Friday, June 27, 2014

the donovan of trash

Wreckless Eric's album, The Donovan of Trash, has been rereleased on Fire Records, and Eric a has been touring to support it.

I saw him perform on Wednesday night at the Mercury Lounge. It was a good show -- Eric looked youthful and energized despite his thinning grey hair. His playlist emphasized tracks from DoT (naturally), whichj I liked. It was good to hear "Birthday Blues," "Duvet Fever," "Joe Meek" and others. I wished he had also played "School" and "Nerd/Turkey," which are two of my favorites from the album. Oh well.

Anyway, I don't want to devote this post to the concert. I bought a copy of the reissue despite it not having any bonus tracks because I wanted to read the new liner notes. And I'm a sucker, I guess. Once again, Eric aquits himself nicely as more than a musician. The liner notes, recounting the long recording process, are entertaining. But what I found interesting is that it gave me an extra insight into why the album sounded like it did.

Compared to all of his other solo albums, DoT seems inconsistent. There isn't one sound. I can't say that I've actually wondered about that -- that would be too strong a statement -- but I have noticed it.

Based on the notes, it seems that Eric recorded the various tracks over a long stretch. He wasn't really recording an album -- at least not on purpose. These are, by the way, my words (not his), and there is a bit of extrapolation. If you want an authoritative voice (free of my translations), buy the album and read. It seems that Eric was bored, and he was a singer and musician. So he wrote songs and recorded them. And he did it with whoever and whatever were available.  When a frind was visiting with a full band in tow, he recorded with a full band. When it was an old mate from another band, he recorded with the one other person. Often he recorded alone, and some tracks feature just Eric and nobody else. At some point he had enough material, so he mixed it, mastered it, and went about trying to sell it. Eventually it came out on Sympathy for the Record Industry, a small label. It's not my favorite WE album, but it has some really good high points.

Also, now I have a new earwig: "And I think I must be going crazy / But I've never been more sane in all my life. / I'm just living with the realization / That all I want to do is live until I die."

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