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Sunday, March 13, 2011

360. "Girl VII" by Saint Etienne

Brian Huddell, under numerous musical guises, has contributed standout tracks to a number of project I've spearheaded, so thank god he's here to save my ass again. He was also certified as some kind of demigod toward the end of 2010, so the honor is only magnified this time around. Here are his notes on this recording:

Recorded in my 6-year-old's bedroom because my little studio is in the midst of wall and ceiling repairs. I don't have any place to put a MIDI controller in here, so I had fun with synthy guitar effects in place of keyboards. I know I could never do what Rex has done over the last year, and this recording highlighted a new reason why: I found it very difficult to put any energy into a song that I feel no personal connection with. It was a strange experience, but I'm proud to be a tiny part of Rex's impossible project.

I can amplify that last bit a little. For the last three or four months of the project I've been basically picking my own tunes via one method or another, but aI had to do plenty of that "finding my way into harmony with an alien piece" stuff over the first two-thirds of the project, when songs were selected either randomly by machine or by requests from the great unwashed. It gets easier the longer and more frequently you do it, but the results are naturally mixed. I came to adore unfamiliar tunes by Bob Seger and The Swell Maps through the process of transforming them into my idiom. I heaped scorn on songs by Morrissey and The Osmonds, and, while I still don't love the originals, I like what I did to them. I discovered a few other real gems tucked away in my iTunes library. By the same token, I fell well short in my attempts to do justice to a few real favorites of mine. It has been, as they say, a process.

That said, Brian's take on this song is a brilliant addition to the Foxbase Gamma subproject.

Personnel: Brian Huddell

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