100,000 Years Of Sean & Ian album listening party at The Invisible City


One of my goals when I moved to Cleveland in 1990 was to play music and release an album.

Eventually, I got to play in some pretty great bands including The Divine Invasion, Razak Solar System and Sean & Ian. The former two bands had CD-R EP releases—that was cool (I’m a big fan of the EP format) but they weren’t albums.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian ColbertFor some reason I became obsessed with putting out a physical album. I wanted it to be on vinyl, but as my time in Cleveland began to dwindle to a close, I could not wait six or nine months or whatever for manufacturing. So CD format it was—and 100,000 Years Of Sean & Ian was to be the album.

Read all about my move to L.A.

Someday I’ll post about Sean & Ian the band, how we formed, and our adventures. But for this post, the short story behind the album is: we recorded it ourselves at our studio, The Invisible City, with Mike Shumaker behind the board and Ian and I drove to New York City and mastered the thing with famed engineer Alan Douches at West West Side (which is actually in East Orange, New Jersey).

Then we sent the DAT master off to the plant—along with an absolutely killer cover painted by Stephe DK that has to be the most prescient album covers of all time right? It’s like 2020 twenty years early!

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

100,000 Years Of Sean & Ian cover art by Stephe DK.

Ron Kretsch laid everything out for us (thank you, sir). We waited a a month and—knock knock!—there’s UPS at the front door with a dozen boxes packed with CDs.

Within a few months, l came to regret spending $1,200 (big money in 2002) on this vanity project which probably sold fewer than 100 CDs total. I mean, this album would have been much more appropriate on CD-R. Or as a download. But I was so hell-bent on having something physical. Something professional. Yeah it was an ego thing. But I also figured college radio stations might be more likely to play it (I saw how programmers at WRUW and WCSB at the time looked down their noses at CD-Rs, and how those homemade discs didn’t play 50% of the time it seemed). It was also intended to be my calling card in L.A.

Well, I still have a couple small boxes of these CDs sitting around—even after jettisoning most of them over the years. What a waste.

Some radio stations and reviewers did take it seriously because of the packaging, so maybe the professionally-pressed aspect of it did help. The CD was a nice intro piece for me when I arrived in L.A.—but people didn’t react as I intended. No one wanted to listen to the music in California (in the backyard of the music industry everyone is fairly jaded). But the slick packaging—it immediately established my producer cred. I’ll take that win (I’m still a producer today).

Anyhow, this whole CD escapade is water under the bridge at this point [I’m writing this twenty years later in 2022]. I’m still proud of our weird, wobbly music and—who knows?—maybe compact discs will have a renaissance in the future just like vinyl and cassettes have, and we’ll be sitting pretty.

At the time, we used the CDs as yet another excuse to have a bon voyage party.

Saying goodbye to Cleveland: Coffinberry and Sean & Ian at The Invisible City

The photos below are actually from at least three different Sean & Ian-led gatherings leading up to our farewell show with Coffinberry. Enjoy.

You can still buy CD copies of Sean & Ian

Or check it out on Spotify:

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Sarah Wido & Ian Colbert cut open the newly-pressed Sean & Ian CDs. Photo: Sean Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Very exciting… Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ian gets first peek. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Hot off the presses! Sarah & Ian take a look. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ah! The smell of fresh printing! Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Cover artist Stephe DK examines his handiwork. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Seems like Stephe is pretty happy. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

This must be from a different day—we were getting ready for our final show with Coffinberry. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

We ended up not using the letters, opting for a blue backdrop behind us when we opened for Coffinberry at The Invisible City. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Sean & Ian practice to get it right before the final show. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ian playing guitar, the Thrashmaster pedal at the ready on the floor. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ted Flynn gave us those two Drumulators, ancient first gen. sample drum machines. That was very kind of Ted. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Album cover artist Stephe DK and layout designer Ron Kretsch arrive for the listening event. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Sarah Wido, Ian Colbert, Stephe DK and the Cross brothers, Tony & Nick… I can only assume that Coffinberry was recording or mixing this same day with Mike Shumaker. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Julius Kwolek, Brian Straw, the Cross brothers. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Whatcha mixin’, Jeff? Jeff Ottenbacher, John Bernard, Ed Sotelo, Danny Noonan. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ed, Rob Sirovica, Danny. Photo: Carnage.

Sean & Ian 100,000 Years Of CD party Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage Ian Colbert

Ed, Danny, Rob & Ralph Haussmann. Photo: Carnage.

More classic Cleveland from 2002:

Saying goodbye to Cleveland: Coffinberry and Sean & Ian at The Invisible City

Never can say goodbye: Yet another star-studded Invisible City farewell

The best 9 Shocks Terror photos I ever shot, at the “new” Peabody’s

Pointless Orchestra goes all the way out in Tremont

California comes to Cleveland: Annihilation Time, Fields Of Fire with 9 Shocks Terror at the Grog Shop

The best—and last—damn concert I saw in Cleveland

Under the bridge, Cleveland-style, with Brian Straw at Hart Crane Park; Or, how I learned to let loose in the middle of the Zika epidemic

DC’s Black Eyes & rare Sheilbound quartet lineup at Mohawk Place, Buffalo 2002

Electroclash in the Flats: The Foreign Exchange Students with The Cassettes at Pat’s

+ There are no comments

Add yours

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.