Super Sunday Hamster Blender Blog

26 September 2006

Hey Daddy-O, I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement

Now that Super Sunday Hamster Blender has been recording regularly in Gene’s basement/studio/appliance showroom for about a year, it is evident to see that we, like the hamster, are creatures of habit. The following are practically guaranteed to happen every time we get together:

Someone uses the bathroom on the first floor, flushes, and the gurgling through the pipes echoes into the basement. We all smile, wondering if it will show up on the track we are recording. Some of us are hoping it will.

Dan will warm up by playing appetizers of some heavy metal song. He’ll play, and we look up in partial recognition, and he’ll wait for us to guess before he tells us it’s some song called “Misery Bloating in My Nightmare” by Bloody Prognosis.

Gene will put on incense, which smells like a cross between pine trees and our collective armpits.

We know there is something dead in the ceiling insulation, like mice or caribou. We just don’t know when it will show up by decomposing overhead and falling into our hair.

Jim inevitably gets tangled in the myriad of cables connecting everything to anything. On more than one occasion, he has plugged an amp into itself.

At least one person will say they are only drinking water that evening, before succumbing to beer/peer pressure. Dan and Ray bring the exotic stuff, like “Ol’ Skanky Festering Cold Sore Number 7.”

Whatever beer Jim brings is usually still there the following week, unless Gene decided to wash the dog with it.

We always forget to bring power strips. And sometimes talent.

Ray will make a reference that a certain part of the current song sounds like some obscure band with names like “Winky-Me-Doo” or “Xvbdgtey.” They tend to feature instruments made of materials only found in dumpsters.

It is an unspoken rule to never ask Gene about his job, lest he launches into an hour-long tirade railing against its incompetence. Of course, the first thing Jim says to Gene every week is “how’s the job?” Gene is the Martin Luther King for the disgruntled employee.

Gene always wonders aloud how we can fit the keyboard into the song we are recording. It’s like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.

Dan is a spider magnet. We figure he must be the Spider King the way they flock to him.

Gene suggests we record a song called “Roll Over” that we wrote ten years ago, in 1996, and haven’t played since. We can only speculate the tune with fond memories and wistful humming, and another sentimental bottle of Ol’ Skanky Festering Cold Sore Number 7 (left over from 1996).

Ray will begin some banging away on the drums, and Jim will yell “remember that” and it will become a major basis for a song. This also occurs when Ray throws out words like “Crisco” and “chanty” and we figure there must be a way to use them in a song, too.

Ray will tell us he went and saw Xvbdgtey last week and they rocked. Dan then reminisces about every Bob Mould show he went to. We are all thankful Gene has long forgotten about Drivin’ and Cryin’.

When we arrive, Gene is usually in the midst of a project, like chopping wood, removing air conditioners, or building a space shuttle out of dead mice found in the ceiling insulation.

Since we write and record songs on the fly, we don’t practice them. Hence, when we lay down the drums and rhythm simultaneously, Jim stands next to the musicians making giant letters out of his body to indicate where they are going with the song - “V” for Verse, “C” for Chorus, and “B” for Bridge. It’s like watching a dyslexic Village People.

There is usually a reference to Dan’s eating habits, which are odd. He doesn’t like celery. He doesn’t like strawberries. He has eaten tree bark as a snack. Sometimes he totally grosses us out by coming with an iced coffee, for God’s sake.

Jim’s backing out of the driveway at the end of the night is like watching a plane land without any landing gear.

Gene will say the song needs some fine tuning, and we need to re-record it. Or add keyboards. We tend to ignore Gene a lot. After careful listening, we probably shouldn’t, but it’s hard to dismiss a good flush in the key of A-minor.