Released Feb. 4, 2009
This album revisits selections from three early EPs—Breakfast With The Blades, released August 15, 2003; Rain Suite, released September 19, 2005; Bangs and Shimmys, released June 11, 2005. The tracks have been remixed, remastered, and reordered from the original tracking on the EPs. The effect of remixing is a fresher better sound without substantially changing the content of the tracks. Combining the tracks from three EPs, which were each thematically cohesive but different from each other, has resulted in an album which is more musically expansive than the original releases.
Warm Cinnamon (Originally released on Breakfast With The Blades, 2003) This piece was created in 2003, the week between the second leg of the semi-final and the final. It captures the exuberance of Sheffield United’s run for promotion. I envisioned people dancing in the streets when I was composing it. I had hoped it would be the exultant paen to victory in the final…but that was not to be…
Bangs and Shimmys (Originally released on Bangs and Shimmys, 2005.) The title is a phrase that’s been stuck in my head for years. It comes from the movie Apollo 13…something like, “They’re talking about bangs and shimmys up there…”
Honey Dance (Originally released on Bangs and Shimmys, 2005.) An uptempo song with a downtempo feel.
Bladebeat Victory Mix (Originally released on Breakfast With The Blades, 2003) The working title was “Backbeat”; it began as the simple little groove that begins the track. On a couple of occasions I listened to it while following the Blade’s games and making breakfast, eventually coming to think of it as “Bladebeat”. Though it inspired the title of the EP it was released on, the track was not completed until after the Blade’s season was over because I became superstitious about messing with the file during their final run for promotion.
Yes Delirious Joy (Originally released on Breakfast With The Blades, 2003) Created in 2003, the day after the anxiety-inducing, near-miraculous win over Nottingham Forest in the second leg of the semi-final, it reflects my state of mind at that time. Stuck for a title, I gave it the working title “Yes Delirious Joy” because after the semi was over I had clipped and stuck a temporary word “tattoo” on my arm with those words. (Other peel and stick word tattoos I pieced together included “forever blade” and “united is golden” for the Final.) Although I was rather limited in my choice of words for the stick-on tattoos, “yes delirious joy”, “stuck” as the title for this song.
Summer In The Sprawl (Originally released on Bangs and Shimmys, 2005.) The inspiration was this sentence in William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer: “Summer in the Sprawl, the mall crowds swaying like windblown grass, a field of flesh shot through with sudden eddies of need and gratification.”
The Final (Originally released on Breakfast With The Blades, 2003) Composed in the afternoon (remember, the game was a morning game for those of us in the States) after The Blades went down 3-0 to Wolverhampton in the First Division Final, in Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, May 26, 2003. A dirge, an elegy…I drapped myself in strands of music like mourning clothes that afternoon and I mourned the end of a brilliant season. There are three main voices in this piece. Without assigning each voice specifically, I nevertheless think of the three main themes as representing the players, the fans, and the organization (coaches, manager, board), all of whom no doubt felt as heartsick and wrung with grief as I did.
The Final (No Reason To Dance Mix) (Originally released as a bonus track on Breakfast With The Blades, 2003) Many good musicians have done it. Many have had it done to their songs by other less talented musicians. We live in the age of the remix when DJs and remix virtuosos take perfectly good songs–sometimes even great songs–and slap on a dance beat without regard for the original music which sometimes isn’t well suited to being tarted up by a disco beat. Songs that are slow and sad, angry and brooding, quiet and thoughtful nevertheless have been subjected to the relentless inappropriate beat. Who am I to buck the system? Why go against the flow just because I dislike it? This is a homage to the “dance mix”. My theses in this “dance” remix of “The Final” is that one cannot change a song’s true nature by adding a twitchy beat; a sad song remains a sad song and my efforts here are simply to try to make the beat not sound as incongruous and “pasted on” as so many remixes. I have defied the dance mix tradition by not substantially lengthening the song. I only added a few beats at the beginning as it seemed to need a a bit of breathing space between when the beats begin and when one of the main voices enter. This version remains inferior to the original and no amount of remixing could change that. A sad song should remain a sad song.
Rain Suite: (Originally released as as a 3 song EP, 2003.) We had a lot of rainy days that summer which has inspired this music. “Rain Suite” consists of two sections, each the length of full song. While I wouldn’t call the music ambient, it’s also not pop, rock or dance. There are some crunchy bits, some rhythmic bits, some melodic bits. Part 1. “Lowering Clouds”: The sky darkening, thunderstorms moving into the area. Part 2. “Sweet Rain”: The release of the clouds, with the percussive patter of rain. Think of it as mood music for an overcast rainy day. Riffs and rhythms from this song pop into my head whenever the skies darken and distant thunder rumbles.