News / Blog

September 27, 2006

Pre-order bonus CDs, less faqs etc.

I finally finished making all of the cd booklets for the pre-order bonus cd. Next time I have a brilliant idea, like personally hand printing all of the covers, someone (Joyce) talk me out of it. On the positive side, our audience seems to be growing. On the negative side, our audience seems to be growing.

Regarding the bonus cd, I really like a the remixes, and yes, it was very late at night when Deming and I burned them. In the past, we were always up against release date deadlines and personal scheduling time constraints, so we didn’t have a lot of time to screw around and burn alt mixes. A few probably exist somewhere for songs on the previous records, but not too many. We would pretty much mix a tune until it sounded good, burn it and move on. We operated on the “This one sounds good, why do another” premise.

Regarding the demos: These are the tapes I made in my little room at home. I sent these tapes, clams and all, to the rest of the band so they could learn the song forms. The vocal melodies are there, as is my simple guitar/bass and keyboard playing. The real fan will probably find them interesting when listened against the finished recordings (where “real” players can be heard.) Personally, I don’t have any interest in listening to any of it, but that’s me. I do, however enjoy seeing how another’s art progresses from stage to stage: Back when I was an undergrad at UMASS, my friends and I used to “study” at the Smith College Library. One spring the library had a bunch of handwritten drafts of Sylvia Plath poems on display. I believe they would become her book The Colossus. It was pretty cool to see a poem like “All the Dead Dears” progress from draft to draft. One or two drafts was scribbled on pink paper on the back of an official school memo. I don’t know, I like that stuff. It lets younger artists see firsthand that even someone as electric as Sylvia Plath edited her stuff. It didn’t all just fall out of her head perfectly (though in her case, near the end, a good deal did. But look what happened to her.) Take William Carlos Williams. Now there’s an editor. he could edit the living shit out of a poem.

Regarding those who think Ashmont should make the pre-order cd available as a for-sale item: Not going to happen. Joe Public would demand his money back. (Like when a fifteen year old Peyton Pinkerton bought his first Jesus and Mary Chain record. He got home, listened to it and thought all the distortion was a defect. Sweet naive Pink. I wish I could have seen the hardened record clerk’s face when Pink, cash receipt in hand, asked for his money back.) Pre-order bonus cds are for you hardcore fans who enjoy all that stuff I wrote in the paragraph above.

I guess in the near future, a writer’s archive collected in a library somewhere will consist of a bunch of hard drives and burned cdrs. “Hey, wanna go over to the Kennedy Library and sniff through X’s hard drive?” Not quite the same as leafing through Hemingway’s handwritten notes. If I’m not mistaken, in an earlier draft of The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway had originally written Jake’s reply to Lady Brett as: “Isn’t it completely fucked-up in the melon to think so?” I have to say, I like the final version better.

In an unrelated note: “There Goes the Sun” references Chet Baker and not Elliott Smith.

In another unrelated note: I would love to tour: UK, all of Europe, New Zealand…anywhere, really. I love to travel and play music, and see other places. The guys in the band are the same. It’s simply about money. I don’t even mind just breaking even on an overseas tour, but we simply don’t have the dough to lose. And we’d lose a lot. If the economics work out, I will be there. It’s not personal (except for that one guy who is knows who he is. I’m a very docile man until I am not.)

The record’s out in a week, and I’m pretty excited about it. I know the guys in the band and Mike Deming put a lot of themselves into it, which is how it should be, really. There’s an appropriate, crude expression that pertains to penis size: Some are show-ers and others are growers. (Pernice Brothers make growers.) (Sorry, Ma. Had to do it.)

Joe @ 10:31 am