Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Episode Seven

Here is a brace of five songs all from a single gig in 1987. At this point, the new version of the band had been rehearsing for about six months. As you'll hear, the group was still honing its sound and we compensated for any lack of refinement with sheer raw energy. Sound quality is not great, but listenable. My clarinet is barely audible most of the time--you'll have to strain your ears a bit. On the last track "The Pin-Boy's Life," it's hard to hear me at all, but I take a solo trying channel the spirit of Albert Ayler through my clarinet. I almost make it, too... This track is notable to my ears for its ferocious groove and just plain weirdness; I'd also point out that the band's aggressiveness on this and other tracks could hold its own with just about any punk group of the era. (Note: on this track there was a substantial dropout on the tape. I did my best to make a smooth edit, but it's not very smooth...) We often played Willy Dixon's "Spoonful," and it was usually a powerful standout of our live shows. My tenor solo here is not me at my best, but I did get better, I can say that. Still, it's a song we played a lot that some might not have heard before. "Why Should I Stand Up?" has different lyrics than those on the studio album, and most subsequent performances. Chuck rewrote one of the interior verses, and the arrangement hadn't quite settled into its permanent form.

The songs are:

Why Should I Stand Up?
That's Entertainment
Why'd the Boy Throw the Clock Out the Window?
The Pin-Boy's Life

Here's the link:

Special thanks to Don Argus for sending me the tape of this show.


mecki said...

Congrats on finishing your doctoral exams. What's your thesis on? Why the word 'Quirky' should never be used in regards to the CBJE?

Great stuff today, and I'm looking forward to episodes 8 and 9.

david d. mcintire said...

No, I'll leave it to another scholar to sort that whole "quirky" thing out. As I'm in a composition program, my dissertation will actually be a piece of music. Right now it looks like it'll be a work for vocalists, chamber ensemble and electronics. I'm also writing a thesis for a masters degree in musicology. The thesis there deals with a post-minimalist style called Totalism. And if someone ever tells you that it would be "pretty easy" to finish two graduate degrees at the same time, don't believe them...

mecki said...

So will your piece be in one of the next podcasts?

And given how much pain I went through finishing just a masters, I would never believe anyone who says that two would be 'pretty easy'

Trust me on that.

Good luck.

david d. mcintire said...

No, I don't plan to podcast my dissertation, but thanks for asking! I honestly doubt it would be of any interest to most CbJE fans. My own composing was/is deeply influenced by my years in the band, but my music is a separate thing, and its relationship to CbJE would not be obvious to many listeners. I've occasionally composed something that I thought Chuck might like, but not very often. I know he found most classical music and classically trained musicians to being prone being "grandiose." I've tried to avoid that tendency ever since he told me that.

alanforduk said...

The podcasts can now be downloaded via