Friday, January 21, 2005


I have recently gotten rid of almost all of my home recorded cassette tapes. Gone are all the crappy 4-track projects left unfinished. Gone also are the cassette versions of Flvxxvm Florvm, now the CDs and MP3s are all there is. Gone are my poorly executed attempts at performing my opus, "Coming of the Cubes". It now lives only in my head and awaits its eventual realization.

I only saved two tapes. One is a tape I made when I was about 8 years old, of my grandfather speaking. I plan to make it available online as a resource for linguists and anyone else who wants to know what a man born in Bayou La Batre, Alabama in 1913 and lived there all his life talked like.

The other is tape recorded April 29, 1997 at the studios of WVUA at the University of Alabama. This tape features me, Will Richardson (who instigated the whole thing), and Cliff Miller jamming on three songs, two of which I had already written and one of which was just sort of made up on the spot.

The first song, which I tentatively called "Rhubarb", I have just digitized and put online here (mp3 link). I named it after a painting I did when I was in high school that won the school art fair. It was a picture of a kid hunting with his dog. The dog's name was Rhubard. It was the first in series of paintings in which the kid grows up and eventually goes off to fight in a war that looked sort of like World War One but apparently didn't involve any actual nations of the real world. Anyway, I later realized that it was a good fit for these lyrics:
I crawled out from my pit today.
I crawled out from my pit to say..
hello! But you you did not give a shit.
So I went back down into my pit.

In my pit there is no pleasure.
In my pit there is no pain.
In my pit there is no sunshine.
In my pit there is no rain.

So whether you want to sing those lyrics to it, or just picture it playing in the background while a dying soldier remembers his childhood companion on the fields of some place that is almost but not quite like Flanders, here it is in all it's sad, sad, wah-wah wallowing glory.

The second song we recorded was what wound up on Flvxxvm Flrovm is the Devil under the titles of either "Coming of the Cubes", "Coming of the Cubes Parts 4 and 5", or "Cubic Jam", depending on whether you trust the cassette's label, the CD label, or the MP3 file names for the titles. As the titles indicate, this is an improvization based on a couple of the sections from Coming of the Cubes. It is not to be confused with the yet-to-be-actualized work itself. Here it is from the Flvxxvm Florvm archives.

The third song was a sort of half-blues/half-reggae thing in which I kept messing up the vibe that Will and Cliff had going between them (they were together in Down Loa at the time). I will eventually put it online too, in the interests of full disclosure.