Monday, July 11, 2016


“It's all over but the shouting”
“I am now in control of all things”
---Allegedly written by the Zodiac Killer

We were done at North Main Music. We grabbed a little lunch and then I got to meet, ever-so-fleetingly, the lovely Robyn Neville.....maybe we'll get to hang out more next time I'm in town. After that it was off to Mike's house to record the one last song.
Upon my arrival at Chez McAdam Mike had to give me that Shadow Protocol----which is to say the drill involved in dealing with his dog, Shadow. Shadow's a good dog and an exceptional watchdog. Once we'd gotten through that it was a trip upstairs to deal with the final bit of recorded fun. And “fun” was the operative word.
The setup was pretty simple: Mike and me mic'd up and just going for it raw, him on acoustic guitar and me vocalizing. Past all the rave-ups, all the screaming and yelling and all the sturm und drang it was down to a goofy, folky protest song to wrap the whole package up in a big, sarcastic bow.
My intial vision for “The Candidate's a Religious Man” was actually similar to some of the binaural recordings Lou Reed did with Richard Robinson in the mid 70s (“Kicks” and “All through the Night” being my favorite examples)----the folk song itself would loop in and out of ambient noise and vacuous conversations that might take place at a party or an intimate gathering .
We didn't have any of that going on, although I secretly found myself wishing Shadow might be looking out the window and start barking at the UPS guy or the Roto Rooter truck. YAY SPONTENAEITY!!! Didn't happen, though.


“Ah, but I've grown older and wiser
and that's why I'm turning you in”

I had endless trouble with being tight throughout the recording session, but with “Candidiate” it was just going to be loose city, no matter how you sliced it. That wasn't really a detriment (I don't think so, anyway)----the song just lends itself to that. We had multiple start-overs and do-overs and it was different every time we did it. It was really just one riff running through the whole thing and so there was a lot of ample space for us to play around and have fun.
In the intro I rechristened the song “The Candidate's a Religious Man Talking Blues”, almost trying to lend it a kind of faux-Robert-Johnson-cum-Bob-Dylan style gravitas.
Some verses remained the same....

“The Candidate's a religious Man
so let's catch him in a place of worship
Tell that old lady praying in front of him
to stop looking at the camera

The Candidate's a religious man
so let him spew some dogma from a soapbox
Up those credibility points!
Break out that makeup, our boy is for sale!

The Candidate's a Religious Man
So let's plug his kids with sedatives
Show all those viewers they're well-behaved
True offspring of a pillar of the community

The Candidate's a religious man
So let's cover up his booze problem
Break out that mouthwash quick!
Try to hide that whole thing about rehab”

When we wrote this song it was a reaction to the likes of Bush I, Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, et. al, but from there you add a few new verses to update it and you could drop in Hillary, The Donald, Ted Cruz and whoever. It's a hop, a skip and a jump just to bring it forward....

“The Candidate's a religious man
let's make sure he's Christian
not one of those weird, obscure sects
It's gotta be one that looks good in public opinion polls

The Candidate's a religious man
a star in the 24 hour news cycle
run his speeches past those focus groups
get those spin doctors to nip and tuck his opinions”

The last verse originally had this line that Mike and I crooned together, “so put away his Quaaludes!” I felt like I had to update that a little, since Quaaludes aren't really a thing anymore....what was a trendy drug that gets abused these days. I vacillated between Adderol and the end it became “put away his Oxy” because it just sings better.
By and large I've stuck to my guns on the fact that the S.E. Apocalypse Krew's politics are BROAD, because I hate all these fascist fuckers. Republicans, Democrats, I don't give a shit-----they're all dirty and corrupt and they'll probably end up getting our asses killed in the long run. “Candidate” is a number that stays pretty relevant, and 25 years after we wrote this thing it just gets better as the political climate gets stranger and more ridiculous.
We bounced it around several times before we finally got a good take. It sounded fun and we got a laugh out of it. It was easily one of the simpler recordings we did, but hopefully an amusing little slice of intimacy in the midst of the roaring din.....

It was a wrap.

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