*The Short* this album is a concept album more-or-less about a woman/heroine who tries to wrestle her soul back from a vacuous zombie robot but fails.
Returning to Barcelona in November of 2011 I recorded this EP through Kickstarter, funded by family, friends and listeners.
I spent one month field recording the streets of Barcelona and turning the sounds of the city (street cleaners, bicycles, pedestrians, festivities) into beats and textures and base tracks for the song structures.
I wrote a dialogue between a man and a woman struggling through uncomfortable conversation in a cafe in the Barrio Gothic of Barcelona and recorded various couples' renditions, each person speaking in their own mother tongue--- to emphasize the lack of communication between the two lovers at the cafe.
This album is my first real independent "concept" EP.
I wanted to create a parody of the Ego's process of rejection, something heavily electric-guitar based--- a sort of "comedy-horror" album, not without authentic feel, but authentically feeling into the contrasting personas often exemplified in our learned response while we try to find what is "real" in the world of Feeling.
The EP's influences are myriad, in part borrowing from the esthetics of Deconstructionist Literature, which uses symbol and sound to create a self-contained type of lexicon. For example--- if a person recognizes the Note "E" in a Schubert Impromptu, she/he can acknowledge the same note "E" in a Radiohead song, without associating the former music to the latter.
I wanted to use image and texture in this way- so that a typewriter, for instance, loses its connotation to any reference outside of the self-contained entity of the EP, and becomes instead part of a lexicon possessing non-connotative relevance. In this way, I aimed to swathe the listener in a field of un-defined, pure Feel, to break The Recognition-Based Collective Definition humans apply with immediacy onto "things", and to invite one's freedom from the habit of "identifying" sound/image with philosophies or meaning. Likewise, I wanted the lyrics and story to lose personal association with the perceived creator/artist; for in all Theater, the actor is not, in reality, exactly his character; and so ---in a sense--- this EP borrows qualities of Musical Theater, for I wanted to truly go into the wasteland of Egoic garbage and Recycle There: for we are so often interested, as a "green-ing" culture, in re-using plastics and physically wasted materials, but we have less often thought to reuse our wasted Emotions.
And darlings, for this EP "When Smart Girls Do Stupid Things", I had a-plenty wasted emotions to reconstitute.
As in Indric Mythology, there is not solely one unchanging principal role/theme but often an interrelated multidimensional "fundamental" environment bred into this EP.
There is the final track with the repetitive note C (the minor third) which I meant to avoid in the composition but ends up being the central drone--the song is the Voice of The Pet Blue Fish who is a main character/symbol in the dialogue between the two expired lovers, meeting for cordial conversation in a cafe. The woman expresses that she would like the man to walk his bike beside her, accompanying her until she reaches the entrance of the pet store near Plaza Jaume so that she can purchase a Pet Blue Fish. She continues to tell the man (who is largely disinterested in her whimsical reality) that she will name the Blue Fish "I Don't Care If You Leave Me" and keep it in one simple, glass, round bowl with its name-placque on the side. The fish will be her practice of "How to Feed something Too Much and Not Care When It Dies".
The Blue Fish is sort of the Underpinning Base Character of this EP and the final Narrator of the EP.
I became this EP for seasons prior to recording it, during the recording and even in the months after its completion. In this way, I understand how Actors can lose themselves in their character. I wanted to understand why it is, in fact, easier to climb a mountain than scramble out of a slippery sacrificial pit; I guess I wanted to understand precisely how a smart woman can self-objectively abandon herself and give her power away to an undeserving figurehead. I'd explored the archetype of being Brave and Strong, and this album was the Exploration of being at One's Most Pathetic. I don't recommend it for the faint at heart. In fact, I don't recommend it at all. Yet I continue in the depth of my being to hope that there is more melodic learning to come, more precise, well crafted and relayed ART. I care more about mastering a brush stroke than I do to save the world, in fact, I am sure that Mastering A Brush Stroke does save my world.
released July 18, 2012
The Cover Art was created by one of my most favorite artists worldwide, and for this I am most thankful. The artist is Jeff T. Owens (www.jefftowens.com
) and I highly recommend anyone checking out his powerful work. I asked Jeff to create an image of a gaunt woman self-objectively lost in her own reflection who is taking the gas-nozzle from a vampire-zombie-robot and "huffing gas" a cheap high/past-time of ignorant youth. The image comes from the line of the EP in Chit'lins that says "When You Accidentally Fuck A Zombie, It's Like Huffing Gas".
I couldn't have figured out the pre-production of this record without the tech advise/assistance of Leonardo Aldrey, Samuel Watkins Fisher, Count Kellam, Patrick Ferguson, C.K
. Koch and Oriol Rocca who let me borrow his field recorder. Thanks to Yann De Kéroullas and Count Kellam for playing with the mixes/mastering and offering input and time. The dialogue recital sessions were made possible by Andrea Cirotto, Amanda Jayne, Antoine Casteignau, Elia van Reck, a little Ainize Txopitea and even Michele Bajona (his whistle got in there on The Blue Fish Track). Thanks to Babo at the downstairs market who always saluted me kindly through my gallonwater bubblegumperiod wearyeyed heartbreak smile purchases. Special thanks to Taylor Rankin for creative sessions. Thanks to Amanda Jayne for saving me with Beach Coffee Vacation Excursions.
For the recording of this album, I brought my preproduction and song structures to the beautiful genius Dave Bianchi and he patiently rocked out this EP with me for a few weeks in Barcelona, along with musicians Oriol Roca (drums) and Miguel Serna (bass). Vocalists Danny Lippitt, Sinead Savage and Duffy O-Brick added their wonderful sound to the record, and Fran Bartlett graced us with her Cello.
I took a trip to San Francisco to meet up with Charlie Wilson (www.soniczenrecords.com
) who gave so much in an intensive session to this record, recording a bit more with me, doing some post-production, re-mixing and mastering.
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