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I'm starting this collection with a song that we actually wrote and recorded pretty much after it was clear that the whole record deal thing was falling apart, with our tapes held for ransom in a vault. We went back into the 16-track studio where we had begun our experiments, by now relocated, and just kept on writing and recording for a while. This track proves that we did not need Toast or a record deal!

This song was kind of a departure in a new direction for us as we had been focusing on the dreamy and trippy sounds and wanted to do something grittier and with more noise.

An odd reference that I think the whole band had in common was that we admired an obscure English punk band called the Young Marble Giants that had appeared on Rough Trade in 78-79 before disappearing. (Apparently they're not so obscure anymore, but they were then). Their sound was unique for having a pure, unemotional female vocal over punk-ish guitar and early electronic knob-twiddling experiments. I don't think we particularly discussed the intention and have no idea if this will make sense to the listener but to me, this song was a bit of an hommage to the Young Marble Giants, whoever and wherever they may be! We also really liked the Raincoats and the Slits and I can hear that in there too.

The Sherman noise filter, which Michael Belfer used to great effect throughout the entire album, is responsible for all the electronic whistling and distorted radio-signal sounding stuff you hear going on. An interesting thing about Michael was that after starting out in punk rock he had taken himself back to University as a mature student and really studied theory and music in a serious way. I respected that about him as I was also into academics. One thing we had in common was that we'd both taken electronic music on these big old modular Buchla's. Our best connections usually happened when we could find common ground in things like that: in talking about acousmatic sound and the history of the avant-garde, analyzing mixes of music that we both admired. I can always find kinship with a curious mind.

Lyrically, it was inspired by a bi-polar boyfriend I'd had a few years before in L.A., Will Harrison, one of the actor Rex Harrison's grandsons not to name-drop or anything. It was just bizarre because Rex Harrison is indelibly linked with his role as the impossibly correct Professor of English in My Fair Lady, whereas Will was of the California branch of Rex's offspring and the ultimate blonde surfer dude. Will was an absurdly talented guy who could make up hilarious songs on the spot and be utterly captivating and charming. But at age 29, I didn't necessarily want my boyfriend to be the one rapping along into his Fisher-Price cassette-deck's microphone whilst skateboarding through the supermarket. Can it really be true that he had an acoustic bass guitar that he'd spray-painted silver and used to skate around with strapped on his back? Ask anyone who hung around at Toi on Sunset in the early 90s if you're curious.

But sometimes it wasn't funny and cute like that. Just completely unpredictable and a little bit frightening. He thought he was Luke Skywalker.

No really.

Anyway, some of the lyric lines are based on things he said, his trips to the ward and such; the title was derived from something my mother, who met him a few times, said about him afterwards.

I shall never forget that we were with my mother and sister one day for some reason when he realized that it was the birthday of his mother, who lived somewhere else and so we were making a toast in her honour which my sister ended with "...and to all the mothers!" Will added with gusto, "And all the Motherfuckers!" There was a moment's awkward silence as we all stared at Will who then explained helpfully, "Cuz without them, we wouldn't be here either!" He could be very funny.

The picture is of the wire-walker Philippe Petit's foot, stepping out as he prepares to cross between the Twin Towers when they were still under construction. What an incomprehensible act of brilliant bravado. To be a nutter and turn it into art. That's the thing.

lyrics

He navigates a narrow ledge
It's obvious he's been to the edge
And way beyond it
Holy liar
Fool saint prophet

He is not afraid
Afraid of anything
He stretches out his arms and says
Inside this circle
I am King
King of Nothing

See you tomorrow
When you get out
I'll bring you flowers
If you get out

When you get out of here

Half the circumference of a star
Is not by half as far
From where you were
To wherever you are

He is not afraid
Afraid of anything
He stretches out his arms and says
Inside this circle
I am King
King of Nothing

See you tomorrow
When you get out
I'll bring you flowers
If you get out

If you get out of here

See you tomorrow
When you get out

credits

from The Tragic Tale of Lil Tiger or How the Music Bizniz Destroyed My Best Recording and Derailed My Life (San Francisco 1999​-​2001), track released June 30, 1999
Drums - Tim Mooney
Guitars, noises- Michael Belfer
Bass - Joe Goldring
Vocals - Diana Trimble
Engineering, Tim and Joe mostly, I may have pressed a few buttons

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Diana Rosalind New Orleans, Louisiana

After being discovered by Bobby McFerrin as a young vocal improviser in San Francisco, I spent some years writing and performing with ensembles that remain important in the history of Bay Area arts, then did time tangling with the music biz in LA & NYC, followed by a decade in Europe, recording all the while, before coming "home" to NOLA. This is a partial musical record of that journey. ... more

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