7. 2018 Spring

I’d put out outtakes before but I had a lot of songs gathering dust and I wanted to put some of them out. The Bandcamp liner notes actually include recording dates for all 12 songs, which was smart of me to do. “Under The Flickering Light (Demo)” was recorded the night I started Stereo Butterfly, the same night I wrote “Curtain Call” and probably something else. “Lit Up” isn’t a great cover but I think I put it out just to say I covered Lush. “Tea Set” and “A Lesson In Riding” were both My Heaven outtakes, so it’s interesting that I waited until now to release them. There was a CD run of that album where each CD had a different bonus track, and these were among them. “Insider Eugenics” was another one of those. I really like the guitar tones on this one.

These are covers of latter-day Guided By Voices songs I recorded during spring break and the week or so after, putting it immediately after (if not during) Ataraxia. I don’t have a whole lot to say about these songs except that I’m proud of my mellower take on “Sudden Fiction”.

This was, once again, supposed to be a double album. The goal was 60 minutes. 50 minutes in, my hard drive started to have some serious issues and I had to salvage what I had before getting a new hard drive. I was also sick recording the whole album so my voice never sounds all that great. Nonetheless, I was so proud of the album at the time that I actually put it on streaming. It is no longer on streaming in this form. “Road Trip To Iowa” was about such a thing, which almost happened but didn’t. It is so good that it didn’t happen. I envisioned “April Lie” as a hit. Bad judgement. Too bland. I think “High Seas of Loathing” has 9 vocal tracks. “Kind Sister Repeater” was largely recorded on my phone with GarageBand. The other two really good songs on this album were also largely recorded on my phone, oddly enough. I felt for the longest time that “Hold You In My Dreams” was too early on the album. Upon actually listening to it, it’s a breath of fresh air after 5 songs I don’t love a great deal. I’m massively proud of this song. Very near and dear to my heart. I was really pleased with “Thursday” at the time. Now, I think it still sounds good, but the lyrics make me wince a little. That was the day I learned my hard drive was on the fritz and it was all I could think about. “Down To The Wire” isn’t very good but I like the guitar work. “Violet Angel” is beautiful. I consider it the sister song to “Hold”. I can’t explain why there are so many oddities in the beat, but it must have had to do with how I arranged the song in GarageBand. It works better as a late-album track than I give it credit for. “Inquiry” is another slowed-down guitar part, but I’m not sure where I got the part from. “Cold Home Here” is based on a demo from 2014, which is played at the beginning of the song. It’s a bit longer than it needs to but I find it holds up as a closer.

This is a bit of a mix. All of the songs were recorded for Warm Spring Day in some capacity but only 2 of them were actually finished in time. “Let Me Sing” has the rare honor of being a non-album HW song available on streaming. “Phase One” was completed before Warm Spring Day‘s release, but left off the album for whatever reason. I imagine it was because my vocals sounded terrible, at the cost of an instrumental I quite liked. “Go Home Razor Head” was the other released Warm Spring Day outtake. The other 3 outtakes were eventually released on Sherilyn Fender.

The first Hello Whirled show with a full band. The bassist was Jared Poehlman, who I’d known for my entire freshman year. The drummer was Angela Branchek, who I’d met, without exaggeration, a week before the show. She overheard Jared and I talking about looking for a drummer and offered to play for us. This doesn’t include the first song we played, “Thursday”, because it went terribly. “Road Trip” has issues too, with Jared starting the bass part in F instead of E, but I think this is probably the best version of the song. I tend to be fairly critical of my live recordings, because I find them often sub-par in all qualities, but I think this is a good version of “Happy Ending” as well. “Violet Angel” was a beast to rehearse, but it came out well enough. “What’s The Point In Blaming You?” was a late addition to the setlist.

I was moving along smoothly with the whole “make an album a month thing”. Sure, the only good album was the first one, but they were happening. Songs To Get Hard To was recorded in 9 days. I’m not especially proud of it but it has a few good songs. It’s another mix of home and dorm recordings, but I think it’s mostly home. The “I never fucked, I never fucked” is a reference to a running joke I had with some Internet friends. That’s the only memorable or interesting thing about that song. “Classroom” is notable for having drums but not bass. It might be the only HW song like that. I don’t recognize the recording at the end. The part of the album I like is tracks 5-7. “End of Something” still feels unique in a sea of over 1000 songs. I’d like to hear Gorillaz do this one. “Pink Diamond” should have been mixed better but it’s a nice companion to “White Diamond” before it. “Untied” feels oddly singular as well but I’m not sure why. It might be the tambourine. “Dancing On The Truth” was recorded very quickly because I needed to fill up 3 minutes of time. “Around The Neon Sun” is based around 8 minutes of drumming. It has some good moments but for any of it to truly shine would require a brand new recording, and I don’t know that this song is so good that I’m itching to return to it like that.

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