Monday, January 12, 2015
Bev S. 12.1.15
I recently bought an Ion Tape 2 Go to transfer some of my dad's old cassettes to CD which in turn motivated me to archive ancient band recordings. After failing to find any traces of last century's musical activity in my apartment, I did a sweep of the American Picker-esque basement in the Takoma Park house where I lived from 1998-2002. Success! In a dark corner behind a bicycle I found a box of live recordings and 4 track tapes from 1986-1990.
Cassettes are a pain! Not only is the dynamic range crap, rewinding and fast forwarding takes an interminable amount of time compared to clicking around on wav files. My labeling left a lot to be desired too! I did a lot of re-recording without updating labels which made every tape a surprise. One recording was from a 1990 gig at a club called "The Paragon" in College Park MD. The muffled performance featured inspired riffs by a guitarist named Jason who had an affinity for Roland effect processing. The keyboardist, who listened incessantly to the Cure's Disintegration album during depressive episodes, was a much better musician than I had remembered and played a tasteful mix of melodic hooks and backing textures.
Another recording from 1986 in Tampa featured a drummer who stubbornly refused to close his hi-hat. I am sure this is responsible for a lot of my hi-frequency hearing loss. He moved with us to Raleigh where he got drunk and wrecked my car and was photographed pointing an AK-47 at my cat. From the looks of his facebook profile he made something of himself producing paintball videos out in LA after the band broke up.
We also had a metal phase in 1989 when we lived in Raleigh. The hot licks were provided by a guitarist who sold used biomedical equipment and stored a kidney machine in our tool shed.
I uncovered some really awful 4-track solo recordings in which I used reverb as a talent button. Thankfully it obscured my self-absorbed 20-something lyrics.
I had grandiose ideas of uncovering diamonds in the ruff but there was too much flutter and hiss. I think the best tracks are a few 4-track ditties I did with John Sudnik when we called ourselves "Wayward Puritans." He had a great emotional delivery and a knack for pop phrasing!
I put up a few things on soundcloud to serve as a nostalgic reminder of why I never quit the day job. Kids today don't know how good they have it with digital recording!
You can hear our subsequent studio efforts at miserichord.info and thentherewerenone.info.