Sunday, January 25, 2009


This weekend Jason came up from Nashville so that we could work on "Oft the Loner" - a set of songs, some older, some new. Phyllis sewed, Cebah napped, while we worked almost non-stop for two days - with maybe 5 hours of sleep, max. Time to work on music is very rare for both of us, so we wanted to make the best of the opportunity. We almost did everything that we wanted to do on nine of the ten pieces. There's still a lot to do though.

In the middle of the night we took a break for a walk around the farm, to clear our heads. I took this photo of Dr. Vibe under the barn security light - it looks like he doesn't have a face. I didn't notice at the time if he did - I didn't have my glasses on. We tend to assume that people have faces all the time, but if you're not looking, how can you be sure?

So many people have called or written to ask; "Why do you call your production company 'Deathslab Records' - are you morbid?"
The answer is because we do all of the recording on my antique embalming table. I suppose we could have called it Cooling Board Records, but Deathslab sounds grittier, I think, and technically we are in the South. I don't think that recycling is morbid - it's a perfectly good table.

Of all the paradox laden projects I've worked on, Oft the Loner may be the most so. Solitude, by definition, is something that other people don't hear - that's the wrinkle in this one. We'll let you know when the CD is ready!

Here's the set list:

1. Oft the Loner
2. Cowboy Dan's Return
3. Glass Steps
4. On the Beach
5. Hanging by a Thread
6. Sweet Bird
7. A Kite
8. Town of Dreams
9. Awo
10. Siren Song


Cathy said...

We tend to assume that people have faces all the time, but if you're not looking, how can you be sure?


Dan Dutton said...

Solipsistence comes naturally to loners.

Apifera Farm said...

I'm acctually quite jealous of the embalming table...

Dan Dutton said...

It's a fabulous work table - rock maple with hinged legs so you can fold it up. I sanded a zillion layers of (very off) white enamel off of it. Probably inhaled several corpses in the process.

William said...

I'm glad to see that "Town of My Dreams" made the list. That song has been one of my favorites for many, many years.

Dan Dutton said...

That's the one in the ten that we didn't get to work on - in part because there isn't that much left to do on it.
I need to replay my over-exuberant guitar part - we think that I knocked the g string ever so slightly out of tune on one of those big whangs. Jason's awaiting new software that claims to be able to correct even imbedded pitch problems such as that - a single note in a chord. But I may just re-do it.

Can't wait to share it with you! It would be really interesting to me to know what the set list for "William's Picks" would be on a 78 minute CD! You've undoubtedly listened to more of my music than any other set of ears!

Alan Evil said...

As the years pass I'm becoming more and more convinced that pop albums should be kept to under 40 minutes unless they're a true "double LP" kind of thing. Most new pop albums these days feel like they're full of filler. Brian Eno's last pop album was the perfect length, in my opinion. But then again, aren't all his albums nearly perfect?

Dan Dutton said...

Oft the Loner is about 45 minutes, I think. When I was working on Secret C. the problem was the reverse - only The Changeling would fit on a single CD - but two was more than enough, and too expensive to have printed! (BCB - before home CD burning...)

There's a funny Stravinsky story about "album time" - He had composed a piano piece to fit on the 4 sides of two 78s & one of movements turned out to be just a little two long - so he just lopped off the last few measures. His wife, Vera, commented; "So much for unity of form, eh?"

SBD said...

I wan to add something, but what?
I guess I would echo all of the sentiments described herein. But I would say, please let me exist your world!

Dan Dutton said...

We may have to re-institute the Gypsy Jam so that we'll have enough time together to play every song that can be!

SBD said...

Anne Bates, from Lexington, was recounting an experience of being at a Gypsy jam with Hunter, lo, many years was sooooooooooo funny to hear her describe what she thought she was going to when she got all dressed up!
Time for a redux!

mgb said...

If you do resurrect the Gypsy Jam, is there any hope for a Slugs reunion performance?