Fifteen years ago, Thrill Jockey Records was founded on the Lower East Side of New York City. In other words, it was 1992, so Thrill Jockey did as many new labels of those days did and released a number of 7” singles, with now-familiar names like Tortoise and Freakwater, and some now-less-familiar early Thrillers like Sugarshock and Gorilla.
In the fifteen years since 1992, the 7” singles have been fewer and farther between, but with some definite gems from time to time. Brokeback made its debut with a fine delight of a single called Returns to the Orange Grove. The Lonesome Organist bended minds with his 7” and its pop-up deluxe cover, and The National Trust made it happen with a 7” tribute to The Raspberries.
Now Thrill Jockey is looking back to that tradition for a way to celebrate fifteen years of making records for our favorite bands. Inspired by the delicious Devil’s Jukebox 7” box set released in 1989 by Blast First, Thrill Jockey will release a limited edition, heavy weight vinyl 7” box of our own: Thrill Jockey bands covering their favorite Thrill Jockey songs.
The collection is planned as a set of 10 singles. The bands were allowed to cover any song by any Thrill Jockey band, and here’s some of what they chose.
Tortoise chose to cover “Falls Lake” by Nobukazu Takemura, a Japanese musician whose ground breaking albums are delicate combinations of live instrumentation (largely played by Takemura himself), analog synths and computer manipulated or simulated voice recordings (on one record he used a computer program designed for those who are speech impaired).
Arbouretum recorded “Bus Stop,” a dark beauty by Thalia Zedek, a Boston musician also known for her work in the bands Come and UZI. Thalia will be recording her second Thrill Jockey record this fall for release in early 2008, and also makes a contribution to the box set. Special guest on Arbouretum’s recording is Victoria from Beach House, with whom Arbouretum are touring Europe this fall.
The Sea and Cake recorded “Spider’s House” by Califone from their most recent album, Roots and Crowns. The vocal styles of The Sea and Cake’s Sam Prekop bring an entirely new feeling to the song. Califone and The Sea and Cake are touring this fall and will both be performing at Thrill Jockey’s Anniversary shows in London and Chicago.
Pit er Pat selected a gem by The Lonesome Organist, “Flew Out my Window,” from his album “Cavalcade,” re-interpreting it with a killer calypso feel. Pit er Pat’s Butchy Fuego recently performed as drummer number 7 in Boredoms’ 77 Boadrum performance in New York. Pit er Pat are touring in North America this fall with The Fiery Furnaces.
Directions in Music covered “Toy Boat” by Jeff Parker, reminding us very much of the first Tortoise singles when Bundy Brown was in the band. Also, Pullman covered “3 am” by the Chicago Underground Quartet.
David Byrne covered “Ex Guru” by The Fiery Furnaces.
Archer Prewitt covered “Mrs. Turner” by The National Trust.
Bobby Conn, Califone and Thalia Zedek covered Freakwater songs - “Washed in the Blood,” “Jewel” and “ Flat Hand,” respectively.
Freakwater covered “Passengers” by The Zincs.
The Zincs covered “Blue Marble Girl” by Giant Sand.
Howe Gelb covered “Boxers” by John Parish.
John Parish covered “Vampiring Again” by Califone.
Sue Garner & Rick Brown covered “ UMO” by OOIOO.
Adult. covered “Underwater Wave Game” by Pit er Pat.
Angela Desveaux covered “Two Moons” by Arbouretum.
Eleventh Dream Day covered “I Like the Name Alice” by Sue Garner.
Mouse On Mars covered "Middlenight" by The Sea and Cake.
We hope you all enjoy this box set as much as we do and that it inspires you to chase down and listen to the originals - they are killer too! These songs will not be released on CD, and the box set will be pressed in a limited edition.