The Hidden – Chicago’s Thickest Band in the World

September 15th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 68

Recording Dates: 1992 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR28

ScratchNotes:

This is a compilation that captures other works of the Hidden beyond “Stop. I’m bleeding.”, “Brave New Failure” and the two comps listed below. Unreleased songs recorded in rehearsal or in concert; five bonus tracks recorded for the “Brave New Failure” album; sonic anthropology of life on the road via “Ladies Night with the Hidden” and “The Turdcutter Files”, and the title track of our very first release.

The album art contains many flyers from our days on the road, as well as homebrew marketing materials and video stills of honest moments.

_______________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Four Track Sampler

Track 03 – Are You My Daddy? (The Hidden) – I guess you could consider this the early 90’s version of a meme. We had a tendency to ask this question over and over…and I don’t recall why.  [Scratch on Daddy]

Track 15Bone of Contention (The Hidden) – This menacing track is the most experimental thing the band released – and was the title track of our debut tape. Since I’m a balanced individual I recorded multiple news reports when the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer were revealed. Zack and I used cassette tapes to dub the sample track of these tapes with recordings of movie clips and commercials. Then just add some droning moaning madness and you’ve got “Bone of Contention”.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 16The Cleavage Enhancing Wonder Bra (The Hidden) – A really rough recording from our leaning basement. This was the final track the band came up with before going their separate ways, and features a number of slow building sections. The addition of Brian M. on guitar made us that much thicker. This sample track ends with a clip of Erik hawking the band and recounting our history on Y108.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 17Gnawing at the Stump (The Hidden) – This short outtake from the “Brave New Failure” sessions gets its point across with no delay. Sing along now! “I cut my feet, they’re bleeding…“.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags:

The Hidden – Covered With Blood and Touring

September 12th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 67

Recording Dates: 1993 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR27

ScratchNotes:

The Hidden played live for a bit under two years. Our first appearance with Brian M. was at the infamous Czar Bar in January 1993. The band largely culminated with a three week tour in late 1994 that took us to Texas and New Mexico and back through Colorado. This collection features live renditions of eighteen original songs plus covers of Pink Floyd and Pat Benatar. A lot of these recordings originate from our VHS recordings from these tours. Yes kids, our VHS recordings. Despite this limitation many energetic rock occurrences erupt with reckless abandon throughout.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – In the Flesh (The Hidden) – Why not start a heavy rock show with this opening track from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”? It even works at the Czar Bar despite the always occupied pool table providing real-time ambiance.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 04Salamander (The Hidden) – Dynamics is the name of the game as our protagonist questions his mammality. Live from Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club in Kansas City, MO. [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 15B.O.F. (The Hidden) – While latter era Hidden often delved into longer more progressive tracks, this stormer shows we could still blast out a fast track as needed. Perhaps not appropriate for modern sensibilities.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 17The Specialist (The Hidden) – Ten different parts in three and a half minutes? Damn right! It’s the Specialist! [Scratch on Guitar & Backing Vocals]

Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags:

40 Gallons – The McLennon, Peterson, Skroch, and Webb Collection

September 8th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 66

Recording Dates: 1991 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR26

ScratchNotes:

After finally finishing up the Hidden’s “Brave New Failure” twenty-two years after its initial recording, I got the urge to re-evaluate our piles of recordings to finish filling out our legacy of non-success. First up was the initial era when I played with Paul, Zack and Erik as IMF and then for a while as the Hidden. This crew actually saw more recording studios than the later group – including time spent with Steve Albini and Chuck Uchida in Chicago. This collection includes live shows, radio performances and studio demo recordings.

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Four Track Sampler

Track 10 – I’m Dead (The Hidden) – Acoustic guitars? Why not! The Hidden’s understanding of punk rock was indeed wide ranging.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 12How I Feel (The Hidden) – This one minute blast is the most frantic thing the band played live. A ruckus really. A beautiful beautiful ruckus.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 15I’m Your Bug (live on WZRD) (The Hidden) – In July 1992 the Hidden played a spirited live set in the Chicago studios of WZRD. It was a strange setup and I feel like maybe we were in different rooms? My poor memory aside, we delivered a rousing and thumping performance.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 16On the Mountainside (live on WZRD) (The Hidden) – This twisted love song gets a strange pulsing intro before blasting into its pre-emo big rock attitude.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Early, IMF, The Hidden Tags:

MX Skroch – Loophole

September 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 65

Recording Dates: 1992-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR25

ScratchNotes:

Here is the middle release from the “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls” trilogy. This collection was created when I decided to digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material to optimize fidelity.

“Loophole” is primarily focused on experimentation. This is the only album of the three to include other musicians, mostly on one-off performances or looped multi-track creations.

From the 90-second whimsy of “Soundo Effecto” to the brutal cacophony of the 17-minute “Intended Sexual Assault”; “Loophole” throws something completely different and unexpected at you every few minutes. Soundscapes, industrial music, loop built tracks, recordings of pizza delivery interactions…it’s all that and more!

Four samplings from this album can be accessed below. Enjoy!

P.S. You can click the cover image for a larger version.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – Tingle (MX Skroch) – A spooky cloud moves in from the distance. Your skin begins to crawl. Something is bubbling within. Suddenly it bursts out!  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Sitting Duck (MX Skroch with Suneel V.)  – Piano rock turns into crushing heaviness before bridging into a dance bit that turns into satellite signals reaching out for spiritual assistance when suddenly your messages get a response and a plea as sad orchestral music begins to take shape… Also featuring a rather unique vocal performance as I elucidate the context of modern life.  [Scratch on Bass, Vocals, Drum Beats, Galactus & Space Phone]

Track 08 – Cotton Candy (MX Skroch) – A drum driven, mostly sample based slap across the face. I’d recently taken a liking to obtaining collections of samples to play with. Where they came from wasn’t important – sometimes they came from CDs I bought; boom box recordings of the TV in my living room, or a small pocket tape recorder I kept handy for those special occasions.  [Scratch on Guitar, Drum Beats & Samples]

Track 13 – We Used to Wear Toughskins (MX Skroch) – This time it’s personal as I share recordings of pizza deliveries; answering machine messages from the Chophouse and our landlord trying to throw us out, and commentary about Jeffrey Dahmer. Oh, and I guess I made recordings of my neighbor’s kids in the mid-1980s so I fit that in as well; and some movie samples from 1961. So something for all ages I suppose!  [Scratch on Recorded Pizza Delivery, Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboard, Drum Beats & Samples]

Sheep Fiends – 7 on 15

September 8th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 64

Recording Dates: 08/25/2007

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

This is a fairly unique record that includes acoustic guitar and vocals from two-time attendee Des; a freaking trombone player, and rhythmically consistent songs played along with drum samples. We were closing in on our multi-track studio, but this is a strong mix for our two-track era.

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Three Track Sampler

Track 06 – Having a Great Fall (The Sheep Fiends) – Acoustic guitar and trombone punctuate this track sung by Sheep Fiend short timer Des based on the legends of Humpty Dumpty. My spooky guitar and Mark’s mandolin add to the ambiance and a few parts actually get a bit reminiscent of Pink Floyd – which you’d expect would happen with the Sheep Fiends sometimes but really does not.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 09Chapel of Regrets (The Sheep Fiends) – Drumlessness is a way of life. At least is is on this short instrumental.  [Scratch on Keyboard]

Track 13Weirdos in the Band (The Sheep Fiends) – A sort of theme song with Brian M. summarizing the reality of being a Sheep Fiend.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 2000s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Bring It On

September 8th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 63

Recording Dates: 2002

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

I only appear on one track here and the rest was recorded prior to my Sheep Fiends tenure. If I loved the track I’d share it below. But I don’t.

But here’s a photo from this era instead of a cover image.

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

No Track Sampler

 

Categories: 2000s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags:

MX Skroch – InSkroMental

August 18th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 62

Recording Dates: 1990-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR24

ScratchNotes:

My computer in 2005 was certainly laughable by today’s standards, but at the time it seemed so powerful that I decided to sort through all my recordings and digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material. Remasters of the Raging Bellybuttons, IMF, and the Hidden would come later – first I focused on my solo recordings. Looking for themes I came up with a 3 CD set: “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls”.

“InSkroMental” features (with one exception) compositions I’ve recorded completely by myself that don’t contain lyrics; newly remastered to optimize fidelity. These tracks were recorded everywhere: my Chicago apartment on Wolcott, then the Leaning House of Trog, then my apartment in Chicago on Larchmont, even at my Mom’s house over many years. Despite a wide range of styles this is the most straightforward approach to music I took during the 1990s.

Since this is a retrospective it features dozens of different instruments and effects I used over the years. The cover captures many of the tools used in the creation of these tracks.

I consider this set one of my more critical releases, so a full five song sampler is provided below. Enjoy!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Track Sampler

Track 01 – The Implant (MX Skroch) – This frantic opener was created when I got a new synthesizer/sequencer and tried to figure it out. Of course I went aggressive, dark and dissonant. Wouldn’t you?  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Covered With Blood and Twitching (MX Skroch)  – This is one of the most fully realized tracks I’ve written and recorded over the years – the Hidden even did a version on the “Brave New Failure” album. This mix is mostly instrumental and uses a wide collection of guitars, keyboards, and kazoo to tell the sad, sad story.  [Scratch on Kazoo, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drum Machine, Samples & Vocals]

Track 06 – Toilet Sonata (MX Skroch) – Sometimes you need your soul to quiet down for a bit. In these times of introspection a piano ballad is often appropriate mood music. Are the sounds of my upstairs bathroom also welcome? Toilet Sonata makes the case that yes they are…yes they are.  [Scratch on Piano & Samples]

Track 12 – Vikings (part 3) (MX Skroch) – A follow up to some instrumental tracks from a few years back, the third incarnation of “Vikings” brings back pounding drums and jazzy horn sounds to accompany this fast paced and ever modulating rocker. I find the use of tension to be particularly effective here.  [Scratch on Guitars, Bass, Keyboards & Drum Programming]

Track 17 – Eyesore (MX Skroch) – Another sequencer creation exploring my twisted vision of chamber music. Or something.  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Sheep Fiends – Leftovers, Vol. 3

August 18th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 61

Recording Dates: 2000-2002

Release Date: 2006

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

You are a smart person. You can figure out what Leftovers, Vol. 3 is all about…

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

One Track Sampler

Track 11 – Miracles (The Sheep Fiends) – Just an everyday proclamation.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

 

Categories: 2000s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags: