This is all that remains of my abandoned full-length follow-up to LIVE AT THE NAKED GIRAFFE THEATER. Whatever it might have turned into was forgotten once MERRY FUCKIN’ CHRISTMAS started to seep out of my brain.
The title track is probably the “nicest” and most accessible thing I’d written in a while. The lyrics were written, anyway — the music was improvised, as usual. It was uncharacteristically autobiographical, in that my sleep was out of whack at the time, my silliness often led people to assume I was high, and that was what I was singing about, during a period when I rarely sang about myself.
I recorded it the same night I tried to salvage an early version of Jesse Topliffe’s song “Wade” and ended up adding some of my own stylistic touches that weren’t quite in line with what the song needed, though that didn’t stop me from being in love with it and thinking I’d created something brilliant (more on that some other time). I also added some acoustic guitar to another song of his. I was feeling inspired, and the title track here was kind of the culmination of it all.
I’ve always liked the instrumental interlude where the two electric guitars harmonize with each other. Even though there are a few ugly notes, it almost sounds “pretty”, and that was a rarity for me at the time.
I Hate was recorded a week or so later when I had a nasty cold. I managed to squeeze out a pretty caustic vocal in spite of the sickness. It’s got sort of a bitter bluesy thing going for it. I was in a funny mood one day in computer science class, in no small part because of my mother guilt-tripping me over no end of stupid shit whenever I would talk to her on the phone, and this was what came out — a nice little love song, even more direct and personal than the last.
I never even talked to that French exchange student who gets a nod at the beginning, though I always thought she was beautiful. I was told she was a bit of a kleptomaniac. So maybe it was for the best that we never connected.
I’m not sure what kind of full-length album this would have developed into had I stuck with it. I didn’t really have any concept in mind at the time. That YOU’RE A NATION was being recorded at the same time as these tracks is kind of scary.