Road Pussy

by Magik Markers

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about

Road Pussy is probably the most honest and raw of the early Markers recordings. We went into Mark Ospovots Imandi studio on Grand street and Berry in Williamsburg in the Summer of 2005 to make a record for a friends label. It was fucking hot and the studio wasn't air conditioned. We had done a few tours by now. We opened for Sonic Youth for a huge string of dates on their Sonic Nurse tour. We had played in front of huge audiences and got to experience what it felt like to be hated by large groups of people. Some folks liked us but we generally had a polarizing effect on the indie rock audience. It sort of hardened us and strengthened our resolve.

We'd also been road dogging it in Europe for a while and tensions were kind of high in the studio that summer. We'd just published a tour diary for the Swingset magazine which I think I can honestly say is the rawest tour diary by any band in history. We were pretty well at odds with each other all around. Leah fucking hated being in the studio. She had no desire to make a record whatsoever. For her it was all about the live experience and setting up in a tiny, stinky, hot room and playing for no one was a drag. Also, Elisa and I were already having ambitions to make something more than just a nice recording of our jams. We were hoping to construct something like a record of our own design. We wanted to use the studio... do overdubs.. play the piano.. expand and improvise in new ways. You know.. try to grow as a band.. prove all the haters wrong. Leah did the best she could to sabatoge the session... playing at 10.. making feedback as an act of defiance.. having pouty tantrums.. and generally acting like a spoiled child. After recording the basics for Road Pussy she didn't come back to the studio.

Stefano Giovanini took some great pictures of us in the studio at this time that I think exist somewhere.. I'll try to find them..

Our friend Jason Wambsgans was visiting at the time.. he had done the awesome pictures that were on the cover of I trust my Guitar. He'd always been a great creative foil for the band and encouraged us to push ourselves to be as perverse as possible. The commercial at the end is me and Jason talking excitedly about meeting Elisa from the Magik Markers.. as if we were the only 2 kids at the Sonic Youth gig who had dug the Markers sound.

Anyway.. our friend rejected the Road Pussy album.. in the end it was "too produced" sounding for him. He was hoping for something that sounded more like Guitar Wolf. Road Pussy.. is kind of a lost album in a way... it was recorded properly and meant to come out as an lp.. but it came out as a cdr. This and Feel the Crayon are the 2 closest representations of a studio record by the "classic" markers lineup.

I've included a writeup from Tiny Mix Tapes here:

Reprinted from Tiny Mix Tapes 2006" The Magik Markers Scrapbook, Road Pussy [Arbitrary Signs] by Paul Haney

It's rather interesting that my first impression of the Markers (back in 2004 opening for Sonic Youth) was that they were distinctly and almost exclusively anti-musical, because the gorgeously haunting piano ballad "Bad Dream" and backwoods BK "I'm High" on the Road Pussy CD-R are not only the antithesis of how most of us initially or still view the Markers, but stunningly suggest that they can write and perform actual songs that are of much higher quality than a self-proclaimed indie troubador. If the Markers playing low-key isn't exactly your cup-of-tea, the instrumental guitar-abuse fest of "Summer" and Elisa-howling-over-fast-paced-sludge genius on "Chicago Life (Blows)" give what you came here for. And the title track is also the greatest quasi-commercial since that secret Built To Spill track on There Is Nothing Wrong With Love. "Jesus shit! That was a bitch burger!" will be pasted on homemade t-shirts forever.

credits

released May 22, 2014

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Arbitrary Signs Northampton, Massachusetts

Arbitrary Signs started way back in 1995 with a cassette release by the Uniforms. It's been the home of the Magik Markers, Spectre Folk, United Waters, MV and EE, Devin, Gary, and Ross and many more.

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