Checkmate Sampler: Monkey Eat Monkey (CD Sampler, 1998)
$10 for CD, available by special order
|The Songs |
all songs written and arranged by someone special (c)(p)1991-1998, Cody Weathers, all rights reserved. No stealing the worthless material, OK?
Additional MP3 Singles:
Don't Hate the Players:
Nuffin Fanfare performed by
The Glenn’s Ferry Municipal Sexual Horns:
Bert Guthson: tpt 1
Sam McCarthy-Fukes: tpt 2
Belba Hohrrsblab: french horn
Augie Snipe: trombone
Leaky Joe Ensemble:
Leaky Joe: lead voc, guitar
Slim Foote: bass, BU voc
Grumbler Mason: percussion
Gil “Chemically Blind” Kalicinsky: piano,
guitar, BU voc
Brian “Sticky” Costello: harmonica
At-At Leroux: percussion
Porter Patrick: lead voc, bass
Meg Hostetter: guitar
special backup vocal appearance by Cody Weathers
Jiffle Baf T’Bak:
Ray Chapper: drums/percussion
Chad Purple: guitar/pno/BU voc
Kip Crabby: lead vocals, bass
The Brothers Three:
Ynkwar: Clever One
Hutwor: Handsome One
Guntor: Strong One
Firing Squad: percussion/vocals
Lethal Injection: vocals
Spider-G: lead voc/samples
Cody Weathers: Vocals, Drums, Piano
John Speranza: Guitar
John Fried: Bass
Friday, April 4, 1997 Glenn's Ferry, Idaho:
Count me among those who saw it happen. I had been travelling with Checkmate Records Artists Flip Nasty on the Northwest Leg of their US River Dreams tour. I was documenting their journey for my independent fan-rag, "Torch & Bacon." Flip had just finished a suite of hard-hitting shows in the Willamette corridor --places with names like Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, and Portland. Places with kids who can rock. Now, as Cody Weathers piloted us east on I-84 through the inky blackness at the lower limits of tolerable speeds, John Speranza tried to hand me a three-week stale sun-dried tomato bagel and said 5 words that would change the course of my life: "We're going to Glenn's Ferry."
Glenn's Ferry is an emerald oasis, a welcome spot of green in the scrub-and-lava desert of southern Idaho. Halfway between Boise and Twin Falls on the banks of the mighty Snake River --life giver-- Glenn's Ferry is an almost idyllic rural community of nearly 1000 full-time residents. But on April 4, 1997, Glenn's Ferry would play host to the freshest, boldest, most subversive rock festival of the Alternative Era.
What to call such an event? Ambrosia? Heaven-Sent-Delight? With typical humility, John Fried suggested "Lollapaloser" or "Woodsuck." But despite his jesting, Flip Nasty's wisest member knew how critical this festival would be to the survival of Rock and Roll. And Rock and Roll was in good hands. Officially dubbed "The First Annual Checkmate Exemplathon" by record executives, it would be stocked with 8 of Checkmate Records' biggest-name artists --a virtual cornucopia of cutting-edge talent.
Consider the roster: Boise gutterkind-turned-orchestral composer Nuffin, who wrote the opening fanfare played by the Glenn's Ferry Municipal Sexual Horns, Seatlle progressive bluesman, Leaky Joe, Hyperserialist/Pastische punks, The Executioners, Iceland's answer to the Spice Girls The Brothers Three, front-of-the-pack fake-jazz trio Jiffle Baf T'Bak(Jailed For Love, But Also For Throwing Bottles At Kids), spoken-word hard-rock masters Farm Sister, Checkmate's newest signing Fingernail Factory, and the only remaining band off of Checkmate's original compliment --and the fiscal backbone of the label-- Nerd Rock's reigning kings, Flip Nasty.
200 folding chairs in a high school auditorium, lukewarm grape Kool-Aid, and a handful of curious strangers --that's what Rock and Roll is all about. As the Glenn's Ferry Municipal Sexual Horns took the stage (still adorned with the set of the recently-performed GFHS production of Arsenic and Old Lace), I knew that all my suspicions were correct: Glenn's Ferry was about to get rocked.
This sampler features cuts from all 8 bands from Exemplathon, but only 4 of the tracks are live from the festival itself --"Fanfare for Glenn's Ferry," "Bang Bang girl," "I Can't Have Two," and "Make Still Your Wings." If you love Rock and Roll, you should go out to your local record store and empty the shelves of these bands like the nuclear winter is nigh.
--Griffin Buboe, Concert Correspondent, Torch and Bacon Magazine.
Notes on the 2000 CD re-release of Monkey Eat Monkey: (interview with Vaunne Ma, backup vocalist)
GB: Vaunne, was this the album that made you fall in love with and decide to marry Cody Weathers?
GB:Wasn’t this your first musical collaboration with Cody?
GB: What exactly did you do?
VM: “No, I’m shy.”
GB: And that actually led to some further collaboration on the Stunt Beatles album....
VM: “Why are you still listening?”
GB: And Sunhouse Branch....
VM: “I love him, we’ll be married in March, maybe April.”
GB: So was it actually the Sunhouse Branch project that lit your fire for this international superstar?
GB: What will your role be in the new UFO Catcher project?
GB: I see. Well, congratulations on your forthcoming nuptials.
VM: Thank you.
Leaky Joe: I Can't Have Two: Laura's got her daisies, and Beth has tattoos. She claims she did a f*** film --she said she'd do me too. Laura is a painter and a waitress at the zoo, but I can't have two, I can't have two. Laura knows the wine list, and Beth knows the booze. I think that Laura likes me --I kissed her after school. Beth can turn your tongue into an animal balloon, but I can't have two, I can't have two. Smells like flowers, but it's not Gretchen, even though Gretchen smells like flowers, too. You know, three won't do. Angry Laura's leaving, she buried my shoes. She painted me a eunuch --I'm hanging in the Louvre. Beth can turn a whip just like she's turning on the news, and I can't have two, I can't have two.
Fingernail Factory: No One Could (cover of Flip Nasty song): If you're with me, you will leave me. If you love me, you're a liar. If you meet me, you'll avoid me. If you see me, you'll go blind. Chorus: I'm alone. No one loves me, no one could. I'm so ugly, you must hate me. You must trick me with your eyes. If I trust you, you'll betray me when you tell me it's all right. Chorus. If you kiss me, you control me. If you hold me why, why, why, oh why? If you need me, you don't know me. If you want me, it'll die. Chorus
The Executioners: Two Make One: One stupid me. Star bed. The fear is you --in sex tattoed. CH: Love, sex, you, me. All fear. Take bed: through two make one. These red stars dead --fresh. The black is all blood between wars. CH. Winter tomorrow and blood love life. Your star washed so down. Exterminate.
Leaky Joe: Bang Bang Girl: You don't love me, but I sure do need you so. Well my baby, you've got a long, long way to go. Chorus: Yeah, I'm gaga over you, my bang bang girl, my bang bang girl. You don't trust me, but you keep the oven hot. Well, my baby, you've got me all tied in a knot. Chorus. You won't keep me, but you let me hang my hat. Well my baby, you don't know where my heart is at.
The Brothers Three: And You Say: Remember when I kissed you in a tree and we spent hours in the quiet of the blanket of the wool of night from three to four in the morning molesting each other up against the old upright piano? And you say how I never kissed you in a tree Yesterday, I saw your enemy --your secret sworn enemy. She fluttered her big brown pools of manipulation and tried to make me do some little thing as if I wasn't wise. And you say I'm a fool. All alone over mountains over deserts, safely from the river of your eyes --your beautiful eyes, slow and still that swallow me whole and pull me away. All alone in the frost and mist from a nearby park, I watch a restaurant burn from a merry-go-round where I never kissed you or felt the warmth of your heart --or better still told you all my secrets specifically your fault. I watch it burn and smell the chicken. I can't believe I'm this lonely every day. Don't you have something better to do than make me remeber you? And you say you love the merry-go-round. Before you, there were others who ran off to be Nebraskans. Nebraskans these, your enemieswho want to steal the treasure --the treasure deep inside your heart, the treasure that is twisting and spinning, hooking, grappling in every space I loved you. And you say how I never kissed you in a tree. I just want to see what you are. I think that you and your aliens should return my cheap belongings, except for you can keep the wine and my hournal --I don't know me. And you say, "come inside and lie down, Valentine."
Farm Sister: Class: Are you two passing notes in my class? I think you're going to have to stop. Let's open our books. And now sing a song. Eight! Punishment, punishment, no more heroin! S***!
Jiffle Baf'T'Bak: M: She was my favorite. Who needs an empire? Nobody loves me. I like to read. "M" is for mystery. "C" is for circle. "M" is for Mimi. "M" is for me. This was my birth house. Who needs a statue. I need a future. She needs to breathe. "M" is for maybe. "Q" is for question. "M" is for Mimi. "M" is for me. All by charm does each fool gather her injured kiss. Love makes no one promise. She was my starlight. Who needs an orbit? Nobody wants me. I like to dream. "M" is for marriage. "C" is for children. "M" is for Mimi. "M" is for me. All by charm.... I was choking on the promise, I'm afraid of love --afraid of loving you. "M" is for mirror. "C" is for circle. "M" is for Mimi. "M" is for me.
The Brothers Three: Spell: Have you known hypnosis? Have you seen where the shortcut goes? All my love is silent. Have you heard what your worry knows? All my thoughts are deadly, and you seem like a pretty girl. Chorus: Cast you under my spell. I'm so lonely. Cast you under my spell. Now you love me. Have you had the philter? Have you ached with a tailored thirst? All my past is failure --oh I tried to be normal first. All my dreams are scary, and you seem like a tasty fly. Chorus. Have you ever wondered how the real fire of magic starts? All my tricks confuse me --oh, you probably know it all. All my captives bore me, and you hate me without a mask.
Jiffle Baf'T'Bak: Love Tears Bears: I'll be feeding your cat to his enemy cats, I'll be taking a trip out of town. 'Cause you think I don't know --don't consider me slow: I can see that you're sleeping around. CH: You can kick my ass down the Eiffel stairs --I'm a rat to not remember that my love tears bears. You can have your stupid spat: I'll have an elf with a cigarette. I'll be sprouting my wings once I've broken your things. I'll be letting the burglars in free. With my foot on the gas and the rest of the cash --it's the last you'll be hearing from me. CH. Don't come crawling to me. "Walking tall?" Whatever you call it --you and me over. Don't be looking my way. "Ignoring?" Is that how you say it? You and me over! CH.
The Executioners: Grip of the Pete: These lyrics remain classified at this time. Thank you for your inquiry; your identity has been noted for our files.
Flip Nasty: Cruel: When it comes, best run fast, wild legs might still outlast you. I'm ashamed there's no control: silver moon makes animal. Chorus: Cruel, now there's blood in your eye, and you're trying not to cry, but you think that you want to. I'm so sorry. I recall number one. High school, I was having fun when in the sky, like a song, guides my growling teeth along. Chorus. It can control the sea, so why not me --there's blood in me. Yes, it's true I hunted you. What else was I supposed to do? Silver thorns break my heart. Slow and deep, I fall apart. Chorus....
Farm Sister: I Was There, It Just Wasn't Funny: Hi, are you free Friday? No, I'm shy. Would you like to see a movie? No, I'm shy. Be my valentine. No, I'm shy. I cut off my leg to show you I care. No, I'm shy. I killed 52 people --marry me! No, I'm shy. No, I'm shy. So anyway, I had these tomatoes, right? But they were rotten, so I took them back to the store, but they said that they wouldn't take them back because I'd taken a bite out of one of them. Well, of course I had! How else am I supposed to find out if they're rotten?! Well, I guess you had to be there. I was there, it just wasn't funny.
Flip Nasty: Make Still Your Wings: Tight the stripe that winds the frame --I wonder does it squeeze the shape? Do the fingers find me on their own? Like a swan from out the sun, you glimmer on as moves the dawn. If I catch your feather, will you fall? CH: Feather, fall down to me. Darling, make still your wings. Shelter under my tree. Darling, make still your wings. Hollow you as light as air, as heavy as a rainy tear. Gripped by fog, you struggle with my storm. CH. Spinning like an apple in the sun and rain, when your seeds fall out like diamonds, I shall plant their grain. Flashing and reacting like you have no pain, but your head is in the larder and your bones are in the lane. CH. Fly over my golden-draped abode. feather, fall down to me. Touch me with your shape and face --wrap me in your bones. Darling, sway into me. Sharp the teeth that bite the knave that crushed the fruit that filled the cave. Do the strangers bind without a home?
The fake sampler of all the fake bands on my fake record label. This was a fun project we mostly did to work out the kinks recording with the ADAT, but it also allowed us to stretch outside of our normal schtick and try some radically different things on for size, some of which (like the texture-guitars of The Brothers Three) proved useful on future songs ("Love Is A Secret," "Eclipse").
Fanfare for Glenn's Ferry (Nuffin): One semester, the advanced composition seminar hired a horn quartet (2 trumpets, french horn, trombone) to read pieces we wrote. This was mine, obviously. Glenn's Ferry is a very little town nestled on the Snake River between Boise and Twin Falls (about 80 miles east of Boise on I-84). It was one of my landmarks on my many drives from Denver to Portland, and the fictionalized setting of the first annual Checkmate Exemplathon. Do you guys mind that I'm breaking out of the Torch & Bacon myth, or should I resume my self-aggrandizing propaganda? You're aware I've sold like 500 total albums ever, right?
I Can't Have Two (Leaky Joe): Joh3n O'Meara singing, Speranza on guitar and bass, me on piano and drums (and screaming). The "Smells Like Flowers" bridge harkens back to my first side project with best buddy O'Meara, The O'Weathers Jazz Duo. Speranza screams "Tell it like it is!" This is a fairly meaningless fun song about some poor bastard getting himself into a pickle over two archetypical women --Laura the "girl next door" and Beth the "bad girl minx." That jerk deserves what he gets!
No One Could (Fingernail Factory): Dave Potts singing, Eric Rorem on bass, Speranza on drums, me on guitar and high backup vocals, Dixie Rorem on guitar solo. All the negative thoughts eroding at a battered confidence (not mine, obviously --I was dynamite with the ladies in 1998). At first, I considered this a throwaway song, but subsequently re-evaluated it as one of my best. It says a lot about your writing ability when the line between garbage and genius is so fine.
Two Make One (The Executioners): This song is hyperserialized prior to the fade, with every element in some sense controlled by some version of the row. Speranza and I play all the instruments, Cat & I contributed poetry to the blender.
Bang Bang Girl (Leaky Joe): Much of the instrumental track was recorded while on tour, staying with Brian Costello in Portland (guitar: me, djembe: Robert McIntosh, harmonica: Brian). Speranza on bass. Me trying to disguise my voice as Leaky's backing vocals. Me on the slide guitar solo.
And You Say (The Brothers Three): This kind of intro is what happens when you make home recording equipment cheap enough for layabouts to purchase. You asked for this, America. That's an actual thunderstorm recorded underneath the track. Stream-of-consciousness reminiscence of running into an old flame over a bed of guitar textures. Speranza, Cat, and I sing the whole line in unison. I play tablas, Speranza and I cover the four guitar parts together, and he plays the written bass part. This song is prime for re-recording. Guntar: Cat. Ynkwar: Me. Hutwar/Interviewer: Speranza.
Class (Farm Sister): This was an exercise I wrote in college for modern theory. I wanted a recording of it, and also was interested in refining my use of speech in songs. Eric Rorem reads the main part, Speranza and I are the other voices and percussion. The chalkboard is the sound of all the chalk strokes to write uppercase "I LOVE YOU" 123-12-circle-12-1234-123-circle-arc.
M (Jiffle Baf'T'Bak): Speranza singing lead, all instruments covered by me except the violin (Dixie Rorem) and harmonica (I think Dave Potts did that). Some extra percussion in the final solo by Fried. The bridge is nearly-alphabetical All By Charm Does Each Fool Gather His InJured Kiss --Love Makes No One Promise. How incredibly clever. The fade is part of the "Afraid of Love" song cycle of songs sharing that theme (Afraid of Love, No One Could, M, Train). Fortunately, I was able to crank out a song in the approximately one week between getting Mimi's # and being told to not use it except for in medical emergencies. Truly, these fascinating stories of unparalleled rejection juxtaposed against finally finding true love are clinching proof for the existence of God. The Lord had a plan for me, and I'm not even joking. I have beautiful daughters and a fantastic wife and will never be loveless again. Who would've bet on that in 1998? Not me, that's for sure. I was busy spooking friends of friends.
Spell (The Brothers Three): I originally meant for this nest of guitars to be distorted, and now think I probably should've stuck with that plan. The luge call (Speranza) was definitely a topical reference to the ridiculous Winter Olympics going on at the time. Treatise on the dark fantasy of love via hypnosis as an expose on the desire for control. If you look it up, you'll find that "treatise" is a synonym for "lame-o juvenile song idea." Check it out. I'll wait right here. Oh, I do like our little interlude jokes.
Love Tears Bears (Jiffle Baf'T'Bak): Speranza singing again, also covering bass. Me on drums, piano, guitar, and backup vocals. A favorite of Eric's. I've never actually been cheated on because you have to actually set up a stable relationship in order to subsequently ruin it. But I'm an angry little guy nonetheless.
Grip of the Pete (The Executioners): This is entirely experimental pastiche, loosely emulating the style of Stockhausen. We made several passes over the song, randomly punching elements in and out each time like layers of swiss cheese. That's how delicious it is. The title comes from random text Speranza was reading aloud during one pass from a book on bog mummies. The actual passage is "the grip of the peat," but it caused us both to crack up (as you can hear) since we were both trapped in the clutches of Pete Vincelette in Live Bait at the time. It's odd that I can remember so much of the text as it whizzes by. There's a distorted sample from a song called "Nang Nang" that Brian Costello and Robert McIntosh improvised during the Bang Bang girl session
Cruel (Flip Nasty): I remixed this version for Flame Cow to get rid of some muddiness. Like No One Could, I didn't realize how much I would like this song once it was actually on tape. Best werewolf song since Warren Zevon! Don't you get it? If you love me, you'll get infected! Wait, that sounds a lot more dangerous than I meant it to.... Fantastic solo from Speranza. I played bass on this since Fried was in Japan (again).
I Was There, It Just Wasn't Funny (Farm Sister): This was an extremely early ROQUE-era speech song written by John O'Meara and myself and kept alive by the surprising memorization skills of Matt Preheim. There's actually an original version of this lying around somewhere that I'd completely forgotten about until just now. Again, Eric Rorem reads the main line, with Vaunne supplying the "No, I'm shy" samples for me over the phone back before she would admit how smitten she was with me. Speranza reads the infamous tomato monologue.
Make Still Your Wings (Flip Nasty): This is an augmented live track. The original live performance was from Gussie's, during one of four consecutive 4-hour nights where Speranza and I were really stretching and exploring the material in a very loose, improvisatory manner. As mentioned elsewhere, that was a watershed gig for us, and that kind of free expansion --very much in the vein of how jazz is played live-- became our default modus operandi pretty much from then on. On the original track, I'm playing the rhythm guitar and Speranza's playing lead. For this CD, however, I wanted to build even more upon the orignal performance by adding some extra studio tracks (bass & djembe, which I played). With those, I tried to remain faithful to the feel of the song, reacting or pre-announcing different motifs throughout. To cap it off, I invented the fake introduction (explaining the fact that there were now four instruments as the artifact of a fake special guest) and obviously flew in some applause from other sources. This performance really vaulted this song into a prominent position in the live show. For a while, I consistently opened with it, to warm up my scat chops and establish the tone of the show (i.e. give people an opportunity to evacuate the premises). This version really shows off Speranza's skill as an improviser. One of my favorite ideas of his during the course of the song is the eerie "fade-in" effect, achieved by rolling his guitar's volume knob in from zero with his pinkie as he played. The cookie after the song is a quarter-tone jazz loop I threw together. Sweet.