Jun 28, 2018

Old ... and Improved Fidelity

19 comments

Edited: Oct 1, 2018

We're all familiar with the crusty "11 Tracks of Whack Outtakes" that

have been banging around the interwebs for a couple of decades.

Sure, they're neat sounding tunes--- what we can hear of them,

anyway.

 

It sounds like the versions out there are some advanced generation

of an old cassette. We found the first generation cassette. Add some

nifty modern digitization tools, a tweak or two from superfan Dan Belcher, and

NOW we've got something to hear!

 

We're starting with Sanpaku ....

 

movie: matt kerns

.....and Ghost of Hipness Past.

 

movie: matt kerns

 

We'll get to the others eventually. But in the meantime, please to enjoy

the creamy goodness of these tunes sounding quite a bit more like

God and Becker made 'em.

 

Great sounding versions also on our Downloads page, as usual.

 

Jeez -- Dan, Matt -- coming through to save the day. I'm beginning to feel a little more like The Damsel In Distress than I'm comfortable with. Watch out: compensation for such states usually involves a lot of testosterone (and yeah, we got some too)

Jun 28, 2018

Thanks D-Mod! I just tried the new download links at the bottom of the page linked from the newsletter and got an error about "that page doesn't exist." Looking forward to it though!

Jun 28, 2018Edited: Jun 29, 2018

Yeah Tony, the file doesn't exist until it loads. F*%$ me.

Luckily, they're on the Downloads page now

 

Jun 29, 2018

Downloads only 613 bytes

Jun 29, 2018Edited: Jun 29, 2018

Thanks to Dan Belcher and his Google Drive and his generous donation of his time, we can now all hear and download mp3 or FLAC of both songs.

Jun 29, 2018

oh fuck yes. I remember finding these demos my freshman year of college, and still have a vivid memory of walking around campus in the bitter cold listening to them on my ipod. that synth line in Ghost of Hipness Past, I don't know if it was a placeholder or what, but everyone I played the track for (circa 2006-7, circa 18-20 years old) flipped their shit over it. I'll save my accolades for Lies I Can Believe for whenever it's posted.....

Jun 29, 2018

I'm glad I was able to help clean these up and make them sound even better for everyone to enjoy. Walter gave us so much great music and made my life better as a result, so it's nice to give back.

 

D-Mod - You are very welcome. :)

 

OnTheCorner - That synth line in Ghost of Hipness Past... Yeah... When I was working on that song, I took off my headphones and played it on my good speakers to check my work, my wife heard it and was like "well, that's a weird one." If you can picture that melody being like a guitar line with some nice slides and bends, I can see it being pretty fantastic. But with that synth sound... Beyond that, however! After listening to this song about a dozen times in a row while tweaking it, I have come to a conclusion: this song is really fucking good. I mean, I enjoyed it before when I first heard it a couple years ago, but yesterday it finally clicked and really sunk in. Also worth noting, just how good is Walter's voice in this song?? Mercy.

Jun 29, 2018

It’s been quite a while since I listened to the older, poor quality versions of these, and all I can say is that these upgrades are a revelation! I love both these songs. I’ll need to go through multiple listens as usual to get the full impact, but Wow! I don’t even remember hearing that sax in the earlier version of Hipness— is it real or some synth invention? Maybe Bob Sheppard? Thank you so much D-Mod!!

Jun 29, 2018

Love these and looking forward to the rest. Thanks so much.

Jun 29, 2018

One more thing I'd like to say about the joy of listening to these: in the past when I would have the opportunity to hear bootleg demos, I would always suffer a twinge of guilt--knowing that Walter (and /or Donald) would not be happy that these were out. In fact I have a sense they were probably pretty angry at times and felt violated or betrayed by someone. So even though I of course enjoyed hearing them because of my intense interest in their creative process, I couldn't shake that guilty feeling. Now... what a difference, to know that not only did WB approve of these being heard, but was hopefully very happy somewhere about it! I can now listen completely care-free, and it's wonderful to be able to share my thoughts openly "with those of my kind". Thank you again D-Mod for that gift.

Jun 29, 2018

Wanted to clarify that I really like that synth line/sound, almost sounds like it belongs in a hip hop beat, but i'm not sure which era ... the syncopation gets me good.

actually, the drums on Sanpaku sound a little 808ish. again, in a good way, to my ears.

Also, the Ghost of Hipness Past is such a quintessential WB song title.

Jul 2, 2018

I love this website! Thank you so much for sharing this material. I am a huge fan, and Circus Money has never stopped being on heavy rotation for me. Amazing to hear the vulnerability on the demo of Paging Audrey. Larry Klein said he tried to get WB to belt less, and I assume this was a recording of his explorations! Are there more recordings from the Slim's gig? It sounds phenomenal.

Jul 3, 2018

hi amontuori - yes in time more Slims material will make it up here. In the meantime there are still songs that (practically) no one has heard-- in demo form of source. Glad you like it all

Jul 3, 2018

Ghost of Hipness is catchy and a killer song! Why the hell didn't Walter include it on TOW?

Jul 4, 2018

Amazing sonic upgrade! Thank you so much. This is easily becoming my favorite website on the internet. Wonderful, loving, joyous work.

Jul 5, 2018

Hans -- THAT'S the $64,000 question. (if you weren't raised on american TV someone will have to explain that colloquialism )..on more than just this song too, It's interesting to see his "what I've got for album" lists in his notebooks, as the lineup changes, and what is and is not on the "master" demo DAT he would make from time to time with his "chosen" songs. He (and Donald) had a saying: "We got some things, we need some things" as an always-true evaluation of where they were at on a project. Walter's notebooks are full of that phrase. Once I'm all the way through finding and posting major music, I'd like to analyze these progressions, combine with what he said about it (not much) and see if we can come up with a hypothesis.

 

I will tell you, and this may have nothing to do with this track which was written early and easily could have been rehearsed with Adam Rogers et. al., But since he was almost always writing and making demos, you know he couldn't just convene a group out of thin air whenever he was ready to record a song or two. Usually, there was at least an implicit project in mind, with many songs written...and THEN you fly everybody out to Maui for a couple of months. So the first consideration when we ask: why didn't he record that? must be: was a band around when he finished it? Perhaps it would have been different if he had a studio in the States. But then again, if my aunt had a nut she'd be my uncle.

 

Curious, in early 97 I think it was, he sent me a cassette with three *very* strange rough demos on it... and seeing notes and tapes from that time suggest to me he was just gonna start writing anothr batch for another one. But then...2vn...which i think everyone can agree was more exciting:). Anyway by the time he had the C$ band convened a decade later, of course he had a batch of NEW songs.

 

But that's what we're here for, right? Make a home for the orphans and the ones left on the side of the road, some forgotten, some (from his notes), always on his mind.

Dec 13, 2018

Walter...wherever the fuck U are, I love you like crazy; I mean, how can a girl resist that bass on the "reverie" sections on Ghost...?

 

"Don't look now....."

Apr 7

Great to hear the clearer version of Sanpaku. I heard it years ago and really love the unusual drum timing Thanks for the Slim's cuts as well - sweet to hear..

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