TITLE Are You An Organism?
[Cover images from Body Care and
Grooming and How Honest Are
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!
- 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.
- Happy To Be Here (Milk Milk) (lyrics) - Bitter song about touring, which I've never actually done.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- lowercase (lyrics) - Soft-target parody of mopey
Smashing Pumpkins-type music and behavior.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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"
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Bourbonwitha Twist (lyrics) -
This song is well-written but kind of embarrassing; it
anthropomorphizes concepts in a way I now find very cheesy.
- 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.