Song Cycle

So I wrote a song called “Spin Cycle” about a year and a half back. It was based around this fun little Ani-style riff, and it had this cool sort of orchestral opening, and I was really, really excited to have it open “Dave Lowensohn Dates Your Daughter.” So I recorded it, and it sucked.

I tried again, this time with a different tempo, some different instrumentation, etc, and it sucked even harder. Thanks to the fact that I was (a) recording everything into an Iron Age laptop, and (b) naively operating on the assumption that “click tracks is 4 suckas”, the swirling eight-layer slide guitar outro that was to be the album’s high point sounded like eight kinds of hell in a seven hell bag, with rhythmic deficiencies so egregious that they could be seen and measured from space. I reluctantly scrapped the track and said to myself, “Ah, well.”

Months later, I find myself in the well-appointed living room of my childhood friend Jake Schwartz, a man famous for both co-founding The Tank and for helping me mix down the LLC’s earliest demos in exchange for 24 ounces of beef. Jake and I have long dabbled in music both electronic and acoustic, and we thought it would be fun to see if we could compose and record a club anthem in under two hours. He laid down some beats, I cycled through my back catalog of orphaned songlets, and “Spin Cycle” was finally reborn as the disco inferno we’ve all come to…well, to have an opinion about.

Flash forward to June 2004. The eleven-track “Bull Moose After Party” is in the can, Misha’s off saving the children, and I’m in Seattle, working for the man and living in sin with my girlfriend. I get a phone call from Jake, who’s in the process of putting together a “Save the Tank” DVD, and I’m told that if I can get a finished video to him by July 1st, we have a slot alongside such heavy hitters as the We Are Scientists and Bishop Allen. This could be our big break, we whisper to each other, into our phones. What the hell are we going to do?

The next three weeks are a blur of frenzied activity. Somehow “Spin Cycle” gets re-recorded, the Clear Sky boys line up a cast and crew of champions, and we manage to do an entire 10 hour shoot without getting thrown out of the Wash-N-Fold. Cullen sacrifices five years of his life to the editing desk and emerges with a nugget of pure cinematic gold.

So as of late November, the Tank DVD remains in development hell, but the good folks at Havoc TV liked it enough to add it to their current on-demand roster, so here we are today.

And there ends my tale of how 1/2 of Speechwriters LLC wound up in your living room. But the invasion has only just begun.

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