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Saturday, September 18, 2010

184. "Jolly Roger" by Roger McGuinn

Requested by Kevin Studyvin. (Due to a bizarre hiccup in the space-time continuum, the winning randomly selected request for Sunday is being posted before the winning request for Saturday. The Doctor is investigating.)

This request relates in some way to yesterday having been International Talk Like A Pirate Day. In the future requestors are going to have to look on their calendars where holidays are concerned and get their date-specific requests in a day ahead of time... no good listening to a Halloween-related cover on November 2nd. But the kinks will doubtless work themselves out.

Anyway, hey, the cover of this one was performed by another band of mine, Butterfly Distraction. Now, I swear I'm not trying to appear to be in a thousand different bands. In fact I've long since been so sick of switching artist identities, and when we managed to name Skates & Rays, I took an oath that that would be the last name I put to any of my musical endeavors other than my own (with wiggle room for backing band names-- Rex Broome & His Living Room Demons, Rex Broome & The Chessie System, etc.) and have largely stuck to it. Midlife Crisis was by necessity an exception as the point of it was that it would be a band and not a solo vehicle for me, so we had to name it something. And Butterfly Distraction, well, I've been in this band for about 15 years, so it falls under the Grandfather Clause.

Butterfly Distraction actually formed a short time before I got involved, in 1995 or so. As a project it's had several manifestations, all of them experimental and improvisational, but most of the time it was a group of guitarists doing free-form improv for an hour or so at a time. The most consistend participants were Derek Hanna, Clifford Ulrich, Mark Erwin and myself. Derek was at the time the drummer in one of my earlier bands, as he is now the drummer for Skates & Rays; Cliff is now the bassist for Skates & Rays, but that wouldn't happen until about ten years later. Throughout its long, varied and sporadic life, BFD has been always different, but always the same. No, wait, that's The Fall, but it applies fairly well here.

Butterfly convened today for the first time in quite a while, this time with Derek, Cliff and myself on guitar, and my daughter Miranda (9) on bass. She fit right in, and not just because there are no rules for what to play; in fact, there are all kinds of unwritten rules for how to play this kind of stuff without it sounding completely inept, and she breezed right by those without even having to think about it. Anyway, in addition to the usual longform improvisation, we did this short one based on today's song; I recorded it in stereo and added the vocal and sound effects afterward. Bear in mind that for a long-standing experimental collective, performing something with even a rough song structure is actually more experimental than doing an "experimental" piece. It would be interesting to push this a little further, and we probably will. Meanwhile, I have another 68 minute Butterfly piece to mix and add to the big old pile that's accrued over the years.

Clifford Ulrich ~ seagul-sounding guitar
Derek Hanna ~ riffy melody-ish guitar
Miranda Broome ~ bass
Rex Broome ~ vibrato guitar, vocal
with outtakes from the original version of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Disneyland
and the lonesome ol' buoy from Jaws


  1. Okay - but *today* is Talk Like a Pirate Day, so you accidentally sorta ended up posting it kinda on time.

  2. See notes about the space-time continuum above. Um, ye foc's'le swabs!