Summer Sampler 89
A compilation of tunes assembled together and distributed to people's
cassette decks when they weren't looking, in the summer of 1989.

Sweet Jane - I thought the Cowboy Junkies version of this Lou Reed song was cool. Sort of smoooth. Anyway, started the drum machine going (replaced the Yamaha RX-11 with a Roland R-5 by this time I think) and played the electric with my thumb (extra special, because I usually just pick the crap out of everything). Oh, if you know the Junkies' version, you might notice I avoided the la-la-la in the middle, and replaced it with guitar plunking, much to the chagrin of some, and potential relief of others maybe. Think this was done in the fall of 1988.

Lotta Love - Used to play all sorts of tunes from this one particular little Neil Young guitar song book. I think this was at the back, and just always in front of me. Programmed the drum machine for the changes here and there, laid down guitar and vocals, which I would have known fairly well, and then chorded-in the FM synth (DX-100) piano, probably just because I had an extra track open, and it sounded so groovy. (I think the original uses a piano?) Anyway, this would have happened in the fall of 1988, about the same time as Sweet Jane.

Cretins - One person actually pointed out they liked this one, due probably to the change-up half-way through, or maybe it was the weird timing. No idea how it came about. Probably the usual case of having only half an idea, and just following it by another half of a different one. I think this is one of those numbers where everything but the guitar got sequenced on the Atari 1040-ST computer, running Steinburg Pro24 software (oooh - just a MIDI recording/editing outfit - no waves yet!). This was in my computery phase, at least as far music concoction goes. Very neat, but it got too complicated, or contrived, or something, eventually.) Let's see, this must have been done early in 1989. (Actually, now that I review, everything below was done sometime in about the first half of 1989.)

E. Machine - This would be of the same vintage and reason for being as Cretins. I was looking to play around in a little more industrial vein around this time I believe. Where Cretins was probably me trying to be King Crimson, on this one it was more like Skinny Puppy.

Saltarello Sandwich - This one was inspired by 'Saltarello', a piece I had encountered and listened to repeatedly from one of those Norton Anthologies of music. (Big thick book of scores, and about a dozen LP's, in a kit. Neat.) Got it for a Classical Music 101 sort of thing. I railed against the system after filling-in my few early elective courses with the standard-issue introductory psychology and sociology courses. Admittedly, I wasn't that sharp, since it took me 4 years to figure out music departments offered the same thing in musical form! Anyhow, this tune is really just more of the same sort of noisy nonsense as Cretins and E. Machine. In fact the three of them I believe became a sort of a triad of tunes, hanging out together on the compilation.

Intermission - More computer-sequenced stuff, with a little keyboard FM synth organ to help it move along.

Old Fart - This tune was written and performed by Jacques Robitaille, the roommate of a friend of mine. We got together a few times, after I convinced him to come over and play, and maybe record some of his stuff. I think he played a guitar of mine on this one, since his was in pretty rough shape. But then he went out and bought himself a $3000 Martin or something. I really liked the style and feel of his playing. (I think that Martin was a lucky guitar.) Anyhow, I overdubbed the loungey electric guitar plinking, but I think some who knew his song thought it should have been left on it's own. Oh well.

Actual One - This is essentially part 2 of The List from There Is An Ear In My Chocolate Milk As Well, done about a year before. Essentially, the drum machine was fired-up on a straight-ahead beat, a hooky rhythm gets played on the acoustic, and squawky guitar plinking goes on. Oh, The List is simply hauled out and reviewed. Simple formula, but one should probably not flog the same list more than say two (or maybe three) times.

Sunday Evening - A sappy number. Probably actually recorded on a Sunday. Thing is, 90% of songs seem to come out something like this. Guess world strife and politics needs a different atmosphere, experience or gene. Hmmm. Plinky synth piano, acoustic guitar and me trying to find the words before I have to sing them. (Oh, certain person in mind here. Probably always is for any song really. Another hmmm.)

Here For Today - You know, I think I really wanted to get into keyboard playing around the time this was done. It certainly can be as groovy as guitar with the right sound and feel going. Anyway, this was always a positive feeling ditty I thought. Drum machine and organ bits would have been done first, and I would have just played guitar(s) along with it, off and on, for a number of nights, maybe over weeks. I feel good when I listen to it actually, which is probably why its at the end - Hollywood influence maybe. Listening makes me feel the way I do when I play; things just cruising along.

Pretty much everything on this sampler was done the same as it was for Sampler 88, including it's eventual trip to becoming 192 kbps MP3's above. (A tape generation might have been skipped or something, but that would be all.) Oh, there might have been an addition to processing via a borrowed Roland Space Echo, which is a very cool continuous tape delay and spring reverb, all in one box about the size of a small PA head. Also, the Yamaha DX100 FM-synth keyboard got replaced by a DX7-II in about the spring of 1989, so that might have snuk in too. Well, now that I think about it, for the technically inclined, I also built a ridiculously large linear power supply to keep the Atari computer running, after having it's internal switching supply die a couple times. This has got little to do with the tunes really, but it does stick in my brain.