Dead Linus

Thoughts on the old warhorse, as the original studio version made a rare appearance on my Zune shuffle this morning on the way to work.

As dumb as this song is, I have always liked it.  Everybody contributed something.  You can hear and recognize me and Gecko individually, and our styles are present in spades.  Serp is on fire.  Gila is doing what he was born to do.  Gator gets the job done.  It was good.

It makes me wish I could get those stems and fix them up like we’re doing with the new tracks.

Am I recalling correctly that those 12 track masters are lost in the sands of time?  You don’t have them anymore, do you Gecko?  Indeed, did you ever, or was that a myth?

Because if they were out there somewhere, I’d be motivated enough to hunt down a machine to play them on, just to digitize the tracks and give them a good-old remixing.

Oh well.  Maybe it’s better that the document of a semester in ’91 exists only as it was originally released, and can’t be fucked with.  But I still wish I could.


23 Responses to “Dead Linus”

  1. I had them stored over at Gator’s parents’ house, where I believe I left them, or perhaps Gator gave them back to you and Gila–I faintly remember Gator telling me you guys went back to the studio to remix some things. Then Sir Pent ended up with them, how I don’t know. But it’s his fault they were destroyed, that I know, because he mentioned it not long ago. It’s too bad I didn’t keep them. Now there’s no way to remix, only to rerecord.

    Haven’t listened to the old stuff in a while. I would, indeed, like to remix them. The mp3s I made are pretty poor quality, and I thought of doing them again with better equipment, but there’s only so much that could be done. It was partly the noise reduction technology that seemed to take the life out of them.

  2. I had the reel to reel tapes, not the “mixed down” tapes. There were two of them.
    They got smashed about 3 years ago when I was having my basement redone. The tape itself was fine, just the reels were all cracked and falling apart. Assuming that there would be no opportunity to ever play the reel to reels again…much less find empty reels to wind them up into in case we ever had the opportunity to play them…I threw them in the trash.

    I also had the multi-track cassettes of KTH…but now they are just gone. I’m almost wondering if they were recycled and we taped over them for some of the Fearless Freep rehearsal sessions?

  3. Thinking about ’91 fills me with the same nostalgia that led to this reunion recording project in the first place. When everything else seems teetering toward collapse, it’s pleasant to think back to when it all seemed just to be beginning….

    Since Channeling Lou seems to have foiled us, is there another of the old tunes to re-record? I still think Nursery World with some updated lyrics isn’t a bad idea. I don’t see how Dead Linus could be recaptured, however. I could try to produce a rave remix ….

  4. Your stories make me think of my own stupidity in selling my Ampeg Gemini VI amp back in high school (you guys never saw it). Bought it for $100 from some guy who’d had it lying around, and I got rid of it for $100 because it was heavy and old, not being smart enough to realize it was a classic that would be worth thousands today and sounded beautiful.

    Taped over KTH? Threw away the HOIYS reel-to-reels without saving the tape? We should all be beaten for excessive short-sightedness.

  5. I’m not saying “for sure” we / I taped over KTH tapes…I’m just saying I know I had them, know that I didn’t throw them out, and yet cannot find them anywhere in my house.

  6. As far as what songs would be good for re-do…I’m not sure if I’d want to do anything. The songs I really like I’m not sure updating/re-recording would bring anything substantial. The others? Did we have “good” songs that we just did a sh!tty job on?

    Now having said that, there have always been two songs that I thought would greatly benefit from modern recording. Not re-imagining so much, but just doing what we couldn’t do then:

    DEVIL: Imagine this with funky bass, wah-wah guitar flourishes, layered vocals, special effect vocals, special effects in general.

    3 FOOT: Imagine this song being in-time, properly mixed, properly recorded backing vocals, piano, special effects, special effect layers for all of Carm’s aside comments

  7. A shitty job? Ha ha!

    Anyway, the point is that, no matter how “good” a job we did, the quality of the recordings was pretty poor. But I don’t care if we redo any of them, unless someone feels something is “unfinished” with any particular song, or unless we want to provide a sop to our old fans (which Stay With Me does–and I like the new recording of that one quite a bit!).

  8. Obviously the old stuff is lo-fi…but I really think for what we had to work with and the time we had available, what we accomplished was pretty extraordinary.
    (Recording an album in a day? Recording an album in two days?)

    I think the best songs work as is…the lo-fi almost adds something to them.
    I think the “less than best” songs probably aren’t the best songs for a reason.

    Other than the two I mention above (or Runt, since we never actually got a recording of that), that we should just focus on new material. I also think Chopper should write…but am glad he isn’t because less competition means more of MY songs!!

  9. That’s a good point: the best songs are good despite the quality of the recording. The other ones we can ignore. Well, I am glad we redid Stay With Me–as it is good, but there was that timing error in the official recording that made me not want to listen to it. And not to kick a dead horse, but the official HOIYS Nursery World also suffers from mixing problems: the vocals are too low, and my guitar does not sound good. The basement demo we did sounds pretty damned good, however: it’s raw and edgy, and my guitar has a dirty, vintage sound that I dig. And I can hear the vocals clearly. Still, I’d rerecord that one just for fun.

    I don’t think it would be a bad idea to re-digitize the old tapes more carefully, however, and mix down to hi-fi wav files. Actually, doesn’t Pent-boy have all the official songs in wav format? The only problem as I recall was that some of them had bad tape warble.

    Chops should indeed write, but since we can’t even get him to record these days, I imagine that would be asking too much.

  10. Nursery World is such a great song. I also agree with your points about it’s recording. However, I don’t know if we could all agree on the best way to “modernize” it.
    Now YOKO…there’s a song that could use an update!

  11. I wouldn’t modernize NW at all, music-wise, except for the small additions I made on the demo I sent out a long while back–which just provided more opportunities for solos, really. As for lyrics, they would have to be updated, I think, and that would be up to Chopper…. but I’m not really pushing for a remake of that song. Perhaps another new song with the same REMish style would be fun, however.

    And Yoko. Fucking Yoko. That could indeed use an updating!

    I briefly looked at Dead Linus this morning in Mixcraft and the tempo drifts so much on that song I don’t see any easy way to do a dance-rave remix.

  12. Actually, if we had all the time in the world…I wouldn’t mind re-recording a lot of the songs. Unfortunately we live in the real world where we all have limited time. (I honestly would love to do YOKO with richer guitar and less hi-hat…but what would that really accomplish us?)

    Any of my new lyrics giving you that REM-ish feeling?

  13. If I get half an hour someday I’ll give you guitar for Yoko. We can do that without Chopper Newt! I wonder where my slide is, though?

    Haven’t looked at anything new recently–except that one, name of which I forget, that Chopper instantly called for himself. That wasn’t REMish, but it was very good.

  14. That would be funny.

    What about Gator’s new song? Any inspiration?

  15. I have a fairly well formed idea for most of Gator’s new lyric, but it’s kind of heavy classic rock, with a blues-inspired main riff (kind of like Led Zeppelin meets the Raconteurs, I suppose). It came to me upon reading the lyrics, but when I read what Gator said about the music HE heard, I decided not to waste my time recording my idea until and if he gave me the ok to do it, or until he gave me a better idea of what he wanted. I could tell he had something else in mind, but I couldn’t shake my own idea. But I haven’t had any time to speak with him.

    As I said before, it’s easier for me to have complete freedom with your lyrics. Obviously.

  16. There are still about 45 lyric ideas that you can have complete freedom on.
    Sorry about JAG…but I just want something very particular style-wise.

    Good came out of it, though as I think the GFW lyrics are pretty good. I know that Chopper likes the music.
    What is your opinion on excising the third verse portion of the song?

  17. I also like the GFW lyrics, although I do want to have my melody line (more or less) in the vocals, rather than yours (I can be a pain about that, too, right?). How do you know Chopper likes the music? He never says anything to me. He just takes the music crap I give him and turns it into gold. Eventually.

    I say leave the third verse, but that’s mainly because I already have the song structured and I don’t feel like rerecording it.

    You’ll still have to give me a better idea on JAG, I suppose, if we get around to it.

  18. I’m fine with whatever you need to do to the lyrics/verses/chorus in GFW. I agree that the chorus needs a little something. I assumed Chopper would just make it awesome when he sang it properly.

    Offline Chopper and I are scheduling a boys day out at the races and, while I had him cornered, I asked him if he had listened. He had and liked. He had additional feedback but I do not want to speak in his stead.

  19. choppernewt Says:

    Who’s doing what, now?

  20. I’m doing nothing. What are you doing?

  21. I’m lamenting.

  22. I’m also generally moping around.

    Have professional things to do, can’t summon the … whatever… to do them. Getting paid for doing nothing but moping around….

    In music… also doing nothing. Waiting for the Newtski to put his magic to Mr. Peabody, and perhaps the Go Fight Win ditty.

  23. I’m in a generally bad mood. I’ve had 3 crappy days in a row at work and to add to it the last two days my side has been worse than normal.

    So a little cheering up in the form a kick-ass Chop vocal would be a welcome boost to my psyche.

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