This is a slam poem that almost anyone around me during the slam phase of existence would have heard. It became one of the ones I would use a lot. Of course that means originally it was non music, more spoken word slammy (although I did sing that melody the same at the beginning). So I didn’t rap any of it. But it was designed to be able to either rap some of it, where some would fit really nicely into 4/4 time, and some wouldn’t. The guitarist is Eric (dominguez) again.
So Eric wrote the guitar part to fit with my “voodoo daddy” singing. He was great at that kind of thing.
At first we did a full band version of this song, which went unreleased. It was all ready to go, but then in I guess it was August 2005, ‘ol dominguez flew his ass out to Oakland, stayed with us in the studio/loft on an air mattress we had, and spent I don’t know how long – a week maybe? two? – recording the 2nd half of his album “Bugs, Wine, Demons”, which we’d done about half of in Houston, and more stuff for Bleed (and some poetry for a straight spoken word release of his that we have yet to put out and some side stuff). Man he was great to work with.
Of course, we were both disturbed heart broken drunken fools. Then we had Dustin there too, hangin with us. That was actually a hilarious and fun week. Mostly we were ensconsed in the studio, it was sort of a dream come true, only it was weird that we were able to have this studio lockout like we were some kind of rock stars, when in reality we were nobody with no money.
We’d record and record, then sometimes, Dustin and I would take Eric down stairs to the ghetto street to take some pictures of him smoking or sitting on a dumpster with his guitar, or me looking cool with a hat on against the wall, or something. Or we’d take him down to some coffee joint and have a coffee.
We didn’t get hookers and blow. In fact I think we pretty much locked anybody else out of our lives, other than whoever we saw at the coffee places. The funnest outing, though, was we got up relatively early (for us) one morning and went up into the Berkeley Hills (which are STEEP – steeper in some cases than over in San Fran) to pick up some piece of equipment or something that Dustin needed. Well it’s a bit hard to fit a driver, a dude, and a 6’4″ 280 pound man (Dustin) in the cab of an 88 Nissan Pick Up (they’re small, yo), so Eric opted for the back (camper shell on it, so he wouldn’t fly totally out!).
Well Eric liked to read a paper and sip coffee in the morning (dude is an amalgam – sometimes he’s such a fuckin academic – getting his PHD in Philosophy right now). Well it’s not like he’d had a chance to do this before we left, and he’s never one to miss out on an outing, so there he is, while we’re going up a 60 degree incline, trying to fucking sip a goddamn cup of coffee with a paper and not fall out the fucking back of the truck. And we’re in the cab just looking through the rear-view mirror literally laughing our fucking asses off the whole way watching this cat balance his coffee cup. Fuckin guy HAD to drink his coffee and read his paper and also come with us into the Berkeley hills. Hell I’m laughing out loud right now remembering that image. Demure Eric, poet, philospher, teacher, being tossed around, not spilling coffee, trying to be collected, getting his ass kicked by gravity. And it’s not like we forced him to the back! He wanted to be there! But the funniest shit is he didn’t spill his damn coffee. But his disturbance was hilarious.
That, and when I picked him up from the airport, he had to crawl in the driver’s side door (everyone did, including Dustin and girls) because the passenger door was duct-taped shut (it wouldn’t stay shut otherwise). And I neglected to tell him, the window was kinda broken too. So he starts rolling it down, it gets crooked, he’s freaking out trying to get it to roll up hoping I don’t notice he fucked up my window, making it worse and worse and more and more crooked and stuck down, like a sitcom, and I just look over and start laughing my ass off. That was his introduction to the Oakland NQuit scene, right off the plane. *LAUGH*
Well ANYway, back to the point. MOST of the time, we’d record or mix or edit in the day, be serious, be smart, be sober. And at night, we’d get shitfaced on wine and beer and whatever else we could find (Eric’s a wine guy) and record new tracks.
So one night we decided we’d drink hella wine and beer, and then start improving. So we improv’d tons of poems, and then started doing live takes of songs. A couple of those live takes made his Bugs Wine Demons album, and one, Voodoo Daddy, played live, drunk, him on acoustic guitar and me on vocals (you can hear him singing along in the background), made Bleed.
I used it because it just seemed cooler. It wasn’t a full band, it was unique, just acoustic guitar and voice, and it had more life and it was just a better fit. So I used it instead of the full band version, which was already done before I even moved to California. It’s the first take too. That’s what makes me laugh.
We wrote that song in Houston, and since I knew the poem up and down ’cause I always did it at slams and features, and he knew the guitar real well, we’d go around to parties and open mics and do that song together live. We’d done it a lot actually. We actually even did it live at a poetry party in Berkeley at slammaster Charles Eilik’s house that week when we recorded.
So it was easy to just bang out and even though we were drunk we just banged it out first take and said fuck it and used it. There is at least one pretty good sized mistake I make on the track, perhaps you can catch it. But I just thought that was so tits to be so good at something that you could do it first take drunk. So what if there was one mistake? I made it sound at least like improv on purpose dumbassness.
Either that, or you can totally tell we’re wasted and it sounds like shit, and I’m blind. Them’s the breaks, if that’s so.
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