UCSB’s fetid student ghetto once again takes center stage on Honey White’s MySpace page, with our I.V. Live show in Embarcadero Hall from back in January 2005. This show saw us shift, pretty much permanently, into promoting our brand-new How Far Is The Fall album, which we’d just finished mixing in San Francisco. In fact, two of the songs in this set, “Island Fever” and “Blacking Out” got their live debuts at this gig, which isn’t bad considering we only had 2 hours of practice before showtime. Other than that I don’t think we’d rehearsed at all since the previous November, so getting a great performance like this under the circumstances was slightly miraculous. The venue itself, as many of you no doubt know, was the site of the Isla Vista Brewing Company (from the good old days when I was in school) and before that, the Anaconda (another great place to see bands in the ’80s). Most notoriously, of course, it is the site of the old Bank of America that was burned down in 1970 by anti-war protesters. Anyway, the recording is top notch- my favorite of all Honey White live recordings- it’s crisp, clear, and gives a great sense of the space of the hall. The set was sort of concave- going from uptempo stuff to the slower, longer songs for a bit before getting faster again at the end.

This round’s material for the Mojo Wire’s MySpace page is the extended version of the third Mojo album: Seaside Hamlet Skids from 1999. We sort of explored escapism on this disc, and it’s kind of become my favorite Mojo Wire recording for that reason (which I wrote about more here). The recording itself is pretty poor- the 4-track tapes were mastered in mono, so it still sounds like we’re playing in 1962, but I think on this CD we all sort of came into our own as songwriters: Adam had two great pop songs in “Key West Tapwater” and “Baja Blues”, Bryn kept pace with “I Fly Free” and “So Cold”, and so did I with “The Shivering Sand”. What’s more, some of those songs and a few more, like “How Far Away” and “Pisces Lullabye” (after some re-writes for both) went on to longer life, first in the crunchier Mojo Wire of 2000/2001, and then in Honey White’s setlists during 2002-03, where they reached their streamlined peak. Still, the prototypical versions here on Seaside, as well as all the other songs here, are really special for another reason- we were able to (mostly) shift away from the 12-bar blues and get into some major reverby surf (and at the end of the album, surf-noir). Kevin Nerison’s drums helped power four tracks, including a definitive version of “Wipeout” that still sounds ready to punch you in the face.

overlay_shsinside

Sadly, much of the extra stuff we recorded from that period (fall ’98 to summer ’99) is lost, so there isn’t much for me to work with here, and I decided to include music that fits the vibe of the album in one way or another. “Pipeline” is actually from the initial Seaside sessions, and Bryn snagged it later to put on his own all-instrumental album of low-fi surf music. “Dive” is another echo-bass song from me, from about the same time, though it didn’t see release until July ’99, when Bryn and I put out a mini-album of the same name under our one-off side project Low Tide. “Drunken Asshole Bitch Blues” is Adam’s hilariously crazed reaction to getting harassed by the cops in August ’98, and “Anywhere But Here” is a breezy, acoustic island tune he recorded almost a year later, right as we moved from the Bedrock on Sabado to the Penthouse on Abrego.

This week’s video is Honey White’s take on the Seaside tune “Shivering Sand”, from the appearance on local TV’s “Musical Cafe” program. That’s all for now- see you next week, and thanks again for listening.

-Keir

Set: Mercy Rule – Island Fever – Sweet Oblivion – Let Go – Blacking Out – Keep Moving – Famous Last Words – Bottlerocket – Sean Goes To Africa

We roared back into Isla Vista and previewed songs from the new album, including live debuts for “Island Fever” and “Blacking Out”. “Mercy Rule”, from 2002, was actually the oldest song in the set. Kinda nice to pull off a good tight gig after 3 months off and only one rehearsal earlier in the day. That’s the special thing about this band and it’s why we keep doing this despite our far-flung residences all over the state. Anyway, Embarcadero Hall is so totally different from what I remember as the Isla Vista Brewing Company (from the good old days) and others may recall as the burned-down Bank of America (from the badder, older days). UCSB converted it to a lecture hall but the I.V. Live crew transformed it into a theater-venue like they do every week. Our set was only 45 minutes but we crammed in as many of the big rumbling monster tunes as we could, so the show’s arc kind of went rockers to slower tunes and back to rockers by the end. Thanks again to Jennifer, Michael, and the I.V. Live crew (no relation to the 2 Live Crew), as well as everyone who came in from the cold to let us rock their faces off.

Audio: Honey White at I.V. Live 1/29/05

Audio: The Mojo Wire: Seaside Hamlet Skids (1999)

Video: The Shivering Sand 4/22/03