Love Everybody - Track by Track

Track 1. "Love Everybody"

I am so excited for this song to be a single….please everybody help us make this a single! ….we have never had a single that takes advantage of the open bouncy 2 string riff the way this one does…this riff was in circulation a while back and I would just sit around and play it for hours by myself….then I heard this cool thing on the radio that was like a go-go from france kind of organ thing and I started singing along with it and sang” you gotta love everybody make them feel good about themselves” …I taped myself singing to the radio and found the bit a month later and remembered that 2 string riff and the 2 fit together like glue….the music part of the verse was made up live in front of a crowd at a ski resort in Minnesota…the verse lyrics were all written over a week in the winter and all at 3am looking out over the city while we lived downtown while our house was being remodeled….I am really proud of those lyrics…I think I tapped the story telling power that I had in the old days and it felt great to write a fresh new song special for this new record….me love this one and we love to play it live…bouncy and new wave fun…

Track 2. "Some Postman"

this is the great example of a song falling out of the sky fully formed….I had sent a package to a friend in Boston…a songwriter named Ramona…she never got the package with a cod of some new music I had been working on in it and when she told me I said “well, some postman is grooving to that thing” and a light bulb went off…I challenged her to a duel…she and I would each write a song called “some postman is grooving” and send them to each other….my first attempt at the song was improvised and all the lyrics were there from the beginning…the only change since that version is switching the 2nd and 3rd verses….it was slower and just a single guitar but mostly the same…this song was a great example of the talent that Dave and Jason have for arranging a song with me….we worked our booties off in the practice space trying different things…I had already recorded the song with 3 other bands when PUSA got a hold of it…none of the other versions were right and we were able to boil it down to its essence and fix the thing…that is my favorite part about PUSA…we can squeeze the true simple song out of the mess of failed previous versions….it was a bit hard to learn and feel comfortable playing but now it is a joy and a no brainer live..

Track 3. "Clean Machine"

sort of a vague love song about a girl who is able to bust through the clutter of brain baggage and clean up my life….there have been many previous versions of this song and again PUSA was able to find a way to make the song shine…the other versions were sort of wimpy and we busted the energy up a notch or two…we are sort of trying to be the cars on this one…this one got new lyrics in the second verse at the last minute to focus the images…I wrote a bunch of really abstract songs like this in the years between PUSA then and PUSA now…good songs but lacking the story telling thing of the old days…this is a bit of new territory for us but that is good…need to try new things…

Track 4. "Highway Forever"

this is an old song…I think I wrote this in 1986 in college in new York…I had already driven across the country many time by then and I had seen a Chris Isaac video on the met and this started out like that…real haunted and spooky sounding with reverb and tremolo guitars…this one was a staple of the set when I played on the street for a living….in fact the first time PUSA played it live was at SXSW last year…after the show I was walking along and saw my old friend marry Lou lord playing on the street…we used to bask in the same spots in Boston although she really stuck with it and I stopped to do other jobs…we always had a thing where if I saw her playing I was to give her a bathroom break and sing a couple of songs to keep her spot…this time was no different and I decided to play highway forever…just as I was about to start a big sweaty dude came huffing down the street with a big upright bass with flames painted all over it…I grabbed him and said “I need you now”…he was cool and learned the chords in a flash and we kick out highway forever rockabilly style…I still think about that performance when we do it live….great song with great live gags (invisible harmonica) and a different feel that we never tried….pure rock and roll.

Track 5. "Zero Friction"

another one of those lyrically abstract songs that is too catchy to ignore…I think that I am just using a bunch of unrelated images to talk about simple easy living and how we all want it…not sure…this one came together at the last minute. it was the last song rehearsed and tracked for the album…we didn’t have time to really arrange it the way we liked so I took the instrumental mix and the vocal only mix and created this arrangement in the computer after the mix was done…I would do an arrangement and play it for the others and get feedback and do it again and again until it flowed right…I really wish we could have tracked it over again now that we know how the song should unfold but this version captures the wide open feel just right…Dave is playing a 6 string on this one for that big sound…a really fun one for the crowd to sing along to live in the quiet parts…pure pop

Track 6. "Surfs Down"

we tracked most of the record at Jupiter for the drum sounds then went to my shack for vocals and guitars and all else…this one was just made up on the spot with the record button on and we kept it and I added the noises and organs at the shack…the rest is live and on the fly. a nice little break from the song thing…when Dave and I were the dukes of pop in 1984 we made a cassette that had an intermission and I always like that idea…fun to do it again 20 years later ….wax up the board
-- Chris

Track 7. "Shortwave"

wow….I love that snare crack coming out of the mellow surf…this one is a mystery to me…I just like the images and the days of the week thing in the lyrics…musically it started out as a piano thing that I was going to forget if it weren’t for my wife saying that she heard me and liked the chords…it was super mellow and beautiful on piano…so I remembered what I liked about nirvana and other rock that sounds great reduced to simple chords…at its core a good rock song is a simple beautiful melody made fierce by a band…so I pumped it up and wrote some strange words to it and here it is…that keyboard solo was pretty hard…I like that it doesn’t go huge for the solo but goes into a harpsichord recital feel…funny….what does it all mean?

Track 8. "Poke & Destroy"

this one has an obvious message that boys like to kill and girls don’t…now before you brand me a sexist consider that I am talking about boy energy and girl energy…a boy or girl can have one or the other or both inside themselves…fun classic bouncy riff…really fun to play…and good lyrical imagery to get into…this is actually a rough mix that Conrad did at egg so we could check out our sound…we intended to add more guitars in the chorus and all that but it has the great band in the room playing the song sound that we wanted to have on the record so we left it alone…smash your head on the pop rock

Track 9. "Munky River"

this is a classic story image song…I just want to transport the people to a swampy river at sunset…why I don’t know but I am compelled to do it…there are maybe a dozen previous versions of this song…again it was all about boiling it down to the simple chords and telling the story…I had sound effects and all sorts of different banjos and stuff to try to get the picture across but it all was too cluttered…the solo cracks me up…that is Dave on a 6 string and me on a little monophonic synth…we Have mutated this part live into a soundgarden feel cause we don’t have the keyboard live and the solo sounded like a jam band with a guitar solo…super fun to play this one and mellow down into the groove…we tried a version of this song when we made our first record with cello and xylophone but it only made it onto some Japanese import rare album thing and I really wanted this song to have a proper PUSA version on a proper record

Track 10. "Drool At You"

songs about crushes…ahh summertime…we tracked this at egg first and the version from there just was a mess..we couldn’t get the right feel..we really didn’t know the song well at that point…so we re did it at Jupiter and worked out the parts at the shack at my house…that guitar line was originally the bass line but it was too hard for me to play it and sing at the same time …I always feel like the Beatles on speed during the chorus…this one started as the song “here” on a cassette that I made back in 1996 but didn’t have the chorus part…that came 2 years ago and the end came with this version….bits and parts

Track 11. "Vestina"

this is the first and only time we played this song…Dave on drums and Jason on guitar…piano added at the shack…we just rolled tape and Dave and Jason followed my lead…this is a Chris and tad song that we play live but hadn’t recorded yet…it just clicked and became Dave favorite song..we used to do a song called carolyns booty that had the same instrument switch thing…this song is about a friend of mine and tads who lost her job at her ad agency….shreds of boa is also about her…she is a freak…vestina is not her real name so done go looking for her…

Track 12. "5500 Miles"

this one was on the cassette that I made in 1992 that Dave head and became the PUSA thing…that tape had kitty and boll weevil and other on it….but we couldn’t handle this one back then….I wrote a whole new verse for this version…the first verse is new…about driving my old VW van home to Seattle to stay in 1992…that feeling of finally being home was the good feeling that became the spirit of PUSA for me….nice to finally get this one out into the world….and a bit of the classic loud quiet loud quiet that made our first album so fun to play live…I like the way the verses barely rhyme…the end part is brand new for this version too…it needed a hook at the end…like the reward for getting through the story…the reward at the ed of the trip

Track 13. "Shreds of Boa"

I had a new years eve party at my house and that friend of mine and tads came and she was wearing a black boa…she got a raging dance party going and twirled her ass off that night…in the morning my living room was covered with shreds of boa….a light bulb went off and I had to write a song called shreds of boa….party song…we joke that the part at the end of the chorus is our primus quote…we used to get compared to them but I never listened to them really…Dave is playing a real 4 string bass on this one…he thought it needed a real low feel…nice job Dave…

Track 14. Jennifer's Jacket

Dave and I struggled with this on in the studio for hours and finally decided to record the guitar and vocal live and add from there…again the solution was to keep it simple…the ending was recorded a month earlier by me and Jason in the shack….so we had to do the whole beginning part and weld it to the ending….whew….there is a real Jennifer and she really did have a jacket like this…falling apart…a folk song…that was way back in 1987 in Brooklyn ny where I lived after college…no money to buy things like new jackets…feels like a good farewell song for the record with that big 6 string chord ringing out….sort of a drinking song at the end…it was fun to do one song completely in the shack from recording to mixing…I tinkered with the guitars and vocal at the end for days to get them to do what I wanted but it was worth it….
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