You dreamed I had a heart attack. I dreamed I had a heart attack too. I was bleeding out my side while slithering up to you. I dreamed I could catch bullets in my head. My teeth soon filled with lead. You said I soon died. I thought I was Super XX Man. - Super XX Man’s “The Destroyer,” 1995.
Super XX Man (pronounced “double x”) died peacefully in San Francisco, CA. on Oct. 13, 2016. Throughout the project’s 21 years, Super XX Man made it his mission to rescue old thoughts and feelings from despair through love, compassion, and singing. Super XX Man is survived by Scott Garred, principal songwriter for the project.
Born in Pullman, WA, in 1995, Super XX Man first travelled down a dusty trail to Austin, TX, where he self-released his first two albums of four-track home recordings on cassette. “Those early tapes were made just for the sake of seeing what happened when I put a verse and chorus together with a guitar solo. I never meant to hurt anyone,” Garred said.
Arrangements have been made for one final release: Vol. XVII “What once was live.” This is a final live album recorded in Austin, TX with ofttimes bandmates Josh Woods on bass, Zach Boyle on guitar, Tom Hudson on drums, and special guest vocals by Cory Ryan. In lieu of flowers, please download this fantastic album via superxxman.bandcamp.com.
Super XX Man released a total of 17 volumes of music plus various EP and compilations - about 20 releases in all. Most were released largely in obscurity with the exception of Vol. X (2005), a collection of original songs all previously released, but newly recorded through the lens of a new band after moving to Portland, OR. This one release seemed to garner more praise than usual. The Vol. X version of “Collecting Rocks” became a favorite at a half dozen or so weddings. Bob Boilen, host of NPR’s All Songs Considered, said this about Super XX Man: “If we’re going to choose 10 songs let it be Super XX Man.” Amy McCoullough, former editor of the Willamette Week in Portland, OR said, “If love had a sound this would be it.”
A highlight of Super XX Man’s career was performing at Bob Boilen’s Tiny Desk. When asked to comment about this in an interview, Garred said, “Yes, the desk was small. I really enjoyed seeing Carl Kassel’s locker. I have a photo.” Other career highlights include singing a duet with Julie Doiron at SXSW. The two performers shared the bill and spontaneously collaborated on the Eric’s Trip song, “Allergic to Love.”
Super XX Man was part of an Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat episode, which also featured Scott Garred’s work as a music therapist at the Oregon State Hospital. The award-winning program followed Scott to work, filming intimate sessions with patients, and tagged along to hear Super XX Man rehearse and perform at the historic White Eagle Pub.
Super XX Man also recorded two full-length albums in Australia while living in Melbourne from 2011 - 2015. Vol. XIV “Sorta Heavy Metal” was released on Courtney Barnett’s acclaimed Milk! Records in 2012. This release was made possible through a successful crowd funding campaign, which brought together fans from all over the world. The album garnered much praise. Crispian Winsor, former morning host of “The Breakfast Spread” on PBS radio in Melbourne, called it the #1 release of the 2012 year. The second Australian album, Vol. XVI “Talk About,” was released quietly in 2015 via Bandcamp after Garred moved back to the states. It features country sweetheart Devon Sproule singing harmonies and a duet on the stand out track “Sparrow.” A bonus included on the release feature’s Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher covering “Box Store,” originally released on Vol. XIII White Bed.
Celebrate the life of Super XX Man. Crank some up today.