Once again, Wednesday, i.e. Wodnesdæg, i.e. Óðinsdagr, and time for another song thing. Why? Just because. I started doing this and I guess I'll continue till I run out of material (and then maybe I'll make some more material, who knows?) Anyway what we have here is "Unpack Your Adjectives" live in Genoa, Italy, 28 October, 1996. https://youtu.be/VPtENa_2n98 I don't recall having played this live too often. Doing it as the grand finale to a set in front of a bunch of non-American non-English-speakers was perhaps a rather odd choice but odd choices were our métier, if métier means what I think it does. And I don't suppose it mattered all that much what we played, as long as we played something, as Italians are generous, warm-hearted people who dig songs, at least in my experience. It is, of course, a Schoolhouse Rock tune. Many people assume that it must have been on or at least recorded for the big label covers comp called Schoolhouse Rock Rocks that came out in 1996. In fact we were way too small-time to be asked to be on something like that. (The Daniel Johnston version of this song that is on that comp. is quite charming and pleasant, btw.) In fact, we just did it on our own for no particular reason. We also tried the Interjections one but never did anything with it. This was one of five songs we recorded, self-funded, at Sound and Vision soon after we started playing with Joel ca. 1994. We hadn't been getting much love from the Lookout regime at the time (nor from the public, to be honest, two things which may not be as unrelated to each other as I might have supposed at the time.) I figured the only thing to do was to strike out on my own and put out a last record as a kind of final "fuck you" to the universe. (So many of my projects over the years were done in that spirit, it's funny now that I come to think of it.) We'd done it before. It'd be just like starting over, I imagine I must have told myself. The songs were "Alternative Is Here to Stay", "New Girlfriend," "You Today," "Unpack Your Adjectives", and "Semi-OK", and it would have made a pretty decent soon-forgotten but latterly collectible e.p. had it happened that way. But when Green Day hit it big and all the disgruntled, neglected Lookout bands suddenly had more options, the label did some inhouse outreach to try to keep the roster onboard, which is why Larry flew to our show with Sicko in Seattle to be all nice to us and everything. I had introduced "Alternative..." from the stage as a new song we were going to be putting out as a single, and Larry talked me into doing it on Lookout, which, as you know, happened. There would be more fuck yous to the universe to come, but this one was thus strangled in its crib, and we went on to do some good, notable stuff thereafter. That version of "Semi-OK" ended up on a Punk Planet flexi that is rather collectible now I understand, and "Unpack Your Adjectives", under the title "Adjectives" appeared on the 1995 Lookout sampler A Slice of Lemon. So, there's some minor secrets for you. Finally, since this stuff is on my front burner these days, these tapes have completely disappeared, both multi-track and mixdown. My theory is that they were pulled from the archive when we did the CD comps in the mid-90s and never returned. They were either left in some studio and eventually thrown in the trash when not claimed, or, more likely, were not labelled clearly enough to identify whom they belonged to and might well be resting in somebody else's tape archive unidentified. Ladies and gentlemen, label your tapes. Don't leave them lying around just anywhere. If not, you'll regret it thirty years later when you try to locate them for legacy re-issues. I'll be back next Wed. with another tune, most probably. Till then, be sweet, kind, and loving to those who deserve it, and sweet, kind, and indulgent to those who may not, because there isn't a whole lot of time in a life and it's way better to make it pleasant for each other when you can. #music #schoolhouserock #covers #mtxforever #minds
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