She’s All By Myself
Recorded in the spring of 1996 in a half-hearted attempt to keep me sane. Wether or not it was successful (in preserving my sanity that is, commercial success was never really an option), all comes down to perspective. I can say with a degree of confidence that it did not make me any crazier and was therefore a worthwhile endeavor. I recorded it at 7 Nichols in Watertown shortly after we moved in, and some of it may have even been recorded at the end of the Jenn’s bed in Alston. It was all recorded on an old cassette 4-track, with a few radio-shack and yard-sale microphones, and one sm57. The room it was recorded in had yet to be lined with mattress foam and dubbed, “The Rubber Room.”
The soundbites are from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks in which we meet the post Mary Poppins George Banks, still living in London under the alias, Professor Emelius Brown. In his new found lust for life, he seems to have left not only his position at the bank, but also that of husband and father at 17 Cherry Tree Lane. He’s now a street hustler who joins up with a correspondence school witch and three child refugees (It’s okay, they’re white kids from London, not Mexican border children). With the help of a flying bed, the gang eludes an evil bookseller/gangster/magician, survives a trip to the Isle of Naboombu and eventually halts a German invasion. It’s a great film in which real life actors interact with animated characters and the special effects are accomplished chiefly through the use of thin, barely visible wires.
I’d made several earlier 4-track recordings that were all guitar and vocals, and this was the first album where I added some percussion. It consisted of a cheap set of bongos and a tambourine that I’d whack with a drumstick like a snare. On “Certain Again” the “kick” sound is just me hitting a microphone open-handed and running it through a reverb/digital delay foot pedal. I think that this album and The Salad Days were originally two sides of one 90 minute cassette tape that I’d copy for anyone who’d listen to it. The cover art didn’t come along until MP3.com arrived on the scene in the late 90’s and I finally had a cheap way of distributing my noise to the masses. The photo is a honeymoon pic of Jenn and myself in Ireland, photoshopped to appear as though poor Jenn is surrounded by a horde of amicable but goofy Dans, which is probably how she still feels from time to time.