Nothing new or earth-shattering to report, but I thought I'd check in with a state-of-the-airship address before the end of the year.
I hope, in the coming year, to have a release or two to share. Can't say what it will be, but I'll try to get something out.
The most recent transfers have been rough-mix Paper Bag tapes from the sessions that produced "Ticket To Trauma". These were recorded between 10/85 and 2/86. Listening back to these again has been wonderful, I haven't heard this stuff since then. There's lots of material every bit as good as what's on TTT. I think it would be possible to assemble at least a couple of first-rate releases from just the first two 90-min. tapes I've heard, and there are three or four yet to listen back to. I'd also like to see some of the earlier stuff released- maybe one of the earliest material with sax/flute/oboe player Bruce Heubner, and at least one from the 2-plus year period with guitarist Ken Rosser. If I ever manage to get my hands on the original archive, I'll make sure something comes of this.
Speaking of Paper Bag, I've asked M. to look for somebody to take over the running of the site for me. I have obviously not been very "hands on" of late, and have in fact been horribly lax. The band, its legacy, and its offspring deserve better. No takers for the webmaster position just yet.
I have some ideas for collaborations in the coming year, so far undiscussed with any of the considered partners. These would be relatively quick endeavors for me, since time is at a premium; things like lyrics and the occasional sound-snippet. Just a thought.
The one creative pursuit which I've been able to be somewhat active in has been photography. I've finally rebuilt a decent backstock of images to pull from, having used a great deal of the accumulated work done prior to 2000, when the releases started flowing from GA89 and PA.
Had a long conversation with Hyam Sosnow a few nights back. He broke the news gently that he recently suffered a personal loss which spilled over into our Jugalbandi work: namely the theft of his bag, which contained not only small things like his wallet, but- horror of horrors- his book containing prospective song titles. That's close to 20 years of collected silliness and creativity, started around the time of Dog Neutral. He now has to start from scratch, but will try to remember as many as he can. Luckily I have a similar little book full of prospective titles, which we may draw from again when one day Jugalbandi reconvenes for another extended session. No idea when that will be but we're still both into it.
Hyam also told me that he is going to search for the original 8-track masters of the one and only Dog Neutral studio tape, which he will then send on to me. I need to find someplace locally that can transfer that format to multitrack digital, at which time I'll get that session and the tapes for "A Man Who Was Here" done.
I have toyed with the idea of doing a blog for ages now; what's stopped me is the obvious difficulty of keeping current content. (Just look at this site or the PB site.) But if I was just to sit down at the computer and spew text, it might work, provided I could do it, at very least, once a week. It might look something like this update, but I have lots of other ideas as well- a whole strange format. We'll see.
Higher on the priority list, as far as writing goes, is the posting of extended notes for each release. I'd love to get to it but at this point who knows. I've started editing the old notes for "Night Circus", which are just painful to read. Not something I want to post "as-is", for sure.
I wish a happy new year to everyone out there following this site. May this coming year , and this new decade, bring good things to us all.
Now posted: Notes: A Man Who Was Here. So very nice. So full of spice.
Also now posted: a Suggested Reading list.
Don Campau presents: No Pigeonholes, KKUP Edition 22 November 2009/ part 2: Dog Neutral/ Baghdaddy-O (from "In Gear Vol. 2")
11/26/09 Aural Innovations Space Rock Radio (show #229): Dog Neutral/ Ivy Mike (from "In Gear Vol. 2")
I had held off doing this update for a few days because I'd hoped to have some extended notes on the making of "A Man Who Was Here" ready to post. Reminds me of the saying, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans". Anyway, they should be up here in the very near future, followed by notes on "Night Circus".
Don Campau presents: November 2009 no pigeonholes show 2: Dog Neutral/Suddenly Irritable
10/25/09 Aural Innovations Space Rock Radio (show #227): Dog Neutral/Clear Day
Both of those tracks are from Dog Neutral/ In Gear Vol. 1. Thanks as always to Jerry Kranitz and Don Campau for service to the listening and music-making communities.
Speaking of the Dog Neutral release, keyboardist Leon Opseth recently added his full notes for each track to mine and Hyam's. This kind of in-depth coverage is a rarity, and we're very happy to be able to provide it. Huge thanks to Leon for being involved, and I'm looking forward to including his memories for any release he's on. I hope there will be many in the future, the tapes are certainly there.
This brings us to the next bit of news: other than the 8-track masters for "A Man Who Was Here", all the GS solo stuff- both multitrack and live cassette-have been transferred to a digital multitrack format. (This includes source tapes, jams, duet shows, alternate mixes, etc.) And it only took 20 DVDs to archive! Next up for archiving are what Paper Bag cassettes I am currently in possession of. It's most likely that they aren't original masters, and that if I do eventually get my hands on the main PB archive (currently in L.A. in the possession of George Radai), I will have to re-transfer everything. But as a safety measure, I feel these things need to be saved before too much time elapses. If I can upgrade later, great. If I end up changing my mind and not wanting to risk doing the work twice, then it'll be time to move on to earliest recordings with Hyam Sosnow, and from there to archiving the original Cold Sky tapes. I'll keep you posted.
No, hell hasn't frozen over. It's only the arrival of the 2-CD Dog Neutral set, "In Gear". For a history of the band, go here; for liner notes for the release, go here; for purchasing info, go here. I'm very, very pleased that the band finally has some recordings available. Nearly 3 hours of heavy prog-rock-ish highly improvisational sound deluging! Go Gene, go!
The revamping/rennovation/expansion of the Phantom Airship capability continues.
The archiving project is temporarily stalled by the death of tape deck #1. There are two more on hand, but neither has yet had speed/pitch checked. It may require two more decks to get through all the tapes, there are plenty of them. Still, I wasn't prepared for the burnout of deck #1. Thought it had more life in it. Saddle up the next work horse! Meanwhile, gotta say- there's enough usable stuff archived that I could be putting out releases for a while before needing to dig in to more tape. However, if possible I'd like to be able to choose from everything.
Writing/brainstorming on the next solo CD continues.
Chrissy's on standby tonight, and while flipping through the channels, she just found "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" playing. Looks like that's the end of this update. Later!
Gadzooks! OK, well it looks like I've beat my old (and yet recent!) record of 6 months between updates, the new record now stands at 8 months. Things have certainly not been moving slowly here, but it's more family-related than music-related. That said, there's still news, so let's catch up.
I'm sure there's been a bit of airplay since last November, but my desk's a mess and any notes I may have on that subject would require more excavation time than I'm willing to allot. (And no, that's not my work desk on the front page.) The most recent airplay, however, was on Don Campau's "No Pigeonholes" show, which ended with part 5 (the grand finale!) of "Planet Of Garbage". Thanks Don!
Hyam and I are finally close to putting out the 2-CD Dog Neutral set, "In Gear". The songs are chosen and mastered, the cover art is basically done, the notes for the site (from Hyam and I) are done. It shouldn't be long now.....
The Great Archiving project is well underway. All my multi-track recordings (except for "A Man Who Was Here") have been transferred to multi-track WAV. format; and I'm up to the early '90s for 2-track cassettes (live gigs, jams, etc.), at least those covering me and various non-band projects. Once I'm done with those, it'll be on to band projects: Cold Sky, Dog Neutral, and finally, Paper Bag. There's so much stuff already uncovered that I'm anxious to share with everyone....Please check back periodically, I will be doing my best to make this stuff available.
On the subject of Paper Bag, I will be getting the cassette portion of the band archives from George Radai, who with any luck will be making a trip up this way before summer is through. I hope to make some archival PB releases available through Phantom Airship. Regardless, I will be transferring/preserving our cassette archive to digital media.
Righty-O kids, that's all for now! See ya next time!