This single sided lathe cut that was in the same package from Tick Tock Records is from the infamous Charlie McAlister...an outsider artist for sure, I don't know how much of the stuff I'm finding online is created or endorsed by him and how much must be fans and friends that are just trying to help out. I can't help but think of Daniel Johnston or Jandek.
I don't know Charlie, but in especially Daniel's case and I've experienced this personally, I don't know how much the person being helped actually realizes how lucky they are...how much trouble it is to take care of that side of things. I want to think they appreciate it, that they can't promote themselves etc. But are they entirely oblivious? Or just not care either way? If Daniel or Charlie write a song...do they need anyone there to hear it? I don't think so.
Like outsider visual artists...do they even care about what anyone thinks of their work? It's amazing because it ignores everything anyone knows to be good painting, but that's like child actors, they imitate, they don't know what they're doing. If you aren't conscious, with an intention behind it, then I have to label it an accident. A great accident that I can recognize as great, but still just an accident. It's not reproducible. Not that any of this could even apply to Charlie McAlister. I've barely scratched the surface of his mythology in my research...but that recorded quality is there, he's being marketed in that way...as a crazed backwoods genius. Which is as much about the recording as the sound coming from this awesome misshapen circle. If I ever thought records were magic, this piece of round plastic/vinyl makes the case. Fidelity be damned, the songs get another layer of hiss to paw through in the imprecise groove duplication. But it's definitely magic every time I put the needle back at the beginning. Listening to something that's barely there.
I have a whole lot of questions and no answers.
The sealed envelope sleeve is even more mysterious, it's screened in weird colors, I can't tell if the grooves were pressed down and left this circular grooved print, like a rubbing, or it's part of the graphic. The back is scrawled text over a pic of someone barfing in a pool? Not sure, the whole thing just adds to this mystique, a long lost relic of a recording summoned out of a plain red circle.
Between what I'm imagining I actually stopped looking up info, because I like the story in my head so much. I' just going to leave it at that and not watch the youtube videos.
Nauseus Waves is my favorite track on this, there's extra layers of recorded hiss, but overall it's a more full sound. I love to hear what Charlie does when he pulls it together enough to layer his own playing on top of itself, like the Carolina bi-product single, it benefits for me when it starts to turn Doo-Rag. It's own foreign throwback blues, that are still melodic and rock, but maybe just have the blues because they just sound sad. All of the sounds that are still there...the sadness of not having great equipment. The sadness of the sound...is that just because it makes me think he's already dead? Like old movies and Robert Johnson...they are long gone, but here is this sound. It's like a ghost...even mores so with this crackly indecipherable medium.
The whole thing is really like listening to an AM station that is just out of reach, or on old reel to reel that's about to fall apart. It's just a damn cool object that's so homemade it almost prevents it from getting out there to anyone. As unique and original as Charlie McAlister, it makes perfect sense.
This record is being released through Tick Tock, Don Weagus, and Rah Rah records. They will all come in a special envelope screenprinted by our good friends at Pundt Printing.