Hey, remember back when I did "Hotel Womb" and said it would be good as one of those little between-songs fragments on an old Church record? Well, guess what! Here I got to use it exactly that, mirroring the little snatch of music that precedes "No Explanation" on the Remote Luxury album. Glad I kept that thing lying around.
Now, if this arrangement sounds somewhat inspired or informed by "Heroes", that's because it originally was, in fact, a performance of "Heroes". See, Derek has gone and injured his finger rather severely, so I won't be able to convene Skates & Rays as much as I wanted to before the end of 39-40 (perhaps not at all), so I've been left to my own devices to complete the Remote Luxury tribute. I'd been a little stumped as to how to approach this tune, having already given the faithful-to-a-fault treatment to "Into My Hands", but it occurred to me that this drum track might provide the launching pad to push "No Explanation" into semi-shoegazer/Dream Syndicate territory, so I gave it a shot. Helping things along is the coincidence that the verses of the two songs revolve around the same chord change, so all the ambient band noise bleeding onto the drum tracks is in the right key. If the drums sound a little ragged, it's not Derek's fault: I had to do some awkward editing to keep the parts in synch with the feel of the new cover, and in any case this was just basically us rehearsing a cover with tape rolling, so it's not like we were trying for anything other than capturing the feel of the Bowie tune.
It's a middling success, I'd say. I discovered a neat new harmony, and made a little headway solving my newly-discovered 12-string recording issues. The second lead guitar is a bit sketchy and the whole thing is murkier than I'd like, but I may be able to fix it with a remix when I prep the fake Remote for separate release.
SKATES & RAYS
Rex Broome ~ Vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica
Derek Hanna ~ Drums
Clifford Ulrich ~ Ambient bassisms