Western State Hurricanes

Talk about the band, the records, the shows.

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Lobster
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Western State Hurricanes

Postby Lobster » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:02 pm

Does anyone know how to go about getting recordings of the Western State Hurricanes? I was told there were demos floating around out there, and my two Long Winters albums are simply not enough.
Thanks.

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chelsea
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Postby chelsea » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:24 pm

um, i'll let unremarkable answer this one...

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sour29
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Postby sour29 » Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:56 am

If you can wait until January, I'm willing to seed them on easytree.org in SHN.

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dchris
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Re: Western State Hurricanes

Postby dchris » Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:10 am


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L u c y
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Postby L u c y » Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:33 pm

^ I've never heard those...awesome

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sour29
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Postby sour29 » Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:16 pm

If John reads this... two questions:

1) would you be against me putting the WSH demos up online in a lossless community somewhere?

and,

2) why didn't the WIPTF version of Nora have the "There's nothing to talk about" outero like you did at this show, and (I believe) on the tour earlier this summer? That part kicks my ass.

Yarn
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Postby Yarn » Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:46 pm

If you're asking questions about Nora, I've got one: Why wasn't it on the first album?

Also, this version of Copernicus is really awesome.

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John
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Postby John » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:36 pm

Well, first, I havn't listened to that "beatbox" show in about five years but my recollection is that it was terrible. There are better WSH shows bouncing around somewhere, including one mixed by John Goodmanson that has a fairly scorching Nora. I'll try and put my hands on them.

Second, Nora was the WSH's showstopper finale, and during our slightly-less-than-a-year run I broke a few guitars at shows by just freaking out all over the place. There were a couple of WSH songs that were deemed, by mutual consent, "too metal" for inclusion on the first record which, by dint of being produced by Walla and Nelson and my newly "rehabilitated by long distance walking" self, was supposed to be a complete reinvention. In retrospect I believe that my signing to Barsuk Records was tacitly conditional on the fact that I would abandon my heavier rock leanings and get on board the indie-twee train, and I did it willingly because during the final months of the WSH I had begun to feel like a little bit of a clown. The Seattle Weekly described me as a "guitar commando" and I was hoping to be regarded as a serious songwriter and not as some guy who broke guitars and spazzed out all over the place. Hence all the songs on the first record got the serious artist treatment, including the de-funkification of Copernicus.

At the time the style was fairly alien to me, coming as I did from the Rat Pedal school of dynamics, but it allowed me to show off all of the piano playing "skills" I had learned by being in Harvey Danger, so I was proud to be able to change direction at the ripe old age of 32 and play music that, frankly, I would have deemed fairly "pussy" at any other time in my life.

When we started working on the second record Nora appeared again completely differently out of some piano doodling I was doing, and the fact that I was playing with old WSH drummer Michael Shilling again made it feel appropriate to revist the song, but Sean Nelson went on record saying he thought the sentiments of the lyrics were regressive and he voted to axe it from WIPTF. His thesis was that the lyrics of the second record revealed an emotional depth that the WSH lyrics lacked, and that Nora was an anomalously bitter song in this context. I vetoed Sean but left out the "there's nothing to talk about" part in a feeble attempt to wash out some of the vitrol, adding it back in when we played it live, (without really planning to or mentioning it to the other guys), because I was also gradually expanding the solo section to something close to its old length. It turned out that the "guitar commando" action was so deeply ingrained in me that even three years in tweesville couldn't exorcise it.

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sour29
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Postby sour29 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:00 am

Listening to the few songs that I did, I'd agree that this isn't representational of some of the stronger WSH material I have heard. I still find it immensly interesting to hear L-Dub songs in their first incarnations, though.

Nora is a fantastic finale. -melts- I still die just about everytime I even think about the performance you played (and dedicated to me!) in Toronto. I really have to make an effort to find somebody with a DV camera to transfer that show and get to work on that DVD. But I digress.

I thought this was a great story. Seeing as I've been a fan for something like 19 months now, I missed out on all the WSH jazz as well as all the other great Seattle-area scene that preceded my interest. I guess hearing this story helped me connect a bit better with where you, John, and the LW's come from. -smiles- Oh, how interesting it would be to buy you several rounds of drinks and just let you go on about your life story! Thanks for the lengthy and thorough reply. I feel significantly more knowledgably endowed.

And for what it's worth, I'm glad you vetoed Sean (sorry Monsieur Nelson, but I really, really love Nora).

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:24 am

I'm also glad Nora got the WIPTF nod. That song is phenomenal.

I've never heard it live, though. The last time I saw the LWs live the Gabes Oasis crowd kept requesting Nora but John wouldn't play it because he didn't want to bring everybody down. The crowd was insistant until I yelled up...

"How about you guys play what you want and we'll all promise to listen to Nora on the drive home"

John seemed to like that one. The crowd wasn't a bad one, but it does gotta suck when people treat you like a juke box. As much as I love requests, I'll listen to whatever the band wants to play. Or put on a record for that matter.

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L u c y
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Postby L u c y » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:30 pm

I'm sorry I missed the WSH...the idea of metal coming out of anything LW-y blows my mind.

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junker347
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Postby junker347 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:42 pm

have you seen the long winters live?
i'd say john still has some let's rock out spirit in him.

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L u c y
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Postby L u c y » Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:11 pm

rocking out I believe, I expect it...but how hard? hard enough to at least make his glasses fall off...but how much more intense was it before? I suppose I'm just curious.

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Unremarkable
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Postby Unremarkable » Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:22 pm

Nora was my favorite of the WSH songs, and I'm quite glad it was included on the album. The live recording of the WSH's last show, at The Showbox, has a particularly mind-blowing version of Nora at the end (preceded by a particularly mind-blowing Delicate Hands). I have a couple WSH shows and ye olde WSH demo, that I would be more than happy to share with people over AIM: Unremarkable20, email: chrish425@gmail.com, or snail mail (just PM me).

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Forrest
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Postby Forrest » Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:35 pm

Oh, how interesting it would be to buy you several rounds of drinks and just let you go on about your life story!


Keep talking like that, and John might get the idea to write a 12,000 page novel about his epiphany-free sojourn around Europe.

Nah, that'll never happen.

Yarn
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Postby Yarn » Mon Dec 20, 2004 10:00 pm

At Sasquatch, Nora was played. Now, if my memory is correct, John actually asked if there were any requests. Somone shouted "Nora" and John responded by saying something about how they don't play that one very often.

This is when I learned John really could rock. Good lord that solo was amazing. Wathing him was pretty fascinating, because you truly do freak out, but you're still hitting all the right notes. Now, for someone who devoted a good deal of their early teenage years to immitating Jimi Hendrix I can assure you this wasn't easy.

About Nora, though . . . I'm very happy it made the second Album, and would have been happy to hear it on the first. Here's what I think, and feel free to shoot me down; album themes and trends really aren't very important. When you have a great song, stick it on the album, I'll enjoy it all the same. I'm sure for many of you this is different.

Lastly, as for being regarded as a "serious songwriter" you have most certainly achieved that. I don't know how to phrase that any more simply. And I know it's something that doesn't need be said, but hey.

Thanks for the lengthy reply.

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chelsea
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Postby chelsea » Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:15 am

Yarn wrote:At Sasquatch, Nora was played. Now, if my memory is correct, John actually asked if there were any requests.


john almost always asks if there are any requests. or at least provides the opportunity for requests to be shouted. ahh what you young'uns (sp?) don't know...

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megan
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writing...

Postby megan » Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:31 am

Keep talking like that, and John might get the idea to write a 12,000 page novel about his epiphany-free sojourn around Europe.

Nah, that'll never happen


are you kidding? that'd be AWESOME!!! his writing is mind-blowing and i'd read his writing until my fingers bled from turning the pages, crazy genius seraphic metaphors that i could spend years trying to understand. from the point of view of someone who writes (not music, just lots of words) i would LOVE to see john write anything - poetry, prose, short story, novel, autobiography. in fact, i'd be interested to see if any literary works have influenced his lyrics. anybody know anything about this? but of course, a new record will be just as genius!

Jeroen
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Postby Jeroen » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:13 am

I think I am speaking for everybody when I say that we are eagerly awaiting his book... even if it's 12.000 pages long.

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c-dog
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Postby c-dog » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:18 am

I wonder if we will see some excerpts posted on this fine website??


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