my body is tired... try to make it the second time or to look in my eyes try to forget all of the times all of the times a camcorder was present to what i own call it a day and you won't look back call it a day it's nowhere son call it a day and don't look back the mechanical: they tell me that i have "lived" they tell me that i have "loved" they show me the evidence... what was recorded? what was recorded? a camcorder a camcorder a camcorder a camcorder a "palmcorder" it calms us it recognizes our terror "call it a day, and don't look back."
I found this tape in a box of unlabeled cassettes under my bed. It has three alternate versions of Black Lips songs from a recording session they did in Athens at Chris Bishop's studio (the same place we did Cryptograms / Fluorescent Grey.) These songs were intended for their second album, "We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow." I think Colin had something to do with the writing of "Robitussin," and "The Ballad of "Ray Marsh" is my favorite Black Lips song ever. It was written by Jack Hines, who played guitar with them at the time. I asked Cole and he said I could post them so I digitized them... here they are:
These are two songs that I listen to every year around Christmas. They have a lot of memories in them and evoke a lot of nostalgia for me...
GAVIN BRYARS - JESUS' BLOOD NEVER FAILED ME YET
Gavin Bryars tells the story behind the album:
In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song - sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads - and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.
When I played it at home, I found that his singing was in tune with my piano, and I improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song - 13 bars in length - formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way. I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.
I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp's nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism.
The piece was originally recorded on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975 and a substantially revised and extended version for Point Records in 1993. The version which is played by my ensemble was specially created in 1993 to coincided with this last recording.
...the first vocal part of this with the children's voices almost always calms me and makes me very meditative. It is more effective than any ambient record I've ever heard. I feel like this music is SACRED and can cut into the heart of the most jaded and bitter of us.
BONUS STOCKING STUFFER - LINUS TELLS US THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS:
Low - Little Drummer Boy (Try not to think of the heterocentric Gap commercial that ruined my impressions of this song for a LONG ASS time. Only now, after truly needing to feel its sonic solitude and icy drone, can I appreciate it.)
Below you will find some random stuff. There are some photos and video clips of two of my favorite actors, Jessica Tandy and Barrett Oliver, and a Sparks album. I recommend everyone rent Cocoon and Frankenweenie and listen to the Sparks over the Holidays. I have to mediate working on this healing music thing with frequent breaks and visits to youtube to research things like Jessica Tandy (who reminds my of my Aunt in some way) and Barrett Oliver (who I wanted to be when I was a kid) and listening to the Sparks (about the farthest thing from depressing music there is...) Basically, stuff to cheer me up. I am working on the songs for everyone who emailed me. Like I said earlier, It could take a few days but I am committed to doing it in time for the Holidays. It's heavy stuff.
1. "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" 2. "Amateur Hour" 3. "Falling In Love With Myself Again" 4. "Here In Heaven" 5. "Thank God It's Not Christmas" 6. "Hasta Mañana Monsieur" 7. "Talent Is An Asset" 8. "Complaints" 9. "In My Family" 10. "Equator"
21st Century Edition (2006) Bonustracks
* 11. "Barbecutie" (originally the B-Side of 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us') * 12. "Lost & Found" (originally the B-Side of 'Amateur Hour') * 13. "Amateur Hour" (Live at Fairfield Halls 09/11/75)
NOTE: sorry about the broken mediafire link, i re-uploaded it like five times and every time it uploaded successfully but the link was fucked. mediafire must be having a bad day. here is the song via sendspace....)
UPDATE: SENDSPACE IS FUCKED TOO. WHAT IS THE DEAL. HERE IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT: http://www.zshare.net/audio/5733291addf82c/
Here's another product of insomnia and winter melancholy (which i should tell you i kind of enjoy...) It's named after a girl I went to High School with and who was in my homeroom, but other than that I know absolutely nothing about her and never had anything to do with her. She never talked. She had really thick glasses and played violin or something but she just went completely unnoticed. No. One. Ever. Talked. To. Ivy. Belk. Ever.
I wanted to scan her yearbook picture but could not find my yearbooks anywhere. I tore apart my room. Where the fuck are they? Lockett, did you borrow them? Anyway. Here is a random image from a collage book I kept back then that has nothing to do with Ivy Belk but looks cool. The lyrics don't really mean anything. They're just stream-of-consciousness ramblings in which I play a character that is in love with Ivy Belk and goes to community college and works early morning shifts at QuickTrip or something. When I was recording the glitchy bells the sun was rising and suddenly my room was filled with unreal golden light. Totally bathed. It felt important.
IVY BELK (TUESDAY DEC. 18, 8:04 AM)
ivy growing on a tree will you never mary me? i've got the soul you need to breathe i've got the money we need to eat windows always dim the sun can't expect the only one you ever cared about to call you never know when they might call
ivy grows on buildings in this dust-covered dead city thought i'd escape by now i thought i'd escape this place by now i want to shape (shake?) this place right now i want to face reality now
So I had this idea for an experiment. I have been really into converting awkward emotional situations or sad situations etc. into songs. I've done covers before by request... How's this. If you have something you want converted into a song (a sad story, an awkward memory, a photograph, a memorable dream, etc. I will convert your texts, linedrawings, photos, memories of past loved ones into song. ONE DAY ONLY. seriously, no jokes or stupid shit like "write a song about this shit i took and photographed with my cameraphone" come on, this blog has higher standards than that. this is a classy blog. no shit. only sadness and reverb and nostalgia. get with it now. i will pick the best and record my ass off tomorrow. Let me be your sonic psychiatrist. Therapy music for the people. Help me by letting me help you. Also if you want to have IMMEDIATE inclusion and be pushed to the top of the line, send an mp3 or something of you telling the story or describing the dream or what have you. Give me some kind of source material. This is my christmas gift to you guys, but its also your gift to me so make it what it could be... and you can be anonymous if you want. in that case post the story or link to photo or audio file of you talking here in the comments section. Focus on something that fucked you up. Or regret. Or Loss. Or your autistic cousin who stares at videogames without playing them. I don't want this to seem exploitative either. I just want to make songs that people can say "fuck that song is mine, that's for me." its one thing to relate to a song written about an experience similar to yours, it would be another to relate to a song written about your experience. I just want to try this. I'm really serious. In all these interviews for the Atlas Sound record I've been talking about "Healing Music" and music as being "Cathartic" or "Therapeutic." I really want to try to help someone or some people in a real direct way and the best thing I know how to do is write songs really fast. Sorry for rambling. It's like 9 am and I still haven't gone to sleep yet... p.s. this is not a publicity stunt or something to get me attention. so any internet music blog magazine type people reading this please don't turn it into a "news item" This is a personal thing for people who appreciate the idea and want to be involved.
UPDATE: i just woke up. its five. full inbox. submissions are closed unless you REALLY REALLY REALLY have something you NEED to send. It will take me a couple of days to do this. I was very moved by the submissions. I cried several times reading them today.
This is a picture I took of myself when I was like 19 and very stoned. I included it with this song because it sounds like something I would have recorded back then. It's kind of a throw-away tune. I was playing around earlier tonight recording drums and something happened and my Motu Ultralite audio interface fell on the ground and died. I was in tears. Then, thanks to Mr. Kranky, I went and bought a new one. When I got it home I decided to finish the song I was recording drums for without using any effects or delay or anything and just use microphones plugged straight into the new Ultralite. Lately I have been recording guitars direct and running them through Amp simulators and stuff but this song is just the sound of drums and amps and my room. I wouldn't really do anything with it, but I thought I'd let you guys here it.
keep my name close at hand my christian name keeps me safe it keeps me crowned once a year i leave my room and go downtown to see what i'm missing once a year i go downtown i'm not missing much
my christian name keeps me safe it keeps me guessing what comes next what comes next the past is boring but i don't expect much else the past is boring but i expect the present tense it keeps me sane
we know what your thinking now what does it mean to not move and move around what does it mean to not think and make no sounds to not speak and what it means to keep your ground steady beneath your feet
the ground is steady beneath my feet i know i know
1. Friday Night We Took Acid and Laid on Matt's Bedroom Floor Staring at His Ceiling Fan While His Parents Watched T.V. Downstairs (7:28) 2. Saturday Night We Went Swimming And There Was A Light In The Water (7:07) 3. Sunday Evening We Relaxed In Our Rooms and Called Each Other on the Phone (13:36)
When I was in High School, we had a weird librarian who ordered some more off the wall kinds of shit. I skipped class a lot (eventually dropping out) and I spent most of my time in the library searching for the jewels they had mixed in with all the crap. This is where I first read a Dennis Cooper short story and also where I found a book called "The Untold History of Rock" or something like that... I learned a lot from it and ended up stealing it in the end and still have it somewhere. In the comments section of the last post I talked about how I would hang out alone at my dad's decaying office building making 4-Track tapes and flyers and other xerox art. While I was doing this I photocopied all these images of my heroes and they hung on my wall from high school all the way until now. Here are the images and my favorite song by each one... This is the stuff that got me through high school...
I have been obsessed lately with Faust's album "Faust Tapes." This is the last song on the album and is like waking up after a nightmare to a pleasant spring morning with sunlight coming in through open windows and curtains wafting in the wind. I have listened to it on an endless loop for the past three hours while i've been cleaning out my closet and looking through old boxes of photos and band flyers from years ago and its been a pretty melancholy experience. This song is the perfect soundtrack.
La vie semblait s'être arrêté là devant le spectacle muet d'un lendemain d'orgie deux hirondelles s'étaient depuis longtemps installées, leur caca clapotant se desséchait. seul triste, river ne pensait qu'à penser. de tout facon, comme il disait lui... et s'était une phrase toujours interompue. un êclair soudain devait le saisir. ses mains cherchaient un motif, une sympathie, n'importe quoi, de la douceur... depuis toujours et jamias on ne disait toujours sans songer à l'aube du jour ou le vent, chaud sons corps, fou ses espoirs et avec charme il se masturber comme personne ne pouvait le faire, chaque mouvement était alors un pas de plus vers elle. une poignée de coton hydrophile est un chapeau sur la tête de Kerstin. j'ai senti tout à coup que le choc était plus que probable, je n'étais pas supris, je n'avais pas peur. Rudolf avait freiné trop fortement et comme il ne conduit pas au même tempo que les villois... j'étais même curieux intéressé par les mouvements de la voiture le paysage évolue dans une autre dimension. le code de la route est alors impuissant et dérisoire: la voiture va où elle doit aller sans respecter les divers obstacles qui sont ou ne sont pas là ou ailleurs choc sourd et décevant accélération centrifuge et tout redevient normal, normal et amusant. le système de notre civilisation se montre et tombe très vite dans l'éfficace inhumain. il y a quand même le moment ou les deux chauffeurs males communiquent. tout devient male asexue Coup de foudre Kerzen, Tomatensaft 2 * 150 gramm Rindfleisch Viel Obst, viel Obst, viel Obst Was zum trinken Brot, Margarine Chère chambre tu m'as longtemps regardé quand j'étais nu sur le lit, quand je restais sans rien dire, longtemps. tu dois me connaître maintenant. j'ai vu le monde à travers les trois yeux. j'ai vécu dans ton sein, tous mes instants vides, blancs, nuit yeux ouverts sur des pensées sans fin qui à force de se retourner perdent ainsi leur sens, toutes mes humeurs et mes envies mon échec solitaire quand je peinds si longtemps chaque matin à grande peine et sagement. tu dois me comprendre parceque toi non plus, ta femme quand ca claque porte, tes coins où passe le vent et le froid et la catastrophe, quand tu veux dire que tu ne sais pas. je les connais, je les ai observés. toi aussi tu t'es ennuyée ma chambre. maintenent tout à changer. est-ce-qu'un sentiment trop fort encoumbre le paysage. il est si tenu et très transportable. je m'en serts souvent et beaucoup l'accepte. je vois aussi que certaines humeurs se répétent éspacées de plusiers années. nous devons peut-être accorder nos passés?
Life seemed to have stopped there in front of the dumb spectacle of the day after an orgy, two swallows had settled for a long time and their excrements dried. Alone and sad, River just thought of thinking, in any way as he said, and it was a sentence always interrupted. A sudden flash was to seize him. His hands sought a motive, a sympathy, whatever, tenderness ... Since always, and never did one say always without thinking of dawn or of the wind, his body hot, his hopes distorted and with charm he masturbated like nobody could do it, each movement was one more step towards her. A fistful of hydrophile cotton is a hat on Kerstin's head. I suddenly felt that the shock was more than likely, I was not surprised, I was not afraid. Rudolf had slowed down too hard and as he does not drive with the same speed as the citizens... I was even curious, intrigued by the movements of the car, the landscape evolves in another dimension The highway code then is impotent and ridiculous: the car goes where it must go without respecting the various obstacles which are or are not there or elsewhere. Deaf and misleading shock. Centrifugal acceleration, and all becomes normal again, normal and amusing. The system of our civilization shows and falls very quickly into the inhuman effective. Anyhow there is this moment when the two male drivers communicate. All becomes male, sexless. Thunderbolt. Candles, tomato juice, two times on hundred and fifty grams of beef; Much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, something to drink; bread, margarine. Dear room, you looked at me a long time when I was naked on the bed, when I remained silent for a long time. You must know to me by now. I saw the world through your three eyes, I have lived in your bosom. All my empty white moments, nights with eyes open on thoughts without end and which by turning over lose direction. All of my moods and my desires, my solitary failure, when I paint for such a long time each morning with so much pain and wisely. You have to understand me because neither you, your wife when the door claps, your corners where the wind and the cold and the catastrophe pass, when do you want to say that you do not know. I know them, I did observe them. You were also bored, my room. Now everything changed. Does too strong a feeling encumber the landscape? It is tense and very transportable. I often make use of it and very much accept it. I also see that certain moods repeat that are several years apart. Perhaps we have to connect our pasts?
I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend everyone gets this album. Its hard to find and really expensive but you can get it from iTunes for 9.99. I don't know how to link to iTunes but just go there and search for it. You won't be disappointed.
...for some reason i can't embed these so you'll have to go check them out on your own...
Part 1: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8l1U1XLcoT8 Part 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=s9N1uwNEraM Part 3: http://youtube.com/watch?v=E9iiJy0jWSg Part 4: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LNAO-vqa6R0
Basically they play a clip of a Stereolab song and then play the song it directly takes from. What I think is rad is they really took sampling to an intellectual level, if you know what I mean. They would take different ideas and transpose them. What I learned from this when I was very young and idolized them was that originality is an overrated concept. It's better to take a palette of pre-existing sounds or chord progressions or bass lines or drumbeats or even melodies and apply your own concepts to them. I could talk about this for hours.
there is also this one for broadcast done by the same guy...
Origins of Broadcast: http://youtube.com/watch?v=B3wYz896RKQ
Also... check out this fucking rad video of Stereolab playing my favorite song "Blue Milk" live. It's the song I wrote the whole worship post about a while back, where I described watching them play it live and getting the chills...
(it's also pretty rad that this video was put up by "Queer Youth TV")
Five years ago from last Saturday, one of my friends, Ben, was killed by a drunk driver. He was one of the founding members of the Black Lips:
Shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, Ben Eberbaugh, the 22-year-old guitarist for local band the Black Lips, was killed when a motorist driving the wrong way on Ga. 400 slammed into his vehicle. According to Fulton County police reports, Jennifer Dawn Swierzynski, 29, was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes when her Toyota Camry crashed head-on into Eberbaugh's Ford Explorer. Both drivers died on impact. The Black Lips, who have developed a reputation as Atlanta's rowdiest rock act, were to have kicked off a tour of the Midwest and East Coast with fellow Atlanta band, the Carbonas. The tour was to promote the release of the Black Lips' full-length debut on famed punk label Bomp Records, and was set to kick off Monday, Dec. 2, with a show at MJQ Concourse. But on Monday night the club's doors remained closed to the public to give Eberbaugh's friends a place to gather and reminisce about his life.
"He was one of the sweetest and most sincere people I knew," says close friend Valery Lovely, a local DJ and photographer. "He's the last person I would have ever expected anything bad to happen to."
Despite the tragedy, the Black Lips plan on carrying out the tour. They will leave Atlanta after Eberbaugh's funeral, which is being held Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Roswell (further details were not available at press time).
"We're still going to go on tour," says Black Lips vocalist Cole Alexander. "It was something we were all so excited about doing and I know he would never have wanted us to give it up."
- Chad Radford, Creative Loafing Published 12.04.02
Here is a song from the Black Lips' first self-titled record that Ben Sang on...
Five years ago Sunday, Mary Hansen, guitarist and one of the vocalists in Stereolab was struck by a bus while riding her bike in London. She was 36 years old.
I have a bootleg of them playing in San Fransisco in 1997 and they perform this song "The Light That Will Cease To Fail," and her vocals are angelic. I listened to it maybe 36 consecutive times the day she died. Stereolab changed my entire musical life as a kid. They were and continue to be my favorite band of all time.
First of all this picture is deceiving. It is supposed to set the mood and is not an accurate depiction of my surroundings. It barely ever snows here in Atlanta, however there was the amazing and memorable "Blizzard of '93", but I digress...
Here is an EP I did for Holiday listening. That is actually a deceiving statement. I recorded one song "Requiem For All The Lonely Teenagers With Passed Out Moms" tonight, the other two songs are ambient pieces from a tape I recorded last year called "Cape Cod II," which was like this fucked up concept tape about the Kennedy family getting abducted by creatures who needed money and took them into an underground crypt / labyrinth. I reworked them tonight and they serve as ambient bookends to the pop song.
1. Children's Choir Rehearsal (misspelled in the file info.. no spellcheck there in itunes or ableton wink wink) 2. Requiem For All The Lonely Teenagers With Passed Out Moms 3. 10th Grade Concept Map
"requiem for all the lonely teenagers with passed out moms"
so many things she's passed out drunk i'm seventeen on the t.v. screen a preacher sings glory be to him i want to invite you home i want to invite you home i want to call you on the phone but it's too late i know what you're dad would say he'd say "it's too late to call" i write you a note in ball point pen i left it all in i slip it to you in the hallways in the hallway i want to ask you home i want to invite you home i don't want to be alone anymore and in the hall you slipped one back into my palm it says "i'll never come home with you" so after all I've been let down I've been let down it's nothing new i can handle it i can handle it
I know these lyrics are a little sentimental and cloying but isn't that what pop songs are all about? Its about when I really liked someone in high school and was lonely and smoked a lot of pot, and I stayed up all night and wrote them a note and they wrote back telling me I was a creep. That's the kind of warm stuff I think about, almost a decade later, alone in my bedroom around the holidays. I called this EP "#1" because I plan on making a #2 in the next few days and trying to tackle some actual Christmas songs, like that Elvis song one of you requested. It might be super-annoying! :D
... some of which might not have come out this year (and in no order):
1. grizzly bear - he hit me and it felt like a kiss. i've decided that i actually like this one better than the original in a lot of ways. mainly because it opens up in the middle and at the end with all the floaty vocal harmonies and it makes me feel like i could cry. if i had feelings anymore. MWA HAHAHA..
2. jay reatard - blood visions (might have come out a while ago, can't remember....) and his live show.
3. my new fender jaguar bass that is red and has the word "badass" engraved on the bridge.
4. a new set of mallets. i've been working on some new atlas sound songs for a new album and i've been using mallets on a floor tom and maracas a lot. its convinient because i don't have to walk downstairs and mic an entire drum kit, plus i usually stay up all night recording and thusly can't be pounding on a drum set with the neighbors and all. The floor tom keeps a nice minimal pulse, and with mallets you don't have to play very loud to get a nice strong sound. you just have to compress the fuck out of it.
5. boredoms - rebore vol. 0 mixed by eye. i used to listen to this all the time. i would smoke grass and listen to it and then get panicky and take some xanax and go into my childhood bedroom which i had converted into a make-shift music room and plug in a bunch of mic's and record drums on a four track, or four tracks of drums. lo-fi polyrhythms. it was fun and i was stoned and younger and had no aspirations beyond making tapes to listen to in my broken ass saturn while i drove around delivering chinese food. i started listening to it again and had drug flashbacks.
6. jim o'rourke - all his old shit. damn.
7. all these old collages me and my girlfriends (non-sexual, as in friends that were girls) used to make while sprawled out in the hallways and garages of suburban homes. i wish i could scan them but most of them are way to big. one of them had an image of a family of progressively taller dogs.
8. tea tree face scrub. scrubs rock. i want scrubs. all. of. the. time. i like to feel the dead skin being ripped away.
9. sony mdr-7606 headphones. i started realizing that all the songs i was posting on here kind of sounded like shit on stereos and stuff. that's because i recorded them all using these fancyprancy bose headphones that had all kinds of built in eq and compression. i decided i wanted to buy a set of dedicated headphones for recording. so i did. they are rad. i recommend them. i was going to get grados but nobody sells them around here and i hate ordering things online. does anyone have anything to say about grados? or monitors? or mixing? i'm interested in learning any tips anyone has to offer. i feel like i am always abusing compressors and you already know about my fling with the vintage warmer.
10. my bloody valentine - sometimes. when i was in new york doing press for the atlas sound record i listened to this song 73 consecutive times before i stopped counting. it's nice to walk around subway stations and down random crowded avenues with this pounding at maximum volume in my headphones. it makes everything seem more interesting than it is. i really like it when the flute starts being delayed. i guess its pretty predictable that i would talk about mbv since they are obviously an influence on like a million bands including ours but i really can't get over this song. is it in an open tuning? what's up with this shit?
i just realized that non of this shit has anything to do with this year except grizzly bear. congratulations grizzly bear.
p.s. i wanted to disable the comments section on the samara post but could not figure out how. please discontinue any mean comments about anyone on here. everybody has feelings. except for me. MWA HAHAHA. leave all the mean comments about me you want. they give me erections, then i copy and paste them into a spreadsheet called "reasons for rocking"
I found this is in my downloads folder and was confused as to what it was.. what it turned out to be is a cover of Cryptograms' title track that in my opinion is far better than the original. Whoever made this please identify yourself and let use know where we can here more of your stuff... and tell us what you used to record this cover. it sounds amazing. you improved the vocals a LOT.
The year is coming to a close, and it has been filled with epic shifts from total bliss to moments of complete insecurity and self-loathing. My single biggest regret is that I allowed what started as a simple nervous breakdown to cumulate in a public defamation of a very talented musician, technician, and artist: Samara Lubelski.
Many of you might remember the Pitchfork interview with me that ran at the beginning of this year. For years as a small noise band we aspired to somehow reach a wider audience and the opportunity to do that interview should have been a totally positive thing. Unfortunately, due to my immaturity at the time, and my admittedly fucked up mental state I used the opportunity to fuck over someone who absolutely did not deserve it. What makes it worse is that I made statements that were not factual, or that were based on my completely warped perspectives.
I am writing this to clear a few things up, and even though I dread reading through it again,,, I would like to reprint the section of the interview that I would now like to bring truth to....
Make no mistake, I take total responsibility for what a dickhead I was....
Pitchfork: That's something you hear bands say a lot-- that "we almost broke up over it," real dramatic inner-band turmoil kind of garbage, but you guys had a genuinely shitty time trying to make this album, right?
Bradford Cox: Okay, well, there was this festival called the Notown Sound Festival [that] had Excepter and Magik Markers and all these other bands, some of whom I thought were amazing, some I thought were fucking bullshit. But [singer/songwriter] Samara Lubelski was among them, and-- I don't want to mean or hurtful or dickheaded, but...she's a fucking bitch, dude. Talk about the antithesis of what I'm talking about with Liars-- like a very calculated, queen of the scene, diva-type person with this guise of taking her art really seriously.
Well, she offered to record us at the Rare Book Room [in New York], and I had really liked her set [at the festival]-- it was folk\ and kind of ethereal, and I was so self-critical after that first record that I almost wanted a retreat into the ultra-feminine. We'd been hoping that [the sessions with Samara] would develop out of more ambient things, like treated pianos and tape loops. We were trying to have it be more out-of-the-ether, not writing the songs too much or having too much of a specific direction, and I was expecting to go in there and work with her.
REALITY: First of all, I misrepresent the fact that Moses and I approached Samara, not the opposite. As for the words I used to describe her, I can only say that sometimes I make myself sick. Total immaturity and lack of tact. And very far from reality as well... She is a had worker who has contributed to countless recordings while helping to incubate cultural movements from which a lot of great art has sprung forth... Another point I'd like to make is that the real reason this recording session was a disaster was my fault and due to my wasting time on pointless overdubs, and in general, not having much discernible direction for anyone to work with. Long story short: I was having what was later diagnosed as a mental breakdown. I have since been on and off medications, as many of you already know or have read. I am really trying to become a better, more mature person and move into adulthood. I am not saying that to excuse my actions or evoke sympathy, I'm saying it to explain that no one else in that studio could have changed a thing... I regret that I subjected Samara to my bullshit at the time.
First things first, [it sounded] like if you listen to Loveless on mushrooms, and I mean that in not a complimentary way-- just hazy and washed-out. The tape kept warping, and first of all, nobody fucking noticed. Emotionally, I was a fucking wreck for it because of some personal shit that I don't really talk about involving weird mental...I was just not exactly the easiest person to be around at that point, I'm sure, I was probably really weird. And I kept noticing it before anyone else.
Anyway, I hadn't slept much. I had the flu and the walking pneumonia. And I guess I was just really sensitive, because I kept hearing this subtle phasing, and nobody else heard it, and they all thought I was being a brat, being over-analytical. And I was like, "Dude, I hear it, the tape is fucking phasing, the machine is not! calibrated!" And everybody was like, "No, you don't know what you're talking about." We had these people come in from this band Talibam! to play horns and I was really excited about it. There was originally a horn section on "Lake Somerset" and it's gone because the fucking chick didn't know how to fucking record. I mean, that's fine because we could never afford to go to the Book Room at that point, and she let us come in for very cheap-- for next to nothing.
REALITY: This is where I tear myself a new asshole. I am just spouting bullshit at this point. Samara has very successfully recorded bands for years. The issue with the tape machine was beyond anyones control. She did nothing but attempt to do her job the best she could in dysfunctional circumstances.
To Samara, I sincerely apologize for my bullshit. To all of you reading this, I hope you have more perspective now on how the situation unfolded in the making of Cryptograms.
With all Sincerity and Deepest Regret,
Bradford Cox Hotel Princess, Barcelona Spain Dec 8, 2007
Last Night I had the opportunity to speak with a band that was very influential on my early musical development. Pylon played their first live show at a party in March 1979. They were one of the founding bands in the Athens scene of the 80's that is so often discussed. Recently, the good people at DFA have reissued Pylon's seminal first LP, 'Gyrate' with the inclusion of their extremely powerful first single 'Cool b/w Dub.'
My Discussion with bassist Michael Lachowski and vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay confirmed what I had been assuming for years. These are authentic artists, humble, insightful, and creative enough to make the kind of music that formed my entire aesthetic taste at an early age. Through repetition, stream-of-consciousness vocals, and unrelenting pounding drums, as well as creative razor-sharp guitar, the band offered a form of art-school experimentation (not the trust fund variety) and throbbing minimalism.
When I had the opportunity a few years ago to attend a "secret" reunion show (originally intended to be a practice) I found myself in a room packed (seriously, packed) with people of all ages and backgrounds who felt lucky to be hearing this legendary band dust of their instruments and prove they can still create that sound and fury. I shit you not... I danced so hard that I walked outside immediately afterwards and puked on the sidewalk.
Here is an edited audio version of our conversation mixed with some of their classic recordings... enjoy:
For those of you who live in the Atlanta / Athens area, I urge you implicitly to make it out to the Fabulous 40 Watt Club tonight (Friday dec 7, 2007), as Pylon will be performing with Vannessa's new project Supercluster, which includes her daughter, Hannah, on cello. I will be posting more on Supercluster in the near future. This is a show not to be missed. If I wasn't here in Barcelona, I would be there dancing until I puke. New Sound of Numbers and DJ Hugo Burnham from Gang of Four also open the evening.
If I could urge all of our readers with (obviously) excellent music taste to purchase a copy of the Gyrate reissue from DFA and give it to someone special for Christmas, you will both be stoked. Completely stoked.
1. Burt Bacharach - Something Big 2. Robyn Hitchcock - My Favorite Buildings 3. Gong - I Am Your Fantasy 4. Bongwater - Free Love Messes Up My Life 5. Bernard Estardy - Asiatic Dream 6. Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door 7. High Places - Head Spins 8. Kevin Ayers - Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes 9. Sparks - Here in Heaven 10. Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) 11. Wire - The 15th 12. Talk Talk - New Grass 13. The Cramps - Green Fuzz
Total Time: 48:24
I've decided to keep these as one long file for now. Just pretend its a radio show. Zipping up mp3's just seems weird to me for some reason. This mix turned out... a little bizarre. Also just a note, the Gong song has two parts the first is fast and has david allen singing and the second part is really floaty and spacey and has a girl singing but it sounds like a totally different song which i though might make people think they were already listening to Bongwater. That's one disadvantage to one long mp3. Damn Gong and their multifaceted compositions...
Dave, its really funny you should ask for a cover of "This Must Be The Place" because I have been listening to that song non-stop for the past week and a few days ago I started making a song out samples from it. It isn't finished and is just a sketch with lots of missed notes and mistakes, but here it is.... I can't stress how much I've been digging that song recently. I was never the biggest Talking Heads fan, but that song is so perfect. Especially for this time of the year...
1. Bob Dylan - The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol 2. Tod Dockstader - Aerial #2 3. Loveless (always at this time of the year I re-obsess over this album, usually focusing on a different song. this time its "sometimes") 4. Bongwater - Double Bummer 5. Kevin Ayers - Oddities 6. Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom 7. Roxy Music - Country Life 8. Pulp - This is Hardcore 9. Steve Roach - Structures from Silence (thanks to Adam's Rad New Age Blog, see the hiatus post below for the link)
What are you guys listening to? Any suggestions? I'm feeling melancholy and enjoying my downtime by forcing myself into solitude and staring out my window a lot. I love and hate this time of year. Barcelona this weekend should be a good distraction, as well as a total mindfuck.
So I'm ready to do another mix (getting tired of calling them micromixes, seems kind of kitschy.) This time I was considering just zipping it and having the songs be all separate files. Several people have asked me to do it, the only reason I'm reluctant is i don't want to get some letter telling me I'm in deep shit for giving away copy-written material. So you guys give me some feedback. The comments sections on here have been a little weak lately and I'm kind of getting bored. I wanna find out about new music too. Would it help if I did some more covers? That was fun. Open call, reasonable cover requests... You guys can vote each other out and pick a few and I'll be obliged. I have nothing but time and solitude. And music. Also if you want to ask questions, I'll answer them. I'll clear one thing up to start. The Deerhunter hiatus is not related to Atlas Sound. I am not quitting Deerhunter to pursue a "solo career," that would be a little gross... Atlas Sound is also not just a solo thing. As I've said before in this post, right now (and up unto this point) i've been recording this stuff by myself (since i was about 10 or 11) I want Atlas Sound to be a band, and have creative input from other people. I've asked my friend Stephanie to join the band and Honey and Adam from Valet and White Rainbow are still on, as well as Brian Foote of Nudge. Atlas Sound is something I want to do to experiment and mature a little, which i find it hard to do with Deerhunter, since so much of what we do is based on noise and volume and catharsis. I want a wall of sound still, but smaller, and with more variety in instrumentation. As you guys know from reading this blog, I'm interested in all kinds of music from early electronic stuff to, you know, like, the Breeders. I just want to have fun and make music (a lot of music) and put on interesting good shows that people can really enjoy and be fulfilled by. Lately that's not what I've been feeling with Deerhunter. In part due to many of my own mistakes and loudmouthed behavior, I've been misinterpreted as an attention seeker. The only reason I would seek attention is so that I can have the means to make more records and not feel trapped by mediocrity. It's 6:00 a.m. and most normal people are getting up to go to work where they earn steady paychecks. You can be trapped by mediocrity doing that or playing music. Neither person is better off, and its all in your head.
Religious angst. Loss of identity / self (where did he go?) Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Recorded in 1997 outside passive concourse. Note the use of "wind drum" nowhere to be found. How can I regain lost time?