Since I only put out a compilation CD once every 38 years, I’m going to be self-indulgent here and talk about it especially since I just received an advance copy of fifty of them and I’m excited about it.
Question of the day: is Carlos Anaconda a masked music writer? If so, is he also caped?
Sometime in 2005 I think it was, Mr. Ed Skinny Horse left Chicago on a one-way ticket to Cambodia where he still works as a medic. He had fallen in love with South Asia on an earlier trip to Thailand with Snake (churchbus bassist) and soon decided he needed to return for good. So he left Snakels (Snake’s new nickname after becoming a poppa) all of his audio gear, said a few goodbyes and he was gone like a monk to a monastery. It took us (me and Snakels) a few months to react to this turn of events but when we finally did we got pretty creative.
Amongst Mr. Ed Skinny Horse’s many generous offerings was one half-inch 8-track Otari recording machine which me and Snakels stared at for a few weeks not sure at all which knobs to turn which switches to switch or which way to thread the tape even.
Then we got the clever idea to pay somebody who knows what they’re doing to come over and show us how. That turned out to be a pretty easy thing to do because just the year before my other band THE LATEST had recorded at the basement studio of one Kris Poulin, an exceptional engineer and musician who has contributed to many great recordings including Devin Davis‘ basement masterpiece (Lonely People of the World Unite), and works by the Ponys, the Ancient Greeks, Coughs and many more; and happens to own the exact same 8-track machine.
So Kris came over and recorded churchbus but first he calibrated the machine and walked us through all the set up and put little white tape with writing on it all over the machinery until the place looked like something Rube Goldberg might have devised to record Spike Jones. Then Kris left and for the next couple of weeks Snakels and I learned just how much we didn’t learn until finally we’d pretty much learned how to ride that beast.
But I wasn’t quite satisfied. I didn’t think that by solely recording churchbus we would have the best understanding of that machine and all the acoutrements this generous medic donated to our cause. I wanted to do right by Ed Skinny Horse and I figured we better record some other bands so we could get a wide variety of obstacles in our way because you need obstacles to accomplish something. Then it occurred to me that we could get eight different bands to record and do an eight bands on an eight track dealie. This I thought was clever and I didn’t even ask Snakel’s opinion but he never said anything to me to the contrary so I guess he ended up being okay with it because that’s what happened at the Sunken Monastery which by the way is what we call our basement studio which is right below my dining table. And so having pretty much harnessed this beast solo I decided on my own to call this project Ed.
Now some of you might recall that I took part in another project called Ed many moons ago. In fact it was about one hundred and eighty moons ago. In that moon, de Schmog put out its second CD, Ed which is no longer available but you can download most of the songs from the de Schmogabase if you wish. The Ed in question, the original Ed, is Mr. Ed Goleman who was a good friend of de Schmog chanteuse Diane Koistenin. Mr. Ed Goleman used to entertain the band members with crazy stories and early morning drives across East Houston and by bringing over friends who would drop things off in our front lawn like the Head of Elvis (Mardi Gras Float sized). Years earlier he also wrote what would become our most widely requested song, “John
Hinkley.” Ed gave us fire and we thanked him by immortalizing his name on a jewel box.
Skinny Horse and Goleman would like each other of that I have no doubt although they will never meet. Ed’s will be Ed’s.
There’s something special about an Ed. There’s something special about the number 8. Anyway since I’ve got eight bands to write about and I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, I’ll write more next week, okay?
*CD artwork by Kathleen Judge