Month: December 2008

come the wet-ass hour, i’m EVERYBODY’S DADDY!

pacino in "sea of love"

so said al pacino in “sea of love”. now there was a man who knew things.

the new cd now has a title, i have a good idea of what i want to do for the cover art, and it’s crawling toward the finish line faster than a snail cadaver. i just need to record a few more things, figure out how to best sequence the tracks, get the inserts printed up, and then it should be available at a bordello near you. or, if you’re uneasy about walking into such an establishment, sometime in january you should be able to pick up a copy at places like dr. disc, phog or sanctuary coffee lounge. i’m not sure how people will respond to this cd…i think it’s a bit less accessible than the last one. some of the songs take a bit more work before they’re adequately seduced and reveal all their secrets. personally, i like the fact that it’s shaping up to be a bit less immediate, but then i’m odd like that.

speaking of the last cd, on CJAM’s website they just had several DJs post their “best of 2008” year-end lists, and both adam peltier and cassie caverhill had CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN in their top 10. that’s pretty wild if you axe me. not that you should axe me, because i imagine that would be rather painful, and i enjoy keeping my skin intact where possible. but thanks to adam and cassie, and to everyone at CJAM for all of the support. the response that cd has received still boggles my mind.

speaking of mr. peltier, i went back and listened to the mp3s from a few weeks ago when he invited me to come in for some co-hosting/interview action, and i was surprised to discover that despite what i thought at the time, i did actually manage to answer some questions somewhat coherently. how did that happen? your guess is as good as mine. i did come down with a bout of brain freeze when asked about file sharing/famous artists giving away their music for free on the internet, but i guess that’s because i don’t really have much of an opinion about it either way. music is music, everybody dance…you know the drill. it’s interesting to listen to the recording of my first ever live radio appearance from back in 2002, and then to listen to this and hear how much more relaxed i sound these days. i’m sure it also helps when the person you’re hanging out with is a friend, and someone you’ve known for a long time. in any case, it’s one of the few times (along with the interview conducted by adam fox a little while back) where i can actually sort of enjoy listening to myself rambling away about what i do, whatever that is. we did a lot of joking around, and i think you can hear that we had fun; the laughter is genuine.

for anyone who might want to take a listen, here’s all three hours (!) of the show, split into three parts. thanks again to adam for extending the invitation and letting me play a bunch of random music i brought with me. in part 2, a song of mine segues into “jungle fire” by tim buckley, which is pretty insane. as i told adam (and he noted afterward), there’s a part in that song where tim sings the word “inside” and hits an off note…and then he holds the note and turns it into a wild yodel that remains one of my favourite vocal moments i’ve ever heard from anyone. if that ain’t genius, i don’t know what is. the drumming from maury baker isn’t too shabby either. come to think of it, that whole block of songs is pretty odd…me, into tim buckley, into paul mccartney at his most bizarre, into stina nordenstam, into the pixies. but i dig it. the very end of the last mp3 got cut off, so you don’t get to hear our parting words or “she might be waking up” by shudder to think. but that “high art” soundtrack sure has a nice album cover, doesn’t it? yes. yes it does.

Fear of Music 12/2/08 (part 1)

Fear of Music 12/2/08 (part 2)

Fear of Music 12/2/08 (part 3)

also, you should check out this video milan sent my way. it’s some pretty otherworldly stuff. i’ve never seen or heard anyone do something like this with a pedal steel guitar before:

i keep thinking of david lynch, with the way that it’s filmed and the hilariously deadpan looks on almost everybody’s faces (particularly the vocalists). it’s just so surreal and strange, but in the best possible way.

oh yeah…i almost forgot—merry mass of christ.

listen to your junkman; he’s singing.

grouch-man

it’s been a while since i’ve actually posted music here…i’ve been mostly sticking to mixing things up every so often on spyspace. it’s about time that i rectified that situation.

to that end, here are some songs that will not be making their way onto the cd i’m in the process of putting together right now, though there were a few tense moments when i thought they might. “out-takes” seems a little mean, so we’ll call them “stillborn penguin therapists” instead.

I’ll Make A Mockery of You Yet, My Dear

i’ll make a mockery of you yet, my dear is a track i talked a bit about over here. it seemed like it was missing something until i hit on the idea of adding some ukulele strumming and completely changing my approach behind the drums, and then i grew to like it more but it felt a little too much like a jungle gym where i worked out some ideas that would soon be carried over to a song called “absence makes the heart grow fondue”. that song will be on the new cd, because i think it’s superior, more intense, more successful, and it looks better naked. so this is like that song’s little brother…i like him alright, but i don’t feel he’s ready yet to hang out with the big kids. and while the mix could be better, i don’t feel much like taking another pass at it right now when there are other songs to get down and dirty with. there’s also a line in there that shows up almost verbatim in another song that will probably end up on the cd, so that’s yet another reason to hold this one back.

Thea

thea is a tiny song that was recorded when the piano was in need of some fine-tuning (as were all of these songs). again, i like it well enough, but it isn’t going to fit on the album. it would seem a little flabby and too much like filler. so for now it’s relegated to the temporary graveyard of homeless songs where it joins a lot of other things that will either end up on different cds eventually, or land on a future misfits compilation.

Fennel Cake

fennel cake is…yeah. you get the idea. it’s not that i dislike it, but it just doesn’t belong on the album. i was going to post two different versions, just for fun. the first was a “demo”, if you like, recorded using the trusty old digital piano to get the idea down. but i’m not sure where that one is at the moment, and i’m too lazy to mix it. the second take is this one, featuring the real piano, and it would give you a good example of what a difference it makes, if the first version were here. which it isn’t. anyway. i felt iffy about this track until i started adding things to it, and then i started to like it more. it still doesn’t feel like album material, but at least it can show itself in public without shame, baring its midriff and dancing to music that no one else can hear.

so there’s a little non-preview that might give you a bit of an idea of what to expect from about 12% of the album, only not, because none of these songs will be on the cd. who could ask for anything more?

in other news, i think i might have to record or perform a cover version of “i heard it through the grapevine”. on the ukulele. it’ll rock your world, it will.

 

glenn frey sure likes singing the words “sexy girl” a lot, doesn’t he?

my saw finally arrived. it also just about gave me a serious hand injury. in order to get sound out of the thing, you have to hold the handle between your legs and bend the saw with one hand into an S curve. it seems a lot of people can do that without any trouble, but apparently my hands weren’t made to contort in such a way; after messing around with trying to play it for about twenty minutes, i put the saw away, turned my left hand a bit to the side, and felt searing pain shoot through it—the kind that makes you say dirty words, because no other response seems adequate. i imagine it’s what a repetitive strain injury feels like…not quite at the level of carpal tunnel, but quite unpleasant nonetheless. thankfully, the pain that came with flexion and extension gradually faded, and by the following day my hand seemed to be back to normal. all of this is my way of building up to saying that it doesn’t look like there will be the sound of a musical saw on the next album after all, unless someone other than myself is playing it. i kind of need my hands to do what i do, so i won’t be messing around with that again. our love—mine and the saw’s—will have to remain unrequited. you’re getting teary-eyed reading this, i know. fret not, because if i can get the theremin i was given whipped back into working shape, that might do a good job of providing the high, ethereal sounds i was expecting to get out of the saw.

hanging out with adam on his radio show last week at CJAM was a lot of fun. in addition to engaging in silly banter and giving not-entirely-coherent answers to questions i was asked, i brought along a cd case full of…well…can you guess what i put inside? can you? CDS! how daring of me. we played quite a bit of music from my stash: some duke ellington, mingus, tim buckley, oumou sangare, talk talk, thelonious monk, stina nordenstam, the band, and some really weird paul mccartney stuff that was probably recorded while he was high out of his head on some really good pot, among other things. thanks again to adam for the invite, and for playing my noise on the radio.

speaking of noise, it’s looking like i may not be able to get another new album out there before the end of the year after all…i might get it close to the finish line, but i’d rather not rush it. so it probably won’t appear until the new year. look for it in january. hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

now, remember when i was sending cds to every record label there ever was? sure you do. we were like brothers then, eating apple slices from each other’s palms and sharing our erotic dreams during drunken stupours. anyway, back then i apparently sent a few cds to this little indie label called boompa. as with every other label i ever sent anything to, i never heard anything. but just the other day i thought i would type one of my cd titles into google just for fun, and i couldn’t quite believe what i found: this. someone actually did listen to what i sent them, and they even liked it. imagine that. it almost makes all the bullshit and frustration endured during that time seem like it was worthwhile. almost. i tried emailing the guy to tell him how much i appreciated the fact that he listened, and to offer to send some newer music his way, but the address provided on his blog no longer seems to exist. still, if you ever somehow stumble across this here thing where i write stuff, thanks dale. you made a profane, cynical guy slightly less cynical. but no less profane. and that’s for the best, wouldn’t you say? if i ever put a press pack together for any reason, the quote that ends the review will be there along with other things people have said about me.

what do you call it?

the more i think about it, i’ve got a ton of potential album titles that have been piling up over here, and i’m not really sure which one makes most sense with this piano-heavy album that’s in the process of shaping up right now. the title i was thinking about using is very similar to that of an album someone else has already made, and while i probably shouldn’t let that dissuade me from using it, there are a lot of other possibilities to consider. i don’t like leaving the titular business to the last second, and in most cases i have a pretty firm idea of what something is going to be called long before it’s finished. not so this time, probably because i wasn’t expecting to get my hands on a real piano or to make this album. here are some ideas:

LOVE SONGS FOR NIHILISTS

AS IT WAS, AS IT WERE, AS IT IS & WHERE IT STANDS

SHE HATES WITH A PASSION YOU MISTAKE FOR LOVE

YOUR BODY IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH COPPER TO MAKE A RAINBOW IN THE FIRE

HELD IS NOT HOLDING

(AN) ABSENCE OF SWAY

MEDIUM-FI MUSIC FOR MENTALLY UNSTABLE YOUNG LOVERS

YOUR SWEATY GOLDEN MOUTH

CREATIVE NIGHTMARES

HAIR SPIKE BRAIN TASTE

MUSIC VIDEOS HAVE LIED TO US ALL

TIE YOUR BLUE HAIR BACK; DYE YOUR BLUE HAIR BLACK

GIFT FOR A SPIDER

I’M BREAKING THE ARMS OF ENEMIES IN (MY) DREAMS

COMMA TOAST

STARS IN THE SHOTGUN NIGHT

CIGARETTES & SUNSETS

OBVIOUSLY THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU

BRING RAIN IN CASE OF FIRE

THE CONTROVERSIAL RETURN OF THE POSTAL SURGEON

BLOOD HAIKU

WEAR YOUR BLANKET LIKE A CAPE

MELTING HEARTS

some email spam titles (just a select few from a list of hundreds i was gifted with during the great period of nonstop absurdly poetic nonsense spam email poetry):

BOOBY DISPENSARY MOHAWK

CLOTHESLINE REMISSION TEARDROPS

PIGEONBERRY SCATTERBRAIN ZANZIBAR SUCCESSOR

BLOCKS BEFORE THEY STACK

SLAPPING CLARK INCREASES THANKS

SECRETLY ADMIRE PINE CONE DEFINED BY GIRL

COBRA SLITHERED BROKEN HOOD

FALL IN LOVE WITH HER OVER BOTTLE OF BEER WITH HOCKEY PLAYER INSIDE GARBAGE CAN

TWO WAN GIRLS, HIS DAUGHTERS, WITH SHOCK HEADS OF HAIR

TIGER BOOTSTRAP DEATH THREAT

HUMANS WILL BE RESCUED FROM PLANNED EVENTS SIMPLY TO MAKE THINGS

PINK THE DARK

I MUST BE YOUR PREY

BOWLING BALL BEHIND DEMON COOK

POLAR BEAR INSIDE COWBOY

EVERYONE SLAP FACE

and on it goes. i realize it’s difficult to pick an album title when you don’t know yet what said album is going to sound like exactly, but is there anything on that list that jumps out at any of you as being a good title for something piano- and ukulele-heavy? or a good album title in general? thoughts/opinions/green onions are welcome. titles i don’t end up using will undoubtely find themselves recycled for future song/album use.

in other news, i will be sort-of-co-hosting adam peltier’s show fear of music on CJAM tomorrow, joining him in the studio starting at about 1:00 pm. that should be fun. i’m not sure if i’ll play any new and unreleased music of my own, but it’ll be a good opportunity to pull out some things i’ve been digging over the past little while. thanks to adam for extending the invitation.