Michael Shelley | Leftovers

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by Michael Shelley

Collection of non-lp tracks, b-sides, live tracks & demos from this well loved genre-less singer/song writer.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Julie
2:24 $0.79
2. Ridin' in My Car
3:24 $0.79
3. Little Things
2:26 $0.79
4. Walk
3:01 $0.79
5. Mellow Doubt
3:11 $0.79
6. I Don't Want Control of You
3:34 $0.79
7. Baby It's You
3:44 $0.79
8. One Step Beyond
1:56 $0.59
9. Free Again (Cheeky Monkey)
2:37 $0.79
10. Baby's in a Bad Mood (Non Lp Version)
2:54 $0.79
11. Summer I Pissed You Away (Non Lp Version)
3:52 $0.79
12. Too Many Movies (Non Lp Version)
3:36 $0.79
13. The Girl With the Light in Her Eyes (Non Lp Version)
2:22 $0.79
14. Don't (Non Lp Version)
2:40 $0.79
15. No Smoking
2:55 $0.39
16. Little Monkey
1:50 $0.39
17. Have You Ever Shot Somebody?
0:37 $0.39
18. Goofball (Demo)
0:50 $0.29
19. A Little Bit Lonesome, a Little Bit Blue (Demo)
2:00 $0.29
20. Lisa Marie (Demo)
2:36 $0.29
21. Hey Girl, I Dig You (Demo)
3:23 $0.29
22. Rollercoaster (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
4:34 $0.59
23. Baby's in a Bad Mood (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
3:58 $0.59
24. That Kind of Girl (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
2:58 $0.59
25. Surfer Joan (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
3:48 $0.59
26. Going to L.A. (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
3:38 $0.59
27. Think With Your Heart (Live At Stubbs, Austin, TX.)
5:11 $0.59
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
LEFTOVERS – Liner notes

This is a collection of live tracks, non-lp cuts, cover songs and various rarities. Many of the details have blurred over time – I’ve done my best to recreate the circumstances of their creation here.

If you’re reading this I’m assuming you are interested in the details.

One good thing about these notes being web based is that I’ll keep updating them/expand them as I get new information.

Thanks to all the good folks who lent their musical and technical genius to the process AND thanks to Joff Winterhart for the cover art!

– Michael Shelley, 2012


1) Julie (Chip Taylor)

Produced by Jay Sherman-Godfrey & Michael Shelley

This is a cover of a song recorded originally by Bobby Fuller & written by Chip Taylor. This version originally appeared in 1999 on the issued-only-in-Japan compilation "Our Favorite Texan: Bobby Fuller Four-Ever" on #9 Records.

As tribute records go, it is an excellent one.

By the time I was invited to participate all the Bobby Fuller songs that I knew had already spoken for, so I had to take some time & listen to every Bobby Fuller song I could find, which was a mildly revelatory experience... and I found "Julie" - a fantastic song I 'd never heard before, written by a songwriter I respected.

The basic tracks were cut in 2 hrs (with no rehearsal) at Studio G in Brooklyn with Dennis Diken on drums, Mike Mesaros on bass (both from The Smithereens) and Jay Sherman-Godfrey on guitar (just a guide, I think). I think I just helped in the control room, but maybe I sang a guide vocal. When Dave Amels arrived to give Dennis a ride home he was pressed into service to play the fantastic four bar organ solo. Everyone did hand claps & Dennis sang a harmony for the chorus. We made Dennis overdub an entire 2nd drum track & then an extra hi-hat track, as it seemed to me that the secret to the sound of all the great Bobby Fuller recordings was that they had multiple drum tracks.

The acoustic guitars (me & Jay sitting inches from each other), vocals and Tremolo guitar (Jay) were added in Jay's living room in Queens, where it was mixed. Starting at Studio G. and finishing in Jay’s home studio worked well and was how we did quite a bit at that time – including the NY session on “Too Many Movies.”

The Bobby Fuller Tribute was released in Japan & got some good reviews. I don’t think it was ever released or distributed in the USA. It's now sadly out of print.

I always thought this cut had a great vibe.

There's a photo of the session at the very bottom of this page:

Shortly after recording it I played on the same bill as Chip Taylor, and I gave him a copy of the CD - and he left me a real nice phone message. I took a cassette of the message around to several radio stations I was being interviewed on & played it on the air. I've run into him a few times since & he always brings it up. Nice guy.

CLICK HERE for more info on this album.

2) Ridin In My Car (Al Anderson)

Produced by Michael Shelley & Jay Sherman-Godfrey

This is a cover of Al Anderson’s amazing NRBQ song – really one of the best songs ever written.

It was something Dave Green (drums) and Mike Randle (bass) and I worked up during sound checks and occasionally played live. (Dave and Mike both play in the amazing band Baby Lemonade).

On a break in a late 1998 tour we booked a 1 or 2 hour session at Studio G in Brooklyn to record the fast version on “Summer I Pissed You Away” (see track 10 below). We cut the basic track of that (trying to achieve a sound reminiscent of The Zombies) finishing with only a few minutes left in the hour and the engineer (a cranky-ish guy named Sean) started cleaning up – we were able to stop him and cut one take of “Ridin’ In My Car” – in the remaining 5 minutes.

Overdubs & mixing were done in Jay Sherman-Godfrey’s Queens living room, with Jay adding some guitars & keyboards.

The very nice background vocals are Mark Bacino, Jon Niefeld (who also played bongos) & me.

It was released in Sweden on a compilation called “Hit The Hay Vol 3” on the Sound Asleep label.

It was eventually remixed by Peter Katis and included as a bonus track on the Japanese version of “Half Empty”

This version is an edit of both mixes!

At the very end of the song (the “I’ll never forget you when I’m riding in my car” part) I sing in a higher voice and my wife though that sounded great – and subsequently I worked hard on my next album, “Goodbye Cheater” to make the highest notes of each song’s chorus to be in the highest key I could sing it in.

3) Little Things (Bobby Goldsboro)

Produced by Mark Bacino & Michael Shelley

This Bobby Goldsboro cover was recorded in pop genius Mark Bacino’s basement studio (The Queens English) sometime in 2004. Mark assembled the “drum” track before I showed up, and I added the guitars & vocals and Mark the organ - all in one day. Mark’s lovely wife Lynn helped with percussion. Mark mixed it.

It first was released in a limited edition EIGHT INCH record on the Heliotone label.

4) Walk (Howard Greenfield/Helen Miller)

Produced by Dan Miller & Michael Shelley

This Gene Pitney cover originally appeared on an excellent 2002 Pitney tribute album "He's A Rebel: The Gene Pitney Story Retold" which was release on the To M Lou label.

This was recorded in (They Might Be Giants guitarist) Dan Miller’s tiny Manhattan bedroom studio. Dan is a very musical guy & played most everything but the snare drum (thanks Jon Niefeld!), and I may have played a guitar track – I’m remembering holding a stringed instrument at the very least.

5) Mellow Doubt (Norman Blake)

I was working at my desk recently, with my computer's music library in shuffle mode and a song came on & I thought "this sounds good, what it is?" - it was my own version of the Teenage Fanclub song "Mellow Doubt" - I know it sounds impossible to not recognize your own recording & voice - but I swear it was true (for about 12 seconds) - I thought it was The Foo Fighters or something... I guess it had been a few years since I'd heard the recording.

It was recorded for a Teenage Fanclub tribute album called "What A Concept" that was released on the Not Lame label.
Here are some semi interesting things about the recording:

It started at Peter Katis' Tarquin Studio, where I did the a scratch guitar & scratch vocal & then overdubbed the drums. Then I quickly did two tracks of vocals - both 1st takes & both one continuous take - thinking these would be a guide during the rest of the recording - but I ended up keeping them both - except for the humming in the bridge. It's really odd how well they turned out - considering I'd never practiced singing the harmony part.

Then I took the drum & vocal tracks home & added the bass (through my guitar amp), keyboards (Casio through Boss tremolo & compression pedals through an amp), Stylophone (the solo at the fade out, that sounds like a guitar), shaker & electric guitars. All recorded onto ADAT, but through my 4 Track cassette, because it was the only mixer I had.
Then I went to Ron Zabroki’s studio (way the hell out on Long Island) & re-sang the humming part on the bridge (from “doot doot” to “mmmm” “mmmm”) maybe added more electric guitars (the tremolo parts), the acoustic guitars & mixed it.
I was amazed how different (in a good way) it sounded on the finished CD, due to the heavy mastering.
I like the way it came out & posted a bunch of MP3 versions here:

6) I Don’t Want Control Of You (Norman Blake)

Produced by Don Fleming & Michael Shelley

There were TWO Teenage Fanclub tribute albums in the same year (!) and they both asked me to take part – and they weren’t aware of each other till I clued them in.

This song employs an odd guitar tuning. I called Francis Macdonald, he called Norman Blake on his cell – Norman was in a restaurant – and Norman told Francis & Francis told me how to play it.

The drums and most of the guitars here were recorded by Don Fleming (who produced Teenage Fanclub’s first lp!) in Dennis Diken’s basement studio, where Dennis played the drums. Overdubs & mixing were done at Ron Zabroki’s.

I was quite pleased with the guitar solo.

Originally appeared on “Is This Music", a Teenage Fanclub tribute was released December 23, 2002 by Painted Sky Discs in Japan.

7) Baby It's You (Burt Bacharach/Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams)/Mack David)

Produced by Michael Shelley & Jay Sherman-Godfrey

Big Deal Records honcho Dean Brownrout loved Burt Bacharach and dreamed up the tribute album “What The World Needs Now...Big Deal Recording Artists Perform The Songs Of Burt Bacharach.” Some great pop version of some great songs and amazing cover art by Mad Magazine alum Jack Davis – I’m pictured as the bartender on the cover.

This was another quick session at Studio G in Brooklyn with Tony Maimone engineering. George Rush played acoustic bass, Clem Waldman played drums and I think Jay Sherman-Godfrey plays the rhythm guitar & definitely takes the fake vibes/organ solo. That’s me on the feedback guitar at the end. Jay actually got a guy to play a real set of vibes, but the fake ones sounded better. I remember the budget for this was $500, which was a lot!

8) One Step Beyond (Cecil Campbell aka Prince Buster)

Recorded at home (when I lived briefly in Connecticut) on 4 track Tascam cassette, with me playing everything.

Two 12 second snippets of an earlier mix of this recording were included on a Stiff Records tribute album "If It Aint Stiff It Aint Worth A Tribute".

Thanks to Chris Geddes for making a gift to me of the Stylophone featured on the second solo of this recording. We were in Glasgow, watching the band Hefner and they were using one, and I asked Chris what it was (I had never seen one before) and the next day he gave me one in the original Rolf Harris box!

9) Free Again by Cheeky Monkey (Alex Chilton)

Produced By Cheeky Monkey
In 1997 I was living in Brooklyn and DJ-ing on WFMU when I came across some of the first few 7" releases on Glasgow's SHOESHINE label. I liked what he heard, and thought the newly finished "Half Empty" shared some of the same musical sensibilities as the SHOESHINE releases. So I sent an email to SHOESHINE asking if they were looking for any acts to sign and if I could send a tape over. I received an email back from SHOESHINE head honcho Francis Macdonald saying "We're not looking, but send a tape if you like...". I knew Francis as the drummer/songwriter of the BMX Bandits & Teenage Fanclub, and for his work with almost every band in the Glasgow scene.
A few weeks later I got a call from an excited Francis, who had received the tape and was listening to it repeatedly & playing it for friends, and even for his Mom. We talked for hours that first day and at some point in that first conversation Francis suggested we write some songs together, which we did – the first being co-written over the phone!
Shortly after Francis & I recorded the album “For Arms To Hold You” under the band name Cheeky Monkey. The album was recorded at Riverside Studios, in Busby, Scotland (just outside of Glasgow) in three action packed days with Francis & me doing all the playing and singing. We saved time was by NEVER listening back to anything. If a take felt good, we moved on. The record ended up being released in the UK & Spain, The US and Japan, and even a 12” vinyl LP.
The night before we started recording Francis played “Free Again” to me and we recorded it the next day!
It was left off the lp and appeared on the Japanese CD version of the album and the b-side of the "I Wanna Live With You" 45 on Shoeshine.
I love that Cheeky Monkey album – is captured some magic.

10) Baby’s In A Bad Mood (Michael Shelley)

Produced by Jay Sherman-Godfrey & Michael Shelley

Basic track was recorded at the same Studio G. session that produced "You Were Made To Break My Heart" "Too Many Movies" & "Sluggo" for the "Too Many Movies" album featuring George Rush on acoustic Bass, Clem Waldman – Drums (who were both playing with me regularly live at the time) and Jay Sherman-Godfrey – electric guitar and me or on acoustic guitar.

Dave Amels added keyboards at Jay’s home studio shortly after.

At some point it was decided that the other version (from the Glasgow sessions) would go on the lp, and this version was abandon.

When the “Too Many Movies” LP came out in Japan a few years later the Japanese label really wanted bonus tracks, so I finished this version. I added the vocals while working (in my tiny Brooklyn apartment) on the overdubs for the "I Blame You" album. It was mixed by Peter Katis.

I’m kind of proud of this song as a song, and - there are people who prefer this to the album version.

11) Summer I Pissed You Away (Michael Shelley)

Produced by Jay Sherman-Godfrey & Michael Shelley

"Summer I Pissed You Away" was written as a folksy acoustic guitar song - with campfire strumming. The kind of song you write alone in your kitchen. Before being recorded it never got the benefit of being played live – big mistake.

For the recording it did get a string arrangement that I never thought worked too well - it just didn’t sound like "me" and was impossible to recreate live. I think once the album came out I listened to it maybe once, and not even all the way through.

SO - Dave Green (drums) & Mike Randle (bass) and I (guitar) were playing a lot of gigs and worked up a fast version (with a lot of the best ideas stolen from The Zombies' "Care Of Cell 44") which turned out to be one of the highlights of our live set.

At a break in our tour we booked a 2 (or 3???) hour session at Studio G in Brooklyn and simply recorded our live arrangement with lots of compression on everything.

All the overdubs were done in Jay Sherman-Godfrey's living room, with Jay adding all keyboards & extra guitars.

When it came time to release the “Too Many Movies” album in the UK, we switched versions, so folks in the UK didn’t have to listen to that not-quite-right slow version.

It was mixed by Jay & by Peter Katis – I have no idea which version this is!

Special thumbs up to Mike & Dave (two incredibly nice guys - by the way) who did a great job on this track - especially on the minute long fade out.

12) Too Many Movies (Michael Shelley)

Produced by Victor Abascal & Michael Shelley

Recorded in L.A. at my friend Victor Abascal’s studio at the same session that produced “Jigsaw Girl” from the “Too Many Movies” album.

Vic’s studio was in a separate building behind his house, but the house was wired up so you could record in it too. The drums were done in the Living room. I’m playing everything here except Vic plays the triangle.

We had a really hard time deciding which version to put on the album. I think the acoustic bass on the other version is what put it over the top – but a lot of people like this version better. It was previously released as a bonus track on the Japanese release of "Too Many Movies".

Vic owns an amazing winery now called Vine On The Marycrest that names all the wines after songs.

13) The Girl With The Light In Her Eyes (Michael Shelley)

Produced by Francis Macdonald, Duncan Cameron & Michael Shelley

This song was recorded three times. The first was released on a Diesel Only Records 7” by a band I was once in “The Sloppy Joes”

It was recorded twice more at Riverside Studios in Busby, Scotland at the same fruitful sessions that yielded about ½ of the "Too Many Movies" lp.

The fast version ended up on the “Too Many Movies” album. This slow arrangement features Chris "Beans" Geddes - Electric Piano, Organ; Stevie Jackson - Electric Guitars; Francis MacDonald – Drums; Douglas Macintyre – Bass; me - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals.

It was previously released on a cd that came with Vol. 14 of the Japanese magazine Beikoku-Ongaku, the "Nerd Boy Rock" issue!

14) Don't (Michael Shelley)

Produced by Francis Macdonald, Duncan Cameron & Michael Shelley

This song was written just after work on the "Half Empty" album began, so the version that ended up on that album has no drums. This arrangement (with drums) was worked up for a gig in Glasgow, and recorded at Riverside Studios in Busby, Scotland at the same fruitful sessions that yielded about ½ of the "Too Many Movies" lp.

It features Chris "Beans" Geddes - Electric Piano, Organ;
Stevie Jackson - Harmonica, Electric Guitars; (both on loan from Belle & Sebastian) Francis MacDonald – Drums; Douglas Macintyre – Bass; me - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals.

It was previously released as a bonus track on the Japanese release of "Half Empty" and on the b-side of the Shoeshine 7" single of "Baby's In A Bad Mood".

I think I was influenced by Chris Issac at the time. Laura Cantrell did a lovely version of this.

15) No Smoking (Michael Shelley)

From the "I Blame You" basic track session with John Lee (bass) & Dennis Diken (drums) at Peter Katis' Tarquin studios. The rest was added in my Brooklyn living room.

I had lyrics for this, but it just worked better as an instrumental.

It was previously released as a bonus track on the Japanese release of "Too Many Movies".

16) Little Monkey (Michael Shelley)

While recording the "I Blame You" basic tracks with John Lee (bass) & Dennis Diken (drums) at Peter Katis' Tarquin studios we were at the end of a reel of tape so we quickly made up this short instrumental from a riff I’d been playing with, so not to waste the small bit of tape at the end of the reel. Dave Amels added organ at Oliver Straus’ studio in Brooklyn and Andy Burton the Electric Piano in my Brooklyn living room. Mixed at Peter Katis’.

Released previously on the Japanese version of "I Blame You" (the US & Spanish versions have Rollo instead)

17) Have You Ever Shot Somebody (Michael Shelley)

It originally appeared on "Sounds of the Northeastern Freeform DJ," which was released in 2004 by radio station WFMU as an incentive for their pledge drive. It’s a lovely boxed set of three 7" records of short recordings by WFMU staff members.

I recorded it on 4 track cassette using my Casio MT-35 (bought for a dollar at a yard sale) through my Boss tremolo pedal, and my bass guitar (bought in high school from Geoff Hoffman for $25). It is highly influenced by Money Mark’s excellent first album "Mark’s Keyboard Repair."

The snippet of the guy saying "Have you ever shot somebody?" comes from WNWK, which was an incredible radio station where I used to work (as an engineer from 11pm-7am). They’d let anyone do a show who could come up with the weekly fee (which started around $100/hr) there were some legendary shows that started there - and there was a revolving door of goofballs who lasted a week or two. Most of the overnight shift was Hip-Hop, but I also got to deal with some all Spanish shows, Jamaican shows, Mistic/Mind Readers, Spanish Gospel... it was really completely insane at times. Last I checked it was an all Spanish station.

The call-in portions of the Hip-Hop shows were amazing, and I often used to tape them. There was a window into that community that you just couldn’t get elsewhere. I also used to, occasionally, call in to the shows and prank them – I’d be standing ten feet from the host, who could see me on the phone, but never figured it out.

The "Have you ever shot somebody?" clip comes from a caller doubting how tough a guest was.

I’ve always though this track turned out just right.

WFMU has a few left over copies for sale here:

18) Goodfball (demo) (Michael Shelley)

This is a typical home demo. Me in my basement on a cassette four track.

19) A Little Bit Lonesome, A Little Bit Blue (demo) (Michael Shelley)

Another home demo. This one captures something in the song that the album version missed.

20) Lisa Marie (Michael Shelley)

Ramones style version of the song that ended up on “Too Many Movies”

Recorded ages ago in one of several demo sessions at the Scrufari brother’s Westwood, New Jersey living room during the Sloppy Joes era. Mark Scrufari, Vincent Scrufari, John Vallely & I were involved.

21) Hey Girl I Dig You (Michael Shelley)

Also from the Scrufari Brothers demo sessions.

A mildly embarrassing song.

22) Rollercoaster (Michael Shelley)

Recorded live at Stubb's BBQ (in Austin, Texas) Sept 20, 1998.

I always thought this song was a breakthrough for me as a songwriter - the first time I used the trick of closing my eyes and imagining what the characters in the song were seeing - wish I'd thought of that earlier, made writing the first draft very quick – then a long slow process of finding the melody & phrasing and fine tuning the words.

The first verse takes place at the great old amusement park Rye Playland, where I had a few dates in high school, the second verse in Coney Island, where I had one lousy date, and the third verse on the subway - where some of the lyrics were written in the back of a book.

The album version (on "Half Empty") features Rollercoaster sound effects at the end, a touch I always liked.

Songs 22 through 27 were recorded live at an outdoor show in Austin at Stubb's, opening for They Might Be Giants. I think this might be the biggest crowd we ever played to.

Despite the size of the venue, the mix is nice & tight and I think represents pretty well what we sounded like on that tour. The power trio: Mike Randle sings & plays bass, Dave Green on the drums! Two great guys & great musicians & fun guys to drive around the country in an old van with. I might have been mixed by They Might Be Giants' guitar player Dan Miller (who also plays guitar & piano on the Goodbye Cheater album) who used to (just for fun) do our front of house sound once in a while, another good guy.

Any way - these live songs have some odd/excruciatingly embarrassing stage patter & some mistakes - but I think they’re good despite or because of that, and they’re a nice addition to the album versions.

23) Baby's In A Bad Mood (Michael Shelley)

The original version appears on the “Two Many Movies” album.

24) That Kind Of Girl (Francis Macdonald/Michael Shelley)

The original version can be found on Cheeky Monkey’s lone album “Four Arms To Hold You.”

I think it was written mostly in Francis MacDonald’s bedroom. When we started writing songs we discussed how we both loved the bridge of the excellent Dan Penn/Buddy Emmons song “Nobody’s Fool” – we managed to shoehorn it into this song.

25) Surfer Joan (Michael Shelley)

The original version appears on the “Two Many Movies” album.

26) Going To L.A. (Michael Shelley)

The original version appears on the “Half Empty” album.

27) Think With Your Heart (Michael Shelley)

The original version appears on the “Half Empty” album.

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