Here’s a new song called “Throw it to the Moon.” It’s actually the oldest song on our forthcoming debut LP. Read on for the story, and a music video by Jeff.
“Moon” first materialized almost eight years ago on a ferry in British Columbia. All of us Lame Drivers were touring members of Get Him Eat Him. At that moment we were en route to Vancouver Island, to play at Logan’s and climb up a hill with Frog Eyes.
The melody came first. It always does, but it usually comes in little pieces. This melody emerged as a full sequence—from the opening guitar part through the verses to the “order march” section and outro solo. I drew some symbols to represent the rhythm, and words about “order” and “the moon.” Throw it to the moon is almost like throwing something away, except then it goes into orbit. It’s a cyclical revolution in contrast to linear order. I threw it to the moon and walked out onto the deck where Joe was beaming for some reason.
Jason Kevin and Joe on the BC Ferry, July 2007. Photo by Matt LeMay
That’s where most songs end—as fragments in my head, or, if they’re lucky, an abandoned notebook. But this one was in orbit. It cycled back frequently, often with some new mutation developed during the previous revolution. It finally crashed for good a couple years ago. It was totally deformed. It contained many unanswered questions—the time signature of the verse, for one. I brought it to Jeff and Joe. They gave it shape, and developed it from abstract idea to a real thing.
The song was still intangible until we recorded a few demos in my basement (Rad Town). I wanted a different sound. We tracked with Travis Harrison, and I really like the recording though it has yet to be finished. Then we set out on a tour with Woolen Men. By the end of the tour, we were playing the song much faster—by about ten bpm (I counted!). The song had evolved in other ways, too. So with this fresh post-tour energy, we had to re-record.
Lames open for R Stevie Moore at The End in Nashville, 2013. L to R: Joe, Jeff, Jason. Photo by Tommy / Square People
I shared the demo for “Moon” with Matt Tong. Matt had first brought up the idea of recording Lame Drivers in 2012. He’d heard us play “Other Side” and wanted to take a sort of AM radio approach to it, to bring out the Fleetwood Mac… We like what he did. Then he did Frozen Egg:
We liked that too. We were hoping he’d be down to record “Moon” and maybe another one, like Slow Detective. It turns out that I caught him at a weird time with this request—he’d just made a difficult decision to quit his band of ten years.
Fortunately he thought “Moon” was “math-tastic” and agreed to record. We met up at his Matt’s home studio in Bed-Stuy. It’s named Exploded Drawing, after the Polvo album. It’s a great place to create a song. It is also a basement. There’s a washer/dryer. There’s a dehumidifier. And, for a moment, we all became paranoid that there might be a dangerous mold problem.
Joe tracking “Moon” bass at Exploded Drawing. Is your face facemask on?
Matt has a knack for taking what was once the weakest section of a song, and turning it into the best. The outro guitar solo had remained pretty much the same in my head ever since 2007. The way I heard it, it was just 1-guitar. Matt wanted moar… Ok, two guitars started to make sense because when I play the part live, I feel a little schizo jumping back and forth between the two guitar parts. Matt demanded politely that there be more. I don’t know how many guitars we wound up with—I think a few of the tracks are just feedback— and Matt sculpted something beyond my imagination at the time. Now I can’t imagine it any other way.
I didn’t know what form this song would take back in 2007, but I knew that it would appear on the first Lame Drivers LP. The LP is finally here! It’s called Chosen Era and it’s out Friday Oct 9th on Bleeding Gold (LP) / Jigsaw Records (CD) / Lame (MP3)! We’re touring with Woolen Men again, and they’ll be in town for our release show Oct 8th. Hope to see you soon.
Music Video by our own Jeff Wood. Look out for more videos from Chosen Era tracks in the near future…
Chosen Era, the first Lame Drivers LP, is out Oct 9th in collaboration with Bleeding Gold Records. Yes, we’ve been a band for a long time and released music on all sorts of other formats (flexi-book, hollowed out book, tape, 12″ comp, split 7″). Well, this is our first 12″ LP. It’s been a long time comin, and we’re psyched to share these songs that’ve been in the works for years. Yellow vinyl. 300 copies.
:: Side A ::
2. Outlaw for a Day
3. Frozen Egg
4. Throw it to the Moon
5. Slow Detective
:: Side B ::
1. Right Track
3. Season Control
5. Free Martin
6. Unseen Tarot
:: CD Bonus Tracks ::
Color Me Dead
Other Side (remastered)
Chosen Era was recorded by Lame Drivers at home in the basement, and also by Matt Tong (ex-Bloc Party), and Travis Harrison (Homosexuals, GBV), and Geoff Sanoff (Obits) recorded one of the bonus tracks. All mastered by Jamal Ruhe (Sheer Mag).
We’re seriously psyched to be part of Serious Rockers, the first-ever release from Unblinking Ear. It’s a 28-band compilation and we’re in very good company with some of our favorite bands we’ve ever played with like Lazy, My Teenage Stride, Expert Alterations, Literature, Life Stinks, Simple Circuit, Mike Pace and the Child Actors, and So Cow’s Brian Kelly. The rest are either bands we already like, or new discoveries that we want to hear more. It’s curated by DJ Paul Bruno, so of course every track here rocks—seriously! We contributed a new song “I’m Ready,” we recorded it in the Rad Town basement.
The tape release show is this Saturday. Details on fb.
Saturday, February 7th
Pine Box Rock Shop
(12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, 1 block from the Morgan L stop)Unblinking Ear Records present:
SERIOUS ROCKERS RECORD RELEASE SHOW!We’ve got tapes. They are for sale. Come get one. And see these bands:
We’re micro-touring our favorite Tri-State Area this week with our favorite west coast pals The Woolen Men!
Thursday Nov 6 we play Brooklyn NY’s Death By Audio with Woods and Nonhorse. This night is also the opening of Death By Art, which turns the entire facility into a massive art gallery (featuring work by Lame Jason). We’re thrilled to be part of this incredible month at DBA, but also very sad that the venue is closing on Nov 22nd—we’re really going to miss Death By Audio. (fb)
Thursday Nov 7th we’re at The Pharmacy in Philadelphia PA with The Cats and Space Drugs. We dig both these bands a lot and do you have a prescription for keg beer? Well this Pharmacy has just what the doctor ordered. (fb)
Sunday Nov 9th we’re in Jersey City NJ at WFMU’s new performance space Monty Hall, along with Yonatan Gat of Monotonix. This show is presented by Hello Children with Faye and Liz Berg. (fb)
All shows are with The Woolen Men, too.
After these shows, we’re not booking anything until we have an LP. It’s almost ready!
Hey! We’re playing with The Gizmos at Union Pool in Brooklyn this Saturday, October 11th. This is the original lineup from ’76 / ’77, and they have never played NYC before. We are big fans of The Gizmos and really psyched for the show. FB / Tix
Death of Samantha hasn’t played NY since CBGB circa 1990! The legendary Cleveland band recently reunited to play shows in Cleveland and Columbus, WFMU’s SXSW show, and a few dates with Guided By Voices. They also recorded a practice session full of favorites from their 1980’s Homestead releases. It’s out on a double LP, If Memory Serves Us Well
DoS went on to inspire a generation of underground bands while its members went on to new projects including Cobra Verde, Gem and some of thee most classic Guided By Voices. Just this year, singer John Petkovic released the second LP by his band Sweet Apple, featuring J Mascis, Mark Lanegan and Bob Pollard! Guitarist Doug Gillard released his first solo LP since 2009, and it’s chock full of jams! We had the chance to open for Doug earlier this year at Cake Shop, and to see his band play with GbV at Bowery Ballroom, the new songs are instant classics, Parade On is highly recommended.
Lame Drivers will be Mission of Burma for the Piehole Social, Feb 22nd at Greenpoint’s Lutheran Church of the Messiah. We like to be cover bands. In the past we have also been Exploding Hearts, Flipper, and Guided By Voices. We’ll be joined by the Modern Lovers, the Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr. There will also be a raffle, hula-ukelele, narraganset, standup, and pies in the face.