From Awkward Middle Phase: Seth Timbs' Home Demos, Volume One
This song is one of the few among the throngs that has never been played live and only exists in demo form. I think this is important for this song, as its perfect performance is captured here in this home recording, and, in this commentator’s opinion, it remains too perfect to be either re-recorded or performed live.
This most epic of home recordings incorporates foreign language tapes—presumably Japanese—as well as words spoken by Seth Timbs as the band performed on a road trip of sorts through New York and Virginia in 2001, part of which I mentioned in the “Record Stack” entry. In light of the Remember Cassettes demos that have been released, this recording is a stepping stone on the way to Instant Nostalgia, showing just how far Seth has come in the realm of home recordings. I mentioned this one specifically to him as a fine example of his home recording prowess, but he dismissed it as sounding like it was recorded in the Well of Souls (referring to the hiss of home recordings and how it sounds like a snake pit).
Still, the blend of guitars and synth and miscellaneous recorded elements (again, used much more effectively than they were on the earlier demos), making for a strangely beautiful song that I have no idea what it’s about. Brooklyn? Beer? New York City and/or road trips? Probably. Girls, somehow? Very likely. How that ties into the climactic refrain of, “All in good time,” has left this song in the “question mark” stack for this blog since pretty early on. I am nearing the end and forced to write about some of these, so maybe somebody can shed some light on this one.
To that I’ll add a little bit about the process of writing this blog, and that’s to add that, hands down, the most difficult songs to write about have been the unreleased tracks and the Awkard Middle Phase tunes I’d never heard played live. The rest have been played over and over again in my car or at my home for years. I’ve had plenty of time to digest those. I spent forever trying to work on “Rest Stop” and some others, finally just letting them go with what I’d written, hoping for something a little more epic for each one. I guess they can’t all be “Sugar Mama,” now can they?