Bodega - Xtra Equipment - RSD 2023 - Cybernetic Clear with Green Tint Vinyl
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Xtra Equipment is a new collection of Bodega tracks from the same 2020-2021 Trout Studio sessions that spawned Broken Equipment. Much like the songs on Broken Equipment, we were trying to make these tracks extra breezy and hooky as well as more philosophically ambitious than our previous recordings. Even when in the mode of social critique, I personally tend to think of my songwriting as more literary than analytic but here the ‘The Art of Advertising’ and ‘Art and Advertising’ diptych functions as a sort of pop rock treatise on the subtle but crucial distinction between art and advertising (’Art creates cosmos’ whereas advertising ‘surface(s) status quo’). ‘Everybody’s Sad’ (the THROWN b-side) highlights and bemoans the connection between the current pop obsession with individuality and the aesthetics of melancholy (‘everybody’s sad at the top of the billboard’). ‘Top Hat No Rabbit’ (the DOERS b-side) was written coming down from a Ulysses(Joyce) induced high - it’s a flurry of thoughts attempting to reconcile free will (necessary for any change) with my deep-seated belief (and BODEGA obsession) that all thought is determined (or ‘thrown’) by external and/ or physical stimuli. Conversely, I wrote the opening ballad ’Memorize w/ yr Heart’ (previously only available as a bonus track on the Broken Equipment CD) to remind myself not to get stuck in abstract mind games — most of all philosophy should be done with the body (or at least with a steady backbeat).
In some ways every recording is a response to an earlier record; Broken and Xtra Equipment were written to both expand upon our previous strengths as well as explore terrain outside of the post-punk milieu we found ourselves painting in previously. I hesitate to say that any recording of a single song is ‘better’ than another (they are just different versions of a tune) but the synth and drum machine led ‘Post yr Kilimanjaro’ (a recent reworking of our nu wave jammer ‘Doers’) sounds much closer to what I had in mind when I wrote the track. We also recorded two covers very different in timbre from their original source(s): Fugazi’s ‘Provisional’ was originally recorded for a Ripcord Records comp to raise funds for an animal shelter in Scotland (we are vegans) and Stretch Arm Strong’s ‘For the Record’ is a loving homage to one of the most important band’s in my life. I spent most of my youth in Columbia, South Carolina (where Stretch are from) and it was as a teen at their all ages hardcore matinees where I first experienced DIY music in the flesh. (‘We sweat and sang together and it helped us to carry on’).