THE MORNINGSIDES CELEBRATE 15 YEARS
Join the Morningsides on Saturday, August 18 as they celebrate 15 years
of musical tomfoolery at Jerry's (1938 W Division). Show starts at 9,
and the band will play two sets, and there is no cover.
Over the past decade and a half, the Morningsides have recorded 13 album's
worth of original material. Although only four albums have been released,
thirteen distinct projects exist. One song from each project will be
played during the anniversary show's first set along with one new song
from the forthcoming release The Morningsides Die.
Understanding that only a handful of people have heard most of the material
that will be played at the show, we have posted recordings of each song that
will be played during the first set on August 18.
Click on the play button to listen to a song, or right click the song
title to download the mp3.
On March 26, 1997 the Morningsides founding members Elminestrone, The Policy, and Dr.
Pants convened in the back room studio in Winfield for the first Morningsides recording
session. The trio came up with a few random instrumental ideas and committed them to
tape. About 9pm that evening, Tony walked in and informed the group that 39 people had
been found dead from an apparent mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California. The batch
of recordings immediately became the rhythm tracks for a concept album about the event
titled 39 Dead, Three Still Rockin’. The non-audio tone of the band was set at that
moment. Samples were recorded directly off am radio onto the master 4-track tape. Later,
Elminestrone overdubbed a computer reading Marshall Applewhite’s manifesto. This song is
the cornerstone of the album, and was the first thing recorded by the Morningsides.
Man in My Head
Man in My Head is the sixth track on the Morningsides’ first full length album ELEMENOPE.
The album was recorded at Gregg Barker’s Fish Club studio in Wheaton during the summer of
1997. The guy that mastered the record said we should not have access to infinite delay
under any circumstances, and he was specifically referring to the ending of this song in
which the words “Martini’s and mushrooms….jazz resonations” were looped for over 2
minutes with no musical accompaniment.
I Won't Eat Yer Dog
In the winter of 1997, the Morningsides went back into Fish Club to record 10 songs as a
follow up to ELEMENOPE. The album is fully recorded and awaiting baking so it can be
transferred to a digital format and mixed. I Won’t Eat Yer Dog is track 4 on the
unfinished album endearingly referred to as Second Album. The song is the Morningsides’
most complicated song as measured in style and tempo changes per minute.
Crazy Ole' Mexican Lady
In 1999, Elminestrone and the Policy recorded an album called the Elminestrone Policy.
Crazy Old Mexican Lady originally comes from those sessions which were an early mix of
four track and acid (2.0).
Swimming with Syd
On March 27, 2000, Elminestrone, The Policy, and Dr. Pants convened in the backroom in
Winfield to record the first batch of new Morningsides material in nearly two years. The
sessions took place over three consecutive days and yielded 9 songs, most of which were
written on the spot. Swimming with Syd is the Morningsides’ tribute to Syd Barrett. The
lyrics are based on various Syd Barrett stories that may or may not be true.
In the summer of 2001, there was a fad occurring in the videos sold via infomercials
market for dvd’s of kids jumping off their roofs onto a mattress on the ground, landing
upon a soon-to-be-defeated foe with a glorious leg drop. Elminestrone immortalized in
song this phenomenon known as Backyard Wrestling, and in so doing introduces us to the
infamous Backyard Wrestling Champion, The Winfield Wino. This song was recorded on
4-track June 15 and 16, 2001 in the bedroom studio in Winfield.
One night in February 2002 after a particularly weird evening at the Gables, Tom and Mike
returned to the backhouse in Winfield and wrote and recorded six songs. Those tunes
comprise the rare EP The Gables Is My Homeland. The Gables Theme is the only song from
this batch that has been performed live. The rest of the songs are just too depressing.
Tragic Merchandise is part of the 6-song “Album via Mail” sessions which occurred during
Spring 2002. Drums and guitar were recorded by Mike and Tom in the backhouse in Winfield.
A CD of those tracks was mailed to Dave in Austin. Dave pieced the song together,
recorded guitar and vocals and mailed a CD back to Tom who was living in Urbana.
Throughout the fall and winter of 2002 and most of the following year, Dave, Tom, and Mike
took the long distance collaboration which began with Album via Mail to the next level by
completely digitizing the process. No longer would the United States Postal Service be a
part of recording a Morningsides album. Tom obtained the same recording software that
Dave had been using, and this allowed the two to share files back and forth over the
internet. The group coined this recording method Fiberoptic Rock, and two full length
albums of the same name were recorded during that time frame. The drums and bass for
Bullshit Detector were recorded in February 2002 in the backhouse in Winfield. Dave added
vocals and guitars in Austin, then Tom and Mike overdubbed vocals and more guitars back in
Winfield. The original 4-track version of the song contains a guitar solos from a then 14
year old Jimmy Perona.
Guitar Stand That Holds Nothing
30 songs were recorded during the three day Great Room session on October 7, 14, and 15th
2004. 17 of these songs appeared on the HEARTH record which was released in 2005. The
rhythm track for Guitar Stand was recorded on October 7th. Dr. Pants added MicroKorg
tracks 12 days later and vocals were recorded by The Policy on January 19, 2005. On
February 27, Jay Gemkow recorded the violin track. The HEARTH version was mixed on March
The rhythm track for Halflight was recorded on 1/13/05 in the Great Room. The recording was
emailed to Elminestrone in Austin who supplied vocals and edits, then Dr. Pants put the finishing
touches on the song with the harmonizing guitar solo at the end. Halflight is part of the 7 song
EP Super Album. Tunes from Super Album make rare live appearances...almost as rare as a copy of
the record itself.
Lowest Point in Idaho
Lowest Point in Idaho was one of the last songs to be completed for the Issue. The rhythm
tracks were recorded within the first few weeks of tracking, but after that nothing was
done with the song for five months. When the album started to take shape, a song called
Do What I Do was slated for unreleased status until Mike told everyone that he has a whole
set of lyrics and had recorded a demo of the song with a new chorus refrain of “Lowest
Point in Idaho…I know I shouldn’t go.” A few days later, lyrics and solo guitars were
added. The song ended up on The Issue, and has since become a live staple of the group.
That's Not Me
Written during one of many existential crisis moments in 2010, That’s Not Me is the culmination
of an idea that had been ruminating about in Tom’s head for over 10 years. The main riff is
culled from tape of jamming from Tim and Tom’s college band, Wayside School. In 2008 when Tom
was travelling in Poland, the riff suddenly and mysteriously re-immerged in his brain and for the
better part of two weeks, Tom was humming the melody. Shortly after returning to the states,
Tom wrote the rhythm track for the song. It was another year and a half until the lyrics were
added and the song was completed. One element of this song had an ftp component. Elminestrone’s
lead guitar parts were recorded in Austin and subsequently emailed to Wheaton and flown into the
main song file.