Archive for the ‘Rehearsal Tapes Series’ Category

Ahhhhhhh the 90s

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Alt Rock for the Alt TextClinton had just been elected. Edgy ‘alt rock’ ruled the radio. The Twin Towers stood proudly. And an intrepid and inebriated foursome from the tony suburbs of NYC were at the peak of their live powers. Don’t believe us? Then download this recently unearthed, cassette-only audience viagra north shore recording of Too Much Joy live from the now-defunct A.L. Gators, somewhere in Maryland. No, it ain’t in dolby sound, and should probably be labeled “for fans only,” but that’s pretty much the only folks reading this post right now. The recording comes courtesy of Portland, OR radio kingping/Arena Rock records founder Greg Glover, and was lovingly mastered by TMJ studio collaborator Roy Matthews. Thanks to both of them.

Download the show track by track here.

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Download the entire show in one file here.

Rehearsal Tape Series Episode 4: TQ + Bonerama!

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

I spent a few days the other week at a mind-blowing Artist Activism Retreat in New Orleans. I’ll be posting a long piece about what-all went on there on the Rhapsody blog before too long. In the meantime, though, some folks have been asking if there’s any audio from the benefit show that capped the retreat, and the answer to that is, yes indeed.

About a dozen musicians attended the retreat, including Southern Gentleman Mark Mullins from New Orleans’ Bonerama, who always back the assembled artists at the closing benefit. Since Bonerama is fronted by three trombones, Mark writes these amazing horn arrangements for whatever tunes each performer wants to sing.

That’s the horn chart for “King of Beers” above. Who knew it had so many notes?! My favorite part of the chart, though, is this notation in the bridge:

It just says, “crazy.” That’s pretty much how the whole night was. After “King of Beers,” we covered The Clash’s “Hateful,” and Tim McIlrath from Rise Against joined on guitar and vocals. You can hear how they both sounded below:

Bonerama’s site has the full set list with all the performers, plus a bunch of pictures from the show. Many thanks to Tim, Mark and the rest of the unbelievably talented and cool Bonerama — and all the other performers, who were also unbelievably talented and cool. It was an honor sharing a stage with them. I hope I didn’t spill too much beer on it.

If you want, you can download both tunes for free, but since this was a benefit concert, I have placed a New Orleans Voodoo Curse on them that will leave you wracked with guilt forever if you do so without donating whatever you can to Sweet Home New Orleans, who’ve spent the last several years helping bring musicians who were scattered by Katrina back to the city, in rebuilt homes when necessary. Alternatively, you can donate to the Gulf Restoration Network, who are working to restore the wetlands between NOLA and the Gulf of Mexico — if those wetlands hadn’t been eroded so much in the last 45 years, Katrina wouldn’t have done nearly as much damage to New Orleans.

Even better if you donate to both!

Rehearsal Tapes Series Episode 3: The Other Side with Curt Smith

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

These aren’t exactly rehearsal tapes, but they are a bit rough, so we figure they qualify. These 5 tunes (and the accompanying interview) were recorded in a Manhattan studio whose name I can’t recall sometime in 1992 for a syndicated radio program called The Other Side, which was hosted by Curt Smith from Tears for Fears.

We actually thought we’d lost these tapes in a flood, but TMJ fan Paul Gutierrez contacted us via Facebook to let us know he’d taped the show. So here it is.

Mr. Smith, as you can hear, was both funny and gracious, and since it felt weird to be interviewed by someone more famous than us, we wound up asking him more questions than he asked us.

As with all Rehearsal Tapes episodes, we’re including a way to obtain the downloads. Sometime next month we hope to do away with the a la carte pricing on these things, and implement a way for folks to pay a single price that will unlock access to every single current and future download on the site — so, hundreds of tracks for one low price, which seems like a reasonable compromise between fans who ask very nicely for downloads of everything we post and band members who tend to think only the stuff we officially released was ever meant to walk around proudly in public.

We have no idea what would be a non-evil price to charge for such a thing, so please give us some suggestions.

Free Download

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).

Download Tracks $4.99

We Relent

Friday, June 26th, 2009

All right, we’ve gotten enough comments and emails that we’re making the “Lost Album” available for download.

Clicking the button below will get you the same premium MP3s as every other download button on the site. (If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to the whole thing for free right here.)

Enjoy.

Download the Lost Album $9.99

The Rehearsal Tapes Series (Pilot Episode: The Lost Album)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

We’re planning a recurring feature on this site we’re calling The Rehearsal Tapes. For each episode, we’ll dig through old cassettes looking for songs that, for one reason or another, never got the full studio treatment.

For this pilot episode, we’re cheating a little bit, as all these tracks were actually recorded in fancy studios, though most of them never got final mixes or mastering. But we wanted to put together an alternative history, like one of those sci-fi novels that imagines the South won the civil war or something. The player below answers the question, “What would TMJ’s fifth record have sounded like if it hadn’t taken them four years to find another label?”

We recorded dozens of songs after finishing the touring for Mutiny at the beginning of 1993 and the day Sandy left the band in the fall of ‘94, and while many of those eventually came out, either on the re-release of Green Eggs and Crack or the Gods and Sods collection, they never got assembled as they might have sounded in their own coherent package. So here we’ve combined those cuts with the original, unreleased versions of 6 tracks that wound up on …finally. All of them feature Sandy playing his Status bass and singing.

The original plan for album 5 (in Tim’s head, at least) had been to open with “Secret Handshake” and end with “Even the Queen.” What would have wound up in between those two is anybody’s guess. At least two of these probably would have been cut, and the order would likely have been different after the band argued about it for a while, but this is a reasonable approximation of what the denizens of an alternative universe got to buy at Tower Records (perhaps, in that alternate universe, Tower Records still exists).

Taken together, you get an odd mixture of bliss and resignation that feels quite a bit different from the loud-fast-still-rules vibe of …finally. Whether this is a good or a bad thing we leave to you to decide — that’s what comments sections are for, after all.

Update, 6/26: By popular demand, we’re making these tracks available for download. We hadn’t originally, because you can assemble most of this from existing albums if you’re so inclined, but in the name of convenience, and giving you more than streaming access to the Sandy …finally demos, here you go:

Download the Lost Album $9.99

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