on the grid
On the Grid

"On the Grid" can be purchased at The Artist Shop.

the basics lyrics song notes

Big Love Now (fetters)

I was reading different interpretations of the Sermon On The Mount at the time I wrote this. The content is thus not as culturally time sensitive as I thought it might be. Recording the blow pipe sound with a guitar synthesizer was a nightmare.

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Angel (fetters)

Angel was a lovely young person I talked to for about 20 minutes one cloudy day in Cincinnati. Our conversation stuck with me and led to this song. Among myriad earthly and spiritual topics, it refers to a murder that took place near Music Hall, and a chilling comment Charles Manson yelled at the jury after his conviction. A three chord song in three keys.

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Candy (arduser)

Speaking on the phone with Cupcake (aka psychodot employee and pal Julie Ferrara) one late October day, it became obvious she was eating.

“What’cha eatin’?” sez I.

“Ghost Cookie” came her succinct reply.

“A what?!!”

Picked up my guitar and started goofing around. Hence the first line: "I look at you, and wanna take a bite." I liked the two chords I was playing (a D major and an E major), and the simple arpeggio bass line ala “So you want to be a rock and roll star.” Got me thinking of some girls I knew and the joke song turned into a melancholy pop rocker about an explosive, exciting yet ultimately doomed romance.

I had moved to Cincinnati recently and met Marc Colvin (then known as Marc Magee) who graciously offered up his eight track studio to me FOR FREE! We proceeded to record over twenty tunes in the next year and a half. It was an unbelievably cool thing for him to do, and I gained all sorts of valuable experience. Did I mention he also had an entire band's worth of instruments, including upright bass and tubular bells?! Marc, Bridget and I tracked this one quickly, the ‘dots learned it just as quick, and we’ve been playing it ever since. This song was also recorded by the Graveblankets in Nashville for the eventual Where It Hurts disc.

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Laura (fetters)

For lovely Laura Lonseth, a friend since high school, who lost an entire wall of her apartment in San Francisco during an earthquake.

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Used To Be (fetters)

I worried about my dad’s reaction to this song, but after he died and I was clearing out his house I found “Grid” still in shrink wrap, unopened and un-listened to. Thusly have I learned that my most difficult relationship was my greatest teacher.

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Copy Machine (nyswonger)

OK, it’s dumb, it’s fun(ny)—sometimes it’s kind of nice to just turn your brain off and play the rock music. What’s really funny is that these days nobody knows what the hell a typing pool is anyway.

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King of Beers (nyswonger)

An ode to dissipation, this was an old Raisins nugget that re-emerged and thankfully got the full studio treatment. It started with a piano track, which Chris & Rob put beautiful acoustic guitar and mandolin parts on. I then did some sorrowful Mellotron flutes, which Rob matched with a close sounding synth guitar. All of this was then capped off with Rob's great, poignant vocal. It was extremely gratifying to me to finally hear this tune done right.

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Death Ranch (arduser)

Written very quickly in a haze of smoke and alcohol. An excuse for the three of us to rock.

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Help Yourself (fetters)

… and the sooner, the better. The lyrics and message are aimed at the face in the mirror. The guitar solo owes thanks to Jimmy Page. Short, sweet, and to the point – even if I couldn’t play it, I could sing it.

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Standing 8 (nyswonger)

There is something about boxing that has always fascinated and terrified me, and although I wouldn’t consider myself very knowledgeable about the sport, I can definitely relate to the primitive and brutal truth in it. The suspension / end of the Bears in ’88 was difficult for all of us involved, and it took a few years for me to recover enough to write this tune about having the resilience to get back up after getting the shit knocked out of you. I never demoed it – I remember showing it to Rob & Chris in Chris’s old attic apartment in Winton Place and watching Chris work up the wonderful vocal harmony. Rob sweetened it up in the studio with an electric sitar.

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Boneyard (arduser)

Perhaps I’ve seen too many Ingmar Bergman films, but the issue of mortality never fails to engage me. Another hotel room song. Demoed at the Meade Haus for unrepentant skinflints with George Cunningham on the six string, Bridget Otto on the alto sax, and me on the other stuff, including a wonderfully artificial tuba sample.

All material is © 1993-2009 psychodots, unless otherwise noted.