Clear is the color of my true love's tears... Hail and well met, or words to that effect. It's Wodnesdæg and time for Song for Odin, and what we've got today is the newly re-mastered "More than Toast" from the forthcoming "greatest hits" double LP Mtx forever. (RAD-009!) Seriously: First off, this "littlest pet shop" video was made by Madeline Brownley on her dad's phone. I cannot imagine a better visual depiction of this song. So thanks Maddy! Second, as you may have seen, Sounds Rad is releasing this song as a postcard "single" for Valentine's Day. It's one of those cards with grooves and artwork on one side -- like the Archies and Banana Splits ones we used to cut out of cereal boxes, those of us who are old enough to have done that. And there's a convenient checklist on the back to help you express your deepest, most complex and delicate emotions. i.e., it's effectively an "audio Valentine" you can send to people if you like. (RAD-PR-001!) There's also a limited Toast > You > Staplegun shirt, and one of those sweet Sounds Rad custom boxes that people like so much. Seems like it'd make a pretty good gift for that special someone, so to speak. There are limited quantities, so this is a "while they last" situation: (Note about the design concept: Arifa Khursheed came up with it many, many years ago and sent me a mock -- I always liked it, and now we're running with it, now that we have the opportunity. Here: Thanks Arifa!) Third: the Mtx forever release date is March 13, 2020. "Dibs" for the first super limited deluxe 180 gram pressing (only 300!) will begin on January 20th -- those who get on the list will receive the record before the street date. More here: This release has been a long time coming with many complications and challenges along the way, and I have to admit it's rather strange that it is actually happening. I first started talking about doing it as far back as 2004: ...and revisited the idea from time to time along the way, but nothing ever came of it. And I got used to nothing ever coming of it, as one does. But now it's upon us and I find myself at a bit of a loss. Well, just, you know, buy it and listen to it I guess. It's a first step toward bringing everything back into "print," and a little taste of what that will sound like. Anyway, a whole lot had to happen between thinking of it and realizing it, far more than I imagined when I first started proposing it. More on that whole situation here, if you're interested: Speaking of "More than Toast": by pretty much any measure it's the most popular MTX song, and by a wide margin. This was the case when I first started asking that question back in 2004 and remained solidly so in the most recent round of "taking the temperature" of the MTX-aware public, such as it is, when we asked people to submit their proposed tracklists. And you can tell when we play it live, People dig it. It's on everybody's list, including mine. But despite its popularity and the fact that it turned up on several different Lookout releases, it was actually quite challenging to find a good source from which to master the song. That era of tapes is in disarray, as I've noted before. All flat purely analog mixes from the Our Bodies Our Selves period have disappeared without trace. Some of the better mixes of this track, even in secondary form are missing as well, and a lot of what remained was damaged or deteriorated. In the end we ended up pulling the track from the PCM 1630 format tape cartridge for the Our Bodies Our Selves album vinyl master which itself wasn't in great shape... Jessica Thompson did some careful reconstruction in the transfer and Justin Perkins mastered the hell out of it. I think it sounds amazing, which is lucky considering it is such a prominent track. Anyway, suffice it to say, this process isn't as easy and straightforward as you probably think it is. It sure wasn't as easy as I naively assumed it would be way back when. "More than Toast" was a Song for Odin once before, one of the early ones in December 2017, the video resource being a clip from that 1998 Seattle show that started the whole thing. Here: There's more at the link but here's a snip: "The kernel of this song was just the idea of playing around with metaphors for love and loss and such, and it evolved into an unstated hypothesis that you can plug just about anything (e.g. "staplegun") into these kinds of statements with no erosion of emotional meaning for all their absurdity. Eh, it's hard to explain. It's never a good idea to try to explain a song: just listen to it (if you want.)" I'll only add had this song hung around unrecorded till the later 90s, which could certainly have happened, I'd have tightened it up considerably, fine-tuning the rhymes and making them cross-reference each other and making those mismatched color metaphors really bounce off one another... if you're familiar with the Revenge Is Sweet lyrical approach, you'll know what I'm talking about. But there's something valuable in the fuzzy "poetic" quality of the extant iteration, something that I doubt I could have engineered deliberately. This song just happened to "hit" at a point in time where I was figuring out how to do that stuff but hadn't buttoned it down all the way yet. Kind of a happy accident, which could well have gone awry but in fact didn't. A final note: even though cardboard record technology has improved considerably since the days of the Archies, I'm told that the sonic fidelity of this format still falls short of the grand, magestic ideal -- you'll have to wait for the actual vinyl for that. But coolness is worth a bit of sacrifice and this format is -- well, the only way it could be cooler is if it were on an actual cereal box. But, one battle at a time, yeah? And that'll wrap it up. Have fun with it, if you can. #music #songs #product #minds