Come - Biography
Come was a tense, heavy band from Boston led by singer and guitarist Thalia Zedek, who had been playing in bands for over a decade by the time Come formed in 1990. She had sung and played in the Boston groups White Women, Dangerous Birds, Uzi and Via before moving to New York to sing for Live Skull around 1987. After Live Skull broke up in 1989, she moved back to Boston and formed Come with guitarist Chris Brokaw, who had played drums and guitar in Codeine. Both members of Come’s original rhythm section came from Athens, Georgia bands: bassist Sean O’Brien had been in Kilkenny Cats and drummer Arthur Johnson had played in Bar-B-Que Killers.
Come’s first release was the single “Car” b/w “Last Mistake” (1991 Sub Pop), available through Sub Pop’s subscription-only singles club. Matador Records signed Come, and in July 1992 the band recorded its first album Eleven:Eleven (1992 Matador) at Fort Apache in Cambridge, Massachussetts with producers Carl Plaster and Tim O’Heir. According to a contemporary Option feature on Zedek, recording and mixing the album took a little over a week. Carl Plaster and Mike McMackin produced the band’s second album, don’t ask don’t tell (1004 Matador), which included the great “Yr Reign.” Recorded at three studios in different cities, the album was named after the Clinton administration’s new policy on gays in the military, a compromise that had become a Kafkaesque law the previous year.
O’Brien and Johnson left Come in 1995. Zedek and Brokaw recorded near life experience (1996 Matador) in the last months of 1995 in Chicago and Cambridge with two different rhythm sections: bassist Tara Jane O’Neil and drummer Kevin Coultas (both of Rodan) played on four of the album’s tracks, while Bundy Brown of Tortoise played bass and Mac McNeilly of the Jesus Lizard drummed on the other five. Numerous other musicians contributed to the album adding instrumental color, among them percussionist Nancy Asch (who had appeared on Uzi’s Sleep Asylum) and keyboardist Beth Heinberg. In place of a traditional rock rhythm section, Heinberg and Asch joined Come on its next tour, on which the band played quieter versions of its songs; the band’s Matador bio refers to this as its “cabaret” tour.
Bassist Winston Bramen and drummer Daniel Coughlin joined Come in 1997. That June, the band recorded its last album, gently down the stream (1998 Matador), at Fort Apache with engineer Carl Plaster. Come broke up in 1999. Brokaw and Coughlin played on Zedek’s first solo album, Been Here and Gone (2001 Matador). Coughlin has continued to drum in Zedek’s band, and Braman played bass on Thalia Zedek Band’s Liars and Prayers (2008 Thrill Jockey).