This week’s Honey White concert on our MySpace page is actually the most recent show we played- at the Ocean Institute in the OC town of Dana Point for Bryn’s work party in August 2006. Among other things, it includes my favorite take of “Lightning Rod” when we do the quiet version, as well as a speedy “Island Fever” and a nice and sloppy “Unprofessional” (the way it’s supposed to be done!). There was also a decent take of “Sweet Oblivion”, naturally punctuated by the dulcet tones of Screamin’ Steve Foster in the audience. Bryn debuted a new song, “Green Hills”, and even closed things off with a short sea chantey. It was sort of a homecoming show for Bryn and I, since we grew up in Dana Point, but not officially, really, because of the whole private-party thing. Anyway, a nice low-key, stressless gig, and we got a pretty good recording out of it, too.

Now, for the real meat: the Mojo Wire MySpace page stuff- what I like to call Barrel-Scraping, Part 1. This week I’ve got some unique mp3- random stuff from the 1996-98 period when we were just starting out. I’ll jump back to the extended albums next week with Seaside Hamlet Skids from ’98, but until then, here’s the really, really old stuff. Proceed with caution, or else with a patient sense of humor- remember that this is how it all began, deep behind the Orange Curtain, and then with the exodus to Isla Vista for the Year of Decadence, 1997/98.

1996-12-20-claponice

The Clap in Mono, 1996
These are taken from some of the earliest-ever recordings we did, back when The Mojo Wire was called The Clap. I believe it was at 2 or 3 separate practices at Kevin’s parents’ living room in summer ’96. Adam had this one Radio Shack microphone and a tape recorder- I can’t remember what kind- and all the amplifiers were these teeny itty bitty 15-watt toys. We had to put the mic close to Kevin’s drum kit and then cluster the amps around it to get something even close to a balanced “mix”. Also, since it was mono, and amateurly recorded mono at that, we actually sound like we were doing this session in like 1961 or so, given the 12-bar blues and surf pieces we staggered through.

Drumless & Drum Machine Demos, 1997
After we got ahold of the Tascam 4-track, we immediately used it to make multitrack demos in conjunction with Bryn’s cheesy drum machine from his keyboard sound effects. Since Bryn had it at home with him for most of his senior year of high school, this is mostly his work, but the resf of us obviously did get together to do overdubs before fleeing to Isla Vista. It’s only slightly better than the mono recordings, but there’s some stuff in here that’s still pretty cool to hear, like Adam’s guitar on “Can’t Keep Warm” or Bryn’s blistering take on “El Nido Thunder” or the psychedelic-country early version of Adam’s “Margarita”.

Random Bedrock Recordings, 1998
“Margaritaville” is simply the first, live stab we took at that song (about Feb ’98) before overdubs, etc made it the version heard on the Rocket Fuel album. The other four are live practice versions from later in April with only me, Bryn, and Brandon playing on them. Sort of an idea of how we sounded live, but of course it’s not really because these versions lack Adam’s frontmanly presence. Brandon caught these takes on his computer’s mic as we blasted them out in his apartment at the Bedrock, which was actually next door to our apartment at the Bedrock, and Brandon’s later became Brian and Sean’s apartment at the Bedrock the very next year.

That’s all for now. Thanks again for listening…

-Keir

Audio: Honey White in Dana Point 8/4/06

Audio: The Mojo Wire: Rare Tracks 1996-1998