WINTERTIME ACOUSTIC 21 March 2019
During a nice hot Maryland summer a couple of years back I was helping my buddy Paul cut down a bunch of dead pine trees on the property his family has owned since somewhere back in the sepia toned days before people realized other people existed. Big suckers they were, full of sap and sharp edges that would slice up your shins and calves if you were foolish enough to wear shorts. I was doing the grunt work for Paul and his mom's husband. They cut 'em down and chopped 'em up and I moved the big shit into a dump truck and the small shit into a succession of burn piles. My dad had recently died and Paul asked how I was doing.
"I'm more relieved than anything else." I said.
"You aren't depressed or anything? I was when my dad died. I didn't know it until later and then it hit me."
I shrugged. I WAS relieved. I was the executor for his estate. I had carted him around to all of his doctors appointments for his COPD which he had although he never smoked. He was a doctor. He had a formality to him that, as I got older, I found endearing. Due to some arrangement with him and my mom he never paid any child support. So although we lived in a big ol' victorian in Old Catonsville times were tight. He always bought me shit, though, and having divorced parents both buying Christmas presents was, hmm, something that happened.
So cut to a year later and my wife and I have dedicated my dad's old Jeep Grand Cherokee to Baltimore Animal Rehabilitation Center and it hit me. That was the last physical bit of my Dad's shit that was still hanging around. So I sent ol' Paul a text message along the lines of "dude you were dead on it just hit me today my fucking dad is dead."
Paul's a musician, a bass player, and he's been a dedicated listener to all the wacky shit that Brian and I put out on the Society Fringe Podcast Podcast. Somewhere between Circle 9 and SFP, Circle 9's drummer Wilmer Earl Berry Jr (Pork) had joined Paul's band, Pearly Goats, one of my favorite fucking bands. I had all my operas lined up to record with Brian. He said he needed a break (after only 13 albums in 2 years? Crazy, right?) so I figured I'd record 1993 during the break with Paul and Pork. This being life, things happen and now I'm working on the Brian-Andy SFP concurrently with the Paul-Pork SFP. It's still one long narrative that takes place over the course of centuries and eventually millenia. The 1993 stuff is rooted in young adult ennui devoid of romantic roadtrips and gunfights in the vast American desert and the Far East. It's a companion piece to Travelogue - happening at the same time, but rooted in realism. The main relationships are the fella, his dad, and his girlfriend. Mainly it's about him and his dad getting on each others' nerves. I didn't realize it until I returned to it when it became clear that it could actually be done. By "done" I mean recorded andreleased.
So, dig, each act is a season in the year of Bawmerhun 1993. "Acoustic Wintertime" starts it off because musically it foreshadows a song in WINTER and we had changed the arrangement into what eventually became "Stoner Wintertime." It was important that the jarring strum patterns were heard because they get revisited in SPRING in a song actually about jarring strum patterns. I like how it starts with "ready?" and we're off. Paul's on his standup. This is a demo for Pork. I initially wanted to put the version from the original demo I recorded while Circle 9 was working on THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES but this version came up and inserted itself into the equation. In these long narratives I take these kinds of things as signs that this is how the story wants to be told. It's fun to see patterns that you didn't know existed. It's like submerging your ego in pursuit of something "other."
So here you go. Paul and Pork ain't as into talking about their art as Bri and Andy so I'm going to do essays for the 1993 stuff. It will save a dickton of money, relatively, because this'll just be songs without the hour long spitball session Briy and I tag onto everything. I told him we still had to do some because it's become a clearinghouse for mental shit we go through. Lucky you for getting to hear it.