Bring Us Some Goddamn Fucking Figgy Pudding

The project this year was to recover some of the tracks from the very furst Burl album, circa ’95/’96?  (Will check timing later.)  The original tapes may or may not still exist, but the Real Audio files do, and this year they got converted to MP3 and edited into individual tracks.

This one is an original poem, written by the estimable Phil James.  We probably first heard him read this year before, at some Echo event.  And we’d certainly seen him post it long before.

I can’t remember if we asked him to record it, and he was unavailable, or not.  But in any case, I think Phil enjoyed the delivery of barely controlled pointless rage I used for this version.

I am pretty sure it is Mark who did the tinkly piano in the background.  I remember Spingo just started recording him practicing the melody.  It is almost sheer luck — but BEAUTIFUl sheer luck — that those notes ended as nicely and as perfectly timed as they did.  It was maybe my favorite part of recording the whole album, how that worked out.

Please enjoy this spoken word tale of caroling gone rageahol.

Bring Us Some Goddamn Fucking Figgy Pudding (in 7 Parts)

30 Burl: Auld Lang Syne

And finally, a song for New Year’s Eve.   Burl actually performed a New Year’s Eve show in San Francisco — crossing over from 2000, to 2002 — in Miss Max Whitney’s basement near the Pacific Ocean.

Look!  Proof!

I don’t remember all of the songs we played, except for a well-played, terribly sung cover of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, and a accidental sing-along of “The Rose”.

Turns out that every woman in North America sung that song in 8th Grade choir, and still knows the words.  (As explained to me by Terri Senft, later.)

“Auld Lang Syne” was one of the songs we practiced, I know, but only to play on the beach later with acoustic guitars.  I had been singing in my car for two years at that point, which did not have the same volume restrictions as NYC apartments.  Turns out my voice is more reliably on key when I belt it out.  However, belting it out next to Spingo’s ears in the living room annoyed the living hell out of him.

Poor bastard.  I would have thought he was used to my voice violating his ears at that point, but I guess human beings can recover from just about anything.

Hope y’all can recover from 30 Burl.

Auld Lang Syne

30 Burl: Big Red Blues

A couple weeks back, I posted a link to a dirty-ish Xmas song, sung by Miss Ella Fitzgerald.  Little did I remember that Spingo and I had done a blues song inspired by the same basic silly joke about chimneys.

I believe you can guess that joke, yes?

However, I do remember enjoying this one ins particular, because Spingo had a handheld loudspeaker, which had a handset like a cop radio.  So we stuck the speaker end of that up near a mic, and wailed away.  Still sounds cool to me, like a thumpy Christmas blues carol sung in a basement in 1953, and only recorded by accident.

Big Red Blues

30 Burl: Xmas Eve Posting

So yes, I’ve been posting like an elf, getting a bunch of files up after a week.

However, I will not be putting up a plethora of songs, including

– More Jingle Bells covers

– Covers like  “Holly Jolly Xmas”  (because I don’t like it)

– And some originals like “Happy Merry” (which has aged poorly to my ears) and “Surfin’ Santa” (because I like “Let It Surf” better).  I will link to “Big Red Blues”, though, because of our use of a loudspeaker to sing and record through still entertains me.

The final upload will be “Auld Lang Syne”, in a classic Burl thump-thump style.

30 Burl: We Three Kings

As a concept band, Burl quickly discovered the benefits of guest artists.  When you have talented friends, including their work next to yours makes you look smart, if nothing else.

Here’s one by Clive “The Robot” Thompson, whom I would later collaborate with on a different project, the Greencard Cowboys.  Clive’s day job is as award-winning technology journalist.  But when he first got out of college in Toronto, so the story goes, he paid a lot of his rent by playing guitar constantly at various gigs all around the city.

He primarily plays guitar, but can also program drums, play bass, a bit of keyboard, and a killer harmonica.  Once I saw Clive teach himself banjo in a day, well enough to record a song with me in the evening.  So he’s a prodigy, the bastard.

Here he is making pretty instrumental Xmas music, like a prodigy should.

We Three Kings

30 Burl: Death Row Christmas

Another Burl original.

This one was ACTUALLY recorded live in one take. Or maybe two.

Some simple guitar noises, accompanied by lyrics that combine the warm comfort of December frostbite with the wholesome feelings of maximum security at the Michigan City State Prison.

Much like “Fluffy Christmas for Cuddles”, I can’t really listen to this one all the way through.  In fact, I think the only time I was ever to listen to it all the way through was when I recorded the damn thing.  Except this one started out trying to be something funny, and it turned into this.  Brrrrr….

Death Row Christmas