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Archive for February, 2011

Flesh and Mud – 2.16.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae and Dane Hill]

Click to download the tracks:

“Blue”
“Cute Little Echo (Front Porch)”
“Here Comes Jombo”
“Reading Rainbow” (Horelick, Kleinman & Weir)
“Cute Little Echo (Back Porch)”
“Planned Parenthood”


I hate to use the word “groove” in almost any context outside of a crevice, as in a record or the road, but I can’t just ignore the hokier context here.  I’m not trying to liken this set to a jam band type of deal.  There is, however, an essence of  ease on this one.  It’s light.  Positive?  Who knows?

“Blue” – Notice the resistance to the soundscape at the beginning.  No one (except maybe Dane) thought I was serious about using it when I broke it out (as I did just prior to this take).  I had to sell the girls on it.  I mean, it’s a creepy sound.  I think that they think that I was just being an asshole because I’m not usually wanting to play “Blue” as much as I do the other songs.  I knew it would work, though…and it does!  Good version!

“Cute Little Echo” – Yeah.  I know how shitty my singing can get. Definitely good examples of that on these two versions, but instrumentally they are too fresh to omit for bad singing.  The “Front Porch” is quicker and more rockin’ then we have done in the past.  The “Back Porch” is…well…I’m not certain.  It’s happy.  Not so…serious?  No guitar on it.  I’m playing bass instead.  Both versions also have Dane on drums rather than beats as the prior versions have had.  And listen!  Katie’s ukulele is coming through loud and clear finally!  Alright!

“Here Comes Jombo” – Another good ol’ down home, little group jam.  Dane on bass.  Katie on the bongos.  And seriously…doesn’t it sound like someone named Jombo is approaching you?  Isn’t this what you’ll hear when it happens?

“Reading Rainbow” – I absolutely had to carry this over from the Skynet Session.  With Nathan Brown sitting in with us at the Pilot Light show on March 25th, 2011, and also being my counterpart in that session, it only makes sense to apply this one to Never Sorry.  This is the speedy, more “correct” version that they actually play on the show.

“Planned Parenthood” – This session was over.  Done for.  Megan had already left (I think).  Rachel and Katie were chatting it up.  The music had subsided, but the equipment was still on.  I was still starved for one more morsel of sound.  I suppose Dane was as well, because right after he picked up the microphone, I started this beat.  Those girls were powerless to this gangsta ass shit and we got one more aural feeding for the night.  Yes!  That’s Katie playing an old, out of tune piano.  Not keyboard gloss.

Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele, bongo drums, piano
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica, tambourine, vocals
Dane Hill – bass, drums, vocals
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – keys, beats, bass, guitar, vocals

Skynet Session – 2.9.2011 – hypencrunk [Nathan Brown & Arrison Kirby]

Click to download the tracks:

“House of Satan”
“Reading Rainbow”
“Single Politician”
“T-800”
“T-1000”

Hypencrunk is an idea that originated with Nathan Brown back when we still played in Obadiah together.  He would apply the title to any rare touches of upbeat electro we would explore.  However, it was never fully realized back then.  It’s undeniable, though, that this session is hypencrunk.

Nathan is going to join Never Sorry for our show at the Pilot Light on March 25th.  This session was supposed to be his first with everyone else, but everyone else bailed on the session for various legitimate reasons.  So it ended up just Nate and I.

We did two songs that Never Sorry often does, two dubstep improvisations and a slowed down cover of the Reading Rainbow theme song.  We did have a microphone and there were vocals when live, but I forgot to turn the channel input up on my board so they never got recorded.  I actually think this may be to the benefit of this session.  Maybe.

Nathan described this session as “two computers talking.”  Hence, we’ve named it the Skynet Session.

Nathan Brown – keys, electonics
Arrison Kirby –  keys, electronics, beats

Katherine Xoe and the Talking Shoe

Click to download as a continuous mp3:

photo by Maurita Roman

Katherine Xoe and the Talking Shoe

“My Kingdom” – Echo and the Bunnymen
“Le Temps De L’ Amour” – Francoise Hardy
“You’ve Been Flirting Again” – Evangelicals
“Smokey Fire” – Smokey Robinson vs. Arcade Fire vs. team9
“Transport is Arranged” – Pavement
“How Are You?” – David Byrne & Fatboy Slim with Nellie McKay
“Lose This Skin” – The Clash
“Kelly Watch the Hole” – ccc & ill chemist vs. The Beatles vs. Air
“Need You Tonight” – Beck, St. Vincent, Os Mutantes & Liars
“Movies of Myself” – Rufus Wainwright
“15 Stepz” – Amplive & Codany Holiday vs. Radiohead
“Welcome to the Jungle (808 Remix)” – Freedom Dub

Today is St. Valentine’s Day once again and I have the loveliest of all Valentines, to be certain.  So I made this mix for her, prior to this day.  Now that she has digested it alone, I am sharing it here as a St. Valentine’s day mix for all.  What kind of love would I be spreading if I didn’t?

Invisible Instruments – 2.2.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae, Dane Hill & David Davis]

Click to download the tracks:

“Welcome to the Show”
“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre cover)
“House of Satan”
“Single Politician”
“Dead”
“Untitled as Yet”
“Action Medley:  a) Hard Times b) Pronounced Veins c) Haunted House d) Company Tab”
“Golden Trust of the San Juan Valley, Diarrhea, California”

My guitar had been shorting out more and more.  It was causing too many issues, so I decided to finally have it repaired.  With the guitar in “the shop,” I was limited on musical resources.  The result was a much heavier use of keys on this session.  It all culminates into something somewhere between driving electro and plunky jazz.  David Davis joins us again on a couple songs.

“Welcome to the Show” – This is a happy little instrumental based around three simple chords.  I think that’s Megan stating those chords at the beginning.  I’m particularly fond of Rachel Jae’s sparse, but consistent use of an old pot for a percussive detail toward the end.

“Anemone” – I think this is the third version of this Brian Jonestown Massacre cover that I’ve put up here.  It’s certainly the most unique.  We actually worked this version up at the prior session.  I initially wasn’t going to post it because I wanted to break it out at our upcoming show at the Pilot Light on March 25th.  (Yes.  We have an upcoming show at the Pilot Light on March 25th.)  However, there is ultimately no way I can prevent myself from withholding it.  It sounds great and it’s only going to get better.

“House of Satan” – This song again.  It’s so easy, but effective.  I can’t resist it.  David Davis is playing the acoustic guitar on this one.  Katie’s hitting the bongos.  Megan’s hitting the flute.  Dane and Rachel were not present for this one.  Obviously, as on the song before it, we’re keeping in some electro territory.

“Single Politician” – I absolutely love this version.  It’s loose and gruff.  It reminds me of a car falling apart as it drives hard down a shitty road.  That’s Katie on the drums, sounding like they’re about to fall over as the rest of us lose control of our knees and elbows.

“Dead” – I wrote this song back in the days of Obadiah and actually have a few recordings of Obadiah playing it.  Rachel worked the vocals into  something new and it works far better than my original cadences ever did.  Two things here are unfortunate, though.  The first is that Katie’s ukulele is barely audible and the second is that, at the end of the song, we get feedback from the new mic we were using to try to make it audible. We did other takes where she played bass, but as far as the musicianship of the rest of us on the other takes, none beat this one.

“Untitled as Yet” – We hadn’t pulled this one out in a while.  This is another track with David Davis on acoustic guitar and without Dane and Rachel.  I feel it lacks something without electric guitar, but it’s not bad.  David does some badass flamenco guitar work in the faster part of the song.  It’s mixed kind of quiet though.  I might should fix that one day.

“Action Medley:  a) Hard Times b) Pronounced Veins c) Haunted House d) Company Tab” – This is some more of that, uh…musical comedy (?) that just pops up sometimes.  There’s little to explain about this ever-changing odyssey.

“Golden Trust of the San Juan Valley, Diarrhea, California” – I’m playing drums on this one.  Katie is on the bongos and Megan the flute, of course.  A nice meditative, percussive end.

Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele, bongo drums, drum kit
Megan Driscoll –  flute, vocals
Dane Hill – bass, drums
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – keys, beats, vocals, drums
David Davis – acoustic guitar

“Family Affairs” by Never Sorry at The Pilot Light, Knoxville, TN – 08.25.2010

Here is some video filmed by Tara Williams back in August at the first and, so far, only set performed live and public by Never Sorry. The song is “Family Affairs.” There is a false start at the beginning and the video is a tad grainy…but you get the point.

New show in March, by the way! Details soon!

Improvisations on Megan’s Facebook Statuses – 12.26.2010 – Arrison Kirby & Megan Driscoll with DJ Modifi

Click to download the tracks:

“What is This?  (David Dalton Returns to the Sea)”
“Life is Terrible”
“Party USA or Something”
“Stand By Me” (Ben E. King cover)
“Forecast: Marked”

This session began as a semi-regular Never Sorry set without Dane.  The girls and I were having some trouble breaking out of the mediocre, though we did get some newer versions of things in line for a good future nail down.  Basically, though, it was a short night that was more building than interesting.

Katie and Rachel cut out relatively early, each for their own reasons.  Not content to leave a record of practically nothing, Megan and I pressed forward with beat, bass and vocal improv.  DJ Modifi, again, was not present in person, but we used his beats for the final track.

The recording, itself, could have been better had I ran Megan’s microphone directly into the board, rather than into a board into a board as we usually do.  Here, it’s just too minimal for that and the result is this terrible hiss that persists throughout.  Eventually, you may forget that it’s there as you listen…but it drives me crazy.

“What is This? (David Dalton Returns to the Sea)” – Megan didn’t have much to say at first, what with me all but shoving a microphone in her mouth and demanding she say something.  I covered it myself by the second half, though.  David Dalton is one of my personal heroes.  I used to play in a hip hop band with him.  It was called Flashmob.  We used this beat relatively close to the end of Flashmob’s brief but powerful tenure.  So it’s natural that my own vocal musings would begin mentioning that.  Eventually it builds into exactly what it says in parenthesis up there in the song title:  David Dalton returning to the sea.  He is, after all, David Dolphin:  The Porpoise with a Purpose.

“Life is Terrible” – I may have to make an executive band decision that Megan doesn’t talk about her job anymore at sessions.  When such dialog bleeds into the music, you get this.  It’s nicely sung…but very depressing.

“Party USA or Something” – I let someone secret hear this one and they remarked that it sounded like a Miley Cyrus song.  I have to concur.  That sample is from the song “Dime” by Cake.  Also note my only vocals on this one:  an interpolation of “Sweet Jane” by the Velvet Underground.

“Stand By Me” – A cover of the Ben King classic.  She’s singing a lot better than I’m playing the bass.  For whatever reason, I thought it would make some dumbass artistic statement if I played the whole song on mostly open strings, focusing not on variety, but cadence of simplicity.  In the end it works…but I might should have actually stopped and thought about it somewhere in the five or so takes we did.  That’s the same beat from “Free Day.”

“Forecast: Marked” – This beat was created by DJ Modifi and I love it.  This is a mostly instrumental track and probably the best of this bunch.

Megan Driscoll –  vocals
Arrison Kirby – beats, bass, vocals
DJ Modifi – beat composition