Jr James & the Late Guitar & The Carpenter Ants | Optismet

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by Jr James & the Late Guitar & The Carpenter Ants

What if the lost chord is down in the basement with all those guitars and amps?! Lucky basement rock! Done-it-ourselves dub pop!
Genre: Rock: Lo-Fi
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Going West (Asheville 28806)
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
2:39 $0.99
2. Lucky Number
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:12 $0.99
3. Prisoner
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:00 $0.99
4. Five Leaf Seven
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
2:20 $0.99
5. American Dream
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
5:29 $0.99
6. I'm into Something Good
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:26 $0.99
7. Prodigal Love
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:02 $0.99
8. Love Is Coming Back Again
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:39 $0.99
9. Recognize
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:53 $0.99
10. East of the River Nile
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:30 $0.99
11. Jerusalem
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
5:10 $0.99
12. Dubatomic Particles
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:33 $0.99
13. Everything Takes Longer
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
5:27 $0.99
14. Brand New Rock (Live)
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:04 $0.99
15. Fat Man
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
4:02 $0.99
16. The Serenader
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:16 $0.99
17. Surrender (The Give-Over)
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
2:34 $0.99
18. Translation
Jr. James & the Late Guitar
3:29 $0.99
19. Love Is Coming Back Again (The Carpenter Ants Version)
The Carpenter Ants
4:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
OPTISMET is the new collection of Jr. James & The Late Guitar songs. It's both an EP-length collection of new songs AND a full-CD of greatest "hits." Two-in-one package.

It started out as an acoustic album exploring the themes of FORTUNE, LUCK, FATE, DESTINY. Then it wanted to become acoustic and electric. Then it wanted to become part new and part career retrospective. Still LUCKY. It finally decided to be 4 new recordings, plus 14 select tracks from recent years (and decades!). Add a bonus track, The Carpenter Ants' version of the Jr. James song "Love Is Coming Back Again," and the result is OPTISMET.

1 GOING WEST was inspired by The Equals' great record "Police On My Back." And by The Clash version too. And family roots in West Asheville--my grandfather and father owned and operated Gardner's Shoe Hospital on Haywood Street for decades. The song is in remembrance of one of my schoolmates and musical inspirations, the great guitarist Matt Sluder (1959-2006).

2 LUCKY NUMBER is a Lene Lovich song. What a great concept, to be open to the changes that a love attack ("an alien vibration") might bring! That's GRACIE PEARSALL singing, in what might be her recording debut, or close to it. Musical good fortunes!

3 PRISONER is an instrumental take on Lucky Dube's song. MIKE RHODES contributed a drum part, and JONATHAN LLOYD composed and played some exquisite trombone lines.

4 FIVE LEAF SEVEN is a musical translation of finding four-leaf clovers. And five-leaf clovers. In a pentatonic way.

5 AMERICAN DREAM -- Wake up in a cold sweat! Who knew the Trump House, Holiday Inn line would take on such drama a few years down the line? Over a Yamaha DJX ragga rhythm (Style #62), John Winston Phillips plays bass and drum accents, Tyler Ramsey plays organ and synth lead, and Samba Ngo plays the second guitar lead. Originally released on Second of Nine.

6 I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD -- Thanks Jason Reitman for including this on JUNO B-Sides: Almost Adopted Songs and on Music From The Motion Picture JUNO (Deluxe Edition)! Nancy Alenier’s vocal and song selection. She coached John Phillips on the drums. A 4-track cassette recording, from Second of Nine. Down in the basement!

7 PRODIGAL LOVE -- True-story love song from the debut album Hymns to Her. Nancy Alenier plays organ.

8 and 19 LOVE IS COMING BACK AGAIN -- Originally conceived as a tribute to Pops Staples, this song later became an anniversary gift from Nancy to Jr. James. Nancy sang and played organ, and Tyler Ramsey played a funky bass, on the Second of Nine version. Then The Carpenter Ants (Michael Lipton, Jupiter Little, Ted Harrison, and Charlie Tee) made our wildest musical dreams come true by recording it and adding it to their live set. Don Dixon engineered the Ants' version!

9 RECOGNIZE -- A lyrical response to Britney-style pop music, we recorded this live at Collapseable Studio in West Asheville with Aaron Price, Mike Rhodes, Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds. Tyler coached Nancy on the intro keys and Nancy coached Tyler on the outro slide. Aaron on accordion. From Soundproof Room. Only later did we realize the musical resemblance to The Only Ones!

10 EAST OF THE RIVER NILE -- Another Collapseable Soundproof Room session or two, with Mandorico horn players Jonathan Lloyd and Steve Farmer overdubbing some great lines, engineered by Jeff Rowe with Nancy producing. Respect, Augustus Pablo!

11 JERUSALEM -- Hold on to your shekels when you tour the holy sites! Jeff Mettee played a transcendent guitar solo, and Alan Marcha added some sanctified hand-drum beats. That’s a real Jerusalem oud on the riff, played inexpertly by Jr J. From Serenader.

12 DUBATOMIC PARTICLES 2.2 -- Recorded live (maybe even a first take?) during the Soundproof Room sessions at Collapseable. Love Aaron Price’s melodica and guitar work, Mike Rhodes’s drum shots, Tyler Ramsey’s organ solo. Shout out to Jackie Mittoo! (Lucky arrangement fact: Aaron’s melodica jumped the gun on the outro, but the band eventually caught up next cycle around. It’s a take!)

13 EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER -- John Phillips’ drum and bass lines power this Semiconductor track from 2005. Props to inspirations Langston Hughes, John Trudell and the U.S. Constitution.

14 BRAND NEW ROCK -- A loud, live one. From Draw Blood! Undead at Stella Blue. Aaron, Bill, Tyler, Mike, Nancy, train rollin’ down the track, look out! Aaron’s guitar solo is on fire.

15 FAT MAN -- John Phillips played drums, bass, and keys. It’s the (atom) bomb! From Hymns to Her. Four-track magic.

16 THE SERENADER -- Inspired by an antique-mall guitar. Aaron Price, Asheville’s pop Paganini, played the incredible accordion and nylon-string guitar parts. Recorded at Echo Mountain, 2008. From the Serenader EP.

17 SURRENDER (THE GIVE-OVER) -- What happens when Jr. James tries to sound like Shaggy? Verse lyrics are all similes! Do the right thing and give yourself over to your lover, er, spouse! It’s over! Nancy sings on it, too. From Semiconductor.

18 TRANSLATION -- An ode to books, libraries, and language confusions. Jesse Lauricella and Seth Buddy help translate, vocally. A real, not a sampled, typewriter clicks a rhythm. From Semiconductor.



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