They're one of the good ones, both recorded and live. Always. If you've never heard them before, take this opportunity to check them out. (If you have heard them, you should also take this opportunity...)
And then read band lead Josiah Mazzaschi's recounting of the making or recording of each of the tracks on this release below.
matchsticksuicidecamouflagedisaster was the name of what was supposed to be Light FM's second album. We recorded a lot of it just before I moved to Los Angeles in June of 2005. We never released it because the Chicago band wasn't able to tour to promote it (nor did we have the money to manufacture it). The drummer Mark Ruggiero just had a son and Chris Frantisak had just bought a house. It reaffirmed my decision to move to LA as domesticity was slowly caving in on me. Brian Barbier the bass player moved to Los Angeles a year later and we played together in Light FM for a couple of years in LA after that.
"In a Dreamscape" -- Recorded in my apartment in Chicago. It was our psychedelic intro to our album.
"Shadowdrifter" -- This was also on our Save the Drama EP but didn't have the crazy intro on it. Shadow drifter was written about a guy I had met who called himself the Wolf. He was a street musician that took acid and recorded a lot of his songs on the sidewalk or camping in Wisconsin. He was very strange!! He had all these recordings on cassette so I transferred them all to CD for him. Some of the cassettes were from the 70s and were like Kmart brand tapes. I was very nervous inviting him into my home but he ended up being a gentle giant acid casualty. He offered me a can of mango juice in return for doing him a favor. I politely declined.
"Cool Winner" -- I wrote this song around the same time (2004)but recorded it here in LA in 2006. I guess I was writing a lot about manhood at that time. Society sets us dudes up to not talk about our feelings and being a sensitive man artist I kinda have problems with that. Cool Winner was about a jock kinda looking back at his high school trophies and saying "let me tell you what a real man is". It's a joke song really. Ariana Murray from Earlimart played the piano solo and Jason Borger wrote the string arrangement. Daphne Chen from the Section Quartet played Violin and Viola and Matt Fish played Cello. Dave Trumfio mixed the song.
"Rise and Fall" -- This was tracked at the same studio and by the same producer (Ken Sluiter) who recorded This is the Beginning of My Golden Age. It sounds very Smashing Pumpkins/ Radiohead. It seemed relevant to release it as we just toured with the Smashing Pumpkins last year and Nicole Fiorentino ( SP's bass player) used to play bass in Light FM.
"Man Boy" -- Speaking of manhood. I paint sometimes and I was painting circus freaks. I painted Pig Boys, Claw Hand man, Bearded Ladies, etc. It got me thinking, "what kind of a circus freak would I be?" A Man Boy. A guy who is perpetually stuck in between being a boy and a man. Perma-puberty? I have a high voice and a lot of people confuse me on the phone as a woman. I am also one of those dudes you can't really tell how old I am. I could be in my 20's although I'm well in my 30's, etc. this wasn't meant to be a homo-erotic song. Although, I'm sure it could be a NAMBLA theme song?
"Wedding Song" -- I know it's cheesy but I wrote this song for my wife. I love her and sang it to her at our wedding reception. Side of the Road... We recorded this at Butch Vigs Smart Studios in Madison, WI. Some of Nirvana's " Nevermind" was recorded there as well as the Smashing Pumpkins, " Gish" and Garbage recorded there also. Butch walked in on me doing vocals there. Mike Zirkel engineered and mixed it. It was an amazing experience.
"Tell It To My Heart" -- This is a cover of Taylor Dayne's. It's originally a weird dance song from the 80's. I wanted to make it into a more meaningful Pink Floyd-esque version. I was working at Kingsize Sound Labs as an engineer and the studio manager Harry Trumfio of The Pulsars fame also played drums. He brought in his Chicago buddy Eric Heywood (Pretenders, Jayhawks) to play lap steel. He pretty much made the song. Such a great musician!!
"Part of the Problem" -- I guess I was feeling guilty for not being environmentally or politically active. I feel like people are much lazier and less socially and politically active than they were in the 60's. Maybe, because of the Internet? Or, maybe it's just a California thing? Everyone is just high? I don't know.
"Never Forget" -- True story. I woke up one morning crying thinking about all my friends that had died and I felt encouraged to get out and live. It's my duty to live as hard as I possibly can because you never know when it's your turn to die. It's my cheerleader anthem. Go get em tiger!!