On July 22nd, 2017, we participated in our second Summer Undercover event at Pauly's Hotel / The Low Beat in Albany, NY. The event, run by Raechelle Gonzalez, features local bands covering, well, whatever. In our first year we covered Tom Waits (featuring our good friend and honorary Mess member Chris Basset and Gina DeNardo who would become our full time drummer immediately afterward.
I have long had a distinct relationship with cover songs. Essentially, if you are covering something, it better mean something to you and as a musician you should be able to spread what should be a very direct message to you in your own voice. So I sat down and re-wrote (or re-interpreted, rather) Tom Waits. I know. Sacrilege. But it came out as the voice of our band, and in my opinion far more satisfying for us in the end, though we were'nt the most well recieved (we played "What's He Building?" as a seven minute noise jam), it worked, all in all.
A year passed and we were selected again to play. This year however, there was a theme. The bands/artists had to be women, or women dominated. For example, Pixies wouldn't work, but Hole would.
We drew up a long list of artists including Concrete Blonde, Peaches, Hole, Patsy Cline (who came so close we initially announced as her), Portishead, Joan Jett, and a lot more. I still wish we had done Peaches...
When the show date was announced we still planned on Patsy, but once I sat down to learn her bones, it became apparent that it would be difficult to make her music more interesting or cathartic than it already was, to me at least. Then, by some stroke of bittersweet luck, Al, who had initially suggested ol' PC, had a prior engagement she had forgot about, so it became just, Kevin, Gina, and myself. Regrouping, we decided on L7, whos albums "Bricks are Heavy" and "Hungry for Stink" are easily in my top twenty-five.
I sat down, picked the skin off a few songs ("Wargasm" was originally going to be in our set) and laid it all out, recorded some quick demos (included, I think) and brought them to the band. Intermittently we rehearsed and the new mutant versions of these powerhouse fucking songs became their own entities. We never played them exactly the same twice, but the new souls sat deep inside them each time.
When the show came, we smeared on our warpaint, and with only four strings on my guitar, and a few other nuisance issues, I hope L7 would have been proud.
Also, to the girl that kept offering me tampons, I appreciate the sentiment.
Asa Morris: Voice, Guitar
Kevin Cardinale: Bass, Back Voice
Gina DeNardo: Drums
Recorded live July 22nd at Pauly's Hotel, Albany NY.
All songs originally written by L7.
released August 16, 2017
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