Sometime in 1978, The Stiphnoyds played their first punk shows in Portland. They became members in the newly founded Alternative Arts Association that promoted the dozen or so punk bands and the underground scene. The Earth Tavern, The Long Good-bye Tavern, The Urban Noize Club, Knights Of The Pythian Hall, Portland State's Smith Center Ballroom and others were open for punk gigs--some of the shows were underage. They also played the Maclaren Home For Boys in Salem and The Wow Hall in Eugene. The band opened up for such acts as Black Flag, The Dils, Rank And File, DOA, The Secret V's, The Wipers and many, many others. In 1979, Greg Sage Of The Wipers approached the band offering to help them record and produce a three song seven inch record on his new Trap Label. Out of all The Stiphnoyds repertoire, Sage selected the band's "Afraid Of The Russians" as the title track. The record came out in mid-December 1979 and hit the stores in early 1980. Only 1000 copies were made. The band sold several at gigs and in local stores plus Sage took 100 or so with him to New York City where the record was on the jukebox at St. Marx Bar in Greenwich Village for sometime. In 2001, the band reunited for a successful Satyricon show in Portland and later that year a very strange gig at the relatively new Meow Meow Club also in Portland. In 2002, a live recording from a Long Goodbye show recorded in the late 70's made it onto Italy's Rave Up records and was released on vinyl. And Greg Sage included The Stiphnoyds in Zeno Records' History Of Portland Punk. The band is currently working on a new release for later in 2004. Afraid of the Russians comped on Killed By Death 5, Mom's A Fake on Killed By Death 8.
The Ex is an anarchist band from the Netherlands. They formed in 1979 at the height of the original punk explosion and have released more than twenty full length albums since. The Ex's music has undergone significant evolution over the years, beginning as a simple lo-fi anarcho-punk band. They debuted with a single titled "Stupid Americans" on the Utregpunx vinyl 7" compilation released by Rock Against records in Rotterdam. The release of their first 7" All Corpses Smell the Same came shortly thereafter in 1980. Through the decades they gradually developed into their current form of highly intricate, experimental punk/post-punk/no wave-inspired work. Tom Cora performing with The Ex.Breaking from the relatively narrow confines of punk rock, The Ex has incorporated a wide array of influences, often from non-Western and non-rock sources. Some include Hungarian and Turkish folk songs, and more recently music from Ethiopia, Congo and Eritrea (whose independence song is covered by The Ex on Turn). Other examples of branching out stylistically include the improvised double album Instant and a release under the moniker Ex Orkest, a 20 piece big band assembled for performances at Holland Festival. The band has had successful collaborations with many disparate artists, including UK anarchist band Chumbawamba (sometimes using the name Antidote), the Dog Faced Hermans (one former member of that band, Andy Moor, is currently part of The Ex), and with the late avant-garde cellist Tom Cora in the early 1990s, resulting in the album Scrabbling At the Lock in 1991 and the follow-up And the Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders in 1993. The album In the Fishtank 5 was made with America's Tortoise, and on In the Fishtank 9, they collaborated with members of Sonic Youth and the Dutch improvisers ICP. Bass guitar player Luc left the band in 2003, replaced by double bassist Rozemarie. In 2005 Rozemarie left the band. The Ex is the subject of a documentary, Beautiful Frenzy (2004) by Christina Hallström and Mandra U. Wabäck, and the concert film Building a Broken Mousetrap (2006), directed by Jem Cohen.