Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Episode Four

is now up and running.
Get it here:

This one's a bit bigger than the others. Apologies for the file size, but I think it'll be worth it. Here's the song list:

Ride Board
Strange Sounds From the Basement
Considering a Move to Memphis (live 1990)
Romeo Witherspoon (live radio, WITR 1989)
Hi-Fi Alphabet
I Am Joe Montana (live radio, WITR 1989)
Strange Case (live radio, WITR 1991)

A few notes on the program:

A "ride board" is a bulletin board at a college or meeting place for young people where one can post signs of "ride needed to 'X.'" If you happened to be driving that way, here was a person able to share expenses. I didn't have a car for much of my early college years, and the ride board was an important resource for me. Nowadays, everyone's got a car and you don't see them much anymore. The cafe referred to in the song was the Lowlife Cafe of Oswego NY. It was gone by the time I joined the band, but Chuck spoke of it often. I think both Phil and Ken probably remember it from their Oswego days as well. The names and cities in the song are significant.

"Strange Sounds From the Basement" demonstrates one our most impressive (and least appreciated) skills—the ability to play in very slow tempos. And marvel at the timing of Chuck's delivery of the words—Jack Benny coudn't have done it better.

This is a pretty good version of "Memphis," and gives the general ambience at one of our live shows. This is from a gig at the Country Warehouse, which was a pretty big Rochester venue. I saw The Band there once. They had absolutely no interest in booking us until after we'd played in Europe. And apologies to podcast listeners and my former band mates for my floundering solo here. Took me years to solo on this song properly. I'm not sure why.

"Romeo Witherspoon" and "I Am Joe Montana" were taken from a live WITR broadcast in 1989, when we did an acoustic show there as "CbJ annd the Death Valley Boys." We were working on our acoustic album at the time. Chuck was a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers, and admired Montana greatly. There were a few fans who really loved that song and we often got requests for it.

I've always loved "Hi-Fi Alphabet." Other than its skewering of artistic pretension ("bohemian die-hard twerp"), I have no idea what it's about. In the instrumental section leading to the end, you can hear a number of guest artists join in, including members of The Wilderness Family and Personal Effects, two great Rochester bands.

"Strange Case" was one of my favorite songs, but we didn't play it out much, if at all. When we started to learn it, we had a huge disagreement about how to count off the song. It got to the point where we just set it aside and worked on other things. Just before the broadcast in December of '91, we revisited the song and solved the problem by emphasizing the song's rhythmic ambiguity, rather than clarifying it. That worked. My solo on this is probably my favorite of any that I did with the band.

Next episode: Girls! Girls! Girls!


alanforduk said...
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alanforduk said...

The podcasts can now be downloaded via