Sunhouse Branch: The Top Secret Band That's So Secret That The Members Don't Even Know That They're In The Band (studio, 2001)
$10 for album by special order
|The Songs (some of these lyrics are more than a little bit unknown, just warnin' ya') |
The Beauty of the Universe*/The Absinthe Drinkers(mp3)/The Abysmal Refugee/Why Should I Fly?^/Peach Cider/Savage Rhythm in Our Hearts/One Will Win You*(mp3)/Sylvan Wisdom/Neon Girl/Peace's Bane/Salad Shooter%/Be Kind to Animals*/Wings to Carve/Fire and Ice*/Dunlichity Kirk (Inst.)
all songs written and arranged by Cat Mayhugh and Cody Weathers(c)(p)1990-2001, Cat Mayhugh and Cody Weathers, all rights reserved except * by Cody Weathers, ^ by Colby Goff and Cody Weathers, and % by John Speranza and Cody Weathers (all rights reserved to originators). No stealing the worthless material, OK?
Additional MP3 Singles:
Don't Hate the Players:
Blaise Joule: Vocals, Guitar
Cecelia Valentine: Keyboard, Guitar, Vocals
Elementary Penguin: Drums.
John Fried 2000: Robotic Bass
additional unwilling participants:
Cat Mayhugh: vibra-slap, keyboard, vocals
Cody Weathers: not saying he didn't do a little here and there; and OK, that's him singing Why Should I Fly.
John Speranza: pedal rubber-band guitar
Eric Rorem: saying "whoo" to the ladies
Sabre Mayhugh: Grocery-bag pan pipes
The Beauty of the Universe: In a universe of infinite possibilities, nothing is truly out of the ordinary, and any anomaly must --in some sense-- be treated as normal. It is in cases such as these in which we are exposed to the statistical reality of everyday existence, and the true value of the universe itself --its capacity for changes beyond our comprehension.
This is an album in time. Many cultures subscribe to the notion of parallel lives. Dopplegangers, if you will. A spiritual double, unknown to you, whose vision portends death. Beyond such elementary myths, the notion of duplicity remains a visited subject among contemporary artists, such as director Krzysztof Kieslowski, whose 1991 film, The Double Life of Veronique, exhaustively examines the subject of chance encounters with a spiritual parallel.
There is an intriguing story behind the creation of this musical album, which itself is not unrelated to the phenomenon of paralellism. It is a story focused on a cascade of uncovered coincidence which, although seemingly significant in its obvious improbable circumstancial existence, in fact, only goes to show that randomness pervades the forward march of time. I refer you to an example from Statistical Mechanical Theory, wherein students are asked the seemingly simple question:
Why doesn't the gas in this room congregate in a heap in one corner?
After months of painstaking statistical proof, the students come to understand that the answer is:
Because there are so many more ways in which it would not pile up, instead distributing randomly throughout the confined space.
Amazing coincidences, though often seen as signs of the existence of God, can easily be explained away by scientific theory as a necessary element of entropy. That coincidences exist is only noticeable because they exist, and therefore no notice should be taken of their existence. The unimaginable improbability of the precise conditions and shelter of coincidental good fortune that would be necessary for the evolution of intelligent life is often called into question by those who understandably wish to believe in a purposeful genesis. We seek comfort in the stars, forgetting that they are --after all-- little more than giant balls of hot gas. The point being that in all of the hundreds of billions of scenarios in which intelligent life failed to evolve on a particular planet of a particular star system, there was no one there to contemplate the origins of their existence. We are the gas that piled in a heap in the corner of the room. We are an anomaly of staggering improbability, and yet we are inevitable. To dispute the math and infer the omnipotent guidance of a sentient creator is pure folly. Surely there are no longer any educated creationists. I have just finished explaining to you idiots in baby terms that don't even get into the interesting theoretical math that I deal with on a routine basis while you scratch your nuts and misbalance your checkbooks that we only notice coincidences because they exist. To wit, that the Earth's moon is the same apparent size as the sun is an amazing coincidence, but you don't hear anybody going on and on about the evidence of a higher power in the fact that the Earth's landmasses arrange to form the physiognomy of a human face. Of course not, that coincidence --though amazing-- doesn't exist, and so we don't notice it. Give up your spiritual projections. And don't even tell me about tests of faith or the presupposition of static laws of nature in my model --I don't want to hear about it. Submit to me, and I will finish telling you about the "Amazing Coincidence of Sunhouse Branch."
It seems that Flip Nasty songwriter Cody Weathers and his erstwhile producer/backup vocalist Cat Mayhugh attempted to develop a side-project experimental hard rock band in the early nineties. The band was to be comprised of Weathers, Mayhugh, Mayhugh's very large older brother, Sabre, and Shaun Strauss. Weathers and Mayhugh recorded a series of demos, but the band failed to crystallize --like the hundreds of billions of scenarios in which intelligent life failed to evolve on a particular planet of a particular star system. In 1998, another attempt was made to develop a side project experimental hard rock band fronted by Weathers and Mayhugh. This time, the group was to be rounded out by Flip Nasty bassist John Fried and EZluvR bassist Eric Rorem. Again, Weathers and Mayhugh worked on several songs, yet nothing became of their efforts.
Then, in the beginning of the year 2000, a supercomputer musical analysis of random rehearsal recordings collected from around the globe unraveled a pattern that was taken by many researchers to be an epiphanic revolution towards a greater understanding of the elusive musicon particle. It seemed that these songs, long-since abandoned by Weathers and Mayhugh, had been independently resurrected by an unknowing French experimental hard rock trio of amateur musicians, some of whom were employed by day in the insurance industry as claims adjustors. Not heeding the lessons of cold fusion, the researchers hastily announced that they had indeed discovered evidence of the musicon particle. However, in the months that followed, they were unable to reproduce or otherwise substantiate their findings and it was suggested in a joint paper by myself and Mathematician David A. Kelmscott that the findings were merely a coincidence, given the nearly all-encompassing nature of the original sample size. The musicon researchers, already viewed with much levity in the international scientific community, were now the laughingstocks of even the uncultured proletariat, as their hideous sloppy mistake was chronicled on evening television newscasts throughout the world.
It was at this point that Checkmate Records asserted copyright and received a court order granting them stewardship of the section of coincidental data that matched the older, and previously registered, Weathers/Mayhugh songs. Supplementing the material with robotic bass player John Fried 2000 and other Checkmate regulars, the label toiled in secret to produce this Compact Disc that you are listening to today. The band is Sunhouse Branch, and the album title is --fittingly-- The Top Secret Band That's So Secret That The Members Don't Even Know That They're In The Band. As for the trio in France, they were never appraised of their involvement in this scientific guffaw turned musical and statistical crown jewel. And although some illiterati insist that the random discovery of the band now known as Sunhouse Branch foretold the demise of Flip Nasty, I would remind them in my very bloodless voice that they should just get over it and accept that --as I have repeatedly explained-- the universe is a statistical machine in which coincidences are, in fact, utterly meaningless except in that they mean that coincidences exist, which is the sum meaning of the existence of coincidences. Thank you for listening to me in this fashion, and I hope we can all enjoy the beauty of the universe, which I have now taught you to understand.
The Absinthe Drinkers: Here we are in this condition --vacant, sprawling careless town. Drinking out of mason jars. Streetlamps, yellow painted stars. Chorus: Wormroot tongue and restless stupor, restless said I'm all used up. Shadows, I, I wish I were. Coffee brown says sober up. Green fields are more pleasant beds and clear blue skies more gentle jails. I lifted more a thousand cups, sat drunk, confused in garden's veils. I wished my heart weren't parched, dizzy in the garden. I wished it wouldn't shrivel, wished it wouldn't harden. CH. Laying soft, just me and Heather, all the clouds whisking high. I was feeling dense and clever: will I shrivel? Will I die?
The Abysmal Refugee: She cascades through my ebony dreams, her obscure beauty flows through azure streams. Blue eyes stare with a melancholy air. Bright red rose petals rest at her thighs as the tears disperse underneath those eyes. So clear, so bright, lying next to me tonight, yet the pain is in your eyes. I stare into your sapphire soul --those eyes betray your suffering toll. Tell me what's wrong, you've waited too long to uncover your face to the empty grace. Chorus: Just lift the veil and let me see the real you that you want to be. You cover the pain with the beat of the wave and bury your feelings in a fathomable grave. Please to fade awry; let your spirit fly. I dive through your pain's thickening mist and release your dreams with unreachable bliss. Release your chains and break away --free to the promise of another day. CH.
Why Should I Fly?: Should I love her? Should I wonder? I don't know where to go. She's a-gone, dressed up in lace. The sun never shines on my face. Chorus: Why, oh why should I fly? Beauty's lost, place unknown. Why, oh why should I cry? CH. Miss her light covering my fear. Then I wipe the tears away. Sunrise no more, wander again. Why, oh why should I fly?
Peach Cider: Peach cider. As envisioned, this was to be said by your poor little Apple's voice synthesizer, but maybe it could be done in another, better fashion. Fuzzy navel, fuzzy legs, fuzzy quim, keeps it trim. Fuzzy neck, fuzzy breasts, I licked her skin and bit her chin. Those legs wrapped round, those legs wrapped round. Wrapped. Rapt. Rapture fruit.
Savage Rhythm In Our Hearts: sweet young lass with a candy-sugar a** and an avalanche of breasts thunder down her chest, legs that stretch forever, smiling, whispered pleasures. It's a savage rhythm that drives us all up each and every fucking wall, I see her here, I see her there, the Venus with her flaxen hair. Sly, these m*********s. The woman, the ad that conquers the nation. The way she looks and smacks and jiggles, advertisements bounce and giggle, cigarettes dance and wiggle, all to sell you sex. Why are we preoccupied? Look in the paper and there you'll find that the basic nature of all man is gluttony, greed and then sex. If this song turns you on, listen on to get your kicks. Master man's gonna need some sex. When I look around, the concrete men and priests do frown. We got more of sweet honey, born to strive for sex and money. They might have to see the savage image of pornography, love's sweet avarice, lose to the turning and sweet caress of a magazine. It's a rhythm, it's a rhythm, it's a savage carnal rhythm. It's a rhythm, it's a beat, it's a Siamese trick-up beat.
One Will Win You: She, the queen of Holland, will have need of an irregular American boy. A stranger seeking water, I will be her only guide. Watch, as I presume her wonders one by one. Her smart jokes in crude jars, her weeping heart wants food. Chorus: A dream we shared, a sign. They all will want you, one will win you. She, the mask of baubles, and behind her, I have put my heart. A bottle for an endless thirst, I will fill her with the things I want. Watch as I, the thief of dreams, assume desire. I am her secret heroin, fixed butter thick in dulcet veins. CH. I drove her to a place I loved, a place that had burned down. She said, "of all the ones to fawn, I knew you'd be the first to fall."
Sylvan Wisdom: Hymns and songs of long ago tell of warriors fighting an evil foe. With covered swords of thy fallen steel, the wounded evil is left to heal. The flooding skies, the sylvan know, the balance torn forevermore. CH: But man just reaps what he can take, the trees, the Earth, the fields of wheat. To satisfy his swelling need, he rapes the Earth, the evil deed. Slender long-haired maidens fair, young and brave now dying there. There is no honor in a slaughtered kiss, long-haired maidens in a ditch. There is much terrible forgiven by the mass, evil disasters hidden in the night. Man, the glory gone and done, the gardens now his own front yard. CH. Rise up now, and take a stand. Looks right through my even hand. In the book of time are the histories made --listen to the wisdom of the elven sages. Terra firma and with our music, this your life your Earth you're losing. The sputtering mile, the sylvan know, the age will hum forevermore. Close to the elves we would be wise to see his lessons and his voice. This elven nomad, men should hear --the time of the Earth is meddled near. We gather and we hum, then we listen no one, sad and blind to his demands. CH.
Neon Girl: Chorus: Moth light, dry light, her eyes shone like twilight. When I first knew her, all the time, these cathode carpets, monoxides. Pale children running wild, running wild. But last time we met "I love him, we'll be married in March, maybe April." And I hope the children follow soon, tiny hands and feet and whees of glee. Her eyes were wet and lucid moons. CH. Last I heard, divorced in May. God forgives, Jesus saves. But I work for charity for love for therapy, for me. This isn't our last dinner --wash my feet, I'm complete. Her eyes I never saw. CH. Wet light, dry light, brief flight, candlelight. The sunset befits you --I never knew.
Peace's Bane: The empty life has nowhere to fight and no reason to wound and shoot them. Forgotten youth, the awful truth of war and persecution. Atomic bombs and mournful songs, the price of pride and glory. The nation's fears the soldier hears and responds with faithful duty. Shoot one, shoot all the orders call, yelled by generals of black. Without your brain, you go insane upon humanity's rack. Your mind is twisted, contorted and blistered by the murders so dreadfully committed. A mother's plea for her son to be free hopelessly obliterated.
Be Kind to Animals: Be kind to animals. Make peace with everyone. And if I am good, you might even like me. Be sure to wash your hands when you have spilt my blood. 'Cause if I am dead, you might even like me. Chorus: Be kind to animals. Save love for better things. Throw animals aside because animals don't matter. Be kind to invalids. Be kind to animals. Fill my bottle with hope --you might even wean me. Chorus. Slay me with roses' thorns. Pierce me with gentle scorn. For if I'm away, you might even like me. Run like a mystery when you get close to me, and if I observe, then try to ignore me. Be kind to animals because they don't understand, and if they get dull, then put them to sleep.
Salad Shooter:Slicing up carrots and mincing up meat and throwing in garbage and food from last week. It's fun to shoot salad, my God it's so neat, salad shooter. Spitting out croutons and dressing and cheese --it's hard to distinguish the birds from the bees. Throw in your dog and get rid of its fleas, salad shooter. Trimming the hedge and cutting your hair, for shaving your legs, it's better than Nair. It'll make oatmeal from Snuggles the bear, salad shooter. Flip on the blades --it's not so hard. It's another great way to shuffle your cards. Garden Weasel can't compare when you're working the yard, salad shooter. It's got so many functions, it'll blow you away: it can cut down the rain forest in just half a day! You know that you want it so don't dare delay: just pick up that pencil and order today.
Wings to Carve: I might have made a meal of you, I might have gone too far. I came to put your head on glass, I came to shoot a star. CH: Another salve, another cure, another curse to solve. The snow falls down in torrents now, and I've got wings to carve. No more tilting in me, for my courage lost the horse. These mills, in fact, did break me -- truer giants safe and warm. I see you safe to save me, if I kiss you will you wake me? I see you whisper maybe if I kiss you, angel save me. CH. This blanket spreads all white of frost, and all the rainbow's colors lost. I drink you though my tongue is rust, and all the rainbow's colors dust. I see you safe to save me, if I kiss you will you wake me? I see you whisper maybe if I kiss you, angel save me.
Fire and Ice: I am burning up with indecision: should I reach for stars or stay down here on Earth? I am so happy now just to chase the moon, believing I could catch it if I ran a little faster. Would I be happier just to plant a seed --to watch it grow or wither in my hands? And then which seed to plant --there are so many? Would they grow in the pale light of the moon? She has kissed me soft, full of frivolity, the moon it keeps on shining, so far away, but never closer. It takes a single instant --one crazy glint of hope-- to turn the tables 'round and end up on the moon. But the seeds that beckon me so deep within the Earth.... So soon the harvest comes, and so the harvest moon. Chorus: Fire and ice, the flames that freeze, the moon sifts down through the ring of trees. A storm drifts in on a gentle breeze. I find, in the end, I can just ask please. I've no control over birds or bees. I look to see the emperor, but I only see his clothes. He can only hide behind them in the face of mighty foes. I meet a fresh new face, she makes me laugh to think. Her visage drifts inside my mind, her silent sighs serve to remind that hearts always seem to break --stupid mistakes we make. Sound asleep beside the lake --on top of that, it's snowing. She smiles to me always when I pass her walking by. I don't know what I'll do about her, but I've got some things to try. Darling, don't be cruel because you know that I am shy. And if you break my heart, then you'll know even big boys cry. But nothing seems to matter in the eyes of mother nature, and if these seeds won't sprout, I'll have to starve until the spring. Chorus. Am I stranded in your wasteland, or have I lost the way? Show me how to get inside your heart --it's cold and dark out here. Is it a key I need? Then it's a key I'll find. Leave some cookies for Santa Claus and something for the reindeer too. Do not forget me when I'm helpless --I need you here. Just give me one more kiss and I'll be on my way.
While living in Buffalo, I threw this together as a surprise birthday present for Cat, using a.) some demos he and I recorded in high school for a side project that never materialized, b.) some lyrics he wrote for another set of side-project songs after college and c.) a smattering of my own excess material. The title and many of the fictional characters mentioned within (David A. Kelmscott, et al.) are lifted from a novel Cat wrote around the same time. This contains, without a doubt, my strongest collaborative material in the "new lyric songs." Cat's talent for words took the pressure off of me and was refreshing in its variance from the kinds of ideas I usually put to paper. That's why we're doing another one, to be released soon....
The Beauty of the Universe: That message always makes me crack up. Martin! Answer your phone! Mmmm. Somehow, this setup of how Sunhouse Branch fits into the Neverending Flip Nasty Myth evolved into a lighthearted defense of my own creationist beliefs. This little spoken-word piece is therefore probably my single greatest artistic expression of socio-political commentary ever, which isn't saying much.
The Absinthe Drinkers: These are some of Cat's words from the second project (with minor modifications from me to make them more singable). I had a surprising fit of competence on the lead guitar line. One of my favorites off the album, and one that I've occasionally played live. I've hardwired this drum patch into my V-Drums. On the new material, I had to speed the ADAT up to deepen my voice on playback. Because that's all it takes to sound perfectly like Cat.
The Abysmal Refugee: That's Cat singing, c.1991. The original demo is harpsichord and Cat's vocal. I added drums, backup vocals, and bass for the final track. One of the subtle comedies of this project is that I'm totally guessing what the words to the early demos are in the online lyric page. There's some good stuff going on here --short, but sweet.
Why Should I Fly?: This is actually a song that Colby Goff & I wrote together (Colby's words, melody together, original chords from Colby, subsequent chords by me) early on in ROQUE. It's been significantly restylized here.
Peach Cider: The first thing said is actually Cat's post-it note suggestions for the song. These are his words from project #2 with my music (a serial jazz piece with the row spelled out in the walk, crossed with 1/4-tone baritone sax).
Savage Rhythm In Our Hearts: One of the 1991 demos with Cat's original vocal. The original demo was fairly ambitious for two people recording karaoke-style: I laid down drums first with nothing else, then we overdubbed Cat's vocal and my original guitar (including my improbable tap-hammer solo) together. For this recording, I doubled the guitar and added bass.
One Will Win You: This was one of my excess new songs, written around the same time as "Blue As The Moon." As with "Anyone But Me" on the Leaky Joe album, I immediately fell in love with this "throwaway song" once it was actually recorded. It was featured in our final Frumples film, "Vampires: They Come From Space." This is my favorite off the album.
Sylvan Wisdom: Another improbable tap-hammer part in the intro for this original 1991 demo. The new elements are the wah-wah bass, drums, and lead guitar in the main section of the song.
Neon Girl: One of the newer Cat lyrics (with only minor modifications from me) over my music. That's Vaunne speaking. This is supposed to sound more like a live Sunhouse Branch track. Bet i fooled you, huh?
Peace's Bane: one of the 1991 demos, featuring original keyboard from me & vocal from Cat coupled with new drums, bass, guitar, and choir of Codies. One of the refreshing parts of working with Cat is how different his approach is to everything. His lyrics are very different from mine, his
Be Kind to Animals: This is a leftover song from the writing I did for As Rome Burns. Originally, I intended to use a rough demo of it Speranza and I cut back in high school with piano & bass. Oh so sad, the ladies treat him like an animal. I weep until dreaming.
Salad Shooter: Cat, Speranza and I wrote and karaoke-recorded this in an afternoon as the music for a fake commercial we shot with Fried for some high school class of his. Bottom line, this is an extremely educational song. The original recording is me on piano & lead vocal, Speranza on the phased solo guitar, and Cat contributing the low "salad shooter!" vocal. I beefed this up for this album with drums, additional rhythm guitar, bass, and extra vocals. Now, it kicks extra ass. YEAH!
Wings To Carve: Lyrics from Cat, music from me. I dig this one. I definitely prefer the newer material over the original demos.
Fire & Ice: Now this definitely has some Type O Negative vibe going on with all the direct guitars and "fake Cat" voice. I think I had the right idea to re-record this, but it probably needs to be done over with better guitars and a better solo. By Nuno Bettencourt, probably. We'll just bring him in for a quick session.
Dunlichity Kirk: Original music (keyboard) written and performed by Cat back in '91. All I've added are the radios, a new low drone, and the spooky pitch-shift-pedal guitar. End of flippin' messages, man.