I recently stumbled across a handful of self-produced recordings I made during the spring of 2001 which, as always, have proven to be an interesting (to me, that is) audio record of what I was up to at the time, what I was listening to, and what my musical skills were like. Half of the material here is made up of covers, and the other half re-recordings of preciously written material, so there is nothing new, really, and nothing mind-blowing either. But it's not bad, and with the exception of one song it serves as an excellent offering to serve up at the eternal altar to my own ego, since every single instrument was played by me.More Audio Archives will be on the way in 2009, gang, so stay tuned...
These were recorded in my "room." It had been a garage originally, had no insulation and it wasn't legally permissible to rent it out as my landlady was. Ah, those college days of hedonistic luxury! Come to think of it, that was the last place I could keep my drum kit permanently set up, since few neighbors worried about noise violations in I.V. I have dubbed the collection "Alone and Bored," which seems to capture a college student's reason for doing most things pretty well. (Another reason being typified by "Drunken Peer Pressure," I suppose. But that would be a whole different set of songs!)
I Fly Free
This is probably the gem of the songs here. It's played reasonably well and captures a lot of what I'd originally had in mind for the song. It's only comparable to the Mojo Wire version from "Seaside Hamlet Skids" due to the latter's recording quality, though—my general Rule regarding my own recordings is that they are always better when played by a band rather than just by me. But this one makes me proud nonetheless, and is one of the few recordings where I'm actually pleased with my backing vocals, since harmonizing is one of my weaker areas.
A Bob Dylan song I still love. I sang it an octave high (you can tell I'm still learning how to sing here) and played it twice as fast, but trying to out-do Bob on his own material just doesn't work. Unless your name is Jimi Hendrix.
This one is a pretty solid version of my ancient instrumental. (I wrote this my senior year in high school, if I remember right, so it's about twelve years old now.) I'd still put the Mojo Wire version as the definitive one, 'cause hey—I'm no Brandon Klopp. But this represents pretty much the apex of my drumming skills, which makes it an interesting listen.
The redeemable song from U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind." I probably should have left this one behind myself, but it was fun to play at the time.
This is the first time I ever attempted to record it. It's not bad, though the Honey White version would turn out better. It's interesting, though, to see which aspects of it remained the same and which changed.
Leonard Cohen's old tune, which was masterfully covered by Jeff Buckley. My cover is less than masterful, but it's not too bad as long as you don't compare it to Buckley's version.
My Second Shipwreck
This one is, unfortunately, incomplete—the last third of the song is still on a CD buried somewhere in our storage unit, if the files still exist anywhere at all. Which is too bad, because otherwise it might have become an exception to my Rule listed above. Fun to listen to: the heavy, out-of-tune drums and echoey clang of the cymbals work pretty well, and the guitar tone is surprisingly good (in my opinion) considering the equipment I was using at the time. No fancy echo pedals were at my disposal back then; if I remember right I used an old multi-effect pedal given to me years earlier by my uncle. I think I still have it somewhere, actually.
The Lightning Rod
A proto version of the first Honey White attempt on this song. That is, its lyrics were nearly completed to Keir's satisfaction (after, like, three years), it has yet to acquire the "Whatever Gets You Going" badass echo bass intro, and doesn't end on the chorus. But it is still an interesting listen, and Keir somehow got a really cool sounding echo on the drums during the verses. Keir sang it and provided bass, making this the only collaborative effort here.