Thursday, September 24, 2009
Snowi Springs - Snowi Springs/Yam Soap
"This is dedicated to anyone who's ever picked up instruments, played and/or recorded a few songs then thought up a name then called themselves a band." -- Snowi Springs
The snowy spring of 1993 begat Snowi Springs. Colin Clary, Ted Leo, Chris Norborg. St. Peter Street. Drums, bass, guitar, one mic. Tape running, all improv.
So, I'm downloading the Snowi Springs as I type, and though I remember these recordings fondly, I have a conceptual issue to bring up (and I ask this with all good humor) - is it right that everything that everyone has ever done be made eternally available for anyone with an internet connection? I mean, all of those different improv groups that happened - Snowi Springs, Sweet Mama of Guadeloupe, Oatmeal, Water, Ferry to Helsinki version of Chisel, etc. - like, I think that part of the reason they remain so special in my mind is because we were just doing it for us - no pressure, no goals or intent other than to have fun and create, and the amazing thing is that we came up with some amazing stuff, and probably, whether we knew it or not, grew as artists because of it. I've become really bummed out on the instant gratification world and the entitlement that the yung'ns seem to fee they have to that access to instant gratification for all things at all times lately - it's one thing I dislike about YouTube - a show can never be about living in and experiencing and APPRECIATING the moment anymore - there's always someone taking video for tomorrow or later that night or years down the road. I love Snowi Springs because I remember that weather and that house and that night, and I love that it happened. And I have no problem sharing it with people, but I'm driven to deny universal access, not because I need to cling, but because I feel like it cheapens it a little. Listen - I am MORE than willing to admit that I may be putting too much weight on these otherwise fun things, but does someone wanna try and talk me down from this ledge?
Listening to it right now... it's pretty great... I'm on "Foil Belt" now... shit - I'm about to go completely back on everything I said above and say we should do a fucking reunion...
O.K. Fuck that - this tape is AWESOME - "Alice & Roland??" "WASHY??!?" So good. The world should have universal access to this.
I live on that ledge. Not that I want to go back to the days of nothing but oral histories and whatnot -- long live John Lomax -- but, to my mind, we should have stopped with the crackly old silent Super 8 home movies. The advent of home video was not-a-so-good, in my opinion. Virtually every second of my younger cousins' childhoods are committed to video tape. Now every sight and sound is digitized, cataloged, reminisced over, commented upon, and widely disseminated. No more warm and charmingly fuzzy memories.
But whatevs. We were our own poor man's Lomaxes. And let us not forgot the core principle of Sudden Shame - that is, sudden shame. Not that it's all shameful. But some of it sure is! And it definitely has a certain 1993 Time Capsule feel to it, what with "Joe's Apartment" (MTV used to be so good) and the Koresh-inspired "ATF" (which I love, btw).
Listening to it now-- I was often somewhere between huge smile, big cringe, and rueful and amused laughter! I think that there is something totally awesome and also something a little embarrassing about the recordings, but I agree with the idea of staying true to what the thing was about– the whole semi-spontaneous aspect of getting on an instrument, having to say what the name of the song was gonna be and then going for it.
"Dextro" sounds awesome (except for my wack singing, which ranks up there with "Long D Silver" and "When I Can" as some of my least awesome!). I love "ATF," "Foil Belt," "You Must Know How Beautiful You Are." As a document of what it was, I love it 100%. "Bag of Gardetto's!" "Rebus!" Yow! The power of an upright, right in your hand!
I love living room bands, so much fun. Some of this cracks me up with its awesomeness. Sometimes I can tell I wanted the song to go on forever, other times I'm not sure what we were thinking. There were chance elements involved and we just went for it. Recording an album should feel this easy...
I never regret that we pressed the record button. I couldn't think of a better way to have spent those days.
Snowi Springs on MySpace