THE DREAMLAND DEMOS
free download



Artist's Notes:

The songs here are rough demos, recorded on a 4-track Tascam cassette recorder in various apartments both in and around Orlando, Florida and Columbus, Ohio in the mid-to-late Eighties, for an album that was eventually shelved because I saw something shiny and went elsewhere for a decade or so. These are drastically different in style from my official recorded output - this was pop-rock all the way, as I learned the joys of overdubbing and of hearing my first-ever original recordings take shape.

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1. LITTLE BIT OF HEART

This was the first track recorded for the project, and the first example of my Robert Palmer fixation (also manifest on "Hit The Road" from 2004's Looking For Light and "H.O.H.", which is the track after this one). The percussion is a combination of two cheap rhythm tracks off of a cheap self-contained keyboard thingy, one mixed a half-beat after the other; bass guitars and vocals are the only other things on the track. Even though the repetition gets a little long in places, I liked this so much that I put it on the Songs From Dark Rooms album as-is since the lyrics, basically begging someone not to leave, definitely fit both the theme and the tone of that album. If you bought that album you already have this song, but, hey, it's free. I decided to include it here since it was part of the original package. Recorded in my apartment in Rosemont (Orlando suburb), late 1985.


2. H.O.H.

A certain Mr. Palmer channeled again, this time with power-slamming from a vintage Hagstrom "Black Beauty" electric guitar that I'd bought in a pawn shop in Orlando in 1986 (called "Zee's Happy Hocker") and have used almost exclusively since. This definitely brought out my inner rock-star, complete with pretentious title (which, the lyrics will show, stands for "Holding Out for Happiness") and panning the riff from one side to the other for people with headphones (I've done that a few times since, because things like that on albums always seemed cool to me. Hey, you have a stereo field, use it!). I didn't know how long the ending was going to be, so I stood playing the ending guitar riff for about 5 minutes nonstop, jumping around like a crazy man and losing a pound or two in the process. This is the first original song I ever copyrighted; I felt like a real bigshot when the certificate arrived. Recorded in Rosemont, same apartment, in the bathroom. I don't know why. Early 1986.
 
 


3. DREAMLAND

The result of my brief fixation with synthesizers, using a Korg Poly-800 that I had purchased second-hand and wish I still had. I used it both for keyboard and bass sounds, with lead guitar and vocals dubbed after. I loved the dreamy atmosphere of the song. The whispered intro came to me about three months after the song was finished and I added it to the beginning. Recorded in Columbus, Ohio, in my bedroom. Spring 1987.
 


4. FIND MY WAY

I think this one's a product of listening to Fleetwood Mac a lot. It's the only song of mine so far that anyone else has covered on an album of their own (it's the lead-off track on Ron Brunk's 2001 CD "Eclectricity"). It's also the only recording with new parts added in present day; the recording had no lead guitar or solo, so I added it on recently, going for that Lindsey Buckingham feel to fit the song. The rest of the song took a day to record: it took almost 25 years to get a solo I liked into it. The song was recorded in my bathroom in the Conway area of Orlando in 1989, and extra percussion was added while dancing in the bathtub like a fool, banging a broom handle against the shower-curtain rod.


5. SAY THAT YOU LOVE ME

I became fascinated by the idea of doing a song that sounded light and bouncy on the surface but harbored an unexpected twist lyricwise.
Lyrics came after watching "American Gigolo". I thought, "What if things were reversed? What if it was the gigolo who became emotionally attached to the client instead of the other way around?", so it's from the point of view of said gigolo, who would give back everything she bought him if she'd just love him. Alas, it's not meant to be, and the rejected studmuffin drives off "in my brand new car", obviously a gift from the client. Recorded in Columbus, Summer 1987.


6. WALL OF SOUND

The big finish. Synthesizer becomes layers of sythesizer at the end, with the kitchen sink thrown in. Heavily influenced by The Psychedelic Furs (whose influence would touch down again on the title track from the Lovers And Liars album), to the point that the vocal is practically a Richard Butler impersonation. I was really proud of the slide-up modulation in the instrumental bridge, and I wanted the ending to go on forever but had to draw the line somewhere. Recorded in Rosemont, Winter 1988.


DOWNLOAD THE COVER ART!!!!!!

     If you'd like to burn a physical CD of your downloads, why not make it real and download the artwork as well? Here's how (on a PC):

Right-click on artwork, go to "Save Link As..." on the box that pops up to put it on your computer. Choose where you want to save the file "dreamart.jpg" and put it there.

Go to the location where you saved it. Open the file, print it out, cut on the lines, fold in half and put it in the front of your CD case! (Art size 4.75" x 9.5")


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