Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft (disc 2) (2000)

Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trash Aircraft 
(2000, Fading Captain Series)

For an intro to Suitcase: Failed Experiment and Trash Aircraft check here, on Disc 1.

Disc 2

Supermarket the Moon-  4 Goddamned saddening piano, acoustic guitars, and vocals reverbed out to the edge of the universe.  Suicide balladry. Like an early Bowie on downers.

Hold on to Yesterday- 2 Scratchy, thin guitar sounds like it’s leaking from a broken speaker with a younger Pollard adding several woozy harmonies throughout.  A sketch from 1983 that holds little value except pre-GBV intrigue.

Ha Ha Man [Different Version]-  4 Originally released on Tonics & Twisted Chasers, this is the version recorded in ‘93.  Equally catchy as it is dopey, this song is still pretty great.  This is also a full band version, that’s rather hi-fi, as opposed to the Sprout/Pollard composition on TATC.

Our Value of Luxury- 2 Hushed and cryptic verses flow into open slow going choruses. Originally planned for release on the quickly scrapped Back to Saturn X LP.  Song’s kind of a slow-burner that never really burns they way you'd want it to.

Bug House [2 Versions]- 4/3 Yes indeed, two versions of the song “Bug House” which has a “My Valuable Hunting Knife” feel to it.  First version is simply the riff with Pollard doing a great vocal performance over it.  Version 2 is full band, partly ruined by bizarre noises and reluctance to really let the song shine during it’s dynamic parts.

Rainbow Billy- 1 Cyring in my beer, acoustic sombering-about.  Ever pick up an acoustic guitar at 3 am and think you’ve got a great idea for a song about sorrow and sadness?  If so, you may have written “Rainbow Billy.”

Shrine to the Dynamic Years (Athens Time Change Riots)- 3 Late ‘90s GBV demo, that’s slightly proggy with it’s awkward chord progressions, and tumbling drum hits.  Mid-fi, and grand in places. Not the brightest spot, but one of note in the muck of these collections.

On Short Wave- 3  Creepy, sullen attic recording. Sounds like a man alone in a remote cabin with a busted 4-track. Forgettable track saved by its and righteously depressing nature.

I Can See It In Your Eyes- 4   Ultra-’60s tune, with cheesy ‘70s verses. Would have been a wholly welcome addition on Same Place... or Self-Inflicted.... for a bit of a pick-me-up. Here it’s flat out great as a stand alone track, but also gets lost in the sauce of these tracks.

Tobacco’s Last Stand-  2 Pretty much a go nowhere acoustic track. Surreal lyrics over unmemorable chord progression. Hey, it’s a song.

Shifting Switch is a Lift- 1 Acoustic plucker of a song with nonsensical melodies and Uncle Bob making some silly noises, and melodic grunts or something in there. A little too muddled to find any of the bright spots.

Sing It Out-4  Short acoustic number, that’s a bouncy and super catchy song. Love it. Throw it on a mix tape for an added obscure boost.

Messenger- 3 Pre-GBV recording from ‘85. Upbeat, bright ‘80s college rock. A little REM sounding here. Shocker. Decent little garage pop recording.

The Fool Ticket- 1  Pollard and fuzzy electric guitar. Nothing of note here, except he says “Not you” over and over at one point which adds up to, pretty much nothing.  This song serves as a perfect example of how painful and frustrating Suitcase can be at times.

Mallard Smoke- 4 Noisy, full band, lo-fi explosion full of confusion on your ears.  But through the mess, this is a pretty basic, and fairly solid sketch of a pretty damn awesome song.

Mrs. McCaslin Will Sell No More Flowers- 1 From 1979?!  Well, who gives a shit because this is actually pretty terrible. Sounds like the tape was on it’s last leg back in ‘79. Repeated annoying melody of the title with rickety guitar strums.

Shit Midas-  1 Bad acoustic and vocal sketch of something that I wouldn’t be too excited to hear if were a full band number. And it's named "Shit Midas."

Blue Gil- 2 Sad bastard plodding rock.  Easy listening on the dark side.  When the band kicks in, it shows promise, but then it shifts gears back to the sullen, snooze ridden verses.

Invest in British Steel- 1 Another pre-GBV ‘85 recorded track.  Surreal, swirling, worthless instrumental jam at nearly 4 minutes!

Spinning Around- 1 After listening to “Invest in British Steel,” you may be swirling around. This one’s a pensive, ultra-lonely guitar and vocal something-or-other that sounds like it was recorded in a closet while Pollard’s family slept the night away. Notes put this one at ‘83.

Let’s Go (To War!)- 1  Messy, bullshit, shambolic jam.

Grasshopper Rap-   1 Messy, bullshit, shambolic, lone medal riff, with messy, bullshit, shambolic song title. Buzzing metal riff courtesy of Jimmy Pollard.

I’m Cold - 3   Simple, pretty electric guitar and Pollard vocals.  Recorded in ‘87 but sounds like early ‘90s GBV,  lonely balladry.  Simple and effective.

Damn Good Mr. Jam [Different Version]-  2 Psychedelic version of the stoner jam song on Static Airplane Jive. Distorted vocals over twisting psych guitar reverb.  Not nearly as weird, or as fun as the official release.

In Walked The Moon- 2 Psych-Beatles melodies over distant electric guitar.  Decent, but far too long to listen to. Crack a beer, and get stoned because life sucks a little more every time this song is a kind of good way? I don't even know anymore.


  1. Probably my single favorite Suitcase c.d. Blue Gil is a great early morning song, Shrine to the Dynamic Years rocks, I'm Cold is haunting and Rainbow Billy and Shifting Swift is a Lift are hilarious. I've never cared for Bob Dylan, and Shifting Swift is the best parody I've ever heard of him. And Sing it Out is indeed very catchy.

  2. listening to "I'm Cold," right now. great song.