There are no words, no words at all in the whole wide world, no words in the entire known and unknown universe, no words in the history of man or the future of man, and I wish I could do more than just say I am so sorry. I am so, so sorry.
I know I've been, absent. Neglectful. Years lost, away from these woods, instead of lost in them. These posts were so daunting to undertake that I eventually slowed to a halt. What can I say, they took a lot out of me. Lots of separating single hairs with tweezers. I have a million more items and records to add for the posterity of all mankind. And by mankind I mean random people out there in the universe looking for some sprawling resource for Phil-related info and cataloging. I still feel strongly about this. I started doing this originally because no one else was. I set out to create the thing I was wishing was out there for me to find.
I guess I got overwhelmed because there's SO much out there, things I have and things I don't and in both cases I have so little actual information about any of it. It's a bit of a rabbit hole. I started to feel weighed down and a little silly. It's a lot of work and, in a life full of life and many other overwhelming and gigantic creative projects already, it can be too much for me to actively handle.
That being said, I'm still out here and if anyone cares I still consider this to be a live archive. It's New Year's Eve, or anyway, it's just begun to be and I happened to notice the last entry I did was for the New Year's Resolution comp. A random coincidence I guess, but I'm going to take it as a little nudge from the universe to stop being lazy.
What led me to glancing at the page tonight was actually a random and astonishing discovery. Through totally out of the blue circumstances I happened to notice that Phil has a link to this, my humble mess, on the actual PW Elverum & Sun website.
It blew my mind a little bit, I'm not gonna lie. It also made me feel incredibly flattered and inspired. Just saying, it's a big deal to get a little nod from the man himself. It means a lot to me. This site isn't an attempt at a fan page and it certainly isn't meant to be cloying and pedantic. I just respect the man's work and art and was searching for a place I could learn more about it, get more lost in it. So this has all been my attempt at making that, for myself and for the rest of the world, the annals of history. In a perfect world I would love to see it flourish and reach some sort of very accurately sourced and annotated state someday but I'm not holding my breath. I'll just suffice with doing the best I can with what I have.
Speaking of having your mind blown, I've noticed over the last couple years, people actually using my pictures, I'm saying my pics that I've taken with my camera, of various Phil records, for use out there, as in, say, I've seen people selling Phil records on ebay and using my pics for their auction image. There have a been a couple other circumstances like that too and I wish I could recall what they were. I can't recall what label or site it was but there's some other legit thing out there using my images for their representation of something on a website. And I'm saying that in the spirit of flattery and surprise. I'm glad that I was able to provide a little something to some folks out there that needed it.
Speaking of neglect, I've received a bunch of very nice, very encouraging emails from people all over the place including some actual first-hand participants in these records. I've really dropped the ball in providing responses and I'm sorry, esp. considering that emails like that are exactly what I was hoping for and in need of to make this a more thorough and useful place. I'm sorry and I hope that if I can manage to wrangle some responses to your kind words or inquiries that you'll all be amenable to talking. It means a lot that you've taken the time to look at what I've done and to reach out in any way at all and I apologize for not at least saying so.
I'm not one for "New Year's Resolutions" and all that, ESP when it comes to "BLOGS". So let's not consider this in that realm. Let's just say I love this project and I'd like to see it living a lot more and it's in my hands to do that. I can't make promises to myself but I can say that I've gotten a lot better, in life, at deciding to do something and then just plugging away at it until I knock it off the list. Moreover, if the X-files and Twin Peaks can manage to return to this mortal coil in 2016, well, here's hoping my little mausoleum can too.
Thank you so much to anyone that's out there still reading this and caring about/supporting my obsessions with all this cataloging minutiae and my general taste for the epic.
And THANK YOU so much, Phil, for the music and all the rest of it, the world is a better and more interesting place for it,
and thank you for your kind description of my efforts.
If we haven't covered this already I have no idea why. One of my life's, as a Phil fan, most major dreams is to put together a collection of all of the original sources of the "Song Islands" CD. This past Winter has seen two INCREDIBLE pieces fall into place. And this is the first.
When you get to the end of the "Song Islands" liner notes the info starts to get pretty hazy, even to Phil I think. Even he seems unsure what the fate of these songs were. And when I get there on my checklist I say to myself, ok well, don't expect to ever figure out the source of these.
But sometimes lightning strikes!
Ok, I'm going to try to recount the steps that led me to this CD. It's a little hazy now. On the liner notes of "Song Islands" in both the US and Japanese versions (please refer to the link for my post about that CD) Phil just says something vague like was "supposedly" or "maybe" on a compilation "in Italy". So, that doesn't help much. There is a street address, but that's it.
Next, Up Records has a, up to a point, very nice Phil discography page without much info on it (http://www.uprecords.com/artists/microphones/) but a few things that are unique and mysterious. In this case, #13 on their discography, a compilation that, according to them, was put out by Perishable records (http://www.perishablerecords.com/). The label helmed by indie rock luminaries Califone. So I think what happened was, not knowing that that had anything to do with "Song Islands", just wondering what that comp was and how it fit into the time line, I found their website and looked around and while nothing was immediately apparent about this comp I finally found their contact page:
I decided that I would email the provided addy, even though the information was years and years out of date, and ask whoever was on the other end about this mysterious compilation. Lo and behold, later that same day I got a very warm email back from Ben of Califone who oversees the site.
He went on to tell me, in his message, that hup! booking (who put out the comp) was the booking agent that had originally brought Califone to Italy. His name, the booking agent, is Bernardo Santarelli, and that, circa 2001, he was living/working in Italy. He also said that the last he heard he was living in Berlin.
He closed by graciously informing me how I might get a hold of a copy of this CD.
He, Ben, was an incredibly nice and helpful individual and it touched me quite a lot. He had no real reason to go out of his way to help me and answer my random questions but he did and it really heartened my feelings about humanity. Thank you so much, sir.
So that's the chain that led me to this amazing gem of Phil history that I'm not even sure if Phil knows about.
-Recorded at various times and places by various artists*
*No info in the CD itself but according to the booklet info pertaining to this song on "Song Islands" it was "recorded early 1999".
-Not sure of a release date for this CD. I'm guessing sometimes around 2001. There is some publishing info for the Califone song that claims it is (c) 2001. So my guess is based on that.
It was put out by hup!booking_records (P.O. Box 13, 00178 Roma-Capannelle, Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org) (hup!001)
-As far as I know this was only available on CD.
-IFPI Number: Appears to have two. 8JAF on the silver, 6VA2 on the plastic inner groove. There is also a barcode on the silver and something that says RESOLUTION 01 AUD. No idea.
-Number produced, no idea. I guess I could try emailing this guy to ask him about more of this lost info but I'm guessing this decade old email info might turn up a bust. I'll get back to you if I turn anything up.
-This came in a standard jewel case with a black plastic tray.
-And that's about all I can offer on this. Very little info in the book as you can see from the pics. Just a couple pieces of copywrite stuff and the track list.
-And OH WOW! Just now in running a search for more links and info about this CD I see that Perishable is now offering this for sale! I wish I knew how long this had been up there. It was not there before. Of course I haven't updated this damn blog in almost a year so. I don't want to toot my own horn here but I feel a little responsible for the re-availability of this item. Ben seemed to have sort of forgotten about these when we corresponded and I may very well have brought it back to his attention. Man, this is totally making my day. I was going to tell you guys that a download link was available for the whole thing in my DL section but, as per my new policy, if something is out there available for sale from the artists I won't post a download. Only if it's something totally out of print and rare and not something you can give money to the people that created it. So, I feel slightly less special because this has been slightly downgraded from its incredible rarity but also totally awesome because now anyone else that might want it can get a hold of this interesting Phil curio. For cheap too! Here's where you can get it http://www.perishablerecords.com/distributed.html. It's about halfway down their page.
-It is definitely worth noting, and I would love to learn more about this, that the version of "Deeply Buried" that is featured on this CD is completely different than the one "collected" on "Song Islands".
This one is 1:26 shorter and a very different mix. It seems to be probably the same basic track but an earlier, less refined mix. It sounds muddier and has some slightly different sounds going on. The vocals seem to have some sort of effect on them etc...
Jad Fair-A New Year's Song
L'ensemble Raye'-Fini De Rire
Future Pilot AKA-Remix The Pastels: Rough Riders
Floach-Here's To Dumb Creek
Sue Garner & Rick Brown-43rd Resolutions
(Cassette spine, front cover, back side, tape side A/B, insert, close up of Jimi Sharp's handwritten note about the re-release of the tape, and then a few samples of Jimi's handwriting in his zine, The FIB, which was how I discerned that I did indeed have an authentic copy of the cassette, not someone's knock-off bootleg. And really, what Phil fan would actually do that?)
"Jimi Sharp Man Of Mystery" Cassette -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Before I even begin this post proper I would like to point you all the the right-hand column of the blog where you will see a little sidebar titled "Downloads, Help Yourself!" I don't put every record I post about in there since many of them are easily available all over the place. But I am going to be putting up the more obscure ones (the Lullaby, Lullaby comp for example). And as I write this I know that I am way behind on doing that was well. They're coming. And they'll be posted there as we go. Anyway the point is I am proud to present to you all what I think is the only available, online, at this time, download of the Jimi Sharp cassette with the tracks separated!(Though I do apologize, the way I did it required me to put tack numbers in the actual song titles to make them line up in iTunes in the correct order. Some people don't give a what about that and some people are anal about it like I am. Imagine that.) I know there is a zip going around out there with two, side-long, tracks of this cassette, but I wanted us all to have easier access to reference these songs. I know, in this day and age, it's not like I did something amazing there. Anyone can do it if they feel like taking the time to. I just wanted to save everyone else the trouble. So please, enjoy!)
So once again we have, as usual, a tiny, obscure release from Phil with very little firsthand info available. In fact, the only things I know about this tape are the tiny bits that used to be up on the old Mount Eerie Preservation site (R.I.P.) and what is written on the tape itself.
If remember correctly (man I wish I had a screencap of that page, or really that it was still up and running) the way the story goes is that Jimi is a close friend of Phil's and had asked Phil for recordings of a couple songs he had heard him play live but were not released on anything. Phil, in turn, proceeded to mail him this treasure trove that we have before us today. It was a limited edition of one, made specifically and only for Jimi.
The person that ran the old MEPS had, I think gotten ahold of Jimi and asked him about the tape and Jimi had graciously provided pictures of it, along with a track list and lyrics/descriptions of every song. Again, all things that used to be up at the old MEPS. As usual with these things I can use all the help I can get. If anyone has any additional info about this tape (or any info or corrections about anything I've posted so far/will post in the future) please, please drop me an email. I want this stuff to be as factual and accurate as possible. And I certainly hope that none of my posts comes off like I'm trying to sound like the ultimate authority on Phil. I'm just cobbling together what I can find and trying to improve all the entries as new info comes to me. Sorry for the aside. It's been quite some time since I've updated and I wanted to make clear my intent.
So yeah if anyone has those old pics of the actual original single Jimi Sharp cassette, or that page of lyrics etc... I'd love having them on here.*
OK SO UPDATE! Through the magic of my friends my wishes for the lost MEPS Jimi Sharp transcript have been answered! I totally forgot that way back in the day when we first learned of the existence of this thing that My good friend Coree decided to take it upon her self to write out, by hand, the entire page and then make a beautiful book out it. And here are a few snapshots of it, courtesy of her good friend and roommate Linz...
Additionally Coree has been gracious enough to transcribe the entire contents of the book/page for me to enhance this post with. So, we don't have a screenshot of the lost page but we have the next best thing, the entire contents typed out for posterity!
*All spelling/grammar/capitalization intact per original
1. SHREDDED PANTS, STINKY BREATH, PALM TREES, WHITE FOAM WATER I had this dream where I had figured out how to breathe underwater by blowing my mouth full with an air bubble and then re-breathing that old air. I was swimming around someplace tropical and I saw the ripply image of three of my friends playing on the beach. 2 boys and 1 girl. They were throwing rocks at each other and pissing in the sand and the girl kept talking about how she thought she was pregnant and how her mom was so scared. (These friends were years younger than me, middle school and totally nuts.) Superduper teenage riot with obsessions and grudges to spare. And the contrast between their shredded pants and stinky breath and the palm trees and white foam water. I saw this from underwater, I was settling in. Closed my eyes even but like a big rumble in the distance when a jet flies over or when the crickets stop. A tidal wave lifted me up and I swam through it watching its shadow gobble up my friends. My watery yells were worthless. The wave smashed them and I saw the girl cry. She broke into pieces and fell down in between the white coral and turquoise fish, her multi-colored hair still contrasted the beauty there...I woke up and missed them because I hadn't seen them for so long.
2. TEETH [The sound of teeth chattering] [Airy sound effects] [Whispery beat-boxing] Damn, damn [Air blown into the microphone]
3. JOSH YOUNG [Two Acoustic Guitars simultaneously playing different chords]
4. NIGHTLY Daily I wake up Like clockwork My head buzzing Around the room Sweating, squinting In the sunlight Nightly it hits me Like clockwork I miss her So bad Shadows from the moon On the back Of the car seat Where she sat once
5. RETARDED TWIN* [Intro: A guitar is played/sounds of dogs barking are heard over guitar] Diaries And the clothes we wear Seven days A week Everything Used and permanent Permanent Good Good
*(Jimi's note): The lyrics are sung by the “singer” and repeated backwards as if a mentally challenged dyslexic twin were attempting to sing along.
6. BEAUTIFUL FACE [Acoustic Guitar]
7. PAINTING OF A CAT Late at night in a house I fall asleep in a chair Right in the middle of very important things [Electric Guitar/Drums] Right when I wake up And a little bit before I always feel a little bit crappy Because of this girl who's not with me All of the time But I'd like her to be [Electric Guitar/Drums building up w/ intensity] But I know she'll never be Hanging out with me That one time in the tree Was the only time with me I sit here in the dark In this soft chair I fall asleep sometimes Underneath the painting of a cat [Electric Guitar/Drums]
8. MOOGTOWN 2 [Sounds like any song off of The Microphones' “XRAY MEANS WOMAN” cassette]
9. DEM HARD BLUES [Intro Slide Guitar/Electric Guitar] I woke up this morning I don't got a shirt Tattoos I don't got no pants Because they caught on fire Sing it brother I woke up this morning I was lying in my bed Oh yeah My face is on fire And I got the bluuues Yeah I got the bluuues Yeah My face is on fire I got the blues Yeah I got the bluuues Yeah Down by the river I knew this old man He got a stump Where there used to be a hand He got lots diseases From sleeping with whores If he don't quit it He's catching some more That boy got the blues He got them high blues Don't know what to do My feet is on fire I got a feed The chickens are after me I got the bluues My woman just left me Alone in the swamp Got bit by some gators Got the bluuues Yeah I got the bluuues Yeah My face is on fire I got the bluuues Yeah The blues The blues is in all of us Let me tell yeah We got the blues in the air we breathe And the birds that are flyin' in the sky And the fish swimmin' in the sea The blues The blues is a part of all of us Let me tell yeah Don't tell me I've been playin' the blues since 1942 In the back of a juke joint In the back of Mississippi In the Bloxi The blues it's in all of us [Ends w/ harmonica/Slide Guitar]
10. MOUTH + EYE DISEASE Schemes fill up my head Though not word for word I try to tell you how I understand real hurt My stupid mouth I can't talk now Please show me how To say or do [Piano/Drums/Guitar] Each time I sing to you I crack my voice or lose a tooth You never know Never know My stupid mouth I can't talk now Please show me how To say or do I've got a tragic case of mouth and eye disease
11. TEENAGE MOUSTACHE What could be more Weird than young kids With yellow beards? Popular things Fly the air Kids wear T-shirts Slick back their hair -------------------------------------- [One Voice Sings:] Hanging out underneath the tallest tree in the world Sitting there in the shade outside It's cool -------------------------------------- [Simultaneously A Separate High Pitch-Shifted Voice Sings] Calls come late at night when I am watching T.V. or sitting there I'm so happy to hear her voice Side two on this tape follows side one Cool with you and me Now we'll both be free -------------------------------------- Teenage moustache Zits and cigarettes Pawn shop gun case Skateboard rider Living on an island Never been to Compton Giving me dirty looks Treats me like a piece of crap -------------------------------------- [One Voice Sings] Summer's gone School is done I stay up late every night Learning how to make up songs Without thinking about problems Chipping paint and plastic cups Piles and piles of rusty books Late at night on a sugar high Loud car Young kid A hundred bucks You smell like fish You'll go far Young kid You stupid car Song of a bitch Grow a beard And look so weird Uhnnh -------------------------------------- [Simultaneously A Separate HighPitch-Shifted Voice Sings:] Make up games played on an island In the summer riding bikes there Hand me down from one to another Outside of a building Keen on tons of people outside in the fresh air She hasn't called for a long time Playing songs like genetic Giving up and dropping dead now A hundred bucks You smell like fish You'll go far Young kid You stupid car Son of a bitch Grow a beard And look so weird Uhnnh
12. SO WRONG Everybody's never seemed so wrong Especially now when I'm feeling so fucked up
13. PERFECT SITUATION Like a dream right now it seems more secret than before Rain and dark and chemical skies and wet feet all next day Who am I to take away this beautiful situation? You have one chance don't show it off and pretend that it's not there Switch between water and land Quicker than a weasel I have to move away pretty soon Or stay there under water [Another minute of guitar/drums lingers on before the song ends]
14. THE CREEPS [Instrumental/No lyrics]
15. CLUB THEME (from Zombies Ahoy) [Most lyrics inaudible because they were recorded at same volume as instruments, however, the listener can clearly the humming portion of lyrics]
16. ICEBERG Plastic palm trees five miles high Filling up the skies Head expanding 'til I blow up But can't seem to die Moving closer Staying small Messing up my eyes It takes five minutes though Before I feel this way Baaa Daaa da da da Bm ba ba ba baaa
17. KATY SONG* (by the Red House Painters) Some escape Some door to open This path seems the blackest but I guess it's the sanest But there in the clearing I know you'll be wearing Your young aching smile and waving your hands Can't go with my heart when I can't feel what's in it I thought you'd come over but for some reason you didn't Glass on the pavement under my shoes Without you is all my life amounts to
*(Jimi's note) The rest of this song contains two voices [both Phil's] singing different lyrics simultaneously. Listen to the original RHP version to know the missing lyrics.
18. OCTOBER A whole day of dirty looks I spent it sorting books The weather outside here looks So stormy and grey October October stormy nights Recording October I'm serious there's too much books It's messy so why complain? The feeling I have is nice Just like the old days Too bad I can't say a thing But I've got a tune to sing It's messy but why complain These feelings are so nice October October October stormy nights October October October October
19. IN THE WAY* Plan out what to say Think of it all day Want to do things right but know I'm only in the way [Guitar for a few seconds] Uhhhh, Huuuuuuh So obsessed with speech And seeming extra smooth Want to do things right but know I'm only in the way
*(Jimi's note) “In the Way” is multi-tracked vocals w/ no instruments except where noted.
20. FLORIDA LAND It snowed for the first time Since ten months ago It's all melted though My love Living somewhere high She knows I love her a lot
21. BLIZZARD I walked all the way home from the bottom of the hill where I was stuck in the snow I tried driving up it four times but there was no way it could go On the fourth time when I got near the top the back wheels started to slide I just about fell in a crack in a crack in the earth but got out of there alright I had to just walk so I parked the car and then put on my coat When I opened the doors snow blew in my face and freezing temperatures too After awhile though the walk was nice because of the quiet and dark My body stayed toasty and feet were like coals and my eyes watered and froze The grey and the dark all around the weather felt great and I closed my eyes But when I thought about it I knew that something was gone She's far gone in Florida for three whole more days a love I have in the sundayI've got numb cheeks feel hot and she knows just how I feel Now that I think about it I miss her beautiful face The road grew thinner and wound around into the woods It was so weird there between the trees and there was no feeling or light Soon I just gave up trying and shut my eyes and walked along without a clue After while I couldn't tell whether or not I was dead All that had happened was that I closed my eyes and all I saw was my head I felt the sun and the heat of the beach and my love resting near by Although she probably imagined herself in the cold weather back home
22. COME SEE ABOUT ME (by the Supremes) I've been crying Ooh Ooh Cuz I'm lonely for you Smiles haltered to tears But tears won't wash away the fear That you never ever had your turn to ease the fire that within me burns Keeps me crying baby for you Keeps me sighing baby for you So won't you hurry? Come on boy and see about me Come see about me See about your baby Come see about me Gave up my friends just for you My friends have gone and you have too No peace shall I find until you come back and be mine No matter what you do or say I'm gonna love you anyway Keep on crying for you I want to keep sighing baby for you So come on hurry Come on and see about me Come see about me See about me baby Come see about me [Whistling/Acoustic Guitar] Some kind of love Some kind of love Life's so weird But then I run From my arms you won't be out of reach But my heart says you're here is the key Keeps me crying baby for you Keep on crying baby for you So won't you hurry? Come on boy and see about me Come see about me See about your baby Come see about me So lonely Come see about me I want you only Come see about me See about me baby
23. MANHOLE PIE* Grow back from dead Spend life in bed Yo, A copy machine and a rabbit made of money Tear up a the street and that's fault turns running When the lave seeps through the shower stall all the fish on the curtain don't see it at all Yo, fax machine and a town of whores Running out of money and making more Than the thousand of rocking horses stuck all up and down the street Break it down for me Three books left from a hurricane And all the carbon monoxide's collected on the brain Through the tube in the window coated in grease rubbed off the hair of a super sleeze Piled up high Manhole pie Uhhhh Uhhhh Uhhhh Uhhhh
24. MY SWEETIE Secret life and twisted King plays opposite the perfect Queen Such a match in heaven Forced to feel a certain way or cry from my remaining days Such a price to pay for our perfect love Soon though after cars drive by we'll have the time to be Me and sweetie me and my Sweetie
25. GHOST TOWN Two times In a row kicked out Of all the trees without Making any noise Who's got The courage for me? And how can I complain? It's all on down the drain Dead life No ones waking up Automatic talk Petrified and stale Long life But not one time's stepped out A soar covers our necks Writing tricky checks Ghost Town All been wired away Who knows if they'll stay Dead like that Bombs blast Open in the woods Doesn't do any good To make up any words Ghost Town Long life. Dead
26. HEART DAY* Having someone by your side A love to be there too It took awhile for me to decide And let myself see true A day made for love like this With cards and hearts and sweeties When me and mine will hug and kiss Because everything's so good We're not allowed to spend the night Although we really want to Because waking up with honey there It's been awhile since we first smooched Lots has happened since then We've come all the around And here we are now Nothing else is sweeter
*(Jimi's Note) For the actual title of this song Phil painted a “heart” and wrote the world “Day” beside it, so maybe it is supposed to be called “Love Day” or “Valentine's Day”.
27. HOT CHOCOLATE Road that goes from her house to my house Darkened by the long gone sunset Trees hang over and make it even darker I pass by them every single time There's a ghost that lives right above me Floating dead but never been alive Not a boy or girl and only at night Scrapes my tummy out Makes it hollow She fills me up like drinking hot chocolate It's sweet and warm and she's my honey When I have to go home we're both so sad After that I'm awfully lonely
28. SUN WINDOW Warm feet pressed on glass Soaking in the sun Any minute though The clouds cover it up Water on the stove Spider on my toe One split second though Says she's all I've got
29. RADIO BEACH (by the Piranhas) [Humming the tune] Swimming naked down at the oasis I'm the piranha biting my friends' faces I crawl right out and back in again then I dry off in the desert wind Who the hell are you and why are you here? Would you like to sit down? Would you like a beer? Would you? Could you? In a shoe? Yes that's fine but not with you Hey [Humming the tune] I can't feel my legs she said That's cuz they're not there I said I go to the pond at the Radio Beaches where I sing and swim and play with the leeches Who the hell are you and why are you here? Would you? Could you? In a shoe? Yes, that's fine but not with you Hey I've got a fish stuck in my head [repeat 4 times] I told you 'bout the time that I lost the world The time you were down just because of a girl? Yeah, but I'm cool now I recovered fast You mean you're all better now and it's a thing of the past? Uh-Huh! Who the hell are you and why are you here? Would you like to sit down? Would you like a beer? Would you? Could you? In a shoe? Yes, that's fine but not with you Hey
30. PAIN RUNNIN' (by Karl Blau) Oh you've never known the road As your country and your home And your blankets are the fog And you live better than your dog When you're flying just to fall And your sisters are paying for a call Death dances in the night And touches you with cold delight Oh the pain We know you well We know you well The pain We know you well We know you well One verse about the rich man Leads to a chorus of the thieves And the town's people miss the bridge Regarding turn the other cheek We are lovers of life And we live just to survive There's a fire in our eyes And we see right through your eyes The pain We know you well We know you well The pain We know you well [repeat 4 times] Oh the preacher tells the children All are equal in God's eye Why then are we still running? Running 'till the hour we die The pain We know you well We know you well The pain We know you well We know you well The pain We know you well [repeat 6 times]
As legend has it, a few years later Jimi asked Phil if he wouldn't mind doing a sort "reissue" of the tape, in a limited edition, that would be given away to a few lucky attendees of that year's What The Heck Fest, along with copies of The FIB. On the tape it lists the dates as only "July 19-22" but does not give a year. This is as close to a reissue date as we have so far. In fact, Im not even sure when the original, single tape "came out". Judging by the art and the sound of it it's obviously early, cassette only era Phil. This is a place where I actually have a huge gap of information in general. I could really use someone coming along and telling me the order that Phil's cassette only releases were released. My guess on this tape would be somewhere around 1996 or 7. The reissued version I have no clue. There were ten What The Heck Fests and I'm fairly certain this did not come from at least the last three. I am also unclear on which issue of The FIB this was given away with. That too might solve the mystery (no pun intended).*
Ok update on the reissue date. I got a very nice email from a very nice person today that said he has a copy of the tape and that he bought it at the fest in 2007. Awesome. Partial mystery solved. Reissue date July 19th, 2007. Thank you for the email!
As far as numbers released, I know that there was originally only one copy. I'm fuzzy on this memory now too. Someone mentioned to me, at some point, that they only made twenty copies for the "reissue". It might have been twenty five. And speaking of which, it is amazing to me that an artist can put out something in an edition of 20-25 and it still not be the rarest or smallest release they have. There are quite a few others in this same ballpark or even more scarce ('Twenty Bees 7", Tests Cassette Reissue, Egil's Saga?, "I Whale 7"-Cloudy Weather version etc, etc...)
When I first got this it went through my mind that someone could very easily have taped this over onto another cassette and photocopied the label. I like to think that Phil fans are not terrible ebay carpetbaggers but I guess it's possible. However I later obtained a few issues of The FIB and they had parts of them where Jimi himself had written things in, in ball-point pen. It was clear from comparing those to the writing on the cassette cover that it was actually his handwriting and actually one of the 20-25 reissue tapes (see pics above).
This was clearly recorded by Phil, though there may be some other production work on the Piranhas songs or The Microphones songs at the end which were recorded at Dub Narcotic.
There is no mention of where the Phil songs were recorded.
There is little mention of who else is on the tape with him. Leica Piranha is listed on one song ("Dem Hard Blues") and Bronwyn Holm on another ("Mouth+Eye Diseas"). The bulk of the songs sound like Phil by himself. Some of the stuff at the end of side two sounds like there could be others involved. Clearly Leica is on the Piranhas recordings. And Karl Blau is credited on one song ("Pain Runnin'"). It looks more like it's saying it's a Karl song, but it sounds like he's singing on it as well.
It is recorded on a Maxell 90 Minute UR Position Normal Type I cassette. "Great for everyday recording". I am pretty familiar with blank tapes of all kinds if I do say so myself. And very familiar with these Maxells (I used to live and die by them actually as they were one of the only companies that made easy to find 120 minute blank cassettes. I tend to go on and on on mix tapes as well as blog entries, go figure.) The labeling on it is clearly hand-written in sharpie on a couple of the tape label stickers that come provided in said Maxells. Also fairly certain my copy is still in the original plastic case it came in. It looks the way I recall Maxell tape cases looking.
The insert is photocopied, one-sided and folded up. With red ball point pen handwriting from Jimi on the back edge describing the circumstances of the reissue.
It is worth noting that there seems to be an unlisted track between "Josh Young" and "Nightly". It's just a little passage of sound. But then, so are a lot of Phil's songs. It stands apart enough from the other two songs that it was throwing me off when I was cutting the mp3s, counting tracks and labeling them. So I gave it it's own number and just called it "Untitled, Unlisted". Sorry for taking the liberty if anyone knows anything about that track.
On a similar note, I spent the first year that I had this tape erroneously thinking that the first song was called "Shredded Pants, Stinky Breath, Palm Trees, White Foam Water Teeth". It wasn't until, again, I was cutting the mp3s that I realized that "Teeth" was, in fact, it's own song. I'm sure the page on the old MEPS had that listed but it was gone by then.
And that's about all I can tell you here. Since this one I've seen one single copy go up for sale on ebay. I've corresponded a bit with a very nice guy from MEPS named Evan who has provided me with some really killer pics of releases I don't have and some I didn't know existed (we'll be seeing those in future posts, thank you Evan!) and he appears to have a copy amongst his treasures. So, that makes three accounted for out of the 20-25. Anyone else wanna chime in for census purposes? (see above update, about the email from the nice person, that makes three copies accounted for...) I think it would make an interesting illustration, a map with markers in locations where certain tiny press run items of Phil's are now. Or maybe I've just revealed myself as the biggest dork on planet Earth.
In trolling through the internet looking for info about this tape I was not able to come up with much. I'm gonna just go ahead and give a list of URLs that went to places that had anything at all:
hmm, and bummer, looks like most of the little bit that the Get Off The Internet Society had up has been taken down. http://getofftheinternet.wetpaint.com/page/Discography
also some guy did a video for the song "Josh Young" check it here on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBA8UFRtE4A
On a more personal note. I'm sure I've mentioned my friends (who will sometimes be referred to as the KINGS, for reasons not important to any of you) and our intense love of Phil. When we discovered the existence, or rather non-existence of this tape it was a pretty huge deal to us and came to take on a greater symbolic meaning. It was an earlier time in the world of computers and the internet and we pretty much had to accept that there was no way in the world we would ever hear these songs. I mean, come on, a limited edition of one? We resigned ourselves to the notion that we would forever be able to see the information about these songs, read the lyrics and descriptions but would go the rest of our time on Earth never knowing what they actually sounded like.
I've mentioned in these pages before, down here in these personal asides, about those lists of orange numbers at the end of some of the posts. Those really have nothing to do with my mission for this blog. Those are just personal notes/stories. Long ago when everyone I worked with and cared about was having a bad time and morale was very low, I started making these mix CDs for us all. Trying to fill them up with things that I knew we all loved and would make us all happier.
Each of these mixes featured a Microphones or Mount Eerie song and would hence be named after that song. For example the first mix featured "Lanterns" and was named Lanterns. The second was called "Antlers" and was named Antlers. The third featured "Universe" and was called Universe. And so on and on and on. All this time later we are now on mix 278 and going strong. They've become part of a sort of bonding experience for us, a support system/club house/safe shelter. I hesitate to say "religion" which is a strong word. But this little friendship/family that we've built around all this certainly has many of the good apsects of that. It is something to believe in. Something to have faith in. Something to light up the dark.
We would (when we weren't all living in far corners of the country) get together and play these mixes named after Phil's music and drink and laugh and hang out, take pictures, take field trips, see movies and rock shows, make art, make music, write, go dancing, form book clubs. All of the great things in life.
Now that we are all far apart the mixes serve as a gateway to the unreal parts of our lives. They are something that ties us together, like blood brothers. Something that we discuss and come back to when we need something to help us. When we just need the comfort of putting on some music and being safe in the knowledge that no matter how hard things are right then that we can put one these on and know that there will be one great song after another coming out of the stereo.
Sorry for the long digression here. I often struggle with this aspect of the blog. I have another conjoined blog which is sort of a blog as dedicated to all this mixology as this blog is to Phil. I try to keep them separate because I know that those things mean a lot to a few people. They aren't something I expect strangers to want to read about. This blog on the other hand I would, as I've said, like to become an online resource, like the Mount Eerie Preservation Society was and is. I want this to be an online archive for fans of Phil and his amazing music. I want it to be, well basically the kind of website I keep looking for about music but never find. A place where you can come when you really need to know everything there is to know about a particular artist or release by that artist. When you really need more information about a Mount Eerie album than can be found on a wikipedia or a record review.
It is for that reason that I hesitate to talk too, too much about these other things. I don't want to turn people off. If someone comes here for the reasons I'd like, i.e. looking for deep info about Phil, I don't want them to be confronted by a lot of flowery nostalgia from me, a lot of some person they don't know, going on and on about things that mean nothing to them.
So thank you for your indulgence from time to time on these matters. If anyone is in fact interested in the mix project and its ongoing history (in particular a full list of the mixes and all the songs that they have been named after and featured) please feel free to click the link on the right of this blog that goes to it's sister blog, THE SEANCE. A blog which has been as woefully un-updated as this one for some time. But I am trying hard to remedy all that. Here and there.
The point I set out to make about all that is that when we learned about the Jimi tape and the fact that we would never get to hear it (how naive) I did a series of those mixes all named after the songs on the tape. It was meant to be a sort of tribute/memorial, to that tape, to our obsessions with cataloging and archiving and artifacts. Of course we love Phil and his releases. They are all like these archaeological artifacts. these relics that feel as if they have been dug up out of the ground and carefully dusted off. Passed from person to person, down through a family line maybe. Heirlooms. Fills records are like fossils from long ago. And at that time this tape seemed like the Holy Grail of them all.
So I made a series of those mixes all named after the songs from the tape. Of course I couldn't put those songs on the mixes, which is how it is usually done. So in their absence I would leave a hollow space. No Phil tracks would appear. We would just feel his presence in the spirit of thing. A great ghost. When we would play these mixes, when we would hang out, I would always preface by saying "We will never know what (fill in a Jimi song title here, Painting Of A Cat, for instance) sounds like. But it might have sounded something like this..."
I won this cassette on ebay in October of 2008. I had recently moved back to Atlanta (where I'm from) from Boston (where I had lived the last nine years). I decided that I would justify the possible exorbitant amount it was going to cost me to win it by calling it my birthday present to myself (my birthday is in October).
I remember the night that the auction was ending I was out at a rock show at a bar with a friend of mine. I didn't have a phone with internet at the time but she did. I remember standing at the bar with her trying to explain Phil and the Microphones and the unearthly significance of this cassette. How important it was for me to win it. How it was going to be a life changing moment in the lives of myself and my friends and would she please help me to keep upping my maximum bid as we waited for the next bad to play.
I ended up winning it and it wasn't really all that expensive. I was prepared to go a lot higher. I wish I still had the text I sent to the KINGS (the previously mentioned group of far away friends) exclaiming my disbelief and joy.
When the package got to my house I celebrated that evening and also did a little ceremonial opening of the box photo essay. I debated about posting those pics on here but decided, in the end, I looked too silly.
Normally at this point in the post I'd be listing those previously mentioned mysterious orange numbers, which correlate the songs on the release to the number of the KINGS which used its namesake. In this case it's odd because all of the song titles have been used, but none of the songs themselves. Since, as I said, those ones were made as tribute to the fact that we'd never get to hear them. I guess, for all intents and purposes, those songs are open to be used again, for the first time, on mixes where they actually appear. But just for my own self-indulgence and documentation's sake I'll list the number of the tribute mixes (mixes with two or more numbers listed are "double" or "triple" etc... albums, i.e. a normal mix in mixology is, traditionally, one CD length [even though the mixes are no longer made on CD it just has always seemed that that length, about and hour and twenty minutes, is a pretty satisfying one] a double is 2 CD lengths, and so on down the line. At this point in mix history I was really on the exploratory kick, so some of these mixes are very strangely themed, some are, very, very long etc...)
In the order they appear on the tape, they were used/homage'd on: --145, --211, --146, --219, --147, --148/182, --149, 150/187, --151/185, --152, --153, --154/180, --155/191, --156/192, --157, --158/189, --159/193, --160/194, --161/179, --162, --163/233/234, --164, --165/235, --166, --167, --168, --169, --170, --171, --172/236, --173/230, --195, --196/231, --197, --198, --199/223/224/225/226/227
Tracklist* *The parenthetical asides are Phil's, written on the tape --------------- Side A:
Shredded Pants, Stinky Breath, Palm Trees, White Foam Water Teeth (1st 4 track ever) Josh Young (early) Untitled, Unlisted Nightly (nice) Retarded Twin Beautiful Face (early) Painting Of A Cat Moog Town 2 Dem Hard Blues (w/Leica) Mouth + Eye Disease (w/Bronwyn) Teenage Mustache So Wrong Perfect Situation The Creeps Club Theme (from zombies ahoy) Iceberg Katy Song (by the Red House Painters)
October In The Way Florida Land Blizzard Come See About Me (by The Supremes) Manhole Pie My Sweetie Ghost Town Love Day* (this track has a drawing of a heart and the the word "day" not sure if he meant it to be "Love Day" or "Heart Day" or maybe even "Valentine's Day" ...anyone?) Hot Chocolate (early) Sun Window Radio Beach (Microphones version-by the Piranhas) Pain Runnin' (Microphones version-by Karl Blau) Coach Fuckhead Sunglassez Riverboat Man (all those last three songs are bracketed on the tape with the label "Piranhas") Pr Amp Feedback Love (and these last two are also bracketed with the info: "The Microphones recorded at Dub Narcotic)
If anyone has any questions or additional information about anything I have on this blog or if you just want to say "Hi, I'm reading what you're writing, you're not alone in the wilderness..." PLEASE drop me a line. I need all the help with this I can get!
In which we perform an excavation, a dig into the dirt, run our fingers over these bones, pull organs from the dessicated body like flowers, flowering rivers, THIS ENDLESS AUTOPSY, in an attempt to reconcile, to understand, to align these unknowable constellations, this will be the body, to the ghost, THE RELIC, the coffin and the corpse, from which this spell still issues, which still produces this terrifying magic.