Monday, December 13, 2010

"Headwaters: An Attempted Explanation Of 'Mount Eerie' By The Microphones" Book+CDR (No Label)

(Headwaters book cover, all the pages, the CD envelope stuck in the middle, fold out, CD top, CD play-side info)

"Headwaters: An Attempted Explanation Of 'Mount Eerie' By The Microphones" Book + CDR

-I clearly have no release info or ANYTHING about this. Info is in extremely short order here. It was obviously distributed/"put out" sometime after the "Mt. Eerie" album. There is no label and I have no insight about how many were made or what type of distribution they had. Considering that it is, in some part, a hand-made affair I would guess a smaller number, less than a thousand. Maybe 500.

-Obviously the mix was collated by Phil and the booklet was drawn and lettered by him.

-I'm also going to assume that he burned these CDs and wrote the labeling on them.

-The "Mount Eerie" album came out in early 2003 so I am guessing this appeared sometime in mid-2003. (The date that he is "writing this" from on the inner cover liner notes says that it is July 15th, 2003, so I would assume it came out not too long after that.)

-The CD is just a regular old burned CDR so the play-side info (shown in the pics above) is pretty generic.

-Other details of note:

The front cover is painted in watercolor, red on the sail of the ship. I've seen several copies of this floating around and they all have red watercolor on the sail so I am going to assume they were all made that way.

The booklet records, in painfully copious detail, the lyrics and moment by moment song structure of every song, along with a ton of other very interesting stuff.

There are numerous self-referential explanations about the songs and Phil's past in the "FOOTNOTES" section which I will not catalog here since they are all readily viewable in the pictures I have provided. Maybe that's lazy of me, but really it just seems redundant to reiterate what Phil already expresses so eloquently (and to this end I've provided a readable picture of every sing page, well, except maybe for the fold out, which is innately hard to read in pics since it spans a very long piece of paper). The one thing I will go to pains to point out is that the "foghorn" sound which closes "The Glow Pt. 2" album is the same as the one that opens the "Mt. Eerie" album, intentionally. Meant to bridge the two albums, if listened back to back, as one continuous sound. This, as Phil mentions, is inspired by Twin Peaks, and, to that end, I watched "Blue Velvet" just tonight and noted, along with a million other David Lynch self-references and themes, that the foghorn sound is quite prevalent in that movie as well and "Twin Peaks" and if I recall correctly "Eraserhead" was also populated by similar far-away sounds (but, as this is not a David Lynch blog I will neglect to go further into this line of research. Just thought is was an interesting correlation of the same motif being used by both artists spanning several projects.)

The "Headwaters Of Mount Eerie" CD and liner notes likewise contain all manner of involved explanation of the song structure and reference which I will, again, neglect to type out here as both are available for first-hand perusing via the pics I am posting and the download of the CD I am linking as well.


This release was something I stumbled across on Soulseek, back in the day (and little says "back-in-the-day" like Soulseek, maybe JNCO Jeans? AIM?) Something I downloaded and then later happened upon someone's scans of the booklet. It was what it is, an inundation of music and insight into an already many-layered undertaking. I remembered being excited when I found it but not really processing all of the information until later.

If nothing else, this release serves to show, even the casual listener, that Phil is a man with large, far-reaching ideas. His music is shambling and unrefined in some ways, certainly, but is, in no way, tossed-off or reckless. This booklet and CD portray a man that is particular and exact in his methods and influences. A songwriter who is meticulous and thoughtful. Someone really, really, thinking through exactly what they're saying and how it is being said. This is the product of a mapmaker, not a hack-and-slasher.

If you thought these ideas were being loosely improvised, as Phil's work sometimes seems to gesture towards, here is the evidence that these excursions are well-planned and graphed before the hike begins. These are not just throw-away ideas, these and planned out journeys.

--242 (The Antonio Carolos Jobim track is featured but not used/eligible as the namesake song)

Tracklist (CD)

Peter And Josie Dialog-Twin Peaks
Generique/A Felicidade/Frevo/O Nosso Amor (From The Soundtrack To "Black Orpheus")-Antonio Carlos Jobim
Sade-Slave Song
Neil Young-Powderfinger (Live)
Bjork-Hidden Place (A capella)
Julie Doiron-Don't Ask
Little Wings-Fall Flood
Dinosaur Jr.-Out There
Bubba Sparxxx (Ft. Missy Elliott & Timbaland)-Ugly (Portion)
Dialog, John Goodman As "Walter"-The Big Lebowski
Karl Blau-Vultures
Elevator Through-Sleep Experiment No.3
Popol Vuh-Wehe Khorazin
Open Wide (Ft. Sebastian)-Bubba Sparxxx


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