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Calamine: Guestbook

zac

January 27, 2007

that, and, the poem on the front page is so...relateable. thank you.

zac

January 27, 2007

you're wlecome, julie, beirut is pretty much one of the best.

as for going to alaska, i've had that one on my computer at work a while back, and it's cool because it's a remake of one of his earlier songs, but my personal favorites have got to be either Quito (it just sounds like ending credits!), Source Decay (his lyrical style is pretty much defined on this one), or his cover of Two-Headed Boy, because he messes up the lyrics so much but still makes them beautiful. The way the pronouns and things change, it gives a whole new feeling of being desperate, as opposed to being in love.

most of his songs have something awesome to make them stand out.

what's your favorite, julie? and andrew's?

Gatsby Was Taken

January 26, 2007

There are tons that I'm into, but my favorite recording is found here:

http://www.the-collective.net/~sashwap/goats/04.goingtoalaska.mp3

Sketchy to link I know, but it really is worth a gander. When he brings this one home I just lose it (you will too).

julie

January 26, 2007

oh, and i want to know.... what is everyone's favorite mountain goats song?

julie

January 25, 2007

zac, i didn't reallly know beirut so well. thanks for the tip, i've listened to nothing else all week.

i just got back from my work week in the city. my last for at least three months. i'm pretty psyched. it's been hard, and i'm ready for a break.

hopefully it will be the start of a fruitful period.

thank you all for being patient.

xo,

julie

michelle

January 25, 2007

LOVE you guys!!
I cant wait for the next cd and I am soooo happy I finally discover your guys website.
Keep up the good work Julie and Andrew!!! Calamine is talented and deserves to be on top:) Much love and please continue to make great music. Thank you!

Gatsby Was Taken

January 24, 2007

I loved the main page piece!

Looking foreward to the next one.

dr. zhivago

January 21, 2007

you guys are awesome! i got really addicated after listening to the sealab song.. its like totally neat chords!! like how you go from a IV to a vi, and then a I to a III7. man, way to be different :D cool stuff, keep up the good work!

Jaxx

January 12, 2007

Good site! Thanks. Kelner loh.

zac

January 12, 2007

is anyone else excited about the new modest mouse album coming out?

also: new animal collective and beirut eps.

Gatsby Was Taken

January 10, 2007

My favorite track from that record was If You See Light. MMMMMmmmmmm good.

julie

January 9, 2007

oh, but my favorite song of the year:

Get Lonely by the Mountain Goats

julie

January 9, 2007

this is what i loved and listened to this year: the decemberists
joanna newsom
juana molina
cat power
wolf parade (i don't think it came out this year though)
yo la tengo
m. ward
podcasts:
the young turks
best of the left
democracy now
Keith Olbermann

i didn't listen to a lot of music this year, as compared to years past. i remember a time when my entire waking life had a soundtrack. this past year, i welcomed the quiet.

here's to a better 2007. julie

zac

January 6, 2007

sadly, i agree as well. but i'm just happy with the fact that John actually put out another record! Although it is sad to think that he'll never bring out the boombox again, but what are you going to do?

Julie! Do you need any help instrumenting your new album? We could do a CD-R by mail thing! Or whatever. My services are always availiable.

=D

Gatsby Was Taken

January 5, 2007

Agreed. Get Lonely had some standup tracks, but it's by no means his best. That's just according to me though, he'd tell you quite different.

Dan

January 5, 2007

For what it's worth, I was absolutely floored by the Hold Steady album, and really really liked Joanna Newsom & TV on the Radio.

While I am a HUGE TMG fan, and would want it to make any critic's list as a matter of course, I was a bit disappointed by Get Lonely (Ox Baker Triumphant, however, was awesome).

jakob

January 4, 2007

I can't recommend Family Force 5 or Wired All Wrong to a Calamine fan with a clean conscience, but if you're wondering what Julie's music might sound like with a huge electric amp, bone-shattering drums and wails passionate enough to make your blood boil (and your eyes weep), Forget Cassettes' "Salt" is the record for you. It's heavy, intense stuff, but "Patience, Beth (Reprise)" is probably the most beautifully damaged song I've heard all year.

How I Became the Bomb is catchy, dancey, somewhat retro, semi-conceptual synth-pop/rock. If you're into that, they're very excellent.

zac

January 4, 2007

i've listened to the Joana Newsom one, the Thermals' one, the Decemberists', and the Arctic Monkeys records.

but i must say that the Mountain Goats' "Get Lonely", and Beirut's "Gulag Orkestar" are by far the better releases of the year. Joana Newsom's isn't too bad, though, and the Thermals' one is pretty Thermalsish, so it's nice.

I reccomend all of the ones i've mentioned, although I haven't heard any of Jakob's, either.

I actually just started listening to Xiu Xiu and The Shout-Out Louds recently.
Please pardon my musical ramble.

What are your favorites, Julie?

Jakob

December 29, 2006

I've listened to none of those records. Literally none.

This is what I enjoyed listening to from 2006's crop:

Forget Cassettes -- Salt (my #1)
How I Became the Bomb -- Let's Go!
Calamine -- What We Forgot to Remember (counting iTunes as its official release date, this is an '06 album!)
Family Force 5 -- Business Up Front, Party in the Back (a big stupid joke, albeit a catchy one)
Wired All Wrong -- Break Out the Battletapes (big, stupid, not a joke...still catchy)
Katies -- Dietz Demos (not really an album, but bodes well for '07)
Fluid Ounces -- "Instant Karma" rough mixes (ditto)

julie

December 28, 2006

found this online today. anybody have any thoughts?

j

2006 best records – www. metacritic.com

1 Savane by Ali Farka Toure 94
2 Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards by Tom Waits 91
3 Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse 91
4 Modern Times by Bob Dylan 89
5 Ys by Joanna Newsom 89
6 Return To Cookie Mountain by TV On The Radio 89
7 Fishscale by Ghostface Killah 88
8 Destroyer's Rubies by Destroyer 87
9 The Town And The City by Los Lobos 87
10 For Hero: For Fool by Subtle 86
11 Estudando o Pagode by Tom Zé 86
12 'Sno Angel Like You by Howe Gelb 86
13 Boys And Girls In America by The Hold Steady 86
14 Taiga by OOIOO 86
15 The Drift by Scott Walker 85
16 The Crane Wife by The Decemberists 85
17 I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass by Yo La Tengo 85
18 Serena-Maneesh by Serena-Maneesh 84
19 Donuts by J Dilla aka Jay Dee 84
20 Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash 84
21 Fox Confessor Brings The Flood by Neko Case 84
22 The Letting Go by Bonnie "Prince" Billy 84
23 Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not by Arctic Monkeys 83
24 Game Theory by The Roots 83
25 Love by The Beatles 83
26 Like Red On A Rose by Alan Jackson 83
27 Pretty Little Head by Nellie McKay 83
28 Nashville by Solomon Burke 83
29 Hip Hop Is Dead by Nas 83
30 The Body, The Blood, The Machine by The Thermals 83

julie

December 28, 2006

merry xmas to you too.

Jakob

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas, Calamine. :)

Kevin Hall

December 22, 2006

Hope the baby is doing wonderful, congrats!

zac

December 16, 2006

i concur with gavin.

Jakob

December 16, 2006

I'm gonna pay Julie to record songs someday.

Gavin

December 16, 2006

Julie, howbout as a little Christmas gift for us, you record a version of "Holland 1945" and post it on the site? Not many of us were in driving distance to see it live, and I'd love so much to hear it, as I'm sure others would too. Calamine and Neutral Milk Hotel are a couple of my all-time favorite bands, so it'd be so cool to hear one covering the other!

Pigeon

December 13, 2006

Benny

December 9, 2006

When are you guys coming to Chicago? I know I could get all my friends to come with...

Marty is not my real name

December 8, 2006

I continue to think your band rules after downloading all of the random demo tracks. In fact you guys rule so much you should put all the demos on a cd and sell them (so I don't feel like a thief)

jakob

December 5, 2006

haha, i'd go to school in massachusetts just to play guitar/drums for calamine, if i could do either...:P

Neil C

December 5, 2006

First heard you through the Sealab 2021 theme, and made my way to your site. Very glad i did. You are awesome. Need to visit the UK though.. People out here would love you!!

zac

December 4, 2006

i'll play anything for you julie!

drums, guitars, bowed saws, cowboys and indians, whatever.

Nephloid

December 4, 2006

I'll play guitar for you Julie :)
...in my dreams, but merry christmas anyway.

Jakob

December 4, 2006

is it wrong that i'd rather see a new calamine lineup and songs before world peace? :P

kidding, kidding! i want it all. ;)

Gatsby Was Taken

December 2, 2006

New songs would be sweet.

Godspeed with the writing!

julie

December 1, 2006

What does calamine want for christmas? time to write new songs. someone to make the spam go away. a drummer. another guitar player (so i can concentrate on singing and songwriting).
oh, and world peace.
i did see a tshirt that read love makes peace. so maybe i should ask for love instead.

xoxo

julie

zac the bear

November 30, 2006

seriously! what does calamine want for christmas?

zac the bearwill not dissapoint

andrew

November 29, 2006

what? calamine cds as christmas gifts? awesome idea! wish i'd thought of that...

gift

November 27, 2006

wow. col site. christmas gift, christmas!!!

Gatsby Was Taken

November 21, 2006

word.

Gavin

November 20, 2006

I still think you should set up a forum instead of a guestbook. It's not too hard. Check if your hosting company can help you get a phpBB forum setup. There would probably still be some spam, but not as much, and you could make a couple people moderators to help delete it. Plus then it'd be easier to have conversations, share pictures, etc.

julie

November 20, 2006

i know - the spam is getting out a control. any suggestions?

julie

Jakob

November 14, 2006

ah! those original lyrics are so pretty and interesting. wouldn't be a bad idea to repurpose them for some other song...

amazing how different they are from what got on the record, or even the 4-track demo. you must have a pretty rigorous lyric-rewriting phase in your composition process.

Gatsby Was Taken

November 12, 2006

Sorry you guys keep getting spammed.

What in Pete Sampras is going on here?

November 3, 2006

it's been a while since i was moved by any music
thank you

Nicola Brown

October 26, 2006

Thanks Sealab for introducing me to your music! Gorgeous. Nicola x

Charlie

October 26, 2006

Lovin' the album. Absolutely. Fantastic. And the sticker was aces too! Thanks..

Beowulf

October 21, 2006

fantastic voice , great music, excellent work boys!!!!! greetings from Mèxico!!! i would to hear an extended version of "sealab 2021" too please, i love this song!!!!

Shaggy

October 21, 2006

Wow. thanks a bunch for introducing me for NMH, and i suppose you should tell teh sea lab guys thanks for the intro to calamine. you have some really great stuff... but i would love to hear an extended version of the sealab song (as in with like 2 more verses of original song...)

anyways. i love you guys and wish you did more touring, so i might get to see you sometime...

Jesse

October 18, 2006

Hey you guys! Sealab 2021 is my favorite animated show (especially when its about getting drunk and revenge) so of course I had to learn more about the catchy theme song. You fuckin rock. How did you get to know the creators of such a hillarious show?

zac

October 14, 2006

so as soon as the old/new/i'm so confused stuff is done and nice and pretty, when will we be able to get our grubby little fingers on it?

i do look forward to it.

greg leiper

October 12, 2006

loved the sealab tune and came lookin for more of ur kinda sound, unique and awesome. the vocals r amazing u guys shud hop the oond and come to the uk

Vicky Efram

October 7, 2006

I've been a fan for the past few years and plan to keep going strong. The vocals and music style are different and awesome. Not too many people know about you here in Minnesota that I'm aware of, but I'm working on changing that. Hopefully I'll be able to see a show in person. Until then, keep it up!

Conall Hanna

October 6, 2006

I'm an avid musician and you guys are just what was needed so badly for so long. Beautiful vocals, fantastic tunes, there's a huge gap just begging to be filled over here in ireland, I'm doing all I can to popularise your songs & spead the word. Looking forward to the day I get to see you in person over here =)

Julie

October 5, 2006

All of those are good ideas which I will hand off to calamine intern. That poor kid.

new songs soon. did first recording session in the barn.
all the mics works which was a big hurdle. technology has never been my friend.

i'll definitely try to find a better version of these days (demo). that's first on my list.

Kristina

September 30, 2006

Just wanted to drop in and say hellooo!! I really do hope before I move away from Connecticut to catch a show! It's on my to do list. :) I had a good friend check out the songs on MySpace and he agreed that you have an amazing voice Julie! Thank goodness for all of my Adult Swim watching, I never would have discovered Calamine! The medical term for itching is pruritis... just a random note if you're trying to sound smart when discussing the name lol. I look forward to more demos as well!

XO
~Kristina

Gavin

September 30, 2006

I too would love to hear more demos.. whether via mp3s or maybe even a nice "website exclusive" cd(r) for a few bucks. It'd be great to have the WWFTR demos compiled, in high quality, and maybe throw on the Stephonic stuff if there's room, and/or any other stray songs that might've been recorded and are just sitting around. oh, that'd be nice. :)

Jakob

September 30, 2006

I wouldn't say it's a curse. WWFTR's demos and the studio version were two recordings going for very separate sounds. As the lush, layered, studio-oriented project that it is, WWFTR is a great album; and the EP is of course a perfect representation of a perfect sound, just great, simple, harmony-laden pop rock. I *am* psyched to hear the more stripped-down approach you say you're thinking of for Album 2, and to be honest, there *are* a couple songs from WWFTR that I think would've worked better in that medium (specifically "These Days" and "More Sad Robots" -- good versions of excellent songs, but again, I think they could've breathed a little better with a more organic approach specifically; the record's soundscape does the rest of its songs high justice, though). It's always been a little dream of mine to have those two songs re-recorded in a studio w/ the stripped down approach and then release them as a 7-inch or CDEP or something, I think something like that could be really nifty. :)

From the brief, instrumental, stripped-down glimpse that I caught, though, Album 2 sounds like it's got a lot of great potential to be developed. Looking forward to hearing them as they develop along! :)

julie

September 30, 2006

it's kind of my curse. i too love the demos and never feel that it gets captured in the studio.

i will look for the file for these days, there's got to be something better somewhere.

julie

Jakob

September 28, 2006

I love the studio "These Days," but the acoustic demo version is my favorite song/performance of all time...it's just so simple, human, and pretty. No song has ever given me goosebumps so consistently, and the first time I heard it I actually teared up a bit (the pause, then the transition into the chorus...too much!) -- one of two songs to ever make me do that alone. I love it dearly too, but nice call -- 80 kilobytes mono!? No wonder it sounds horrendous in my car...I hope a higher quality rip of it exists somewhere, for posterity's sake.

Dave

September 28, 2006

Haven't been back to your site in a long time, glad to see things going well for ya'll. I must admit though, I downloaded a rough version of "These Days" ages ago and even though it's a low quality version (80K mono mp3) I kinda prefer it to the final release.. Maybe you could compile a CD of alternate versions or rough versions of songs? :D

Chris dragonish

September 26, 2006

Hi, never would have heard of you if it wasn't for sealab, you are amazing :-)

Nival

September 24, 2006

Cool project!

Julie

September 23, 2006

hils, you will always hold a special place in calamine's heart.

hey chris, glad to see you're still around. I came across your letter recently and was reminded by how great our fans are. hope to see you at a show someday. if not out east, then in LA.

oh, and hils....the calamine name. yeah, i just lucked out, and got it early on, probably before those jokers even knew what the internet was. and just to set the record straight (b/c we get asked this regularly) having calamine as a name is not going to get us into legal trouble. calamine is non-proprietary name for a preparation used to relieve itching. we couldn't have named ourselves Caladryl. but then again, who would want to?

xoxo

julie

Akil Jackson

September 22, 2006

Kudos, you guys rule. I seriously rate you up there with Zeppelin and the VU, your music just makes me feel, thats really the only way I can describe it.

Hilary

September 21, 2006

hmm. there's folks in LA looking to fly in and see you. i better make the next visit from viet nam or belgium to secure my title.

love.hils

chris bedrosian

September 21, 2006

this is an exciting time for calamine! can't wait to hear new material... i continue to love the new album and spread the word. I live in los angeles and I ALMOST flew out for the last show, but thing's are so crazy at work as we finish a film, but perhaps next time a show is booked I'll fly out (and finally get a taste of new york snow - boy i miss the midwest) =)

Hils

September 18, 2006

i've wanted to ask this since the new site went up, but how on earth did you guys manage to get the calamine domain name?

Johnson and Johnson must be infuriated with you folks. :)

love.hils

Charlie

September 18, 2006

I'm awaiting delivery of "What We Forgot To Remember"! Yay! I'm sure I'll love it. Then I'll purchase the ep! Keep up the good work!

Jakob

September 17, 2006

Charlie: order the EP, too. Both releases are immensely worth the money.

Charlie

September 17, 2006

Being english, I'll probably never see you guys live, but am ordering the Album, plus lovin' Sealab!

Jakob

September 14, 2006

A "Holland, 1945" cover!? And TWO Sealabs? (I wish I could hear what the differences were) God, I wish I could've somehow magically made it to NYC and just not had to have worried about this whole school thing today (I'd have done it without thinking twice, but there's no way my mother would've allowed it). Ironic, 'cause my friend snuck out last night to go to NYC...lucky...

Never heard of "Passing Afternoon" before but my research reveals it to be an Iron & Wine cover, if I'm not mistaken...I'm sure that was nice, as well. Getting to hear "More Sad Robots" on guitar must've been very interesting, too...This is easily the best Calamine setlist of 2006 (thus far).

Oh well, life's not getting any less busy anytime soon...but I'll still do my best to see if I can make it out for the next one!

Inevitably, I must wonder if anyone made a recording (video or audio), or took any photos...if you're out there, please speak up! :)

julie

September 14, 2006

Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night. Here is the set list, as best as i remember:

Sealab

Holland, 1945

These Days

New Machine

Lovey

Passing Afternoon

More Sad Robots

Flicker

Sealab redux

*******

no new shows booked, but we will keep you posted.

thanks also to everyone who wrote in during the q&a. i think i answered most questions, and now that the show is behind me i will look at it again this week and see if i have any additional thoughts.

oh, AND new old songs to download -- coming soon! the long lost stephonic home demo (julie, dan, doug and helene) was found and digitized by our old friend, dave c.

we uploaded the four songs yesterday (night light, stop me, astronaut & a new one, saturday) and are awaiting processing from our host. we'll let you know when they are available.

cool. the recording room in the barn is ready. i hope to start recording new material this weekend. wish me luck.

julie

zac the bear

September 11, 2006

julie's awesome.

'nuff said.

Gavin

September 9, 2006

hmm.. that seems fair.

Hey.. have you guys thought about adding a forum a.k.a. message board to this site? it seems there's a little fan community brewing here, but the guestbook format isn't very conducive to that.

oh, and somebody asked about the NMH song "Engine"? Here's more info than you'd ever need.. :)
http://members.cox.net/neutralmilkhotel/song-engine.htm

julie

September 9, 2006

thanks gatz...

what do i think about the new songs? i like em. a lot of them are melodies i've been toying around with for years. i'm a great believer in recycling. unfortunately, the lyrics aren't there yet, and i need mental space to write. hopefully when it gets cold (which it does early up here in massachusetts) i'll get the chance. we are planning to start recording this fall, so i'll have to get something ready.

yeah, i'm familiar with adam's (sealab creator adam reed) quote about us getting married. i laughed when i read it. he is a really funny guy. bad luck for him that i met andrew when i did.

Gatsby Was Taken

September 9, 2006

As for the question that never really got answered, that was a very broad one, "What do you think about the new (not yet made) record?"

Now on to that interview business, I completely agree with Jakob that your interview was a joy to read. It was all very interesting, I thought. I'm sure you're all aware of the interview with one of the creators of Sealab where he jokes about the situation surrounding the creation of the theme song?

I thought that was hilarious.

But that's about all the Calamine stuff I was able to find before coming across this site. I'd first & foremost want you do to do only what you wanted, but if that happened to be more interviews, I'd be stoked. Sure, your words may be taken out of context to paint a picture the interviewer was planning on painting before he sat down to do the interview, and there is a filter between you & the reader. All the same though, I loved hearing your thoughts on songwriting & song backgrounds in said interview. Great stuff.

julie

September 9, 2006

thanks jakob. that was nice. and i realized that this q&a is really helping me face my fears, which i say i'm all about.

zac, your question about touring. . . calamine (of the ep era) broke up before we ever had enough fans to support a tour. of course, then was the time to do it. now andrew and i have henry and a house and jobs. not that we can't do it, but we are settling in a place where hopefully we will stay a while and set up a recording space. that is more important to me than touring, and unfortunately we don't have the luxury of doing both right now. having a kid changes everything.

but once we are set up here, and we get a line-up who can practice regularly and tour, i hope that we start. and if this solo show goes well, we may see more of those.

Jakob

September 8, 2006

Phew, just got home from a 2-day schooltrip; thanks for answering, Julie!

In regards to your distaste for interviews: everyone sounds "self-absorbed" when they're being interviewed, because they're being asked to talk about themselves. The only interviewees out there who are truly self-absorbed are those who interview themselves (Myspace, anyone?). The fact that a magazine or online publication has found your music to be worthy of questions and answers is justification alone for speaking at length about yourself and your music -- hell, that's the point. The revealing interview is always an interesting read (love or hate the music), but nothing's more aggravating than an interviewer asking an artist a wonderful question only to get a short, dismissive answer. (Recently I read a Rivers Cuomo interview where he was asked what his favorite album was of his own work [a very loaded question if you know how much he's trashed the good one and praised the far less remarkable ones in the past], only to be answered with a limp "I think they're all great!")

In any case, I'm a fan of you 1999 interview. Your self-description as a "cataloguer" was a new and interesting concept to me (and one I can't begin to fathom as I can seldom remember anything beyond random half-thoughts of a week ago), and one that actually gives me a better understanding and appreciation of your music and lyrics. You seem like an honest and attentive interviewee, so it's a shame you've only declined them since then (well, except for this great informal Q&A).

I might add that interviews are a great way of exposing new fans to your music. I often read interviews in magazines even if the description of their music does nothing for me, and if anything really intriguing is said then I might give it a listen regardless. I know you seem to be happier with a small fanbase, but if you look at your fans' devotion to and love for your music, it's clear that it's deserving of a greater audience than the one to which it is currently being transmitted. Perhaps if a courteous fan of yours were to interview you for a publication, then ran the transcript by you for approval, it would help do away with your aversion to published interviews. In any case, thanks at least for this nice little opportunity!

zac

September 8, 2006

i'm sure you've become exasperatted by the amount of people who want you to tour or play shows elsewhere, but do you ever foresee any point in time where you'd be able/willing to extend the calamine live experiemnce to exotic locations?

September 8, 2006

i think i sound stupid and self absorbed.

ok. that's not fair. i did one interview, like 7 years ago, and i cringed when i read it later. right then i said no more interviews.

andrew, however, has pointed out a flaw in this thinking. Now the only thing people get to read from me is that damn interview.

I'm not opposed to interviews, but I am opposed to the cult of celebrity, and the main stream media that creates it. I don't want to play that game. It's debilitating.

how's that?

also, gatsby, i know i never answered your question about the new songs. What was the question again?

Gatsby Was Taken

September 7, 2006

Well, if nobody else is going to step up...

Why aren't you a fan of interviews?

julie

September 7, 2006

the amnesia question...

no, it wasn't meant to be about amnesia, but that doesn't mean it can’t be interpreted that way, which is cool. my songs are open to interpretation.

the accident is about a real accident that andrew's folks got in. they got a flat on the highway one night, and his dad gets out of the car just as a police car is pulling up behind to assist them. someone hits the police car, seriously injuring the officer, and the police car slams into my inlaw's car.

because it was dark and rainy, andrew’s mom could not tell what happened immediately, and since andrew's dad was out of the car she thought he had been hit. she couldn’t tell the story without getting choked up, it was really a powerful moment for her, and for us, listening and i thought it was worth trying to capture that feeling in a song. again, where did the actual lyrics came from? i have no clue, i just turn on the tape recorder and sing, and see what comes out. the demo version, with the two lyrics lines, were both first takes. when it works, it works well. it don't always work though.

j

ted

September 6, 2006

OH NO! i cant make your show. if only i knew about it a few weeks ago i would have put in for vacation time to come to NYC! its too bad, i think Ohio would prolly win for farthest travel :-)

So is that the only one on the schedule? or can we expect to see more? please? pretty please? its one of my goals in life to see you guys (or girl) live!

Thanks for the great music on the new CD, its been playing non stop (well not entirely true, but damn close) in my car for months. I just cant get enough. You're definitly in my top 5 for life.

Peace out,

Ted

September 5, 2006

ok jakob...

rockets red glare...i like the idea of themes coming in and out of a song. You can do it if you are writing classical music, why not indie rock?

but really, it got in by chance (just as a filler) and then i kept it because it seemed to fit. how it got there in the first place is anybody's guess. I mean, I wrote it, but I write in a real stream of consciousness manner.

the next release? i think it will be more like the demos.

drummer? hard to say, but we bought 1/2 a kit and are finding the rest slowly, so maybe if we build it they will come.

memory ? yeah, plays a huge role in my writing. i've lost both of my parents, and i am grieving for them through songwriting.

i recommend anyone who has a chance to see the play "and god created great whales." it is all about memory, and the inspiration for More Sad Robots.

new machine? i have no idea...perhaps some gadget that is gonna make your life better.

last question.....we set out to make the best record we could. every decision was made at the controls, there wasn't an over arching plan. we recorded the basic tracks (electric guitar, bass and drums) in nyc with eli and then went to dc and did acoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals. and then i went to have a baby and they (steve and andrew) did the first set of edits. we worked on those, back and forth b/c we were back in brooklyn by then, for another year. and then it went to eli, who worked on it for another year.

of course, it wasn't a paying gig, so they all worked on it between their other work. And andrew and i both had jobs and a new baby. so things went really slow.

and so, in the end, it is as much their record as mine, and organic all the way. everyone offered suggestions that got put in, taken out, put in, until we ran out of time.

I'm not sure that answers your question. we just wanted to make the best record we could, with what we recorded in those basic tracks. we never went back to record again.

ok, henry's up from his nap. gotta run.
will write more later.
j

Gatsby Was Taken

September 4, 2006

I can see how one could overdose on the music they're hearing constantly. Good to know how you feel about WWFTR but I was actually wondering about the newest material (the low-fi tape recorded demo collection) & what sort of vision you had for the (not at all nigh release of the) upcoming record. No more questions from me, as I’m sure there are others in line.

As for Lovey, it’s the best song on WWFTR in my opinion. I love it. I think you may have captured the essence of the feeling you were trying to convey & passed it on to every listener with that one, stirring sentiment into all of us. It’s a gem.

Did we mention thank you for the Q&A?

jakob

September 4, 2006

Nice! I'll try to restrain myself here.

1. Obligatory geeky question: the 'rockets blare' lyric is present in both "Astronaut" and "Lovey," songs separated in official release by about 6 or 7 years. Was that a conscious decision? Are they about the same topic?

2. The EP was 100% organic, straight-up guitar/bass/drum indie-pop. WWFTR, on the other hand, is certainly a far more studio-oriented ordeal, with many vocal layers, keyboards and synth flourishes, etc. -- you can certainly tell it took a much longer time to put together. Which sound do you think the next release is going to lean towards, eventually?

3. Will there be an eventual drummer added to the line-up (at least on recordings?), or will Calamine stay as more of an acoustic, barebones project now?

4. A fan review on CDBaby called WWFTR a concept record about memory, which I thought was an interesting way of thinking about it; he even went as far as to say it was perhaps an ongoing conversation between two people, at least one of which has amnesia. How do you feel about such a summary of the record? Is there any truth behind the fan's perception?

5. What's a "New Machine"?

6. It's interesting to compare the acoustic WWFTR demos to the final product as there's obviously a huge leap in aesthetic from stark to ornate there. After completing the acoustic demos and beginning the record, did you set out to create a more studio-oriented expression of the music, or did that sort of just evolve over time?

Okay, haha, I'll stop now. Those're all pretty difficult questions I realize, so feel free to skip at your own discretion. :) Very cool that you're doing this, though!

September 4, 2006

k gats. . .

what do i think about the new record? i try not to think about it. i'm too close, and I only hear the mistakes. We worked on the record for 2 years - I must have listened to the recordings hundreds of times. Something about that kills the enjoyment for me. (But don't feel bad for me, I've made peace with it. I know there are other people out there who really like what I do, and it gives me reason to continue. I don't have to like it. There's tons of stuff out there I'd rather listen to. Writing songs is how I pay for the enjoyment).

what song am i most proud of? Flicker. These Days. Lovey. I also really like the demo of The Accident.

Why? Don't know. Flicker still is enjoyable to play. These Days, because I worked on it for such a long time and I like alot of its lyrics. Lovey, for sentimental reasons. Also The Accident, which is about an accident Andrew's parents go into. I really like the demo of that song, with the two vocal lines.

I'm also proud of Sealab. I think it's a pretty catchy recording (but not as catchy as the demo, which has been lost, sadly)...

What do you set out to do when writing a song?

I don't know how to answer this. I guess I don't (set out to do anything) except get it finished. But of course it's never finished. So I guess I set out not to embarrass myself and to write the best song I can. I also think I try to hold on to something when I write a song about it. you know, preseve it somehow.

Do you find songwriting is more a matter of inspiration, or of persistence?

Luck favors the prepared, so I try to be prepared and slog away, hoping something good will come of it. I don't often feel inspired.

OK. That's it for now. I will think about these questions some more and continue tomorrow.

jakob

September 4, 2006

Those're good ones! Let's wait to hear back on those first before asking any others. :)

Gatsby Was Taken

September 4, 2006

Here's some!

Tell us what you think about the new record.

Which piece(s) are you most proud of & why?

What do you set out to do when writing a song?

Do you find songwriting is more a matter of inspiration, or of persistence?

julie

September 3, 2006

hey, i talked to beth w. today (one of the two people taking pictures at the last show). she has four prints for me. will post when i receive them.

thanks for the covers suggestions. i'm psyched to check them all out. i know most of them, but many i haven't listened to in ages.

hey, this week i'm taking questions (i've decided that this absolves me from doing interviews, which i don't like to do) so if you got questions, now's the time to ask them.

julie

zac

September 3, 2006

and pictures! i noticed a severe lack of them after the last show!

Gatsby Was Taken

September 3, 2006

Agreed. It's been too long since I had my Cali fix. Any good Samaritans out there with field recording gear?

C'mon...You know you want to.

jakob

September 3, 2006

covers, even? wow...if this isn't at least videotaped or recorded, i hope we get a setlist...

zac

September 3, 2006

engine isn't on Avery Island (i know this because i stumbled upon a vinyl copy yesterday in dayton!) but i would have to suggest

Jelly Bones-The Unicorns
El Salvador-Athlete
Quito, Source Decay, or The Bad Doctor-The Mountain Goats
Space Travel is Boring-Modest Mouse
Please Please Please-The Shout Out Louds

but in all honesty, wouldn't anything played by julie be great?

Julie

September 3, 2006

hey thanks gats.
engine i don't know. is it on avery island?
julie

Gatsby Was Taken

September 1, 2006

While I won't be able to attend, & don't know too terribly much about the ins & outs of your taste, I'll just list a few that I think I might like to hear from you/would fit your sound in my mind. Disregard at will:

Seasons in the Sun- Terry Jacks
Engine - Neutral Milk Hotel
Twin Falls- Built to Spill
The Longest Winter- Pedro the Lion

That said, the best things to hear at a show would be those you’ve written. They make stellar green with envy. Hopefully one of those will cry out for covering.

julie

September 1, 2006

sorry jakob.

hey i am taking suggestions on covers.

any ideas anyone?

Jakob

August 29, 2006

11pm on a Wednesday! You're killin' me...:P

Oh well. I'm glad you're making a real effort to play out, nevertheless. Keep at it! :)

Haha, lord, I need to give this board a rest...

Gatsby Was Taken

August 29, 2006

I wish I lived near New York.
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