u.s. bebop.

Footstone, of course, continued writing new songs.  They weren’t about to sit around and stop being a band while we fucked around with Lippy.

Each one got better and better.  They got shorter, faster, and louder.  Ralph’s voice got stronger.  The hooks got, well, hookier.

Eventually, Ralph sent me a rehearsal tape that contained the greatest thing I’d ever heard from Footstone.  It was called “U.S. Bebop,” and it was an aggressive, punkish masterpiece with an incredible hook (and totally incomplete vocals).

This is not the first rehearsal tape I received of this song – I can’t find that one, unfortunately.  But it’s still an early version, with incomplete vocals.  It blew my mind.

Hearing it almost completely removed my overwhelming desire to hear Footstone cover Cheap Trick’s “He’s A Whore.”

When I asked Ralph about it, he was very nonchalant. Ralph has always been nonchalant about his songs, and I didn’t really know who wrote “U.S. Bebop,” but I thought it was the band’s best song ever, and couldn’t wait to get it on a CD.

Unfortunately, I still had a Footstone CD to release, and I was unsure if the band even wanted to put their next record out on Dromedary. I knew that they had been talking with some other small labels about contributing various compilation tracks or seven-inches, and my ego had kind of taken a beating when I learned the the Mommyheads wanted their next CD to come out on a different label.

Further to that point, over beers one night I hinted around with Ralph about another CD. His response was a curt “Let’s just get this CD out first.”

I couldn’t blame him for thinking that way, and so I went out of my way to try and let the band know the things I had already done to promote the CD: sending out advance tapes, working with zines to try and secure reviews or feature articles, including Lippy in all our print ads even before the CD was released. We had even sold a few copies through the mail.

Thing was, we actually had the CDs in our possession by this point, and had yet to actually send out the promo copies or get the distributor copies into the mail.  So it wasn’t really “out.”  

The band, eventually, scheduled their release party.  If I remember correctly, they did it without me.  I have absolutely no record of it whatsoever, but I do know that it happened, and I do remember that they barely played any songs from the CD at the show – as was their custom, they had already written so many new songs by the time the record was ready, and they had already evolved so much, that there were a host of songs on Lippy that they just didn’t like anymore.

Don’t hold me to this, and I’m sure someone from the band will chime in if I’m wrong, but I believe the release party was at Maxwell’s, and I believe they played it with American Standard.  I only recall this vaguely, because I remember thinking that it took me eight records to actually have a release party at the club in New Jersey.

And for my part, I decided it was time to put the damn record out already.  I was shopping for a house, trying to figure out how to be pregnant, and trying to understand how to run a record label in the midst of all this, but I was also letting down a bunch of friends who wanted their record out.  So we packed up our promos, shipped out our distribution copies, and “released” the record that had been sitting in the can for a couple of months, with songs that had been recorded for close to a year.

~ by Al on August 11, 2009.

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