Tuesday, December 9, 2008

JEFF KOETTEL - "A Jeff Koettel Christmas (1994)

I can't think of a better Christmas gift than to share this forgotten classic with the world. Here to help you celebrate the birth of Christ is my brother Jeff's "A Jeff Koettel Christmas".

Continuing on with his retarded improvised casio-core, Jeff recorded this tape in 1994 to get into the Christmas spirit by singing this tape "with a really bad cold". You can hear his head clogged with mucus on these 9 tracks. Completely devoid of self-censorship and shame, it sounds as if Jeff is reading from a book as he sings these while giving the "demo" button on his Casio a workout. Everything done in one take, I'm sure. "Deck the Halls" is the stand-out track here - pure cheese!

Yep, this sucks, but so do most Christmas albums.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday. Please leave a comment after listening.


Friday, December 5, 2008

2 POUNDS OF HERRING FOR $1.25 - "The Andy Koettel Story" 1992

I've been putting off uploading this for a while now as I recorded this when I was really young and it's a bit embarrassing now. I'm uploading it now because I feel that people shouldn't release things to the public unless they are willing to accept the fact that it might come back to haunt them later in life. This is no exception, I am not exempt from this rule. At one point I was very proud of this tape and gave them to friends and classmates with enthusiasm. I can't let age stand in the way of things now.

I recorded this tape between BILL BASSETT BAND and UNISEX, in the winter of 1992 on my brother's karaoke machine at a time when music consumed my life and I was excited to be involved with it. I hadn't been playing bass for very long when I wrote and recorded this stuff and I'm positive the first time I played guitar was when I did this tape. This tape came about because of experimentation with overdubs and layering instruments. The karaoke machine was the first multitrack recording I had ever done, and these songs were tossed off quickly and without self-censorship. I wrote and recorded all of these songs in 2-3 days, bouncing tracks back and forth between the cassette decks. The last song, "Fuck the Poll Tax", is listed as a cover song, but it's really just the SORE THROAT song put at the end.

I sang a lot in high school and some people considered me to be pretty good at it. I was even "All-State" once and received medals and shit. I cringe when I hear my singing on this tape now. I'm not sure if it's the singing itself, or the stupid lyrics I put to the music (I fancied myself as a writer of poetry too then - a complete nerd). The music on this tape is divided between bad funk, punk rock and shitty metal - all recorded without any percussion. Recorded with a proper band, this tape wouldn't be so embarrassing now, but since I'm playing all of the instruments - I have to accept all of the blame for how awful it turned out, ha ha!

I dubbed maybe 30 copies of this tape, photocopying the covers at the recently opened Econo Foods (where South Hy-Vee is now). I sold some of them for $1.25, but a lot of them were just given away because nobody wanted to pay for it. The same guy from my high school that told me "There's a new band in town called Beef Stew..." saw the text on the front of my tape (stolen from Metal Mania magazine) and accused me of ripping off the spoken intro from the BEEF STEW tape. I hadn't even heard the BEEF STEW tape at that point, but it's strangely similar. I can't imagine too many copies of this exist now- maybe 2 or 3.

I started recording a second tape soon after, but gave up on it after UNISEX formed. One of the tracks from this aborted second tape, an early version of "The Gardener's Anthem", was released as a bonus track on the UNISEX reissue. Some of these songs would re-appear in bands I was later in;"Hot Chocolate" was recorded by UNISEX and THREESKIN, "At War With the Smiths" by THREESKIN, "Safe Sex" by CAPTAIN THREE LEG. You'll also notice an early pre-occupation with Bob Beisch, something later elaborated on with THREESKIN.

So there you have it. My face is red just talking about it.