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Showing posts from 2007

Entropic 12.3 second loop

Ian C Stewart "Entropic 12.3 Second Loop" MP3

Here's a new loop comprised of a drum sequence, a sample of me drumming and some heavily effected fretless bass guitar. Loop it a few times, listen to it for a couple of minutes until it starts to make sense.


Here are some more raw drum tracks for anyone to take, rock out with, record, whatever. Feel free to sample, loop, incinerate, reiterate, whatever, anything here. Make it your own. Just don't forget to let me know how it turns out.

The first two have already been posted. The rest are new to the world. Stream 'em on the right or download 'em here:

Ian Drums 1
Ian Drums 2
Ian - Drums 01
Ian - Drums 02
Ian - Drums 03
Ian - Drums 04
Ian - Drums 05
Ian - Drums 06
Ian - Drums 07
Ian - Ride Loop cracked out
Ian - Ride Groove acoustic mirror
Ian - Ride Groove

EYE 1996

Ian C Stewart | Michael Million "Eye"MP3

I know, I know, this is like the 50th time I've uploaded "Eye." This recording was part of an extensive batch of songs done and redone by Michael and I in spring 1996. We had the opportunity to record a bunch of our old and new songs on my 8-track, using all our best equipment and with the thought of doing the songs justice. Live drums were the order of the day and we spent many weekends that spring down in the basement at my mom's, just as we had when we both lived in the same town. Of course much of the stuff we did was never finished and only consists of an abandoned drum track with a scratch guitar beside it. But on the other hand there were a few old chestnuts that finally got their due. Now that's not to say that this is THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE version of "Eye," though in all actuality it may be.

I played drums, I think one track of guitar and two tracks of vocals. Michael did the bass and maybe one gu…


Ian C Stewart "Let's Visit the Farm" MP3
Michael Million "Oh My! That's Bass" MP3
Michael Million "Unchallenged Hate" MP3

Here's one I kind of forgot about & a few of its siblings while I'm at it.

Hearing it now, "Let's Visit the Farm" is not like I remember it at all! This song was recorded in September 1989 at Michael's house.... in the soundproof room... he had been in Florida for the summer during which time I got my first 4-track. Even in those days I recorded all the freakin' time, I probably recorded four albums worth of stuff by the time I got the 4-track out of its box. So, I was already a pro, or so I thought. Michael was new to multitracking, so I gave him a product demo there, using.... it sounds like whatever we had on hand. It's probably the Tokai guitar or possibly my Warlock through my old Peavey Backstage amp. Definitely his Ibanez fretless bass. We're lucky I had my Casio PT-whatever tiny ke…


Ian C Stewart "Skulls are Neat" MP3

MJB sent this link to the Skull-a-Day blog, which naturally reminded me of this song from the possibly previously mentioned 1990 mixdown adventure PRODUCT OF A CONFUSED MIND. 90 minutes of self discovery and crap flying around everywhere.

First there was a poem, then there was a "song."


I'm not sure whose keyboard I used for this but since I was a senior in high school at the time and thus likely to have many people over at my house, it could've been anyone's. I'm guessing maybe Brian Lewis or Jeff Sampson since one of them also brought over a banjo? Which you can hear me kind of plaintively picking out a few notes on here. I do hear Brian at the end going "whooo hoooooo"

There's a lot of action on this song. Those were the days of recording a song on the 4-track, then flipping the tape over and recording a bunch of stuff in …


STAR*PILLOW "Gardening" MP3
STAR*PILLOW "Floating Candles" MP3

Well, speaking of Star*Pillow, here's the original, as-it-was-intended first Star*Pillow cassingle! "Gardening" / "Floating Candles"

In the end I stretched the release out to 30 minutes and filled the rest of the tape with a bunch of goofy filler which seemed appropriate at the time. But in retrospect it made the whole tape seem um a lot crappier & less focused than it would've been with just two songs. Brevity always being one of the tenets of Star*Pillow.

I think I actually made a Samarkand EP called Holiday that included most of the filler tracks that wound up on the Star*Pillow That's a Funny Name for a Lobster! EP, notably my 5+ minute casio dirge keyboard version of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades".

Typical use of Samarkand as a sounding board for a new genre before I spun it off into a new project of its own. Which I later did with FZZY PMPR and which I was…


Ian C Stewart "Slappy Uptempo Dub Pop Rock" MP3

Slappy Uptempo Dub Pop Rock is what it is. A mid 1990s experiment in reverb and digital delay. If the tempo had been halved and the guitar lost in favor of echoey horn parps, this still wouldn't pass for Dub.

This work tape consists primarily of the Casio + bass guitar smooth jams that became the Samarkand album Pitch Wheel. The mixes on this tape might be a little different but the results are the same.

There are a few guitar-driven pieces on this tape as well, of which this is one. It sounds like there's two bass guitar tracks. Echoed-out drum machine. Super reverby guitar times two. It must've been recorded at the end of the master tape because it cuts off suddenly. Maybe all of my instrumentals should implode at the two minute mark.


DEVILCAKE "I Want a Big Mac (Ambient Gladiator Mix)" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Silly Autumnal Loop" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Silly Autumnal Loop 2" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Silly Autumnal Loop 3" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Intentional Cure Ripoff" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Intentional The Bats Ripoff" MP3

Cleaning house this morning, here's a bunch of recent stuff from my sequencer & multitracker.


Star*Pillow "Gardening" MP3
Star*Pillow "Floating Candles" MP3

Today's work tape is kind of an album that never was......... Star*Pillow BVLLSH!T!!.

The only Star*Pillow release was an EP called That's a Funny Name for a Lobster and it did share a few of these songs. But I think this forgotten sequence would've worked just as well, maybe more so. The combination of the 'wacky lo-fi acoustic suicide songs' that comprised an entire tape, (also called BVLLSH!T!!, not by coincidence) with the guitar-bass-drums songs is perhaps more successful here.

Hmm, not that anyone will ever hear any of this stuff anyway.

& I still want to have a band that sounds like Star*Pillow.

I want a woman
who's really fine
wears old glasses
wears black dresses

laughs a lot
doesn't bite her nails
feels everything
but doesn't fly off the rails

she's a writer
and she could kick my ass
has a nice body
and can type really fast

she's a writer
or an artiste


Ian C Stewart "Leaping Chords Instrumental" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Oddly Enough" MP3
Ian C Stewart "Clarity" MP3

I'm really getting organized this week. Here's another tape from 1997 marked 4 TRACK FALLOUT. This one consists of three songs, only one of which appears on the other 4 TRACK FALLOUT. I'm uploading all three here for no apparent reason.

These are probably the last things I recorded in the basement at my mom's house. I think in 1997 I was going over there on weekends to do laundry and since some of my music stuff was still there, it was easy for me to peel off a few new tracks while my clothes were drying.

I think I used Ray's 4-track and mic preamp for the drums. I think the guitars and bass went through the Peavey Backstage Plus amp just to control the frequencies plus it added a semi desirable toilety quality.

Drumming-wise, my 'sound' at the time was to record the drums at the slowest speed on the recorder. So that they&#…


Ian C Stewart "Unknown Continua Leftover" MP3

Here's a cool find from the second homeless work cassette in the pile. Looks like it's just most of side two of the 1998 Samarkand cassette Continua.

Continua was my first public dabblings in sampling and looping and cutting and pasting. It's a mess of XTC, Coolio, Bill Laswell and Pantera samples. I thought it sounded like futuristic pop music. I did the whole thing on Cool Edit still, most likely on the fly. Not saving a single thing along the way to the hard drive.

This track is ghouly bass playing by me along with a popular drum & bass loop blasting away behind me. That's drum & bass the genre, not just a raw rhythm section.

I don't think this piece was ever released. I totally forgot about it until just now. Strange.

It lives at the end of side one of the work tape & gets cut off at the end. Was this thing just filler? I don't know! It does rock like a you-…


Ian C Stewart "Cut-ups" MP3

I have a pile of work tapes that aren't really labeled anywhere on the outside. They were usually quick mixes of whatever music I was working on at the time, made to listen to in the car, or on a walkman. Not for posterity. And most certainly not for anyone else's delectation ten years later!

The first of these bulk work tapes says CUT-UPS. And that's the only clue of what awaits inside.

I might've heard Mark Gunderson referring to something he did as a "cut-up" in the mid 1990s. When I bought my first PC from him I guess I inherited a little bit of interest in seeking out and exploiting wacky and amusing sound sources. The more ludicrous the better. Unfortunately I do not share his gift for being able to craft something great out of disparate materials, as this pathetic, one-off tape reveals.

And Wayne Butane, I might've become aware of his work by this point, which would be some time in 1997.

From childhood I've alwa…


DISLOCATION "Duck on Acid" MP3
DISLOCATION "Hemidemisemiquaver" MP3

Speaking of bands that never were, here's one from the depths of that restless summer/early autumn of 1992.

We/I killed Devilcake after a masterful & triumphant gig in Dayton, Ohio in a warehouse. I personally felt that after I had played the entire show in the nude and finished it doused in whipped cream, fake blood and other people's sweat, there was nothing left for the band to accomplish. There were upwards of 13 people in the band at any given moment, control was becoming an issue, factions were becoming polarized. Plus, I was leaving for Boston in the fall, so we might as well quit while we were ahead. But that was in May. That still left 3.5 months of music to be made!

Immediately we tried a few different Devilcake variations, such as .... all keyboards, but with Gourley singing exclusively about boobies. I wonder why that never happened. I also s…


Irreligion "Forever Tonight"

Gettin' our ghoul on a little early for Halloween. "Forever Tonight" was recorded for the second Irreligion release, Cadaver Holiday. I wrote the riffs and the lyrics separately. I supplied Ray with the lyrics and he came up with the vocal melodies. Michael did all the recording and engineering. I think we did this in 2000? Michael did the awesome cover art.

My lyrics are the usual meaningless imagist fiend nonsense. I think the title goes as far back as my book 'instinct', which was from 1995. I believe it said 'her sister told her parents she was going to sleep forever tonight'.

Obviously now I can see the title is heavily inspired by (ie stolen from) the Ride EP, Today Forever. Oh well.

Irreligion is perhaps the greatest band that never was. Oh well. Perhaps one day we'll shock the world and find that elusive permanent fourth member and we'll be able to play shows. Or not. That would be fine too, I guess.


Ian C Stewart "Hypnotic Symmetry" Soundclick MP3

A couple of years ago I finally broke down and bought myself a sequencer and a rack synthesizer. I always wanted to get into MIDI and sequencing but never got around to it until recently. Once I found a few of the significant synth sounds it was only a matter of time before I tried something like this. Um... darkly new agey I guess.

And, having never made a whole album in this style, I went ahead and made a whole album in this style. I think it was called Elements. But I don't think I ever made a cover for it or pressed up copies. I think I only got as far as uploading it to Soundclick.


Ian C Stewart "Welcome to my Stronghold" MP3

This drum machine/guitar/bass instrumental is the last track on my 2003 album Workweak. I almost called it a 2003 release but I don't know that it was ever 'released' in the sense of being burned onto CDs and mailed around the world as might be expected.

The drum machine is programmed to a mid period Terry Chambers (XTC) vibe. I think I did the guitar first and then tried to follow the riffs on ye olde fretless (ferrrrrrrrtless) bass. It actually comes together pretty well, all things considered. I mean, considering I'm not that big of a fan of The Police or whatever this thing sounds like. The delayed guitar effect is nice here, the whole thing is kind of hollowed out since there are no keyboards or rhythm guitars or um Chapman Sticks.

I have vague recollections of recording this thing in the basement of the condo. It was a lovely spacious finished basement and for once I had all my recording stuff out and plugged in…


Devilcake "Pie Hair Pie/I Want a Big Mac 2001" Youtube

cross posted to the Devilcake gig blog...

I guess enough years have passed on this one for everyone to be at least slightly objective about it. Maybe?

This gig was a smeg-load of 'firsts' and 'lasts', a truly transitional point in the history of Devilcake. It was Darrin's first gig ever, my first & last Devilcake gig playing guitar, um... Ray on bass, Todd on keyboards. Mike Bill on guitar and Mike Gourley singing. This is possibly the FASTEST "Pie Hair Pie" and "I Want a Big Mac" ever!

Darrin and Todd can weigh in further....

You can see how overwhelmed I was with being liberated from playing drums. I literally could not make up my mind how to proceed on guitar, with my 'costume' (I think we were wearing costumes at that point, right?), it was like a caveman seeing fire for the first time. Or using a wheel. This video captures it all. Guitar behind the head within the first…


Thanks for today's instant lyrics to Darrin's Scrambled Lyric Eggs program.

Maybe it's all just a phase
safe in comforted knowledge
april snow
meatwood flack

When there will be
The gentle demise
the elements conspire
The soft embrace of destruction

You said there was no way
Saw you stumble
Wisdom awaits
The velvet decline

Feel nothing
Without faith

Another time
IRR3 lyric stabs
Orchids of fear

Filling the void
Working by hand
Cauldron of emptiness
Kneel before me

4. Hope
Screaming alone
Identical twins
It all comes down

without fire
Someone else's land
Who is your lord
Open up into

Taste the shallow abyss
In half an hour

Loss of hope
Suffering inside
Accept what is given
To embrace the absence


for what could've been
don't worry
you just broke my spine

you're not sorry...asshole
metronomic shadow
you know it's on its way

the siren screams
i'm only programmed to fuck
where you've been

the forbidden…


Hazy "Sunset" MP3 "Water" MP3

Almost unbearably dismal songs, recorded almost unbearably dismally. What can I tell you, I'm the king of dismalia..

Fall, the second Hazy album, was recorded in one afternoon, February 20, 2005. I used one mic and recorded into Cool Edit 96 on the laptop. The mic picked up all of the laptop's squealing and processor noise. All the songs are acoustic guitar and singing, no overdubs or anything. There's a funny bit of synchronicity toward the end of the album when one of the other computers in the room finished burning a DVD and played its little mexican jumping bean "I'm finished burning now" song just as the song ended. The lyrics for "Water" are about the day I visited N!ck Dr@ke's grave.

down in the sky
light turns to ice
slowly burning

walk all morning
east of nowhere
in the mist

now we rise


Ian C Stewart "Downhill" and "Unnoticed" Youtube

Wow, I just did a search on my own name on Youtube & it's pretty dire. I guess the middle initial makes all the difference in the world still....

I accidentally encoded these two songs together on Youtube just now. No wonder it's six minutes long!

I did a lot of extremely informal recording in those days usually with a handheld tape recorder & an acoustic guitar. After I got my first camcorder, I recorded a few songs that way as well but I'm not sure that it had the same effect. You can actually see the conditions I wrote and recorded in, in addition to hearing them. That alone is enough to scare me away from trying anything like this now.

"Downhill" seems relatively uptempo but still has those sad big boy chord inversions. The tempo changes were due to my feeling that the songs should be able to go in any direction at any time. "Downhill" is the rare occasion when I was singing di…


Ian C Stewart "Garden Scene" MP3

It seems like all I do here is bellyache and berate myself for all the missed opportunities and lapses in quality control I've slackered myself into.. I guess there are very few things I've ever recorded that I consider unqualified successes. "Garden Scene" is one of them.

This piece was recorded in 1995, one of the last things I did before firing up the AUTOreverse mechanism. I was in the zone just before I packed up the studio stuff for good. It wasn't for good, obviously, but that's sort of the effect it had on me at the time.

The song is a total, unashamed ripoff of all things Cocteau Twins and 1980s. Everything is reverbed to helen back. The drum machine is dialed in on that 4AD setting. The keyboard was probably my big Casio which was my workhorse for this song and most of the of the stuff on the Samarkand 'smooth jazz' (not really) album Pitch Wheel.

I don't need to make excuses for any aspect of this …


Hazy "Dream" MP3 + "Road" MP3

From the band that never was, the albums that never were, the songs that almost were. The lyrics, titles and cover art that definitely did happen.

These are the last two songs on the first Hazy album, Atmos. Just like Rick Rubin said, ask someone to write ten songs for an album and inevitably the most recent two are the best ones.

I'm pretty sure no one has heard this stuff in its entirety, at least I hope not.

On "Dream", I used an old funky drum break for the drums, then some clean bass & guitars, all reverbed beyond reason. The vocals are the weak link, naturally. Hopefully they're low enough in the mix that they don't ruin the whole thing. If that's even possible.

"Road" has a drum loop from who knows where. Actually I do know where, it was an old remix kit sent by a friend for a very early bunch of Acid remixes. We're talkin' like 1998 or 99 here. So he played the drums, which is why the …


Ian C Stewart "These Chords are like Family to Me" MP3

From the 2003 made-to-be-made-not-made-to-be-heard album I Don't Know Why You Think I Won't Kill You.... this is the last song.

This was the beginning of my dabbling with intentional randomness in songwriting. The lyrics for the whole album were compiled from albums by other artists that I enjoyed a lot, such as Adrian Belew's Twang Bar King, The Cure's Pornography, Voivod Nothingface, Mercyful Fate Melissa etc.

I wrote out entire lines of their phrases and chopped them together. I think at the time I described it as 'sad psychedelic love songs about satan' overall, which is really being too generous.

The music was also randomly chosen from tablature found on t'interwebs for favorite songs of mine. In general I played the chords in reverse order to the original songs but I can still kind of tell in a couple of places what the songs were.

The titles were my own, obviously. Although I did chop toget…


Ian C Stewart "Souvenirs" Youtube

Many lifetimes and receding hairlines ago, somebody somewhere had the idea to make a fresh compilation CD of new mopey acoustic guitar based songs. The CD was called Because it's Cheaper than Therapy and that's all I'll say on this potentially volatile subject.

"Souvenirs" was my submission.

down the hill


Ian C Stewart "B0khara" MP3

This song is so new I don't really have any perspective on it. The drum loop came first when I recorded this thing, um, a couple of days ago.

Actually the middle guitar break came first out of the whole song. Playing across the middle strings of the guitar, I came across a mopey kind of descending thing, which, when I voiced the notes correctly turned out to just be B major, B bleah something, A major, G major, which isn't very mopey at all.

It's kind of anti mopey actually.

The bass line came next and I found a nice rub with that Eric Avery/Jane's Addiction kind of rollicking line.

And the drums were just a bunch of percussive things to keep the whole thing moving. Or not. So who knows. I like the chords very much but who knows if this will ever amount to anything & grow some vocals.


Ian C Stewart "Song Ideas 1987 01" MP3 + "Song Ideas 1987 02" MP3

Lucky you, two tracks today from the next tape in the seemingly endless supply of tapes recorded by me. The only information given this time is "Song Ideas by Ian '87" written on the cover. Okay. That tells us almost nothing. But that's still more information than many of my tapes have on them. I've always been bad about writing stuff like that down.

Both sides of this 60 minute cassette were filled with all manner of silliness involving a Mattel Synsonics toy drum machine, a wee jobby of a toy Casio PT-80 keyboard and distorted guitar. I'm pretty sure that to this day I've never listened to this tape. It was probably cranked out in an afternoon or two. I should listen to it sometime, shouldn't I. I might've cured cancer or something.

I've never been ashamed of my ability to rock a funky beat with the Synsonics. Oh, no. And I could even break out a thrash/polka/…


Oracle "Jam 2" MP3

Here's the ultimate of our Dokken/Celtic Frost crossovers. I believe Dave is on guitar and I'm on drums for this jam. It's such a strange combination of elements, I almost wish we'd been able to take it somewhere. What does happen when you mix glam and sludgy doom?

Probably nothing. I'm sure there's a reason we never got together again after this!

The riff was definitely Dave's. I always enjoyed playing it and could probably still bust it out if I wanted to.

I'm not positive that I'm playing the drums but it does sound like me. This would've been like my third or fourth time ever behind a kit. My usual 'drum set' in those days consisted of the air and a pair of drum sticks, sunglasses and leather gloves optional. No, really. I'd sit on the corner of my waterbed & blast Venom's 20 minute epic "At War With Satan" and air drum along as best I could.

The funny thing about playing in Dave's b…


Oracle "Jam" MP3

Skipping ahead to March 1987, probably my next experience jamming with other guys. This time with several chaps who I didn't normally hang out with. We all seemed to like aspects of the same music but our playing styles were pretty far off from each other.

Let's see, we played in this guy Dave M.'s basement. Even though we weren't bestest buds or anything, Dave M. was the guy I knew the best out of this session. I don't remember if we even had any classes together, we just both loved talking about playing the guitar. Which was certainly not uncommon at the time. He seemed to be a George Lynch acolyte whereas I still had yet to declare a style of my own.

So, to confuse things further, there was a third guy, named Matt, I don't remember his last name. But he was there with his drums. He played drums fairly well though none of us were virtuosos. Matt also played guitar decently. Dave, who primarily played guitar, could hold his own on the d…


Ichor "Jam" MP3

This tape is labelled "Ichor Again" which refers to another tape dated a few weeks earlier. That tape consists of at least 60 minutes of us waiting for the drummer who never arrives.

But this time, September 14, 1986 apparently, the drummer was in the house. Well, in the garage, whatever. Same drummer as 'Argus', but it appears that without Matt or anyone else to keep us together, we both space out in different directions. Meaning that by this point we probably didn't know any of the same songs anymore. I wasn't really writing songs yet, I mean nothing that I felt comfortable showing to other people!

That being said, the chords I'm playing on this jam do correspond with maybe the one & only song that Keith and I ever tried to write together. Or maybe it was just an inside joke at one point that I tried to solidify into a song. I finished the lyrics and recorded the song for one of my first cassette releases. The song was called …


Y'know, I don't even remember recording this session in Darrin's basement, but here's the proof that I did. I forgot that it was on this tape, which I used for the Samarkand gig at Andyman's Treehouse a few weeks back. Which means that the video of the 2004 iteration of "Bloomer" is lost to posterity. No matter, we still have three sweet tracks.

I'm playing guitar and trying to sing. Michael Bill played bass and Darrin played drums. MCB and I must've traded axes on the day because it looks like I'm playing his ESP strat thingy through his half stack & he's playing that Squier MB-4 I had briefly. I miss that bass!

The idea behind this session was to make fresh recordings for a 3" CD single to be included in the Samarkand box set, which I (thought I) was finishing work on at the time. I think this was during a lull on the Devilcake end of things.

And we're playing the songs as though, well, it's the first time we ever played t…


matt & ian 1986?

Argus "Louie Louie" MP3

This cassette is dated April 14, 1986 and I believe it's the first time I ever jammed with classmates. I'm playing guitar, the drummer I believe was named Jason, the singer might've been Matt and I forget who could've been playing bass. I think Matt played bass all the time & all the rest of the day but maybe his brother or neighbor suddenly appeared in the garage once we started making all that noise? We used the lyric sheet from my Motorhead "No Remorse" album for the words.

Check out my pre CC Deville over the top guitar solo. Holy cow.

I don't think I jammed with Matt again. He later joined the Penguins. I think I tried to jam with Jason again at his house, but his parents went ballistic after like half a song or something. I don't know if he even played drums after that. I was actually kind of surprised that he played in the first place.

The band name Argus was give…



The Ian's Basement All-Stars "Suxx 2 B Me" MP3

This is an odd track - aren't they all - from 1991. It was recorded in my basement on my 4-track probably using my stuff, but beyond that I have no recollection of who did what. I know Chris Daly sang and I can definitely make out Michael Million and David B singing backups. And that's definitely my drum machine programming, which would've been a big deal since I'd only had the thing for a few days at this point, I think.

I'm not sure what we were going for as far as the sound of the song. It's like.... I don't know, Ministry covering the Charlatans? The drum machine is heavy on the kick, a la Ministry. But the bass and guitar are kinda vibey and baggy. So.... who knows.

I think this was Chris's first time singing. He did a great job. His singing voice sounds like mine! Perhaps due to the whole session being filtered through my stuff? He's like Ahmet Zappa when he was in the band…


Ian C Stewart "Whiffy Riffs" MP3

Another fake riff jam from 4 Track Fallout, my last collection of 4-track recordings from like 10 years ago. It's a guitar/bass/drums workout that runs through all of the riffs I had on hand at the time. Or so it seems. None of the riffs ever amounted to anything so this is kind of like a museum piece.


Ian C Stewart "Beam Me Up Squatty" MP3

This one is too sloppy to live but too funky to die. Wow. The song is named after the squatty-ass guitar tone that is just purely raunchy. It's nothing to do with Star Trek, don't worry. This is from the 4 Track Fallout mixdown tape from 1997, one of the last things to be recorded in the basement at my mom's house. The drums sound pretty sweet, actually everything sounds pretty sweet for a change. I think I had Ray's little Radio Shack mixer and a few extra mics.

Let's see, it sounds like the drums were recorded at half speed on the four track, a trick which Dweezil pointed out you can't do in the digital realm. I made a percussion loop on the drum machine, which was blasting out of my little Peavey practice amp. The ambient mics picked up the drum machine which mingled with the live drumming.

And the riffs still sound like the Beastie Boys or Rage Against the Machine to me. Like, anthemic. But they don't transl…

01.28.92 + Eye from Andyman's Treehouse

In related Youtube-ry, I made a playlist of all seven songs Michael and I did at Madlab just in case anyone wants to watch the whole thing in one go.

Samarkand live at Madlab

And here are two, possibly one badly rendered, horribly transferred clips from my solo acoustic appearance at Andyman's Treehouse. Watch 'em quick before I delete 'em.



SAMARKAND LIVE - AUGUST 18, 2007 Gig blog

Saturday August 18, 2007
Andyman's Treehouse

Just when I thought the Samarkand Summer Tour 2007 couldn't get any more last-minute or intimate, a gig came up so quickly that I was the only one who could/would do it!

For the Madlab gig back in July we had a couple of weeks to prepare. For the Cafe Bourbon Street gig in late July we had one week. For Andyman's Treehouse, I had about twelve hours.

So I decided to attempt my first ever solo acoustic one-guy-with-a-guitar performance. After spending a few hours with an acoustic guitar, racking my brain to come up with enough songs that were easy to play and sing at the same time, I was as prepared as I could be.

I had a few alternate songs on the setlist too, because you never know. If the gig was smokin', I didn't want to make everyone wait while I tried to think of other songs to play. But it didn't matter in the end.

We got to Andyman's around 9:30pm or so. The main band was setting up their stuff. Very fri…


Ian C Stewart "Napalm Friday" MP3

It's the continuing story of a string of songs I don't remember. "Napalm Friday" has more words & a one-note vocal line that I couldn't exactly call the greatest.

Nice use of the Casio Tonebank keyboard, which of course has gotten a lot of mileage from other groups in recent years like the Moonbabies & Midlake.


Ian C Stewart "Thursday Killer" MP3

Relatively uptempo but still quite depressive. Ingredients identical to the rest of Workweak. Plus some slappy bass for no obvious reason. Nice breakdown in the middle so everyone can clap their prescription bottles together over their heads.


but it's not and it isn't
it's snot and it tisn't

maybe tomorrow will be the day
and I'll say
yesterday was the day I said
tomorrow will be the day

but it's not


Ian C Stewart "Wednesday of my Soul" MP3
Hm, a sad humpday reggae song about the immortal reggae humpday of the soul. Y'know.

Acoustic guitar on the upchucks, it sounds like fretless bass and a dubbed out organ GR707 guitar synth patch. Hey, more Windows system sounds in the mix, that's always nice. This is one reason why it does not pay to multitask at mixdown time. This song sounds like something from my Devilcake solo album, aka An Alphabetical Food Odyssey by Icy Stew. It's obscure and meandering and wears out its welcome almost instantly. Just like me!

just getting past
you'd be so sure
not in the past
not the future

somewhere in the world it's Thursday
but not in here
it's the Wednesday
of my soul

not in the past
you'd be so sure
just getting past
not the future

and what of


Ian C Stewart "Casual Tuesday" MP3

Continuing the Workweak theme... "Casual Tuesday" features more groovy moping. Another simple kick/snare drum loop. Acoustic guitar up front. Regular bass guitar at 10 o clock, Chapman Stick at 2 o clock in the mix. Guitar synth gets the tremolo effect. The vocals sound like I just woke up. Or fell asleep.

The lyrics are clearly rooted in reality.

I'm not even getting dressed
I don't care
Wear my best flood khakis
Check out my white socks
Did you see that freak show


Ian C Stewart "Monday Love" MP3

Ah, 2003. It doesn't seem that long ago, but apparently it was. The date on the CD is February 15, 2003, which might indicate that this was the second of a started-off-strong-but-died-quickly series of new albums. I think my goal was to release an album a month. Which was no problem for me, even four years ago.

Listen for the Window system barking sound.

I started with the concept of a song cycle about the working week. And, you know me, no pun goes left unpunned. So, "workweak" it was. The song titles came next. It was easy once I had "Casual Tuesday" on the list. "Napalm Friday"? What?

I can't find the lyrics & the vocals are buried in the mix, so maybe you can listen closely & transcribe 'em for me, mm-kay?

It must be,
Oh no it can't be!

Musically, wow does that beginning sound like Idaho. One of my favoritest bands of all time that is also one of the obscurest bands of all time, apparently. I…