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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Complete 39-40 Project

So here, in CD-length folders, are all of the tracks created for 39-40.

If you've followed the project, I recommend that you delete all the files you've collected so far and download these instead. I've made numerous corrections to the tagging of the files and in some cases their content over the course of the project; these folders contain the final, definitive versions of the tracks.

Note that these files aren't numbered like individual discs-- they represent one giant 369-track album. But the folders do represent the way they'd fit on 18 separate discs if you burned them like that.

Identically indexed files of all the original versions will follow shortly!



Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Complete Source Material for 39-40

These folders contain the complete collection of 369 original songs and recordings I covered during the project, in the same order. Again, they are presented as one giant 369-track album.

It's the parallel collection, for comparison purposes only. Some of these songs are extremely rare or obscure, and others are common as dirt. The idea here is to provide a quick and easy means of accessing them when listening to or reading about the project.

The folder are a bit larger than the ones for the covers, and I didn't break these down into CD-sized batches as I did with the project songs. This shouldn't cause any trouble other than that these will take a little longer to download.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

369. "Pushing Forty" by Skates & Rays

This is it. Last post, last song.

I've long planned to reward myself, if I got through this whole thing, with a performance of one of my own compositions as the swan song for 39-40. Prior to the past year, my only real musical identification had been as songwriter-guitarist-singer, honestly pretty much in that order, and I'd barely dabbled in covers at all. A lot has changed with that identification, and not just here on the blog, but it remains pretty amazing that I haven't sung one of my own songs before now (Gen did sing one of my tunes a long time ago, better than I could've). But there you go.

This is an unreleased song that I wrote a few years back. The "original version" featured here is a rough live take from a show at the sadly defunct Scene Bar in Glendale in 2007, I think, when Charlie was briefly a full member of the live band. I chose it so you could hear how fully I copped his guitar part, and not for the first time.

Blah blah blah temp stuff. Woggita woggita woggita. I'll come back and write something better here later. Like, maybe. It's over, people. It's over and I did it. Thank you all; I love you to death.

Rex Broome ~ Vocals, guitars
Derek Hanna ~ Drums
Clifford Ulrich ~ Bass

Here's the old one...

...and here's the very end of the line, people. Play it loud or you won't hear it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

368. "Let's Kiss and Make Up" by The Field Mice

And here is what can only be described as a "bonus track" to the 39-40 project and Foxbase Gamma, although Paula herself labeled it "the quiet b-side" to her cover of "Kiss and Make Up". However you label, it, though, it's lovely.

For fun, I decided to list the "original" for this version as the true original version, the one by The Field Mice. I don't think Paula is unusual in that prior to tackling a cover of the Saint Etienne version, she hadn't known that that one was already a cover. The Field Mice are pretty obscure. So while I could have presented any of the remixes of the Saint Etienne version in my iTunes library, I thought it would be nice to pair this stripped-down version of the song-- which oddly was called, in this version, "Let's Kiss and Make Up"-- with the rarely-heard version by a nearly-forgotten band. That seems rather 39-40 to me, anyway.

Paula Carino & the Flabberghastery

367. "Doubtful Sound" by Skates & Rays

This was the surprise waiting for me at the end of the long, long slog of 39-40: someone actually taking the time and making the effort to do a cover of one of my own original songs!

And as a bonus, Monkey Typing Pool have arranged this tune from the first Skates & Rays record as a sound-alike for John Cale in general, and rather specifically "Paris 1919", which just happens to be one of a small handful of tune I'd always intended to do for 39-40 but never got to. Cale's a major hero of mine, and his influence looms large over a lot of what I've done over the past year. In addition to massively informing my arrangements, vocal performances, and sometimes my playing, Cale provided the material for the medley I made out of his song "I Keep a Close Watch" and a similar, better known tune, and I quoted him endlessly in my artsy spoken-word ramblings. I only did one straight cover of one of his songs, but it's among my very favorite things I did during the project.

In any case, I am humbled by the effort and the faint association with one of my personal idols. And if my enjoyment of this recording runs to the narcissistic, what the hell. I still like it.

I will take this opportunity to point out that I've just recently remixed my cover of this original tune by Monkey Typing Pool. The drums in general and the kick in particular were just too damn loud on the original mix, and it bothered me when listening to it in the car recently. I have very, very rarely revisited mixes during 39-40, but for some reason it seemed crucial to get that one right... I just dig both the original and my take on it, and didn't want to leave it all half-ass. And, you know, the MTP guy is a friend of mine in a way that Morrissey, to pick one example of many, just isn't quite.

Monkey Typing Pool (J*ff N*rman)

366. "Etienne Gonna Die" by Saint Etienne

The existence of this track has to be regarded, by me at least, as something of a minor miracle. When I started the blog I hadn't heard from Jim Poe in many years, so it was cool just to catch up with him. What's even more amazing that I caught him at a point in his life during which he hadn't done anything musical for some time, but was looking for an excuse to get moving on it again. So it's a pretty big deal for me to present his first track in a good long time, and his first completed experiment in Garagebandery, here on the blog.

It's also almost impossible to imaging the endgame of 39-40 without my having taken up Jim's suggestion of Foxbase Alpha as the full album I should cover. For a brief time I was insanely considering doing as many as five full albums, one from each of the most recent decades, but in the end it devolved down to Skates & Rays doing The Church's Remote Luxury, and I almost left it at that... but the Foxbase idea still seemed very compelling, so I paired it up with the idea of contributions by guest artists. It seems very fitting that Jim, under the name Tiger Blanket, should be one of them. There's also an eerie if not quite fearful symmetry to the whole thing: the first track to be covered on 39-40 was the final song on Foxbase Alpha. So I guess the circle is now complete.

Stand by for the "official" release of Foxbase Gamma in the next week or two.

Personnel: Jim Poe

365. "Kiss and Make Up" by Saint Etienne

Here's the first of a series of posthumous and postdated postings to the blog which will wrap up the Foxbase Gamma project and clear the house of a few additional, special volunteer contributions. They will also push the total song count for my 365 day project to 369. That should look very impressive indeed on paper.

Paula Carino is probably the highest-profile artist to contribute to 39-40, and in this case she has earned her reputation by being awfully damned good at what she does. I'm massively honored that she recorded this track for my humble enterprise, especially since it will go on to live forever (or at least a little longer) on the Foxbase tribute LP, which I'd anticipate will have a slightly longer shelf life than the blog itself.

It's also going to be one of the highlights of Foxbase Gamma, which has overall turned out way stronger than I'd anticipated. Paula's version of this song-- well, it's actually only one of her versions of it, but we'll come to that later-- is a real joy. Some of the reconfigured chord changes she's implied remind me of Lush at their early peak... I hope she'll consider that the compliment it's meant to be. It's definitely one of the best tracks I've had the pleasure of passing on to the listening public.

Paula Carino & the Flabberghastery

Thursday, March 17, 2011

364. "Silver Jenny Dollar" by The New Pornographers

This was really supposed to be a tribute to Gen, who's tolerated so, so much for the duration of this project. But it's Miranda's birthday, and we're dealing with the ever-charming headlice infestation, and... well, if you're a musician, you know that period at the end of the session where you just get a little loopy and lay down some silly-ass tracks that you probably shouldn't, just to blow off steam? Well, imagine that the session has lasted a year.

Rex ~ Vocal, guitars
Eden ~ Uke, backing vocals
Miranda ~ Backing vocals

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

363. "10,000 Miles" by The Church

...and with the clang and chime of what must be the most massive wall of guitar I've ever posted here, the Skates & Rays recreation of The Church's Remote Luxury album is complete.

When I started 39-40, I didn't imagine that it would produce what can only be viewed as Skates & Rays' second full album, especially given the scarce involvement of the band in the early days. In retrospect it seems like kind of a no-brainer, and a natural that it would be a Church album we tackled. I'm also glad we did a sort of hodge-podgey red-headed stepchild of a record, rather than a magnum opus like The Blurred Crusade or Seance; it gave us a little space to work with and fewer sacred cows to which to live up.

It's funny that I ended up leaving the two Marty Willson-Piper songs for last. "Volumes" is one I'm not incredibly fond of, so it took a while to work up the concept. This one I just love, and we did it really quite faithfully until it gets to that bridge... and really, a weird but unproggy time-signature change is a pretty Churchy way to go. It's really the first time Skates & Rays has put such a thing in any of our arrangements, garage semi-purists that we tend to be (mostly because of my own leanings), but I think we pulled it off, thanks to the rhythm section. Well done, boys. In our enthusiasm we managed to completely forget the guitar solo section, but I think I more than compensated with the bite I put into the incidental leads and the knifey stuff that overlays those two ersatz bridges.

A little remixing remains before I release our Luxury properly, but for now, we out.

Rex Broome ~ Guitars & vocals
Derek Hanna ~ Drums
Clifford Ulrich ~ Bass

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

362. "Nothing Can Stop Us" by Saint Etienne

Nothing, indeed, can stop us now. I downloaded this Skype thing and Ken appeared to me like a vision, and there followed a few moments of myself fumbling to link up components of the Grand Technology of Today using wires I bought at Radio Shack in 1987. Soon enough he had completed the performance you hear today. It was left only for me to add the requisite dub bass and dub banjo ((c) me) and for another definitive step to be taken toward the realization of Foxbase Gamma. The name of the blog and my own, traditionally canine-oriented name make it clear that I am indeed an old dog. Nevertheless, and at the eleventh hour... new trick.

Ken Ostrander ~ vocal and guitar
Rex Broome ~ dub bass, dub banjo

Monday, March 14, 2011

361. "Volumes" by The Church

Marty Willson-Piper's "Volumes" has a lot of chords in it for the country treatment, but after toying with a lot of differnent ideas about how to approach this one, that's where I went.

Rex as Skates & Rays

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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

359. "London Belongs to Me" by Saint Etienne

As you can see above, I have discovered as yet another edition of Foxbase Alpha, and it pretty much defies description. Please enjoy this image of the limited edition "Subbuteo Box" of our favorite record ever to be covered in its entirety by the Broome Massive.

As to Chris Huff's cover, it kicks arse. I really enjoy the intro with its samples of various iconic utterances of the word "London" (it's a more refined version of what I did a tiny bit of on this track) but it goes on to dwarf my best efforts at reinterpetation and it's a real joy to hear. I shouldn't be surprised: this is what Chris does as a professional, and I admire his work. Sometime over the course of this project in a side conversation Chris delved into the kinds of reactions when he sometimes gets from hipster types when he tells them his primary gig is as a cover artist. Apparently it's not kind, or, worse, dismissive. Seeing as how the past year for me has had everything to do with learning and playing covers, not just on 39-40 but at my own shows and with my dad's band back east, and in my new job of teaching kids how to be a rock band, I can officially declare Chris's naysayers to be a lot of irredeemable tossers. Now that's sorted, let's listen, shall we?

Friday, March 11, 2011

358. "Pocahontas" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

A song from one of my very favorite albums of all time, rendered as a complete toss-off. As it's becoming clear that not every track by every contributor slated for Foxbase Gamma will be ready on time, and as the logistics of my actual approaching birthday, as well as Miranda's two days before it, mingle with the realities of having to deal with cases of headlice which might have been brought to my attention when they commenced and weren't, and of keeping 16 bands' worth of elementary schoolers straight in my head as I try to get them ready to impress the hell out of their parent with their mad rockandrollery in three weeks, I find that... hell, I better record something I don't have to think about too much, even if it does shortchange one of the best compositions of the last century. So here you go.

I still prefer my version where the line is "the first TV" instead of "the first teepee". Nobody agrees with me. Fuck 'em, I get to sing it how I like.

Personnel: I forget

Thursday, March 10, 2011

357. "Spring" by Saint Etienne

The work of Maurice Rickard has appeared on 39-40 before, when his immortal work "Red Fiber" was heavily incorporated into my ever-popular cover of "Free Bird", and I've borrowed technique and approaches from him elsewhere, most notably on my should've-been-ever-popular version of "Transmission", so it's most excellent to have him contribute to 39-40 as a solo artist. Even more exciting is the fact that this track is the unearthing of a heretofore all-too-obscure musical genre/subculture, "Scaffo". Maurice explains:
I'm trying to find a Scaffo-correct approach to doing the cover. Backstory:

I had a dream in which a new subculture named "Scaffo
" had emerged. There were absolutely no appearances by it in the dream, nor any descriptions of its attributes, other than a vague "Oh, yeah--Scaffo! (smirk, laughter)." So it seemed like a subculture that other people looked on as wrong in some way, but other than that, wide open.

Discussing it with some friends, a few of us want to create the musical Scaffo
genre. The problem, of course, is defining this, but the lineage certainly includes Captain Beefheart and U.S. Maple as proto-Scaffo.
We went on to posit various other aspects defining Scaffo, but the best way to bring this dream into reality was clearly to start putting some Scaffo or Scaffo-informed music out there. And so as on project folds, another, grander one begins.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

356. "Remote Luxury" by The Church

Part two of the continuous finale of the Remote Luxury project. Again, meant to be listened to along with and immediately after "Shadow Cabinet" with no between-tracks break.

I had the greatest plan for this track: I was going to craft the backing track and then have Derek and Cliff do all the lead guitar harmony stuff. They're the bassist and drummer in Skates & Rays, but they're both great guitar players and I thought this would be a good showcase for them. However, as I've mentioned, the rehearsals for the past two weeks have been scrapped, so I had to come up with an alternate plan. A few days ago I feared my voice was going to completely give out on me, so I thought I'd make the track mostly out of sequenced elements, the kind of thing I could do while languishing in bed. My voice survived, at least well enough to do the Saint Etienne covers, so I put this on the back burner, but I still held onto the synth track idea and made good on it today. To move even further from the mega-guitarry Church ethic, I replaced to dual guitar harmony leads with mandolin and ukulele (as tasteful as Willson-Piper and Koppes almost always are on guitar, I have a bit of an allergy to straight harmony lead guitar... it tends to sound a bit "arena rock" for my tastes, so no, the Hunter-Wagner era is not my favorite Lou Reed period).

In the end I did add a bit of guitar on the very last section, but that was there to accompany the lyrics I transplanted into the coda of what's supposed to be an instrumental track. I've been really quite obsessed with the song "Savage Night at the Opera" from the new Destroyer album, and I was working on the backing track for this tune I kept finding that I was flashing on the words and melody from that one. Turns out they revolve around very similar chord sequences. So I adapted Dan Bejar's opening lyrics with a few alterations to make them Church-specific. In fact, they're somewhat sentimental and schmaltzy in a way of which I doubt Bejar would approve, but as the other fellow said, a song is anything that can walk by itself, so if you're going to set one down on the ground, you can't be too surprised at where it ends up after it's been there for a while.

(just Rex this time)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

355. "Shadow Cabinet" by The Church

Yeah, I'm doing a lot of things for the last time, and it seems like there would have to be one last massively Fall-centric cover before 39-40 shuts down. Most of the backing track for this cover is built out of Fall-sound-- specifically a bunch of re-pitched samples of "Dr. Buck's Letter"-- and the creepy-factor of the original Church song (which is considerable) is enhanced with little snatches of "Spectre Vs. Rector". For all that, and the way the track sort of sounds like it's delivered at half-time (although it isn't), it's actually pretty faithful to the original. The feel is a bit heavier, but the guitars and vocals are doing pretty much what they always did. Halfway through it, I thought it was going to be fail miserably, but in the end it turned out fine.

I also must have set some kind of turnaround record for sampling by using the drum part from Dolph's cover of "Carnt Sleep" a scant four days after he delivered it to me. And there's another Saint Etienne crossover in the form of a loop from the somewhat obscure (but completely classic) SE track "Filthy" that drives the bridge along.

There's one more experiment at play here: this track is designed to flow directly into the next track on both 39-40 and the Remote Luxury cover album, so the hard cut at the end is intentional. If you're burning either collection to a CDR, there should be no gap between today's track and tomorrow's. That's my general protocol for all of my recordings anyway; this just happens to be the first time I've actually designed the tracks to rely on it.

As embodied pretty much by Rex and a bunch of samples as detailed above

Monday, March 7, 2011

354. "She's the One" by Saint Etienne

Edward of Sim appears, on loan from Linus, to instantly demonstrate that as many different approaches as I've tried out on covers over the past year, I haven't come anywhere near hitting on them all. Specifically, I never attempted to do a multitracked vocal accompanied only by a bass guitar, which is just as well, since if I had, Mr. of Sim's version would have buried it.

I'm told it was recorded this way out of necessity and a lack of other instruments at hand, but it's a bit of a revelation in any case. The chord structure of the original is dictated in places by the material being sampled, and it sort of pivots on chords and seems to be in different keys from time to time in a very Saint Etienne way. Edward's version moves through those changes and makes them sound natural... maybe it's the swing he put into the rhythm. Even more interesting, though, is his suitably creepy stereo-harmonized reading of the coda: I most certainly heard "She's the One" before I ever heard "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" by The Crystals, but part of me has known that it's the source of that section of the song for a long time, but I never really heard it correctly until listening to this cover.

Edward of Sim, limited by Time and Space

Sunday, March 6, 2011

353. "People Get Real" by Saint Etienne

I'm feeling pretty lousy today, congested and sort of feverish, so I might be delusional, but I think this one may be my favorite recording from the duration of the 39-40 project. I'm very glad I proceeded with the Foxbase Alpha full album cover/tribute subproject. I almost ditched it for a bunch of reasons, but in the end it's providing some brilliant guest contributions and it's gotten me to do some of my own favorite work.

This one, man, it's one of my favorite songs of all time. I even recall having "People Get Real" on a short list of potential band names at one point. I've always found the fact that it's an update in some ways of a '60s girl-group sound on the one hand, and a nod toward blissed-out club sounds (and to me, the associated dream-pop music that would come to be known as "shoegazer" rock) on the other to be brilliant on its own, but the way the dreamy imagery is punctuated by the jaw-dropping lines "Don't tell me this is precious/Don't tell me this is soulful/No, you have to be, have to be getting me on" before eventually landing back on "Don't stop believing it's real"... that's just sublime right there.

I started off with the idea of doing this as a more literal '60s throwback than the original. The sound I had in mind was maybe halfway between The Byrds (the extra work I put into translating the mid-song synth line to the electric 13-string really paid off) and something breezier like The Searchers or Spanky and Our Gang... maybe the midpoint between those would be The Monkees, I guess. Along the way, partly because my voice is too froggy from my illness to do the real Mamas & Papas treatment to the harmonies, the vocals turned a lot airier and a subterranean homesick fuzz guitar showed up, pushing it a little more toward 4AD/Creation territory. But the sum of the parts, I realized when I was done with the string part, is basically the evil twin of the roughly contemporaneous "Shiny Happy People". That was fine.

I ditched a few ideas that tempted me mightily along the way: putting an ominous break on the "Don't tell me" lines started to seem too obvious, and I've done similar things to highlight undernoticed misanthropic lyrical turns on other songs over the past year, and there was a stereophonic symphony of harmonicas on the bridge than I ultimately deleted because they've become a bit of a crutch for me. The drums are actually an edited version of the part Derek played on a recording of Cliff's tune "Last Request", which has a very different feel from this. It's a little unsteady in a way that makes a lot more sense with the tune it was played for, but I was dead set on having Skates & Rays do one of the Foxbase tunes, and with Derek being too injured to play, this was the only way I was going to pull it off. Lastly, I plum forgot that I was going to yell "Get on the floor and look real sexy!" during the bridge.

The craziest part of this, though, was the recording of the vocal. While singing the first lead track, the combination of how happy I was with the backing track and how much I love the song really touched a nerve with me, and by the time I hit my beloved "you have to be getting me on" line, I was actually crying. It's still on there, you can hear it; that had never happened before, so it seemed obnoxious not to preserve it. In fact, when I doubled the vocal, it happened again. There are four vocals in total so it's not the weep-fest it could be, but it's real. I had an overwhelming feeling of having done something very good. I don't think it was a simple reaction to this track, but to the entire 39-40 project as well. The song felt like a benediction of sorts, probably the last "important" work I'll do.

The irony of the fact that the last words I'm singing on this are "Don't stop believing" after having excoriated the Journey tune in the course of describing my cover of "Transmission" is not lost on me. My friend Jim Poe (who also suggested the Foxbase excursion) mentioned being a little freaked out by the "hate" I expressed in that piece, and I've been a little haunted by that ever since, not being the type who likes to think of myself as either too musically snobbish or ferchrissake hateful. And I think I came to understand a bit of what that socially important musical nostalgia is all about here. I've been a little muddled in my thinking about my own musical development and maybe even the whole meaning of music and memory in a social sense. Journey seems like prom music to me, formative high school stuff, and my high school music was largely postpunk and college rock with some '60s psych and a lot of Velvet Underground thrown in... R.E.M., The Replacements, The Bunnymen and so forth.

But that was anything but social music; that was in-my-bedroom rock-music-saved-my-life music. My true social music phase, the joy-of-being-in-a-community with like-minded (musically and otherwise) friends, was college, and while Sonic Youth and The Pixies and Neil Young made the trip with me, it was largely a whole different, and not especially well-remembered scene then. It was Saint Etienne. It was 808 State and A Tribe Called Quest, Ride and Lush, Public Enemy and The Orb, Happy Mondays, Paul's Boutique and Loveless and a lot of other tenuously-connected and ill-remembered stuff that was overshadowed by what the '90s went on to become, but which still strikes me as great and powerful, far more full of the joy of discovery and the possibilities of the new than so much of what came after. But I guess it wouldn't have mattered if it was that great or not: it was my soundtrack to my time. It was my arena rock. And if it was what you heard at every bar mitzvah or karaoke bar today, and some little aging twit with a blog just didn't get it, no, I wouldn't much care either. That'd be his problem, really, and too bad he can't loosen up. So I guess that's my After School Special moment for today: I really do have a lot yet to learn.

Oh, and there really is no reason for Miki Berenyi being the cover model, other than that I thought of her in the throes of my overemotional reaction to this track, and I love her, is all.

SKATES & RAYS (sort of)
Rex Broome ~ Vocals, guitars, bass, MIDI stuff
Derek Hanna ~ Repurposed drums
Clifford Ulrich ~ Composition from which said drums were repurposed

Saturday, March 5, 2011

352. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Saint Etienne

I'm really not pleased with the way my output is sounding these days. Despite all my best efforts, it's just murky all the time. I have a few more shots to get it right, but at this point I'm sort of resigned to going out with my game a little off. I've probably earned that, anticlimactic as it may be.

I was really surprised at how long this turned out to be when I exported it. I had put all the work into getting to and past the second chorus, the one less than two minutes in that I play with the original chords as Neil wrote them, and figured I could use some mixing tricks and probably my last instance of meandering, stinging lead guitar using the sound that's long been labeled "Kristin lead" to pad out another minute or two. Somehow it ended up pushing the six minute mark. Most likely that means I could've knocked off the guitar wanking a lot sooner, since I was basically following that long solo and switching mix tactics every four measures while I had an excuse to do it.

(Update: In a very rare occurrence indeed, I have replaced the original mix with what I hope is a better version. The fact that I'm doing this kind of thing probably means that (A) I have actually learned something doing this whole long experiment, and (B) it's probably time to quit.)

Crappy as the results are, it was kind of fun. Although this was the first Saint Etienne song I ever heard, back in the halcyon days of MARS FM, and the idea of a group like this doing a Neil Young tune did pique my interest, it ended up being one of my least favorite things on Foxbase Alpha. Not that it's bad at all... it's just that the simple novelty of the idea and the flat-out efficiency of its execution, perfect though they are, don't even begin to hint at the depth of the rest of the record. That and it ain't Sazzy Crackers singing.

The photo, incidentally, depicts me as I looked at about the time Foxbase Alpha was released, rockin' my Miki Berenyi hair color. Within a year it'd start to be mistaken for the Kurt Cobain look and I'd have to ditch it. The '90s: so many things began with so much promise, only to be muscled out of the way by other, less exciting things.

Personnel: Rex