With several full-length side projects recorded since Monkey Eat Monkey, and a total of 5 albums in concurrent release, I decided to put together another sampler to offer as a bonus for the brilliant "Price Packages" that have pretty much never been used on the website.
Deep (UFO Catcher): This is the same version that's on "The Tale...."
The Absinthe Drinkers (Sunhouse Branch): Off of "The Top Secret Band...."
Round the Bend (The Stunt Beatles): Off of "2x3<4"
Something Out (Jiffle Baf't'Bak): This was actually recorded (all instruments/programming/vocals) by Jason Kaneshiro, another composition major in my program. We did a song swap as an exercise, where we each got nothing but a lead sheet (chords and melody) for a song we were otherwise unfamiliar with and thereby came up with a fresh take on it. My half of the swap was his song, "Cynical One," which I might throw on a box set disc sometime. Lots of interesting differences. It helps to know that whereas my primary instrument is drums, Jason's is bass. You can instantly hear the way that difference separates our approaches, where my vocals tend to be extremely syncopated, and his bass parts are much more fluidly improvised within the idiom.
Don't Slam That Door (Leaky Joe): Off of "Fistful of Blues"
Slime Bunnies (live) (The Executioners): The opening segment is the original recording of the original song, written and performed by Matt Preheim and myself for the Frumples Pictures "Family Ties" skit (combined with crowd noise from our 1991 Battle of the Bands appearance). I subsequently arranged some parts (early on in ROQUE) for us to play, but --frankly-- those parts are lame. This version is (after the intro) a semi-serialized arrangement specific to the Executioners. The verse guitar part is the row, but the bass part is a rip-off of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. I'm just lucky that the crowd noise loop settled on "You guys suck!" during the pause. The fade includes Vaunne singing and trying not to crack up, and is obviously taken entirely from Elmer Fudd meets Wagner. So there, hippity-hop.
When (Flip Nasty): From Flame Cow.
Primrose (EZluvR): Eric Rorem wrote this song, and he sings and plays bass here. I play drums and piano, and helped arrange the song.
Late Last Night (Barry Shapiro): Barry was a regular player at the Abstract Cafe open stage that The Stunt Beatles hosted. I suggested that he record a demo with me when I was first trying to get clients for my Checkmate Studios business. I essentially produced the album (In Remission), and played many of the backing instruments (bass, djembe, agogo bells, and backing vocals on this track). The whole project was a crash course into many of the realities of that market for me, from quick engineering to pricing and intervention.
Large-Animal Veterinarian Blues (live) (Dr. Lee Garrett's Supreme All-Stars of the Free Universe): This was an extremely rough recording of a homework assignment I wrote for my modern theory class in college, being sight-read by members of the class, most of whom I can no longer identify. The heavily-reverbed vocal is a 2000 overdub. I know I'm playing guitar, Renee Mungas and Robert McIntosh are playing piano (Robert on the lower vamp, Renee on the higher part, which was actually written for flute), a guy named John is on upright bass. This is an event-based piece, in the vein of the end of "Unwelcome," combining motifs of choice with responses and improvisation over a vamp. In the middle, Professor Vincent McDermott moves the recorder into a different position. I fade before the original end, which was a failed attempt to scat into the resonant cavity of the piano (failed because that particular upright piano didn't have a very good sostenuto).
Standing (The Brothers Three): Written, but not considered for, Archaeology, this is thematically tied with those songs (burying the past). I went back to the well alone, with a heavily-textured arrangement and three-part unison vocal. I like this song, but it's not as good a recording as the original Brothers Three material. This is a metaphor for betrayal despite an emotional debt to pay, played out in a story about a stranger who helps defend a small town from outlaws, only to be killed by the mayor of the town who is enraged to discover that the stranger had bedded his daughter. That's right, bedded.
Sleep (Fingernail Factory): This was another song swap, this time with songwriter Dave Potts, who also lent a guest vocal to the Monkey Eat Monkey recording of "No One Could." This time, he recorded everything himself and just sent me the final mix. Unlike the song swap with Jason, Dave already knew (and chose) this song. It's still interesting to compare our approaches, though.
Future Farmers of America (live) (Farm Sister): Man, I want to hit the next song button right now. I included this just for posterity, but it definitely makes me cringe every time I hear it. That's Michal Broadbent reading an actual letter to the editor during a Papaccino's gig as an installment of the ever-popular "Making Up Song Game." You must remember, this was before the internet became the international trivial vomitorium we all now know and love, and finding something like this text was really more rare and worthy of commemorating back then (1994). Nonetheless, the thing I desperately, desperately wish I could remove is everything I say during the course of the song. If I would just shut my yap, quit interrupting her, cut the unit conversion class out, and limit the chorus to a sudden passionate outburst of "Oh, piggy!" this would actually be palatable, and maybe even funny (at least on first listen) the way it is when Fried hits the 500 Miles chorus on The Bootleg Nobody Else Would Make. Also, the artistic focus of this song has ironically shifted from how funny we thought we were to how callous we actually were to perform this --to quote Michal, "To me, it's a prime example of why our children are the way they are."
Do It (live) (Leaky Joe): Crank it. I can't take over the Leaky Joe franchise. O'Meara owns the man. This is a re-recording of a song Speranza and I wrote together c.1992 and performed occasionally at Paris. I would like to do another Leaky album, but I'm not sure if I can pony up enough cash to pry O'Meara from the other ocean for a weeklong session (because he loves those). Plus he's got stars and babies to think about.
2x3<4 (The Stunt Beatles): from 2x3<4
The Absinthe Drinkers (Sunhouse Branch): from "The Top Secret Band...."
China, Present Day/Leave Me Be (live) (Flip Nasty): This is an augmented live track from our last Flip Nasty gig, the 2000 Bolder Boulder. The original track is me on vocals & electric guitar, Fried on bass, and Kevin Ozias on drums. Unfortunately, Kevin's drums are almost inaudible, so I re-recorded new drums in Buffalo (you can hear a little remnant of Kevin's peeking out in the background of the main track). After Speranza officially left the band, Fried and I decided to reconfigure, with me permanently moving into the guitarist slot and inviting the incredibly-talented Kevin to join us as a permanent member. Had I stayed in Denver, I think this incarnation of the band would've had a lot of fun. We were definitely poised to move away from acoustic shows and back into full-out rock and roll. However --as I like to say-- life intervened, and I couldn't pass up the chance to be with Vaunne. This track and a few others from this gig are already selected for the future live retrospective "If Flip Nasty Falls in the Forest...." I must be stoned on espresso to write "future live retrospective," simultaneously merging all three dimensions of time into one wormhole of a phrase. That's the power of this band, man. We bend space-time. Routinely.