lead singer, Mike Chandler.
In tribute, here’s a clip from a curious independent film from the mid-80’s called “No Picnic.” Ostensibly intended as a snapshot of the pre-gentrified East Village (if they only knew what lay ahead), “No Picnic” follows the travails of a rock journalist who goes to various clubs downtown to service their jukeboxes (if memory serves). At one point, he encounters the Raunch Hands. They’re not the first band that appears in the clip, though.
Enjoy, and raise your glass to Mike Chandler.
Also, Who can name this club/bar?
Source: FS – Real Estate