I am not a tastemaker and I kill things.


Wherein the blogger describes his project.

SONGS: solo cover of Destroyer’s “School and the Girls Who Go There” and the Heaps with an original Muffs tribute song.

Though my guitars are named after a Bowie wife, a Greek nymph, and a Costello song character respectively, the guitar is really just a means to an end to me–what I really like is making music.  Over the years, I’ve made tracks of all sorts–from (grating) 303 & 808 electro to bedroom Garage rock (capital G) to indie-rock sampling hiphop–always figuring out just enough to get the tracks put together, and yet, for all the time I’ve pumped into the process, I’ve spent relatively little time actually sharing the results with people.

That why this blog is here; the name comes from a roadtrip conversation how Deathmetal bands are always trying for the name people will find the scariest, you know, Death Apocalypse, Hell Casket, Coven of Sepsis–“Zombie Public Speaking” was Erin’s entry, and it came close to being a new name for The Heaps (but we’re about as Death Metal as Vampire Weekend is goth). Anyway, each week, I’ll post a track or two with a little light contextualization and then we’ll all get on with our lives (until the next week).  My explanation for this seeming narcissism is this: you wouldn’t blame a webcomic artist for just posting their work (though in some cases maybe you should).

To get us started, here is a cover of Destroyer’s “School and the Girls Who Go There”:
that I did during a period where I was making my peace with the acoustic guitar and recording it all with a single mic because my pick-up was busted.

In the years of occasionally considering the lobster of having a music blog (where I’d skirt legal issues by just posting my own covers and then pontificating unbearably about them), I always imagined that I’d have to start things with an initial meta-post to describe the project (positively and negatively) and I pegged this song for the job.  The blog concept has changed but I’m still giving this track the lead-off spot.

BRIEF REFRESHER: Destroyer is, of course, the main project of weird-voiced, labyrinthine-lyrick’d Dan Bejar of the New Pornographers/Swan Lake/Hello, Blue Roses.  I’m actually not that big a Bejar fan, but “City of Daughters” is an incredible album, full of great one liners over crystalline guitars, back when Destroyer production was both lush and sharp rather than cheesy, and so I’ve broken the first law of covers, which is: “you should cover songs that need a better arrangement than they were first given.”  Then again, I’ve always been drawn to learning the songs I actually like, which may explain why I don’t know how to play the radio hits of the 80s and 90s.  Extra points if you can identify the song whose introduction I think I’m playing at the very end (or if you can identify the source of the image at the top of this post).

BONUS: I was going to post a different track here as a bonus, but to commemorate finally getting to see The Muffs play at Spaceland on Friday, here’s the Heaps playing my Muffs tribute song “Kim.”
I should note that this was the first time the band had ever played (or even heard) the song, but it remains one of my favorite tracks for spontaneous flute-violin interactions.  For this song, I borrowed Mike’s acoustic while he uncharacteristically played drums.  (More on the Heaps some other time.)  Anyway, the song presents the idea of writing a song for someone you don’t know (in this case, Muffs’ lead singer Kim Shattuck) when you’d rather not write one for someone you do.  If you want to hear some quality howling, listen to “From Your Girl” on their myspace.

NEXT WEEK: indie-hiphop?


3 Responses to “I am not a tastemaker and I kill things.”

  1. “No Children” ?

  2. […] to start taking down old tracks to make room for new ones next week, so if you don’t know yet what Kim’s voice sounds like or what Bob Dylan would sound like as the fifth Beatle, find out soon! LAST WEEK’S BONUS […]

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