Saturday, 22 December 2007



Walking Along an Edge of Sky/Make Like Arthur Lee/Milkman's Wife/It Seems You are So Happening/King of Zorg/I Don't Really Mean to Freak You Out/No Joke/Spaced Out/Al Gabone/Gazing at Clouds/Brilliant but Late Advice/Lost Lonely Sailor/4 Sec Nightmare in a 5 Sec Dream/Closer/I'd Give It All Up for You/The Last Confederate Soldier/She's in Style/Still Haven't Learned to Behave/Long Goes the Human/Sidecar/My Heroine/Buzz for Aldrin/Good to Be Alive/In the End (You're Moving On)

The first listen fresh off the press

Mark and Dan

Davey checks the booklet for typos


Mark Mikel "Make Like Arthur Lee was based on the idea that the modern world can seem like another planet compared to the one in which you grew up. Finding the only way to deal with it is to form a Pillbugs or something like that to combat your own complete eventual abandonment of what was once important. If you're Arthur Lee, then you form another incarnation of your 60's band Love- which, of course, he did.I used to have a bumper sticker (I can't remember who gave it to me) that stated "You can have my guitar when you can pry it out of my cold dead hands." I borrowed that concept for a lyric and Tabner's guitar lick that follows states it very well too, I think.The song itself (verse melody, chorus melody and main riff) are extensions of two other songs (Good to Be Alive and Buzz For Aldrin). The only real songwriting that occurred here was the lyrics. The rest was all rearranging. The more you listen, the more you'll realize how the last songs of disc 2 seem to somewhat mirror the first songs on disc 1. But the reality is they were written in the opposite direction than what's implied.When I record backward bits, I just take the reels off and turn them around and put 'em back on the machine. Track 1 is now track 16, Track 2 is now 15 etc...I've been doing it for years and I've developed the ability to hear songs backward and to basically know what to play (and when to play it) to get the desired line.
"Still Haven't Learned To Behave" was worked on prior to Happy Birthday and it was originally called "Keep It Real." As with any song where the songwriting credits starting with Chalmers, Dan brought in an unfinished piece and asked us to finish it with him. Chalmy always has the music and arrangement down really well but he likes to have me or Davey do the lyrics and often times the vocal melody. Davey had written a set of lyrics that Dan wasn't too keen on. Dan then changed the vocal melody and asked me to write lyrics based on something his wife Kim said. Something along the lines of "You're still the same as you were never supposed to be" or something like that. Dan couldn't remember the exact quote and neither could Kim. So I came up with the lyrics that we have today (with a couple small changes made before the final mix).Dan and Kim both acknowledge that "Still haven't learned to behave like you wanted me to" was not right but about as close as we're gonna get. They never complained that the line ends in a preposition -so that's cool.
She's In Style was not part of it originally. Scott Hunt offered it as a song for Davey. Davey usually writes one song per album and co-writes a bit on others. We all love his voice and want him to sing as many songs as possible. I always write a couple for him. This time I gave him Spaced-Out and I'd Give It All Up For You. We duet on Still Haven't Learned To Behave, Long Goes The Human and Brilliant But Late Advice. Of course his backing vocal is all over the place.The other guys' songs really had nothing to do with my concept. As far as they were concerned they were just writing another song(s) to be on the new album. I wrote the lyrics for Chalmers's songs- so I made them work. Mark Kelley's "Al Gabone" (though recorded back in 1999) fits perfectly. Tabner wrote Long Goes The Human after many of my songs were already recorded- so his concept of self-imposed alienation was probably a direct addition on his part. That compliments it perfectly too. There is a love interest that I illustrate heaviest in It Seems You Are So Happening, No Joke, I'd Give it All Up For You and Sidecar. So I just felt She's In Style zeros in on that a bit more (the Sunflower character). It works. Plus the breezy innocence of She's In Style makes a nice contradiction to the trashy geezerness of The Last Confederate
Soldier that proceeds it."

During the first cover printing the layer with the Pillbugs logo fell out the process and as a result the original run has the cover sans The Pillbugs as seen above. This has been corrected for the second pressing.
Bob Tibbitts "Yes, the ommission of the Pillbugs Logo is a shame, even though the first pressing will become a collector's item! When I prepared the files that were submitted for the printers to make plates from I decided to use high res pdf files, that way reducing the overall file sizes that needed to be sent. Unfortunately, when the pdfs were opened at Proverus the layer that the logo existed on didn't open very quickly and it was assumed that it was intentional that the logo did not appear. The logo was intended to be there all along so it appears there was a type of production oversight. Those final days were quite frantic also, having to convert the lyrics from appearing on the back of the poster to sit within the booklet format."

Banner by Barb Petersen

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