Demos, B Sides, Covers, Scraps, Etc. (2002 - 2008)

Photo: Thomas Shelley

1. Ship of Maps

2. Foxes

3. Til The Sweats All Gone

4. Riot

5. In The Pursuit

6. River Stay Away From My Door (Mort Dixon & Harry Woods)

7. Fit For Queen

8. Bones For Marrow

9. Can't Surf

10. Songs In The Dark

11. One of Us Cannot Be Wrong (Leonard Cohen)

12. Where The $$ Spends

13. Sound Architecture

14. "Rope"

15. Husbands

16. Wives

17. As We Slept Through the war

18. The Sober Choir (South 4th Version)

19. My Panoptic Nightmare

20. Like A Hurricane (Neil Young)


It took me quite a while to decide whether or not I should let some of these songs be heard. I typically like to edit my output and have only the newest, leanest, most sophisticated and up to date versions represented. Yet despite my constant desire to create the illusion of immediately reaching the satisfied point, I am actually a slow learner trying to refine a craft to the point of near obsession. The songs were recorded between 2002 and 2008 and mark a significant attempt in producing a loose memoir of sorts. Since much of life is in the learning, growing, cultivation, etc., I decided I would let these songs be heard, maybe just so I know I was there and things happened. Some songs are total, quick improvisations, others are intensively thought out. Some are covers, others are old versions I’ve decided to re-record and sometimes re-re-record. Some songs are just things left behind on a hard drive, excavated, dusted off, and given some form. In any case, it has been nothing but a joy and a misery to create, record, obsess over, and deliver them (to whomever is listening).

All songs written, performed, and recorded by David Berkovits,
except where noted

1. Ship Of Maps: Recorded on computer in 1 take late 2007. Chords, melody & words improvised without any earlier thoughts or considerations. DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Voice & Words

2. Foxes: Recoded on computer in 1 take early 2008. Chords, melodies & words improvised without any earlier thoughts or considerations. DB: Classical Guitar, Tambourine, Voice & Words

3. Til The Sweats All Gone: Recorded on computer in 2007. Recorded under the moniker "Yeast." This is, in essence, my attempt at modern R&B/Hip-Hop. I'm not sure I succeeded, but I'm not sure that I failed. DB: Samples, Treatments, Voice & Words

4. Riot: Recorded on 4 track in 2006. An experiment in alternate tuning. Have no idea about the tuning now. DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Drum Machine, Treatments, Voice & Words

5. In The Pursuit: Recorded on 4 track 2004. I originally intended for this to have words but didn’t find a suitable melody. It sounds like 80s to me. I like the solos at the end though. DB: Electric Guitar, Treatments, Drum Programming

6. River Stay Away From My Door: Recorded on computer 2007. Originally written by Mort Dixon & Harry Woods. Elizabeth Kulinich: Voice DB: Programming, Beats, Treatments, Arrangement

7. Fit For A Queen: Recorded on 4 track, transferred to 8 track 2002. I recorded this on 4 track and was planning to leave it alone until Shane moved in and lent me the use of his 8 track. Seizing an opportunity to create a more “layered” sound, I promptly made the transfer and added some overdubs. DB: Electric Guitar, Bass, Drum Machine, Treatments, Voice & Words

8: Bones For Marrow: Recorded on 4 track 2003. This song came together pretty quickly minus the chorus. I had no idea how to fit a melody over the chords during the chorus. Good thing Scott did. Scott Indrisek: Voice & Words Evan Obercian: Percussion DB: Acoustic Guitar, Voice & Words

9: Can’t Surf: Recorded on 4 track 2004. A Demo for what became Charles Lindbergh (Can’t Surf) on Foreign Capitols’ Ask Murderer EP. Scott Homiak: Voice & Words DB: Electric Guitar

10: Songs In The Dark: Recorded on 4 track 2004. I actually still like this song & may re-record it at some point. The lyrics, however, make me cringe a bit. Scott Homiak mentioned to me once that the solo sounded like Ween. DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Voice & Words

11: One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong: Recorded on 4 track late 2002. Originally written by Leonard Cohen. I remember it was cold outside when I recorded this. DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Voice

12: Where the $$ Spends: Recorded on 4 track 2004. This is an early demo of a song I can’t shake. A re-recorded version appeared on my “Quiet Life” record. It is currently in the process of being re-recorded, once again, for Foreign Capitols forthcoming record “A Secret Conspiracy Against the Blues.” The newest version is a lush, stringed affair with a new beautiful melody courtesy of Scott Homiak. DB: Acoustic Guitar, Noise, Voice & Words

13: Sound Architecture: Recorded on 4 track 2003. I was listening to a lot of Sonic Youth during this period. I like it but the monotony of the drum machine gets to me. Didn’t bother coming up with lyrics or a melody - I let Scott handle that. Scott Indrisek: Voice & Words DB: Electric Guitar, Noise, Drum Machine, Treatments

14: “Rope”: Recorded on 4 track in 2002, vocals and dialogue added in 2003. This originally was a different song. I somehow erased two of the tracks and was left with two. I got my housemate at the time to improvise and record a quick chant after hearing it maybe twice. I feel she did a great job. The dialogue is James Stewart interacting with guests at a dinner party in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope.” I had seen the film the night prior and that scene stuck in my head. I captured the bit of dialogue on a tiny recorder and then sent it through a mic. Sweet fidelity if you ask me. Gabrielle Hanlon: Voice DB: Guitars

15. Husbands: Recorded on 4 track 2005. This song is a short horror film about a middle-aged drunk headed home. The fear is completely pointless because it's simply a production. Probably should re-arrange and re-record this into a sweeping director's cut. I borrowed Vic's mic for this one. DB: Electric Guitar, Drum Machine, Bongo, Voice & Words

16. Wives: Recorded on 4 track 2005. This is an early demo version of "Shotgun Funeral" which appears on Foreign Capitols "Ask Murderer" EP. This song came together quickly and was a great pleasure to commit to tape. I had virtually no struggle in any aspects of its birth, life, and subsequent freedom from demo-hood. Also recorded with the assistance of Vic's mic. DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Percussion, Voice & Words

17. As We Slept Through The War: Recorded on Computer 2006. This is an alternate mix of the version that appears on Foreign Capitols "Ask Murderer" EP. In hindsight, I prefer certain elements of this version more so than those of the finished product. I enjoy how Scott's melody moves between, beneath, and around mine. I also favor the warmth of the guitar solo in this version. A shame we never got Dan to play violin on this one. Scott Homiak: Voice & Words DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Keyboard, Treatments, Words & Voice

18. The Sober Choir: Recorded on Computer 2006. This demo was recorded near the completion of "Ask Murder." We recently re-recorded an upgraded and renovated version for inclusion on "A Secret Conspiracy Against The Blues." I like this recording. Scott Homiak: Voice & Words DB: Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Voice & Words

19. My Panoptic Nightmare: Recorded on Computer 2002. This is a demo version of "The Panoptic Nightmare" that appears on my "Quiet Life" record. This song came to me in a flash during finals. I was reading about surveillance for a law class and the concept buried itself firmly into my psyche. A few days later the words came. One of the very few times when I heard the song in my head as a near completed affair before laying a hand on a guitar. I like the vocal concepts I attempted on this version. Perhaps I should have duplicated them on the later version. Evan Obercian: Percussion DB: Acoustic Guitar, Voice & Words

20. Like A Hurricane: Recorded on Computer 2007. Originally written by Neil Young. I was inspired to cover this song after completion of "Ask Murderer." Scott originally sang more on this version, but I streamlined his contribution and pilfered the song for inclusion on "For The Quiet Life." I felt that Foreign Capitols had achieved its intent with "Ask Murderer" and that I should focus on quickly putting together a "new" collection of recordings. For that reason I buried Scott's contribution a bit and included this song on "For The Quiet Life." I recently concluded that this cover belongs to Foreign Capitols. Its spirit and energy are products of the whirlwind recording that was "Ask Murderer." Scott Homiak: Voice DB: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Treatments, Arrangement, Voice

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