"love is a movie we watch ourselves in, a film we wash ourselves in. a sky that looks askance at the lack of scandalousness in even the most licentious thought. the song of the beleaguered dispatcher herding taxis together, or the hiss of inflatable ramps sliding down desire. love is a cloud in the sky that's also love. i remember today like it was yesterday. i open a door and there stands love, ready to get down, and i'm like whoa, we just met and love's like i don't care. love has a history of such indiscretions. a baby wailing on an electric fivestring banjo during a piano recital in the library of a redeye flight to boston could no more disconcert than love when love comes to town on a fine arab charger or even a budweiser clydesdale. love drives whatever it wants and frankly prefers something furrier than the average fuzzy dice. the velvet cheesesteak applepie of the snowbound vermont mind is dismissed by love as missing the point of the needle, its flawless tenderness and penchant for cool appraising stares below the roof of its woolhat horizon. love instead noodles nile delta blues at 79 rpms. the rpgs of love explode at the antipodes of saint dope island and carnal canal, for love wreaks magic havoc with the music of public life. love loves it when love does it because love is a moonlit boxingglove giving the finger to violence. a sky we look upon that tumbles and falls, and a bright blue sun in the sky. love is a risky sky." - Garrett Caples
Crafted pop backed by John Clarke (Sool), Joel Mellin (Miss Mary), "Orange" Nichole Ferree, Helen & Steph of SHRAG & Doug Yule (Velvet Underground). Exuberant infatuations, jangling melodies, folky wisdom, feel-good vibe & a touch of melancholy.
A few years ago, singer-songwriter Jeff Mellin made a discovery. While compiling lyrics for his retrospective book, Skin & Bones, he realized there were a handful of songs -- some of his better songs, he felt -- that he’d never properly arranged, recorded and released. Maybe some had been too earnest for his old band’s (The Eddies) loose, brash, ironic sensibilities. Some may have called for fuller, more aggressive arrangements, but had been written in times he’d played more stripped-down fare.
Whatever the reasons, these songs slipped through the cracks.
Eager to get back into the studio, Jeff contacted his old friend and collaborator, the producer Pete Weiss (known for his innovative work with artists such as Willard Grant Conspiracy, Two Dollar Pistols, Charlie Chesterman, Bow Thayer & Levon Helm, and Don Lennon) to bring these songs to life. Mellin also enlisted his brother Joel Mellin, (the former Oscillators/Miss Mary mastermind and current NYC-based avant-garde composer) to help out with guitar, piano and sonic ideas, and drummer John Clarke (Charlie Chesterman, Sool), the man responsible for the vintage back-beat driving Jeff’s Saves The World album.
To complete the band, they invited Doug Yule (of Velvet Underground and currently, Red Dog, fame) who had just wrapped up a tour playing bass with Pete’s instrumental guitar group, the Weisstronauts. So, snowbound for a weekend in Pete’s Vermont studio, they dug into the sessions that would become Love Is Made of Sky.
While finishing the record over the next few years, they made another discovery. The more time they spent with these seemingly disparate songs, the more connective tissue was revealed. Was it always there, the reason these songs had accumulated on the sidelines? Or did it develop in the the process?
Impossible to say, but the resulting EP blends seamlessly from song to song, and while there isn’t a “love song” in the lot, a multi-layered portrait of love emerges: Its naive passion and obsession ferments and festers in the abstract collage of “Blue Eyes Goodbye Because I Love You”; its reckless, restless excess and self-destructive appetite spatter through “Smile Like A Lemon Peel, Kiss Like A Paper Cut” (featuring Helen King & Stephanie Goodman of the fabulous UK post-pop group Shrag); it’s resiliency and optimism shine in the endless Summer folk-pop of “Blue Eyes Brighton Bus Stop” (featuring the backing vocal talents of Orange Nichole’s Nichole Ferree); and it’s longing, isolation and, ultimately, promise emerge from the long strokes and open spaces of the arresting, meditative closer, “Half-Circles” (featuring an inspired extended bass improvisation from Mr. Yule).
Jeff’s acoustic versions of “Smile Like A Lemon Peel” and “Blue Eyes Brighton Bus Stop” intended originally as demos for other artists, as well as alternate single mixes of both songs by Pete Weiss, are included as well, offering insight [deleted giving extra] into the song craft and the record’s evolution.
This limited edition CD package features a new liner-note poem from Garrett Caples, a full-color booklet of lyrics and set of mini-prints of paintings by Scott Vradelis backed with photos of the recordings sessions, all printed on beautiful eco-friendly recycled stock. Jeff has hand numbered and initialed each package.
released October 15, 2010
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