Out-takes, Misfits & Other Things (1999-2007)
technically this should come after THE CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN WITH A TRIANGLE in the discography (it was released after, even if all the material predates that album), but i think it looks better before. and you know what they say — if you’re going to break from the tradition of keeping things in order of chronological release, do it for aesthetic reasons.
there’s no way this was ever going to work as a proper album, given how much material there is and the fact that it covers a period of eight years, with many changes in equipment, sound quality and skill level in that time. i also doubt it’s the sort of thing many people will find very interesting. i mean, there’s more than three hours of music here — making this the longest album i’d ever made until THE ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE came along — and it isn’t all top-tier material by any means. i think it was worth putting together anyway, if only for myself.
i spent years stewing on the idea of an all-encompassing misfits collection, and this is really just the tip of the ice berg. it was seriously whittled down from the gargantuan thing it started out as, and then whittled down again after that…and it’s still relatively beefy. slapping things together in the order they were recorded would have been the easiest thing to do, but then the thing would have no real flow. it was a bit of a sequencing headache, especially after i realized a two-disc sequence i was fond of wouldn’t work because there was far too much music to squeeze onto just two cds. in the end i decided to treat it more as a marathon mix-tape, even if there’s only one artist and no rap to be found throughout (although comb-over outro comes close).
in spite of its grab-bag nature, this mess of music offers a pretty well-rounded idea of some of the places i touched on during the eight-year period it covers; there’s synth-based non-pop from the time of GROWING SIDEWAYS and WHO YOU ARE NOW, several BRAND NEW SHINY LIE out-takes that are about as close as i get to “alternative rock”, improvised dementia from the time when my songwriting process mainly consisted of hitting the record button and seeing what toppled out, instrumental pieces of all shapes and sizes, experiments (some successful, some not so much), song sketches, ten-minute tracks and thirty-second fragments, spoken-word pieces, parodies, an epic piano ballad, and several tracks that aren’t like anything that’s ever come out on an “official” album of mine.
you don’t get much of a taste of the visceral, screaming, psycho-johnny side of things, which was pretty much covered on all those papa ghostface and guys with dicks cds, and there isn’t really anything here that touches the epic insanity that can be found on some of those albums, but there is at least one song with a few of my favourite screams in it, lifted from the obscure starving artists cd. the thick booklet that comes with the album pretty much says all i have to say about the songs, and then some. as bloated as it is, i think there’s some interesting stuff here. with some tracks, it’s pretty clear why they never got to hang out with the songs that showed up on proper albums, but there are a handful things here that i think are among my best work.
a few worth mentioning: promises, the infamous epic piano ballad, which is somehow one of my favourite things i’ve ever done even though it should make me shudder with its rhyming lyrics of love, and even though i’ll never write anything like it again; khaki lamb, which is a pretty simple acoustic thing that goes from a fairly monochromatic existence to being hammered with sudden bursts of colour during the coda; trouble, which is not necessarily one of my most interesting or intricate spoken-word pieces, but has a certain ominous atmosphere to it that sets it apart from the others; unfold a tail gorgeous with painted plumage, which has to be one of the best song titles i’ve ever been provided with via a spam email (turns out they lifted it from aesop’s fables); it’s not easy to say, which says it all in barely a minute without a single word being spoken or sung; and bloody chicago (morning), which is one of the best blues-based things i’ve done, in 3/4 time, even though it was recorded at a time when i didn’t really know anything at all about the blues.
from the sketchy to the sexy, it’s all here, and if it isn’t, well…you can find it somewhere else, i’m sure.
filler (live on CJAM)
puppet shoot puppet (remake)
“my life” part one
unfold a tail gorgeous with painted plumage
bloody chicago morning
my little one
i’m not the only one who sees through you
tell me something (demo)
distorted drum riff
cultivating november spray
some enchanted early evening
stop thinking about it
it’s not easy to say
symbolism therapist (2008 remix)
unstable things (live on CJAM)
“my life” part two
durex sheik condom song
d.r. must die
broken strobe light dances
random red guitar riff
razor blades on cotton balls
just a girl
these hills would be mountains if you were smaller
olive branch of sores
rinse off the gun-shy finger
an uneasy alliance
someone’s gotta tell her
they removed your wings (sketch)
eight hour twitch
late night sentimental vomit
i’ll try anything twice
sale of a dead man
there are no violins
he was good when he was alone
some people sign their name & it looks like a broken fish hook
wurly test #2
synth intro/jazzy piano + brushed drums
cat piss on my bed
a home at the end of the frozen river
olive branch of sores (instrumental)