By Tony Sauro
Record Staff Writer
November 08, 2012 12:00 AM
It's time to fix the Broken Toys' legacy.
So, the Stockton rock band - considered something of a Central Valley curiosity in the 1980s - is reuniting and re-releasing its only album.
"Yeah, it'll be a physical show with real human beings and everything," said Kelly Foley, who co-founded the then-adventurous, slightly avant garde group during pop music's New Wave era.
Broken Toys deployed the dark-hued emotions and swirling, twanging sounds of English bands such as the Cure, Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen and Siouxsie & the Banshees as inspiration. Not exactly Valley-centric in those days.
Michael Jackson and Madonna were ruling then-neophyte MTV.
A quarter-century later, the Toys get to play again - on Dec. 1 at Stockton's Empire Theatre. During the band's 1984-90 lifespan, the Empire was the Stockton Royal, a movie theater.
Last week, Foley & Co. re-issued an expanded version of "The Cut of Memory," its lone, seven-song album that included its only single ("Angels on Horseback"). That was 25 years ago.
"It's modern music with no reference in the lyrics past 1899," an esoteric-sounding Foley said in January 1988. He was 28. "There's built-in antiquity. It's gloomy and moody, but not done without looking to the future for things to get better."
The album - now "The Cut of Memory XXV Anniversary Edition" - was recorded at Stockton's Studio C and Gary Young's Stockton home studio: "Pavementville," Foley said, referring to the place where Tokay High School graduates Scott Kannberg and Stephen Malkmus first recorded as Pavement in January 1989.
His playful pretentiousness was fully intended.
Foley, a prominent presence on the Stockton music-and-art scene in which he grew up, will be joined for the one-time Dec. 1 show by James Sampson, (guitar), Steev Rehn (bass) and Marie Santelices (keyboards) from the original lineup.
They'll be augmented by Steven Fox (drums), Jeff Teczon (saxophone, clarinet, oboe) and backing vocalists Michael Bassaric and Erica Westphal, daughter of Stockton's Eric Westphal, who was leading his own pop-rock band back then.
Foley, who moved to Nevada City this year to study art, said Broken Toys will play the "entire" album - the re-release includes nine "bonus" tracks - and then launch into a "total '80s dance" thing: "You know, like the Cure, with all the swirling New Wave sounds and swirling lights."