Day 28

Sep. 17th, 2010 05:18 pm
rigger: (Default)
[personal profile] rigger
Day 01. Your favorite song - Peg, Steely Dan
Day 02. Your least favorite song - Takin' Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive
Day 03. A song that makes you happy - Donkey Rhubarb, Aphex Twin
Day 04. A song that makes you sad - This Woman's Work, Kate Bush
Day 05. A song that reminds you of someone - Flakes, Frank Zappa
Day 06. A song that reminds you of somewhere - City of the Angels, Wang Chung
Day 07. A song that reminds you of a certain event - Stick Your Neck Out, Dot 3
Day 08. A song that you know all the words to - I Believe She's Lying, Jon Brion
Day 09. A song that you can dance to - Soft Core, Maurice & the Clichés
Day 10. A song that makes you fall asleep - Thursday Afternoon, Brian Eno
Day 11. A song from your favorite band - You're The Wish You Are I Had, XTC
Day 12. A song from a band you hate - You're Beautiful, James Blunt
Day 13. A song that is a guilty pleasure - Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson
Day 14. A song that no one would expect you to love - Work It, Missy Elliott
Day 15. A song that describes you - Blue Jeans, Blur
Day 16. A song that you used to love but now hate - Just A Gigolo, Barbi and the Kens
Day 17. A song that you heard often on the radio - Cinderella Undercover, Oingo Boingo
Day 18. A song that you wish you heard on the radio - Insecure Sober, sElf
Day 19. A song from your favorite album - New Mistake, Jellyfish
Day 20. A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 21. A song that you listen to when you’re happy - Uncontrollable Urge, Devo
Day 22. A song that you listen to when you’re sad
Day 23. A song that you want to play at your wedding
Day 24. A song that you want to play at your funeral
Day 25. A song that makes you laugh - Over 9000 Penises, Oprah Winfrey featuring PEDOBEAR remix
Day 26. A song that you can play on an instrument - Angeles, Elliott Smith
Day 27. A song that you wish you could play - Clap, Steve Howe
Day 28. A song that makes you feel guilty - Funk Pop A Roll, XTC
Day 29. A song from your childhood
Day 30. Your favorite song at this time last year

Ultimately I was the one who ruined everything. We weren't a great band, but we had potential. If it had occurred to me to nurture band spirit instead of trying to whip morale into them, then perhaps things would have ended differently, but I had no experience leading a group of musicians, and besides, I figured that band drama was a sign of progress. So I fucked that up. I was difficult. I berated them. I flogged them through band rehearsals. Every time I had a decision to make, I chose the nasty, defensive, killjoy route, and they stuck with it because we all knew that someday we'd be good.

They wanted to play live. After the embarrassment of early gigging, I was having none of it. Not until we achieved the aforementioned "goodness".

"You learn to perform by performing, Matthew," they said.

"You learn to play your instrument by practicing your fucking instrument," I countered wittily.

We wrote our own stuff, but I wanted to play other, better bands' music. I figured that you learned faster by reaching beyond your grasp. Funk Pop A Roll became a yardstick. We recorded it into our little Tascam four-track about six hundred times over the course of a few years. Our early attempts were barely recognizable as music, but subsequent recordings showed improvement. Each one, a little more.

For the 601st recording, I told the band, "Don't stop. Pretend it's live. You screw up, just keep going. I count it off and we go. Ready?"

I counted it off. Don stomped on his effect pedal, and started the opening riff.

Dead, flat strings. Absolutely dry. The pedal was already on, and he had stomped it off. The band, following my directions, bulled into the song without stopping. I was livid. I turned off the tape, yelled at them, called them idiots, made fun of them for not stopping when the recording was so obviously unsalvageable.

Don unslung his guitar and set it in the case. "Fuck this," he said. "I'm gone." More band drama. Only he meant it. Don didn't come back. Then our drummer bailed. Then even Jeff told me that he needed a break.

Months later, I discovered that they had secretly reformed without me, and they got a different name, just like the Ben Folds song. I wanted to get mad at them, but I couldn't do it honestly. I mean really; take the hint, you know?

Runner-Up: Golden Brown, The Stranglers

Another song I pushed them into doing.

Date: 2010-09-18 12:39 am (UTC)
ext_646489: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Band drama. I love it!

Date: 2010-09-18 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is nothing compared to our cable access TV Sketch Comedy Drama that came later. Grown men hurling things at each other and crying. It was awesome.

Date: 2010-09-18 01:25 am (UTC)
ext_646489: (jarjar)
From: [identity profile]
Really? That sounds like a story.

Date: 2010-09-20 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Whatever became of the guys after they reformed? Honestly curious.


Date: 2010-09-23 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeff macdougall (from
We hired a "professional" bass player (who promptly showed us that we weren't good enough to play out yet) played one gig, and then the bass player quit. It all just fell apart. It was a cover band anyway. I just knew we had to go suck in public before we could get good in public. No matter how amazing we managed to get in the studio, we'd never play live and be good until we got good at playing live. And for me, it was easier to suck when no one cared who we were than to become a band with a fan base... and then go out and suck in front of a bunch of people who actually cared.

Don't know what happened to Don. Went off his meds and crawled in a hole somewhere probably. Tim, the drummer, I'm sure he's married with kids or something. I shifted over into TV production where I still do work. I started doing music again in 2008, when I realized the collapse of the recording industry meant that making money doing music wasn't a lottery anymore and that you really could be a middle class musician / singer / songwriter.

It's worth noting that I have played with many musicians and written with many writers since then. Matthew is still the best songwriter that I've worked with. He's right when he says we really could have been good. AND I STILL LOVE FUNK POP A ROLL. It's a great song.

Re: Well...

Date: 2010-09-25 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, hi Jeff!

Okay, here's the deal. You don't post YouTube videos of Trouser Pilots or Wits' End, and I won't post a video response to your Spintown interview.

You know, the interview where you refuse to play the first song you ever wrote? That one?

I think we understand each other.

Re: Well...

Date: 2010-09-29 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeff macdougall (from
Done. At least until I re-purpose that song into something grand... then you're on your own.

Re: Well...

Date: 2010-09-25 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok, wow. That was a pretty cool answer. And now I have an even greater appreciation for why Matthew has such hatred for shit lyrics.


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