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Sheep Fiends – The Seventeenths

December 31st, 2020 Comments off


Album #:
 80

Recording Dates: 2011-2012

Release Date: 2012

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

Recorded at two jams exactly six months apart on the 17ths, this CD overall has a heavier, darker sound. Perhaps it’s just more dense. You get five different vocalists across fourteen total tracks. Sample tracks from three singers are featured below, as well as an appearance of my all-too-rare bass playing. This is open concept, freeform Sheep Fiends for the new decade.

Three Track Sampler

Track 04 – The Grim Reaper is the Grave Digger (Sheep Fiends) – A meditation on the role of death in one’s outlook for the future. Commercialism at its worst. But it’s a pretty, slow groovy jam that dissolves into the gloom.  [Scratch on Vocals & Clapping]

Track 05 – Rock & Roll Land (Sheep Fiends) – Nothing slow about this pounding rocker. Brian runs Reason and Aaron modulates infinity while I slide in some lead melody as Brian M. builds upon his sermon. You should come on by – it’s all up to you.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 09 – SidSense (Sheep Fiends) – Yea there’s some heavy Butthole Surfers influence right here. Delay keeps sending you back but the bass locks you in again. Have you met the ancient peoples? They are calling out to you.  [Scratch on Bass]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Rooster Davis Trio – The Rooster Davis Trio

December 28th, 2020 Comments off


Album #:
 79

Recording Dates: 2011

Release Date: 2011

Catalog: Bandcamp release

ScratchNotes:

The Rooster Davis Trio accidentally came together over the course of 2011. Faiz moved into Brian’s building and soon learned about the Sheep Fiends that lurked in the basement. The two of them recorded some jams and began doing a bit of overdubbing. I was then given free reign to add whatever obtuse sounds needed to be added.

The Rooster Davis Trio also played live as a three piece just a few times. Some really unique tracks came out of this ultimately short-lived project. Or is this just year ten of the hiatus?

Three Track Sampler

Track 01 – Distant Bells (Rooster Davis Trio) – One of my favorite recordings I’ve been a part of over the past decade. Both gripping and haunting this track bursts into violence when you least expect it. The tension is maintained as it warps between one idea and the next. Live guitar & drums by Faiz & Brian; overdubbed bass by Brian, and my overdubbed bass and guitar as a final step. [Scratch on Bass & Guitar (overdubs)]

Track 03 – Droplets in a Downpour (Rooster Davis Trio) – Kind of a crazed guitar battle – in opposing directions. A live jam where we set our effects pedals free, man.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 05 – Ohioasis (Rooster Davis Trio) – The Hen is pecking at you now. If you were not handcuffed in the Ohio wasteland perhaps you could find relief. But the Ohioasis is just an illusion.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Rooster Davis Trio Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Farm Jam

December 26th, 2020 Comments off


Album #:
 78

Recording Dates: Memorial Day Weekend, 2011

Release Date: 2012

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

This two CD set captures the original Farm Jam experiment which by all accounts was a resounding success. Hell you can even watch “Farm Jam -The Movie” if you are so inclined!

Brian M. floated a crazy idea about a bunch of us driving eight hours to spend three days on a farm in Pennsylvania with no internet or cell service. But there would be a garage in which to set up amps, plenty of tasty food and all the late night noise we wanted to make. The very first Farm Jam had five Sheep Fiends in attendance as well as one of Brian’s friends and is captured here. Five sample tracks are available below the artwork.

The Farm Jam concept really took off and kept happening every Summer for nine years. Farm Jam X was on the schedule but was postponed by the spread of COVID-19. Next year friends…next year.

Five Track Sampler

Disc 01, Track 03 – First Time (Sheep Fiends) – We set up all the gear for the first time in the garage at the Farm, and this dark funky jam was pretty much the initial soundcheck. And I proceed to begin a tradition of songs about the arduous journey Eastward. And yes, I also launch my first volley at America’s worst state – Ohio.  [Scratch on Guitar & Vocals]

Disc 01, Track 13 – The Promises Will Tuck You In (Sheep Fiends) – Chimes ring inside your dreams, but “don’t be scared and don’t be alarmed now”. We are here for reassurance. It’s a somewhat beautiful epic journey that morphs into a power ballad.  [Scratch on Guitar & Vocals]

Disc 02, Track 01 – Fing-er Numb-er (Sheep Fiends) – An inspired angularity propels this bouncy number. There’s only one true numb-er as far as I’m concerned.  [Scratch on Vocals]

Disc 02, Track 07 – Long Hikes and Heavy Breathing (Sheep Fiends) – Some kind of Chicago aggro-rock with a shrieking jungle bursting from the keyboard. Just another hot, hot day down on the farm.  [Scratch on Bass]

Disc 02, Track 15 – The End of the Farm Jam (Sheep Fiends) – Complimenting our opening track; this is the final music recorded at the inaugural Farm Jam. A crazed southern rock boogie vibrates the room and I share my recollections of our antics as I officially announce the End of the Farm Jam. [Scratch on Guitar & Vocals]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Numerolostrology

December 25th, 2020 Comments off


Album #:
 77

Recording Dates: 9/11/2010

Release Date: 2011

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

This CD captures what happened one Sunday on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 somewhere in Chicago. Faiz continues bringing compelling audio confusion to the party and we ended up playing with a fellow from Brazil who came by as well. It’s quite a varied collection of improvisation considering the same nine guys came up with all this in a three hour period.

Three Track Sampler

Track 03 – They Say (Sheep Fiends) – A slow lurching groove with guitar that sounds like a dying spaceship sets the tone while I croon a vaguely political tale about how only my side has the best ideas.  [Scratch on Vocals]

Track 10 – The Fucking Drum Machine (Sheep Fiends) – Listening through the raw tapes trying to find useful material can be drudgery. But sometimes you notice several comments about the prevalence of a drum machine…and you get an idea. This track grabs many such moments that happen on the side, and layers over said drum machine to bring the listener INTO the emotion.  [Scratch on Vocals ]

Track 06 – Slingin’ the Beans (Sheep Fiends) – Here’s a mellow little two man improvisation with Matt providing exposition on the status of his gut and what should go into it…right now. Matt strums the acoustic and I do some lead accompaniment in an attempt to bring flavor to life.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Looking Back

November 28th, 2020 Comments off

Album #: 76

Recording Dates: 06/12/2010

Release Date: 2010

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

This one has a perfect album title. A very nostalgic jam finds me revealing my activities during Gerald Ford’s inauguration; followed by rage about my stolen backyard and the totality of my past. Meanwhile the weird atmospheric epic “Eyes Wide Like Saucers” recounts a frightening event in Matt C’s youth. And even then remembrances of twins and “baby’s” vie for your attention. A quite varied and engaged collection of tracks.

Three Track Sampler

Track 03 – The Road (Sheep Fiends) – I was so put off by the State of Illinois forcing me to sell part of my backyard that I made up a song on the spot. And later put together a music video with proof of the injustice. A guy does what he can.  [Scratch on Vocals]

Track 05 – Still Loving You (Dream Sequence) (Sheep Fiends) – I never really figured out how to play this Scorpions track consistently, so presenting it here in the form of reverb drenched hypnotism seems about right.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 06 – Eyes Wide Like Saucers (Sheep Fiends) – Certainly a highlight of the era. Matt tells a long twisting tale of mystery while the band provides tension through interpretive wind howling, thunder crashing and torrential rain. More suspenseful than the average jam – who or what is in that red pickup truck? Storytelling at its Fiendist.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – American Sweetheart

November 27th, 2020 Comments off

Album #: 75

Recording Dates: 01/23/2010

Release Date: 2010

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

This is a pretty strong jam CD from 2010. We’d grown comfortable with the Rumpus Room studio and felt free to create without stress. Several dirges anchor this heavy record while the topics of outer space isolation, obsessive collecting, the American Dream and nightmares of spiders unfold languidly. And that’s before the remixing starts…

Three Track Sampler

Track 01 – Cowgirl in the Sand (Sheep Fiends) – A completely unrehearsed but surprisingly unique cover of the Neil Young song. I’d been learning it for a week or so and found some solid accompaniment when strumming it out in the vocal booth one day.  [Scratch on Acoustic Guitar & Vocals]

Track 06 – Melancholy (Sheep Fiends) – Ten years later this title holds. A slow gloomy journey into hopelessness? Or maybe that’s just what I get from this nontypical ambient track. It seems the aliens have taken hold by the time we reach the end.  [Scratch on Bass & Guitar]

Track 12 – Very Avant-Garde (Sheep Fiends) – So what happened was when transferring some audio files of us jamming something went very wrong. Clean guitar became shrieking feedback. So I copied the screwed up guitar track and overlaid vocals from other sections over it to make a song. Then I fleshed it out with people talking. What else could I have done?  [Scratch on Guitar & Vocals]

Categories: 2010s - Early, Sheep Fiends Tags: