Released September, 2013 Knick Knack Records
track 1: This Christmas All I want is a Job (lyrics and music by Bart Cameron)
track 2: Ain't I a Man (lyrics Bart Cameron, music by The Foghorns)
track 3: Wee Wee Hours (lyrics by Chuck Berry, music by Chuck Berry and Bart Cameron)
track 4: $400 (lyrics and music by Bart Cameron)
track 5: Cocksucker Blues (lyrics and music by Keith Richards, Mick Jagger.....and Bart Cameron)
Recorded by Charles Bork, mixed by Charles Bork
The Big F: Why does this EP look like crap? Why is your music on a CD-R? (in this case a download)
You’re thinking: “Hey, you’ve done well for yourselves, why are you giving me something anybody could make, if they could just demotivate themselves enough?”
There’s a possibility-- very slim-- that you’re someone who bought one of our beautifully made vinyl records. There’s a greater possibility that you’ve bought one of our professional-looking CDs. And it’s most likely that you heard our music on Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, iTunes, or the radio. So you expect more from us.
It actually gets worse. Every song on this EP was recorded for us direct to quarter-inch tape using some gear that we couldn’t even afford to look at by the fantastic Charles Bork, who even mixed the EP for us as well. (All songs on this EP are live recordings using the best monophonic equipment money could buy in 1958-- no shit, serious. The master for this EP is prepped to be cut into acetate by Charles Bork, himself. This could have been the most legit electric recording this side of a Jack White wet dream.) (Actually, isn’t Jack White’s life Jack White’s wet dream?)
Additionally, over years of performing, we have some outstanding photos that we could have used. And probably most importantly, the two labels we have worked with recently, Charles Bork’s Groove-o-Matic and Joe Johnson’s Knick Knack Records, those dudes were ready to help us make something monumental.
Instead we’re selling a CD-R.
So here it is:
1. It is my firm belief that this is an excellent recording and performance. It is also my firm belief that the majority of people in Earth 1, or the planet we’re sitting and spinning on, would not find the experience of hearing our music… pleasant. Let me rephrase that-- the minority of people on Earth 1 would not enjoy this. One percent of the world would not enjoy this. If I were to break it down, I’d say more people would enjoy eating putrified shark than would enjoy two minutes of this EP. If “Yesterday” is the Taco Tuesday of world musicology, musicians being the artists that are equal to Waterloo, Iowa elementary school cafeteria master chefs and all the world’s music consumers being equated to 1983 Waterloo, Iowa 2nd graders, “This Christmas All I Want is a Job” would be the couscous and eggplant with sliced beets. (Truthfully, I’d choose something less wholesome as a food analogy, but the couscous scarred me for life.)
This is all to say… it takes a lot of effort to find that one hungry-ass child with the BJ Armstrong jersey willing to eat something different. And it takes even more to find someone interested in listening to what we’re putting out.
When The Foghorns started, we were in Brooklyn. You couldn’t toss a beret in my neighborhood without hitting someone more talented in every way than I was. But it didn’t matter. Brooklynites helped each other… and amazing musicians like Danny Erker and Brad Einhorn helped us. So we put on little shows, people contributed money to help us… put on more shows. (Where was that going?) Then I landed in Iceland, and this Foghorns thing ended up being a way to entertain people at art openings. Yes. Art openings. Okay, we sold cheap booze at the art openings too.
Something crazy happened in Iceland. (Every fucking second something crazy happens in Iceland. While I wrote this sentence, someone puked whale sashimi while bathing in a natural hotspring with a Venezuelan supermodel who has, tattooed above her left buttock, an old English poem about western winds, and who will soon, no doubt, depart for China to pose as a wealthy businessman’s girlfriend because, well, that kind of crap happens there. Iceland is equal to or greater than Stargate) Anyway, Bart gave up his artistic interests, went into journalism, and then… and this really can’t be explained.. The Foghorns became a funky-ass sideshow in Reykjavik. And then we made a CD that people bought. And when we sold CDs, just by ourselves, it turned out to be a lot of money. So much that to avoid being filthy fucking tax cheats, we had to either register as people earning money off art, or we had to invest our earnings in something like a label. We have never ever made money like that since.
So… I listened to that CD the other day. (Note: This ridiculous liner note oscillates between “we” and “I” because this band seriously is a multi-person entity… The Bart who gave up his artistic interests and who is writing this while he burns the CD-Rs for a show, that Bart kind of fades when it comes to music, the “we” of the band, his lack of musical training allow him to just be a part of something.) The CD we sold in Iceland that made money was called So Sober. It doesn’t sound great, to me. As in, it’s too avant garde for me. It’s Bart (see the switch) at his most nasal, slightly off-key, and morose as hell, with a clangy, unforgiving wash-basin beating in time sometimes, off time at others.
Holy God is this digressing. The point is, and this is point 1, as The Coasters sing in “What is the Secret of Your Success” (and by the way, they may have sung some adolescent lyrics, but they did so beautifully), “some folks got it and some folks ain’t.” Or… while we may, as a culture, attempt to justify success by working backwards from success to explain the virtues of each work of art; when you’re putting your money, or, worse, other people’s money, into something, the fact that success depends on so many variables gets uncomfortable.
The music on this record is good, but your parents won’t like it. Your children shouldn’t have access to it, unless you want to have some difficult conversations-- honestly, just get it out of the way,
Well son, this is what a harmony is, and when Bart sings about beastiality, the harmony is, I believe a 1-5-7 harmony, which is complicated, but it’s a stock harmony you’d find in many protestant churches with sub-par choirs. I wanted to wait to tell you this, but some choirs… just don’t use thirds well. Also, some dudes fuck pigs. And gay men are raped by policemen and people of authority routinely… so singing about that is offensive, but the fact that it happens is more offensive, and therefore we will buy every Foghorns album henceforth, though this song itself was written by The Rolling Stones in 1968. Yes son, lyrics that were kind of mainstream in 1968 are fantastically vulgar by contemporary standards because we are in a second Dark Ages. When you grow up, you will communicate only by digital gesture, but using gestures, you will follow extensive commentary about the vulgarity of Miley Cyrus’s ankles, (she will still, somehow, be only 21), possibly deciding to virtually burn her at the stake. Yours will be deemed the Age of Bayless, and yours will be the last generation of humans that can stand in the rain without looking up and drowning. Glad we had this discussion. (SCENE)
So we made a CD-R because we didn’t want to risk any money-- ours, or anyone else’s. We could have made something prettier, found those fans interested in us, and generated a unique little universe of culture. Or we could have tried. But that would mean spending lots of time finding those people. Finding them, reaching out to them. Getting them interested in our “brand” and “backstory” (but wait, what’s all that bullshit about Brooklyn and Iceland). Instead, we thought we’d stick to the people we already know, give them our honest effort, and leave it at that.
2. Odds are 50/50 this is only a temporary measure, and we’ll release something slick-looking and try to sell it to you, too. We might even name it something else to get you to buy the thing twice. We are just barely popular enough where we can make something pretty and not lose a lot of money off of it. But there’s always tons of worry behind it, because we’re really on the edge there, between just popular enough and abject failures.
3. We’re working on an album. The whole idea that anybody care when we were going to release something new caught us by surprise. So we thought we’d take advantage of that energy and go and capture our live sound with this EP. We did that. Then we were supposed to talk about making records, or CDs, etc. The biggest cost of vinyl and CDs, literally, (the old definition, not the new literally means “!” definition), is PACKAGING. For small bands, art and cardboard would be a massive section of the pie chart that is their product. So… we did this big F thing. As a coincidence, F stands for Foghorns
4. This allows us to sell you our music for very little. No, this wasn’t our first concern.
Thanks, The Foghorns