Most of the time I’m a peaceful man

· Musicology, Nesbitt's Lime Soda, Songs for Beginners, The Reuben Kincaid

[desaturated image of a Nesbitt's Orange Soda bottle label]Over the last few years the Kincaids have messed around with quite a few cover songs. Some we adopt into our core repertoire, such as it is (as with Chilton’s “I’m in Love with a Girl” or Reed’s “Satellite of Love”). Others we toy with for a week or three and then forget again (too many to mention).

Back in early ’10 we decided to try the one real song song from Negativland’s class Escape from Noise LP (that’s what we used to call a vinyl record, kids).

We had a lot of fun with it, playing the tune at various tempos, eventually stretching it out into an odd Grateful Dead meets Velvet Underground space. As if often the case, the penultimate take was really the best one.

On this one Cecil Dan is on bass and Rev Bill is on the acoustic guitar. I’m on electric uke and lead vocals. Dan and Bill sing backups. I like to dedicate this one to B, who’s name is often misspelled in the way of the soda*.

Nesbitt’s Lime Soda

* Speaking of which, there doesn’t seem to be a Nesbitt’s Lime Soda, although there appears to be, or to have been, a Nesbitt’s Lemon-Lime at some point.

Bringing the rain

· Musicology, The Reuben Kincaid

Earlier this year I was in New York on business so of course I spent some time hanging out with my brother, codename “xourmas.” (We have a little duo when we play together called the Power & Mighty.)

He taught me a few cover tunes he had been working on over the past little while, and soon afterward I was back home in Cali rehearsing with the Kincaid and I introduced those two tunes to the band.

The first one is a tune by an obscure band called the Greenhornes called “There is an End.” The second is a classic psychedelic lovesong by the German band Can, called “She Brings the Rain.” The former has a lyric in it that goes “Spring brings the rain,” so I’ve always associated the two songs. (One other I’d also associate with these is Morphine’s “You Look Like Rain” – another one I’d like to learn some day.)

Anyway, TRK quickly recorded a few live takes of both songs and a few of them came out pretty well. We’ve gradually been putting up our carefully recorded studio cuts on our new Bandcamp site, but I can’t resist sharing these more off-the-cuff live demo takes, so here are a few more for our multitudes of fans:

(I consider these two recordings to constitute an EP that I call “Tribute to Xourmas.”)

 

This ain’t no cocktail you buy in a bar

· Music, Musicology, Songs for Beginners, The Reuben Kincaid, ukulele stories

One of the songs I’ve been playing the longest with the Reuben Kincaid is an original by Cecil Vortex about prison booze called “Pruno.”

In fact, before the Kincaid even got together Pruno was one of the first tunes Cecil taught me and that we played together, and it was one of the first songs I recorded myself playing with Cecil, when I started to get the idea that this playing music together thing is actually pretty cool. At the time we were playing it on piano and uke but not TRK plays it in our current power trio format, with Cecil on guitar (sometimes acoustic, sometimes electric), the Reverend So-Called Bill on bass, and myself on ukulele, of course. Vocals on the “I don’t want to be right” chorus by hillbilly leprechaun Shmuey, who would himself never make or consume pruno.

Over the last few years we’ve played the song scores of times, usually with some major or minor flubs. The version I’m posting today is done in the slow epic/anthem mode, and has its share of clams, but is also a fairly representative demo of how we play “Pruno” today:

Pruno (demo)

UPDATE: Shared with the gracious permission of Cecil Vortex!

(Here Comes) The Reuben Kincaid!

· Musicology, The Reuben Kincaid, ukulele stories

So sometime back in the previous millennium a bunch of us technical-publishing bohemians were sitting around wasting time as we were wont to do, coming up with band names, which reminds me of xian’s law: “There are more good band names than there are good bands.”

One of the ones that I suggested that our gang really liked was The Reuben Kincaid (we weren’t sure how to spell it though). It has that ’70s pop-culture thing and of course the classic ’60s-era “The” prefix (as in “The Pink Floyd”). Then time passed and we drifted around.

Five or so years ago when I started teaching myself ukulele and posting my baby steps on my blog, I decided that I was going to form a “virtual band” out of myself and anyone I could get to overdub on my tracks. I called that band The Reuben Kincaid.

More time passed and I renamed it Layers of Meta, which is its name today. I also play in a duo with my brother Arthur (aka “xourmas”) as The Power & Mighty.

But when myself and Cecil Vortex and so-called Bill and “the B is silent” Ryan got together last fall, at first to work on our still-very-underground radio show, Podcast Gold, we sort of evolved into a quartet, with Cecil on guitar, songwriting, arrangement, keyboards, production, and general fabulousness, Bill on bass, Ryan on bongoes (and sound recording-ism), and myself on ukulele.

And now, at last, the Reuben Kincaid has its first single! Enjoy…

play “Single-Cell Critter”