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.
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.
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.
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…
“Outlaw For A Day” is on Without A Trace, from Mirror Universe Tapes & Serenity Now Tapes. It’s a free 24-track mixtape full of jams. Excellent sequence, too—we’re sandwiched in between the LeMays, Shy Mirrors, and No Monster Club.
This track will also appear on our debut LP, which is mastered and ready to go to the pressing plant.
The Lame Drivers Flexi-Book EP is a book that you can play on your turntable. 7 new songs across 5 thin sound sheets, with original artwork by Mayuko Fujino, Sarah Hotchkiss, Keenan Marshall Keller, Caroline Teagle and Umman Turkoglu. Recorded by Lame Drivers @ Rad_Town, Matt Tong (Matthew C H Tong / Bloc Party) at Exploded Drawing in Bed-Stuy, and JZ Barrell.
>> ORDER HERE <<
300 Flexi-Books arrived from Pirates Press this week. We hand-tested, stenciled, stickered, bagged and shipped out the first batch of pre-orders…
We’re bringing the rest on our tour with The Woolen Men, May 19-June 6th.
May 19 (sun) NYC – Brooklyn @ Shea Stadium w/ Hippy & Shark? **FLEXI-BOOKs ARE HERE**
May 20 (mon) NJ – Woolen Men tape @ WFMU followed by a New Brunswick house show
May 21 (tues) Boston MA @ O’Brien’s w/ Bent Shapes, Half Sour
May 22 (wed) Philadelphia PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/ Literature, Pet Milk
May 23 (thurs) Cleveland OH @ Now That’s Class w/ Chomp
May 24 (fri) Chicago IL @ Permanent Records (6pm) + late show at Coles
May 25 (sat) Bloomington IN @ The Ream w/ Thee Open Sex
May 26 (sun) Nashville TN @ The End w/ Deluxin & R Stevie Moore
May 27 (mon) Memphis TN @ The Lamplighter
May 28 (tues) Little Rock AR @ Professor Bowl / 8bit Tap Room
May 29 (wed) Austin TX @ Beerland w/ Simple Circuit, Zoltars, Shinta
May 30 (thur) New Orleans LA @ AllWays Lounge w/ SS Boombox
May 31 (fri) Athens GA @ Farm 255 w/ Eureka CA, Dead Dog (tour kickoff), Little Gold
June 1 (sat) Atlanta GA @ 529 w/ This House, Starfighter
June 2 (sun) Charlotte NC @ Yauhaus (BBQ) + Late Show TBA
June 3 (mon) Durham NC @ Fellowship Hall w/ Fruit, Stems (fb)
June 4 (tue) Washington DC @ CD Cellar w/ Foul Swoops
June 5 (wed) Baltimore @ Ottobar Upstairs w/ Crimson Wave, Expert Alterations
June 6 (thur) – NYC @ Cake Shop w/ Darlings + Future Punx ** Lame Drivers / Woolen Men SGG split 7″ Release Party **
June 7 (fri) – Brooklyn @ Silent Barn (Woolen Men only)
All of these shows are with The Woolen Men, our PDX tour buds and a fellow 3-piece. Their new tour tape, Dog Years LP, and debut for Woodsist all rule. These guys just keep getting better and we’re not only looking forward to getting in the van with ’em, but we’re also very excited about our split 7″ on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia…more on that soon!
:: MUSIC VIDEO ::
A group of imaginative 2nd-6th graders wrote, directed and starred in this video for “Frozen Egg,” one of the songs off the Flexi-Book EP. It was a project of the Inventgenuity after-school program in Brooklyn, where Jeff is a teacher. They have amazing workshops where young people solder circuits for DIY light and sound gadgets, create their own video games & custom controllers, learn carpentry with power tools, stop-motion animation, physical computing with Arduino, printmaking, building boogie boards, praxinoscopes, puppets, alarm clocks and more…kids these days are pretty amazing! The storyline that Cougar, Max, Amelia, Gigi, Warren and Isabel came up with includes time travel, zombies, procreation, and apocalypse. East Village Radio picked it up and we wanted to post it here, too!
This is a track from our forthcoming Flexi-Disc EP. Originally we’d planned five flexi postcards, but our Kickstarter exceeded the goal so we’re realizing our dream of a Flexi-Book that you can play on your turntable like this:
The Flexi-Book format is inspired by a National Geographic guide to bird sounds, and it sounds fantastic—we’ve had the Group Flex from Castle Face on heavy rotation. We’ve been working on extra songs, more handmade artwork, and enough copies to distribute around the world. We’re at the mastering stage and they should be ready within the next month.
Super fans will find a demo version of “Frozen Egg” on the Eureka California tape amidst our digital archive of every recording we have ever made, along with lots of other song ideas that we are developing thanks to your support. We’ve been making the most of our budget by doing some studio recordings with Matt Tong, JZ Barrell, and Sammy Bananas, along with home recording at Rad Town. We have 17 new songs written for our debut LP, a bunch of sessions coming up in January, and we are psyched for what’s to come.
While preparing the Flexi EP and Debut LP, we’re also got our hands full with additional Kickstarter rewards like the Covers EP and the Digital Archive of every recording we have ever made (for Super LD Fans). Meanwhile, there have been some outside distractions beyond the day-to-day: Jason was shipped off to Australia for a Home Blitz tour, he and Jeff have been doing multimedia work for Piehole productions (expect the Mann Ist Mann studio album soon—music by J. Sigal, lyrics by B. Brecht), Joe got engaged (during band practice no less!), and a few of the recording dates Matt Tong had set aside for us between Bloc Party tours were derailed by Hurricane Sandy. We don’t want to compromise the quality of the releases that our backers have made possible, so we hope you’ll appreciate that we’re not going to rush things.
You can order a Lame Drivers Flexi Disc EP here, and they should be ready in early January. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy “Frozen Egg” and feel free to share the mp3!
Here’s “Working Song,” prod by Sammy Bananas from the 2010 Blackburn Recordings compilation.
It’s a free download also featuring Big Troubles, Cloud Nothings, Sore Eros, Metal Rouge, Cursillistas, many more great bands and tracks, we were psyched to be part of this comp!!
Decoder Magazine just leaked “Other Side,” a new Lame Drivers song rec’d by Matt Tong. Matt’s our good pal and this was a great recording experience. We hope to record some more songs with him if he gets another free moment amidst Bloc Party tours.
Artwork by Sarah Hotchkiss, also a good friend and co-director of the Stairwell’s Gallery in San Francisco. We’re happy to work with such talented artists as we preparing to release our first vinyl LP + Flexi-Disc EP.
With your support, we’ll all get to see this here impossible shape spinnin’ around on a flexi-disc comin soon to your turntable!
Thanks to host Terre T, assistant producers Paulie B & Nate the K, engineer Dave Amels, and Yvonne Szymczak & Lizzie Davis for shootin’ video!
The whole set + interview is available to download from the Free Music Archive, embedded below, plus some video of the songs Indian Burn, Frozen Egg and Last Call for Violence. Most of these are new songs that we have yet to release in any form, and they’re in rotation right now on our summer tour w/ the Woolen Men.
We’re gonna be carrying some tapes with new songs on them during our East + West Coast Tours.
1. split w/ our tourmates The Woolen Men (Portland OR) on Eggy Records
2. split w/ our buds Eureka California (Athens GA) on Dirty Pillows Recs
We’ve also got a repress of our 27-track sampler, Cruisin’ Classics 2003-2010, with some different songs in the mix because this is the “Last Summer on Earth” edition.
Lame Drivers are psyched for this show at Death By Audio on May 17th w/ the awesome EULA, Psychic Feline (Portland’s finest minimal psych-garage) and good buds Sloppy Heads. Sample tracks below plus this bonus MP3: Sloppy Heads’ epic cover of “Shirley” orig by the great 1974 Cleveland band Mirrors.
Whether or not you can make it to the show, you can attend the event on Facebook, unless you’re not on Facebook and just plan to come to the show.