The Four Eyes - a Sacramento Band
Even after living and playing in sacramento for ten years we still get called a Santa Cruz band sometimes. its summer 2007 now. We've released 3 cds and seem to mostly play in spurts (no shows for months then 3 in a week). But where did it all begin?
1993-We were sitting around having an acoustic Lint Farmers reunion in joels basement room. Skip had to go give some chick a ride. So we figured we'd learn some Ramones songs so skip would be happy when he came back. Skip ditched us for that chick and we started our own band to become famous just to spite him for ditching us. We had to figure out a name so we (atleast joel and i) thought we should be called 'ducktales 2: the movie' just so we could have the dumbest and most confusing band name ever. Then we came up with The Four Eyes and figured we have all songs about nerds. We practiced in jays parents garage on weekends. Came up with out first song 'compucore' and other early songs like video games, comics, can buy me love, nerds in space, riptide robot and nerdy girl. Actually we didnt practice much, must have been over xmas break because joel lived in Goleta and went to UCSB. So we must have just practice like 2 or 3 times in jays garage. I just remember using the dart board to figure out chords to use for the scott miller song
and i remember recording lost in space for the secret center tape. Jay and i would also visit joel down south his second year at UCSB when he lived in an apartment with nate, rob and tom. We record our 'rock and roll with' tape in the UCSB chemistry lecture room on a weekend night. We would also play at george’s driveway on the main party street so drunks would come by and laugh. When joel quit UCSB and moved back to santa cruz must have been when we started practicing in jays garage (i'm obsessed with trying to figure out when we practiced in jays garage). I cant remember very many places we played in santa cruz. We played with Nar at a apartment by the boardwalk, played UCSC with the bananas, but that was in like 95. Played two sets at the redroom once. Played atleast one Pepepolooza.
The Four Eyes are a pop band consisting of Joel Goulet, Dave Ninja (nee Branum) and Jay Baker. The three had started their first band (The Lint Farmers) while attending Harbor High School together. The Lint Farmers featured Goulet on guitar, Ninja on bass, and Baker on Drums as well as Skip McBride on vocals. After graduating in 1992, Goulet went off to college at the University of Santa Barbara California, and Mcbride moved to Arizona. Ninja and Baker went on to play in the band Mote. They played in Big Bang 2000.
In the Summer of 1993, with Mcbride relocated back to Santa Cruz, and Goulet home for vacation, The Lint Farmers held an impromptu reunion in the basement of Goulet’s parents house. When a visibly disinterested Mcbride left with a promise to “be right back”, the other three decided to surprise him by learning some Ramones songs for him to sing. Playing The Ramones covers was such fun that they decided to start a “Ramones like” band. When Mcbride never returned that night they decided to form the band without him. Goulet would become the singer.
The Four Eyes first real practice followed shortly. After coming up with the music for their first song (Compucore) Goulet asked what the song should be about. Baker replied that it “should be about a girl, or being a nerd”. Goulet chose the latter. Other songs quickly followed, all being written on the nerd theme. After considering calling the band Ducktales 2: The Movie, Ninja came up with the name The Four Eyes.
Band activity became sporadic in the Fall after Goulet returned to college. Still, the band managed to squeeze in a few practices during visits and to play their first show in Santa Cruz on January 1 1994. It was at a house show on Hubbard Street.
Later on that year, Baker and Ninja went to Santa Barbara to record what would be their first tape. It was recorded on four track in one of the UCSB chemistry department’s lecture rooms. The recordings were released in the Spring of 1994 as “Rock and Roll with The Four Eyes”. That Spring, Goulet dropped out of school and moved back to Santa Cruz,. allowing the band to become much more active. They began playing shows (predominantly house shows) all over Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas. In August of 1994 they played Sacramento, California for the first time.
1995 saw the band release their first single (“The Four Eyes Come Prepared”) a one hour cassette of all cover songs (“The Secret Center Sessions”) and begin work on what was planned to be their debut full length (“The Four Eyes Hit The Jackpot”). Secret Center Records was going to release the album, which was finished but had yet to be mixed, when Goulet’s storage unit was burglarized and the master tapes, along with most of his belongings, were stolen. Ninja and Baker moved to Sacramento in the Fall of 1995, while Goulet remained in Santa Cruz. The band continued to play in Santa Cruz often , mostly at The Basement. It was there that they performed their first ever all covers set. In the Summer of 1996 the band went on it’s first, and only, U.S. tour.
The years 1997 through 1999 saw the only period of inactivity in the bands history. With Goulet moving to Los Angeles and the other two still living in Sacramento, keeping the band going was all but impossible, although they did find time to do a mini-tour of Sacramento and Santa Cruz in 1998. The Four Eyes became an active band again when Goulet moved to Sacramento in the Summer of 1999. Since then the band has remained active, playing shows around Sacramento as well as the Bay Area and releasing two full-length CDs, as well as a handful of CDRs. Their last show in Santa Cruz was in April of 2004. All the band members agree that the show was “disappointing”.
Burning the Big Jacket:
So the first band was Burning the Big Jacket. It was Dave Ninja on slide whistle, Jay hitting an empty crisco can with a marking pen and zack singing. We also had a keyboard playing casio chords and a guitar that wasnt tuned and didnt have all the strings (it was electric but not plugged in). There is a tape of this. It contains songs about the letter F (F is the chord i want to be, i dont want to have water on the knee...) and the guitar was played holding an F chord but it wasnt in tune so that didnt matter. There later on was a 'jam' in Zacks garage with an amp of two, it was basically feedback and a two 'note' song called "Pog". du-du-du-du-du-DU-du-du-du-du-du-(POG). Cris Mark was there for Pog.
Brotherhood of the Flyers:
Dave Ninja, Joel and Skip. Joel played guitar, Dave played bass and skip sang as hit hit a floor tom. Probably the worst band. There was a tape of the only time we did anything (born, recorded and died all in the same night). I remember we made people listen to the tape in their car that night. Story behind the band: Skip and I(Dave) were at joel's house (joel lived with his mom, step dad and i think his uncle rob was styaing there) and joel's uncle was telling us he'd pay us a bunch of money to drive up to Bay Meadows horse track and put flyers on car windows. We got all excited and talked about what crappy music equipment we would buy with the money. When then recorded a couple songs. Joel uncle never mentioned the flyer thing again.
Skip, Joel, Dave Ninja and Jay. Skip came up with the name and wanted to start a band for him to sing in. He got joel for guitar because he owned one. Then he gave and invitation for Jay and I to join the band since I owned a bass and amp and jay owned drums. This was during the senior year of high school. We practiced every week and for hours in Jay's parents garage. Lots of craziness. Like once a bum came by and came inside and started dancing and saying we were great and he said "here the bass coming out of that machine!" which was a phrase we wouldnt ever forget. Then there was Rocky, a skater kid that was probably older than us who would come by and talk to us just because he just moved there and didnt have any friends. Jay's neighbor across the street would complain about the noise. We were bad, most of the songs didnt have parts that went together. We didnt know stuff about music. There are way too many Lint Farmers recordings. Songs like: Kentucky fried holocaust, ohio well disaster, bite me die, cameras. Places played: Harbor High quad at lunch time, Domiana's graduation party, harbor high little theater for some talent show, Nathen Figone's backyard party (our 1st show), some pepepoloozas. We recorded "switchblade baby" in like 95 and it was on a secret center comp. I'll have to make a separate Lint Farmers page sometime because there is just too much dumb stuff.
Dillon(guitar), Adam Dam-Bad(guitar), Dave Ninja(bass, 2nd singer), Jay(drums) and Joel(1st singer, 2nd bass). Dillon and Adam had had guitar lessons and knew that music should go together from instrument to instrument. So the songs only had one 'riff' that was played over and over but at least the instruments were playing the same notes at about the same time. Songs like: Rob(about joels uncle), Power and Glory(about hte wrestling tag team of Paul Roma and Hercules), Cats ass, loving machine, super punch(worst bass line ever, didnt even go along with the song, it still embarrasses me today). Played zacks room and a pepepolooza(annual new years show).
Dillon(guitar), Jay(drums), Dave Ninja(Bass) and Zack(singing). First realish band. Got one song on an LP comp. Made two tapes, both had the same picture on the cover (joel with mohawk looking retarded) one was on white paper (called 'the white tape') other was on orange paper and called "Hotter than cone 10"(or the orange tape). We would run a classified add in MRR saying 'send up two stamps and we'll send you a tape'. We got ride of about 200 tapes. At first all the songs were about dumb stuff (macgyver, life is nintendo, barney the skater, mr burns, ernest goes to the pit) later they because about nothing. Played all around, we're together for a few years. I eventually quit because i wasnt having fun anymore, it sounds dumb now but i didnt like the idea of being in a band that didnt sing about TV, video games, movies and inside jokes. Music was becoming different as well because people were into hardcore emo stuff like Unwound and Antioche Arrow as well as bands like the Wedding Present. Jack took my place, but i think they only played like one or two shows with him. You know, i dont think i ever saw either of those shows. Before I was out of Mote, Jay, Joel and I had started The Four Eyes. I bet no one thought that we would still be around today.
Ben, Franklyn and the Electric Keys:
Joel (as ben, played guitar and sang), Dave Ninja (as franklyn, played bass and sang) and keyboard (as electric keys, played drums and keyboard). Lots of dumb songs, only shows have been pepepoloozas.
Joel Tongue and Hot Lick:
Joel and a keyboard and maybe 4 track. On secret center CD comp with Ents. Good stuff.
John Candyman and the Suckas:
Dumb band with joel on guitar and singing, and zack, jay, dave ninja, skip singing. Sing along type songs like Skeleton Horde and electrocution.
A bands with Jay, Joel, Dave Ninja and Jack. Venture’s style surf instrumental. I have an awesome tape of us live at Old Ironsides in like 95. hit songs include: f14 tomcat, wild weekend at the medicine cabinet, Chivalry, Alley Cat, i’m a believer, etc. happy now, jack? you bastard!
The 4 eyes nemesis: a band of jocks with songs about sports and off roading (in the jungles of DOOM!). dave ninja on guitar and ‘singing’, jay on bass and joel on drums.
The Jay and Joel Show
Jay and joel on guitars and singing while using a drum/loop machine thing that i cant remember the name of.
more to come (which is now the show history part below)
Saturday, April 11th at the Bike Kitchen (sacto) - free!. Sojiu Kitten and old punkz band
August 5th (2012) at Luigi's with The Marshmallows (NY), Shark Stapler (former members of the Lookouts) and Armando Rivera and the Featherweight Champions. Thor costume. Doth Midgard know how to rock? Jerry day (jerry perry day). request a riff. covered The Sign.
June 9th, 2012 - played Scott and Becky's wedding
June 2nd, 2012 - Fox and Goose with Brightfaces and Arts & Leisure.
Feb 17th - on my calendar it says "show" but i cant remember what it was. it was the night before filming green screen stuff in my backyard. so that would be the night of "Soul Bouncer" Maybe that was when we played Java Lounge with the Moans
Jan 21st, 2012 - did we have a show this day? my calendar says so
Nov 26th at Luigi's fungardern for the Sacramento Records fundraiser. played with Croisants and Nacho Business. we played the first tape and gave out Jet Blue sleep kits
March 2011 shows in Fresno and Stockton
• THE FOUR EYES 11TH ANNUAL XMAS SHOW! -DEC 17TH, FRIDAY, 7PM SHARP. 3+ HOURS OF COVER SONGS. AT THE VERGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 625 S ST, BUT ENTER FROM THE ALLEY BETWEEN S AND R ST.
•Dec 18th, with baby Grand and knock knock at Old ironsides, holiday show!
•SEPT 27TH (MONDAY) AT THE HUB WITH CARMEL MOUNTAIN. 70S HARD ROCK!
•JULY 23RD - STATE FAIR - CAL EXPO 1-PM
•LABOR DAY WEEKEND - CHALK IT UP - PARK AT 16TH AND P/Q ST
•JUNE 18TH - CESAR CHAVEZ PARK 5PM, WITH SECRECTIONS, THE SHRUGGS, ENLOWS
•THE HUB WITH THE BABIES
•uc davis picnic day kdvs float
•earth day fest in south side park - 1970 songs, kentucky rain, down on cripple creek, sugar magnolia. it rained. a lot
•Sam Cooke Tribute show (Haiti EQ Benefit) at Old Ironsides, Jan 29th. we played “Win your love for me”, “Only Sixteen” and “Chain Gang”
•10th annual xmas show at Guphy’s was on Dec 18th, 09
•OLD IRONSIDES 75TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW - NOV 28TH (SAT) WITH TROUBLEMAKERS, WHIZ BANGS AND ONE OTHER.
•SF AT THE SECRET ALLEY ON 10/24 (SATURDAY)
•DAVIS 10/3 - OPERATION RESTORE MAXIMUM FREEDOM 8 (WE GO ON 5ISH)
•WEDNESDAY, 9/2 AT LUIGI’S FUN GARDEN
•Knock Knock, The Four Eyes, Missouri Mule at Luigi's Fun Garden in Sacramento. 8:30pm, May 2nd, 2009
•Placerville on Friday, May 22nd, 2009 with boats and enlows. the place had a gold mine built in!
•Java Lounge (sacto) on Saturday, May 30th, 2009 - last java lounge show! with Woodpussy and The Bananas
•The 9th Annual Christmas show was Dec 20th at Guphy's house. it was great. thanks everyone for coming. heres the set list
•nov 8th - played Java Lounge for some benefit
•oct 10th at guphy;s house with danny offer. let the boys be boys slam - paradise city mix; alt rock+rappers on the judgement night soundtrack
•aug 22 (2008)fri Underground Railroad To Candyland (San Pedro), The Four Eyes (Sacramento), Banner Pilot (Minneapolis), People People at the Knockout, S.F. 21+ 9pm *** @ (Thrillfest). we're playing 3rd
•Saturday, February 23rd at The Stag in Woodland with Rock the Light, The Whiz Bangs, Oliver/Lauren/Lagners band and some drunk guy in a corona jacket that joined in on the scat fest at the end. we played the songs from Rock and Roll with the four eyes tape.
•Sunday, January 20th at Thrillhouse Records Basement in SF with Underground Railroad to Candy Land, Can of Beans and Blood Muffin. Show starts at 7pm and has to be done by 10. we were last. we played all covers.
•Saturday, December 1st - Toy Drive thing at R5
•Sunday, December 16th "Upstarts vs. Oldfarts" at Silk (1101 Del Paso Blvd., Sacto) with CRIME, Lou Lou & the Guitarfish, The Bananas, No Admission, Isonomy, uncut:Hunks, Nowheres and The Disgusteens, all ages ($6 21+/$8 under 21), doors open at noon, show starts at 1 PM
•Christmas show, Friday Dec 28th at Guphy's house. Tons of people, out best xmas show yet. here is the set list
•Saturday, August 25th, San Francisco at the Thrillhouse Record Store basement (3422 Misson St) with The Unlovables, Nar, Vena Cava. this should will likely be amazing. Show starts at 5pm, there are 6 bands total. This was like the best show ever. so many people. we butchered a body count cover and played 'dont stop believin'
•Sunday, August 26th, Delta of Venus in Davis with The Unlovables and Red Pony Clock, it will be our local CD Release Show for our new CD.
•Friday, June 1st at Thrillhouse Records store/house/basement in San Francisco (3422 Misson St) with The Ergs!, Lemuria, Double Ds and Robocop 3. starts at 6-6:30ish. all ages. This will be a 'CD Release show' for our new CD, "Five Songs"
•bunch of shows i missed from Aug 2006 to May 2007. Ones i remember: we played Kody and Brandy's wedding in march, Bill and Karens bacholer/ette party in early may, a show at Fool Foundation with Makes Nice in also in may, show at distillery with the pizzas and robocop3 that no one came to.
•August 6th (sunday), 924 Gilman St., Berkley, sunday matinee(5pm) with us and This is My Fist, One Reason, and Hot New Mexicans, $6, all ages, pit warning
•July 22nd (saturday), Old Ironsides for Wasted Weekend III, we're opening for Harold Ray Live in Concert, The Flakes, and The Clamour also DJs; 9pm, $9, 21+
•July 23rd (sunday), Delta of Venus (122 B st., Davis) with The Ergs! and Hunchback, 5 bucks, 8pm. East meets West nerd-fest! Free cds (the four eyes: sweet sounds or rock and role playing) to the first 34 people that pay to get in.
•April 7th (friday) at Old Ironsides with Th' Losing Streaks and Harold Ray Live in Concert. awesome show. played an amazing Doors medley and the Ben Casey saga
•April 1st (saturday) at Delta of Venus (Davis) with Th' Losing Streaks and Boss and the Big Bit
•April 3rd (monday) at Junta with Jewdriver and The Shemps, also Megacools
•January 11th (wednesday) at Old Ironsides with The Secretions, The Spinoffs (Canada) and Megacool (new talk about charles band). $7 at 9pm
Razorcake, Issue #21
THE FOUR EYES - "Rock & Role Playing" CD
Super-nerd, super-pop from Sacramento's the Four Eyes. Topics ranging from winning spelling bees and becoming king of the nerds to Deathrace 2000. It's all in good fun, and pulled together really well--playing for eleven years will do that, I've heard. I'm getting the impression that they're an acquired taste, but one I apparently have because I love it.
This is from Shredding Paper zine (the March 2005 issue).
Four Eyes - "Rock & Role Playing" CD 14/32:56
OK, I better get this off my chest before I do this review. I’ve never once played Dungeons and Dragons, but I did once do a full season of Strat-O-Matic baseball, and when I say full season, I mean 24 teams, 162 games, kept stats, the whole nine yards. And I did it solitaire. It took two years. How geeky is that?!? From Sacramento, these guys are pop punk rock with goofy songs about "Deathrace 2000" and rock and roll Martians, and will take you back to some lonely, forsaken place in your childhood (ok, I’m not kidding anyone, adulthood too) and give you a good laugh with punk rock energy. Lots of humor in the lyrics, fun slightly off key singing, these guys sort of remind me of why I liked the Lillingtons so much when they came out. No pretension, just a lot of fun punk energy and goofiness. Steve
Go Metric! #19 (Winter 2005)
THE FOUR EYES - "Rock & Role Playing" CD
Everyone I know in the worlds of zines, music, etc., has at least one "I was such a nerd in junior high that I once/used to..." story, but usually the tale carries with it the implication that "I'm no longer like that." The Four Eyes have trumped us all, writing songs that cover every facet of the "I was a Teenage Geek" constitution and proudly waving their "We Are Dorks, Hear Us Roar" flags into adulthood, reigning supreme over the nerd nation, but never falling into dweeb-dom. (Nerds can see themselves for what they are, dweebs have severed the cord that tethered them to reality and floated into an orbit from which they can't deal socially with anyone, not even people who share their interests. Or so I think.) The Four Eyes embrace their spelling bee and computer skills. They boast about their role playing game abilities, and they cover "Goin' Berserk." (C'mon, it's just me, no one's looking, you can admit you remember the album cuts from Buckner and Garcia's Pac Man Fever album). And they write foolishly catchy punky pop songs. Even the guys on the lacrosse team will dig the wonderfully ridiculous "Hat Nerd" ("He knows where his hat's at").
(found on 6-18-2004)
The Four Eyes
Rock & Role Playing
(Plastic Idol Records)
(REVIEW BY MARK HUGHSON)
There are plenty of bands out there who try to be clever, satirical, or somehow try to turn the clichés of pop punk on their heads. That’s all well and fine, especially if the music is good. But it isn’t always fun per se, and it doesn’t make me laugh. Enter the Four Eyes. Not only are they fun, but they are funny. Furthermore, not only do they the bring the humor, but they bring it non-stop – Rock & Role Playing is almost something of a concept album. Every single song revolves around (proudly) being a nerd, loving a nerdy girl, or relates in some shape or form to things that nerds love.
The poppy punk is wonderful through and through, whether it’s the catchy hits (“Compucore”, “Hat Nerd”), the dance numbers (“R & R Martian”, “Do The Dave”), or the downright silly (“I Come Prepared”, “Rivendell”). Joel plays simple but effective sugar-guitar punk, while Dave and Jay bounce along with him through dungeons and spaceships.
It’s straight up quality pop punk, but I’m urged to say it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Never before has the line between “band theme” and “novelty” been so skewed, and at the same time, sound so good. Rock & Role Playing is for fans of the Horny Mormons, the Young Hasselhoffs, Nerf Herder, and maybe a semi-less-pretentious Boris The Sprinkler.
(found on 10-25-2004)
Sept 3rd, 2004 Hotel Utah (SF) show review
Review by Jake Thomas
So I’ve had a few friends, folks whose opinions are usually worthwhile, tell me how awesome The Four Eyes are, so I thought I’d head down to the Hotel Utah and verify this information for myself. All I have to say is what is in the water in Sacramento? Obviously I have a bit of a Bay Area-centrist view, as I live here and all, but between these guys and The Bananas I have no issue in stating two of the best bands in all of Northern California reside somewhere in that enormous sprawl known as our state’s capital. Sure, the music was sloppy, but it was catchy and fun, which is all I ask for anyways. They bill themselves as both “Sacramento’s nerdiest band” and “smartest band in the world”, and I’m not willing to say anything against either of those assertions as they’re both probably right. Their songs are funny as hell and cover a whole slew of dorky topics, like Dungeons & Dragons, computers, video games, space aliens, and awesome movies. Seriously, all you had to do was tell me they wrote a song about “Deathrace 2000” and I would have pronounced my love then and there. But the best part of it all, and what left me leaving the club seriously hurting, was the between song banter between the members… my jaw and sides were seriously hurting by the time they finished I had been laughing so much. It somehow never measures up out of context, but there’s something about conversations on high school football, burger king, and yard sales that tickles my fancy. If you enjoy a good time, make sure you see this band the next time they come through town. You can tide yourself over until then by downloading some of the copious amount of mp3s they have available on their website.
Another review of the same show: (http://tubemag.com/2014/02/09/thats-all-folks-the-last-bows-show/
Then, the Four Eyes slowly took the stage… “This room’s not gonna clear itself!” yelled Jay Baker, and just like that, the mood shifted. We were transported back to the mellow Bows and Arrows that we’re all used to. No matter where they play, The Four Eyes’ shows always have a certain feeling of intimacy, as all their friends are gathered tightly in front of them, all shouting inside jokes and song requests in the bands’ faces. Those unfamiliar with their brand of camaraderie must certainly feel as if they’re being subjected to some kind of cruel garage-rock endurance test. Those in the know, however, appreciated the gift before them and enjoyed sharing it amongst the deserving few that stuck around until the bitter end.