All in the Family

The St. Louis music sceneis all relative to Ultraman

If a local music scene can be called a family, it wouldn't be a family of which President Bush would approve. It would be a family rife with breakups, feuds, incest and mate-swapping -- a good old-fashioned dysfunctional soap-opera clan. Ultraman, who has died and been resurrected multiple times over the past seventeen years, could be called the J.R. Ewing of the local punk scene, a grand patriarch who is somehow connected to just about everyone around. Formed in 1986 and back together again (with a new CD coming soon), Ultraman's hard-and-fast old-school punk recalls the angrily joyous sounds of Black Flag. But the members who have filtered in and out of the band over the years have played just about every type of rock there is.

The RFT asked Tim Jamison, the only person who has played in every incarnation of Ultraman, to help compile a family tree of Ultraman-connected bands. This is a one-step family tree only: If we took it to six degrees, we'd probably find that Ultraman is not only the J.R. Ewing but also the Kevin Bacon of the St. Louis scene.