Are You An Organism? front cover Are You An Organism? back cover

[Cover images from Body Care and Grooming and How Honest Are You.]

Recorded in 1999, this album sat in the vaults until it was finally MP3ed and released in 2002. It includes many of my lesser-known songs, as well as Liquid Crystal, made famous by a Jake Berendes cover. Download today and be the envy of those who envy such people!

Track list

  1. Ready To Rock Paper Scissors - A particularly good bit from my many tapes of (generally terrible) improvised songs. This song may have originally have been called "Strawberry Jam Nosebleed". I'm not sure. I am just writing this down to confuse future music historians.

  2. Happy To Be Here (Milk Milk) (lyrics) - Bitter song about touring, which I've never actually done.

  3. Underdrive (lyrics) - Another song about the commoditization of teenage angst. Unlike with NST's "Revolution in a Can", this song actually works. Having embarked on this project to give notes to all my old albums, I can really see myself improving as a songwriter over time.

  4. Disaster Movie (lyrics) - I basically wrote a song ridiculing the movie Armageddon. Except I wrote it long before Armageddon came out. All I had to do was change "a lady took her shirt off" to "it had Steve Buscemi in it". The "wet my pants" line always got big laughs live—who could have guessed?

  5. Helium (lyrics) - A song I wrote at Dario Espinoza's house, for no real reason except we'd discovered that the pitch changer on my DSP box could be used to make it sound like you'd been huffing helium. "Michael Jackson" was originally "Gwen Stefani", which made even less sense, but Dario had something against Gwen Stefani at the time. Bismuth is mentioned in the song because that's the name of the non-band I was in in high school.

  6. Ode To A Porcelain Puppy (lyrics) - Almost all that remains of my once-proud rock opera Porcelain Puppy versus Demon Dog. It's better this way, trust me. The Bob Dylan impression bit is ripped off from a Frank Zappa CD. I guess I had some cargo-cult-like belief that anything Frank Zappa did was funny, and that further it would be funny when I did the same thing. Apart from that, this song isn't bad.

  7. lowercase (lyrics) - Soft-target parody of mopey Smashing Pumpkins-type music and behavior.

  8. Sodium And Gamera (lyrics) - Musical adaptation of a Gamera movie, told from the point of view of the annoying kid sidekick who's unaccountably Gamera's best pal. I should be Gamera's best pal, dammit! Uh, basically for this poor kid, a friendship with Gamera is a means of escape from his humdrum life, and attempts to stop Gamera from destroying Japan are conflated with adults' ordinary repression of kids. Good stuff.

  9. Western Culture On The Skids - More an experiment in sound production than a real song. Radio preacher in low-fi tape player being rewound and played over again. The weird slide-guitar sound is me playing the guitar with the microphone sound.

  10. Liquid Crystal (lyrics) - A music critique of subjectivity. Jake Berendes, who covered it (kind of) said he thought it was about an insane asylum up the hill from a factory that made resistors, or something along those lines. Well, just enjoy the song.

  11. Fun Pig (lyrics) - Pretty pointless series of puns, inspired by a sign on the Gallery of the Absurd, a website that's not around anymore (there's a different site with the same name which is, I must stress, not the same site). This site was, I believe, the original online source of the "They're happy because they eat LARD" picture.

  12. Get Down Or Die (lyrics) - A message from the Federal Rock Advisory Board. Slam of '60s dance music, for some reason. I guess it deserves it. Moving on!

  13. Alamo Beetle (lyrics) - Despite my contemperaneous denials, this might be a parable about my friend Adam Kaplan. Probably not. When I wrote it I was thinking of this ancient beetle who had been around and seen it all and who would be your pocket tour guide telling you stuff about wherever it was you were at the moment.

  14. Swim Free (lyrics) - My musical rant against people who put little metal fish on the backs of their cars. Includes my sister Susanna trying to talk me down.

  15. Kleptomania (lyrics) - Excellent noise song. Sometimes I listen to it just to get myself jazzed up. It was called "Chile Con Carnage" but that didn't really make sense so I changed it. "Kleptomania" does make sense because most of the lines are stolen from other sources—mainly movie trailers and commercials.

  16. 68 Dead Ones (lyrics) - Jake used to like this song a lot; I think it's not enough about anything. I'm pretty sure it's got a mass beaching in it, which is never pleasant.

  17. The Bourbonwitha Twist (lyrics) - This song is well-written but kind of embarrassing; it anthropomorphizes concepts in a way I now find very cheesy.

  18. Rewind - A repeat of "Western Culture on the Skids", except with my voice instead of a radio preacher. Inspired by Jake's tiresome tape-ending looped samples, it is itself tiring.

This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Tuesday, August 21 2007, 21:45:34 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Sunday, December 21 2014, 03:00:01 Nowhere Standard Time.

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