Rehearsal Tapes Series Episode 2: The Newport Demos
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).