Raspberry with Phil Ek Part I

Maybe we were in pursuit of our version of anthemic punk, emotional discord, or simply the right party to play at. I don't know what we were searching for, but I do know we loved the music we made twenty five years ago, and now, I am so excited to share some of this unreleased Raspberry music with you. In December of 1994, at the urging of Doug Martsch (Treepeople, Built to Spill), this little punk band trekked to Seattle so we could record with Phil Ek at John and Stu's. 

Once we released our 7" record and at least one full-length cassette, we began touring the region. Boise was always a favorite spot. Performing was exhilerating, but so was catching an early Built to Spill show at the local Neurolux bar after we played an early all ages show one night. To see and hear Doug Martsch sing those early songs and step on several distortion pedals at once was amazing. He was right there in front of my face singing "Christmas Twin Falls Idaho..." And he was nice! He just might be the nicest guy in rock. When he was not performing, he was tending bar. One night we were chatting and he said, "I like your band and I think you should record with Phil Ek." He put us in touch and the rest is history. 

We prepared studiously for the recordings. Not only did we practice a lot (often without singing so as to focus on the instrumentation) but we also strategized with Phil on the phone. I remember Tom asking him about drum heads, when to put new ones on, and best heads for the snare. We crashed at Thomas Metcalf's house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. This was still very much the era of the Seattle Sound, so we were in it as far as we were concerned. It was an exciting time. We had high expectations for releasing this music. Until we didn't! Soon afterwards, Shawn left for graduate school in Virginia, and Tom and I joined up with Jeff Albertson to form a new band. So, the recordings just sat gathering digital dust. 

This first song is called "Stuck to the floor." Like previously shared Raspberry music on this blog, it features lyrics both Shawn and I wrote. The professionalism heard in this recording, I think, is obvious. I can still see Phil Ek, flashlight in hand, adjusting the microphone in front of my amp by inches to get the sound he wanted. We spent one full day just getting drum sounds. 

Thanks again to Warren Gardiner for mastering this track. Please seek him out at www.gardineraudio.com for all your mixing and mastering needs. Also, please excuse the horrible digital noise at the end of this track. Warren tried really hard to clean this up but unfortunately, due to the nature of how long this was stored on Digital Audio Tape (DAT), there was nothing to be done. Think of it as a little extra feedback! Many thanks to Sean Lennon for transferring the DAT to computer. Much appreciated, amigo!

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