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Jim Shelley & Book of Kills | The Strange One (Demos & Outtakes)

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The Strange One (Demos & Outtakes)

by Jim Shelley & Book of Kills

Eccentric, homemade, garage-y, lo-fi, alternative rock & roll
Genre: Rock: Rock & Roll
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Shining Deep and Broken
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:28 $0.99
2. (Take a Deep Breath And) Blow the Clouds Away
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:20 $0.99
3. By Hook or By Crack
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:22 $0.99
4. Simple World (2002 Version)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
4:18 $0.99
5. I've Got the Scissors to Cut Your Hair
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:26 $0.99
6. Like Flies in a Jar
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:23 $0.99
7. The Strange One (Version 1)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
3:04 $0.99
8. Give Till It Pukes (It's Glorious)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:06 $0.99
9. Haunted Road Blues (Hot Pavement Version)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
3:19 $0.99
10. Here Today
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:21 $0.99
11. A Killer Pair and a Perfect Slice
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:59 $0.99
12. If You Have Any Questions
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:17 $0.99
13. I'm Going Back to the Zen Arcade
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:38 $0.99
14. Few & Far (Demo)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
4:07 $0.99
15. Jammy Poo
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:00 $0.99
16. Cocktail Sweet Charm Princess
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:54 $0.99
17. She Got the Glow (Baby Cakes)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:24 $0.99
18. The Further I Go
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:31 $0.99
19. Go Back Get Back
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
3:46 $0.99
20. Little Lucky Miami
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:45 $0.99
21. The Shape of Your Eyes Goes 'round My Heart
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:00 $0.99
22. To Susan
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
5:22 $0.99
23. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:39 $0.99
24. To Dream a New Dream
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
4:22 $0.99
25. She's the One (Extended Version)
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
2:17 $0.99
26. Cnv 43
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
3:01 $0.99
27. Bloody Mess
Jim Shelley & Book of Kills
1:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Strange One (Demos & Outtakes) – Volume 1 Notes

1. Shining Deep & Broken – 1:27
I found “Shining Deep & Broken” on the back of a cassette from some session that I'm guessing happened during the summer of 1997, though I'm not entirely sure that this is the correct time frame since on occasion I would record a track on the back of a cassette years after the song on the front had been committed to tape. (For instance, the 2007 album Different was recorded on tapes dating as far back as 1990!) Oddly, it sounds like something I would've done for 1993's Songs For A Gone World.

2. (Take A Deep Breath And) Blow The Clouds Away – 2:20
Though I don't recall recording this one, I do know that it was on the back of the cassette for the October 1992 song “She's The Kind Of Girl”. Listen closely and you'll hear that the drum track for both songs is identical! The arrangements are pretty similar as well. Up until 2000 (when I bought my first digital recorder), I would frequently record two or three – sometimes even more – versions of a song and later choose the one I liked best for inclusion on an album.

3. By Hook Or By Crack – 2:22
“By Hook Or By Crack” was recorded (largely “live”) with one microphone in the basement during the sessions for 2007's Different. I will often record an acoustic version of a song as sort of a mental place-holder and come back to it later after I've given an arrangement some thought.

4. Simple World (2002 Version) – 4:18
After I originally released “Simple World” on 1991's For The Good Of The Cause as - believe it or not - a tribute to The Breeders, it became so popular locally that sometimes people would refer to me as “the guy who wrote “Simple World”. The song was later more or less co-opted by singer Ben Arthur (who ended up claiming co-credit for writing it and who never gave me royalties for his song sales, but whatever... check it out on Amazon, by the way). I came to resent the song's notoriety for a long time since I considered it a gimmicky track at best and felt as though I'd written far better things than that. Anyway, back in 2001, right after 9/11, a friend and long-time BOK fan told me how much she loved “Simple World” and how it had actually helped pull her through some tough times in the '90s and I came to reconsider my dislike for it. During the All About You sessions in 2002, I re-recorded the track (in part as a response to Ben Arthur's recording, which I didn't much like) intending to include it on the album, but it just didn't fit and I forgot about it until last year when I found it at the end a compact disc collection of unreleased material and released it on the web site as an mp3 for a couple months as part of the now-defunct Song Of The Week series.

5. I've Got The Scissors To Cut Your Hair – 1:25
Outtake from the sessions for 2005's This Is Your Book Of Kills. I think I felt there were already enough short acoustic pieces on the album and held this one out.

6. Like Flies In A Jar – 1:25
A short demo for a song that I was going to flesh out for 2003's Wasp 51! and ended up forgetting about until I found it while searching for material for this record. Could've been a good addition to that album, but I already had twenty-one tracks done and was tired of recording.

7. The Strange One (Version One) – 3:02
Sometimes I listen to a recording that I discarded in favor of another version and wonder why I chose the one I did for inclusion on an album. Listening now to “The Strange One (Version One)” eleven years after I recorded it for 1999's re-release of Writing On The Wall, leads me to think this was actually the superior recording. It just plain sounds better, too. And...oh yeah...the '99 version of Writing On The Wall is a damned adventurous, damned fine album, though no one seemed to notice at the time its initial release.

8. Give Till It Pukes (It's Glorious) – 2:06
This is an old boom box recording that was in pretty bad shape. I painstakingly restored it as best I could. The tape was unmarked, but I think it might be from an early '90s jam session in Luray, Virginia with a couple of friends, including the late, lamented David Taylor, a very talented young man I met through a musicians classified ad I'd run in the local paper back in late 1990 or early 1991. David and I hit it off famously from our first meeting and I had every intention of forming a band with him before his untimely death.

9. Haunted Road Blues (Hot Pavement Version) – 3:21
The first, discarded version of “Haunted Road Blues” for 1992's The Haunted Life. I ended up using a much better, much faster recording, but this one's definitely a fun listen. Till now, I'd completely forgotten it existed. The solos on this track and beyond gonzo, especially the long one at the end of the song. I don't know what I was drinking (or smoking) the day I recorded this one!

10. Here Today – 1:17
There are at least three different recordings of this little blip of a song that dates back to the mid-90s. Guess I liked it and wanted to turn it into something a little fuller but never got around to it.

11. A Killer Pair And A Perfect Slice – 2:00
From the February 2010 Single Of The Month sessions. I held this one out from single #2, intending to make it one of the tracks on the third single, which I never released.

12. If You Have Any Questions – 1:17
A quicky demo of a song that I intended to re-record for the aborted March 2010 Single Of The Month, though I'm not exactly sure when I recorded this track.

13. I'm Going Back To The Zen Arcade – 2:39
Recorded in 2004 as a demo for a possible addition to The Karl Rove's repertoire. Forgotten until I unearthed it on the back of a chewed up cassette. I know that there's another version of this song in a “full band” arrangement but I just couldn't find it.

14. Few & Far – 4:07
This is the first song I ever wrote with Amy Bugg while the two of us were in Fear + Whiskey. I usually figure it's easier to record a demo to play for a band than it is to try to explain to them how the song goes and hope they can understand what I'm talking about. This is the third of three quick recordings I made.

15. Jammy Poo – 1:00
Just a little piece of a jam from a Winter 2009 practice with Mike Hicks (drums), George Nipe (bass), and David Tekiep (guitar). This particular band was never much on jamming, but we would occasionally start a session with a brief instrumental, especially while I was still setting up my gear (everyone else always had their equipment ready to go...I always brought mine from home, of course.)

16. Cocktail Sweet Charm Princess – 1:55
A relatively old song dating back to the late '90s that I ended up recording for the 2010 Single Of The Month sessions. I don't know why I didn't tinker with it a little more and release it.

17. She Got The Glow (Baby Cakes) – 1:23
I'm pretty sure this is a demo from 1999 which I intended to flesh out for the Writing On The Wall re-release. That was actually a fairly adventurous time for me musically. Though I didn't write or record that year on a scale typical of earlier times, I was clearly experimenting with lots of different styles.

18. The Further I Go – 2:59
Recorded either April or May of 1996, this is the prototype for what would eventually become “Accidentally Naked”, one of the more popular songs the 2001-2003 version of Book Of Kills performed live.

19. Get Back Go Back – 3:45
Originally released as an mp3 on the bookofkills.com web page for the Song Of The Week series, “Get Back Go Back” is an outtake from the 1998 sessions for the If I Should Fall e.p. I held it out because I thought it sounded too similar to “If I Should Fall” and it tended to disrupt the flow of that little album, regardless of where I put it. It's actually a pretty good song, though.

20. Little Lucky Miami – 2:45
I found this funny little thing on a boom box tape, but I don't think it was initially recorded on a boom box, since there are two voices on the recording. I have no recollection of when I wrote or recorded it and there's no information on the tape. I have a feeling it's from around 1991-92, though that's a guess at best. A really unusual sort of song for me to do, since I rarely write character-based songs like this one and it just doesn't sound much like me, period. (I was born in Miami, Florida, by the way, but this song has nothing to do with me!)

21. The Shape Of Your Eyes (Long Version) – 2:00
A longer, slightly different mix of an outtake from the This Is Your Book Of Kills sessions. An interesting song that I could've probably developed a bit more?

22. To Susan – 5:19
I vaguely recall putting this track together back in either late 1987 or early 1988 for a James Madison University radio show after I'd had this and one other of my poems published in JMU's literary magazine. I think they played it on their show two or three times before it freaked everyone out too much. Certainly one of the bleakest (and more bizarre) recordings I've ever created.

23. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – 2:39
From spring 1998. One day in early September of '10, Rob Christensen dropped by and we went out to eat for lunch. As usual, we talked about all kinds of things, but mostly music. I told him about the new BOK collection, The Strange One, and how much fun it had been to look through old multi-track cassettes for unreleased material. At that point, I considered the album finished. When I got home, however, I was jazzed all over again about finding more unreleased goodies, went out to the garage and pulled a half dozen more tapes out at random (for some reason, that seemed to lend itself to some great finds), and listened to them all without luck until I got to the last one, upon which I found on the B-side of the tape the eight track recording of The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend" which is one of my own favorite recordings I made of other artists' songs and which I'd long assumed was lost. Though I don't think anyone has ever noticed and it's only a big deal to me, the version of that song which shows up as a bonus on some of the old If I Should Fall compact discs was created from a mediocre sounding, poorly mixed 128 kps MP3 file which I'd reconverted to a .wav track, since I'd lost the original recording of the song! I transferred this original recording to my computer and mastered it and it sounds (to me at least) so much better! Much warmer and much more dynamic and detailed.

24. To Dream A New Dream (Demo) – 4:22
I clearly recall writing and recording this track on a warm early spring evening in 2001 out in my garage. After I finished recording it, I got so excited that I dubbed it onto a cassette and took it into Casey and Jane Firkin's house so they could hear it. I didn't know if the rest of the band would like it, but Casey was really enthusiastic about it, much to my relief, and came up with a great drum part for it. Oddly, we debuted it during a terrible show at Bridgewater College, April 19, and I can remember we struggled to get through it, though later it ended up being one of the most popular songs I ever performed live. Note the extra verse that I ended up cutting.

25. She's The One (Extended Version) – 2:17
The original recording of this song, written by Dr. Bob's Nightmare, showed up on the fan club-only compact disc that I sent out the members in late December of 1999. It ran about a minute and a half. George Nipe III is featured as a backup singer. I always liked the track a lot and a few years later decided to re-edit and re-mix it, resulting in this longer version. Sort of an exercise to test my technical abilities, I suppose. This version does sound better than the original, though.

26. CNV 43 – 3:01
Recorded March 2010 after Billy Brett asked me for a sound collage for an anthology of new pieces from various friends of his that he was thinking of putting together for a summer release. The album never came to fruition, but I thought it would make a good addition to this collection. Originally released as a free download on the bookofkills.com web page. I like doing sound collages, just as I love doing paper-based collages...don't know why I don't do more of them!

27. Bloody Mess – 1:39
Though I don't know when it was recorded, I do recognize the sound of the drum machine as the one I was using back in 1988-89, so obviously it comes from that early era in BOK history. I would guess it's from the summer of 1988.

All songs written by Jim Shelley, except “Few & Far” (written by Jim Shelley/Amy Bugg), “Jammy Poo” (written by Mike Hicks, George Nipe III, Jim Shelley, and David Tekippe), “She's The One” (Dr. Bob's Nightmare), and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (The Ramones).

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