This debut album was recorded by Pete Reiniger and mastered by Charlie Pilzer, both Grammy-winning engineers that specialize in folk (world folk) music recording. The recording was done without overdubbing, multi-tracking, pitch correction, and little or no compression so that the volume actually changes on the CD much more dramatically than one would find on a commercial album, on which primarily only the texture (perceived volume) changes. This, in addition to the absence of drum and bass weakens any sense of solidity while intensifying the intimacy and vulnerability of the album.
A song about writing songs, “Well it may not be tomorrow / And it may not be thereafter” is placed over the same chords as “My way out / Ain’t my way in” from "My Way Out." A quick muted strum punctuates “I love my Girl” in the same way it does “Something between them compelled them to be one” in My Little Pony. The 7/8-meter reflects the hiccoughing rhythmic irregularities in The Dust that Clouds the View, which accordingly addresses the frustration of sorting one’s thoughts from language.
Written originally as a gift, this through-composed piece exposes both the humbling and encouraging feelings of a goofball falling in love. The magnificence of these feelings eclipses all uncertainties as to the direction of the budding relationship.
Make a Difference
It was about 2:00 a.m. the summer before my freshman year of college. A tape recorder sat on my chest as I laid down nearly asleep. I played softly so as not wake anyone. The next day I listened to this song for the second time and wrote it down.
My Little Pony
The story was largely a stream of consciousness bedtime story for Rebecca, but it was clarified into a tale of emotional intimacy. The Unicorn in this tale symbolizes chastity (please click here for more on unicorn folklore) and suggests that such purity is achieved once intimacy is realized on all levels, rather than avoided.
My Way Out
“As the fractured echo gets more mangled” Scott takes us through a difficult time of self-loathing and disgust. As age erodes innocence, thinking in circles leads to nowhere except confusion and doubt as to the source of serious personal vices. In the end, My Way Out is neither to ignore nor to reconcile. Whether or not the path is known, it’s time for moving on.
The Dust that Clouds the View
Comment would not be appropriate.
This sequel toOO (not featured) is about a relationship damaged by the emotional fences of both parties. It is also another through-composed piece with one recurring theme, played differently as perspective changes. The harmony for “We’re used to dodging difficulties . . . ” is played backwards in Wonderful Wednesday behind “If I don’t get one kiss for this . . .”
Written in my junior year of high school, this is the oldest song on the album.
The common thought in this song is whether or not one is ready to accept the end of a relationship, consequently the melody repeats in each verse. Somewhat like a rondo (ABACAD) a new melody is introduced with a new contemplation. The steady rhythm halts only once, as one last hesitation, just before the resolution to let go out of self-interest is made.
Through composed, this song describes finishing college only to discover how unprepared one is for life beyond the status quo in terms of career, social life, and creativity. It is about the struggle to hold on to a dream once the possibility has come for it to be realized. The same chords underlie “(I just want to know) what to do” and “(Should I) just go back to sleep.”
All Over Me
It seems appropriate to follow The Quo with the least original song on the album. This also serves as a sort of footnote to the album - suggesting that originality was never the intent, but rather to have a good cry.
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