Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shortline Sunday!

I thought it might be kind of fun to share some music on this blog, since along with writing pithy short pieces and expressions of life, I make music too.  So here comes Shortline Sunday.  Shortline music is basically any type of music that has a lot of randomness in it lyrically, and that is a lot of fun to record, without any talent requirement or anything.  Or, musical freedom and randomness.  It's sort of like a freewrite, but with music too.

I'm going to try doing this every Sunday, it may just be a song or a link (with commentary.)  But sometimes it'll be an album.

So for my first Shortline Sunday, I would like to present the fourth album from 10,000 Lakes.  Cat Hospital, released in October 1999.

It had been a couple years since the previous 10,000 Lakes album, and a lot of personal changes had happened since then.  So I caught the music bug once again and started coming up with lyrics and music ideas on the guitar.  I also bought a Casio CA-110 and had been messing around with it to come up with some song ideas.

At the time I was in computer school, which was a thing in '99.  I had just bought my red Ford Ranger, which now has 219,000 miles on it.  Jamie and I had recently gotten into our first apartment, and were still figuring out how to get by.  So it was a very versatile time.  Nothing was quite settled, so much was new, and  I was also doing temp work during that period.

I don't know if I've written about the individual songs before, but if you're skimming through them, I can give you a bit of backstory or a tidbit about each one.

"Insurance" was fun, the idea behind that started with looking through the phone book for some goofy ad and I ended up on an insurance ad and made a song out of it.

"Atlanta" was a remake of a previous recording I couldn't find.  The line I remembered was "Get that hamburger out of your hair," which seemed like a funny line, so I reused it.  Still don't know how the heck I did that guitar solo type thingy.

"Kansas City Chiefs" was a tribute to this poor guy:

"Dallas N. Tollway" was about all the time I had spent on the road picking up supplies when I worked for Dad, and also my time as a courier.  I once got lost and saw a highway sign but couldn't read it.  It didn't look like John Carpenter or R.L. Thornton, but it looked like a name.

"Tablecloth" is a stylistic tribute to all the weirdest lyric makers out there, especially my old friend Quentin.

"Mambo #4" was a 'jam band' sort of thing.  I had like 8 minutes left on that side of the tape, and I had also just discovered, so I thought it would be a random way to lure Lou Bega fans to my weirdness.  90's trolling, LOL, sheesh.

"The Soup Factor" was my 'song with actual rhyming lines and stuff' thing that I thought would be important, to show that I do have a little sanity behind all the goofy stuff.

"Dennis The Phantom Menace" is a direct take on the play on words from Hal Jay on the WBAP morning show.  Star Wars: Episode I came out in '99 and I thought it was a funny pun and would make for a good song.

"Cat Hospital" of course, is the title track.  For about a year I had the privilege of commuting back and forth on 635.  Every day I would pass by this one shopping center in north Dallas, the back end showing, and in bold letters there was "CAT HOSPITAL" on the back of the building.  I thought that was a funny concept, a hospital for cats only.  So it became this song and the album title.

"Sofa" was my quasi-love song.  I thought that sitting on a sofa would be the most mundane thing that had nothing to do with love, so it became the title.  Also I made up a whole bunch of weird things that nothing to do with love and threw them in there.

"Boxing Match" was the super-surreal anything-goes song reserved for the folks who got this far in the album.  It was sort of a let loose and be weird type of idea.  Well all the songs are like that, but Boxing Match put a point on it.

"No Room For A Bonus Track."  I recorded this album on a 60-minute cassette.  And, after recording Boxing Match, I realized I still needed to make a little room for a bonus track that would go in kind of secretly.  But there wasn't much tape left.  So I was kind of sad there for a minute, and then I quit being sad and immediately recorded this song.

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