Click to download the tracks:
This session is two tracks long and clocks in right around 15 minutes or so, total. There was certainly more content that night, but the majority of it was spent fleshing out new ideas. It’s between these two tracks, however, that I feel we crossed some symbolic evolution as a band. Effectively, we are further crossing that threshold beyond humor and good times into realms of beauty and true emotional contact.
Despite changes in the players, this session is firmly linked to the yet unreleased session from a week before (the same session the “Automobile” video came from). Explanation is as follows:
“Vague Champion” – This epic spread is a great example of what I was trying to say about humor and beauty. It’s well in line with the recent explorations into 90’s gangsta rap. In fact, that’s a sample in there from Dr. Dre’s “Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”. (We used to use that sample for a more formal cover of the song back when I played in Flashmob.) The guitar gets a little disjunctive at times because I was washing out with a looper pedal, but tonally it all holds up and ultimately makes for some sounds that are good for listening into, but difficult to pick apart. The third and final act of the thing has me playing synth bass. This was something of a recommendation from Kenny Gilbert of Destroyed by Magnets, and I think he might be on to something.
“Cute Little Echo” – This is a more proper, compact and versed version of a song conceived at the prior session. I intend to release its inception, but not quite yet. Katie helped write it but, ironically, did not play on this cleaner version. I look very much forward to getting her back on the track. For this one, though, Rachel took over omni duties. That’s Dane on the bass. The lyrics are not too terribly different from the lyrics I made up on the spot over the very first rendition of this one. Having them recorded, I was able to transcribe them. Initially I was singing to Dane, Rachel and McKenzie Michaels (the resident painter at the studio), none of which were in attendance that night. To firm up the lyrics and give them more emotional weight, I changed it up to be about only one person, rather than three. I also stripped out a few less effective parts and refilled them with as much longing as I could muster. I also changed the name to “Cute Little Echo” from “Cam Cam.” With or without Katie present, I could not resist introducing this new version, which was otherwise foreign to Dane and Rachel…who are both playing on it. One final thing to note is that, while singing, I totally flubbed the lyrics at a crucial point. I say, “I want you now” somewhere in last third or so. The correct line is supposed to be “I want you to know.” My Freudian slip causes that line and the next not to rhyme. It also takes away from the innocence of the thing. It’s not supposed to be a song about fucking.
Megan Driscoll – flute, harmonica, vocals
Dane Hill – drums, bass
Rachel Jae – omnichord, auxillary percussion
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, keys, vocals
Click to download the tracks:
This session was without our beloved Katie, but we pulled through quite minimally.
“Rub and Slip” – We introduced the keys to the set up and opened with this reggae bi-product type jam. I played those keys low to a slowed down version of the beat Obadiah used to use for the song “Same.” Dane handled the bass good and dubby. I think Rachel is hitting the drums. This song leaves as abruptly as it begins.
“Bristol” – I replaced the electric guitar with acoustic to strip down this one. Dane on the bass. Megan and I singing of course. Rachel is laying back on the snare.
“Family Affairs” – We did a better minimal version of this one in an earlier session which is pretty much lost. This one isn’t all bad, though…just a few hiccups here and there. Same set up as on “Bristol.”
“Squeen” – Another random looper pedal moment. I almost silenced it, but Dane told me to leave it on. He proceeded to build it up and over. I joined in on keys as well.
“Sweet Times” – This was Dane’s progression. He’s playing the acoustic guitar. I’m playing the piano. I’m a bit choppy at times (and bendy), but the little dancehall interplay around the minute twenty mark is worth the wait.
“Afraid of the Ghost” – First recorded version of this song with keys. I was a bit uncomfortable playing the keys while singing on this one. Hence, my voice awkwardly dips out several times. Overall, though, this is a fun little version. Megan’s flute mixing with the feedback reminds me of some of Roxy Music’s more experimental moments. The beat was actually constructed by myself and David Dalton together. We used it in the Flashmob song, “Tanya Tucker.”
“Asleep in my Head” – This is Megan and I doing a sensitive little flute and piano jam influenced by Carlo Gesualdo.
“Fucking” – I guess this is comedy kind of?
“Sucking” – This one isn’t funny at all.
Megan Driscoll – vocals, flute, tambourine
Dane Hill – bass, guitars
Rachel Jae – axillary percussion, drums
Arrison Kirby – guitars, keys, beats, vocals