I am the LORD and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and delivery you from slavery to them.
If there was ever one album that I could post every track of, it would be EKBALLO. The title is an ancient Greek word that translates to “I Cast Out.” According to the liner notes the title had a great deal of significance to me. I consider EKBALLO to be the beginning of the musical journey that led to The Lights I See You In Shadow. In fact a number of the songs on that disc made their way onto Muffin Parfait. But it is the songs that didn’t that intrigue me. When I first pulled out EKBALLO to look it over, I smiled as I remembered the various songs I’ve never played again. India, Hymn, Senses, Ancient Words, October Fling, and Mysticism all appear there. Rain returned as a kind of retrospective piece. Me in the Afternoon and a new version of Blue Sky received their final listening. The disc is broken up into three parts: “Studio Recordings” (my studio being my room), “The November Performance,” and “Other Performances.” The entire thing was recorded by The Ordinary Banana Company Band, which was me in many disguises. For the purposes of the liner notes I was joined by Sebastian “Minnesota” Flowers, Johnny Two Fingers, and Mrs. Frick.
I could probably write for days about the experiences that led to and followed EKBALLO. It’s the group of songs that took over Alex Bittermann’s computer when he left them on repeat for two hours by accident. I planned to record another album following EKBALLO but that didn’t happen until Muffin Parfait two years later. The summer of 2003 found me living on my own in my aunt’s house, playing sports and working 6 days a week. There wasn’t much time for music, even though I received a bass for my birthday.
It is tough to decide which songs to post here. I could include Imperial Street, India, or Art or Architecture because they chronicle my early battle with a drum machine. Some of you may remember the loud hi hat in the latter. Or how about Cleveland, a song no one likes? Hymn was written when my aunt’s long time housemate passed away. It was the first song I ever wrote thinking about death, and it’s overly spiritual theme seems a little odd to me. Ancient Words was the by product of my religious studies program, as was Mysticism. The latter was influence by the Anthropology of Religion and too many videos of half naked tribespeople.
Although it is a lot to listen to I am going to include the 6 songs that can’t be heard elsewhere: India, Hymn, Senses, Ancient Words, October Fling, and Mysticism. I should point out that Ancient Words and October Fling are intimately connected. I hope you can make it through them all and this will clearly be the largest amount of music I put on here at one time. Tomorrow we get to hurry through fourth year and into the beginnings of Pinstripe Mystery.
In other news, I have just launched a podcast. The first episode is up and deals specifically with tracks on the new album. I am looking for guests to come on the show, and am focusing on music, art, and other creative endeavours. You can find the podcast here and the RSS feed here. If you have iTunes you can subscribe here. On to the music!