Under the Covers with Pinguinos
Always more music! “B3 does B3″ is a project that we’ve been working on since the start of 2012. The participating artists chose some of their favorite fellow B3nsonite’s tunes and are putting their own spin on them.
Pinguinos does Blood
& for next week, Swamp Baby!
A special note from me to you:
This is a long post, but it is most excellent. For maximum enjoyment be sure you have ample reading and listening time before beginning your journey.
* * *
Antony (aka, Blood) wrote a song called “To Sleep On the Floor” on his friend Peter Mollica’s guitar in 2007. Now it’s 2012, and here is Peter (aka, Pinguinos) using that same guitar to cover his friend’s song:
A couple questions for Pete:
WHO is on the recording?:
It was truly an individual effort, so just me.
WHERE was the recording done?:
I awkwardly recorded most of it in the bathroom of my apartment in Astoria. A few bits were recorded in the living room.
HOW did you make the recording?:
Kind of funny to imagine it now – I was sitting on the toilet, seat down, with a kitchen chair in the tub holding the computer, the mBox balanced on the tub’s edge. I was praying water wouldn’t start leaking from the showerhead. I would have been so screwed. I awkwardly jammed the mic stand, the cables and guitar in the bathroom and went to work on a Friday afternoon. It was really uncomfortable. I did a lot of takes… I nailed the guitar part only to realize I didn’t arm to track to record. I wanted to kill everyone ever. Lots of vocal takes too, I hoped my neighbors didn’t think there was a dying cat in the bathroom below.
Standard fare for me – MacBook, Protools LE, Behringer B-2 Bomber, Original MBox, Seagull Acoustic/Electric and Garageband to make some fake piano for the end. I had no mixing speakers, so I mixed it with headphones and computer speakers(horrible, I know), and exported it 3 dozen times to get something that might sound ok in real life.
Why did you pick this song and artist to cover?:
When looking at the B3nson catalog, I was pretty sure I knew what my cover was going to sound like had I selected a number of artists/songs. In truth, I wanted a challenge. I don’t play enough these days and I needed a push to be creative. Blood (Antofu) is unfortunately one of the least prolific of b3 artists, but when he plays, it’s always an experience. This was one of the least “noisy” of Blood’s songs, which I thought useful in facilitating a cover, at least with my abilities. When I was finally assigned this song, I thought “oh shit, what am I going to do with this?”. It was an awesome feeling.
WHAT was the hardest and/or most fun part or re-arranging and recording this song?:
Oh, it was hard. First, figuring out the chords and lyrics. I had to email Antony and he provided what he thought were the basics of the song. I struggled, happily, with the song for at least 2 weeks before I really had any direction. I had a number of different versions I was developing. I wanted to do Blood justice with making an entirely unique, yet, recognizable cover. I really pushed myself to do some things vocally I’ve never done before – as well as balance using effects and “lo-fi”ness that would make Antony proud. It’s probably the most fulfilling cover I’ve done and I’m super glad I chose it for the b3 does b3 project.
AND FOR NEXT WEEK!
Nick, Meg, Mike and Frank; the Babies of Swamp have a new album out! That there link will conveniently take you deeper into the internet where you can find out more about it’s origins in their expanding swamp family, as well as buy a copy for yourself! This Swamp Baby track, an oldy but goody is called “We the Seabird”. It was recorded live at the now defunct Amrose & Sable Gallery in Albany a few years ago and it features special guest Donna Baird doing a blade of grass solo:
Without further ado, the Seabird origin myth from Swamp Baby’s Nick Matulis:
in 2 parts
i think i sat there for a while.
pt 2 - so after this experience with the dead bird (and after washing my hands attentively because the bird’s body was more rotten than i realized at first and i definitely touched some goo), i went back to my little trailer and lay on the floor and had a daydream.
then i wrote this song.
there were some lines that popped out of me that didn’t make a lot of sense at the time (which is totally normal), particularly: i watched your mother giving birth, it broke my heart.
who’s mother? not mine. yours. but who’s?
i was lying on the sandy floor of the trailer wondering about this. then finally i concluded sort of disappointingly that it had to do with a movie.
here’s a confession. a couple nights prior to this i’d gone and seen the movie juno with my friends tom and becky. i thought the movie was pretty sucky. but there is a scene at the end where juno is giving birth and george michael from arrested development is there watching it, and i thought about what that would feel like to witness something like that, and how strange it is that we come out of this crazy storm, this sweaty, screaming fit, and we really have no idea; we’re just sliding down a laundry chute as far as we know. we’re totally unconscious to the war that our mothers are fighting outside. we always will be, in a way.
…and that’s sorta kinda what the song’s partly about, i guess. but it’s also about the dead bird and how we bring the dead colorless things around us to life, and how maybe we bring each other to life in the same way, with our E.T. pointer fingers. right? sure. don’t know.