Northwest Underground rock 1980 'til the End of Time


June 2010: Sue Ann Harkey – Listen Little Man

Listen, Little Man! original cassette coverSue Ann Harkey 1983

Sue Ann Harkey

Listen, Little Man!


Welcome my friends to the show that never ends – the Green Monkey Records streaming Album of the Month!

(Listen here:

The month of June 2010 is here and I am wandering a little further afield than I have in the past, our AotM is Sue Ann HarkeyListen Little Man. Unlike the AotM participants thus far, I’ve not met Ms. Harkey. Our paths in the past followed near, but non-intersecting orbits in regards to friends and common musical interests. We made a long distance acquaintance a few years ago over the very music presented this month, but we switched coasts without waving at each other as I headed west and she east.

So where did this start for me? Probably the first thing I heard from Sue Ann was the hypnotic “Illusions Are Real Too” on the second Seattle Syndrome album. I really liked it and went out and bought her first cassette release Listen Little Man (at Cellophane Square as usual) for four bucks. Still have the tape. I loved her brilliantly non-traditional approach to guitar and her haunting vocalization. Despite that fact, I didn’t follow her work closely. I bought her next cassette, I knew about her work in Audio Letter, but for some reason it didn’t grab me at the time. Drift.

Fast forward. About six years ago I pulled out my Listen Little Man cassette and decided I wanted to make a CD from it. Because I am a person who appreciates audio quality, I decided to see if I could track down Sue Ann and get a better copy. The internet (and Google) being in full swing by then, I tracked her down (she was in Seattle) arranged to have her first two cassettes transferred to DAT and mailed out to me so I could clean them up a bit and burn them.Listen Little Man was crushed in transit and never got done.

So here we are six years later and you can go listen to all the Sue Ann Harkey you want with great ease. Not only can you stream Listen Little Man here all month, but it, along with most if not all of her work is available to download free on All of her releases on have notes and all that good stuff, for those that like such things.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

td June 2010

Sue Ann Harkey

following comes from Sue Ann’s site:

Listen Little Man
by Sue Ann Harkey

Recorded between March – December, 1982 in Seattle,
at: Triangle Studio, Fallout Studio, and my home studio known as APT/ART.
Released as a cassette album on Cityzens for Non-Linear Futures
Side A:

1) Necessitarianism
(produced by Jack Weaver at Triangle Studio)
– Sue Ann Harkey (SAH), kick drum, vocals, guitar, steel drum
– Frankie Sundsten, bass

2) I Should Have
( produced by James Husted at Fallout Studio)
– SAH, guitar, vocals
– James Husted, bass

3) I Trust Everyone…
– SAH, bass, vocals, percussion, violin
– CRI, sax

4) It’s Too Late
– SAH, banjo, vocals, drums

5) Illusions Are Real Too
(produced by Jack Weaver at Triangle Studio)
– SAH, drums, vocals, guitars, percussion

6) For Survival
( produced by James Husted at Fallout Studio)
– SAH, vocals
– Bob Jenkins, guitar
– Jeff McGrath, trumpet, tablas

Side B:

7) Listen Little Man
– SAH, guitar, vocals, drums
– Paul Hoskin, bass clarinet

8) Desires…
– SAH, guitar, bass, vocals
– Paul Hoskin, bass clarinet

9) Celibacy
– SAH, bass, 25¢ Sitar, vocals, percussion

10) What Color Is It?
– Psych-Run, vocals
– SAH, percussion, gong-guitar
– Sharon Gannon, slide violin
– Kate Johnston, bass, drums

11) Kind Of Think
– SAH, bass, vocals, 25¢ Sitar, violin

Notes: This was my very first solo cassette album. I had released a couple Live Audio Letter K7’s previous and had performed in a woman’s trio called ‘Children of Kellogg’ (Annie Muloahey-drums, and Frankie Sundsten-bass) which never recorded any music, we only playing live. However Frankie does play bass on one of these tracks which also appeared on THE PUBLIC DOESN’T EXIST COMPILATION, 1982 – Dog Tapes 008. (Frankie moved on to become the amazing and renowned painter that she is today.)

The band was named after the ecological disaster surrounding the Bunker Hill mine in Kellogg, Idaho where high levels of lead were poisoning the ‘Children of Kellogg’. (Having just Googled it I find there is a current band of the same name operating today.)

Another track here, ‘ Illusions are real too’ appeared on the Seattle Syndrome 2 LP released in 1983. It was a lively time in Seattle, everyone had branched out and was doing their own thing.

I had been influenced by the writings of Wilhelm Reich, thus the title of the cassette ‘Listen Little Man’ a title of one of his books which I had made a lyric from. We were all reading the The Situationist International and I was living on Western Ave. in the old yellow houses with Deran’ Ugl’y and Psych Run across the hall. Gigging, writing, painting, publishing. Destinations were Left Bank Books and The Dog House, our all night dinner. Living on coffee and cigarettes, becoming vegetarians and frequenting one of the very first Starbucks located in the Pike Place Market. I avoid them now unless I have to use the toilet. Where does all the time go? Into franchises it seems – SAH JAN 08

Below are scans of Sue Ann Harkey‘s original cassette cover for Listen, Little Man!

scans from original cassttescans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

scans from original cassette

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sue Ann Harkey has been a part of Seattle and New York’s underground music and visual arts scenes for over two decades. Her work, which has been referred to as “futurist folk,” blends philosophical and political lyrics with improvised music inspired by free jazz, electronic, folk, and Middle Eastern and African elements. Harkey discovered improvisational music’s power in 1979, when she began playing guitar with friends; this led to her exploration of the harp-guitar and the 12-string guitar, which she played with mallets, bows, plectrums, and rods, and which also featured alternate tunings and metal discs woven between the strings. By 1980, Harkey formed the cassette label/political pamphlet distributor Cityzens for Non-Linear Futures (CNLF) and the improv group Audio Letter. The group was co-founded by Harkey and violinist/songwriter Sharon Gannon, featuring Don Cherry and Dennis Charles among its revolving membership. Hailed as one of the cassette revolution’s most important ensembles, Audio Letter released a prolific amount of tapes through CNLF as well as one album, 1988’s It Is This It Is Not This. Harkey moved to New York in 1983 and became part of that city’s improvisational scene quickly, collaborating with Sue Garner, LaDonna Smith, Lesli Dalaba, Chris Cochrane, Guy Yarden, and other players, many of which appeared on her 1989 solo debut, The Ancient Past and the Ancient Future Are Both Seconds Away. She returned to Seattle in 1992 and in addition to running her own design/illustration firm, Cactus Bones Studio, she released albums such as 1997’s Fulcrum, which included free jazz players and DJs from the U.S. and U.K. underground.

Sue Ann Harkey

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