There used to be this Destroyer

 

called the USS Eaton, I found out later. A great steel hulk used in the Pacific. It crashed 3 times after the war (the worst with the USS Wisconsin) and then was sunk for target practice in 1969.  The same year Gary Usher and my Eau Claire, WI hometown hero, Curt Boettcher made their last record as Sagittarius; the immersive, sunshiny, Moog-strewn, hippie-nadir ‘The Blue Marble’.

I also found an orchid outside Eaton, WI last year.  It was all on a wavelength.  Somehow it all led me somewhere. 

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to say. Sometimes you’re up until 3:23am witnessing your mind churn like a front-loaded washing machine.  And you have no quarters. Or is it no quarter?

You’re more in the latter category.  And by you, I mean me. I’ve spent a good too many years cloaking my intention in a series of ‘you’s’.  To some formless wisp of smoke that is somehow still malleable. So now, by design, it is I. 

What do I have to say? I guess that depends.  

These days I breathe cleaner.  I spend more time in a crystalline fog of my own design.  But I made the confines, set the rules.  And I permit the world to be as it will.  I’ve always enjoyed listening anyways.  

Stasis.  But also harmony.  Static harmony. 

Also, to be unafraid as I can be. To rock my sometimes circular feelings to sleep like a doting father.  Because I’ve learned how to do that. To nurture. And to continue, however futilely, to throw a layer of suppressive soil over the ego.  

So here we go. 

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I recorded these basement pop songs by myself during work days and late nights when my daughter was sleeping.  A Tascam mixing desk & antiquated ADAT machine were used for tracking.  It often gave me scary warnings like ‘Error 7’ and spit out my tapes in perceived disgust. I didn’t let that stop me. No click track or punch in’s were used in the making of this record. You’ll be guaranteed to hear the creak, shuffle, slide, and warp. 

I played some drums but then I thought better of it and asked Brian Moen (Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks, Shouting Matches) to help me.  He played drums and meticulously and heroically exported my garage band tracks into pro-tools and transformed them into the earnest, visceral and 2-D psychedelic end versions you hear here.  Brian is a superior and generous human bean. Thank you for your energies, mon frere. 

Some other people did some things too (Emily Mohrbacher, Evan Bierer, Luisa Rivera) some people were the mains of support (B. Lev: for the everything \ Hartke: for the Bach & mics \ Dan Choma: for the mics & drums \ Graham O’Brien: for the drums), and some people were themselves (TJL, Christian, Svec, Bobby, Krinsky, B. White).  

Additional thanks to Tom Herbers for the Optigan and Pea Hicks (optigan.com) for the new discs. 

Thank you to you too for listening.  

I’ll see you out there somewhere

-Mah Lev.

 

 

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