The Official Joe Strell Music Site

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Joe Strell | Split Heavens | Sylvia Darling | ¡Ack-Ack! | The Imports | Other...
Joe Strell | Split Heavens | Sylvia Darling | ¡Ack-Ack! | The Imports | Other...

Joe Strell

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Joe Strell (bio | discog)

Click the following links to download the alternate mixes included on the EP release Discovery.: Discovery

  1. Where To...?
  2. Only You
  3. As I Do (Alternate Mix)
  4. Art of Existence (Alternate Mix)
  5. At Least (At Last) (Alternate Mix)

The paths we walk vary widely from day to day. We wander down ways that turn upon us, lead nowhere, distract us from our ultiimate goal. But sometimes these essays into reality open doors, break new ground, lead us on journeys of discovery. Accidents happen. Things change. There is always something yet to learn, to experience. Always somthing new to behold around the next corner. Embark upon a voyage of discovery. Keep moving!

On Sunday, August 24, 2008, Joe Strell appeared on "No Pigeonholes", Don Campau's eclectic showcase on KKUP 91.5FM in Cupertino, California, which broadcasts throughout the south San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. The show is a "radio program of underground, independent, small studio and home recorded music in all styles." This particular show featured remixes of select songs from Joe's three CDs. In addition to coming to you across conventional airwaves, which are limited by the constraints of time and space, No Pigeon Holes also streams 24/7 at and is podcast by Radio Marabu in Europe. Looking to make friends? Visit No Pigeonholes in MySpace! Rock on, Don!

Click the following links to download alternate mixes of songs from Joe Strell's CDs: Dissonant Bridge

  1. As I Do (Alternate Mix) - Under a Mackerel Sky (2005) *
  2. Art of Existence (Alternate Mix) - Enormous Morning (2006) *
  3. Legacy (Alternate Mix) - Enormous Morning (2006)
  4. Wanted (Alternate Mix) - Under a Mackerel Sky (2005) *
  5. I Might Have Guessed (Alternate Mix) - Under a Mackerel Sky (2005) *
  6. Somewhere, I've Tried (Alternate Mix) - Enormous Morning (2006) *
  7. Frantic (Alternate Mix) - Under a Mackerel Sky (2005) *
  8. She Smiles (Alternate Mix) - In the Balance (2007)
  9. What Sadder Thing (Alternate Mix) - In the Balance (2007)
  10. At Least (At Last) (Alternate Mix) - In the Balance (2007)
  11. I Love New York (Alternate Mix) - Under a Mackerel Sky (2005) *
  12. When I Fall (Alternate Mix) - Enormous Morning (2006) *
  13. Waiting on a Lifetime (Alternate Mix) - In the Balance (2007) *

* Featured on Don Campau's "No Pigeonholes" show on Santa Clara's KKUP (91.5 FM), Sunday, August 24, 2008. The podcast of this show may be found at

Morgan & Joe (bio | discog)Sylvia Dalring

In February of 2012, Joe Strell and Morgan Rowe began their musical collaboration with a sultry cover of "Hole in My Shoe", originally released on the CD Enormous Morning in 2006. Keeping the original structure (and Joe's backing vocals), they replaced the plaintive ukulele with old school acoustic guitar, bass, brush snare and an assortment of complimentary hand percussions, including Morgan's slinky accompaniement which drives the chorus to completion rather than distraction (not to mention the triangle).

Life Wave (bio | discog)Sylvia Dalring

In the early spring of 2012, Joe Strell got together with Keyvan (founder and vocalist of Champaign-Urbana's Club Crack in the mid 1980s) to write, record and release a new song: "At the Center". Joe Strell's slogging-through-the-muck instrumental backing provides a context akin to Dante's Inferno for the isolated, detached lament of Keyvan's vocal. Enjoy!

Split Heavens (bio | discog)Split Heavens

In 1986, Joe Strell built Dansbane Elandet Studios in a dilapidated railroad apartment in downtown Champaign, Illinois, and subsequently launched "Split Heavens", which he would use as the primary vehicle for his solo and collaborative musical efforts over the next two decades. The work Strell has produced under this moniker spans a wide range of styles, from atmospheric instrumentals to thrashing punk anthems, with the majority of the material falling somewhere between these two extremes under the umbrella of alternative pop.

Sylvia Darling (bio | discog)Sylvia Dalring

In the winter of 1986, following the dissolultion of the alternative rock band ¡Ack-Ack!, bassist Joe Strell and drummer Brendan Gamble combined their creativity in a studio project they called Sylvia Darling, which culminated in the release of an album-length cassette entitled Sand Dancing on Office Records. This album was recorded at Dansbane Elandet's 8-track studio above the Good and Plenty thrift store in downtown Champaign, Illinois. Strell and Gamble continued to write together until Strell moved to New York in 1989, at which point Gamble went on to drum for the The Moon Seven Times and Strell continued to release material under the name Split Heavens.

¡Ack-Ack! (bio | discog)Ack-Ack

In their heyday, during the big hair years of the late 1980s, ¡Ack-Ack! released two singles and contributed to a couple cassette compilations on the independent label Office Records, home of The Arms of Someone New and Area. Recorded in the studio of Willie Wells, then located in a side room of a music store in downtown Champaign, Illinois, these tracks feature the classic lineup of Steve Shields (vocals), Lynn Canfield (keyboards), Henry Frayne (guitar), Joe Strell (bass), and Brendan Gamble (drums).

The Vicissitudes (bio | discog)The Vicissitudes

The Vicissitudes stalwart rehearsal in the sweltering heat of Chicago's summer of 1983 culminated in a single, unrepeated performance of two songs at the Randolph Street Gallery on July 15, 1983, "Meta Girl" and an untitled song they disingenuously announced as "Nights in White Satin". The performers that sweaty night were as follows:

* Erich Willhelm Fasnacht - Vocals
* Marco de Oreo - Guitar
* Joe Strell - Bass
* John Lundin - Keyboards
* Mike Trotier - Drums

Now, for the first time since their memorable debut on that stifling hot night, a little slice of Chicago history is once again available for your audio enjoyment. In addition to the two tracks performed at The Randolph Street Gallery, you’ll also find several tracks recorded in the loft rehearsal space on Milwaukee Avenue. Thanks for listening!

The Imports (bio | discog)The Imports

Although recognized by their peers as one of Chicago's most original acts of 1980, during the time of the post punk blossoming of a hundred flowers that drew few boundaries between the burgeoning styles that followed in the wake of late seventies punk rock, the Imports released only a single recording of their pre-goth existential angst. Eschewing extensive identification of either themselves or their material, and placing a high value on minimalism, the band preferred to emphaize the music itself, listing the titles of the two songs on the label of the vinyl record only as "Side One" and "Side Two". Recorded in the basement of a small house on the south side of Chicago on a portable reel-to-reel machine by a couple members of the band Epicycle, these songs feature Ben Krug (vocals), Tom Krug (Guitar), Joe Strell (bass), and Alec Dale (drums). The only other extent evidence of the innovative Imports (featuring the inimitable Tom Wall on drums) is a live set of songs from their penultimate performance in Minneapolis on December 4th, 1980, and a a couple cassette tapes recorded with a Sears monophonic tape recorder during practice sessions in their Hyde Park rehearsal space.

  • "Side One" (aka "Visions of Reality") - 7" single (1980)
  • "Side Two" (aka "Darkness of Light") - 7" single (1980)
  • Place Your Values - recorded live in Minneapolis (1980)

The Imports - Red Is BlackIn March 2011 The Imports released Red Is Black, a collection comprising the two tracks from their 1980 single, their live performance in December 1980 supporting The Jim Carroll Band in Mineapolis, and a bonus disc of recordings captured in their South Side Chicago rehearsal space in October of 1980. These recordings are available as a CD or digital download on CD Baby and other fine online retailers.

Other (bio | discog)

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