|OLD: Spastic Moose
(21 Aug 2008 at 21:56)
| I thought probably nobody cares about my old band Spastic Moose (web page is literally 10 years old) but then two different people this summer have tracked me down and asked, out of the blue, for old Spastic Moose MP3s that they had found floating around the internet or had from mix CDs (!) but then lost. Both were asking about the same song, actually, Sultry Pantry. It is a favorite, it's true.|
So anyway I got off my lazy ass and organized the MP3s I have on my computer, scanned the album art and booklet inserts, and uploaded them to my server where I will try to keep them available forever. This magic directory is the Spastic Moose magic directory. What, you say, only two albums? Well, those are the best ones that I have digital versions of, and are probably the only ones that even these internet weirdos want to listen to. Actually I like both of those albums a lot. I have MP3s for the first two albums too, which I will try to organize, but when we first handed out tapes of the first album in high school for $3 or whatever cheap price it was, and then people listened to those tapes that they had spent actual money on, we got some intense reactions. Basically nobody bought the second album. In my opinion this was mainly because people were not expecting our precocious Art Brut aesthetic. Hamden High School was not ready for that shit. And I like those albums and the middle times albums (which I only have on cassette tape somewhere with no way to play), but there's so much other music to be organized and uploaded so I will wait for the internet crazies to ask for it.
VECTOBOT does have a nice watercolor cover, doesn't it?
PS. I want to be able to play guitar music live more easily, so I am thinking of getting some kind of pluggable mic/pickup thing for my acoustic guitar. Maybe today. Does anybody know anything and wish to express opinion about these? I think they sorta sound bad. I'd like something that doesn't sound bad, but I'm willing to take the best bad-sounding thing for the convenience and ability to move around a little bit when rocking out. I'd like to not have to drill the guitar, or even take the strings off to add/remove hardware. I doubt it matters, but in case it does: I have a Martin DX1 and play with heavy bright strings and often play really hard. (But sometimes crybaby sensitive finger-picking stuff too.) I would consider getting a new guitar but really I'm waiting for the auto-tuning robot guitar system to make its way to the acoustic world first.
PS #2. I'm uncharacteristically up at 7:00am on Saturday so as to run in the Regent Square "Run Around The Square" 5K. It's at 9. I haven't been taking this nearly as seriously as the marathon, but my publicly stated goal is to run this thing under 20 minutes, even if I puke. You may ridicule me if I do not succeed.
|hm, any favorite tracks you might direct me to of this album?|
|On Audat, my favorites are:
Under The Covers Tonight
My Life Story
Marc Vs. Tom (Edit)
No More Books
We Don't Eat Glass
at least those are the catchiest. I like a lot of the instrumental weird ones (Goose on the Loose) and intermezzo moves (I Call It Me Me Me) too but I have a harder time recommending them.
The Sultry Pantry
How To Make A Dry Day Moist
I, Too, Love Broomsticks
and the same thing applies to the rest of the tracks. I put them both on last.fm, so that might be a convenient way to page through 'em without downloading.
|Also, while I was doing archaeology I found the old documentary that our friend Taleen made for the band, which has a music video for How To Make A Dry Day Moist made on an authentic VHS-based linear editing machine. The video had poor quality sound for the song and then I realized that she had truncated the song a little, so I mildly expanded it to include a few scenes from the documentary and replaced the audio with the real song in decent quality.
This is really navel-gazing (maybe it's so old it counts as umbilical gazing?) now though.
|"I, Too, Love Broomsticks" is a great one. I think I listened to all of Vectobot and there are some good tracks on that. Some weird treasures. I haven't yet listened to Audat, I don't think.
So the synth-driven instrumentals, and poppy guitar songs were something you were doing back to high school? It's good stuff! Did you apply the AAD idea then, or did that come later?
|Oh, yeah. For sure. Spastic Moose was not only where I learned/developed my musical aesthetic but also literally how to play the guitar and other instruments. AAD didn't come about until my junior year of college, though it might very well have been inspired by an album that we made in one day at the end of some summer before going back to college in different states. I recall that one being great but I honestly can't remember what it sounds like or even where the tape is, which is moot anyway since I don't have a device that can play cassette tapes any more.
It's great you think there are weird treasures. That is exactly what we wanted!
|Great, new material to listen to!
Was this stuff from before or after the mythical never heard first AAD, Then Come The Chunks?
|This is all before Then Come The Chunks. Made at a leisurely pace, sometimes even writing a song one day and recording it another.|
|Omigod that video is boring. But amazing none-the-less. :) How much of it is even from Taleen's documentary? I haven't watched that in so long that I don't remember. There sure is a lot of "Musky With A Hint Of Urine" in there though! The song was short for it cuz Taleen asked me to come up with a special edit of it that would fit her 2 1/2 minutes of end credits.
And yeah, Then Come The Chunks was the "original" AAD before AAD was a specific concept. As I recall, it was the album we made the weekend before we each headed off for our first year of college. We had just finished VECTOBOT the last time we'd hung out, and I was always into this whole "planning for an album" sort of approach to making music, and so I thought if we weren't gonna see each other again for forever, then we should get the whole next album done during that last day that we had together. Or overnight, I think it might have been an sleepover venture.
So far as my favorites from these two albums, I would say:
Audat: Instabjor, intermission, My Life Story, Under The Covers Tonight
VECTOBOT: Handsome Song, How To Make A Dry Day Moist, The Sultry Pantry, The Tunable Creature
But as with Tom, I kinda hesitate to actually "recommend" some of those. I know that I love them all, but sometimes the appeal can be hard to reach, I think. At any rate, I too am glad that anyone is finding weird treasures in there!
p.s. - I just moved my old 4-track tapes out of storage and into my current apartment last night, so ummm... maybe I'll actually get to The Chunks this summer... year...? Yeah I know my promises are hollow...
|yeah, 'how to make a dry day moist' was a good track, i agree. good cover art too.
for weird stuff, i found the music off vectobot pretty accessible--there weren't any 20-minute long tracks of white noise or anything ;)
|It's all from the documentary or the music video that runs at the end. Some of the footage obviously is from older videos (like the inverted stuff where I am beating up you and Sam and breaking your drum thing), but it was in the documentary's music video. Actually everything before it goes "My favorite song" is from the documentary part and everything after is the "video", except that I clipped out some particularly repetitive shots of Pitfall II or whatever that game is with the swinging.
Then Come The Chunks!
|I have some 20-minute white noise tracks if you want, BTW|
|wikipedia says: "White noise can be used to disorient individuals prior to interrogation and may be used as part of sensory deprivation techniques."
i hope you're using those twenty-minute tracks responsibly...
|Yeah, I used it to make AAD #14 "As A Deaf Ear". Actually I got bored of the pure noise pretty quick (and it doesn't do a very good job of blocking out other sounds) so it actually has some more severe/complex procedural noise on it too. Not very pleasurable to listen to. I think I have that CD in the car.|
|hahaha, in the car. 'hey, while i drive you to the airport, let me play you this 20 minute track of...experimental music. let's see if we can get there without me driving off the road!' :)
the white noise versus procedural noise thing reminds me of a tip i read, which was basically, 'if you want to cover up a note you wrote so no one can read it, write other words over it rather than blacking it out.'
maybe you could do an AAD in which you listen to all previous AADs played simultaneously to block out what you're playing, as-a-deaf-ear style. the album could be called 'sibling rivalry' :)
|If I'm gonna drive someone all the way to the airport then I am definitely picking the tunes!
Playing all the other albums at the same time would definitely make it hard to pay attention to the music I'm trying to perform, especially since that stuff is so familiar to me (and by now, if I'm playing all 27 or whatever albums simultaneously, there's almost certainly going to be a song playing that I actually like and want to listen to at any given moment). It would certainly work! But the idea is not to make it impossible to think about music, but just impossible to hear the music that I'm performing. Given how barely listenable AAD-14 came out, I don't think any additional handicaps are well-advised. ;)
|as a deaf ear was a neat concept though. do you tend to find an idea stirs your creativity? i find manifestos neat, because i think 'what the heck will my art look like i if i use these rules?' the manifesto stimulates creativity. once i move too far down the curve of diminishing returns i suppose i start to look for a new concept.
i read somewhere an art theorist talking about how he felt there were two types of artists--one who sort of continually works out a piece of art, incrementally improving it, taking a long time--and the work can evolve from one thing to another, and then another kind of artist, who basically gets an interesting idea and cranks out the art work. the typology seems a little crude, but i found it fascinating nonetheless--AAD seems to have the concept-and-crank-it-out quality. Picasso was also put in the latter group by this author too.
|Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that I'm an idea/concept sort of guy. I hardly ever refine and refine something. I think the two reasons are: (1) I feel sort of stymied without working inside some kind of conceptual boundaries. The paralysis of a wide open canvas. (2) If I keep working on something after I get sick of it, I think that sickness or tiredness manifests itself in the work and it's a major cost to bear, a cost that often does not outstrip the benefits of continued work. (3) Lots of stuff sucks from the get-go and there's no point in wasting more time on it, but something that's pretty good from the get-go is, well, pretty good even without polish.|
|I agree with all three of those two reasons, especially #2. Also, this reminds me of a poem I wrote about my poem-writing process. Hopefully line breaks work on here...
Some people edit;
I simply write a new poem
from scratch in a different way
and repeat until I get something
There's probably more
to be said about this
but I'll have to try again later.
Also, I want to hear your procedural noise. Seriously.
|Hi, I just came by looking for some Spastic Moose songs to go on our office playlist, namely How To Make A Dry Day Moist and that one that's in 11/23 timing to test our two dancing-hobbyists abilities.
I'm impressed to see you're on Last.fm, it wasn't a surprise but a little disappointing Spotify haven't picked you up yet.
I also liked your fonts from what I remember, which I found totally separately to your fantastic tunes... which I think were a Kazaa find back in the old days of mp3 sharing.
All the best!
|So this is really random, but when I was in 7th grade (like 1998) in Massachusetts, my friends and I made a band called Spastik Mooss (The misspelling was based on Korn being popular at the time. We never really played or anything, but it was fun to pretend (we mostly just made crappy hand drawn CD covers). Then when I got all into the internet, I started using SpastikMooss as my tag everywhere.
A few years ago I realized Spastic Moose was a real band. That is...too awesome...and I love listening to your guys stuff as a fellow Spastic/k Moose/s-er. Good stuff.