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Showing posts from October, 2007

STAR*PILLOW CASSINGLE

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…

SLAPPY UPTEMPO DUB POP ROCK

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.

SEQUENCER'S CLEARING HOUSE

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.

FLOATING CANDLES + GARDENING

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.



FLOATING CANDLES
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

CLARITY

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&#…

UNKNOWN CONTINUA LEFTOVER

Ian C Stewart "Unknown Continua Leftover" MP3

SICK BEATS POWER MAGIC LEISURE ODYSSEY
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-…

CUT-UPS

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

DISLOCATION "Theme One" MP3
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…

FOREVER TONIGHT

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.

HYPNOTIC SYMMETRY

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.

WELCOME TO MY STRONGHOLD

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…

PHP/I WANT A BIG MAC 2001

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…