At first we thought it was raccoons under the house. Then we thought it was squirrels. Mr. Ortega thought It was “ratas”. He put out a load of the poison that makes you thirsty after you eat it, then when you drink you explode. They were eating the rotten wood under there. Rotten because I don’t close the shower curtain all the way. I thought I could hear them all dying one night. Mr. Ortega went under and said “No bodies” and found a huge litter of opossums. Then we caught a raccoon in the trap. Mr. Ortega took it to “the woods”. Then the smells got worse. much worse. Mr. Ortega went under the house “No bodies”. then the smell was gone.
A man wearing a white t-shirt tucked into his blue jeans is having a phone conversation at the table next to me.
“Stewart, I got a real situation here. You’re gonna have to help me with this situation, Stewart. No Stewart, I got a situation!” The man has on a big belt buckle which makes me think the situation may be rodeo-related.
A middle-aged couple wearing “work-out gear” is sitting behind me. They are drinking champagne and eating salads. It is 2:00 in the afternoon. The woman says “Sounds like that guy has a situation.” and they both laugh. And I laugh. Belt-buckle is pacing now as he talks to Stewart. “The Situation” must have become heated.
It is 100 degrees outside where we are sitting. Champagne couple begin talking about their favorite restaurants in Europe. The man says his favorite was in Barcelona while the woman asserts that Belgium was far better.
This is a list of albums/singles released in 2012 that I listened to/liked the most. Listed in alphabetical order.
Allah La’s- S/T
Apache Dropout- Bubblegum Graveyard
The Band In Heaven- 7”
Bare Mutants- Without You 7”
Christian Bland and The Revelators- Pig Boat Blues
Clinic- Free Reign
Cosmonauts- If You Wanna Die Then I Wanna Die
Cosmonauts- Laser Beam 7”
Cry’s/Learner Dancer- Split Cassette
Deep Time- Deep Time
Gap Dream- S/T
Gap Dream- Generator 7”
The Gardens- Gardens
Grand Trine- I Need You Baby/Say It 7”
The Hierophants- Bow Down To The Hierophants 7”
High Wolf- Know Thyself
John Maus- A Collection of Rarities
Kraus- Supreme Commander
Ketamines- Spaced Out
King Tuff- Wild Desire 7”
The Limananas- Crystal Anis
The Mallard- Yes on Blood
The Mallard/Thee Oh Sees- split 7”
Moonmen On The Moon Man- Maan EP
Natural Child- For the Love of The Game
OFF! – S/T
The Paperhead- Pictures of Her Demise 7”
Peaking Lights- Lucifer
People’s Temple- More for the Masses
Percoladies- S/T Cassette
Piresian Beach- Alle Falle
Radar Eyes- S/T
Spacin’- Deep Thuds
Subsonics- In The Black
Sultan Bathery- S/T
The Sufis- S/T
UFO Club- S/T
Uh Bones- S/T EP
Useless Eaters- Addicted to the Blade 7”
Useless Eaters- C’est Bon!
Vincas- Blood Bleeds
From 2002-2005 Tim Bond and Mike Sharon use to ran their studio out of a house in Austin off East Stassney. We referred to the house as the “Trash house” for reasons all inclusive of such a name. Much was recorded at this studio and periodically there would be big parties. This particular party, as I recall, was thrown for the sole purpose of inviting a girl who was at that time being followed around by a camera crew for a reality show being produced by MTV attempting to document what life was like for freshmen in college. We saw this as an easy opportunity to maybe have our bands on this TV show by proxy. All 100 or so people at the party had to sign wavers and as far as I remember Fishboy was the only band the producers were interested in. I don’t remember if they actually showed them on the show, or what the show was even called. Reality show.
I Was There
Part of the recent group of songs I’ve been working on. I originally thought of this song, which is based on the traditional gospel tune of the same name, as a Christmas song before I added several noisy guitar tracks. It still retains a meditative quality.
I’ve been forgetting to post here lately as I’ve been completing much work on the next release due out early October. October first maybe, or September 29th. These new tunes are substantially heavier, somewhat unwieldy and require much more refinement and attention. For kicks I rerecorded an older song called “Serpent Belt” originally titled “Serpentine Cable”. Use to be a standard on the setlist from circa 2002-2004.
I’ve never been able to get this song to sound quite right. This continues to be the case, in my opinion. There’s something about the lyrics that seems to try too hard. It’s another enigmatic quasi-surreal situation mostly utilizing a lot of word-play and stream of thought. Also a general kind of plodding rhythm that sounds like several flat tires. I made an attempt to alleviate the plodding with some lilting percussion. Works a little better. This song is mostly to give a general idea of the guitar sound I’ve been working with.
New album found here:
I’ve been working on some recordings for the past year and a half since I got a new computer. I didn’t have anything in mind when I started. Just experimenting with recording techniques. I settled on using my Stamps DriveOmatic pedal as a preamp filtered through a Boss Reverb/Delay pedal and an Electroharmonix Memory Boy pedal later. I have been using a Radioshack microphone I bought in 1990 for all of my home recordings since I have been recording and it still works fine. It has a distinctive lo- fidelity sheen I have yet to hear from another microphone. It cost $25 new when I bought it in 1990. A $25 microphone from 1990 is probably a $50 microphone now. I don’t know what $50 Radioshack microphones sound like now but I probably won’t buy one.
When I started recording on the computer I realized that I hated it and stopped for a while until my laziness won over my revulsion of digital recording. The first big difference is that I could layer up tracks too easily. One of the best techniques I discovered was to make several semi-identical drum tracks. Drums are one of the things I found improved as far as fidelity.
There’s a distance that develops within digital recording. The analog signal becomes unreadable and the sine wave becomes squared off as opposed to the smooth wave pattern of an analog signal. This hard-edged wave is unnatural to the human ear and digital medium has many tricks to simulate the analog signal, yet it ultimately falls short and humans can tell. Humans can always tell, whether with the naked ear or subliminally, humans can always tell. I won’t go into to any more detail about the differences between the digital and analog mediums. Most people don’t give two shits. Even though their psyche prefers analog.
I am no audiophile and only barely a record collector. My ears have been damaged from years of rock shows and pre-teen walkman headphone abuse. I recently had a hearing test done that said my right ear was more damaged than my left. This is because the drums are usually on my right side when I play live. At the hearing test I was fitted for some fancy earplugs. They spray this foam in your ear and you have to sit there for a while till it hardens. Half the time I am too nervous to take them to rock shows for fear I will lose them. More nervous of losing the earplugs than of losing my hearing.
Reverb and Echo and Delay have become primary facilitators in the recordings I’ve been working on. Some people I’ve spoken with have said that these things act as rose-colored-glasses for a lot of bands. A lot of bad music can be made tolerable by drenching it in reverb and sprinkling it with delay. Or it can act as the mode of continuity. A way to sound like you have “a sound”. I prefer to think the kids are back into psychoactives and out of cocaine. The “mood” that echo creates is the simulacrum of preponderance and introspection. Echolocation is also an important part of not going crazy. I am not a post-modern theorist.
Living In San Antonio has been something. It is sad to be distanced from my various collaborator-friends, at the same time, I find this city much more beautiful than Austin. They take care of their old buildings and historic areas instead of tearing them down. My neighborhood is peaceful and highly vegetative. Hills are few and walking is easy. The zoo is a few blocks away and many possibly semi-exotic birds have escaped and made their homes along the undeveloped portion of “the riverwalk”. I walk my dog to the park everyday. I frequently see snakes.
The landlady lives next door and told me that playing drums is ok and that I “will know if it becomes a problem”. It still makes me self-conscious. I periodically hear people in their homes playing loud heavy-metal guitar with no accompaniment or an amateur practicing drumming. I use to hear a guy play trumpet but haven’t heard him for eight or nine months. I know my entire block can hear me drumming. Sometimes I worry they will think I have aggression issues or am trying to scare all the dogs in the neighborhood. I frequently worry that my landlady will hear me singing my vocal tracks loudly to the headphoned backing track and think I am insane and dangerous. I use to think that people understood clearly that an artist should be able to do whatever he or she wants. Now, I think people understand artists as annoying, because I find many to be annoying, because I mostly know artists, which is fine.
The songs on the 2016 album are more “written” than usual. There’s more of the “sound” I spoke about and a general sense of refinery, which comes with the capability of adding many tracks. Most of the time the drums are the last track to be recorded.
List of song content information
1. Twenty-first Century Eye: In “Starship Troopers” during the scene after the cadets graduated from Academy they go to a big party and an all-girl future band is playing a weird electro song where they sing, “all is well…twenty-first century eye”. (update: I just now found out that song from “Starship Troopers” is actually a reworking of a David Bowie song “I Have Not Been To Oxford Town”. I’m not up to speed on the later Bowie albums. I’ll give him some credit on the next edition of tapes. Thanks to Dan at Ongakubaka.blogspot.com for taking notice.)
2. Poison: A person with Lyme disease, their partner can tell something isn’t quite right but a proper diagnosis hasn’t been made.
3. Prop 422: The vote on a proposition is being upheld in a town with low financial resources, which essentially halts the building of new roads and roadwork indefinitely. The taxpayers thought this would keep their taxes low but ends up putting a lot of people out of work and the roads/sidewalks fall into disrepair.
4. Kevin Grows Gills: This song deals with the film “Waterworld” and what it’s like in this world at night.
5. Wish Foundation: Semi-tongue-in-cheek very dark song about how before a person dies during an operation their only wish is for more anesthetic.
6. Stacy: A person befriends Stacy who is pretending to literally be blind even though the other person has known their entire friendship that Stacy is only pretending to be blind for whatever reason.
7. Reflections Of Shadows: More-or-less surreal “trippy”-type lyrics of the Alice in Wonderland variety. Weird hallucination after hallucination involving fire and mountains and all that kind of thing.
8. Van Ness: Loosely inspired by the Denis Johnson novel “Already Dead” about northern California post-hippie types in the early 90’s caught up in unfortunate dealings and the occult. Van Ness is one of the main characters.
9. Helena, MT.: The highway US 15 which begins in Helena, MT. and ends in Los Angeles, CA. I never drove this route but I imagine it probably takes 20 hours or so. Just seems like a nice drive.
10. The Tube: Loosely based on the film “Raw Meat” about a cannibal living underneath the London transit system. He was raised down there and actually had built quite a set-up for himself and his family. Of course the film “Dark Days” and the book “The Mole People” also play into this scenario imagining a well-functioning town under the subway.
11. Back In Dallas: Vague narrative about how the music scene in Dallas went bad. Not much detail but I like to think it “paints a picture”, so to speak of the people in the music scene there getting older and having to get real jobs, ultimately becoming well off and turning their backs on the dying scene.
This flyer was made by J@nni R—-r who also got Cavedweller this particular show in Houston at the Notsuoh coffee shop downtown(shortly before they burned down). I always liked this flyer because of its vagueness. There was not a band called “Zebras” on the bill, rather it says that because Jenni thinks zebra’s, the animals(not The Animals), are “cool” in an equivocal way in which she feels Cavedweller is also “cool”, and I appreciate that.
The manager claimed that all their sound equipment had been s—-n the night before and therefore I had to perform solo with no microphone. This was good because there were only about a dozen people there to watch, including some i——–d teens who kept requesting “Tale’s of Brave Ulysses” which I played more than once. And a friendly fellow covered in mud who had earlier been picking m——-s in the woods and was carrying around a grocery b-g full of them.
Details edited for your protection.
Love My Girl LOOP
A wonky loop I made the other day from a handheld cassette recorded version of “Love My Girl”(written by David Morley). Played on an Ace Tone Top-9 combo organ.