Monday, September 6, 2021

New Wred Fright Album!

So I took the tracks I've been rerecording over the past year and turned them into an album.  I called it Severe Platter Damage because they are kind of noisy.  It's also a bit of a joke because the songs are older, and severe platter damage is a term used in data recovery to describe the worst possible condition a hard drive can be in and still be at least partially recoverable.  I think the tracks work well together, and I tried to sequence them in a way that works.  I thought about mastering the tracks so the volume was more even, but I kind of liked the wild and varied nature of the original recordings, so I let them be.  It also fits the spirit of the album title.  I'm not sure if Soundcloud will let you download the tracks from the playlist, but they are all available individually there as well, so you can download them and make a MP3 playlist if you wanted to.  I'm also open to anyone reviewing the album (please just send me a link so I can see what you think).  I doubt this will be pressed on vinyl, but you're welcome to burn a copy on cd for yourself if you want to or copy it onto cassette if you're into the whole retro thing.  For vinyl, a record company would have to step up as I am still selling copies of a record I pressed in 1994, so that's enough for me (I was sold out of them, but then a friend found a small treasure trove of them in his closet).  I'll probably start another album of songs next year, but for now it's time to turn back to writing.  I'd be fine with playing a show or two, but these days everyone has to show their health records to get into a concert or something, and I just think that's creepy, so I don't think it's likely I'll get invited to play anywhere anytime soon, or ever again.  I only play guitar and sing when I play, so it wouldn't sound like the album anyway, and I don't see myself getting a backing band anytime soon, or ever as well.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the album/playlist and have fun rocking out to it.  It certainly doesn't sound like much else around these days, but given what passes for music these days, people may not like that.  Maybe you will though.

To hear more music, get the Yeast? 7".

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"Earful" Video!

 

This may be the last video for a while as I need to turn my attention to other matters.  Don't worry though as more music is coming, and more videos down the line.  This one was fun to make, though I couldn't persuade my dad to appear in it with his hearing aid ear.  Well, maybe another time.  Of course, ears are the motif, along with speaking.  I like the bees and flowers shot here.  I saw a really cool lightning bug/bee insect (a lightning bug and a yellowjacket had sex maybe and had a baby?  I don't know, but that's what the thing looked like), but it was after I was done with the video, so I didn't record it (fortunately, this guy did:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe21MD1vtns), so I'm not the only one who's seen this crazy bug (if you know what it is, please drop a line).

For more fun, read Edna's Employment Agency!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

New Recording!: "Earful"

This song is probably more identified with The GoGoBots, but I wrote it while in Yeast? and Yeast? recorded it.  After this one, we'll be firmly in The Hot Glue Guns (protoGoGoBots) and GoGoBots era.  I think I wrote it about a friendship which was decaying but then turned it into more of a portrait of a romantic relationship decaying.  It wasn't autobiographical as I was quite happy with the romantic relationship I was in at the time, but it did become a bit prophetic that way eventually.  Initially, the chorus was "Why do you tell me things I don't want to hear?" but that seemed too whiny, so I reversed the pronouns by the time The GoGoBots played it, and that is how it has stayed over the years (of course, just like nearly anytime someone tells you that it's them and not you, they're generally fibbing; it's usually you).  For the recording, I didn't screw up and have to dedicate two tracks to an instrument, so I celebrated by having two weird instruments.  For the first, I used a pipe organ drone underneath the singing, and for the second, I did some background vocals by yelling them across the room at the microphone (an earful, you know).  The recording came out pretty well.  It has the usual background hum from using a cheap Radio Shack microphone circa 1999, but I always liked bands such as Pavement and Guided By Voices, so a little extra noise doesn't bother me.  Maybe someday, I'll shell out for a good microphone.  I might take some of these rerecorded tracks and put them together for an album of sorts.  I think there's enough tracks I like now and which seem to go together.  I doubt I'll do vinyl; it'll probably just be a Soundcloud playlist or something, but it will be fun to make a collection of them and debate different track orders and stuff.  Anyway, hope you enjoy listening and as I did recording.

To hear more music, get the Dick Bennett ep.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

"Bebopped" Video!

 

For a song based on a dream, I wanted to use some dreamlike images, so this is a strange video.  There are cat buddies, Miles Davis albums, Lego projectors, barber poles, crickets, a Philip Larkin essay, and more oddities.  I almost got a shot of a coyote, but he or she was camerashy and slipped off into the woods before I could get any good footage.  The weird bug is a stink bug.  Very cute, but apparently a pain for a garden, so I had to deport him to the woods and away from the mulberry tree.  

On another note, it looks like Google ended their Google Reader feed.  I can still get to individual blogs, but it no longer displays the latest posts in one handy feed.  Some of the blogs I follow haven't posted in years, so it's no great loss, but I did enjoy keeping up with the more consistent blogs I followed.  I will try to stop by once in a while.  Please do the same if you got hit by the same bit of "progress".  Google's free, so I can't much complain, but the Internet seems to be getting a little crappier with all the censorship and spying lately and the progress which isn't progress (for example, I gave up selling on Amazon because it wasn't worth the hassle when I could just sell on eBay and elsewhere without having to constantly contact customer service and go around with them for days just to list a book for sale--and the only reason I used Amazon was that I could list the books quickly in the past.  It seemed as if they were trying to shake out the smaller sellers by design, though they claimed they were just trying to improve the selling experience--I guess giving both buyers and sellers fewer choices is an improvement when one wears monopoly glasses).  At this rate, I may just end up going offline and doing zines again (assuming the post office still exists by then).  Ha!  With luck, the Internet will spin itself a better Web again because it used to be really great before it got all Big Brother creepy. 

For more fun, read Edna's Employment Agency!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

New Recording!: "Bebopped"

I guess I wrote this while Yeast? was still a band, but I always associate it with the GoGoBots because I don't think Yeast? ever played it.  If I remember correctly, I had a dream that I was playing in Miles Davis's band, which you can probably guess doesn't go real well.  I must have read an article about Davis that evening or something where, later in his career, he got mad if players played in the bebop style.  For the weird instrument, I used the horn setting on the keyboard and "blew" some notes somewhat randomly through the song. Without a real bass, I had the guitar play the bassline in a surf guitar way, and used the bass on the keyboard to emphasize certain notes.  The drumming sounds a bit mad.  I do like that blasted out drum sound (The Flaming Lips seem to also at times, so I am not alone in that).  For the break, I channel a Pussy Galore take on "Love Supreme" by John Coltrane.  I had fun rerecording this.  It's not a song that I play often, but it's enjoyable when I do.

And I do like that bebop shit!

To hear more music, get the Dick Bennett ep.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

"Penny Dreadful" Video!

 
The broken camcorder finally proved too temperamental to work with, so I shot the footage on the good old digital camera.  The results are probably better overall, but the zoom action is not quite so smooth.  It fit the rhythm here of the song, so it works here.  Since the song is about a kid who likes to read science fiction, I shot footage of my kiddo, comics books, and a Stephen King novel (the sci-fi purists, now grunting that I used the term "sci-fi" will have to forgive me for not shooting stacks of Isaac Asimov novels instead, but I didn't have any on hand).  For the other footage, nature seemed to volunteer this time between the rainbow and the lightning bugs.  As always, making the video was fun.  Hope you enjoy it as well!

For more fun, read Edna's Employment Agency!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Recording!: "Penny Dreadful"

Well, we're finally through the Dick Bennett ep, and we're about done with Yeast? in general.  I was surprised this song, "Penny Dreadful", was written earlier than I remembered it.  I don't know if Yeast? ever played it.  There was a whole slew of songs at the end of Yeast? that never got anywhere.  I'd bring them in, and Dave would dislike them and put country beats on them, and we'd just give up and play "Generic Smokes" or some Big Black covers instead.  Most of those songs ended up not being so great, so Dave was probably on to something, but if this was among them, then we definitely missed out on something here.  Instead, The GoGoBots picked it up.  In fact, I think it's the first track on the Noise Prescription cd.  It's about a kid growing up and liking to read science fiction.  A penny dreadful is more associated with a lurid true crime story (they cost a penny at one point), but the term spread a bit to encompass all of pulp fiction, including science-fiction.  Speaking of which, I recently went to a pulp fiction convention to hang out with my pal Mark Justice.  I had never been to one before, but it was interesting.  It reminded me a lot of a comic book convention before cosplay became such a large part of it.  It was mainly dealers with copies of Conan paperbacks and other pulp stuff, including some of the original pulp magazines.  Prices weren't bad, though of course the rarer items were expensive.  I bought a collection of fiction inspired by the work of cartoonist Fletcher Hanks.  The stacks of Stephen King and James Bond novels, among other objects there, reminded me of my adolescence, and did make me want to pick up my Stephen King bibliography from where I left off in 1988 or so (I have periodically checked in on his work with the odd novel or two over the years, but he's so prolific, he probably has two dozen novels that I have never read).  Anyway, genre fiction of the pulp type fits in well with this song.  Musically, I just used some pennies for odd sound effects while in the background my son had fun with a toy microphone.  Other than that, it's the usual guitar, vox, keyboard as bass, and percussion.  It looks like the next few songs are those of The GoGoBots, though Yeast? did at least one of them before breaking up.  

To hear more music, get the Dick Bennett ep