Recorded in the early aughts, didn’t really have a band, the Folk Implosion was limping along without John Davis but his replacements had another band they were devoted to... I was, for the ﬁrst time ever possibly, without a primary band, rudderless... a Sebadoh reunion was a few years away... I had started a website with the idea of recording new songs for it, to keep myself going... I released a CD compiling an early batch of website songs (Songs from Loobiecore Vol I) to crummy reviews, and after the commercial and critical failure of The Sebadoh and Folk Implosion’s One Part Lullaby I was not feeling optimistic. I felt like I was fading... this song is a transmission from that low point. I’ve always liked it texturally but never bothered to burden anyone with it (beyond my website) until now... Get psyched!
This song was one of the two options for a ﬂexi-disc we did with JNR a while ago. Karl liked the other one better so Rev was put on ice. It’s funny - Rev was oﬀered to an unreleased CD comp compiled by Soundﬁx Records. The store closed before the comp was ever released. The title is of course referencing Martin Rev of Suicide. While it’s not completely dissimilar - it’s somewhat remote from the namesake. Barry London brought most of this to the O - he wrote, “Yeah this was a 4 track thing I did in the Humboldt St. [Brooklyn] kitchen, it was AceTone drum box, Sequential Circuits SixTrak and Moog/Organ, then various overdubs by Kid & Shahin, I think there was a bass track from Bobby that we dropped? You can talk about how my neighbors called the cops on us the one time I tried to do drum overdubs in the kitchen there. I think this had been sitting around on my 4-track for a while and threw it in the O-pot.” I did do drum overdubs in Barry’s kitchen at the time - but it was not for this track. The drums and guitar were overdubbed at the Ocropolis - our space that was in the basement of Monster Island - once at Metropolitan and Kent Avenues, down by the water in Williamsburg. I think this track should be placed somewhere, on an ad or television show. Why not?
The Fall is a band that changed my life. I knew the name, and bought The Domesday Pay-oﬀ in a cut-out bin in the late 80’s when I was in tenth grade. It’s not possible for me to explain clearly what that record meant to me, or the next, or the next, and so on, and I’d rather leave the words to MES anyway. Three decades later, I found myself sitting at a piano in the JNR oﬃce, December, winter approaching, and was jolted by a realization/premonition of his impending death. I knew he had been in terrible health, cancelling shows, and I felt as though something was rushing to an end. I was sitting there to record a diﬀerent song, my own, and had just ﬁnished; but I chose to sit for a minute and think about winter, and death, and the fall, and The Fall. I sang the opening/refrain of “Winter” and tried to play something that was both sleigh bells and death knell on the piano, working oﬀ the bass line of the original song. No way was I going to take the song into the verses. I’m not a fool (and MES was no angel) and I love his art too much to ruin it.
This demo was recorded on a tape machine with a bunch of other similarly hazy demos a few days after the van crash that ended the Eyeland tour (June 2016). I was so grateful to be alive and that my friends were alive. I try to remember that feeling every day. I’m glad the demos exist, like a musical spore print from that worst/best time. Some of the more developed demos eventually became The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea.
–The Low Anthem