Hail and well met, fellow people, closet weirdoes, denizens of the outer limits, connoisseurs of the obscure and the marginal: the offices of the temple of the MTX are an acquired taste, suited only to the most dedicated and perverse of mock-hierodules, an exclusive club, in that we're the only ones who know about it. We make shoes for snakes, then select humans stumble on the snake shoes, appropriate the snake shoes, and turn them into lamps. Or hats. I think you know what I mean. Pardon me but my brain is still unmelting from the weekend's blast furnace, to take what new shape I know not. Give me a moment here while I solidify... And... Gesælig Wodnesdæg to eow! Accordingly, here's another song for Odin, the Many-Shaped, the War-Blind and Flaming-Eyed Shouter and Thunderer. May his dark blessings descend and suffuse your world in reassuring shadow. And what we have here today is "On the Team" from Gilman Street, Berkeley, August 1988, the only live version of this song I've ever come across. If you'll remember from previous installments this was our "homecoming" show after our first big US tour, an occasion for wound-licking and somber reflection, as well as some sloppy rock and roll for an enthusiastically indifferent local audience. https://youtu.be/IF_68NIdbJQ Rough Trade's Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood e.p., on which this song appears, hadn't yet been recorded, but the set contains six of its seven still-forming songs (leaving out only "Supersonic" which I don't think had been written yet.) Maybe I'll be brave enough to share the very messy shambolic version of "At Gilman Street" from this set: it appears to be the first time we attempted to do it, and we're clearly not up to the task. Maybe not though. I'm capable of deep embarrassment for things I did at the age of 3, so... Anyway, though the greater world (obviously) didn't know it, a lot changed in MTX-ville between 1988 and 1989, the beginnings of which this set depicts. I think of "On the Team" as a BBBBBB track, that is, the spirit of '89, but it's actually quite a bit older as a song. And I was rather surprised, doing the inventory of tapes in the archive, to discover a couple of takes of it listed on the 2 inch multi-track reels of the Night Shift recording session. And my memory having been jogged, I do recall borrowing a 12-string acoustic guitar for one of those sessions, and this must have been the song it was used on, if we got that far. (There was no case for the guitar and I had to cradle it in my arms on the ride there: "cry-dle it," said our Aussie producer Kent Steadman, "nuss it like a bie-by.") We didn't do any baking and transferring of multi-track reels for the Mtx forever project, and there was no mix of this track in the stereo mix tapes, so I have no idea what the recording is like. And I can't quite imagine it. Too fast, drums like basketball practice, stuffed-up head-cold vocals and... acoustic twelve-string? Maybe one day we'll excavate it, though I shudder to think. As for the song, well: it's trying, and its heart is in the right place. It doesn't need the point-belaboring third verse and its over-earnestness doesn't do it any favors. (I was to learn, after many such pratfalls, that irony works better than earnestness, at least for me.) Nevertheless, it has many more or less convincing elements that might in more competent hands have shaped themselves into a decent pop song. The guitar stuff (intro, solo) and melodic/harmonic environment, clumsily executed as it is, is pretty good and a bit more ambitious than what I usually attempted then (and now.) And it remains focused on its subject all the way through, which isn't something you can say about many of my songs from that era -- or even songs generally, of any era. You learn as you go. I could write it much better now, and in fact, in a sense, I did, many times. More on that later, I bet. Anyway, there you have it. Another song under Odin's belt. We'll be back for another round next week. Till then, I will attempt to remain, your Doctor. A Doctor of Nothing. It sounds important and hurts no one. Unlike most doctors. notes: -- playlist of songs from this show posted so far: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLommF46BbnATVDAykrsIcR14HjOCi-6YP -- studio recording: https://youtu.be/5SGmNAhPX14 #music #video #shows #minds
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Well, holy moly, look at this. We're playing Fri Nov 22nd at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly & Sat Nov 23rd at St Vitus in Brooklyn. With Mikey Erg (doing full band sets, both nights.) We had a great time doing this Phila/NYC weekend a couple years back and they sold out really quick, so act now if you want in. Tickets on sale Friday (9/6) at 10am EDT. (And thanks to Matt K. Shrugg as always for the art.) #music #shows #hype #mtxforever #minds

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Well, holy moly, look at this. We're playing Fri Nov 22nd at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly & Sat Nov 23rd at St Vitus in Brooklyn. With Mikey Erg (doing full band sets, both nights.) We had a great time doing this Phila/NYC weekend a couple years back and they sold out really quick, so act now if you want in. Tickets on sale Friday (9/6) at 10am EDT. (And thanks to Matt K. Shrugg as always for the art.) #music #shows #hype #mtxforever #minds

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