THE MANY MUSICAL NOSES OF JOHNNY WEST (1999)
Subtitled “an introduction” to my music, this was rediscovered (or the original case was, anyway) after I’d forgotten for years that it even existed. Compiled on September 10, 1999, it was an attempt to cobble together some of my more accessible moments for my grandfather. It’s an interesting mix. Half the songs come from the just-completed LIVE AT THE NAKED GIRAFFE THEATER, there are a few tracks from DON’T TALK LIKE A BABY, one Papa Ghostface track, two Starving Artists tracks, and one of the old out-takes I wish I had the most shows up here too (Amen). Alas, the disc itself is nowhere to be found. One more minor curiosity: “Thirteen Lesbian Giraffes” is re-titled Montenegro here.
JOHNNY WEST & FRIENDS (1999)
This is home to some interesting rarities that can’t be found anywhere else, most notably the YOU’RE A NATION out-take 19 to Go (which was way too normal and mediocre to end up on the album, even though it’s still pretty silly) and my own faux-religious Amen, complete with some catchy faux-trumpet vocal scatting and a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in French. There’s also another amusing Naked Larry interview (with the spotlight on YOU’RE A NATION and Papa Ghostface this time), the completely insane Oinky (with me doing some flanger-enhanced singing that sounds like a pig squealing while high on acid), and my overhaul of Jesse Topliffe’s Wade thrown in for good measure.
I made the mistake of letting Jesse borrow this CD in the summer of 2002 and never saw it again. There is no dog.
FUZZY SHRAPNEL VOLUME 1 (2000)
About two-thirds of DON’T TALK LIKE A BABY remastered, with a few add-ons (not all of the songs were in any backed-up format that allowed me to remaster them). There’s a nice remix of the Starving Artists track Time Ticking Away, a “beefy mix” of Horsemouth (part 1) with real electric bass and some unhinged sped-up guitar from me, and Trading Places, an out-take from the DON ‘T TALK LIKE A BABY sessions that probably should have ended up on the album proper. I threw it right at the beginning of the MISFITS (1999-2007) collection, because I thought it deserved to be in a place where a few people might actually hear it.
This CD doesn’t really serve much of a purpose now that the remastered tracks are living with the rest on the original album. The idea was for there to be subsequent volumes as I remixed and remastered other albums I’d been crafty enough to back up, but I never got around to doing that.
SALE OF A DEAD MAN [single] (2000)
I took advantage of another English class assignment’s open-ended nature and wrote a song reflecting Willy Loman’s worldview (we were reading Death of a Salesman at the time). It was kind of a waste of a CD, and I didn’t throw it in with the other CHILDREN HAVE NO EYES tracks because it didn’t seem to fit. But at least the silly harmonies made the rest of the class laugh a few times. This one made its way onto the MISFITS (1999-2007) compilation as well.
LAMEST SHIT (2001)
An apt title. Little more than a haphazard collection of some of what I thought were my more accessible moments at the time. I put it together for some guy who supposedly had connections in the music industry. I don’t think he ever even listened to the CD, let alone shared it with anyone else.
If I was trying to sell myself, I didn’t exactly put my best foot forward. There are songs from DON’T TALK LIKE A BABY, CHILDREN HAVE NO EYES, SONGS FOR DEAD SKIN, SHOEBOX PARADISE, and A ROOMFUL OF SEXINESS all thrown together with no real rhyme or reason. At least there’s an amusing drawing of me inside the CD case, with a shaved head and stubble, and I somehow managed to misspell Tyson’s last name.
SELECTED ACOUSTIC TRACKS (2002)
A compilation of most of the acoustic guitar-based songs from my first three post-band solo CDs. I gave this to a few places like Milk, Lift (before it became Phog), and the Windsor Press Club, back when I was looking to play live. No one was interested. It was nothing compared to the violent indifference I was met with in the wake of OH YOU THIS when I really had a hunger to play live and started trying a lot harder to put myself out there. But that’s a story for another time.
There’s also the standalone version of WATER ONLY HATES ITSELF SILLY and some other random stuff that belongs on the list of “unofficial releases”, but most of it isn’t worth mentioning here.