Welcome to the third installment in this definitive collecton of my demos and other low fidelity recordings of more or less otherwise unheard songs. I can now say with confidence that this we be the last in this series. In fact, to fill this volume out, I cheated a little by including some circa 2004 recordings with 2018 overdubs (outtakes from Haunted), and three relatively slick outtakes from my first solo album proper, A Lion in the Sun.
As for the rest, they were mostly recorded during the Popcorn/Geeks with Guns era, with only a few from the early years of Rocket Park. Most of my demos from the Rocket Park era were just that - demo versions of songs that entered the band's repertoire and recordings. After doing a great deal of work in formal recording environments with Rocket Park, I lost my enthusiasm for home recording.
"Slackjaw Diner" and "Just a Prop" are a couple of the best things here, as compositions, performances, and production. Why didn't I record them for reals later? I think I just loved these demos so much and was worried I wouldn't be able to recreate whatever made them special. "Dawn" was my first protest song against working on Saturday (see "Saturday Sunshine" from Car Crash for the other one).
"Sex with the Ex" came about because poet Michael O'Brian asked me to set these words to music. "Waterfalls" was based on a percussion track that Dan Stuvland gave me to embellish, much the same as he does these days in The Vertigo Swirl. "Withered and Grey" is essentially a performance on my Optigan (using a country-themed disc) overdubbed with additional instrumentation, including an oddball 8-string tenor guitar which would later grace Rocket Park's "Want".
"1983" was more or less a test of the "sound-on-sound" feature of an old reel to reel recorder. It's the crudest thing here, but hopefully not charmless. "Such Romance" was an equally crude attempt to bring some Burroughsian randomness to my lyrics, while "Dead Eyes" was an early attempt of mine to build an arrangement around a loop.
Finally there is "Wasted Time", a recording begun in 2002 during the sessions for Rocket Park's Up Against Goodbye. The only other Rocket Park member who plays on it is bassist Dave Harris. Additional overdubs were added in 2005 for possible inclusion in A Lion in the Sun, but it was ultimately dropped.
The recording of Up Against Goodbye and A Lion in the Sun proved to me that I could create presentable sound recordings on my own terms, in my own time, in my own space. After that, when I did make demos, they were much simpler, because I'd rather put my time into potential finished products. For the most part, demos became an unnecessary step between conception and execution. As such, the era this collection celebrates was over.
Thanks for listening!
released July 31, 2005
recorded by BaM on 4 track cassette
in the basements of Dogtown, Richmond
Heights, and South City, 1997-2005
"1983" recorded on reel to reel
tracks 22-24 recorded on an ADAT
some overdubs on tracks 20 & 21
recorded on a Roland VS-2000 in 2018
some tracks have previously appeared on THEN! (RSR-005),
THEN!...again Vol. 1 (RSR-038), & THEN!...again Vol. 2 (RSR-039)
(all discontinued releases)
tracks 20-21 are outtakes from Haunted (RSR-053)
tracks 22-24 are outtakes from A Lion in the Sun (RSR-008)
thanks to Dan Stuvland for drums
and percussion on "Waterfalls"
and Dave Harris for bass
on "Wasted Time"
all other sounds, sublime or ridiculous, produced by BaM
"Sex with the Ex" by Michael O'Brian and Brian Andrew Marek
"Waterfalls" by Dan Stuvland and Brian Andrew Marek
all other tracks written by BaM, probably with a black pen