the fabled lost album | maryjane redux

The ward has been closed. The files shredded. The beds stripped, the walls hosed down.

The euthanasia was a necessary evil. An unconscionable burden on those limited resources which maintain this site, the penny sucking machine which was a secondary server profited no one. A lamp left burning, the spiders patrolling back pages have outstayed their welcome. Let them weave threats in the dark.

In part prompted by the recent attention afforded Bomis Prendin; Notekillers; Karen Cooper Complex, it is my intention to stir some spirits. Be cautioned. The similarity begins and ends with slumbering. The Ghosts scrapings occupy a wholly different realm. A quieter den. An Indian lodge. So.

The following entry – with minimal amendments – was originally published here on August 1st, 2008.

Between 1989 and 1993 The Ghosts recorded a vast number of songs (the gathering hesitates to dub these sketches demos) on a living room installed Teac 4-Track. They never saw the light of day. The majority of those recordings were entirely spontaneous. Fueled by a seemingly endless diet of alcohol and various nefarious substances. A few of these songs – the best, though by no means the vaguest – proved oddly prophetic. Half muttered utterances and instrumental doodlings appeared to take shape arbitrarily on tape with little planning or provocation ; fleeting snapshots etched magnetically like fragile antique photographs documented for posterity. Again, given their spontaneity, few seemed to benefit from subsequent reworkings. Repeated attempts to improve on the quality of those original scribbles resulted, at best, in yet more songs broadly hinted at ; at worst, in dead-ends unravelling like string. The finished painting resisted editorial conceit.

The words \’ether\’ and \’happenstance\’ were increasingly employed with banal regularity, even as those more detailed aural pictures revealed themselves in unfolding events. The spectre of mockery loomed in and out, something faintly malicious glimpsed over one\’s shoulder. It came and went. Avoided definition.

A pillow of moss ; a sliver of sneeze ; a broken pocket watch.

There was, in any event, a definitive collective of five persons involved. Sometimes just three. Frequently a pair. As time went by, the most naked of those sketches, quite possibly, were fathered by only two. They felt themselves to be diviners of curiosity rather than serious musicians.

And then they just grew tired.

The following \’snapshots\’ are Begg & MacDonald compositions, if they warrant such chutzpah. Take them with a pinch of salt. Dust off your snap-brim.

ib: vocals, table knocking;

gus macdonald: guitar; fiona macdonald: bass.

Chancers. Soap-dodgers.

Gibbering in the drool of Jack Daniels.

Pulling on a neck of Wild Turkey.

image top: \”fleeing a dust storm\”. farmer arthur coble and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, cimmaron county, oklahoma. arthur rothstein, photographer, april, 1936. (library of congress)

THE GHOSTS: NEW BAPTIST (DUST BOWL) from \”The Lost Album\” Teac Demos (Maryjane) 1992 (UK) THE GHOSTS: SISTER LINO from \”Hitler\’s Watercolours: 56 Gower Street (1989-1993)\” Teac Demos (Maryjane) 1992 (UK) THE GHOSTS: PONY NOSE from \”Hitler\’s Watercolours: 56 Gower Street (1989-1993)\” Teac Demos (Maryjane) 1992 (UK) THE GHOSTS: UNICYCLE from \”Hitler\’s Watercolours: 56 Gower Street (1989-1993)\” Teac Demos (Maryjane) 1993 (UK)


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Hello. I am still breathing, if you wondered at this latest absence. I needed to step back from the drop awhile, the empty space between the rails, to let the game play out. It has not been pretty for