Aaand now! The alternate Vegan cover!
(Hi-res version included with your download.)
"Assorted Pork" is a collection of over 2 hours of early versions, rejects, experiments, covers, and re-imaginings. Some songs date as far back as 1997. Some songs feature musicians who have since gone insane, fallen off the map, or may be no longer alive. There is a live recording made at the world famous Orange Peel in Asheville, NC, several from the now defunct Hangnail Gallery in Augusta GA. Several compositions could be considered musique concrète. There is a remix of the song I made for the soundtrack of a book. There are a few one-off collaborations with very wonderful people. Noise, jazz, pirate songs, ballads, even metal... it's all here. Some of you will love half of these songs, others will love the other half. Some of you, like me, will love every single one of these recordings. You are my people.
Have fun, but be careful.
THE CUTS: (Dates are mostly guesses. I have no concept of time.)
1. Wiff on Me: 2009 mostly. Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss, Brad Lunsford. We like to say this song is about hanging out in the ladies restroom. I first heard this on a record my folks had by Leadbelly.
2. BenAmy: 1999 Ben Harris, Amy Ellis. Ben and Amy came up with this on the spot in 1999. I absolutey adore Amy's laugh at the end of the song.
3. Hiding There: 2010 Andrew Benjamin. This experiment later became the bridge of "Breaking Everything"
4. Astro Zombies: 2010 Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss, Brad Lunsford. Who doesn't love the Misfits?
5. Zombie Jamboree: 2006 Andrew Benjamin, Ian Moore, Valerie Meiss, John Mulholland. We made this for a Zombie movie some folks in Athens, GA never made. I've always loved this song. It was on an album by "The Talbot Brothers of Bermuda" that my parents had. I once got caught in a roadblock in my '68 Plymouth Fury while listening to this song very loudly and wearing a giant sombrero, but that's another story.
6. Dark And Stormy: 2005 Andrew Benjamin. Based on the opening sentence of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel "Paul Clifford". We did this live a few times with a little less doom and a lot less metal. I'd have a volunteer from the crowd read the sentence.
7. White Rabbit: 2009 mostly. Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss, Brad Lunsford. We call it "Bunny". Hellblinki was asked to cover this song for an Alice in Wonderland themed burlesque show.
8. Diggin': 2009? Andrew Benjamin. This song appears on the first Hellblinki album. This version is very different from the original and is, more or less, how we've done the song live.
9. Lincolnian: 1998 or so. Andrew Benjamin. This musique concrète composition contains bits from a recording session gone awry at the space I shared with metal sculptor Daniel Foreman, some software synth experiments, and Ed Rathbone telling his story of hearing the Gettysburg Address.
10. One More Time, Love: 2002ish Andrew Benjamin, Danielle Purcell. This song is in the Blade Runner video game. The game designers had Frank Klepacki emulate the original Vangelis tunes. Danielle and I recorded our version one rainy night at the Hangnail Gallery in Augusta, GA on the organ that used to live there.
11. Drums and Horn: 2000? Andrew Benjamin, Jeremiah Johnson, Grey Bellamy. I made a plan, we had a jam, and this is what happened. (at the Hangnail with the 3 big old marching bass drums and a delay pedal.)
12. Paper Moon: 2007? Andrew Benjamin, Paul Christian Woodall. Like we used to do it live... more or less... Something about the way this old song was used in the Ryan and Tatum O'Neil picture of the same name really gets me.
13. Aberration: 2008 Fred Scarberry, Amy Grove, Andrew Benjamin. Dinner and music at the old trailer in Candler, NC with our neighbor, Fred. One time Fred climed down the mountain from his trailer to ours, during a terrific snowstorm to borrow a shovel. We sent him away with two shovels and a full glass of bloody mary complete with celery and other shrubbery.
14. Hot Wet Snatch: 1999 Andrew Benjamin, Marcus Barfield. Marcus is a guitar wizard. He came over to jam. We had fun. The machines and dirty stuff was added later.
15. Shave 'em Dry: 1999 Andrew Benjamin, Ben Harris, Patrick Lowe. I was enamored by this old Lucielle Bogan number and thought it'd be fun to play with, so we tried it out. "Shave 'em Dry" was sung mostly by ladies and sometimes by men. There was a whole period of dirty vocal jazz and blues that was hardly recorded at all.
16. A-Kelli: 2006? Andrew Benjamin, Plug-in Reindeer. Kelli used to hang out at the Hangnail, she makes neat music. We made this little collab over the internet.
17. First Love: 1998 Andrew Benjamin. The very first version of "Love, She Said" Very different from the version on the "Pirate Broadcast" album.
18. Sanjula: 2011 Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss. Sanjula's Junk (on the "Bubbles" album) started its life on the banjo. When we recorded the song at Seizure's Palace in Brooklyn we couldn't find a banjo. We called everyone. There are NO banjos in New York City!
19. Twilight Time: 2005 Andrew Benjamin, Oliver Grove Benjamin. Babies sure do make a lot of noise.
20. Happy RR: 2005 Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss, Erika Devins, Michael ?. Recorded at Southern Cycle Works' Railroad studio in Augusta, GA. The studio was and still is primarily a motorcycle shop.
21. Organ Horn: 2006? Andrew Benjamin. A wee little experiment I made at the trailer in Candler, NC.
22. These Dreams: 2008 Andrew Benjamin. This was one of the very first Hellblinki songs. Another version appears on "False Dichotomy" which was recorded in 2000, but only recently released (2012) I re-recorded it for "Oratory" but sadly it was left on the cutting room floor.
23. St. James Infirmary: 1997 Andrew Benjamin. in Durham, NC, This was recorded on a whim, around the time the first album was being made. I love this recording. I'd been listening to lots and lots of Louis Armstrong.
24. Beetle: 1998 Andrew Benjamin "Woodshop" John Phillips. At Woodshop's place in Harrisburg. (a neigborhood in Augusta, GA) We used the TV as an instrument. Woodshop had just purchased a Marshall Half stack and a Morley Wah.
25. Can Be Free: 2000 Andrew Benjamin, Grey Bellamy, Noel Brown. Recorded at The Hangnail Gallery using the Organ that lived there. This song was written 1996 or so. It was later re-recorded, and finally released in 2008 on the "Oratory" album.
26. Wicked: 2001 Andrew Benjamin, Danielle Purcell, Brian Allen, Henry Wynn, David Kernaghan. This early version was on the "Pirate Promo" ep, which we gave away at "The Dead Pirates Ball" a Haloween party that took place at the Hangnail Gallery. It didn't make the cut for the Pirate Broadcast record, so we re-did it for "Oratory"
27. Love Dwarf: 2003? Andrew Benjamin, Brian McNorrill, Jeremiah Johnson, Pactrick Lowe, Danielle Purcell, Brian Allen. Another version of "Love, She Said". We called this the "forest dwarf" version. I love Brian M.'s baritone sax on this!
28. River Peel: 2005 Andrew Benjamin, Erika Devins, Valerie Meiss, Michael ?, Brian Allen. Recorded at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. We were playing with "Monsters of Japan" who filled peeing babydolls with red-dyed whisky and fed it to the crowd. You can hear the noisemakers we trew to the audience throughout the track. I love the interplay between Erika and Valerie on this.
29. Sikara: 2000 Andrew Benjamin, Danielle Purcell, Sikara. Sikara played the very first Hellblinki show. Super Duper Edward Cooper of Projexorcism was part of the Sikara at the time. We recorded bits and pieces of this with them, then Scott, the bandleader cut them up and made this. (While watching "Freaks" on 16mm film at the Hangnail if I remember correctly.)
30. Song Sung Blue: 2006? Andrew Benjamin, Paul Christian Woodall. We made this as part of an Asheville a fringe fest bit we did, with Amy Grove doing a blacklight dance bit, and Imhotep playing along on djembe. We recorded this as a test. I love Neil Diamond.
31. Lizzie: 2012 Andrew Benjamin. Originally made for the Soundtrack of "Blood in the Skies" by G.D. Falksen, this version is slight re-mix and sits a lot better. If you read the book, it makes sense...
32. Push It: 2012 Andrew Benjamin, Valerie Meiss, Brad Lunsford, JonPaul Hess. Our iconic version of "Push It" began when Valerie played it accidentaly, Brad recognized it and we decided it would be a good song to do. We debuted our version at the Ravenswood festival in Arkansas. It was also featured in a show we did with "Bombs Away Cabaret". We made this recording especially for them.