Friday, September 19, 2008
More Cowbells

I thought I'd give a little background on the history of the Calico Cliche EP songs. I was actually planning on eventually writing up something for every song we released, but we'll see.

Also, I think our original idea of having the EP "evolve" was maybe a little ambitious. It would be too crazy, not too mention there'd be multiple copies of the same song floating around if we started to change the lengths. We're still thinking of putting a few covers up, but they won't be listed under the EP most likely.

Anyhow, here's some info on the songs. This is a whole lot of self-indulging, so skip it if you're not into reading this kind of stuff:

1. Calico Cliche

This song was actually written in 1997, right after I bought my current guitar amp. Actually, if you can believe it, I have the exact date and time of the song lyrics: 12:30PM - 1AM, March 28, 1997, haha. If I remember correctly, the chords for this song were the first thing I started to play in the afternoon, then later at night I put some words to it.

At the time I was really into droning bar chords and the original song was nothing but two finger drone chords. It was supposed to be something in the 4AD vein. The current song is not capoed, but dropped D tuning. The words survived remarkably intact. They often get changed as we go. Like many AT songs, it's not a story but more just phrase fragments that fit a certain mood. I almost never know what the lyrics mean, until playing the song for a few months. Then sometimes it becomes very clear, but in this case I still have no idea.

I always wanted to record this song - it was an early candidate for Promise To The Refrigerator. But we never found the right "feel" for the song until ten years later when it got an updated feel, and Linda switched to main vocals w/ me on the chorus.

2. Break and Follow

This song was begun on November 11, 2006. There's a huge time gap of nearly 10 years between Calico Cliche and this one, but somehow it's not as apparent. This is because the entire song is based on a peculiar two finger picking drone that is similar to the original one used for Calico Cliche.

I'm afraid I have to say this song alternately rips off Iron and Wine and Red House Painters. The melody is typical AT, however. Like a lot (most) of our songs, we figure out at least 2 verses, 1 chorus thingy and then we often repeat some ending chords w/out any vocals until we have to fade it out. Break and Follow doesn't even have a chorus.

I don't have the entire lyrics for this one. I started writing it down, but that was too slow so I recorded it somewhere onto mini-cassette so I wouldn't forget. The "incubation period" for this song was around a year. I just liked the phrase "break and follow" for some reason, probably because it was suitably ambiguous.

3. Yellow

This song was started on November 7, 2006, and it incubated along with Break and Follow for the better part of a year. Another droner - see a pattern here? The sheet shown below is actually a second generation draft of the lyrics - the first one was QUITE undecipherable. It's ok, cause it gives a general idea of how the songs are prepared for recording.

Unlike the other songs, I knew what I wanted to say for Yellow. I really hate to get up on a religious, political, or sociological soapbox with AT songs. But if I do, it's usually obfuscated, so unless you're paying attention it just sounds like typical sadcore lyrics. It's just not us to come out and spell it out.

The song is a dropped D tuning - originally, this was supposed to have super loud distortion on it and go on forever and ever. But I realized that we needed this song to be a complete little nugget and end properly. So, it got turned into a little lullaby.

I had a terrible, terrible time trying to record and mix this song. I nearly scrapped it, but was too far into the production and the EP really needed this song. As such, it has lots of flaws, mostly to do with timing. I'm not a very good drummer. Or guitar player. Luckily, Linda was able to match up to the offtime parts so it sounds nearly normal.

So - what is the color of your world?

4. Land of The Lost

If you can believe it, I still have my lunchbox from elementary school. It was a genuine Land Of The Lost lunchbox. Woohoo.

That said, it has nothing to do with the show from the 70s. It just happens to have a line that is the title for the show. I started this song sometime in July 2007, which makes it the most recent one. At the time, I was heavily into The Kingsbury Manx and I had planned to write one or two tracks that had a similar feel. It didn't quite turn out that way, primarily because The Kingsbury Manx is a kick ass talented real band. Still, apologies to them for ripping off their feel.

Originally, the song was supposed to have a western hippityhoppity beat to it if you can believe it. But, I found out that I just couldn't keep that up on the guitar. So, I switched to (fake) piano and made it straight. I knew this one would have an ending similar to Promise To The Refrigerator (i.e. a long repeated ending in E). But it actually turned out sounding like the background music for a car commercial.

About the lyrics: I have a general feel about what this is about. I think it is about someone sitting at a bar trying to forget about various things. Sorta funny, we saw My Blueberry Nights yesterday, and there is a character in there who is exactly like this. Life imitates movies. Or something like that.

by Avoidance Theory | 11:15 AM

Saturday, September 4, 2008
New Stuff!!!11!1!


Nearly 3 years to the date since the last post. And by "post", I don't mean crappy moveable type which I've had to replace temporarily with this handcoded page. (What kind of idiot blogging system just stops working without being touched?) Anyhow, for now there won't be any comments and I've had to disable the news archives because they're also controlled by junky MT.

Oh, side note if you emailed us earlier, apparently that address has been borked for 3 years. Sorry about that.

So - the news. We are releasing a FREE EP on Shmat. That is, you can just download it for nothing. I did a lot of soul searching, and believe me that searching isn't done yet. But the gist of it is that it just doesn't make any sense to manufacture CDs anymore. And, since the whole e-download bizness is so weird right now, I'd rather just have people listen to the music for free for the time being.

We did a lot of off and on recording over the past 3 years. Most of it, I trashed. Only a few things came through OK. Whatever. I was getting tired of trying to fix stuff, so we released it warts and all.

So, go ahead and download the Calico Cliche EP. We might be "adding" songs to it in the future. I'll probably make another post soon, give some background on the songs.

Thanks for listening.

by Avoidance Theory | 03:15 PM

Saturday, September 10, 2005
Yes the band still exists...

Hi everyone, sorry there have been just about zilch updates for more than half a year. The band still does exist, but we're sort of on a musical and recording hiatus right now. Thank you to everyone who bought the CD earlier and those radio stations who wrote to ask us if we'd like to appear on air (we weren't able to do any of those shows earlier, sorry!) We hope to get some new material up sometime soon, and maybe try a few shows through Shmat sometime in the future.

by Avoidance Theory | 05:25 PM

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
more reviews

The Shape of Trees is one of the "Picks of the Week" over at Delusions of Adequacy:

"The Shape of Trees is one of the most delicately beautiful albums released thus far into our young year. The listener is presented with 40 minutes of atmospheric, spacious pop with nary a misstep in sight, a gentle series of lullabies that manage the remarkable feat of being more than slight background music." (more...)

thank you Joon Kim.

two other reviews came in from copacetic-zine by Mike, and Comunicazione Interna (in italian) by Guido Gambacorta. with my limited knowledge of spanish i can actually pick out a few words here and there... i think it's mostly good. Grazie Comunicazione Interna.

by Linda | 10:35 PM

Saturday, February 26, 2005
Carrot Top

Forgot if this was mentioned but we're being distributed by Carrot Top Distribution (CTD ltd.) now. They distribute to various indie shops in the U.S. and also Britain.

We were picked #27 out of the top 30 records at KSCR for the week of 2/20. There's also been some airplay at WBRS and KSCU ...

by Avoidance Theory | 03:51 PM

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
more radio...

We've been getting quite a bit of good college airplay including making the CMJ chart at WRPI (at #25) and cracking the Top 30 at KDVS (at #26)!

Other stations that have played songs from The Shape of Trees include: KAOS, KSCR, KUCI, KUPS, KZUU, WBAR, KUPS, and KURE.

by Avoidance Theory | 11:45 AM

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

We were reviewed over at Indieradio.org... also, don't forget that our friends Carte Blanche are playing this Saturday at Zephyr again!

by Avoidance Theory | 08:53 PM

Monday, January 31, 2005
30 Music

A review today at 30Music.com. Most of the reviews coming in seem to agree with me that Linda's voice should be in the front and also that our vocals should be a bit louder. We had moved toward this direction with The Shape of Trees and you can expect that the next album will continue that trend!

by Avoidance Theory | 10:45 AM

Friday, January 28, 2005
Zephyr photos

There are a few more photos of us up on the photos page from our recent show at Zephyr Coffeehouse... we had a good time at the show and played the quite a number of fun slow covers including, "Sunflower" by Low, "Naked As We Came" by Iron and Wine, "The Biggest Lie" by Elliott Smith, "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake, and "Sunday Morning" by The Velvet Underground

by Avoidance Theory | 02:27 PM

Thursday, January 27, 2005

We were on the front page of CDReviews.com today. Here is a hard link to the actual review in case you don't see it on their page.

by Avoidance Theory | 03:28 PM

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Heraclitus doth say...

There is a nice, rather scholarly review on The Shape of Trees over at the webzine called Heraclitus Sayz... please check it out!

by Avoidance Theory | 10:07 AM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
KSCR Airplay

Avoidance Theory was played on KSCR Los Angeles (1560 AM) on their new music hour today! Thanks go to Edward Stafford, who played "Welcome Fits" off the Shape of Trees CD.

by Avoidance Theory | 10:08 PM

Calico Cliche EP

Calico Cliche EP
is available as
at Shmat Records


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