Now this was pretty funny, and I actually like the results. I mentioned in the notes to "Fetch the Water" that I was essentially going to have to trick myself into making some riskier moves on 39-40, and I seem to have succeeded. I wanted to do a radical remake without it being "clever" or high concept, and the quickest way I could think of to jumpstart that process was to record the music before I even knew what the song would be. At the same time I have a few songs of my own that've been developed for Skates & Rays which should really be demo'ed, so here was a chance to do the two birds one stone thing. The music for this is a song I'd recently written called "You Don't Have to Do This", and the chorus and bridge even get sung on this recording. Now, why I need to develop Skates & Rays material when I have quite a few boxes of our first album that haven't been sold is a whole 'nother issue... I guess that you'd have to say that although I've never been paid to make art, I have what you call an "artistic temperament" (which is, yeah, often shorthand for saying someone's an asshole; you make the call).
When "Maxwell's" came up as the song The Machine wanted me to retrofit onto my tune, I LOL'ed and everything and them gave it a whirl. It all fell into place in one and a half takes, and maybe you can hear me reacting to some of the happy coincidences-- the "knock" lyric that is echoed in the drum part, the "bang bang" rhythm that was already there at the head of the chorus, and the lead guitar accidentally personifying Rose & Valerie-- as I heard them for the first time while singing it.