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Archive for September, 2011

Animals, Minerals and Obstacles – 8.10.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, R.J. Hill & Dane Hill]

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unidentified art, New York City, NY

“Edge of Memory”
“Be My Baby” (The Ronettes)
“Sell it on the Weekends”

In our second Never Sorry session without Katie and Megan, we decided to forget all our songs and start from scratch, at least for this one.  We also abandoned the full instrumentation to go acoustic once again.  The aim was something of a brainstorm.  The result is off the cuff improvisation that sometimes veers into straight dialogue.  There is also a Ronettes cover.

I almost didn’t post this one because I thought it might be just a bit too loose.  The subject matter also ranges from questionable to offensive.  Enough to make me chop out a good chunk of “Sell it on the Weekends.”  I realized it was going to have to be done before we even finished playing the song.

This is us at our most carnal and immature.  It is also riddled with confusion and a little frustration.  Sometimes, though, it just works.

Dane Hill – acoustic guitar, kick drum, vocals
R.J. Hill – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – acoustic guitar, vocals


Ashes to Ashes

Click to download as a continuous mp3:

Ashes to Ashes

“Intro” – Barack Obama
“Airline to Heaven (Live at Farm Aid 2005)” – Wilco
“That Highway Won’t Get You to Heaven” – Beck
“Drugs” – Talking Heads
“Black Satin” – Miles Davis
“Caramel (William Orbit Special)” – Blur
“Karaim” – Electric Masada
“Ghost Town” – The Specials
“Ladytron” – Roxy Music
“Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It)” – Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse with David Lynch
“Do You Realize? (live at Hollywood Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA)” – The Flaming Lips & Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Here is a mix that is fitting for today, the ten year anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing in New York.  It’s not a bunch of country songs, but something a little deeper than kickin’ Sadam’s ass.  I bet your foot would go right through his ass at this point, anyway.

I wanted to make a mix that was spiritual, political, emotional, dark and beautiful at once.  Something to usher in the fall and its massive push of death and loss in nature, hence around us.  I aimed for this mix to express some endearment for the finite, in general, when relative to a world of suffering and pain.  There should be peace in knowing that all things shall pass…not fear.

The whole idea of “never forget,” however, is counter to this notion.  Do we really want that to be our mantra in relation to a national tragedy?  We are holding this against you forever?  Transformation does not always have to be a harsh lesson, especially ten years later.


Consolation Prize – 7.13.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, R.J. Hill & Dane Hill]

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“The Suffer Dance”

I think Consolation Prize is a fitting name for this session in so many ways.  To be a consolation prize, one must serve as a remnant of something that never was.  Consolation prizes, by name, are there to soften the blow when you ruin your chances of winning.  So here is a tender, melancholy set to help cope with losing.

This is Never Sorry with no Katie or Megan.  The funerary softness celebrates that (surely temporary) loss for sure.  The set also came on the heels of a dumb break up I had and there is plenty of therapy, musical and otherwise, being passed down from the Hills to me.  “Don’t” would be the most evident of this, with Dane making up the lyrics as we went.

The beat oriented songs act as bookstands around the soft inside of the session.  “Moments” was written precisely about that aforementioned break up.  The vocals are iffy at times as I try to sort through them, but whatever.  Some cathartic life force runs through this session all the same, as we dive deeper into this fresh minimalism.

Dane Hill – bass, glockenspiel, vocals
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, programming, keys, vocals

Powerout – 6.29.2010 – Arrison Kirby

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“Power’s Out”
“Michael in the War”
“Springtime of the Dregs”
“Really Horrible Shit is Popular”
“Watery Grave”
“Local Flavor”
“Those Guys”
“Reggae Sunsplash”
“Lesbian But For Penis”

This was recorded to my exgirlfriend’s Olympus digital recorder on a stormy evening.  I wanted to work on something more involved and deliberate, but the weather ended up putting out the electricity (hence the session title).  And so it was settled.  As with the Pianospout sessions, I would record an improvisational set with just my voice and a single, acoustic instrument.  In this case, I used a guitar.

One song, “Really Horrible Shit is Popular,” was already written prior to the recording.  Everything else was made up on the spot.  This includes “Michael in the War,” which was later transcribed and performed on numerous occasions with Never Sorry.  To date, it’s the only song I have ever written in the moment that, when later fleshed out, kept every single lyric and chord change in tact.

Also unchanged is the order the songs were created / performed.  This is is the same path I took that evening as I strung all this shit together.  The session ended when the power was restored.