"Listerine" is inspired by all of the medieval books I have been reading I wanted to do something in the style of Syd Barrett or some other medieval dreamy psychedelia. It doesn't rock but I hope it's dreamy enough of a way to spend a few minutes.
Tonight I have a few videos in a show at the Eyedrum, so if you are in Atlanta and want to see some cool stuff, check it out!
Castlevania, Metal Gear, Contra
Just wrote this song, which I started last night at around midnight. I improvised a lead bass and overdubbed some angular guitars on top, with a drum loop that has a Northern Soul style beat that I like to use a lot. I wanted the recording to sound very clean, like some minimal 70s punk records. The words are taken from a book called "Invisible Residents", which is about underwater UFOs. There is a history of people on ships recording sightings of strange lights, sometimes hovering in one spot in the water, sometimes rising up out of it, like a globe, and flying away. The cover and title of the book is very evocative and mysterious. The cover almost looks like a psychedelic album cover, some blue-tint image of coral reef outcropping at a strange angle.
As always, my music is available for download from bandcamp for free, but feel free to donate if you wish!
It's going to be psychedelic a cross between Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Harry Smith's Heaven and Earth Magic.
I have been going through my archives, which includes many recordings by band I either produced, played in, or both. Today I've uploaded several compilations to youtube. Vietkings was a one-off garage band started by teenage girls as a summer 2008 going-away band (Lauren was moving to Sweden). We were surprisingly successful in that short period of time, playing a number of local shows and recording three songs for a single on Die Slaughterhaus. The previous summer we recorded a conceptual 7" called The Grown-Ups, which was a sort of Kiwis/K Holes/Black Lips/Deerhunter supergroup with Andrew, Adam, Jack and Julie. Lastly there is the complete set of Psychic Vampires, the halloween punk trio cobbled together to annihilate the crowd at one of the biggest disasters of a show I have ever set up in my life. I was trying to set up a big Halloween show, like we used to have back in the day, and bands kept signing on and then dropping out. Luckily the unwavering rock energy of Paul Harper and Joey Comonte got us through this once-in-a-lifetime set at the veritable Wonder Root. We rocked the hell out of that show!
Night Terrors are something I had as a kid, and all my life I have struggled with physical, chemical, and mental imbalances. I was born with a lot of medical issues, bless my parents, and they raised me with an appreciation for music and art that has given me a reason to live. I mean, I have lots of reasons to live, but music is a good one! This album is some pure uncut psych, maybe it will come across as Outsider Art. I am hoping. Because to be honest I have always felt like an outsider, even amongst other my friends and outsiders. Maybe this is the psychic curse of being an artist. Dr. Who understands.
01 What's the Difference Some Black Lips/Deerhunter-aping stuff. Lots of this album is songs I wrote pretending I was 10 years younger. Back in 2005/2004/2003 there were several art/punk houses I used to visit on a daily basis, improvising music and songs and recordings with the best friends I have ever had. I still listen to all of their music alot, it reminds me of the good old days. Anyways this is if I wrote a song for Deerhunter in 2004 and only got around to recording it ten years later.
02 Rats Inspired by Metal Gear Solid 3 and Lou Reed. Solid Snake Swoop Swoop. Some T-Rex in the chorus. Glam rock narcotic. Goes on way too long but yay for noise guitar. I wanted to do things like that and just experiment with sound. Just because I can.
03 Vacant Cloud Inspired by the Beat Happening and maybe a little Pavement and Georgiana Starlington. I don't think the singing on this album is technically good at all, but hey maybe that is why I am not playing in any bands. This song makes me think of my friend Alex who got married last year, he was living with me when I was in Deerhunter, and introduced me to all this amazing video art. Stuff they teach you in art school, Kenneth Anger and Jodorowsky. Maya Deren. Yoko Ono. All that amazing shit. There is def some Maya Deren and Yoko Ono in this.
04 Clover Kenneth Anger is for real, he is kind of baroque in his methods but he's the real deal, spiritually/magically speaking. See, aside from writing songs I was reading books on magic and divination, so I like to think some of that knowledge seeped into these songs. At the very least I tried to come upon an abstract form and subtly give it form, invoking the spirit of the song through arrangement or repetition or maybe just inventing the words on the spot. This is a song about my roommate's cat Clover, who was killing birds with my cat Five. If I ever recorded this for real it would have a thick Kula Shaker-style production, some 90s psychedelia, with sitars and everything.
05 I'll Never Be Destroyed This is trying to be some spiritual punk. I was pretty angry at the time, with some people that appeared to be one way but in truth were but mere illusions. Fake wizards, fraud mystics, phony eco-idolatrists. People who think spirituality has something to do with taking things for granted. Part of the reason I stopped going out was not wanting to deal with these toxic influences. So writing some of these songs was a bit of therapy. My friend Jennifer sings on this, she was in the Kiwis back in the day.
06 Talking a Lot This was a request from a friend sitting on the front porch in the winter, light coming from a broken pinball machine next to us. I was always playing cover songs -- Dust Bunnies started as a cover song solo band -- and she wanted to hear something original, so I started playing this riff. I don't think the words came until later. It's more sanctimonious holier-than-thou stuff. I guess I am like George Harrison in that way. This song def has a White Album feel to it imo. This album is sort of a split between late-60s psychedelia and late-70s post-punk. This song goes on too long. Yeah, the album is a bit self-indulgent. Whatever.
07 Heart Stands Started out as a Tyrannosaurus Rex-style psych folk tune before I landed on this Twin Peaks-style dream pop thing. I like my singing here. This is about me being born with a hole in my heart, and what that means for me as a social human being.
08 Is It Real Love You're Looking For Dust Bunnies used to be all about keyboard-driven noise pop and back in the day I used to wrack my brain wondering if I could ever come up with some songs that sounded this certain way and had this melodic hook to it. I feel like I really hit the nail on the head with this one! Kind of girl group-inspired or northern soul pop music. I like this song a lot. If I ever edit down this record I am definitely keeping this one. Lead single?
09 Wah Wah Wah I'm a Baby on the Internet My first band was Plastic Caskets and we played mostly Ramones covers, which is where this comes from. Had so much fun writing and recording this! I like the wah wah wah hook, I think it's real commercial man. This could be in a mobile commercial or something! Please! Give me money! But seriously....it's about me complaining about stuff. I'm a little older than the internet, so I think there is still some disconnect between me and that level of communication. I need to remember to Keep It Posi. This was a lot of fun because my roommate being a irl complainer was getting everyone kicked out of the house I had lived in for 3 years, so I decided to move my drums into my room so I could finish working on this album I was trying to do. It was right next to his room, but because of him I lost my rehearsal/recording space, my theremin was broken, and I realized he had stolen hundreds of dollars from me years ago. So yeah I was complaining a lot, but looking back on it, I had a lot to be upset about.
10 Devil's Castle Level 2 music from the original NES Castlevania. The music was originally written by Kinuyo Yamashita, a Japanese woman who I found on Facebook and actually wrote a fan message to - and she responded kindly! Castlevania is my favorite game series of all time, a Japanese mash-up of Western Horror Movies and Gothic World Myths. I tried to think of some Serge Gainsbourg lyrics for this but nothing came to mind.
11 199X Paul Harper is a BFF and fellow musician I play with from time to time. He recently moved to Ohio, but he lived in Atlanta for years, and I would walk over to his place in Cabbage Town or he would skateboard down to mine in Candler Park and play video games. Or he would play me a tape of something he made. Or we would just make up music, him playing guitar and me playing organ. I taped some of that once and used it to build this song, 199X. It's about punk music and video games. I think he moved away partly because of frustration with the local scene, which is something I shared. The previous time we had played was a huge Halloween event at Wonder Root, where all of the door money and tip money was stolen by our supposed 'friends'. The time before that was at the Big House, where his skateboard and some equipment was stolen, and instead of being helped out we were asked to pay for the food that we ate. Anyways that stuff is in the past. Hopefully I will see Paul again sometime soon and play music with him, but it feels like everyone I used to do that with is moving on with their lives. =( New Games.
12 Why Can't I Fly Some actual accessible stuff, maybe they could play this in a coffee shop or something. I wrote this while recording something else, and was setting up my guitar, and just started playing this song. Inspired greatly by Atlas Sound. I hope it's not too direct a rip-off, but he is a huge huge huge influence on me and always has been. It's funny, this feels like a sequel to some of the weirder awkward things I wrote when I was 16.
13 Chromatic Fugue (Demo) Losing access to my recording space sucked because I never got to go in and re-record stuff like this with my good mic and setup. This is an improvised song and the build-up/performance is so damn good I wanted to keep it on the internet. Cos it's free, man. Probably goes on too long but again it's free you can just hit 'next' or something if you don't want to hear the ending.
14 Something Wrong This is just me literalizing some stuff, putting on my Kurt Cobain wig. It's definitely some stuff I should have written when I was 16 or something, but I don't have any shame. I can shave, put on a tie, and go to work sober on a Monday, and I can drink some wine and record this weird awkward punk shit at home in my own time. Do what you want as long as it doesn't affect other people, basically. I think Jesus said that.
15 Castlevania I had this great country song I wanted to do a chicken-pickin' Johnny Cash style thing with but after losing use of my drums (I live in a 2nd floor apt now) decided to record this like Jimmie Rogers recorded by Beck. I think Castlevania is utterly beautiful. My favorite lyrics are the openers "I tried to jump on the spinning wheel", which just sounds like something weird you would hear in an old bluegrass song. But it's about that Castlevania level where you are in a clock tower jumping on giant gears. I'm a giant nerd.
16 Any Way This Could Happen Some pretty, posi, and priestly drone folk. This song is about the Grace of God. The Good Word. The miracle that is life.
17 Honey This performance kind of sucks but I like the song. Another song made up on a spot. Just like 2 guitar riffs and an echo pedal on the vocals. Some of the other similar songs were also performed better as an original lofi demo, but this has it's own charm. Vocals supposed to be some stupid Iggy Pop-style character.
18 Hippie Fuck You Here is an original lofi demo. I had this awesome 4-track progam on a tablet and was using it to improvise songs. For a while I was using an Interface given to me by someone who asked it back one day as I was getting together with friends to record with it. Nice guy. Anyways this is not about anyone in particular, this is about the whole fake hippie thing, people who talk about how spiritual they are but only do things for themselves, people that put on this image of caring for animals but suggest you keep your cat on a leash rather than ask them to close the front door. This guy who runs a 'art commune' did just this, letting out Clover twice in two days last summer, the second time her getting attacked on the leg so bad she needed $500 surgery. Dude decided to split town and travel with theater people instead of pitch in for this poor cat, and said the cats were tricking him.
19 I'll Never Be Destroyed Wrote this several years ago on Christmas. This is the demo take, which is a better performance imo. It's about the eternal nature of the soul, and how no matter or energy can ever be destroyed. I may end up just keeping this on the album, but I like Jennifer's vocals on track 05.
20 Goodnight to Thee White Album-inspired psychedelic lullaby. Looking back on the record I like a lot of it but I think it could seriously be trimmed down.... but I supposed people said that about the White Album. Yes you heard me, I am a one-man Beatles.
Last year was a pretty changeful year for me, turning 33 and ending up not performing in any bands for the first time since I was a teenager. Maybe this is why I socially regressed, getting into old habits like video games and writing/recording new material every day, at any time of the day, even in the middle of already recording a new song. For the first time in years I was super effing creative, and I was writing so many songs I decided to record an album. Do something constructive with my free time. Not that I wasn't working, but my work was a contract position I could do from home, and when I needed to go to a meeting the scheduling was always nice and flexible.
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