Archive for July, 2009

Rehearsal Tapes Series Episode 2: The Newport Demos

Monday, July 27th, 2009

These eight songs were recorded during sound-check at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, sometime in 1991. We were touring on Cereal Killers, but gearing up to make the next record, so had been working on new songs in hotel rooms and during long drives (“Donna Everywhere” was written in the van, in fact, while a roadie drove us 90 miles an hour through Oklahoma, and my girlfriend seemed impossibly far away).

Two of these never got much beyond this stage – “You Can Count on the Moon” because it was too overwrought, and “Death Ray Machine” because we were too stupid (this is a different version than the live-to-two-track version that wound up on Gods and Sods).

The rest made it onto Mutiny, although in somewhat altered form for a couple. “Walled City” evolved into “What it Is” once we wrote a chorus and some more verses – here we’re just jamming on a single verse, trying to find a shape for the tune. “Strong Thing” went through the opposite process – the song’s fully formed, but half the words here got tossed out and replaced (not that it was any help; I love the music, but the lyric was doomed to suckage from the outset).

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Song of the Week: Clowns

Friday, July 17th, 2009

bozoThis is Sandy, with the latest song of the week.

One of the earliest songs written for what would become Son of Sam I Am, “Clowns” is also a signature song of sorts for us. For one thing, it’s a media magnet: when Howard Stern mentioned TMJ on-air (a watershed moment for Tommy and I), the show discussed the lyrics for that song. More famously, Bobcat used free viagra it as the end credits track for Shakes The Clown. During Cereal Killers promo, I remember our biz people telling us that Bobcat Goldthwait, who we loved, was a big fan and wanted to direct a video for us for “Crush Story.” I guess I was unclear what the next steps would be for this, but I remember waking up that Saturday to a knock on my apt door and this disheveled, balding ball of energy was at our door unexpectedly. Bobcat was a really enthusiastic fan and hooked us up with a tv gig on his show later on. He didn’t (and probably still doesn’t) drink though, and I remember him being appalled at our backstage liquor consumption.

Musically, “Clowns” exemplifies a lot of what one might call the ‘TMJ sound': while the chords are simple and anthemic, the syncopated rhythm and layered harmonies (Sandy high, Jay mid, Tim low) in the chorus are in many ways our calling card. Live, the song also provides a ‘donut’ section for Tim to fill with all sorts of spontaneous verbiage.

If a TMJ virgin asks for a few song suggestions, I invariably include “Clowns.”

Here’s the song’s original and later-censored intro, pillaged from Jay’s “Bozo” record. Not sure why he had that actually.

And here’s the song itself.

Fan Site

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

tmj-new-faces-picLongtime friend-of-TMJ Bill Wikstrom just launched his own TMJ flotsam-and-jetsam site, Map Like Mine. We’re both flattered and a little weirded out by just how much stuff he’s collected over the years — the site’s crammed with things none of us have, including but not limited to old press kits, T-Shirt order forms, and a skeptical …finally review from Magnet.

Wonderlick Activity

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Topless at the Arco Arena Tim and Jay’s latest album as Wonderlick, Topless at the Arco Arena, hit stores today, so we’ll be doing some promotion this week.

We’ve got another Wine Time with Wonderlick webcast at www.stickam.com this Saturday night, 7/11,  at 6pm PST. Tune in, and bring your own bottle of wine — if you have a webcam, you can broadcast yourself as you watch (it’s actually kind of fun when everyone toasts one another). We’re contemplating starting an advice segment, so if you have any relationship or mother-in-law problems, send them in before Saturday, and Wonderlick will distribute sage advice to you during the chat.

We’ll also be performing a few songs and getting interviewed on KUSF on Sunday afternoon, sometime between 4 and 6pm PST. You can listen live here. The performance will feature a full band — a first for Lick. Cross your fingers.

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