Chaz Owens

Episode 034 - Syd Sustain: Syd Died Today Live! by Mark

Any college band worth its salt had to be able to perform in front of a live audience, and Syd Sustain was no exception.

Here’s a selection from the “Syd Died Today" concert at the college arts center, with a very receptive and active audience.  The songs include “Scam Wham Bam”, “Too Much at Once”, and “What It’s Like for You”.  Ray and John have quite the patter between songs. Apologies for the audio quality, but that comes with the territory of a live show.

One more episode to go, and a familiar concept in college bands—solo (in this case duo) efforts.

Episode 032 - Syd Sustain: Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater / Syd Drove West by Mark

Moving on with Syd Sustain, and two more of their albums: “Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater”, and “Syd Drove West”.

“Paranoid…" includes more catchy tunes in the electronica vein such as "Ground to Ground” (possibly influenced by Ray’s time with the National Guard) , “Cruisin’”, and "Syd Takes a Dive” (both referring to road trips).

"Syd Drove West” is much more experimental, and is an indicator of Ray and John’s move to do multi-track work in a studio setting.  Songs include "Radio Sine” and the aforementioned "Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater” (there is also a version on the same named album, but I prefer this one).

More to come, as Syd gets a little silly.

Episode 030 - Syd Sustain: Volume One by Mark

When you go to college, you’re gonna have college bands.  Electronica was big in the 80's, and anyone with a DX-7 gave it a shot at some point.  Four "townies" (locals who attended the school) had put together various music since high school, and continued at GCC as "Syd Sustain".  Ray Voltz (keyboard), John Trammell (keyboard), Chaz Owens (bass), and P.D. Gregg (drums) put out several albums (mostly distributed via dubbed cassettes) and had various gigs in and around the college and the Pittsburgh area.

My connection to this group?  I did some audio-video stuff for one of their concerts at GCC and shot material for videos that never saw the light of day.

They do have a Facebook page you can find here.

Ray was generous enough to allow me to post some of their material in what will most likely be the final batch of episodes for this series.

Let’s start off with their “Volume One” EP album and four songs: "See You", "Rocket Man", "One Love", and "Running for Cover".