Friday, August 13, 2010

The Microphones: "Window:" the Series, plus 6 others CD (Yoyo Recordings, 2000)

(Spine 1, 2, CD cover, front, back, actual disc, insert front, back, picture hidden under the tray, play-side info)

The Microphones: "Window:" the Series, plus 6 others CD

-Recorded March 1998 through May 1999 at Dub Narcotic, The Business, and Yoyo by Phil Elvrum, Khaela Maricich, Jenn Kliese, Mirah Yom Tove Zietlyn, Karl Blau, Bronwyn Holm, Aaron Hartman, Dennis Driscoll, Erica Jacobs, Calvin Johnson, Pate Maley, Space Echo, J. Pogue

-Release date (close as I can seem to find) 2000

-Released by Yoyo Recordings (YOYO-CD13)* (

*Though it lists the KNW-YR-OWN address as the "for more information" contact. (1717 Commercial Ave. Anacortes, WA 98221) Furthermore, there is a note appended below that that reads: For more on the "Window": KLP99 from K (Records), which is, in fact, the "Don't Wake Me Up" LP. "Window" was apparently an EP meant to augment the release of that full length and, indeed, many of the "windows" are, in fact, bits of recordings used on that album.

-This has only ever been released on CD.

-IFPI Number: Again, appears to have two (saw this on the Projector Comp. as well, and interestingly enough, the second number on both of them is the same) L533 on the silver and 9216 stamped in the plastic inner groov

-Barcode Info: 789856601325

-No info seems to be available or included about the cover art and design. No idea who took those pictures of the house, or whose house it is. On the other hand, the back cover and the spines and actual CD art all look very much like our good friend J. Pogue. That cloud on the CD might even be the same cloud from the "Feedback" and "Bass Drum Dream" 7"s. Moreover, the inside of the CD foldout also looks exactly like his work. It even seems to include that red circle laid over top of the black and white photos (which we last saw on the "Bass Drum Dream" 7"). I guess that would make sense since this is supposed to be an accompaniment to the "Don't Wake Me Up" LP and he was so closely involved in the art for that.

-It's a CD so, lord knows how many were pressed. I'd guess at least 1000.

-Other details of note:

This CD features another chapter in the "moon" series ("The Moon" from the 7" of the same name, "Moon, Moon" from the 7" of the same name, etc...)

This also features one of (I think) the first and only appearances of a Microphones song sung entirely by someone besides Phil ("Ocean", I'm guessing that that's Khaela, which may or may not be, in some way, related to "Ocean 1, 2, 3" from "Don't Wake Me Up". It certainly has a similar feeling/lyric/vocal performance. It actually feels like this might be some kind of sequel/reply, a little reminiscent of the two versions of the song "Tests" from the "Tests" CD and cassette, one sung by Phil the other by a "young girl".)

As Phil was once prone to, this CD features a picture printed on the back of the back cover (i.e. on the paper under the plastic CD tray). In this case the picture seems to be random and not at all related to the proceedings (an Asian woman holding an old camera).

The "windows" as best I can tell are bits from these songs (bear with me, I'll be filling this in over time as I figure them out, and, to be fair, I think a good number of them are unused...):*

*Ok so Phil recently put up what he described as a "big dump of Microphones stuff on iTunes". Which is wonderful for the world. Making it even nicer, I noticed, the version of Windows that is in the store now has names attributed to each "Window" track ascribing it's origin. So I am updating this section now with Phil's descriptions/track names...

Track 07: Ocean 1, 2, 3
Track 08: Florida Beach
Track 09: Here With Summer
Track 10: Where It's Hotter pt. 3
Track 11: I'm Getting Cold
Track 12: I'll Be In The Air
Track 13: Tonight There'll Be Clouds
Track 14: It Wouldn't
Track 15: Sweetheart Sleep Tight
Track 16: Don't Wake Me Up
Track 17: I Felt You
Track 18: Drums and Bass
Track 19: Archipelago by Mirah
Track 20: Cranberry Road by Dennis Driscoll
Track 21: Pollen by Mirah
Track 22: Wake Me Up
Track 23: Feedback Love


Another lucky early purchase in my Phil Career. This was surely bought in the big Microphones excitement of the early 2000's. I can practically see myself standing in fucking Newbury Comics looking at Microphones CDs trying to decide which ones to buy. Holding this disc in my hands now (the same one I held, all those years ago, in shrinkwrap, in the store, probably on a shift) it is mildly surreal. Phil seems to have a thing, personally, about artifacts, and that is something, I guess, that draws me to him, as I have similar feelings/hang-ups. Case in point.

I wish I could recall what my take on this was, upon hearing it. I am guessing it was just another in many very similar episodes with me and my early days with Phil, i.e. opaque, a real thing for percussion tracks/passage of sound as song, fragmentation, many ideas being thrown out there and sometimes realized, sometimes abandoned, elementary school chorus's, and, of course, at least one tiny, beautiful, delicate gem dropped into the middle of the miasma. Like a reward, a tiny diamond hidden amidst all this rock and rubble and cloud.

I am grateful that I got this when I did and have been carrying it with me ever since. I am glad this was an early piece for me to digest. It seems very time-appropriate. If, for no other reason, the proximity of "Ocean" in the canon of Phil's songs and my life and the KINGS mixes.
(--030, --006, --127a, --017, --041 [three times, track 7, 17, 21], --264, --265, --266, --267, twelve tracks still unused on this album, stay tuned.)

Moon Moon Moon
Cover Me Up
Heart Lake Rd.
Drums and Birds


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