I’ve been in the studio all weekend recording an absolutely sinister version of “Nickel” with many good friends in Phoenix. Remember? Right now, it looks inevitable this tune will launch on my MySpace Music Page in a week! Check back here next Monday, 3/19, for details.
In an effort to pump the Chicago Martyrs’ gig on Saturday, June 9th, I will dedicate as many blogs as possible between now and then to topics related to the Refreshments.
After last week, I feel compelled to write a bit about a Refreshments record that doesn’t get as much attention, The Bottle and Fresh Horses. Many of the songs on Bottle were hold-overs from the period of writing before Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy. The idea was that since we had so many songs, why not keep a few for the next record? “Wanted,” “Dolly,” “Buy American,” “Una Soda,” “Broken Record,” these were all hold-overs. Everything else was written during the period after Fizzy and before Bottle.
I think somehow this juxtaposition of material still shines through, that there’s some conflict on Bottle between old and new. I think the older songs might sound a bit flat next to the newer ones, which isn’t surprising; bands tend to be more engaged in new material. But I also think we were trying to grow, trying to add dimension to the band that made Fizzy. While many may have hoped for Fizzy II, we were looking to the next phase, and I think that’s reflected in the newer tunes on Bottle.
In retrospect, I think Bottle will be seen as a transitional album, a batch of songs that stand up individually but may or may not congeal. In another way, it reminds me a bit of Fables of the Reconstruction by REM; no one calls it their favorite REM record, but no true fan would be without it.
By the way, you can expect a healthy dose of Bottle songs at our Chicago tribute show.
Feel free to add your take on Bottle in the comments section.