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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Jonestown Massacre’

yr rapture

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yr rapture

“Some Things Go Without Saying” – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
“We Were Growing” – Paul McCartney
“Panda Travels to the Arctic Circle” – American Panda
“No One Is (As I Are Be)” – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
“Without You” – Chicros with Brisa Roche
“”Heaven’s Light” – Air
“Someday We’ll be Together” – The Supremes
“I Will Follow Him” – Peggy March
“Not Giving One” – Blee
“Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” – Beastie Boys with Santigold
“The End of the World” – Skeeter Davis

Seems like a lot of stuff just kind of happens all at once.  That’s what this mix is about.

Watch it come impress upon your life, then see it somehow fondly out the door…if you can.

I made this mix midjump.  Didn’t make it to the other side yet, but hitting the ground was at least a different place from where I leaped.


Depth of Darkness – 3.16.2011 – Arrison Kirby, Megan Driscoll, Nathan Brown & David Dalton

Click to download the tracks:

“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Cute Little Echo”
“House of Satan”
“Single Politician”
“Reading Rainbow”
(Horelick, Kleinman & Weir)
“The Whole Planet What?”

This was a rehearsal for the March Pilot Light show.  Only Megan, Nathan and myself were able to make it, which forced us to embrace minimalism.  We did so electronically.  David showed up for the last two tracks and filled things out for new levels.

I’ve posted most of these songs a million times a million ways, so instead of a song by song run down, I just want to point out a few things.  First, as already implied, this is kind of a dark, electro session.  Something of a Hypencrunk / Never Sorry hybrid.  This version of “Blue” is rare in that Megan sings the vocals, as Rachel was not present.  Also, that’s David on the vocals for Reading Rainbow and bass for the epic, “The Whole Planet What?”

Arrison Kirby – beats, keys, guitar, vocals
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica, tambourine, vocals
Nathan Brown – keys, electronics
David Dalton – vocals, bass

Busted Shit – 2.23.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae, Dane Hill and Nathan Brown]

Click to download the tracks:

“Dead (As Disco)”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Faux Elephant”
“Stand By Me” (Ben E. King)
“Dead (As a German Military Rock Band)”
(Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“Reading Rainbow” (Horelick, Kleinman & Weir)

This session is called Busted Shit because that’s what it is.  It’s all over the place.  A disheveled mess of sound.   It’s also the first session that Nathan Brown sat in on as part of Never Sorry.  He only played on two of the songs:  “Afraid of the Ghost” and “Reading Rainbow.”  They were the longest documented versions of each so far.

I really wanted to post up just one more session before the show.  This is one of four recorded in the past several weeks, but the other three pretty much are the show (in a few variations, of course).  So this, being the earliest of the four, was all I could spare without much ruining the show we have planned.  Here’s a hint, though:  we’re not playing “Stand By Me.”

“Dead” – Two versions on this one.  A minimalist, dance oriented one (maybe dance the way goths dance, though).  As for the other one, I really think “German Military Rock Band” really kind of speaks for itself.  I’m playing synth bass on the first and fuzzed out bass guitar on the second.  That’s Katie on the keys in the second one.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – The first take of the first song Nathan sat in on with keys and electronics.  It slops around a long and winding road.  The longest version of this old favorite for sure.

“Faux Elephant” – Dane was bugging out on some synthetic sitar.  That’s Katie on the drums.  Everyone else assuming their usuals.

“Stand By Me” – This was just one of those “sure…let’s do it on a whim” kinda songs.  Obviously it had been in our mutual music echospheres for a few weeks.  Yet every time I hear any version except the original, I can’t help but think to myself, “meh.”  Our version is no different in these regards.  Whatever though.  Someone out there might enjoy it.  I don’t think I really care about ever playing this song again unless we rock it out really bad and rough.

“Anemone” – We began with another version initially.  I was playing drums.  Dane on guitar.  Katie on bass.  It was really chill until I stuck in a drum part that kind of threw some of us off.  So when we stepped back from it, I sped up the part that was messing us up and played it over and over and over again.  And that version is this version.  It’s super raw and bouncy.

“Reading Rainbow” – Another version with Nathan.  This one meanders into some insanity at the end.  I considered chopping it into two parts:  “Reading Rainbow” and “Reading Rainbow (Reprise).”  But hey.  I didn’t.  So suffer out the slop of the first part because the slop of the last part is well worth it.

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

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”
“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

Creation and Deconstruction – 9.1.2010 & 9.8.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

Click to download the tracks:

original artwork by Antony Gormley

“Bristol (Bare Bones)”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“New Beginnings”
“Bristol (Katie and the Drums)”
“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre cover)
“Untitled as Yet”
“Bristol (Katie and the Bass)”
“Katie’s Waltz”

This is actually an accumulation of material from two sessions, each with it’s own unique processes for evolving the material.  Of course, that could really be said of any series of sessions involving the same material with the same people.  Here, however, the session from 9.1.2010 had us fleshing out a newly written song, and trying new arrangements on older songs.  The later session, from 9.8.2010, revolved around a thick underbelly of “organized improvisation.”  Several of these tracks contain vocal direction as we worked them out on the spot.

“Bristol (Bare Bones)” – I introduced this song acoustically in my office at first.  This is the first time it was played in the studio.  I like the minimalism of this version and kind of hate that I cut it off before finishing the song.  The interplay between ukulele (Katie), bass (Dane) and guitar (me) is particularly nice in the first verse.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – This was one of those sudden improv deals.  The entire track consists of three chords, borrowed from the bridge of a song I wrote called “Sarabeth.”  It was Katie’s idea to “jam” on this, I believe.  The lyrics are freestyled right out of my head and not entirely on key…also a bit loud.

“New Beginnings” – Anyone who has ever seen me play live a few times is familiar with this song.  Dane played bass on this version.  His idea.  Worked out well.  I kiss the tips of my fingers, in fact.  As to the abrupt ending of this track, it came at the precise moment that a glass of beer totally flew off a speaker.  We chalked it up to vibration.  Though I have set plenty of bottles and glasses there in the past with no problem.

“Bristol (Katie and the Drums)” – We had an early inclination on this song to try Dane on the bass with Katie on drums.  You know…just to see.  We let her begin the drumming and we filled in around her.  It totally worked until we got to the arena-rocky, time changed chorus that didn’t happen.

“903” – This was another improvisational tangent.  I don’t know why everything is all “devil and hell” but I think it works for the overall themes that emerge in these sessions.  Anyway.  Dane called out the time.  9:03pm.  When he said it twice and there was a quality to the way he said it that made it sound like it came out of a rap song.  Thus I suggested we do a rap song.  We picked a single key and went with it.  The “rap” is completely free-styled.

“Anemone” – This was recorded on the earlier, more focused session.  Yes.  The Brian Jonestown Massacre cover returns.  This one is much fuller than the previous one, with Dane playing bass (check out the badass slide shit toward the end) and a good grainy underbelly to the guitar.  Not to toot my own horn, but I handle my improvy little guitar solo bridge thingie pretty well, too.

“Untitled as Yet” – Despite it’s missteps, this may be my favorite version of this song so far.  Dane’s deep, concussive drumming juxtaposed with the reverb-soaked club beats is of particular bounce.  I also am fond of the second half where I find myself able to channel my inner Jeff Tweedy (or was it Neil Young?) on guitar.

“Bristol (Katie and the Bass)” – It’s not perfect but, so far, it’s the best recorded version we have of the newest written song.  This one has Dane back on the drums and Katie playing bass.  On the omnichord is Rachel Jae.

“Katie’s Waltz” – This was initially “just fuckin’ around” while I got the levels kind of correct.  But how could anyone resist the call of a waltz?

“Feedback” – If the beer flying off the speaker was not a supernatural experience then maybe this was.  There was a small but not unbearable microphone feedback going on.  We all joined in, harmonizing with it.  As we moved around the feedback stopped, but we all kept yowling or whatever.  When we all ceased. there was a new feedback, louder than before.  It was none of the microphones.  Then we realized it was the guitar, which none of us had been standing anywhere near.  So either the guitar string struck itself or the vibration of our voices caused the guitar to vibrate with us.  I’m not certain but it feels magicalish.

Katie Collins – ukulele, omnichord, drums, bass
Megan Driscoll – vocals, flute
Dane Hill – drums, bass
Rachel Jae – axillary percussion, omnichord
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals

August Prep Session – 8.18.2010 – Arrison, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

Click to download the tracks:

“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“New Beginnings”
“Clap Hands Jam” (improv on Beck)
“Untitled as Yet (Down)
“Really Horrible Shit is Popular”
“Single Politician”
“Family Affairs”
“Untitled as Yet (Up)”

This session was primarily practice for the Pilot Light show with Katie and the Bass Drums coming up on August 25th, as some – if not all – of the players in this session will be joining me that day.  This is also the first session recorded in which Rachel Jae and Dane Hill were present.   It was interwoven with a lot of surprise sounds coming to the forefront. Ideas too.   Some of those surprise sounds and ideas are as follows:

“Anemone” – As noted above, this is a cover of the Brian Jonestown Massacre song. The first or second time we got together under musical pretense, Katie gave me a mix CD with the original version as the starting track. I immediately loved it. It’s not too complicated of a song. So Katie, Megan and I picked it up really quick and then laid it down after Dane and Rachel had left for the night. The first take wasn’t too bad. This was the second and it’s slightly better.

“Clap Hands Jam” – This is just one of those goofy little segues that sometimes rise up when live recording. Dane and the girls had a good little percussion section going. I tried to enter with Beck’s “Clap Hands” but could not remember the order of the notes right off. So I bounced around between them, hence being but a “jam.” I did actually find the correct order, but only momentarily before we decided to send itg to its grave.

“Untitled as Yet” – Two versions here. The “down” version was actually recorded immediately following the “up” version. I reordered them and spaced them out in the track listing for the sake of flow. The down version incorporates no electronic beats, only minimalist percussion from Dane and Rachel – plus a little off kilter theremin from me. Also, notice that both versions contain “lyrics” now. We needed some way to signal when we wanted to do the key drop. Looking at each other and nodding is fine, but not always so interesting or reliable. Rachel suggested we all say “Make a wish” right before the drop. We all were in agreement, but then we did not know how to signal the wish, itself. We worked that one out too.

“Single Politician” – Dane is playing a full kit on this one and it sounds grand. We went through a few different alterations to get to this version. Mostly based around the drums, as Dane had two different modes for this song, both of which worked well. With two drum modes and two sections of the song so far, we decided to try a different mode for each section, but run them together. I think this is the best version of this song yet.

“Hymn” – If you are offended by this song, then you might want to consider downgrading your church. Perhaps to a model without an ATM machine.

Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele, words
Megan Driscoll – flute, omnichord, vocals
Rachel Jae – shakers, wood blocks, words
Dane Hill – drum kit, hand percussion, wood blocks, words
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals