Slug Comparison IIb – Download

Click here for the new EP. IIb final cover

These songs are dedicated to the memory of Eric Rose—roommate, friend, and creative accomplice. He was around a lot when Fen was getting started. His leg appears on the cover of the first album (2000), right next to the meat creature. He painted a Fen flag to hang up during shows, and his design became the band logo. The song “Dragonflies” (2003) was called “Eric Song” before it was released, because he was drumming when the main riff was born. His maniacal laughter can be heard in the fadeout of “Cockroach Eyelids” (2006); he couldn’t laugh on demand, so with the mic in front of him, he insisted I jab my fingers into his ribs as hard as I could, while he sat in a chair like a person interrogated, in the parking lot storage room where we were recording. In the lyrics of “Summer ‘99” (2016), Eric is remembered as “a friend with head in hand,” which recalls again the photo shoot for that first Fen album: while Sam and I were in his aunt and uncle’s kitchen in Fruitvale, figuring out how to stitch together the animal parts we’d brought from Vancouver, Eric showed up at the end of the driveway with a still-warm chicken head from a neighbour’s farm, this after swearing to us days before that he wanted nothing to do with the project. Now almost six years after his death, Eric is still part of my life and my music, and I don’t think these songs will be the end of his artistic visitations. I miss him all the time.
–Doug

 

 

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FREE: New Slug Comparison EP

It’s called IIa because it’s the second Slug Comparison recording, and because it’s the first of a series of EPs.

Go to bandcamp and download the three-song EP for FREE before I change my mind.

Timeless thanks to Fen guitarist Sam Levin for learning all my parts and writing some fantastic solos. Thanks also to Doug Fury at Fortissimo Sound, Randall Stoll, and Mike Young. It was a privilege working with all of you. Matt McCallum (wherever you are), thanks for those jams ten years ago that led to “Becoming.” And thanks to all friends, family, and faraway strangers who’ve helped keep my inspiration and motivation alive.

Let the Grants Roll In

Trying to recoup the cost of a recording with sales revenue from that recording has proven to be laughable. Moaning about it is even more laughable, yet it’s surprising hard to quell those pathetic lamentations. The best cure is to apply for grants. I’ve got an application in for Slug Comparison, and Fen‘s got one in as well. In about ten weeks the decision-makers at FACTOR will share their lordly ruling.

Slowness Explained

It’s time I explained my lack of updates about new music. Back in April, tendinitis started bugging my arms again, so I put the guitar aside. Unfortunately, without it I can’t work on the material I’d intended for the next Slug Comparison album. My plan is to wait as long as it takes for my tendinitis to become manageable again. That could be a while–I can say for sure there won’t be an album in 2016, despite what I’d promised earlier. Right now, all I can say is that I’ll get it done as soon as my body allows. In the meantime, thanks for checking in.

 

–Doug

The Process – lyrics

In January I started writing lyrics for 19 new songs. On April 18 I fbooked that I was done the first drafts. For me, first drafts are not very far along in the process of finding the right words, but by then I have an idea of what each song is about. Since then I’ve been revising over and over (cycling alphabetically by title from song to song) until I’m either satisfied or feeling so helpless at fixing the problems that I move on. Today I’m relieved to announce that apart from a few lines that I’ll eventually go back to fix, I’m done the lyrics for what could be the next two (?) Slug Comparison albums.

As evidence of my process, which unfortunately is not a magic beam of inspirational light that enters the top of my head and refracts onto the page in the form of well-crafted song lyrics that happen to match the vocal melodies I’ve long ago committed to, I’m providing a jpg of a song in progress. Each song requires 5-20 of these marked up pages to reach a state of almost-doneness. That’s my process.

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I’d be a jerk if I didn’t include an excerpt of a done-ish song. So here’s one:

 

in the boiling ocean people float up and die

you can hear the blisters going pop in the night

when the planet’s nothing but a morsel of char

see the moon drift in the darkness

kind of lonely, but alright with it

 

armageddon fantasies help me unwind

a little stress won’t matter at the end of time

let the secret service fear I’m hatching plans

yes I dwell on our extinction

but I’m harmless as a kitten most of the time

 

I get along with those around me

at my job they like me well

in the realm of normal conversation

certain thoughts I know not to tell

Guest Vocals for One Less Rock Star

My old roommate Kevin (circa Fen‘s first jam house) asked me to do guest vocals on track 3 of his solo EP. He made things really easy for me, recording scratch versions of all the parts himself–all I had to do was listen then sing them back. I love how the song takes its time to build. And the guitar lead over the last couple of minutes is so tonally rich, I can’t help but be reminded of David Gilmour. Have a listen to the song, and the rest of the EP.