Hey, my bud and Cleveland native Chris Butler, former leader-songwriter-guitarist-producer for the Waitresses, Tin Huey member, solo artist, has a hypercool, zeitgeist-humming new CD out called The Museum of Me, wherein he recorded new songs with the ur technology of wax cylinders, wire recorders, and vintage tape, all mixed up with the most modern digital recording in a post-postmodern phantasmagoria. Chris writes:
- The “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” movie soundtrack was old tunes recorded with new technology – “The Museum of Me” is new songs recorded with old technology. My CD flips the idea behind that very successful release.
The New York Times recently ran a half-satirical/half-think piece on something they called ‘The New Old’ = a trend to reissue cool products from the past and the revival of moribund brand names like the new Mini Cooper, Danelectro guitars, Eames furniture, Triumph motorcycles, etc… “The Museum of Me” is part of this trend. If Post-Modernism was a crunching together of the best bits from past designs, The New Old is reproducing a design in its original, ‘pure’ form… but with modern ‘materials’. In “The Museum of Me”, the pure ‘design’ is the signature sound of these antique audio formats… think “new wine in old bottles”. If you want to get really theoretical about it, this CD is an exercise in Audio Industrial Design… something I’ll define as soon as I can think up a definition!
….I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. When I tried my first antique audio recording – “The Bottom of a Workingman’s Beer” on a wire recorder I’d found in a flea market – what went in was modern me… but what came out was a 50-year-old sound… it was as if I had transported myself back to the mid-20th Century!
More about Chris here.
Better still, Chris will be featured tomorrow morning on NPR’s Weekend Edition discussing his new disc and the technology that went into it. Be sure to tune in!