Some people want to fill the world with Spanish love songs.


Remastering update: 70 songs down. That would seem like some solid progress — and it is — except for this part: 118 songs still to go. Woof.

If you’re one of the two or three people I’ve promised a mega package of music to, this is the main reason it’s taking me so long to put it together for you. I want you to hear these albums the way they’re meant to be heard. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

Discoveries made along the way so far:

  • A piano intro for “Do the Mountain Hop” that was mixed but never used
  • Several song ideas/sketches I have no memory of coming up with or recording, hiding before or after the main tracks for various songs, some of which are very much worth revisiting and developing
  • A bit of Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” sung a cappella at the end of “Brooke Ballentyne Claps Her Hands”, apropos of nothing
  • A bit of “Amazing Grace” played at the end of “And I Failed”, again for no apparent reason
  • A harmony vocal recorded for “Random Confessions of a Failed Lothario” but left out of the final mix
  • “What Will Become of Luke Perry’s Nipples?” begins with me having a foul-mouthed argument with a fax machine that keeps interrupting the take
  • A goofy forgotten a cappella intro to “Purgatory Waltz”, mixed but never used
  • I double-tracked the vocal for the unlisted track at the end of CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN but decided it worked better with just the initial vocal take on its own
  • I kept playing piano through the synth-driven closing sections of “The Ass, Enchanted with the Sound” but muted it in the mix
  • There exists an alternate mix of “Weak Bladder Blues” with stomping and clapping
  • At the end of “The Penultimate Kiss” a few minutes survive of me working through the music at the piano, trying to figure out how I want to play it and swearing quite a bit along the way
  • “A Solution Improvised with Yellow Electrical Tape” has both a vocal harmony part (muted in the mix until the final few seconds) and a lead chord organ part, making it appear that I thought about making it an instrumental before the wordless wailing happened
  • At the end of “Some Things Are Better Left Buried”, I recorded two guitar parts for a slowed-down take on “What She Wants” (from way back on BEAUTIFULLY STUPID); I was considering dusting that one off at the second Mackenzie Hall show
  • I recorded a very harmonium-sounding chord organ part for “Mismatched Socks” that was abandoned when the slide guitar felt like a better accent and the two tracks didn’t want to play together
  • After finishing work on “Shoelaces of the World, Untie” on New Year’s Eve, I recorded the piano idea for “Evil Kid Has a Square Torso”, singing the melody I ended up playing on melodica, and then a few minutes later went ahead and recorded the whole thing good and proper

One or two things aside, I have no memory of any of this stuff. And when it comes to music, my brain doesn’t tend to do a whole lot of forgetting. So it’s been fun digging up all these little surprises.

What else?

Yesterday I got down bed tracks for a song called “La Noche Está Viva con la Locura de los Hombres”, which translates to “The Night Is Alive with the Folly of Men”. It’s sung entirely in Spanish and features tender lyrics about walking naked on the moon and urinating in silence, “As God would do if he drank a lot of beer.” I want to see if i can get someone to play mariachi trumpet on it, because I think that would be hilarious.

AFTERTHOUGHTS landed inside the top ten on Earshot’s national folk/blues/roots chart last week. I’m not sure how that’s even possible when CJAM has been the only station in the known universe to get a copy, but the Earshot chart don’t lie.

I didn’t find out about this until I got an email from Marlo, who counts down the weekly folk/roots/blues chart on a show she hosts over at CJRU in Toronto called The Rodeo. Thanks to her for the tip-off, and for playing “Dorsal Venous” on her show.

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