In some ways this might be the most twisted GWD album of them all.
This is what happened when I shared a joint with Gord and Tyson on the short-lived bleachers in Willistead Park in the middle of November and we thought we’d record ourselves improvising a bunch of random stuff once we got back to the house. I didn’t get high. I didn’t know how to inhale properly at the time. The other guys were pretty toasty.
It’s a little reminiscent of early Papa Ghostface in places, but a lot looser, and without the same instrumental diversity. I don’t really flex my musical muscles at all, only playing some Fender Rhodes on the first few tracks and then a bit of half-hearted acoustic guitar in the middle of one song when Tyson hands his guitar over to me. The vocal dementia is in full flow, though, with me taking advantage of the chaos and trying on as many different voices as I can come up with. Bill Clinton is in there, along with Al Gore, Jean Chrétien, a little bit of Lou Reed, and Elmo’s first appearance since “Sewer” on SHOEBOX PARADISE. The rest of the voices are my own creations. Gord and Tyson offer their vocal cords as well, making for a fun communal vocal atmosphere.
Some things loosely resemble proper songs. The Dick Police sounds something like acoustic Talking Heads on bad drugs, or at least that was what I was going for at the time. Spliffs Under the Bed and Wanna Woman are about as close as we got to “ballads” that night. Most of the rest is just plain messed up. There are a lot of spoken word passages, and some songs are almost all spoken, like Joe’s Lice, Squirrels, and Goosebumps.
I do a lot of twisted philosophizing, coming up with some pretty bizarre metaphors. For some songs Tyson and I take turns using the microphone that has a messed up pitch-shifted effect going on, making us sound kind of demonic. It makes Tyson’s acoustic guitar sound pretty evil too. And Gord plays an interesting solo Fender Rhodes improvisation to kick things off on Cirque de Shit (recorded before the detour to the park).
Highlights include the sonic madness that is Champagne Suicide (with me on kazoo, party whistle, water bottle, and maracas, and Tyson doing some nice beat-boxing at the end), the mock-radio program News [the Horrors of Impotence] (complete with an inspired holiday-themed commercial break), and Burnt, which includes a nice moment of spontaneous harmonizing between me and Tyson.
It was interesting to hear how a riff he played in both Spliffs Under the Bed and Burnt later became an integral part of a Fetal Pulp song — I think it might have been a tune of theirs called “Behind Closed Scars”, though I’m not sure offhand. Just goes to show that some ideas transcend genre. I think it’s pretty neat to have that riff appear and reappear here. Gives the whole thing the feeling of an improvised song cycle…which is exactly what it is.
I’ve developed a real affection for this CD over the years. It’s sort of like the really inappropriate, socially inept child you love almost in spite of yourself. Yeah, it’s hit-and-miss, and there’s a lot of between-song banter that doesn’t really serve any purpose. But I always loved leaving in those bits of fly-on-the-wall dialogue most people would get rid of. There are a ton of unexpected one-liners and lyrical tangents that crack me up every time, and Tyson and Gord come up with some really great musical ideas. It was fun to sit back, relax, spill my brains, and let someone else do most of the musical heavy lifting for a change.
Cirque de Shit
Just Turned Saturday
The Dick Police
Spliffs Under the Bed
The News (Horrors of Impotence)
The Waffle Man