Live with J Lesser

CDVague terrainVAGUE4
  1. track one
  2. track two
  3. track three
  4. track four
  5. track five
  6. track six
  7. track seven
  8. track eight
  9. track nine
  10. track ten
  11. track eleven

(In)Frequently Asked Questions About Our New CD

Q: My copy of this CD says “Drug Opera” on the cover, “Matmos Live” on the spine, and “Matmos Live with J Lesser” AND “High, Live and Dirty” on the back…what IS the name of this CD?
A: The name of the CD is “Matmos Live with J Lesser”. Though you may affectionately refer to it. Many names were tossed around for this CD, and concepts for cover art.

Q: How can I get a copy of this CD?
A: You can purchase this CD by mailorder by sending a flattering photo of yourself and a check made out to M.C. Schmidt for $10 US to:

Matmos/Vague Terrain
215 East 33rd Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

European listeners, however unfortunately must send extra money to cover extravagent postal fees, how about 14 EUROS. Be advised, however, it might be cheaper to mailorder from Rough Trade in London…(see three questions down)

Q: Is that where Matmos live? Can I go there and beat them up if I don’t like this record?
A: Yes, it’s where they live, and yes, you can, but please don’t. Make love, not war.

Q: Maybe I don’t want to buy this CD through the mail…can I buy it in a store?
A: This CD will also be available at Aquarius Records in San Francisco, Mondo Kim’s and Other Music in New York City, and Rough Trade in London.

Q: Why only those stores? Are you guys snobs or something?
A: No, those are the stores where Matmos and Lesser have played instore performances, and Matmos and Lesser wanted to thank them (oh lucky them) for being good hosts. Technically, we also played an instore in Minneapolis at a store we can’t remember the name of and at DC/CD in Our Nation’s Capitol, but um, we aren’t in touch with them, so uh, there it is. If anyone from said stores would like to contact us we’d be glad to set them up.

Q: Is this the new Matmos album?
A: It’s a new recording by Matmos with J Lesser… but it is not “the new Matmos album”; that is currently in its infancy and will come out on Matador Records in 2003(ish).

Q: Are all the songs really live? Or, did you tart them up in the studio?
A: Yes they were all performed live, though tracks 1, 2, 3, 7 and 9 were recorded in radio stations… well, one song is tarted up slightly, track 10 is actually two different live versions of the same song lathered on top of each other and playing simultaneously.

Q: Why aren’t you selling this CD through a distributor who will put it in stores everywhere?
A: It’s not that kind of record. In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Extreme Electronic Music: Acquire With Caution”

Q: Anyway, I saw Matmos live and I thought they were lame…will I like this record?
A: Probably not, but if you are a Lesser completist who despises Matmos there is still a lot of live Lesser to love.

Q: Does J still have that bitch’n ‘stache?
A: No, J has moved on. I think he read that it’s important to stay one haircut ahead of your fans.

Q: My copy of the CD came with tiny flyers that look like they are for punk shows but they list Matmos and Lesser in the lineups… are these shows coming up in the future?
A: No. Those are fantasy versions of real live shows involving Matmos and Lesser that have already happened but which have been reconstructed in the graphic design style featured in Misfits, Necros, Black Flag and SS Decontrol shows from a long time ago.

Q: Who made the ugly drawings of Matmos and Lesser inside the front cover?
A: Sketch artists who cater to tourists in Picadilly Square.

Q: Is that song that “sounds like a retarded monkey playing an out of tune violin” on this CD?
A: No.

Q: The liner notes for my copy talk about how great college radio stations are and then they say “Many thanks Design by Rex Ray volunteers who work at them and the people who give money to them”. What is the deal?
A: The text was supposed to read “Many thanks to the volunteers who work at them ” etc. but there was a mistake. This glitch movement has gotten out of hand.

Q: Why aren’t there any titles for the tracks on this CD?
A. Some tracks are Matmos or Lesser songs with titles, but others are improvisations. Naming improvisations after the fact frequently leads to cod-mystical titles like “Cosmic Meditation on Change” or tediously hermetic titles such as “The Sandwich I Ate This Morning on 12th Street at 10 am” so why bother really? For a peek into the lively decision making process, some of the proposed and rejected titles can be found on the song-by-song breakdown below.

Q: Improvisation…that’s like Jazz, right?
A. Ummmmmm.

Track by Track Breakdown

Track One

KZSU, Stanford, California, 1998.

M. C. Schmidt: Three Gallon Bucket of Oatmeal, Microphone.
Matthew Sussman: Electric Guitar, Amplifier.

Improvised during the annual “Day of Noise” 24 hour marathon. Matthew is Drew’s brother, and now claims that he was only playing the amplifier with no guitars involved.

Track Two

KZSU, Stanford, California, 1999.

M. C. Schmidt: SH-101, Laptop.
Jay Lesser: CDJ, Quadraverb.

Also improvised during the annual “Day of Noise”.

Track Three

KZSU, Stanford, California.

M. C. Schmidt: SH-101, Laptop.
Jay Lesser: CDJ, Quadraverb.

Improvised, but it eventually became the Lesser song “Hindu Shuffle and Force”.

Track Four

Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, 1999.

M. C. Schmidt: Acoustic Guitar, SE-50.

Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers.

This is an improvised duet/cover of the song “Full On Night” by the Rachel’s; executed before the “Full On Night” EP was proposed. We were opening for the Rachel’s that night.

Track Five

Union Chapel, London, 1999.

M. C. Schmidt: Fawn Bleat, Box Turkey Hall, Mouth Mounted Turkey Call (this is a correction from the printed liner notes, for you hunting call expert listeners, it is a “Cuttin’ Hen” brand mouth mounted turkey call).
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers.

Improvised at the Festival of Drifting London concert. Also on the bill were Pole and Labradford.

Track Six

Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, 1999.

M. C. Schmidt: Mouth Mounted Turkey Call, SH-101, Shakers-Clickers.
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers.

Track Seven

WNYU, New York City, 1999.

M. C. Schmidt: Acoustic Guitar, Ring Modulator.
Jay Lesser: CDJ.
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers.

Improvised on Daniel Blumin’s “New Afternoon Show”.

Track Eight

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2000.

M. C. Schmidt: Acoustic Guitar, Ring Modulator, Walkie Talkies.
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers, Laptop.

Improvised after the Bernd Friedmann performance and before the Matthew Herbert performance during “Les Spectacles Vivantes”.

Track Nine

KDVS, Davis, California, 1997.

M. C. Schmidt: Vacuum Cleaner Tube, Speaking, Laptop.
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers.

Source material of modular synthesis provided by Kevin McKereghan. Source material of “Slinky” toys conducting electrical charges and amplified “Ben Wah” balls supplied by Michael Brown/Joseph Chang. Improvised and recorded on cassette.

Track Ten

Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, 2000.

M. C. Schmidt: Acoustic guitar.
Drew Daniel: W-30 Samplers, Laptop, Currency.
Jay Lesser: CDJ, Kaoss Pad.
Adam Ansell: Singing.
Kris Force: Singing.
Kalonica McQueston: Singing.

This is a live rendition of “Sun on 5 at 152” that we delivered to a room full of people who came to see Labradford and Godspeed You Black Emperor! This recording is mixed with another rendition of “Sun on 5 at 152” recorded live on KZSC in Santa Cruz, California, 2000.

Track Eleven

The Paramount Theatre, Oakland, 2001.

M. C. Schmidt: Balloons.
Drew Daniel: E6400 Sampler, Peavey 1600X, Helium Tank, Balloons.
Jay Lesser: CDJ, Helium Tank, Balloons.

This is a variation of “Stupid Fambaloo” that closed our performance in front of a sold out house of Bjork fans. The faint singing heard (from a speaker being lifted to the ceiling by balloons) was provided by Bjork herself and by Canadian throat singer Tania Gillis-Tagaq, we apologize to Tania for not including her name on the printed liner notes.

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