9/26/2022 0 Comments
A note on this project: The idea was simple. I wanted to reach out and talk to friends more, in whatever way they're most comfortable: via email or voice calls. And maybe make new friends. I wanted to ask questions about things people are passionate about, focusing more on side interests. I wanted to call it Making Friends because its corny and earnest and makes me think of being kids trying to make friends. -Kim Göransson
Catherine Backus is one of my favorite humans. She's a musician, singer and writer of songs as Catherine the Great and member bluegrass folk trio After Jack as well as the skipperdees. From her bio on the Catherine the Great site:
While the project primarily exists as a repository for her feelings, her sad songs have drawn numerous accolades, including 1st place at the Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, 4th place at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase, and finalist in the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. Over the course of her career, she’s shared stages with folks like Molly Tuttle, Kim Richey, Willie Watson, and Ben Sollee. She would love to see a picture of your dog.
KG: Hey Catherine! I want to ask you about a couple of things but when I first proposed we do an interview you mentioned talking about FEMSLASH, so let's start there? In the past we've chatted about the tv shows Fleabag, Killing Eve, Dead to Me and Hacks (objectively amazing shows) but what is your current TV obsession? Why? And is it translating into fan fic?
CB: Kim!!! I am a noted expert in lesbian subtext in popular media, this is true <3
Let the record show I think I only watched the first season of Killing Eve, and that it lost me after PWB left, so I can't speak to the overall quality (and I am in general too squeamish for shows with a lot of violence lol).
I think my current obsession is probably the new A League of Their Own TV Show- I watched it twice in the span of a week lol. Interestingly enough, though, the canonical queerness is so satisfying that I have zero desire to seek out or engage in transformative works!
I think it's rad that I could name a dozen shows I genuinely enjoyed that had solid queer/trans rep, but a part of me is nostalgic for the era of Reading Too Much Into Every Interaction Between Two Women™️ of the the early aughts.
For me, TV I consider myself a fan of has two categories:
1) this is great and I enjoyed it a lot and am perfectly happy to simply appreciate canon (Rutherford Falls, Somebody Somewhere, and The Other Two fall into this category for me).
2) I need to make my character barbies kiss or i will never know peace- there's less of a rhyme or reason to this; sometimes the show is simply Not Good but something about the characters compel me. Sometimes there's a video game where two minor characters share a moment of interaction and i need to read 100,000 words where they find their happily ever after.
Is that anything? IDK!
KG: Yes that is something! And I thought you made it further in Killing Eve, but yeah, my interest has been slowly going down with each season and I haven't watched the last one, I just want them to be happy!
I watched the original A League of Their Own movie last week because I thought I should watch the movie before the show but we haven't started the show yet. I'm excited to try it. The movie felt familiar from childhood. Do you know it well? We also rewatched Point Break not that long ago and now I feel like I should watch Tank Girl and Free Willy to complete the Lori Petty 90s collection.
Somebody Somewhere is also on my list to try but I'm picky with the comedies.
I love that AloTO's canonical queerness is so satisfying that you don't have any desire to seek out transformative works. Is there anything falling into that second TV fan fic category now? Also do you only read fan fic or write as well? And what are your Fan Fiction Origins from the early aughts?
CB: The original Penny Marshall ALOTO is VERY important to my wife, so we were skeptical about the show, but it wasn't trying to "redo" the original, but expand on the actual queer histories of the era! and the stories of Black and Latinx ball players of the era! great show, a+++, hope it gets a second season.
Joel from Somebody Somewhere is me, I am him, if you don't absolutely love it i'll be personally offended <3
I'm honestly in a bit of a fic drought at the moment! been dealing with lots of big life stuff that has sapped my focus beyond scrolling twitter endlessly or playing two dots on my phone a;sldjf;laksjd. but there are certain fandoms like dragon age (video games; extra nerdy) where there's a million characters and a million pairings that are fun to play around with, that if i'm bored i'll just click on a tag and go wild.
I started reading fic as a closeted teen and am now deeply ashamed that Law and Order: SVU was my queer awakening (i don't watch cop shows anymore! but the propaganda was strong in 2006!!!) and i am an alex/olivia truther.
I didn't start writing fic until my mid twenties, when finally a pairing happened where i was like "damn if you want something done you gotta do it yourself, huh?" but i shan't reveal my otps here <3
I've also written a few songs inspired by fiction- "Tomatoes" (arguably my biggest success) was inspired by a character who had a tomato allergy. my mom wrote me asking if my wife and i had broken up after i posted the demo and i had to explain that i was just really into a mediocre canadian cop drama at the time :/
A question I would like to ask media at large is: WHY CAN'T WE HAVE QUEER WOMEN REPRESENTATION THAT ISN'T COPAGANDA???
Like, there's some (shoutout to A League of Their Own (TV 2022) for being explicitly ANTI-cop, as they should), but a LOT of either canon or subtextual femslash pairings exist in police dramas. Which, maybe the problem is simply the huge presence of copaganda in television overall? But yeah, that sucks, i hate it.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE????
KG: These are all valid important questions. I don’t know. Why does the answer always seem to be: more cops? The copaganda is unending but I think it’s ok to exist with the stories we grow up with and are given (and critique them, and queer transform transgress them?) and a lot of people relate to SVU, I think for valid reasons.
I’m listening to the Tomatoes song now and your first solo album Personhood and I love that you wrote this about a mediocre Canadian cop drama and that it was read by your mom as a break up song. I like to imagine a lot of songs we’ve projected onto actually come out of things like this. But maybe also they’re entry points that you can fill with other things, and listeners can fill with theirs? I find starting writing songs incredibly hard, like, often its about making a fairly simple, familiar phrase feel new or urgent again? Which is almost like a fan fic in a way. I wonder if there are connections between those two writing worlds for you? Also, now that you’re part of the bluegrass folk trio After Jack, are you still writing songs for Catherine the Great?
I’m sorry you’ve been going through a lot of big life stuff lately. You recently got a MS diagnosis, do you want to talk about that at all? How has it changed how you do your life?
Important update: We watched the first episode of ALOTO last night and I like it so far!
CB: I think about songwriting like gardening (i am a terrible gardener); i plant a seed (usually a hook, or phrase that i meditate on like a jesus prayer) and it germinates into the full thing. it's rarely a quick process, although it's a quiet growth; by the time i sit down and play and sing until it's done, it's usually fairly quick. i read an interview with Fiona Apple once where she talked about how she never writes down her songs bc if they're good she'll remember them, and i stole that hahah.
writing a story feels like a more steady, active job; like going on a hike or something. you have to keep putting words on the page and there's generally a starting and ending point; songs feel more cyclical and simple, like you're trying to distill everything down, whereas writing fiction feels a lot like building from the ground up. they're sort of opposites in a way, which is why i think practicing writing in fandom spaces has been helpful to my songwriting, because i'm often coming at the same subjects (every song is a love song after all) with very different techniques.
wow that was pretentious as hell lmaoooooo
Re: Writing songs, I don't generally assign a song before it's written, but often my gut will say "this is solo" or "this will work for the full band." I'll play songs I do with AJ in solo sets, but not vice versa haha. if it's pretty dark/personal/weird it's a solo song, and if it's a bit more accessible it fits better with after jack. we had plans to make a new AJ record in early 2020 and i had a bunch of songs i'd never recorded ready to go with that but that got derailed and i'm not sure when/if it's happening. we'll see!
Re: Multiple Sclerosis- i'm good to talk about it! i'm p early in both the progression and treatment of my disease, so i don't know what the long-term trajectory for me might look like, but i'm fortunate to have taken some disability studies courses in undergrad that i think helped to dismantle a lot of my internalized ableism prior to getting sick. so, yeah, it sucks, but being disabled doesn't mean my life is any less valuable or full now. At the moment, I can still play and sing competently, and other than needing a few accommodations (sitting while playing, not doing outdoor gigs in the heat of summer) I think I'll continue to gig, albeit not very ambitiously, until I feel like my symptoms and relapses are under control.
the best summary of my 2022 is probably my neurologist telling me "make sure you don't schedule your spinal tap too close to your wedding!" real ups and downs over here!
i think i might write some songs about the process eventually, but it usually takes me several years to work through things to get to the point of being creative about them (I think I wrote "Pensacola" 5 years after my grandmother's death, for point of reference). It's kind of funny though, that I spent many years of my adolescence working through depression and occasional suicidal ideation to get to a point where my brain and I were getting along pretty well, then my nervous system decided to attack itself! This is thirty!!!
Developing a chronic illness or disability is a great way to become even more radicalized about the need for single payer healthcare and the abolition of the insurance industry, though, i can tell you that much!
KG: That’s a lot! Dealing with healthcare in this country feels like such a nightmare but I’m glad you finally got answers so you can get treatment. Thank you for sharing all of this and being so open. This is exactly the sort of interviews I want to do. And I agree with that stolen Fiona Apple idea. If I’m writing a song I will obsess and sing the line over and over trying to find the next line until it sticks and I don’t write it down usually at first. I like the thought of this obsessive repetition being almost like a religious ritual, and similarly, for me, singing can feel close to something spiritual too. An out-of-body or in-the-moment feeling. No thoughts!
Early on in the pandemic you started skateboarding again, if I remember correctly, or just more than before? And that lead to Feels on Wheels VA which is described on IG as “Creating inclusive skateboarding and quad skating community in the Roanoke valley for queer, trans, women, and other non-traditional skaters.” Which is so amazing. How is that project going? And tell me a little bit about your own skateboard journey? I regret not getting into that when I was young (I know, its never too late! But it feels kinda late. And risky without health insurance!) Anyway, I love watching your skate clips. It also feels like an ideal activity and passion in these prolonged pandemic super late stage capitalism times?
CB: Re: out of body experiences— every time i've had a high stakes performance I've dissociated during it? Just floating in the clouds singing my lil songs i guess.
Re: Skating- not starting again, just more than before because i was stuck at home and under employed! I skated as a kid (ages 9-13 i think?), but it was kind of isolated bc i was literally the only girl at the park, and my mom brought me and made me wear full pads; not super conducive to making sk8rat friends.
I actually picked skateboarding back up when i was around 23-24 (i'm 30 now, oof), when I moved to Bedford and learned there was a huge concrete park right down the road. I always wanted to learn to skate bowls as a kid but we didn't have any around, so I bought a board again and learned to drop in and carve in my mid twenties lol.
The pandemic is why I started Feels on Wheels, though, because there's an amazing org called Skate Like a Girl that started in Seattle, and during the pandemic they offered an online program. Since I don't live anywhere near the west coast, I was excited about connecting with people that way, and we had these weekly q&a's . One week the guests were two queer and trans skaters who have done a lot of community building through skating, and I asked them if they had advice about organizing in a rural area, since our scene out here looks pretty different from Seattle or Portland. They told me "a community starts with two people," so I basically just made an insta account and asked people to tell their friends. I think our first meetup was April 2021? Tbh I haven't put in as much work with it as I could, but I did achieve my initial goal of making friends to skate with hahaha.
I love skateboarding bc I'm very bad at it. I have to work so hard for every trick, and I'm very risk averse, so I learn slow and have a hard time pushing myself. Now that my nervous system is being goofy, I think pushing myself will look different, but I still have ways to challenge myself and enjoy my time rolling around. It's been really fun coming back to skating as an adult bc w/social media there's so much more visibility for women and queer and trans skaters. Like, as a kid it was like, Elissa Steamer on THPS, and now I could tell you my fave 20 professional women skaters, and probably have left out a bunch of rad folks. I was never really bullied or anything as a kid skating, but there also weren't a lot of models for girls who wanted to skate, which I think kept me from progressing as much, because I didn't have that model.
Anyways, I recommend everybody have a hobby they're bad at! no pressure to monetize it or turn it into a hustle, and it builds character.
KG: I love this so much. If there’s a photo of 10 year old Catherine in full skateboard pads I need to see it. “A community starts with two people” and “I did achieve my initial goal of making friends to skate with” resonates with what I’m trying to do with these interviews too. Without the skateboard part. I’m taking up the hobby of interviewing people badly.
Rounding out this interview for now but I will keep you updated as we continue to watch ALOTO. A couple of final questions: what’s one of your favorite women skateboarders at the moment, who should I check out? Also: do you have anything coming up that you’re excited about as a musician or personally?
Thank you so much for participating and answering so openly and for your friendship. Appreciate you!
CB: This interview feels good to me! You're doing great!!!
My personal favorite skater rn is Nicole Hause, who just went pro for Real this past weekend. She's a really talented transition skater and it's a joy to watch her rip. And as far as street skaters go, Alexis Sablone has to be the GOAT. Their switch flips bring a tear to my eye.
Uhhhhhhh excitement, huh. I've got a couple small gigs I'm looking forward to, but I'm trying not to overcommit and stress myself into another MS flareup, lol. But my wife and I are going on our honeymoon to the UK this winter! I'm excited about that. I've actually got a lot of friends over there I met through fandom (lkasjdflkajsd) and I'm looking forward to seeing them all and eating delicious vegan food with A.
Thank you for your questions and generosity! You rule!!!
Check out Catherine the Great's latest album Jigsaw Puzzles & Pink wine below or wherever you listen to music!
Bio: Jesse Bradley cartoons on Instagram @questionabledecisioncomics
BY DOUGLAS MENAGH
“All my favorite stuff is sad and funny and cool and weird,” says Jason P. Woodbury. “That’s what I love in art. I don’t want it to be just one thing, and that’s not what I want to hear right now.”
Woodbury is no newcomer when it comes to writing about music. As the music editor for Aquarium Drunkard, the Arizona native is a veteran of interviewing both musicians and comedians alike. I spoke with Woodbury on the phone and what soon became clear in our chat was the writer who elicited humor from idiosyncratic voices of standups comedians and musicians in his writing. When it came to our interview, however, it was Woodbury who was answering questions, this time as a musician about his own forthcoming debut album Something Happening/Always Happening.
“I've played music pretty much my entire life,” says Woodbury. “Ever since I was a teenager I played guitar in my spare time or whatever, mostly just goofing around, but at various points I actually did have other bands.“
While Something Happening/Always Happening is Woodbury’s first solo release, it is not, however, his first time with music itself. Woodbury is also part of the band Kitimoto , whose album Vintage Smell is out on Fort Lowell, the same label set to release Something Happening/Always Happening.
“What was funny was this album was born out of me stepping into the role of a guy whose job is just add cool parts and make exciting little sounds and accompany his songs,” says Woodbury. “I found myself charged by this idea that I had spent so much of my youth trying to play music, whatever that means, in a really kind of self-conscious manner.”
Something Happening/ Always Happening synthesizes Woodbury’s different modes of self expression. It is an acoustic rock record with folk elements and sometimes island vibes reminiscent of both his interview subjects and album reviews of similar albums of the genre. It is also reflective of Woodbury’s interest in science fiction in that Something Happening/Always Happening presents music evocative of the 60s and 70s with a twist. Woodbury also creates the feeling of those past sounds emerging in the present.
“I’m playing with a lot of traditional kind of sounds and nostalgic sounds,” says Woodbury. “I wanted it to have a sense of that sort of idealized nostalgia but really playful about it. Some of the musical touches get to nod to that, and that was a part of it that was really fun for me.”
Though a native of Arizona, Woodbury insists that his album is not a desert record. “I didn’t want it to be the desert music with a capital DM because that’s kind of an aesthetic, and it’s definitely an appreciated one on my part,” says Woodbury. “The sound of the desert for me is Lee Hazelwood and Al Casey and Duane Eddy. So, it was like, I’ll lean into that too. I did want it to have a mid, Space Age kind of element to it, kind of as the Space Age is fading into folk rock. That’s definitely a sweet spot for me melodically and in my record collection. That was an important thing.”
Everyone brings their history with them in what they do, and even though Woodbury tapps into his experience as a writer, he also fully leaned into making music as a musician.
“I realized I had been pretty self-conscious in my approach to music and was very self-critical about a lot of stuff,” says Woodbury. “I was nervous about being cool or whatever! And the side benefit of the pandemic was it kind of just robbed me of the fear of being not cool enough to do something in a weird way. That's what this record really was born out of, that spirit.”
Woodbury adds, “Part of what makes for good art as I understand making it is not taking yourself too seriously.”
What follows is a discussion about each song from Something Happening/Always Happening. Woodbury’s debut solo album arrives in September.
I couldn’t help but think of [“Something Happening’] as a writer in addition to a musician. it's funny when the tricks [pour] over from thing to thing in a certain way. End where you started is always a good trick as a writer and it's a way to give a feeling of a complete, certain narrative. I didn't want the album to be extremely prescriptive where it tells you exactly what to think. “Something Happening” is kind of upbeat and it’s very free sounding. It's a really bright, melodic moment and that doesn't really repeat on the record. I was nervous about even including it, but at the same time, it just felt like that it was a recognition of the song that birthed that spirit. That song was birthed in 15 minutes or whatever, maybe less time than that. When that happened, I thought this was a cool thing. That doesn't normally work that way for me.
Most of the lyrics on the record I wouldn't say aren't particularly autobiographical necessarily. They all are in whatever senses, you know what I mean, but “Wealth of the Canyon” is an autobiographical song. There's an eagle sample in it! It's goofy. That's a very silly choice but it's also a really deliberate choice, because I wanted this record to be fun to listen to in addition to whatever else it was.
I thought a lot about sound design, and I'm a big fan of Arthur Russell and a big fan of him as a composer and a big fan of him as a thinker. I read this great book by Matt Marble where he was talking about Arthur Russell basically incorporating his mediation practices into his music. That’s one part of it. It’s a meditative record, but I also wanted there to be eagle caws and occasionally a breakbeat, you know what I mean? Just because that’s the world we live in.
I love paying attention to the way a place sounds and I wanted there to be some of that on the record. I got to embrace story telling without even having to even ascribe words to it. I could scene-set just by asking Zach [Toporek] to play a farfisa organ or Michael Krassner, who produced the record and is sort of the Obi Wan, to go off on guitar or whatever. A song like “Wealth of the Canyon,” which was built on a sample of Krassner and Danny Frankel and Stephen Hodges, one of my favorite drummers, we treated it as sample. I stripped it down and I arranged it with my buddy Zach. We added drums and [some] organ and added guitars, kind of like this whole thing. So yeah, it was another freeing moment where it was working with someone else, a real collaborator like that.
I’m based in the Sonoran Desert area. Phoenix is a part of it. The Phoenix-Metro area is like a defiant suburban sprawl against the Sonoran desert, which is not my favorite part about living here. “Wealth of The Canyon” absolutely is inspired by trips out into the desert, but specifically to a place called Sycamore Canyon.
[Sycamore Canyon] is this canyon where I've had all sorts of profound experiences from slicing my hand open on accident to just experiencing a mystical awakening, that feeling of true one-ness with the universe. I wanted that to be in the song, but I also wanted it to be funny because I also drink a lot of beer there with friends. That to me is the feeling of that song. We often separate those high and low experiences, but they’re all part of it. I’m really so proud of that song. It’s one of my favorites. It’s one where I just sing on it. I didn’t write the chords or whatever. I got to feel like Mick Jagger!
When people talk about desert movies, of course they’re thinking about Paris, Texas or Until The End of the World, these Wim Wenders movies. I absolutely love that stuff. That’s a huge influence on me. I won’t deny it is. I also think of Bevis and Butthead Do America or whatever. That’s also a style I like. I think I wanted it to have a sense of that sort of idealized nostalgia but really playful about it. Some of the musical touches get to nod to that, and that was a part of it that was really fun for me and made me feel like it wasn’t because I didn’t want to be the guy who wasn’t taking itself too seriously.
“Cruel in Time,” the next song on the record, it tumbled out of its own. It was like a bunch of halfway finished songs that I had and it tumbled out. It was right after we got done finishing the Kitimoto record. When the songs come like that, for me at least, when they come so easily and seem to present themself, it was just like, you’ll figure out a way for this to have a narrative as it comes together, and that’s definitely what happened. Then we hand it over to collaborators like the people we work with, [like] Laraine [Kaizer-Viazovtsev] who plays strings on it.
Part of the whole thing of not taking yourself seriously is allowing yourself to open up to people too and playing with them, because playing music with people is just such a great thing. The bass player on two songs, Zane Gillum, I’ve been playing with this dude for more than 20 years. We play together on Kitimoto . We literally learned how to play the guitar together in Coolidge, Arizona. It just felt so good. I was just like, “I’m not gonna beat myself up. I’m not gonna be so serious about this.” That was crucial, and I also wanted to make sure it sounded like me. For good or bad, this is me.
We were definitely thinking of a [producer] Daniel Lanois thing in a lot of ways, whose influence I’m not embarrassed of. I grew up listening to his stuff, be it U2, Emmylou Harris, Willy Nelson. I did want to play with some of the tones on that song. It’s a real collage-y one too. I grabbed a Spain Rodridguez comic book and pulled some words off the cover. I think it was something like, “Raw action on route… the road that knows no law.”
I just started thinking about the I-17, which is a freeway here. It’s not hard for that song to be post-apocalyptic. I found myself sort of imagining this weird kind of world and that was the sound of it and I was really excited.
I was thinking of the outlaw. Judee Sill is one of my favorite songwriters, and I love the way she talks about the outlaw, the person who is outside of the line. Obviously, we have been thinking so much with concepts of the law as a society as we’re taking fascistic turns often in terms of these ideas of the law. I wanted to play with that archetype and the sort of desert Southwest Apocalypse, Terminator 2 style. Krassner played such cool guitar on it. I really like that one. It’s a weird one.
“Guesswork at Sundown’ is you’re setting up camp and daylight is dwindling. It’s a joke! It’s a joke about death a little bit too. The idea of fake it til you make it or whatever. The ultimate making it is when you’re done. There’s a little bit of goofiness to it.
That was a meditation jam with me, Zach, and Zane, the guy who I’d mentioned I’ve been playing with for the last couple decades. We were sort of doing this endless summer kind of thing in our head. We just played that loop for a long time and let it roll and selected a little bit of that. Krassner re-arranged and brought in Larraine Kaizer-Viazovtsev. She did that beautiful raga like string arrangement, sort of this weird L.A. noire thing, but also very much about setting up camp as your daylight is running out.
There were words to it and they felt extraneous. I was kind of like, “Well, I don’t want to necessarily put an instrumental.” “Something Happening” and “Always Happening” are pretty limited vocally, but they both have words. So I was kind of like, “I don’t know if i want a straight up instrumental on the record.” Ultimately, it felt like a nice thing to do.
Krassner, independent of me mentioning the Verde River and places like Sycamore Canyon, was like, “This really gives me the feeling of the 1970s.” He grew up here too. 1970s on the Verde River on a Friday night. I could imagine these Phoenix kids driving in their Camaros or whatever to the Verde River. I was like, “That’s a good image.” So, when he said that it was a weird metaphysical cue that that one was good. I stopped thinking if I whether or not I should come up with words.
I was thinking side-A and side-B the whole time as well. Something Happening/Always Happening, I was thinking of it as A/B, this two syllable mantra. I wanted “Clarifying Word” to have sort of like an introductory quality. I grew up leading songs in church and it would be an Introductory hymn kind of thing, which is sort of what I’m playing on there, maybe subconsciously.
Krassner plays, again, beautiful piano on it. His piano work on it is gorgeous. He really brought so much care and skill to the record and accentuated my melodies so honestly. He was a real generous musical ear. The fact that the record sounds as good as it does is entirely due to him and the other guys who play on it with me, even though a fair amount of it was me in my room. I don’t want to not give myself any credit, but also think they deserve much more for sure.
It’s not even specifically about Eloy, Arizona. It’s just a scene that I imagined in my head. Some sort of Philip K Dick kind of thing where a guy’s been awakened to the cosmic light and is driving to Eloy or from Eloy. I’m pretty vague about it. That one was a lot of fun. That was in a jam with Zane and Zach. Then we fade into that Beastie Boys breakbeat. That was so much fun. I love that one.
I did grow up in Pinal County and I do feel like there is a sense of this. You have to drive through Pinal County to get to Oracle where Kitimoto recorded. Driving that road with Zane down for the Kitimoto record, before this one even started, I think those trips were real inspirational to the record. There is a sense of place about it. It is sort of a Pinal county record in a weird way.
You create your own world in your head. That’s a lot of what Dick writes about, and with something like this, you have this beautiful excuse to do so and to populate with all sorts of weird scenes or whatever. That one was a lot of fun. That’s a good collaboration with Zach, especially on that back half, and then with Zane really holding on that bass on the first one. That’s a fun one.
This was one where it kind of came later in the album. I have a weird, fitful relationship with singing. Just like everything else I’m talking about, it’s taken me a long time to admit how much I love doing it. This album was a great chance to re-engage that with myself. Like I said, I grew up singing in church, and for all the weirdness that might bring to the table, it has implied for me the relationship between expression and spirit and all that stuff. I really do think that singing is a form of expression that does mean a lot to me. It was always tough to come up with anything that I felt comfortable putting word wise to melodies.
It’s the third thing that was recorded for the album actually. It’s a drone that was built on this loop of a Link Cromwell song, “Crazy Like a Fox,” which is Lenny Kaye, the music writer and guitarist of Patti Smith’s band, and assembled the Nuggets compilation. Just a huge icon in this world of record dude culture that I’m a part of or whatever. I looped just a small sample of that and wrote the mantra over it. I knew I was almost risking psych-rock… parody is hopefully not the right word… but I knew I was really explicitly invoking most of those psych moves.
The loop of the Link Cromwell thing also puts it into a sort of tape loop setup which lends itself well to the psych rock thing, which again, I let it go. It was incredible because I reached out to him. When it comes to incorporating a sample, it can be difficult and a lot of people opt to not try to contact the rights holder. I decided I was going to and reached out to him and he was kind enough to respond and allow for it to happen and he seemed to like the song. If the guy who produced Nuggets doesn’t hate the song, who am I to argue. I love that song. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll probably release it at some point, but there’s an extended cut too that goes on even longer and it’s beautiful! That’ll probably come out when the single comes out.
I remember being a teenager in Coolidge and learning how to play guitar and reading something in Guitar World that was like, one of the best things you can do is leave the audience wanting more. So, I did want to put a really cool one on the end to reward people who spent time listening to the record. It was that way for me. I always sort of knew that the book ends were going to be “Something Happening” and “Always Happening.” This was such a fun project and I’m really excited it’s getting out and that some people will hear it. It’s a pretty fun thing to finally be on this side of sharing something.
Bio: Jesse Bradley wants to remind you that you have to live longer than the fascists trying to take away your humanity. Follow him on Instagram @questionabledecisioncomics.
Jesse Bradley cartoons on Instagram @questionabledecisioncomics.
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