Saturday, February 10, 2007

canvas the town and brush the backdrop

many of you know that big cougar, papa and mama, lucky, and myself compiled our top 15 favorite records of 2001. fortunately for me, papa shoegaze still had many of our lists in tact, and was kind enough to email me my top fifteen albums so that, for sentimental and comparative reasons, i could look over it.

its amazing to look back, glancing over all of the records i held so dear. every story is still attached to each number, each record, each cd, and though the stories are still so meaningful, sometimes, sadly, the records arent anymore. the way we grow and change as people as represented by two lists of our favorite records. how many remain? how many change?

making a phone call to papa shoegaze, we couldnt specifically remember any rules, spoken or unspoken, about compiling our list 6 years ago. but for some reason, i felt that there was a "this album must be able to purchased somewhere" ideal. for obvious reasons, this is why we all felt cheated with trey's inclusion of a homemade pearl jam mix tape. thats right.


not to say that we were angry, but keep in mind that one cannot purchase treys "eddie gonna rock ya" mix at your local record shop or from amazon. not that you would want to; the songs and track order, chosen by a third party meant something to trey, and the logic behind it would never have the same effect on anothers ears. i, too, was pseudo guilty of bending this rule; my number 15 was a record by a friends band, glamour house, called "the mechanics." true, one couldnt stroll into sam goody and snag a copy, but--my logic warranted--if one looked hard enough you could contact colen and buy a copy.

but how could one chart an album that doesnt exist?

the simple answer: in good faith, you cannot.

when i was in high-school, i remember watching VH1 a lot. too much. in a Behind The Music, a small clip featured one of my favorite artists sitting at a piano and singing a song that i couldnt wrap my hear around. the clip featured the album name at the bottom of the screen. i had to have that record. this was the time in my life where i started playing music, and i know that this record was going to be important to me. i had my dad take me to the mall right then. but the record wasnt there. i tried again a few weeks later. still, it wasnt on the shelf.

college is a time of discovery, and of the things i learned, about the world and about myself, the three things topping the list in my freshman year at JMU were as follows:
-html is easy to learn if you dont have any friends,
-your dorm-mates will hate you if you set your alarm to go off at a time when you are not IN your room to turn it off
-bootlegs are awesome.

the thing about live bootlegs is there is a defined track order; this goes before that because its how the band played it live on this date in this year. studio bootlegs are different because there isnt a set-list to follow. hell, i cant even really think of any other studio bootlegs to begin with. googling the record, which was originally to be title "dumb angel," one can find a host of theories as to which songs and pieces went in which order. but there was no REAL way to know, and the creator wasnt talking.

i looked over all of the 'evidence' and decided for myself which goes where. i even made a cover--front and back--as well as a disc label. i listened to that bootleg for months. every time my parents came to pick me up from JMU, i knew i could listen to that record exactly three times through. so i did. the music was sweeping. the album itself had more ups and downs than roller coaster. it was simultaneously beautiful, fun, scary, haunting, prophetic, silly, complex and simple. it was everything one could ask for in a record. except, i had to remind myself, it wasnt a record.

in the fall of 2003, my then-girlfriend and i were going to see a movie. her friend henri called her, and among other things told her to notify me that a certain musical genius was about to not only COMPLETE this work but also to play it live. irritated as she was, i turned the car around and drove back to her house. i had to read it for myself. right then and there.

i know it's not the SAME record, i know it's a re-recording. but i dont feel slighted. for whatever reason, 1966 wasnt the time for this work to released. fate decided to let it come to me at the same age that it's writer was when he started. to sum up, the album that was never to be finished was finished, and the record that was never meant to make my list has.

brian wilson's 'teenage symphony to god' is now on it's way into the heavens.



RELEASE DATE: september 28, 2004
LABEL: nonesuch


Papa Shoegaze said...

well, the title spoiled it, but nonetheless...i thought you had already bootlegged this late in high school as we drove around f-burg and maybe even took it to a starflyer show near the beach with your pa? but you were geeked. efrim digs this completely.

Sugar Mama said...

I loved watching the DVD. Since I wasn't so familiar with the history, it made me really appreciate this album. (and Brian Wilson's genius)

Captain Ultra said...


i hadnt bootlegged the full album until college. the "good vibrations" box set contained some previously commercially unavailable material including 'vegetables' and the original version of 'surfs up' (it was rerecorded for another record) among others

Country Roads said...

A very good selection... the Beach Boys can just plain bring it. I wanted to officially thank you for the album you sent us for Christmas. We really like it and listen to it often...