Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I've yet to meet the redeemer


While living together at the Pudhouse 


in Charlottesville, VA during the summer of 2000 (with 13 other people in basically one room, lol) Colin L and I decided to put out a split 7". These were the four best songs I thought I had going at the time. "Traveling on an Empty Stomach" is about riding all over the USA using these forged 15 day greyhound passes we were making.

The music was later used as the music in this video by 
Jo Dery. 


The songs were recorded at the pudhouse on Tom Hohman's four track.

cover drawn and printed by CF, looks great
family affair

I think it came out in 2001? Me and Colin split the expenses, I think? 
Might be wrong about that. 

Oh, one awesome story about this 7" is that one day Tom and Colin wewre touring as USA IS A MONSTER and they were at the country music hall of fame trying to visit one random morning. They didn't have enough money to cover the entrance fee. Lo and behold who should come over but BIlly Gibbons who leans over to the clerk and with whiskey breath coming out a full two feet says "Irene, let these punk rockers into the country music hall of fame" which she promptly did. Col, being the ace hustler that he is ran to the van, grabbed a copy of this 7" and handed it to Billy.

Billy Gibbons has my fucking 7"

365 Days of the Blues


In August of 1997 I was subletting Morgan Andrews'



apartment in Cambridge. I got a job through my favorite WMFO broadcast radio DJ Tim Leanse,



at a local moving company. I would stay up all night making music in the room and then go out to work all day then bike home... When did I sleep? I was 19 so whatever, I guess.

My roommate Ron


pictured in center above

had mentioned something about drawing a cartoon everyday for a month so I got the idea that it would be cool to write and record a song everyday for a year. I was out of my mind from sleep dep and ginseng arizona iced tea, went to newbury comics bought a brick of 90 minute tapes and went home to record the first song,
"honey bear"



I ended up moving quite a bit, getting through bouts of homelessness, sleeping in friends cars (sometimes without asking first), in camps set up in the woods, going to Florida to avoid the extreme cold, going on my first ever tour (we played worcester, fort thunder, Savage Maryland, Corpus Christie, Texas and missed our last show in Louisville Kentucky) and then bumming around Cambridge and Somerville again working at an ice cream store (which I robbed blind to pay for recording studio time for my old band Cottin K's)



until I followed a girl named Molly to Keene, New York to live with her at her mothers house for a month or two.... before returning to Massachusetts alone.

I still managed to make a song everyday and fill up all those blank tapes. I took what I considered to be the best songs and put them on a CDr. Back then it wasn't easy for me to make CDrs, mind you.

The quality of my recorded sound production skills improved dramatically over the course of this project. If any "re-do's" of old material were planned it was after and a result of this leap in quality.

The songs were recorded on four tracks, hand held dictaphones, boom boxes.. That's probably it. In various Cambridge/Somerville apartments, a practice space in Lynn, MA I lived in,  a boarding house in Fort Myers, FLA, Jordan and Liynne's spot in Somerville that I was crashing at for a while, on the road and in Molly's moms kitchen where, incidentally I met this one for the first time, albeit briefly:



Last I knew, Jo Dery



had the original cassettes in storage but I haven't verified that in well over 12 years.

This album never had an official cover made for it. Just various photos of the different houses I lived in between August 97 and 98. This cover was supplied to me by Jacob Barendes, who was given a dubbed copy of the tape from his friend Sarah who got it from Ron Rege, the person who drew this little cover and as mentioned above my former roommate during the summer of this projects inception.

Rehash and Wave Goodbye


Winter of 96-97 I was sleeping in the basement of my friend Jennifer's house. Her father didn't know I was living there. I had to be very quiet. When he has at work I would make music on a four track. The basement was unheated, very cold and damp. I had a lot of dreams of shadow people, I was alone most of the time. I would sleep under a pile of blankets. I had a copy of "floating into the night" on LP spinning on a record player that would automatically restart at the end of each side-long play. I would lay under the blankets and listen in the dark to that record for hours basically not moving a muscle.

One day I wrote out about 75 song titles automatic-writing style into my notebook. I pressed record on the four track and called out the title of each song in succession and then improvised some sort of drum part. Afterwards I would listen and painstakingly record guitar and bass parts over these drums. The drum parts were all exceedingly short.

I wrote lyrics for the song titles and one day after playing kickball in the street with Jennifer's brother Ted in a very aggressive manor towards oncoming traffic I recorded the vocals in one take while I could see the legs of police men through the windows outside looking for us. 

The title "Rehash and Wave Goodbye" suggested I was already interested in collecting my past work into singles efforts to be left behind, in hopes that I could move on to new and better things. 

These recordings were re-dos made in 2004 in Providence on the Otari mx5050 8 track. 

There isn't groove and no hooks are repeated. Main influence for this style was the minutemen and Boner records-era Melvins albums like "Ozma" and 'Gluey Porch Treatments". Also "we're only in it for the money" by Mothers of Invention. 



(original master cassette from 1997 I somehow still have)

Less is More


That's Nicky C and Janelle Frenette on the cover, a shot taken from a moving car in Swampscott, 1995. Peep the In Utero t shirt. 

This is the last album in what I consider the "year one" set. It was also the first album I made, in 1995, using a four track cassette recorder,



borrowed over a weekend from my man AxTx. 





This is us 12 years later, in like 2007, kicking a lot of ass at INC in our band Buddyship.
That's Rat Ward Gary to the right obviously thoroughly enjoying himself.
Notice: I'm playing all the strings open and the top 2 12" speakers were missing from my cab.
trash life

On the first two songs you can really hear me struggling with basic scales, having had no conception of what they were or how they were used. Playing riffs.. ? These are OG recordings, I can hear "niandra lades and usually just a shirt" influence in this stuff.




This is the kind of guitar I had at the time, bought for $100 at the local guitar shop. Except mine was sunburst, not blue. I eventually lost this guitar in my late teens only to find it again maybe 8-10 years later in a punk house in the south. I knew it was the same guitar cuz it had the "Boycott Pepsi" sticker I put on it. I can't remember if I stole it from the punk house, probably not.

The rest of the songs, with the exception of "peep hole", are re-do's from the spring of 2000 made in a bedroom in Lynn, Mass on cassette four track.

With the four track I was trying to strategically bounce tracks in order to make the most of what I could get out of the machine. Typically I would record a stereo drum machine take, I was using a borrowed Alesis SR-16, on two tracks and a guitar or bass track on the third, bouncing the second and third track to track four. Then I would record over track two with another guitar or voice performance and bounce track one and two to track three. Then I would record two final performances on track one and two. Sometimes while dubbing the bounce, remember this was all in real time, I would record live and get an extra performance or two snuck in.

I had heard the "Sperm Whale" EP by Thrones around that time and decided I needed to spend much more time programming expressive drum patterns.

This stuff is still little kid music made by a child brain.

Dreams Do Come True


Mostly 2002 re-do's recorded at Sleep Attack in Atlantic Mills, 


Providence Rhode Island. Was living there with Chris Forgues, Jeff Hartford, this dude from LA named Pat, Luke Kraft, and Jess down the hall from Insane Toys. 


We could be as loud as we wanted at all hours, had shows there for a few years. 


It was like 2500 sq ft for $500, crazy. We all had our own basically open-air noise zones going at all hours. I was struggling to start my own recording business, made some demos for USAISA Monster and The Body. They both came out rather murky due to damage the Otari mx5050 I bought had sustained during shipment from Las Vegas.

Between the years of 1999 and 2003 I was re-recording the songs from earlier mid 90s tapes trying to make them more accessible to potential listeners and friends.  I was planning on collecting them into a hand-made and hand-distributed CDr box set by May 10th 2004:


 2004 would mark the ten year anniversary of the projects inception. By 2002 I had still not played a live Lazy Magnet set or officially released any music with a label, only hand dubbing copies of collected albums for friends and other musicians. Sometimes I would try to sell copies to Armageddon Shop on Broadway in Providence. 

The re-do's were made on cassette four track. I would record the drums first and then over dub the guitars and bass, finishing off the process with the vocals. I would then mix down the four track tape onto a master cassette usually sequencing the songs ad hoc in the chronological order they were written in.

The song "Mirror Man" has a snippet at the very end of one of the first times I ever tried to make music, hanging out at a friends you can hear me playing a tr-505 with my fingers. Sounds like I'm trying to get it to play some sort of metal beat. The tape speed wasn't effected at all, those are our real voices, we were basically little kids.

The OG recordings were made on a grey Sony boom box


in Swampscott, MA


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Taste of the Natural Source


Consisting mostly of year 2000 four track re-do's, with two exceptions: "Bullshit" and "Rock n Roll is Energy". The thought behind this process or replacement or preservation being that some of the original recordings captured a moment in time that could never convincingly be recreated. There's a time and a place where any art or audio can be appreciated on it's own terms, right? Who is to say what dictates those conditions. 

There's a lot of living room energy in these OG recordings, in my opinion. And some kitchen table quality, as well. The original version of this tape was completed in Swampscott

,

and this is still part of the five tapes that comprised what I thought of as "year one" jams. I think of this tape as being tied spiritually to the "Dreams Come True" tape while the first two tapes were tied to each other in an etheric sense. "Less is More" stood alone.

The four track re-do's were made in Lynn, MA at the Justian bros house

,

spring 2000. Their musician father had left after splitting with his wife to pursue his music career aspirations. The boys, both in their late teens, took over the house. 

I lived in a small room on the second floor and endeavoured to complete my work. I had a wooden chair, access to digital drum machines and guitars, a dusty old bed and a sullen view of the street below. At the time I was preparing to take part in a sleep study that would eventually pay for an Otari mx5050 1/2" open reel 8 track

,

some mics and a mixer. Was I paying rent? Did I have some kind of income? Was I shoplifting food everyday just to eat?

 

I really couldn't tell you.



The title of this tape comes from an experience I had as a lad in S-Town: I was feeling blue lying immobile in bed when suddenly the urge to follow some thought regarding a creative impulse overwhelmed me and I was able to get up, take action and engage my life. I felt like I had touched on some core reality, a natural energy infused my being.. The joy of creation was mine after all. 

The Inevitable Conflict


Further Magnavox open air recordings, this time eschewing song form all together and opting instead for shoving knives between the guitar strings for a "prepared" sound,



jamming straight up feedback from my practice amp



at controlled volume levels while ringing bells/hitting pots and pans with wooden spoons.

Odd behavior? Dunno, spent most of my time in those days sleeping until 11 am, going to school just to slip into chorus class, sing for a while and then return home immediately afterwards, jamming tapes all afternoon finally ending the day by walking in circles around my hometown into the wee hours listening to Dinosaur tapes



at full volume on my
   
Sony Walkman.

After a while the cops stopped bothering me and just let me cruise on foot unmolested. 

These lo-fi noise/tape pieces are bookended by year 2000 re-do's of the albums pop songs. These were realized on a cassette four track. I'm hella embarrassed by the lyrics on these songs, full on Barlow worship... painful to revisit, but it is what it is. I would say by the fall/winter of 2000 my main points of influence for these songs, musically speaking, would have been young marble giants, magnetic fields and slowdive. 

The tape cover is a photograph I took of a traffic sign that was near my house that the singer of Cocks in Love had tagged. I got some spray paint, covered over his tag and put it on my 2nd solo tape cover after quitting that band. Dissssssssssssssssssssssssssss. 

This tape was made immediately after finishing the 1st Lazy Mag tape during the summer of 1994. I think this was around the first time I had dropped acid. I remember listening to tapes during the (extremely long) come down of my first trip thinking "this stuff is cool cuz there's all this extra-musical audio information present as a result of using the particular devices it was recorded on". That morning, having stayed up all night tripping ballz, was the only time that year I made it punctually to homeroom. Was extremely high, still.