Plush Gordon: Internet Box #1

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We’ve been working on this project for a while now. By “we,” I mean Plush Gordon. We’re calling the project an internet box because it sounds cooler than “web page with a bunch of free files you can download.” But that’s essentially what it is. And the files, if we may say so in all humility, are pretty cool.

First, there’s the music — a four-track EP titled Slow Drive Through a Strange World and handful of bonus tracks. My favorite track on the EP is called “Madrid.” It’s not about the Spanish city. It’s about a town in New Mexico. More or less.

And if you want to sing along, we’ve included illustrated lyrics. Fun fact: For some of the songs, there are more verses on the lyric sheet than in the recorded version. We can’t explain this fact. Things just worked out that way.

As if illustrated lyrics weren’t enough, we also provide some literature! Specifically, we’ve include a manifesto that spells out our artistic principles, a piece of autofiction that comes reasonably close to explaining how we recorded the EP, and a short story titled “Madrid,” which inspired the song of the same name.

Next, we have a video for the third song on the EP, “Red Door,” which blends animation and vintage stock footage to tell the story of a motorist who is struggling to find his way in the world as he slowly loses of his faculties.

And there’s the short film we shot. It’s called Milk Fudge. We filmed it over the course of five days as part of a competition, which we were fortunate enough to have won. Listen for the first song on the EP, “Silver Nissan,” playing in the background.

Finally, we have some art and the credits for the EP. We feel especially fortunate to have so many people working on the project — ten musicians and fourteen members of our studio team, all of whom make up what we lovingly think of as the Plush Gordon continuum.

It’s all free to download. You can pick and choose what you like. And we won’t even be offended if you don’t like any of it. We admit that we’re kind of an acquired taste. But if you do enjoy it — or you know someone who might enjoy it — please feel free to share the music and/or the following link with your friends: https://www.hungryhourmusic.com/slow-drive

Thanks for checking it out!

Track-by-Track: “My Head”

I have my friend the very funny and very talented Joe Lavelle to thank for reminding about this song about a year ago.  I wrote the song back when Joe and I were in high school, and it was originally just a refrain: “You stepped on my head, she said.” I added verses a little bit later and played the song in a band I formed with some friends of mine. In any case, when I started recording music again, it was Joe who suggested that I should record this one. The only problem was that I’d forgotten the last verse and had no record (or recordings!) of it, so I had to write a new one.

I recorded and released a slightly different version of this song last year at Joe’s request, and I was going to include it on my EP Garden Variety, but I thought it sounded somewhat thin so I dropped it from the lineup. Even so, I still liked the song, so I added a jazzy electric piano part to beef it up and included it on Thank You for Holding.

In addition to the electric piano, I also like the sound of the rhythm guitar. It’s an Epiphone Dot Studio semi-hollow guitar that I borrowed from my friend Tim Simmons. Tim and I have been borrowing instruments from each other for a few years now. In fact, he’s largely responsible for my return to music after many years of not playing much at all. But the guitar has a nice, warm sound to it, and if you listen carefully, you can also hear the faint crackle of static, which I think gives the track a live feel.

One last thing I’ll point out about the track is that I love the instrumental break in the middle. Belle and Sebastian is one of my favorite bands, and their songs make great use of brass instruments, and that’s the kind of sound I was going for with the French horn and trumpet in the middle of “My Head.” Unlike Belle and Sebastian, though, my brass section is entirely synthetic. Turns out that Tim Simmons didn’t have a trumpet to loan me.

My Head

Keep on, keep on, keep on coming.
Soon we’ll all be gone.
Live your life while it’s worth living
‘Cause it won’t last long.

“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.

Housework, housework keeps on coming.
Where does free time go?
Stop an hour, watch the opera,
The only life you know.

“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.

Keep on, keep on, keep on dreaming.
Leave the world behind.
Somewhere you know your life waits
Beyond the daily grind.

“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.
“You stepped on my head,” she said.

Thank You for Holding

Quick note to say that my new album, Thank You for Holding, is now available! I’ll have more to say about the individual tracks in the coming days, but for now, here’s the basic premise:

Sometime in the distant (or maybe not-too-distant) future, someone placed a call to an automated customer-service center mere moments before the world ended. Ever since then, the robot who answered the phone has been assuring the caller that a customer service representative will be available shortly. In the meantime, the robot has learned to play the flute. But all is not well, as the robot’s circuitry is starting to run down.

How did it all come to this?

The only way to find out is to listen…