lions and tigers.

I just happened to notice that I haven’t made an entry to this blog in, like, weeks.  It hasn’t seemed that way, since I’m always posting something to the Dromedary Facebook page, or adding news to the website, or uploading music to one place or another.  But I’m neglecting the blog.  Sorry.

Today is the day we released Cuppa Joe’s Nurture CD.  You remember, the one we put out in 1994, where we silkscreened the booklets, which then hung in our living room, drying for what seemed like ages.  We were proud of the CD then, and of everything that cuppa joe meant at the time (cuppa joe was lower case in 1994, Cuppa Joe is upper case in 2009), and when Doug and Steve (also lower case in 1994, upper case in 2009) reconnected, much of which happened in the comments section of this very blog, we were thrilled to rekindle the friendship.  But when we decided to revive the label, the idea of working with Cuppa Joe again – of releasing Nurture digitally and perhaps more – was a thriller for me.

So we agreed to remove a track from the original that no longer seemed to fit right on the CD, and then added four tracks from the Nurture and Demonstrations recording sessions of 1992 and 1993.  Doug went back and, using Garageband, added more guitars to “Sitting Limit” to get it closer to what he had envisioned.  And Steve?  Steve finally got to see his artwork the way he intended it.

Well, not really.  He didn’t intend to look at it on a computer monitor on iTunes.  He intended to hold it in his hand.  But there’s only so much I can do.

Lippy continues to bubble for Footstone.  Yesterday, eMusic – my online retailer of choice – featured the track “Toothpick” as their free download of the day.  That was a mind-blower for me, because I found out about it by logging into eMusic myself – to see what the download of the day was.  And BOOM.  There’s Footstone.

What a trip.

Make The Load Lighter is also generating some nice publicity for us.  Over the last week there were some great blog posts about the record, which was great. The compilation means a lot to me, because it’s such a great way to contribute to an important cause.

One of the things that’s been really cool about Make The Load Lighter, from a personal standpoint, has been connecting with four great bands from Scotland.  I think there’s some great stuff going on in Scotland, musically, and it was great to meet the four bands that contributed tracks to our record: There Will Be Fireworks, Lions.Chase.Tigers, Farewell Singapore, and Three Blind Wolves.

At the end of 2009, when I compiled my list of the year’s best records, the self-titled debut by There Will Be Fireworks came in at #3, behind the new ones from Polvo and Fanfarlo.  Two months and repeated listens later, I’d probably put them ahead of Fanfarlo if I were to make the list again (I’m sort of a list guy; back to High Fidelity again).  That they contributed “Foreign Thoughts” to Make The Load Lighter was an absolute mind-blower for me.  Nice guys, great band, the kind of band a micro-indie label like Dromedary would love to work with.  Hell, I’d love it.  They’re fantastic.

The internet makes everything so much different than they were in 1995.  Duh.  But really – it might have taken months to put together a compilation back then, and even longer with four bands from Scotland.  How the hell did you get to meet bands from Scotland in 1995?  It was tough enough communicating with The Mommyheads in San Francisco.  And yet in a few weeks I’m hoping to meet up with Jamie, the manager of Three Blind Wolves, in New York.  Jamie will be in the States attending SXSW, shopping the band’s new EP.  If the EP is anything like the stuff they’ve got out now, some label would be smart to jump on it.  This is a great band.

Farewell Singapore has also generated a lot of attention, at least among my friends, who tell me “Scotland’s as dark as it’s going to be” (a lyric from the song) as often as they can.  They’re working on a new EP as well, and I’m looking forward to hearing how their sound continues to develop.  “Blue,” the song from Make the Load Lighter, is a contrast in styles, and this band of obviously talented musicians is doing a great job mixing those styles together.  The track was so intriguing (I accidentally stumbled upon their MySpace page) that I couldn’t help but reach out, introduce myself, and ask if they’d be interested in participating.

But what’s really been monopolizing my time is Lions.Chase.Tigers.  The dynamics of this band are astounding, each song packed to the bursting point with emotion, the musicians working together like few bands can to create something so complex and so powerful that it’s tough to explain.  To draw comparative references (as anyone who’s been reading along knows I like to do), there are parts of their songs that remind me of Mogwai, other parts that are pure 1990s shoegaze, other parts that are as powerfully heavy as any alt-rock band you’ll find, but other parts that are as delicate and quiet as the indie pop I love from the 90s.  Each song is a masterpiece.  Really.

And I can’t stop listening.

Super nice guys, too.  When they start catching on across the ocean, you’ll see.

Meanwhile, you can listen to their track “To Their Blood” on Make The Load Lighter.

When we put together the album’s sequence, we wanted the more aggressive music up front, backed by straight-up garagey rock and roll (how do you spell “garagey”?).  The Dark Brothers’ track starts off as a garage-oriented song, but breaks completely into an emotional, mellow indie rock song at the guitar solo.  That was the perfect lead-in to the more emotional, powerful and mellow songs that we chose to close the record.  And we saved a powerful 1-2-3 for last: Jenifer Convertible’s haunting “St. Pete,” Lions.Chase.Tigers’ brilliant “To Their Blood,” and Stuyvesant’s majestic “Salieri.”  Probably my three favorite tracks on the record, and any one of them would have been perfectly fitting ways to close it.

I still call ’em “records,” yes.  Deal with it.

Until next time, and I’ll try not to take as long between postings.

~ by Al on March 2, 2010.

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