Shaking the Ether Volume One

Shaking the Ether Volume One

Volume One is a collection of songs, demos and improvs made with an assortment of bandmates spanning 1970 to 1984. Along with memorable solo items with Clem on piano and Hammond organ and Mark on guitar. The full story is below the track list...

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Blue Invasions

Recorded at Quarantine Studio in 1977. Sampling effects were added in the 90's. We rented half a building in Royal Oak in '77 and '78. We wanted a place where the band could carry on the serious work of being loud without having to wait for someone's parents to go on vacation. Over time, it became a social hub, teen haven and homeless shelter. The other half was a Bible book store. Yin yang. 

 

Echo Duet 1 

Mark thinks fast to play rhythm and lead as various tape delays are blasted back at him through the monitors. We built a room with exposed stud walls filled with six inch fiberglass insulation. It gave the room a quiet and isolated ambiance. It looked like rows of pink elephant butts pressed against the studs. 

 

Disco Hulk 

Before we moved into Quarantine, most things happened at my parent's house. Film sets and radio play and band recording were the norm with a steady stream of creative friends getting involved. Including Carl, whose clay-animation film Disco Hulk was to depict a glitter ball of gamma rays turning a disco dance floor into a hellscape. This was to be its soundtrack. Carl does the vocal with Jeff on bass and Larry on drums. We played and recorded this just the once at my parent's house in 1975. Right after Dad said we had five more minutes. 

 

Some work, a few days ago… 

This was made in 1978 at Steve's parents house in Birmingham while they were away. The voices come from his art-vid The Ant

 

Mark Twelve 

Mark returned to the band once more time in '84. It lasted a few weeks before he headed off for street life. This was a draft of his twelve-string thingie. 

 

Black X and the Flies 

Mark and Steve came up with this strange religious number. Steve, along with Jim Beam, provides the vocals. His parents were away. Fiz plays drums and Clem plays a Vox Super-Continental. 

 

Runs & Jumps 

Mark and I made this sketch of what he said runs and then jumps. It was recorded in my room with Mark playing through my bass amp's crazy fuzz setting. This was also a return for for Mark. Looking back, Mark spent eleven years returning to the band. 

 

Echo Duet 2 

Another stretch of Mark thinking ahead as the echo follows. 

 

The Slash 

We didn't do this sort of stuff when the book store was open. We had a nice rapport and respected their business hours. On summer nights, we would play with the front door open. With mittens in winter. 

 

Uncle Claude Has Been Drinking Again

The Small Stone Phase Shifter was our new toy in '75. I asked Clem to noodle something so I could mess with it. The Estey grand piano had a bad tuning peg at middle-E. Hard to avoid. Clem had an amazing repertoire of music in his memory. Everyone's mom loved his Clair de Lune

 

Mushroom Cultivation 

Clem plays a nifty solo on the fabulous Yamaha CP-80 at his place while the infant mushrooms absorb and grow nearby. 

 

Bob, At Bill's House

Bob joined the band in '81. I had spent the previous year or so with his band with Enola Gay Porter doing kinky-rock. It was simple and silly but we did a lot of gigs. Bob brought a pile of synthesizers to the mix and a place to set up the stuff. He also provided a place for his brother to store frightening quantities of cocaine in a safe amidst the gear. He told us it was his mom's stuff. 

 

Sonar 1982

We made this on a four track ping pong style. The four of us played a second instrument on the second pass while hearing the first in headphones. I played bass and then guitar. Bob plays the noisy lead section on a Prophet-5. 

 

The Swordfight Scene 

Clem put some thought into this accompaniment for a swordfight scene. Back in '75, he had a Hammond Porta-B and a Leslie 122 that we mic'ed in a knotty pine room. There was no way to follow the cues by putting the scene on a screen. The noise of the projector was inescapable. My arm and a stop-watch handled the cues. 

 

Incarcerated 

A rehersal night recording from 1983. Robin on guitar. This was a happy stretch with five members (at last) a few gigs and lots of new songs. Incarcerated was Slant Six's opening number before Enola made her Entrance. 

 

Don't Give Me Your Future 

In 1970, we played at Andy's house everyday after school. Jeff and I were twelve. Andy was thirteen. We mostly played Andy's stuff that he composed in class. We covered Stones and Cream and Stooges and everything on Hendrix's greatest hits. Our gigs were various garages, porches and driveways and a few late night coffee houses in downtown Detroit. Andy invited Clem over to join us on piano. We played Jumping Jack Flash and Purple Haze hundreds of times from 7th to 9th grade. By the time we were fifteen, we were ready to move on to more demanding and genteel stuff. Other lads at school were just getting started with the Jumping Jack Flash part. 

 

dead dead dead destroyed 

I invited Andy to get it on our 8-track recording stint in '84. We knocked out a few items including this darkly upbeat number. Andy died at home as they say a few years later. 

 

X the Un(known)

In the early 80's, everything I wrote had a demo iation made with a small Casio keyboard and a guitar or two. Most of those demos sounded like a bathroom full of ducks. This one was never followed through or given a name. 

 

The Ladies Bathing 

One of the lads said this sounded like ladies bathing and we thought that was a great idea for a title. This happened in ‘78 at my parents’ house. Mark plays his cherry sunburst les paul. We had read in cream or circus that the best guitar sound came from pushing the amp hard and yanking the cone to its limits. It’s true. We buried the speaker cabinet and a microphone under every mattress, cushion and pillow in the house. I had already made the other tracks. Mark had one acquaintance pass and made one foolhardy go with headphones but could not hear them. The stereo was set as loud at it could get and rolled all the way through. There was no time for a second go and fix the house before dad got home

 

A&E 

Be This Way 

These were the last items to be recorded at Bob's house shortly before the FBI seized the property as part of the War on Drugs at the end of 1984. We were noodling on some of Mark's stuff. He is playing a lovely SG double-neck. Mark would soon wander off from his life and walk the streets for the next thirty-six years. He died on a park bench in 2020. 

 

Purple Pastimes 

Andy’s band had a gig at the local VFW hall in March of '77 and we wanted to try out a live recording with our new Teac four-track. The evening included a box-lunch auction with nihilist undertones. The emcee's speech was loop fodder for years after. We filled in with a few items at the end of the night. This was just months before we moved into Quarantine where this half-structured item was recorded. 

 

Other Than Stone in the Lake Live 

This is part of a minimal rendition of Another Stone in the Lake. There were only a few seconds to explain the plan to Andy's bass player Paul and to Fiz who just happened to be there. He became the band's drummer until '85. I wanted to think like Mark for my version in 2013. The last bit is Mark, Clem and I on mandolin, accordion and flute doing the Closing Credits Jig in 1975. Dad liked it. 


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