The Gland Rovers - The Real Thing

Author channel Mark Nowlin   3 год. назад
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The Gland Rovers - Hey Neighbor

Hey Neighbor: Written and recorded maybe the weekend before “The Real Thing.” I had the chord progression around for about a year before I found the words to express the unfathomable shock, hurt, and anger I felt upon finding out about the next girlfriend’s dalliance with another Lansingite. I was pleased with the way that Part A tells one story while Part B tells another until the stories meet head-on at the end. I sat one Saturday morning during my leave of absence at my own kitchen table and hammered out the words. Then I got a six pack of beer, set up the Fostex on the gas range, and recorded it right there in the kitchen. All in one day. Composed and recorded: May 1996, 6021 Hughes, Lansing, MI ----- The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only Liner Notes The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs. In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks in each master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material. My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song. However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening. All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output. With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the musicianship and songcraft. The Gland Rovers were amateur but enthusiastic musicians. The playing was very much inspired and a part of the “DIY” ethos prevalent in alternative rock music in the early ‘90s. Except for a few tracks, a real drummer or even a real drum is not to be found. As The Gland Rovers had no drummer, they used drum machines or drum settings on cheap electronic keyboards. The rhythm of one track is knocked out against the bottom of a kitchen garbage pail. The vocals sometimes stray in pitch, something that sounds particularly galling in an era faithfully reliant on AutoTune but that sounds fully in context with other songs from the alt rock scene of the early ‘90s. What I hope you will hear emerging through the muddy production and amateurish playing are some fairly competent songwriting and interesting arrangements. They are the only reasons I bothered to pursue this project. -uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

The Gland Rovers - Let's Have a Snack

Let’s Have A Snack: The AM radio in I think 1970 used to play this instrumental called “Joy” by Apollo 100. It was an elaborate, catchy, rock re-imagining of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring.” Believe it or not, that was the inspiration for this instrumental. I have been kidded and teased and even criticized for this song, but -- and I could be crazy -- it kind of stands up today. Unlike so many of the Fostex masters, this one was in pristine condition, with lots of headroom, and I think it sounds terrific. Give it a re-listen, and just see if it doesn’t engender a little joy in your man’s desiring. Composed: circa 1993. Recorded: Spring 1993, 1623 Melrose, East Lansing, MI -------- The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only Liner Notes The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs. In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks in each master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material. My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song. However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening. All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output. With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the musicianship and songcraft. The Gland Rovers were amateur but enthusiastic musicians. The playing was very much inspired and a part of the “DIY” ethos prevalent in alternative rock music in the early ‘90s. Except for a few tracks, a real drummer or even a real drum is not to be found. As The Gland Rovers had no drummer, they used drum machines or drum settings on cheap electronic keyboards. The rhythm of one track is knocked out against the bottom of a kitchen garbage pail. The vocals sometimes stray in pitch, something that sounds particularly galling in an era faithfully reliant on AutoTune but that sounds fully in context with other songs from the alt rock scene of the early ‘90s. What I hope you will hear emerging through the muddy production and amateurish playing are some fairly competent songwriting and interesting arrangements. They are the only reasons I bothered to pursue this project. -uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

The Gland Rovers - Ledge of Love (ft. The Keltones)

Ledge Of Love: By far the most supportive person of my songwriting hobby has been my brother, Michael. He glommed onto the original, feedback-laden Fostex recording of this song that I made on Labor Day Weekend 1987, and decided that his band, The Keltones, should restyle it with a traditional Celtic arrangement (and some killer tremolo guitar, as well) and record it professionally. Thus commenced something of a journey that almost never ended and possibly broke up The Keltones. I traveled to the U.P. and recorded the basic tracks in a studio, including my bass, Michael’s guitar, and I can’t remember who on drums. I also recorded a scratch vocal which was agreed by all present to be replaced by a better one by a better singer at a later date. But whose? Michael tried two sets of female singers. His vocal coaching instructions to them were something like “long and sweet and slow and sad.” My future wife even recorded a version for consideration. The Keltones’ Steve Sleight played fiddle and Tim Clancy the concertina. Michael also overdubbed the drums I think two or three times with different drummers, who were put in the awkward position of having to play in sync to the existing tracks. Jim Simmons, whose studio we were using, sneaked an overdub of tremolo guitar over Michael’s tremolo guitar, inciting Michael. Michael’s obsession with the track was beginning to alienate the other members of the band. I think the entire project lasted maybe three years. In the end, Michael and the other Keltones decided that my lead vocal laid down at the very outset of the ordeal was the best, and so that’s the one they released on their last CD, “Ledge Of Love.” Without their permission, I am including it on this collection. Instead of being possibly the weakest track on The Keltones’ CD, it might be the strongest on The Gland Rovers’. Composed: Summer 1987. Recorded: circa 1994-1997, Marquette, MI ----- The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only Liner Notes The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs. In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks in each master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material. My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song. However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening. All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output. With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the musicianship and songcraft. The Gland Rovers were amateur but enthusiastic musicians. The playing was very much inspired and a pa

The Gland Rovers - Bring You Joy/Gasoline Fire

Bring You Joy: A song of welcome, inspired musically by The Cramps and The Pixies. I realized many years later that the opening guitar figure was nicked unconsciously from the horn riff of Ray Charles’ “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town.” At 1623 Melrose, there was a small bedroom at the end of the hall with a floor of brown linoleum. It was a place in the tiny house that I carved out as what you might call a “man cave” today, although in the early ‘90s I am not sure that phrase had been coined yet. There was a spare bed, a stereo system, my records, my guitars, a keyboard, my Fostex 4-track tape recorder, a TV, a hi-fi cabinet, and a small bong. I spent a lot of time there during my first marriage. That room, and my need to have an hour or two of solitude in there from time to time, was the inspiration for “Bring You Joy.” Later, and later in the song, I kinda made my own head a clumsy metaphor for that room and my need to be alone in my thoughts at times. At the end of the song I find myself warily agreeing to admit entrance to my head and my next house to the next girlfriend. I recorded the vocals through my Fender Princeton guitar amp with the gain turned way up to distort them. Composed: circa 1990-91 and Feb-March 1994. Recorded: April 1994, 6021 Hughes Road, Lansing, MI. Gasoline Fire: Vaguely I remember staying up late, curled up in the wedgwood blue mother-daughter chair in the living room of my next house at 6021 Hughes Road, while the next girlfriend slept in the adjoining bedroom, writing the lyrics and thinking up the riff. Maybe just a tad too wincingly confessional, but in the early stages of my divorce, and already shacked up with another, I guess I could be forgiven for some mixed feelings about everything. I was trying to figure it out and not yet really ready or willing to take all of the blame but feeling horrified at what happened, all the same. I have always known that this song was to be joined at the hip with “Bring You Joy.” Composed: Late Winter 1994. Recorded: May 27, 1994, Hughes Road, Lansing, MI ----- The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only Liner Notes The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs. In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks from the master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material. My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song. However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening. All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output. With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the

The Gland Rovers - Mr Poor Taste

Mr. Poor Taste: Little recollection of either the inspiration for or the effort in writing this one, nor any specific memory of recording it. The lyric does crack me up, though. I remember I bought a pair of really, really cheap loafers at a discount department store, which fell apart in the first rain I wore them and for which the next girlfriend berated me miserably. By this point we had been living together for about a year, and the rush of inspiration she had fueled originally had dissipated. In fact there might have actually been a tiff in bed one night that inspired this song and suggested to me that the honeymoon was about over. When she had to work nights sometimes I would grab a couple of Molson Ice tall boys and lay down some tracks on the Fostex. I think this was one of them. “Mr. Poor Taste, I don’t know. There’s more to sex than life, you know.” Composed: Fall 1994. Recorded: November 3, 1994, 6021 Hughes, Lansing, M ------- The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only Liner Notes The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs. In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks in each master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material. My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song. However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening. All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output. With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the musicianship and songcraft. The Gland Rovers were amateur but enthusiastic musicians. The playing was very much inspired and a part of the “DIY” ethos prevalent in alternative rock music in the early ‘90s. Except for a few tracks, a real drummer or even a real drum is not to be found. As The Gland Rovers had no drummer, they used drum machines or drum settings on cheap electronic keyboards. The rhythm of one track is knocked out against the bottom of a kitchen garbage pail. The vocals sometimes stray in pitch, something that sounds particularly galling in an era faithfully reliant on AutoTune but that sounds fully in context with other songs from the alt rock scene of the early ‘90s. What I hope you will hear emerging through the muddy production and amateurish playing are some fairly competent songwriting and interesting arrangements. They are the only reasons I bothered to pursue this project. -uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

The Real Thing: At the very beginning you can hear the sound of the kitchen door at my brother Michael’s house opening with a squeak. Inside at his kitchen table I was laying down the bed tracks for this rather naked self-appraisal of my life at the moment.

I came up with the basic lyric and melody ideas just singing to myself while making that long drive up from Lansing to the U.P. during my leave of absence from the Governor’s office.

I wanted something Richard Thompson-esque, and so the gallop rhythm seems inspired by “Don’t Renege On Our Love.” I had also wanted Thompson-esque guitar breaks, something I couldn’t play and never got Blanket Party’s Mike Cohen to play, so I settled for the draw organ setting on my cheap keyboard.

Composed and recorded: May 1996, Chatham, MI
-----
The Gland Rovers - For Collectors Only
Liner Notes

The songs in this volume all were recorded on a Fostex X-15 four-track multitrack cassette deck between 1990 and 2002. The bulk, however, were recorded between early 1993 and early 1996, a period of substantive personal upheaval and loss for The Gland Rovers. This three-year period saw a marriage end, one serious, live-in relationship dissolve, and my mother die. The material was recorded in five different locales, three of which were my homes over this period. Needless to say, the personal turmoil and coming to grips with mid-life changes are central themes in nearly all of the original songs.

In the early 2010s, I decided to transfer the analog cassette master tapes containing these songs to a digital format using Audacity. I transcribed each of the four tracks in each master sources separately, and then manually synched the audio tracks together. I cleaned up some tape hiss and tried carefully to overcome areas of degradation of the source material.

My guiding principle when starting out was to stay true to the intentions of the original production, while taking only prudent liberties to use the newer digital technology to overcome certain technical limitations of the original four-track cassette format. As such, throughout the album there are instrumental tracks in some songs that are doubled and slightly delayed, to provide more richness and depth. Guitar breaks that had been dubbed onto the same track as the lead vocal were extracted and placed on their own digital track, to be able to mix them more effectively within the entire song.

However it must be admitted that, once knuckles deep in the source material, I couldn’t resist using a few more of the available tools to enhance certain aspects of a few songs. “Radio Dedication” was doctored the most. Some extremely annoying closed high hat fills were painstakingly eliminated and effects applied to the lead vocal. Pitch correction was used sparingly in certain places in that song and some others, although it could be argued that it could have been used wholesale. There are other similar augmentations and fixes that will probably be obvious upon listening.

All of the latest technological advancements cannot step around the fact that these tracks were recorded on a cassette recorder with non-professional grade equipment. The knobs on the “mixing board” were tweaked by non-professionals, and in the original masters some of the choices of performances to “bounce” together to a single track (such as lead vocal together with bass) were regrettably impossible to do much with during the digital remastering. In all, it is pretty obvious that this is not professional output.

With some background about the production out of the way, a few words about the musicianship and songcraft. The Gland Rovers were amateur but enthusiastic musicians. The playing was very much inspired and a part of the “DIY” ethos prevalent in alternative rock music in the early ‘90s. Except for a few tracks, a real drummer or even a real drum is not to be found. As The Gland Rovers had no drummer, they used drum machines or drum settings on cheap electronic keyboards. The rhythm of one track is knocked out against the bottom of a kitchen garbage pail. The vocals sometimes stray in pitch, something that sounds particularly galling in an era faithfully reliant on AutoTune but that sounds fully in context with other songs from the alt rock scene of the early ‘90s.

What I hope you will hear emerging through the muddy production and amateurish playing are some fairly competent songwriting and interesting arrangements. They are the only reasons I bothered to pursue this project.

-uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

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