Old School Dropouts
Black Park Records, 2001
In 1999 after touring and promotion for Still Life wrapped up, The Connells began recording demos for what they assumed would be their next record for TVT. Leading the charge were band members Mike Connell and Steve Potak. Recordings commenced at the band’s long-time rehearsal space in the Black Park records warehouse on Morgan Street in Raleigh, NC and in a detached guest house beside Potak’s home.
“We thought we were going to make an album, and then TVT called a couple of us up to New York and unceremoniously dumped us. We had these demos, and we didn’t know if we’d ever do anything again, so we just threw them out there for the sake of posterity.” Connell said.
When TVT passed on releasing the next record, the band compiled the recordings into the 11 track Old School Dropouts and released it via Black Park Records on October 23rd, 2001 on CD only. Despite spotty distribution and no digital release a few of the tracks have become fan favorites including “Back To Blighty,” “Washington” and “Gladiator Heart.”
In 2016 when work began in earnest for Steadman’s Wake, the band revisited Old School Dropouts as a jumping off point for the new record.
“We pilfered three songs from Old-School Dropouts—“Gladiator Heart,” “Rusted Fields” and “Hello Walter”—songs we liked that we thought would sound better if they were properly recorded.” Connell said.
Old School Dropouts features David and Mike Connell, George Huntley, Doug MacMillan, and Steve Potak. Steve Ritter and long-time friend Jon Wurster of Superchunk fame share drumming duties on the record.
- Bust (Michael Connell) – 3:06
- Gladiator Heart (Michael Connell) – 4:27
- Back in Blighty (Michael Connell) – 4:05
- Radio (Michael Connell) – 4:05
- Put Down (Michael Connell) – 3:58
- Airlift (George Huntley) – 3:04
- All the Time in the World (Doug MacMillian) – 3:17
- Rusted Fields (Michael Connell) – 4:41
- Hello Walter (Michael Connell) – 3:35
- Washington (Michael Connell) – 3:48
- The Bottom (Doug MacMillian) – 2:00
David Connell | Bass
Mike Connell| Guitar, Vocals
George Huntley | Guitar, Vocals
Doug MacMillan | Vocals
Steve Potak | Keyboards
Steve Ritter | Drums
Jon Wurster | Drums