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Mr. Adams

May 14, 08:03 PM · from the mouth of Andy

Remember our beloved music teacher?

He’s found some of his 15 minutes of fame on… the spokesman for a nudist colony! They even put his picture up!

So, who’s gonna sign up first? ;-)

PS – Speaking of Mr. Adams, I’m pretty sure today is the anniversary of one of the Battles of the Bands we played in. It’s also, coincidentally, the anniversary of my senior thesis concert at Dartmouth. Don’t ask me how I remember this stuff. Anyhow, Pickled Pollies Rock!


Comment [16]

  1. Tyler responds with:

    Wow. That’s fantastic. I can’t say I’m even a little bit surprised. In fact, some deep corner of my memory is telling me that I already knew Mr. Adams was into nudist recreation. I love his quote in the article.

    Speaking of Pickled Pollies… memories…. :)
    I was listening to Andy’s midi versions of all our songs for the first time in many MANY years. I still can’t believe that you arranged all of those! Truly incredible, my friend.

    That being said, I have no known recording of the Pickled Pollies. Not a CD, tape, nothing. Do you have anything? If you want, I could rip some files from a tape, if you have one. Or you could easily do it to. There are all kinds of programs available, such as Freecorder. I’ve never used that one, but it looks simple enough. I don’t know about PC’s as much, but I’m pretty sure that on my Mac I can make simple recordings using QuickTime. I’ll be glad to do it if you want to send me a tape. Or if you do it yourself, you’ll need a simple audio cord with a headphone jack on each end… plug one end into the headphone jack of your tape player, and the other end into your microphone jack on your computer.

    And finally, I call for a Pickled Pollies reunion. I don’t know how we’d pull that off, but if we’re seriously talking about a trip to Japan, I’m sure we can swing a Pollies reunion. I admittedly don’t remember most of the songs, (which is why we ended up playing The Fun Song at my wedding). But if we all studied the music and practiced a bit, perhaps we could play once again.

    · May 15, 12:24 PM
  2. Andy responds with:

    Dude, I would LOVE to do Pickled Pollies reunion! Predictably, I remember at least a bit of most of the songs. Though I admit I had a couple flushes of embarassment re-reading some of those extraordinarily teenage-y lyrics of mine after so many years… I still feel like we were making some legitimately good music by the time we went our separate ways. Maybe we could even write a new song for our reunion! That’s what summer vacation is for, after all. =)

    I still have at least 2 tapes of us: both our Couts sessions and something earlier, as well as possibly our very first attempts at recording. Does anyone have either of our Battle of the Bands performances? I remember those were on tape at some point. I’m not extraordinarily comfortable sending such priceless artifacts through the mail, so I may just wait to deliver them when we buzz through in August – btw, it’s looking ever more likely that Lisa will come along!

    Crap – now I’m gonna go home and listen to all of this… I’ll be posting later about another ghost from our past as well.

    · May 15, 05:20 PM
  3. Tyler responds with:

    I don’t listen to lyrics, usually. In almost any kind of music. Even in my favorite Pink Floyd songs or whatever — I may be able to sing along, but I rarely know what I’m singing. To me, lyrics are simply a vehicle to singing a tune.

    So it should serve as a great compliment that I sat at my desk this afternoon and listened to every midi version of our songs while reading the lyrics along. (I remembered many of them, btw). Anyway, I realized what a great songwriter you are, Andy. I realize this even more now than I ever did in high school. Musically AND lyrically, it’s all great stuff. I’m feeling inspired to re-record a song or two in Garage Band. That could be fun. Honestly, I had forgotten many of these songs. Not completely of course, because they all came right back to me when I listened to them. But they fell back to my subconscious over the years, and I was glad to get them back.

    Like “Falling”... boy that was a good song….

    Recording with Couts (both in the auditorium and at his house) was a great experience. And I remember that we were really great! Really great….

    I remember trying to teach Splice to play “After the Beep” so we could perform it at the CRHS Battle of the Bands. But they just didn’t get it. It was over their heads, I think. I had fun in that band, but it was a totally different experience. They were more interested in partying than with music. They weren’t music geeks like we were. Andy, you were in EVERY SINGLE music program CRHS had to offer. I was in all but Jazz Choir. The Splice boys never participated in ANY music programs in high school (I asked).

    But I digress. I haven’t thought this much about the Pickled Pollies in a long time. We had good times, made good music, and had a lot of fun. Let’s do it again sometime!

    Love, Ty.

    · May 15, 06:54 PM
  4. Andy responds with:

    Thank you Tyler for so such sincere praise of my songs! I haven’t written songs in so long… going back through them like this makes me want to start up again. Of course I couldn’t have done it, especially the later songs, without all of your (plural) talent, and the way we worked to together so well. I think it’s time to give credit where it’s due and acknowledge that we never would have become a band at all if not for Jake. Iaky-poo, not only did you provide us with our first rehearsal space, but you also were the only one of us that could play your instrument when we started! And I’m not talking just regular boom-chick kind of stuff – listening back, even your earliest beats were rhythmically solid, appropriately styled, and musically expressive. Which leads me to…

    ...our old recordings! I went back as I promised and found not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 tapes of old Pollies stuff!

    The most recent is a compilation of our recordings with Couts: it starts with “Safety” and continues with the 5 from the other session: “After the Beep”, “Falling”, “Runaway Sparrow”, “First”, and “Heel”.

    The second one, a bit earlier, has a mix of our stuff from the recording on the stage with Couts as well as our 4 track experiments and some solo work, recorded on both sides (although one side was partially recorded over by those same 5 from the aforementioned Couts studio session) in the following order:

    “Sunshine” (4-track)
    “After the Beep” (4-track)
    “No Clue” (CRHS)
    “Lady” (4-track)
    “After the Beep” (piano)
    “Sleep” (CRHS)
    one of Tyler’s solo instrumentals whose name I can’t remember (I think from CRHS)
    “Happy” (CRHS)
    “No Clue” (piano)
    “Above” (CRHS)
    “Stonecast Shame” (I think from CRHS)
    “Runaway Sparrow” (CRHS)
    “First” (4-track)

    Quite the tour-de-force. Lisa’s been listening along, and she thinks we sound very sophisticated for a high school group.

    And the other 2 will have to wait until tomorrow. It’s late. I’m beat. And I’m convinced no one will read this. Prove me wrong! =)

    · May 20, 04:31 AM
  5. Tyler responds with:

    You’re wrong!

    Great, I’m so glad you’ve got all that stuff! It’s a shame the original digital recordings from Couts were lost, but at least we’ve got the tapes. If you bring them with you when you visit this summer, I can make MP3s from them and we’ll all have ‘em. Tapes are sooo last century.

    You’ll be pleased to know that I played along with some of the midi files on the website to try and re-learn the songs. Many of them came right back to me without much effort!

    Pollies World Tour, 2008!

    · May 21, 01:11 PM
  6. Iak responds with:

    Sweet! Although I wouldn’t say I was that important. Look at what The Beatles did with Ringo. ;) Besides my practicitis didn’t help much. But it was pretty awesome for a high school band. I think our influences helped a lot with that. While others were screaming into their mics we were (at least trying) emulating classic rock bands with a silly Weird Al twist. How could we have possibly failed with such a perfect plan?

    · May 21, 04:42 PM
  7. Andy responds with:

    Jake, you’re absolutely right.

    Anyhow, I’m finally getting around to the oldest tapes. There are still 2 more!

    The next in the series is from the beginning of our full band days. Tyler is still playing exclusively acoustic, and the stereo on the tape is a little out of phase, so it sounds like we’re playing in a big echo-y room – every now and then the phasing will disappear, and it’ll sound nice and clear, but only for a moment.

    Anyhow, the set list on that one:

    -”The Fun Song”
    -”No Clue”
    -”After the Beep” with a genuine Jimothy “Woohoooo!” at the beginning
    -Jimmy noisemaking interlude
    -The same Tyty solo instrumental. Ty, I REALLY can’t remember the name of this one. It’s the one based on the moving D chord – any ideas?

    The reverse incidentally, has a bunch of songs I recorded off the radio – the now-dead Radio 104! – and some tapes, I guess with the intent to learn them: “Machinehead”, “I’ve Got a Girl”, “What’s the Frequency Kenneth”, “Tremor Christ”, “Far Behind”, “White Rabbit”, “Sunshine of Your Love”. How’s that for a time capsule?

    The oldest tape is a demo that I made for you guys of my very first songs! It features me and my guitar, and seems to have been recorded in my bedroom. In fact, I seem to remember recording it and not wanting to sing too loud because I didn’t want my parents to hear! So the words are all pretty mumbled – but the guitar is there. The songs are “Above”, “Sleep”, and “No Clue”, all interspersed with teenage witticisms. It’s a hoot! I should also mention that there a couple of not-famous Weaser songs on before me, for some reason, that cut off most of “Above” – maybe I decided I didn’t like it! It also segues into the middle of a Boyz II Men song after I’m done… apparently I was trying to recycle.

    Anyhow, there’s the Pickled Pollies archive as I have it. SOMEONE’s got to have some other material, like our battle performances. Anyone?

    · May 22, 11:05 PM
  8. Tyler responds with:

    I’m afraid I have nothing. :(

    Aren’t the sound clips on the web page from one of our Battle performances? Who ripped those files? I remember one of those shows was recorded on MiniDisc. Jimmy, do you have those? Speak up, man— your silence is killing me!

    Andy, I remember the song in question, but I have no idea what it was called. I remember how parts of it went, but not the whole thing. Perhaps hearing it would jog my memory.

    That brings up an important point. Too much music is lost into the ether because it was never written down or recorded. Over the years I’ve had various riffs that I’ve written have become lost in the depths of my memory (I’ve never really written full songs, just riffs and chord progressions). In fact, the Tenacious D song, “Tribute” is all about an awesome song they wrote (the greatest song in the world) that they forgot. I’ve been making an effort lately to record the random things I come up with on my iMac. I love that thing. It’s so frickin’ easy to do something like that. It’s got an internal microphone, so all I have to do is open QuickTime and hit “record”.

    I’ve been playing music to my baby recently. They say that babies can hear lower bass notes the best when in the womb, so I’ve been playing songs that focus on the lower strings of the guitar, with a drop-D tuning. I talk and sing to him in my bassy voice. I even play the didgeridoo for him. (He started kicking the other day during a didg jam!) When I was a kid (and presumably a baby) my dad sang James Taylor’s “Country Road” to me when tucking me in at night. So I took it upon myself to learn to sing it to my baby. As all of you are aware, I’ve NEVER been able to sing and play the guitar at the same time. Well I don’t know if “Country Road” is just an easy song, or if it’s embedded into my brain from my dad singing it to me, but it comes pretty naturally to me. So there is officially one song that I can play and sing simultaneously. I’ve been trying others, but still can’t do it….

    I miss you guys…

    · May 23, 12:24 PM
  9. Iak responds with:

    Aww man, don’t remind me about being a super cool dad. I obviously have copious amounts of time currently, but pretty much the single most reason I want to learn the guitar someday is not for the obvious “picking up girls.” It’s for “playing music for my kids.” Not only would drumming your kids to sleep be difficult. But how am I gonna cart a kit from room to room? ;)

    All I can hope is freelancing will provide extra energy and free time in the long run for stuff like this. Or I’ll marry rich and be a stay at home dad.

    · May 23, 04:50 PM
  10. Tyler responds with:

    Ha. Yeah, don’t get me started about being a stay-at-home dad. I don’t know how I’m going to sit in front of a computer for 40+ hours a week when my wife and baby are at home.

    Currently, the plan is for Jess to be a stay-at-home mom, but frankly we have NO IDEA how we’re going to pull it off. Jess and I barely make ends meet as it is. I haven’t got a CLUE how we’re going to get through this without her salary. I want more than anything for her to stay home with Kieran. Seriously, living on the brink of financial destitution is a more attractive option to me than daycare. Jess hates her job anyway, so I don’t see how she’d manage to go back to work, being torn from her baby, so that she can afford to pay for daycare so that she can continue to work a job that she hates. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a vicious and conniving cycle. And I’m worrying myself sick about it. Maybe I should get a second job on weekends or something, but I can’t think of ANYTHING that I could do that would pay well enough and not eat up every second of family time I have. Jess has talked about going back to work part-time, which I’m afraid she’s going to have to do, but even that’ll be rough and probably won’t pay enough to make a significant difference. Alas.

    See what ya started?! :)

    · May 23, 05:08 PM
  11. Andy responds with:

    You totally just dropped your baby’s name without any warning. My dreams of Megatron are lost…

    Seriously though, good pick! And slightly less seriously, that new Pollies song I hinted at will likely be inspired by young Kieran: “Destiny, thy name is Megatron!” But it’s only a hook now, barely anything more.

    You should also freelance, Tyty. Or give guitar lessons – oh my god that’s TOTALLY what you should do!! I give trumpet lessons after school 2 days a week. I have 6 students at $25 or $30 for 1/2 hour, so I make nearly $700 extra per month. So dust off that guitar and give some lessons!!

    · May 23, 05:26 PM
  12. Iak responds with:

    My brother and his girlfriend made me watch this movie called Igby Goes Down. It wasn’t that great (like the girlfriend said) but it was interesting and bizarre enough to not suck. ;) It starred Kieran Culkin…

    So anyway, didn’t mean to bring up such issues. Freelancing is a definite possibility. Or is there anyway you could get a raise? I know it’s a small place, but you deserve it. ;)

    Ooo ooo I know, you could continue to work for Yimmy after the Asante site is done and they can pay you ummm… $1,000 a month for your amazing creative brain…

    Jim, if you think this is a great idea, say nothing…

    · May 23, 06:34 PM
  13. Jackie responds with:

    Can I just say, I can completely relate! Almost everything you’ve said Tyler, we have experienced as well. I think its great that you play music for your lil’ guy. Dave used to play guitar while Holden was still in me and now he loves it. When we play and sing to him, he lights up, smiles, and waves his low muscle controlled arms about. It will melt your heart when Kieran gets here.

    I also think the worry about financial problems is very common for you to feel right now. I know every night or waking moment for that fact, Dave would be freaking out about how we would pay all the bills once Holden got here. Well he’s here and yeah its super tight, but all the love and joy your little guy will bring you will make any worries seem invisible. I ended up going back to work part time really soon after Holden was born. I thought it would be horrible, but it really wasn’t. I personally found that I needed just a little time away from Holden and Dave for a little while during the day. It made me a better Mom and Dave got great bonding time with Holden. I know that every situation is different, but in our situation its proven to be so vital that Dave and I each have our seperate time with Holden and time for each other (even if its just talking for a couple minutes after the baby falls asleep, it makes all the difference). I’m sure that once Kieran gets here everything will fall into place for you guys. I know the right before the baby comes feeling when it just seems like everything will fall apart, but trust me, your little guy will be the glue that holds it all together.

    I hope I made you feel a little better knowing that A LOT of people have these feelings and it always works itself out. You and Jess are going to be great parents and everything after that will fall into place. :)

    · May 23, 10:37 PM
  14. Tyler responds with:

    Thank you Jackie! That actually does make me feel a lot better. I’ve suspected that I’m over-worrying and that everything will work out. Things are going to be totally different, I know. But hopefully it’ll be okay. And I totally can’t wait to have him here. I know that this new love is going to completely transform me. My mom wrote a nice piece on the subject on her blog

    I’m glad to hear that you, Dave, and Holden are doing so well. I love all your pictures of him on your MySpace page!

    Andy, interesting idea about guitar lessons. I almost feel that I wouldn’t know where to begin though. I don’t really read music, I’m ashamed to say. I’m ten years out of practice, and even in high school I didn’t REALLY read music. I always skated by with a hybrid of reading, listening, and memorizing. That, and I’ve never taken guitar lessons myself, so I don’t have that kind of experience to back me up. But still, it’s certainly something to ponder.

    It’s true, I did drop his name without warning. Jess and I were keeping it a secret for such a long time, but then pretty much stopped trying about a month ago. And yes, it was inspired by Kieran Culkin, who’s also in one of Jess’s favorite movies, Home Alone, with his bother Macaulay. Kieran Culkin was also in two of Jess’s other favorite movies, Father of the Bride, and Father of the Bride Part II. I’ve seen both of those movies more than any man should admit. The first one is about getting married, so she put it on all the time before our wedding, and the second one is about (you guessed it) having a baby, so you can imagine how often we’re watching it now. They’re comfort movies for her, along with Honey, I shrunk the Kids, and The Karate Kid. Yeah, I’ve seen Igby Goes Down too… it wasn’t great, but you’re right in that it was bizarre enough to be watchable.

    Great idea about working for Jimmy, Jake! And I’m so glad he agrees! Thanks Jimmy! :)

    · May 24, 12:40 PM
  15. jake responds with:

    I needed somewhere to leave a random thing I had to mention, and forgot to at Andrew’s house last weekend.

    I met the guy who drove his car through the back of Bradlees.

    Do you remember that like ten+ years ago?

    I met him a few weeks ago but didn’t know anything about him till last week when I went to Christy Page’s birthday party at Eli Canon’s. I didn’t get to converse with him or anything but it was brought up a few times and I clarified. He was the dude who drove down the hill and through the back of Bradlees. :)

    Just wanted to share.

    · Jun 2, 06:29 PM
  16. Tyler responds with:

    Wow! Cool. I remember that. Ten years later and people are still talking about that!

    P.S. I’m guessing nobody clicked on my “Home Alone” link above. It ought to get a few chuckles.

    · Jun 4, 11:40 AM
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