Okay, for Round 2 of the archive-trawl through these things, I’ve found some of my very favorite stuff. Skip to the audio or endure my blather. Fatal Flaws, here from a Seville St., Isla Vista rehearsal on 4/17/04 (where Brian and Bill are in the photo above), is an impromptu instrumental jam (though you can hear my voice waaaay in the back) that Bryn got to go crazy on with the guitar again, and it’s even got the terrible butt-rock ending. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s an instrumental jam of Sweet Oblivion from the very next night that is one of the goddam sweetest things we’ve ever improvised. I liked it so much I tacked it onto the end of our third live album as a bonus hidden track. For these two songs, and the speedy take of Heart On A Platter that follows, we were practicing for our second appearance at the Wildcat Lounge in downtown Santa Barbara. We pulled thirty people on a Monday night and, as surely everyone knows by now, it was the most-documented HW show ever, with video, photos, and audio recordings.

We were recording in San Francisco for most of the rest of 2004, but we did find time to get together at Table Salt on November 20 and 21 for some shambling affairs. At one point, we blasted through a series of Mojo Wire songs, and after a brutal take of Long Black Leather Boots, Bryn had no choice but to tell the rest of us to SHUT UP. We then did exactly that, pulling off a good version of our new quiet-arranged One Last Hallelujah. Well, not really- Hallelujah was from our first practice at the Milpas St. art gallery of Bill’s parents. It’s a great place to play, just as inspiring as Table Salt in terms of being surrounded by visuals, but at the gallery, the exhibits change, of course, so our mood often switched with them too (one time, Bill, Brian and I were surrounded by abstract works, and spend three hours making all sorts of weird sounds with the instruments). The take of Blacking Out here is from 3/27/05, as we practiced for our Ventura debut at Nicholby’s.

The next three tunes are sort of a continuation down the line we’d started when we rearranged Hallelujah and Lightning Rod into slower and/or mellower versions. In fact, the take here of Lightning Rod, from 7/3/05, is one of my absolute favorite versions of the song- but Bryn’s not even on it! Brian, Bill, and I eased out a cool quiet-surf instrumental of the song that day. Bryn was there on 10/23/05, however, for our similar initial re-workings of both So Cold (here as a strutting, slow funk take) and Shivering Sand (a reggae-ska take!), and though they’re both mostly unformed and jammy, they’re worth a listen to see how Honey White improvises together to change songs we’ve played a million times into newer, fresher things. After a small show in Santa Barbara, a big one in LA, and a canceled LA repeat, we sort of lay low for most of 2006 until resurfacing for a small show in the OC. We did manage to meet up in Ventura at the Lounge Pop studio on March 18, though, and I’ve taken versions of Nightfall, Let Go, and Green Hills from that session. Both Nightfall and Green Hills were new tunes of Bryn’s (the former having been well received at gigs for months) and we pulled them off pretty well that night.

After that, there was the Dana Point gig, and…not much, until a few weeks ago when we met at the gallery again to see Brian off to D.C. Bryn, Brian and I played at Table Salt the night before (5/26/07), and the semi-acoustic take of Island Fever is from that practice. For the final gallery stuff, I’m gonna be selfish here and add one of my new ones called Hold Still, which obviously needs work, but has potential. Last but not least is a Queens of the Stone Age cover, This Lullaby, which Bryn had taught me when we played as the Scuppers on the deck of his ship.

There’s much, much more where all this stuff came from, but I figured it would be overkill to subject everyone to more than 30 songs, so that’s it for the HW practice tapes. I’ll be back… sometime… with maybe some more interesting audio/video/writing. We shall see. Til then, thanks again for listening, everybody.

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