Hailing from an affluent cluster of rolling hills in the south bay region of Los Angeles, in sunny southern California, Don Salsa (1993-1997) was the enigmatic band formed (while still in high school) by Tim Smolens (a.k.a. Dr. Rich Appleman, electric bass and production/engineering), Jason Schimmel (a.k.a. Rabbi Larry Wong, guitar and banjo), Doug Smolens (a.k.a. the Poo project, drums), Jeff Atridge (a.k.a. Father Agar Agar, keyboards), and Rob Hondrick (a.k.a. Officer Pancake, "lead vocals"). Tim, Doug, and Jason had been the core of various bands from middle school onward, progressing from their militaristic training in classic rock, to hard rock (80’s glam), and by peer pressure onto grunge/"alternative," and finally without warning (via a mysterious alchemical process), to the extreme experimentalism on display in Don Salsa. It was just before this abrupt transformation that they added Jeff Atridge on keys/vocals, and serendipitously happened upon an oddly disposed Rob Hondrick, wandering aimlessly outside a local show. Without any good reason to think so, they figured Rob would be the perfect "lead singer" for their group (hear his audition tape which is the last song of the album). Don Salsa would perform extremely bizarre shows annually at their high school, Peninsula High, replete with tasteless cover songs, chaotic noise walls, and relentless metal riffs, that would serve to confound the student body and tarnish their already tattered reputation on the 90210-like campus.
From the confines of their semi-ghetto secret warehouse headquarters, they began recording what would be their only album, Koolaide mustache in Jonestown. They spent nearly 3 years composing and recording on a rather primitive (by today's standards) digital multi-track recorder. The results were better than anyone, including the band, had expected. Considering the mysterious genesis of this record and the content being far more advanced than their age or level of musical training would indicate, Don Salsa has thus become a bonafide historical enigma. Out of print for many years now, Don Salsa's sole proclamation (album), Koolaide Moustache in Jonestown, is finally available again exclusively on this website as a download only.
Koolaide Moustache in Jonestown boasts an indescribable collision of brutal disharmonic metal riffs, extra terrestrial musical forms, aesthetically acceptable odd-time signature utilization (free from the stench of mullet prog), Italian/Russian/Chinese musical tri-fusions, novel new genre forgings like Chinese Death Metal or gay new age music, inscrutably dense and dynamic noise walls, inappropriately timed original 80's glam metal ballads, inspiring captured Casio malfunctions, poppy Rod Stewart stalker dittys, self- loathing sodomy anthems, and lengthy misanthropic/animal-centric manifestos ("Chicken"). With the first song ("The Deck") clocking in at over 30 minutes and changing styles ceaselessly, without ever really repeating, the listener is in for a wild ride if they can handle it without emesis, elevated intracranial pressure, or an existential crisis. These songs are overdubbed with hundreds of tracks crammed together by repeatedly mixing the tracks from 14 down to 2 on two ADATs, which would free up 12 more tracks to keep doing the same. This may be the most elaborate (pre-DAW) home recording of all time.
Koolaide Mustache in Jonestown is Tim's most audacious and extreme work as a producer. If you are a fan of Naked City, or Disco Volante-era Mr. Bungle, you will likely enjoy this album, even with all its freshman immaturity and blatant, hat-tipping mimicry (no pun intended). Give the lads a break, cut 'em some slack, after all, they were in high school and this is their first record. Lets hear your high school recordings!
- - - - - - - -CAUTION !?! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Listen carefully! Chances are you're dealing with something that you cannot rationally comprehend. The category is "everything" and the tunes aren't like anything, rendering classification essentially futile. The introductory tune ("The Deck") is a 33 minute, non-repeating, unrelenting, blistering journey of sadistic auditory ecstasy.
In order to avoid compromising their questionable artistic integrity, Don Salsa's debut was recorded without the assistance of a record company. Yes, fashioned solely by the band, this was the only way to ensure the final product honored the man's potently unique vision. That and the fact that no record company on earth would sign these guys. With future musical endeavors likely to be more contemptuously palatable and commercially viable, this album is gaming to be completely unreproducible live.
Don Salsa's revolving back door band is/was a diverse lone entourage of heaping, half well-rounded, latently smiling, disgruntlement. Unless you possess and wield enlightened masochistic auditory faculties, we must emphatically encourage you NOT to indulge in this sound recording. It has been known to cause various and long lasting cerebral discomforts. In fact, he initial CD release (1997), was said to contain complimentary packets of extra strength Tylenol. This none of a kind recording will never reach mainstream gross circulation. With current and ex-members actively campaigning against their own creation, they're sure to go multi-platinum on the Doc's brilliantly envisioned reverse-scaled record sales success system, where the fewer the records sold translates into greater personal transcendental success.
With the majority of contributing band members honorably relieved of their duty, no one knows what the future holds for the battered Salsa emissaries. Who will step up and contribute? Apparently all work has ceased on their follow up release, which was said to be titled "Behind Every Able Man, There Are Other Able Men," which was slated to contain unexpectedly tender, improvised, homosexual love ballads sung as a duet. Did this drive some members off?