The complete This Song Is A Mess But So Am I recorded output is now available on bandcamp. 50+ tracks for one low price of $10.
Occasionally I get an e-mail from someone looking for the This Song Is A Mess But So Am I recordings. Everything is pretty much out of print. Church Point, LA was put out by a Los Angeles label named Mattress Records. Marble Mouth was put out by a Spanish label called Acuarela- who ended up being such complete assholes about everything. I don't even have a personal copy of that E.P. There were a handful of split 7"s and cassette releases.
Occasionally when someone sends me an e-mail looking for the This Song Is A Mess But So Am I recordings I will occasionally listen through what I have littering the landscape of my hard drive. Heaps of tone deaf vocal garbage taking up this sector. Shiny black bags of grinded out mechanical beats hogging up this other sector.
Sometimes I will feel embarrassed.
Other times I feel proud. Proud of my own embarrassment. Proud of what that project meant and what it attempted to do even at its most infantile. Proud of how many people actually hated it with all their heart and proud that there were a few that found something worthwhile in those garbage bags. Proud of how much the project was still attached to my punk roots and attached to some kind of idea of honesty- even in a presentation or projection of what honesty in music should be.
This Song Is A Mess But So Am I existed from 2003 until 2007. Originally the project dealt with a personal loss of a family member to cancer. Originally it was about something cathartic. I stopped it in 2007 when it was no longer cathartic.
In fact, I don't think of music as a cathartic art form at all anymore. Maybe it is only cathartic within its original creation and realm. Within its original spark and motivating factor. But beyond that? How many performances does one do on something before there is a shift from cathartic to dwelling? This is something that has always interested me in terms of personal art. Many other art forms are different because they are missing that element that is all too common to music- performance of the actual work.
Whether or not it was "okay" to have ever done and release This Song Is A Mess But So Am I recordings is something I still think about often and something I still grapple with in terms of whatever music project I am working on. Maybe it was for the better or maybe it was for worse. I can think of several instances for both sides of the fence. But the thing that sticks out the most in my mind is the series of shows that were put on for the South Bay Cities Cancer Wellness Center and the bands that were a part of those shows and the Los Angeles music venue The Smell and Jim Smith who were a huge part of that.
The way I have always approached music is with a goal to capture a particular moment in time in my life. A sort of snapshot. A musical photo album. This is one document of a very particular time in my life.
So here it is. For better or for worse (probably for worse). Everything that was ever recorded as This Song Is A Mess But So Am I from its fully realized resting place in the Satan Be Here sessions with glitched beats and vocal processing all the way to its earliest infantile stages of using synth and drum machine presets vocalizing with no regard for carrying a tune.
At one time someone described This Song Is A Mess But So Am I as Skinny Puppy with equipment bought from Radioshak. A Radioshak industrial hell.
That seems fair.
50+ tracks in all of their completely tone deaf, lack of regard for quality control, infantile glory.
Download includes the essay from Victor Szabo.
Thanks for being there.
Tracks 1-10 from the original Satan Be Here Sessions.
Tracks 11-18 from Marble Mouth E.P.
Track 19 from split 7" with BARR.
Track 20 from a David Horvitz Photography Book.
Tracks 21-25 from Church Point, LA.
Tracks 36-40 from Satan Be Here session outtakes.
Track 41 is from a Marble Mouth demo.
Track 42 from the Groan Zone compilation.
Track 43-47 from a split cassette with E-Meow.
Track 45 and track 48 from a split 7" with Xiu Xiu.
Track 49 is an outtake from Church Point, LA.
Track 50 is from the Deathbomb Arc Tape Subscription series.
Track 51 is from a Not Not Fun cassette compilation.
Track 52 is from a Callow God cassette compilation.
Track 53 is from the Southbay Complication compilation.
Track 54 is from live at KXLU.
released 21 January 2003