Song 5: "Twin Falls" by Built to Spill  

When I was in the band Raspberry (1992-1994) with Tom and Shawn (pictured above), we traveled often to Boise, ID. It didn't seem to matter if we played at a bar or all ages venue; we always had a chance to catch a Built to Spill show same day or next day next day next day next day (see what I did there?). I'm almost certain we never played on the same bill. However, Doug seemed to always be bartending when we played the Neurolux. I think it's safe to say he was a fan of ours. We chatted often and one night he encouraged us to make a professional recording with Phil Ek, producer of a few Built to Spill albums including There's Nothing Wrong With Love. Recording with Phil in Seattle at the legendary John and Stu's (formerly known as Reciprocal Recording) was a wonderful experience for us. Sadly, the material was never released.

One day, we played an early show at the all ages club and went to the bar later in the evening to see Built to Spill perform. This was right after Ultimate Alternative Wavers and before There's Nothing Wrong With Love. If memory serves right, we heard many songs from the aforementioned album. I remember a RAT pedal, a second distortion pedal, and a few other pedals, all linked together, surrounding the base of the microphone stand. He seemed to dance on them while holding that red Strat with the Dirt Fishermen sticker. Mouth to the microphone. Hand on the wammy bar. Two feet on the pedals while singing on tip toes, "Christmas, Twin Falls, ID is her oldest memory. She was only two. It's the first time she felt blue." I was floored at how lovely this song was - the minimalist performance of it.

My version is not meant to be perfect by any means. It's a perfect memory, and I get to share it with you now. Enjoy!

Song 4: "Ballad of 40 Dollars" by Tom T. Hall  

I believe I know a thing or two about country music because my dad taught me. He used to say, "Scotty! Come here and listen to this song." He would laugh out loud when it was funny and just be quiet when it wasn't. But then again, I don't remember a single Tom T. Hall record in his collection so I guess he didn't know everything. He was more your average George Jones fan. If he were alive today, I would call him and ask him why he didn't have any Tom T. Hall records. I would say, "Dad! Come here and listen to this. He's got to be the greatest storyteller of them all." 

Tom T. Hall and my father were the same age. I was sad to learn that Hall apparently took his own life when he passed away on Aug. 20, 2021. Cancer took my dad in 2008. My dad was funny and I think they had that in common.

The man who preached the funeral 
Said it really was a simple way to die 
He laid down to rest one afternoon 
And never opened up his eyes 
They hired me and Fred and Joe 
To dig the grave and carry up some chairs 
It took us seven hours 
And I guess we must have drunk a case of beer. 

I guess I ought to go and watch them put him down 
But I don't own a suit 
And anyway when they start talkin' about 
The fire in Hell, well, I get spooked 
So, I'll just sit here in my truck 
And act like I don't know 'I'm when they pass 
Anyway, when they're all through 
I've got to go to work and mow the grass. 

Well, here they come and who's that 
Ridin' in that big ol' shiny limousine 
Mmh! look at all that chrome, I do believe 
That's the sharpest thing I've seen 
That must belong to his great uncle 
Someone said he owned a big ol' farm 
When they get parked I'll mosey down 
and look it over, that won't do no harm. 

Well, that must be the widow in the car 
And would you take a look at that 
That sure is a pretty dress 
You know some women do look good in black 
Well, he's not even in the ground 
And they say that his truck is up for sale 
They say she took it pretty hard 
But you can't tell too much behind the veil. 

Well, listen ain't that pretty 
When the bugler plays the Military "Taps" 
I think that when you's in the war 
They always had to play a song like that 
Well, here I am and there they go 
And I guess you'd call it my bad luck 
I hope he rests in peace, the trouble is 
The fellow owes me forty bucks.

Tom T. Hall 

Ballad of Forty Dollars lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Song 3: "Ex Con" by Smog  

Song: "Ex Con" (Red Apple Falls LP, 1997, Drag City Records)

Artist: Smog

I recorded this one simply because it's an awesome song. It's funny and dark at the same time. One thing I always loved about Smog was the growth in recordings. The sound quality always improved, hitting its peak for me with this album, which was definitely on heavy rotation while living in Austin. I would be lying if I said I never drew inspiration from one of Smog's albums. They are all so good to me. 

I tried to keep this one really loose.

(This white one is the same exact model and color I bought new in Lewiston, ID when I was 11 back in 1983. If only I had the sense to keep it.) 

In case you are curious, here's a list of my go to recording tools: 

27" Imac 

Universal Audio Apollo Twin 

Luna recording software 

1980s Ibanez Roadstar II series guitar and bass (as shown) 

Audio Technica 4033 microphones 

Casio MT-68 Casiotone 

I'm also really digging my homemade suitcase drum kit too. If you are curious about this please leave a comment below. I can share with you how I made it.

Song 2: "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths  

Song: "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" (Louder Than Bombs LP, 1987, Sire Records)

Artist: The Smiths

If you know me at all, then you know I have had a life long obsession with this band. It started at a dance club in Lewiston, ID. It was the summer of 1989, and I was 16. I started dancing with a girl. At some point we took a break and got some fresh air. We were making out and talking about plans that young people make. I told her I was really obsessed with skateboarding. She said, "I'm joining the Marines tomorrow." Just my luck, I thought. Well, actually, yes, just my luck. She wrote me letters that summer and in each letter she told me the name of a Smiths CD to go and get. I loved every one of them and still do. I found one of her old letters in a Vans box stored in my garage.

Song 1: Alien Girl by The Crabs  

So, I'm turning 50 next year. I'm actually thrilled about it and am excited to announce, with this first post, that I'll be releasing one cover song per week leading up to my 50th birthday a year from today. I know what you're thinking! There are 52 weeks in the year. I plan on skipping a week here or there. Haven't thought that far yet though.

The point is I will have shared with you, my loyal listeners and fans, 50 songs by artists I've loved my entire life. These are songs I never seem to get sick of. Some are massively popular and others you might not know at all. These songs will only be on my website and I hope and pray nobody makes me take them down. I will not ask for money and they will not be on any official release or streaming platform. Here's cover number one for you:

Song: "Alien Girl" (Soda Girl Records SG-01 7") 

Artist: The Crabs

I decided to do this song because it was the first cover song Super XX Man ever performed live. The show was in fall of 1995 at the Blue Flamingo in Austin, TX.

Growing up in Eastern Washington State I was exposed to a lot of great music being made both locally and across the Cascade Mountain range. For me, the two most prominent music scenes were in Seattle and Olympia. We all know what happened in 1991 with the release of that album by Nirvana. The music made a large splash and sent ripples out far and wide. It was in the smallest of ripples that I discovered music by The Crabs. They hailed from Anacortes, located on the edge of Washington State just north of Seattle. They will always be one of my favorite bands. Simple songs. Beautiful melodies. 

This is me living the dream playing tambourine with The Crabs in Portland, OR, while on tour with Silver Scooter in 1997. That's Sarah Dougher on the Farfisa organ. She sang on Silver Scooter's debut album The Other Palm Springs.

 

 

"Mayday Mayday I'm late with my April Post"  

Before COVID hit all of my music therapy works was, of course, done in person. It was intimate and special. I sat closely with the people I served and helped them play instruments by holding their hands so they could have success in making music, develop some motor coordination, experience being self-expressive, and feel something in their hand. Lots of reasons really. I've always been looking for ways to clone myself so that the music I wanted to use in a session could continue while I helped a person play an instrument. A few years ago I started composing my own music to accompany this type of "hand over hand" work.

Here's one called "Bass Groove (Cmaj.) 98BPM." 

In other news...

I was lucky a few months back and got to participate in a really fun live streaming concert hosted by High Plateau Productions. Perhaps you watched? During the concert I drew a name (actually a simple web app scrambled all the email addresses I received and did this for me) and that person received a physical CD, 7" record, LP of anything I still had copies of. So, congratulations Joel, you lucky new fan.

March Song: "Just get clean" (Remix by Remo) 

It's always wonderful to hear from someone wanting to collaborate on a project. Remo Zanin, a fan in Italy, first wrote to me in January:

"Hi Scott I really love your album Scott Volume 2! I like your "home recording approach" for me so similar to Sufjan Stevens. You got many beautiful songs. If in the future you want to collaborate with me I will be so happy. My name is Remo I am a freelancer sound engineer and musician. I would like to mix for free one of your song as a free sample if you want :)"

After some messaging back and forth, we agreed that my song Just get clean might make for a good remix. I sent him all of the tracks and he got to work. 

Remo has created a much darker track than I ever imagined. He stripped away the Casio drum beat and created a reverb-soaked electronic track that functions more like a dark reflection pool, occasionally breaking down in to sound collage and space sounds.

Did you know opioid overdoses continue to be a leading cause of death in the U.S. today? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse there were over 70,000 drug-related deaths in 2019 alone. SAMHSA is a great resource for getting help with mental health and addiction issues. 

Happy to share this tune with you today in advance of its worldwide digital release on March 31st. Thanks for signing up on my mailing list and helping to spread the word through your social media channels. Much appreciated!

Pre-save the release today. 

 

 

February song: "I hope that I don't fall in love with you"  

While my available physical catalog of music is dwindling, my feelings about what I've produced are swelling. I feel blessed that I have made so much music and been fortunate enough to release LPs, CDs, cassettes (although none pictured here) and 7" records. And, while it may not be everything I've made it's what I have left without giving away my last copies. 

Grab a ticket for the upcoming Sunday, Feb. 28th High Plateau Productions Livestream and you will be automatically entered in a chance to win this bundle of music. You are already entered if you have already secured a ticket. NOTE: if the winner is over seas I will need to negotiate a shipping fee with you!

Included:

Silver Scooter Blue Law LP

Silver Scooter Other Palm Springs and Orleans Parish CDs

Scott Garred Little Tiny Things and Scott Songs Vol. II LPs

Scott Garred Scott Songs Vol. II CD

Scott Garred Silver Scooter 4-Track Demos double handmade 7"

Super XX Man Volumes IV, VI, VII, X, XIII, XIV CDs

Super XX Man Vol. III 7"

Regardless, this month's free song is a B side from the Little Tiny Things sessions. It's my take on Tom Wait's classic "I hope that I don't fall in love with you."

January Song: Live Stream Concert Announced  

Hi everyone! I'm partnering with High Plateau Productions for a special live stream concert on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5pm PST. I'll be performing new songs from my latest release Scott Songs Vol. II and some oldies but goodies too. I've made a playlist on Spotify of all the possible songs I could be performing. You can help me choose songs to perform by emailing me here or commenting on social media. Please have a listen!

High Plateau Productions makes it possible for me to keep 100% of the ticket sales. This is a very generous model and they do a great job delivering a high quality live stream. Buy a ticket today and help make this a success. Tickets are $5. If you would like to also pick up an LP then consider paying $17 and I'll mail the LP to your door, postage paid. Purchase tickets here.

Finally, this month's free track is "He was gone." I'm sharing this one because my buddy Joe Salinas has directed a new video for it and it is lightening hot. It will be premiered later this month, along with an interview, by one of my favorite magazines, American Songwriter. Check their website on Jan. 27.

November song: "Make room for me" + Hangover session this weekend!  

Please make note of this upcoming live interview on this wonderful little radio station. My friend Alex Webber is having me on his program for a chat about all things music related. I'll be performing a couple songs and presenting a short playlist of songs that are helping me get through these shelter-in-place times.

KXSF.FM

Also, please check out this unreleased song originally intended to be on my new album Scott Songs Vol. II. When I first started making it I really loved the sounds and the idea. It just didn't make the cut. What's it about? I'll let you decide. Please discuss!