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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Deeper into Music:: Apollo Ghosts Mount Benson

Last year we fell in love with the Daniel, Fred & Julie record and asked Daniel Romano to give us a bit more information about the songs, the recordings and the nonsense and hilarity that ensued. IT was a pretty cool piece and people seemed to love the idea, so we thought why not reach out to one of our new favorites, Apollo Ghosts, and how the glory that is Mount Benson (a lock for my Polaris ballot for those keeping score at home) come to be.
Last fall we got together at the space and decided to record another album. A new Taco restaurant had opened up on Hastings street and we ate a lot of them while recording. Dave manned the boards and Loki the cat scratched the couch. We drank whiskey for courage. I think it took about a week. When we got our test pressings back--Dave played it on the studio player, tilted his ear to the spinning disc and summed up the whole project quite nicely: "Delightfully ragged."

01 Wakesiah
Adrian gives himself about two songs per record where he's allowed mega-overdubs. Amanda and Jay don't let Adrian use his loop pedal live so it was his only chance to get frisky. The opening lyric connects to the previous record, Hastings Sunrise. "This is about the time I said I'd choose to live." We recorded this song once before but the key was way too high. Adrian can barely hit it as is. Jay and Adrian did the mmmmm's and tried to make them sound like BC Ferry horns. This is about someone getting into a bathtub, sailing across the Strait of Georgia to find someone he lost. Seems pre-teen tragic.

02 Charms of Cars
Sometimes Adrian goes to the washroom during practice and Jay and I do bass/drum jamz. There usually pretty funky. A lot times he'll come back and scream: "Keep it going, we got a song here!!!" I think he told me Charms of Cars is about the illusion of teen car ownership. Or Capitalism.

03 Coka-Cola Admen
My friend Ken (from the band 'Madonna Bangers') asked me what this song was about on our little tour last summer. We were six beers deep in our sleeping bags somewhere in a Washington State campground. I think I mumbled something about the real-estate bubble and former eccentric mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney. I think the Coka-Cola Admen invented the modern day Santa-Claus.

04 To: A Friend Who Has Been Through A War

We play this as power-pop song live but I recorded the demo as an acoustic version and it stuck for the LP.

05 Witchcraft Lake
There is a lake at the foot of Mount Benson called 'Witchcraft Lake.' It's black and red and filled with eerie tree stumps. After you climb Benson it's really tempting to jump in and cool yourself off. The only problem is the lake tries to pull you in. Seriously. The banks of the lake give way and and it feels like a spirit dragging you under. There's been a plane crash and multiple alien sightings on Mount Benson.

06 Brown To Grey
Our friend Rose Melberg came in and sang the duet on this one. Kim Koch plays the violin.

07 Samurai Chatter
My friend Brent hunts Sasquatch down on the Nanaimo river. He has a big beard and amazing gold panning skills. I think this is the biggest cryptozoology song on the record. Dave gave us a disco-wah pedal for some overdubs. He also added these crazy alien sounds when he was alone in the studio, which both shocked and delighted. Like any island kid, I grew up hunting frogs and playing war games with my sister near lakes and rivers.

08 Sons Of Norway
There was one out in the last inning of the Nanaimo little league championship. Amber hadn't hit the ball all year. Bases were loaded. She bit her lip and smacked a single through the first baseman's glove. And the Sons of Norway hoisted to the trophy.

09 Hub City
Frank Ney, former eccentric mayor, created a bathtub race between Nanaimo and Vancouver. There is even an entire pirate themed island located in the Nanaimo harbour called 'Protection Island.' Nanaimo is the heart of Vancouver island.

10 Salmon Capital
Definitely about Capitalism.

11 Attaquez! Attaquez! Attaquez!
Ferdinand Foch, French Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies , had a strategy---forget defense, just attack! Attack with everything you've got!

12 Things You go Through
I think this is our sad attempt to write a Subterranean Homesick Blues'esque song. When we finished recording it, Dave said: "It needs something." Using a big piece of sheet metal, several tamborines and two sound barrier walls, we created the Frankle: an improvised garbage thunder drum. You can hear it thrashing around in the background.

13 Snow on Mount Benson
Adrian is a sucker for piano ballads even though he can't play. Our friend Chris-a-riffic came down and recorded the piano part in a few takes. You should really check out his music, not our crud!!!

MP3:: Apollo Ghost - Things You Go Through
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/adrianteacher

Labels: , , Deeper into Music, ,

Posted at 2:06 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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