1) The “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” movie soundtrack was old tunes recorded
with new technology - ”The Museum of Me” is new songs recorded with old
technology. My CD flips the idea behind that very successful release.
2) The New York Times recently ran a half-satirical/half-think piece on
something they called ‘The New Old’ = a trend to reissue cool products from
the past and the revival of moribund brand names like the new Mini Cooper,
Danelectro guitars, Eames furniture, Triumph motorcycles, etc... ”The Museum
of Me” is part of this trend. If Post-Modernism was a crunching together of
the best bits from past designs, The New Old is reproducing a design in its
original, ‘pure’ form... but with modern ‘materials’. In ”The Museum of
Me”, the pure ‘design’ is the signature sound of these antique audio
formats... think “new wine in old bottles”. If you want to get really
theoretical about it, this CD is an exercise in Audio Industrial
Design... something I’ll define as soon as I can think up a definition!
3) Two weeks ago, NPR’s Susan Stanberg closed Friday evening’s “All Things
Considered” with a piece about a “new recording of Caruso”. It seems a
classical record producer had taken wax cylinders of the famous tenor,
digitally stripped-off the backing accompaniment and had an orchestra
re-record the music. Am I in the zeitgeist or what? My tune "Thinkin’ About
Them Girls" on this CD has me on wax cylinder and the other musicians on
digital 8-track... a cross-format experiment I did three years ago.
4) I've always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. When I tried my
first antique audio recording - "The Bottom of a Workingman’s Beer" on a wire
recorder I’d found in a flea market - what went in was modern me... but what
came out was a 50-year-old sound... it was as if I had transported myself
back to the mid-20th Century!
5) - Or - these are just pretty good rock songs, the project is sequenced
like a rock record... it IS a rock record. The antique audio angle is gravy.