The Heavenly States News



Goodbye 2015!

A few lines before we go. We’re honored/stunned to make KEXP program director Kevin Cole’s top 20 list for 2015! Yes, the little independent vinyl-only soft release that could has broken the money-music monopoly with triple album HISS. Hope lives.

Also, a special thanks to the Continental Club and Indian Roller for making Austin a still good place to live and play in spite of everything. Thank you Stubbs and Austin City Limits for welcoming us into the club. Thank you old San Fran for June -- still beautiful after all these years. Thank you 1st Avenue for the magical Minneapolis homecoming. Thank you bestest friends of the Midwest and tornado alley and Harrison Gillet and his entourage and cotillions.

Thanks to the handful of record boutiques who have featured HISS and to our international customers who paid a fortune in shipping to import the 2 ½ pound album. We see Waterloo in Austin still has a copy. Thanks to the writers still slogging away to cut a path through the interblitzkrieg of paid-for press and vanity mediatizing. It may be too late for most things – polar bears, elephants, whales, lions, homosapiens -- but our ships will go down with words and thoughts intact.

And speaking of thinking, what a gift to hear our childhood name, Fluke Starbucker, Starbuck, heavenly constellation westing us from our more recent eastern exploits, called by Scott Mathews himself, the great rememberer. The farce does live through this, even this. believe.
The Farce Awakens: The Origins of Hardware Wars

So what’s next? THS is settling into hibernation for a period of deep dreamtime and radical rest in late December and January. We will awaken with new battle cry in midwinter to plot the next course.

Goodbye 2015!

We just saw this article about friends from our Oakland, California days.  Read it and believe. The Farce Awakens: The Origins of Hardware Wars  The Heavenly States may not be who you think they are.... And you'll get an anecdotal history of the golden years of the San Fran scene worth it's weight in imperial credits. After checking this out, you can go deeper by following the work of Scott Mathews and Ernie Fosselius, both of whom should be writing memoirs.  For now, please enjoy the video on this site for the song "Car Wash". Ernie created hand-carved puppets of the band as part of his automaton work. We performed as the puppets and he filmed and directed the performance.  

September Snow

THS is playing the Stubbs ACL party Thursday, October 8th with Avers. Check the ACL website for deets.

THS playing with the Grassy Knoll at the Mohawk on Friday, October 16th. Oh yes.

Daytrotter has just posted the summer 2015 live session here. Don't miss our cover of the Mekons tune Sheffield Park.

KUTX will feature THS in a Song of the Day in October. Thank you KUTX!

Summer 2015

Remorseful about your recent 80’s distressed jeans renaissance shopping spree? Or maybe you’re just distressed? Regression, transgression, whatever -- we got your patch. It’s time for another limited offering from THS! Visit the store here.  for your earth-aware space patch.

But wait, there’s more. The HISS tee is now available. You are the snake and the snake is you.

KEXP has whipped HISS into rotation! Check out our live interview with Troy Nelson and performance here.  They’re moving to a larger studio soon and need some cash, so feel free to donate to the cause.  Where would America be without KEXP?


We had a blast at San Fran’s KFOG commercial station with Renee Richardson and Mike “No Name” Nelson. Miss you, Miss Renee!  Listen here. Thanks also to The KFOG Morning Show co-host “Irish” Greg McQuaid.  


Featherweight Studio artist Krissy Teegerstrom has created gorgeous screen printed limited edition heavyweight POSTERS for HISS. Possible future tattoo…..? They are too good and they’ll be available for purchase on our Midwest tour.  Stay tuned for more THS schwag coming up from Featherweight.


MIDWEST ALERT – THS is bringing more weather to the Midwest

Check the shows tab for the schedule and Facebook for last minute updates



THS will perform at Rock Island the morning of June 30th before heading to Chicago to play with an old friend that night.

Summer HISS

All about the TOUR… here we go. We’ll do a few cool shows here in Austin in May and early June and then we’re off to San Francisco where it all began for a West Coast tour kickoff. We won’t be able to pack very many copies of the 2-lb triple LP HISS, so if you plan on getting it, consider pulling the trigger now before we leave. See you soon!

March 2015

Yes – playing four shows this week.  Two on Friday, two on Saturday (see Shows tab for the when and where).

AND…. if you are following the progress of the intrepid triple LP, the vinyl-only one, the one and all and only – then here are a few more details about it.  It was recorded to tape by Mike McCarthy of Austin, recently dubbed the “wizard” and rightly so.  Erik Wofford engineered some additional tracking.  We mixed with Mike and with Bond Bergland who did Delayer.   Shelly Steffens and Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering leavened the dough.  Erik Powers laid out the design. The object itself was manufactured at three different plants in three states.  Specialty printing house Stoughton Printing produced the embossed jackets. Imprint Indie Printing made the inner sleeves and lyrics sheets.  A&R Record Manufacturing baked the cookies and wrapped them all up.  Ted and Genevieve produced the album(sss).   It’s our “if we never do anything ever again at least we did this” record. 

What else…  It’s hard to appeal to our geeks and our freaks in one go here, but people have been asking, so  can we just reiterate for a moment, since we have the “spotlight” that comes with the “release” of a “new” artwork, how we feel about our other records? Because love should be distributed among the children. Just to speak of the big ones (full lengths and EP) as they are presently to be re-distributed in re-release on sundry digi sites through our own label because we own them all.  Black Comet has not been much available and soon will be and this is great news. We love this record.  It comes closest to revealing the most jagged and perilous frontiers of the THS mind. We had fun making it too with Paul Oldham (engineer) and Colin Gagon (co-producer).   Delayer was MPV in the THS catalog for a long time and still has major legs.  We made it ourselves with string and Elmer’s glue and long nights and “wages” and this is how we met Bond Bergland.  We probably won’t make or write anything better than Delayer, but HISS is totally on the level. HISS is now the ONE.  HISS is the new Delayer times three.  Oui Camera Oui is our Recession? No, Depression! era record, or our deep into multiple personalities based on multiple American-bred traumas record.  Put your fist through a wall, dance, mourn, or awaken your PTSD with this record and then enjoy the comic “relief” provided by USO entertainer Eugene Mirman in the epilogue.   This one we made with ex-Texan Bill Lefler who said during the recording process a day into meeting him, “I want to make an Arcade Fire record.”  We didn’t allow that to happen – sorry Bill just teasing, but we do like the record very much nonetheless.  He wanted it to sound expensive and we think it does.  Bill also said, while grasping various objects repeatedly throughout our 10-ish days together, “This is what my d*@+ looks like.” We were inspired.  Our very first full length, The Heavenly States s/t was, like any experience of innocence lost, both exciting and debilitating.  As in any virgin’s recounting, we never look back in anger but only fondness and humor at all the shit that went down and all we learned.   Milking the virgin metaphor, this is where we were stripped of our identity and shamed into changing our name from Fluke Starbucker.The exact words were, “Your name is fucking stupid and I’m not working with you if you don’t change it.” Sorry Ernie Fosselius, for abandoning your beloved film persona “Fluke Starbucker” for Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan.  Or for, as Ted says “placing the lotion in the basket.” But seriously!  The very generous man who mentored us at no cost to ourselves is Jeff Saltzman of SF/Oakland and we are grateful for his Pei Mei Ghost Dog love.  He taught us well and set us on our way. This record is super-sleek and sheeny and it’s still digable and Jeff’s enthusiasm is all over it. Finally, if you can find them online (Ebay, etc) there are some singles out there that we really like including one with Coldplay and The Postal Service.  Have to mention singles King Epiphany I and King Epiphany II. King Epiphany I (the fast version) was recorded by John Agnello at Tape Op and oh what fun to make. Just a little punk ditty.  King Epiphany II was recorded at Tape Op by Colin Gagon (EZT, Palace Brothers) and it is a hidden track on the 3-track King Epiphany single. It is one of our favorite THS tracks ever and THS instantly regretted making it a “cool hidden track.” THS wanted more people to hear this one, otherwise known as the slow version of King Epiphany and it’s where THS gets its Floyd on.

So, that's the TMI.  Had to go on and on because some people are asking and also because our other children are going to be more available soon.   So check out the Store tab on this site and keep in touch!


There’s a new record coming and it’s not going to be everywhere.   Stay tuned on Facebook and here to find out how to get a copy of the all-new triple vinyl-only custom printed album.  It’s good and good-looking.   Start a swear jar now because it’s heavy like gold and will lighten your wallet.  If you are reading this page, we might actually want you to have one, but there aren’t many to go around because we’re independent and wanted to make something special solely for the diehards.  Talk to us and we will also talk to you when we are ready to start moving it.  


Since this site has been unattended for a while, thought we’d play a little catch up.  See below for the diary highlights.




Played a great and many shows, mixed a triple album in two states, completed album artwork, acquired funds for production – no small feat, assembled manufacturing team, met good and kindly people, shunned others.  Not really shunned, just swatted and in a few cases, repelled.  Felt increased sense of, “This band rocks.”  Noticed also that there are still some amazing people in Austin, even with us and all the other jackwad interlopers continuing to raid the place for “opportunity.”  Reminded self that we are all jackwad interlopers anyway.  




Played a great and many shows across the land, recorded triple album, acquired funds for recording - no small feat, shooed negative forces away.  Began to believe, “This band is really working.”




After inaugurating 2012 by playing a packed house at The Kennedy Center in D.C. and taking pix with mammoth bust of JFK in the great hall, formally made Austin, TX the band domicile.  Completed transition from San Fran/Oakland to the Lone Star state – no small feat.  Went undercover with a let’s start fresh approach and immediately fell in step with some super people in our new homeland.  Said to self, “Could it be this easy?”  Welcomed Gray Parsons, drummer and Benjamin Howard, bassist into The Heavenly States lineup.  Performed and briefly toured.  Felt initial pang of, “Here we go again,” followed by, “Yeah.”