Wednesday

whatever happened to 'go home and be a family man!'?

the observant amongst you may have noticed the disapearance of 'go home and be a family man!' from my downloads sidebar. there files are still on my music page, but i've decided to make them less obvious in light of my current and forthcoming releases. let me explain.

the story may start with my first cd, and second 'first album proper': grilly and the orange pants band's 'their orange, there pants, and they should be banned'. it was 74 minutes of hissy low-fi. somehow i'd unlearned the lesson of my first 'first album proper', 'campaign against normality', for which i'd bought a 40-minute cassette and filled it with my own songs. previous to this, i'd simply filled 90-minute tapes with covers and an occasional original number, ran off a tape cover in microsoft publisher; this happened about three times, the best being the first release, which was live recordings with ben dobson on piano. most of everything was awful, if not for the material for the execution - not owning a four track, i simply used two tape decks and a mic to bounce up a song. this meant that the rythm track was often the most indistinct in the mix, having been seriously degraded. my lack of playing ability, and fear of being caught recording so vocals were only semi-whispered also made matters worse. anyway, so i did a 40 minute album of my own stuff, as it was all the songs i had at the time. we can draw a direct line from there to here. my next record was the afore-mentioned orange pants band, which should have been split into two parts.
after this, i have another 45-minute side of unreleased stuff (one track was incorporated into ttvcb as 'pessimist's love song'), and then i went to durham and decided to record a proper album with a proper track list, ultimately 'try the view change button'. but it still had too much on. i originally envisaged it as having sub-sections, like e.p.s, but in the end just had the whole thing as one order. it was an hour long. i wouldn't say the album was too long.. but tracks were excluded from it. after i left durham, and the album still wasn't finished, i kept recording. and after a point, i thought, 'these tracks are too different to my durham material to use on try the view change button. that is my durham album, and it is as finished as durham. these songs shall make a new album.'

an album - be it a single, an extanded play or a long play - is all about the tracklisting, and how the songs work together. this is why i have always finished songs and put them online straight away, and then let the vision of the album come out of how those songs interact. i saved those new songs - ayufa, edmond, and david trimble - and then came 'dovedale joints'. divided into two distinct halves, with tracks fading into each other, real sequencing and seguing, and my first stabs at production, since during it's recording i attended a music tech/sound recording course. it was, at long last, my first 'real' 'first album proper'. the decks were almost cleared, although i still have unused songs from this era and before. and then came, slightly premature, my idea for my next album: 'go home and be a family man!'

i'm not sure when the title apeared in my head, but it must have been in first year of brighton when we found ourselves back on street fighter 2:championship edition. while back in manchester, i'd slightly written two very long songs: 'the girl in the kid a top' and 'new boyfriend'. but i didn't have the means in brighton to record them straight away, and used fruity loops to create music instead. when i did get my electric guitar down, i started recording 'the girl..' and a new song, 'love'. i envisaged the new album from start to finish, and recorded an acoustic demo of the whole thing in a night, plus the fruity loops material. but slowly, new songs ousted the old, and i changed the name and structure of the album; it became 'womansour', simply because i thought it was a better title. it would be stretched across two mini-cds, like a real record has two sides of 20 minutes. i had enough songs (i still have the conceptual covers for this version). but what with 'the girl' taking so long to record and being so central to the two-disc concept, it was cut along with half the material, and what remained was the five tracks you see today. four out of the five songs were entirely written in that year, so it's very documentary. 'go home..' was going to be along shortly.. wasn't it?

over the following year, i produced another full cd of material, 32 tracks, which lead me to start planning an album based around the levels of doom 2.. this never materialised, but the odd thing is, i've only used one of the tracks on that cd on 'on benefit', which is 'quinlank', recorded in a week long binge of whiskey and ciggerattes, because, seriously, i thought that's how rock stars got their creativity. i meant to record a whole album that week. so those doom 2 songs - including my banging first year fruity loops tracks - are still waiting in the wings..

so then rebessica arrived, and i started writing songs to be performed by a band - 'midweek cd purchase' and 'klein bottle' certainly so. so after my experiances with that falling through, and being on the dole, the new album has taken shape, but it is not 'go home'. it is not so different, but it is different. it's an interesting mix, that the first and the last tracks (also fanthorpe) were written some time ago, but all the others are 'new' songs. and the new material is really quite rocking - quinlank, midweek and klein bottle are pretty heavy songs, and forever was a rediciously heavy song, once. purple milk (acoustic), the newest song on the album, will offset this nicely, i hope. but i run the risk of falling into my own criticisms of my attorney's silver bullet that "it's a shame there's not a section with several 'proper' songs together" (a criticism that i now disagree with. i love the album to bits (as you can see from my new lyric below the photo), although i still think 'the moon and the sea' is underbaked). it's only eight songs, and one of those is a cover, although the overall length is a classic 42 minutes thanks to those bulky book ends.

i think i might go and do some recording now. or make some spinach soup.
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