Mishima Strange// Radio Impossibilia #6

After a long time, here’s another ten songs that have lately been floating around in the air surrounding Mishima Strange.

Some newer stuff like the bleep-bloop of POW!, and the moody, “Sex Prayer” by White Denim, and then some late-70s punk standouts, “Outdoor Miner” by Wire, and “Action Time Vision” by Alternative TV.

Rounding out the mix is your usual mish-mash of things, a track off Kraftwerk’s Computer World, an excellent underrated by gem by the Pretty Things from S.F. Sorrow, the ever wonderful New York Dolls’ “Trash,” and more.

Mishima Strange// Rehearsal Session Collage 10/13/13 

Excerpts from October 13, 2013 Rehearsal at Greenhouse Studios in Signal Hill, CA.

Excerpts from:
"Through and Against"
"Saboteurs and Spies"
"Escape Route"
"The Cycle"
"The Public Demands a Buzz"
"Strum Or Run"
"History of the World."

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Mishima Strange// Practice Session 10/13/13

"Arthur’s California." Recorded Live on October 13, 2013 at Greenhouse Music Studios in Signal Hill, CA.

Mishima Strange was chosen as a selection on AbsolutePunk.net’s Free Music Friday.

Thanks guys!

Mishima Strange// Track by Track: Escape Route

21. Escape Route


This is one that bounced around in the ol’ noggin for several years, although it was always in tact, save for the lyrics. When it came time to record this one, I wanted to get an blatantly fast punkrock track that was inspired by all the early-1980s punkrock I had grown up on.

For the vocal I wanted it to be manic, so it was left to end of one of the vocal tracking days so that it would have a level of desperation. Again, there were moments when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it through a certain take because I was pushing the vocal chords pretty hard, but I think the results speak for themselves.

Also, even though the results are marble-mouthed to some, I think these are some of the best lyrics on the record.

I wanted a compact, very tightly wound sound for the main sections of the song, so the transitions from verse to chorus are very chaotic. However, I must say that little section where the wobbly Ginn-esque solo transitions into  the second verse with a yell is a little slice of heaven to my ears.

The coda section is very inspired by the Pixies, and is just a simple but effective shout along piece. “Be, or be nothing,” came to me one day while I was driving, and I thought it was a very powerful disconnected kind of phrase. It found a good home here in the coda.

To hear this song and the rest of the twenty-two songs from the album visit the Mishima Strange BandCamp page or SoundCloud. If you like the music, be sure to like the Mishima Strange Facebook page so as to receive every updates about new shows, releases, and everything else.

Mishima Strange// Influenz-a: Stanley Kubrick

How can you not respect such a singular approach to making art? I haven’t seen every Kubrick film, or taking any film studies classes so as to dissect his work. However one can still gain that awe that one often gets when viewing his films in my opinion. Here’s a nice documentary on him:

Mishima Strange// Track by Track: Witchdoctor

20. Witchdoctor

One influence that might not be all to apparent amongst the rest of the tracks here is delta/acoustic blues. Although I can appreciate electric blues playing, I have always had this specific taste for the simple, grainy recordings of people like Skip James, Charley Patton, and especially Blind Willie McTell.

With the latter, I remember listening to a four disc box set of his stuff religiously, and just absolutely being enthralled by the energy, playfulness, and melody of his guitar playing. The little hooks and details of his strums and runs were just brilliant and his acoustic tone was impeccable.

In tribute to those formative years listening to those 78rpm to CD transmissions, there is “Witchdoctor,” a simple fingerpicked thing I played around with for years. It even had lyrics at one point (A couple people in the world probably have a scratchy mp3 version of it somewhere) but here has a direct and unassuming aura. It was played on a sturdy sounding Martin acoustic which has an inherent warmth to it. I particular like the chord changes at the “chorus” section of the each repetition.

Engineer Bryant suggested the fade in, which I think gives a little sense of continuity with the previous "Tons of Snakes" which of course is also acoustic.This tracks signals the home stretch of the album, and I wanted something a little low-key to provide one last bait and switch for the apocalyptic duo that were to follow and end the album.

To hear this song and the rest of the twenty-two songs from the album visit the Mishima Strange BandCamp page or SoundCloud. If you like the music, be sure to like the Mishima Strange Facebook page so as to receive every updates about new shows, releases, and everything else.

Here’s a convenient embed player of the album from BandCamp:

Listen/Download: Mishima Strange by Mishima Strange

Mishima Strange// Influenz-a: “Our Band Could Be Your Life”

http://www.wnyc.org/i/raw/1/ourbandcouldbeyourlife_cover.jpg

This is a tremendous book by Michael Azerrad, which covers many factors of the independent music scene from the mid to late-1980s: the lifestyle, the participants, and the ensuing impact it all had.

Mishima Strange// Track by Track: Tons of Snakes

19. Tons of Snakes

One of the quieter and more assuming of the tracks here, “Tons of Snakes” is really a simple song that grew out of a particularly confusing and depressing time around later 2008. Many demos of the song were recorded and tossed in the intervening years until Engineer Bryant and I tried it one last time for the record.

I feel like it has a good balance between sounding slow and fast at the same time, as the picking patterns are a little jerky while the lead guitar lines in the background really sound like they’re pulling the rest of the song to slow down. There are no drums here, but I think the percussive quality of the picking suggests a rhythm anyway.

The vocal is very subdued and reminds me a little of Beck’s phrasing on his little known release One Foot In the Grave. The lyrics, like many of the songs from the record and many of the songs I have written in my life, started with the first line. It is often a struggle to tie down the rhythm and phrasing of an opening line, but once I have it, I feel as though the right lines just shoot straight into my head with little trouble. “Gone to the well too many times for bucketsful” reads a little odd for so much importance to be put on it, but I really feel it even to this day, and even with mangled word that ends the line.

To hear this song and the rest of the twenty-two songs from the album visit the Mishima Strange BandCamp page or SoundCloud. If you like the music, be sure to like the Mishima Strange Facebook page so as to receive every updates about new shows, releases, and everything else.