Saturday, September 22, 2012

new game: critique the blogger's own music!

You've read enough of my words.  How about listening to your host's first band?  Turning the tables, I present to you music of my creation, not of my ripping.  And I want you to critique it.

This band was called V-Girl.  It didn't get beyond the basement.  It featured your humble blogger on bass and a few songwriting bits here and there, and his sister on vocals for most of the non-instrumentals.  We also had a guitarist and a drummer (first human, and then machine).  These 23 songs were recorded at various points in the guitarist's basement in 1997 live-as-she-went, some with the drummer, and some with the BOSS instead.

We fizzled after the drummer quit because we weren't punk rock enough, and she wanted to spend more time with her significant other.

We had fun.  It was my first real experience on bass guitar, as well.

The shitty basement tapes are now tarted up, listenable, and just as important, laughable.  Shit, I laugh at us just listening to it.  We had some really good songs (I'll let you figure out which ones), some jokes-turned-into-songs, and some ridiculous attempts at massacring covers.  We knocked a couple of the covers out of the park (I love, LOVE our take on Seam's "Shame", for example), and others I completely forget the lyrics and just go "aurrrrreh" instead (yes, that's me on a few of them).  At least I nailed "New Dawn Fades".

Enjoy - or not.  I don't mind :)

23 Songs

Recorded in the basement in 1997 live to two track
Mastered September 2012

Bass/vocals: Mr. Analog Loyalist
Guitars/vocals: Mr. Jeff Hodge
Female vocals: Mr. Analog Loyalist's sister
Drums: Ms. Tricia Wollrab
Replacement drums: BOSS

01 Hello
This was our version of a stupid intro song.  We decided it didn't sound right unless we sang like some idiotic Britpop singers.

02 Johnny Pissed Himself
I really dig this song, to this day; as a nascent bassist at the time I am pretty proud of the bass work.  Our singer didn't appreciate our naming of this song based on the lyrical subject matter.

03 7 Years
Another song I dig.  In an alternate universe - or perhaps professionally recorded - this could have been a real good one.

04 Sad Spot
I liked it at the time.  The Sad Spots are our singer's tear marks on the lyric sheet, at some point she cried while writing it I think?

05 Swill
The first one here that I instigated.  Jeff liked my bassline I was just diddling around with in practice, and a few minutes later we had the song.  I think our singer wrote the lyrics in as much time as it takes to listen to it.  I pick up a bass today and still can't repeat the absolute rhythm and picking pattern I have in the middle of the song when the guitar drops out.

06 Something Significant
The second one I essentially wrote.  At some point we decided it sounded better split into double time bits, so we did.  Our singer sounds like Ozzy, bizarrely.

07 Marry The Moon
For the life of me I can't recall why we decided we liked the start/stop effects.  I like what I do rhythmically and chordally with the bass during the choruses.

08 Play The Game
It always sounded better playing it than it does listening to it.

09 Hell's Demand
We wrote this at a night our singer didn't show up, played it, and then Jeff and I took the tape and sang these ridiculous lyrics over the top of the jolly tune.

10 Death Pit
Just fucking around in practice.  Someone starts playing something, the others join in, and voila: a shitty song (if you can even call it a song)!

11 This Curse
Another one I wrote; it was my first attempt at aping Peter Hook's style on the bass.  It didn't really work.  I have another version somewhere with a full lyric, but the performance wasn't as good.

12 Velour
I have no earthly idea why we decided it would be fun to try some swanky pseudo jazz thing.

13 Shame (Seam cover)
I came in one night and told Jeff that we had to somehow play a Seam cover, because I was just ridiculously in love with that band that week (and still am, really).  He picked this one, which works because the original Seam version also has a girl singing (Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl).  I really, really love this song and this cover.  I think this was only the second time we played it, and we fucking nailed it.

14 Disconnected (Face To Face cover)
I wasn't, and still am not, a fan of Face To Face.  But someone was, and we learned this song for the hell of it.  I do like our version; I like that I nailed the melodic bass intro-y bit and enjoyed singing backups.

15 New Dawn Fades (Joy Division cover)
I don't remember why we picked this Joy Division song to cover, out of the entire universe of Joy Division songs.  I think Jeff liked the Moby version of it?  I remember him modeling his guitar work after the Moby version more than the Joy Division original, at least.  I sing it, pretty well, and I still like this version a whole lot.

16 99 Red Balloons (Nena via 7 Seconds cover)
We all were punk rock kids when the 7 Seconds version of this song was new/popular in our small circle.  So of course we had to do our own version.  It's pretty funny.

17 Brand New Love (Sebadoh cover)
I just really love this song and got the folks to play it.  I never actually nailed the bass, and completely blew the vocals.  Ah well.

18 Sick Of You

19 Bridge
Tracks 18 and 19 were things that Jeff and I worked up immediately post-drummer.  Jeff does some interesting things with the guitars, and that's really about it.  Unfortunately the drum machine is too loud.

20 Freak Scene (Dinosaur Jr cover)
Jeff's pick.  He does a pretty good J Mascis.  Needs a drummer.

21 Pictures Of You (The Cure cover)
Another one I completely blow the lyrics on.  Jeff and I did it just to fuck with it (though we both love the song), and after "singing" it that night I think I had lost my voice.

22 Hungry LTW (Duran Duran cover)
Another one I have no recollection of why we played it.  It's stupid fun though.

23 Help Me
The music was one of the first things we did after starting playing (I think I originated it), but for some reason Jeff wanted to sing Concrete Blonde lyrics over it.  So this version is after our drummer quit (though somewhere I have a tape as the full band).

There you have it.  Here's the songs.  If you want it as FLAC (lord help me) I am happy (heh) to oblige.


  1. Replies
    1. I mean, as long as it is no inconvenience to you. But I like your band's music; I'm kinda into garage rock. Your band kinda reminds of The Wipers.

      Plus, I'm the Joy Division guy. ANYTHING JD, I want my hands on.

    2. As long as it's no inconvenience to you. I like garage rock, and your band impressed me. Kinda reminded me of The Wipers.

      Plus, I'm the JD guy. ANYTHING JD I want my hands on.

  2. You've got a lot of guts! Actually I'm really looking forward to it. Historical stuff on garage bands fascinate me.

    A work colleague, about ten years older than me, once showed me a Polaroid of his teen band practicing in the obligatory fake-wood paneled "family room". Name of band: The Pleasure Seekers. Genius. No tapes unfortunately.


  3. Downloading right now! Btw, how many bands were you in?

    1. Two (and a half). The other real band, a year after this one in this post, actually recorded a real CD and played a few parties. I will be posting it next.

      The half band was a covers band built expressly for playing some dude's birthday party at a bar in Chicago. To this day it's the biggest crowd I've played; approx. 200 attendees enjoyed our really shitty setlist. It was a blast though, and the few songs I picked for the setlist (including yours truly on lead guitar for the Cure's "Just Like Heaven") were pretty great.

  4. This is pretty good. I really dig this garage stuff, so thanks for sharing this. =)

    Maybe, with kind permission from your sister, you can post this on Soundcloud? XD Indie rock is back (again, since the 80's)

  5. This is pretty good. I love this garage rock stuff. =)

    Maybe with your sister's kind permission, you can post it to Soundcloud. Indie's back again (since the 80's.)

  6. From the opening of Hello through the final note of Help Me this is a great album....or coulda been had it been released. It is a winding swerving hell ride of punk pop thrills, all taken at break neck speed. What a great punk rock romp! Keep 'em coming. Can I post you on my blog? Thanks for the pleasure of this. Really stand up old school punk rock.

    1. That's great, sure post away! It's even more surprising that someone besides me likes this so much they want to share it themselves....

  7. I think this is great - thanks for the share.