best of Carla Bozulich mix

disc 1: original works

1. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Small Song"
2. Carla Bozulich - "Here Comes Another One" [demo] (mp3)
3. Ethyl Meatplow - "Ripened Peach"
4. Scarnella - "The Most Useless Thing" (mp3)
5. Carla Bozulich - "Lonesome Roads"
6. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Seven Or In 10"
7. The Geraldine Fibbers - "234" (mp3)
8. The Night Porter - "Monkeys"
9. Scarnella - "Dandelions"
10. Carla Bozulich - "Blue Boys"
11. Mike Watt - "Sidemouse Advice"
12. Ches Smith/Carla Bozulich - "Elements Ascending"
13. Two Dollar Guitar - "Bozo Shoes"
14. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Richard" (mp3)
15. Scarnella - "Untitled New Song"
16. Carla Bozulich with John Talaga - "1014C"
17. Carla Bozulich - "Prince Of The World" (mp3)
18. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Lilybelle"
19. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Smaller Song"

disc 2: interpretive works

1. Mike Watt - "Tuff Gnarl" [Sonic Youth] (mp3)
2. Scarnella - "Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants)" [James Brown]
3. Ethyl Meatplow - "Close To You" [Bacharach & David]
4. Carla Bozulich - "On The Nickel" [Tom Waits]
5. Scarnella - "I Thought About You" [Johnny Mercer]
6. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Jolene" [Dolly Parton]
7. The Geraldine Fibbers - "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me" [George Jones] (mp3)
8. The Geraldine Fibbers - "He Stopped Loving Her Today" [George Jones]
9. The Geraldine Fibbers - "The Grand Tour" [George Jones]
10. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Hands On The Wheel" [Jerry Jeff/Billy Callery] (mp3)
11. Carla Bozulich featuring Willie Nelson - "Can I Sleep In Your Arms?" [Jeannie Seely]
12. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Pills" [New York Dolls]
13. The Scott Amendola Band - "Masters Of War" [Bob Dylan]
14. Carla Bozulich - "Pissing" [Low]
15. The Geraldine Fibbers - "Yoo Doo Right" [Can] (mp3)
16. Carla Bozulich - "Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)" [Neil Young]
17. Scarnella - "Times Square" [Marianne Faithful] (mp3)

Carla Bozulich has been probably one of my favorite rock singers since the very first time I heard her, on Mike Watt's Ball-Hog Or Tugboat?, and later searched out her band, an insane goth-noise-country combo called The Geraldine Fibbers. Since then, I've followed all her different projects pretty obsessively, including her pre-Fibbers industrial shock rock band, Ethyl Meatplow (although I've never heard her early bands, Neon Veins and Invisible Chains, and am not sure if they even have any records around anymore). The Fibbers got dropped from their label after their 2nd album, Butch, and broke up, but guitarist Nels Cline, who joined the Fibbers towards the end, remained her primary collaborator for about a decade (he plays on almost half of the above tracks). She also played in his band Destroy All Nels Cline, but I'm focusing more on her work as a vocalist with these mixes. Carla and Nels formed the duo project Scarnella released one self-titled album on Smells Like Records in 1998, and played gigs under that name for at least 6 years after that without releasing anything else (the untitled new song is from a 2004 show).

It seems like Carla Bozulich was on the verge of something big for a long time but decided to stay on the fringes. She played in an early lineup of Hole, and from what I hear, was supposedly asked to be the singer of Garbage before Shirley Manson, and was offered a solo career deal, and turned down those opportunities to form the Fibbers, whose incredible first album Lost Somewhere Between The Earth And My Home got a lot of hype from SPIN and some other publications, but they generally remained a cult band. After the Fibbers and Scarnella, Carla seemed to start and stop with a lot of different projects. "Here Comes Another One" is a demo for a solo project from around then (with Nels and Harold Barefood Sanders III from Ethyl Meatplow backing her up) that was not that different from the Fibbers, but I guess that never panned out (as you can hear at the end of the track, it was played by Nels when a guest on Mike Watt's radio show, but never officially released), and is one of the last overtly rock things I've heard her do, as .

It's kind of embarrassing to admit that a 90's alt-rock band was my gateway to classic country music, but the Fibbers' covers are totally the reason I love George Jones and Willie Nelson now. I also still kind of resent The White Stripes for usurping the Fibbers as the most famous Sympathy For The Record Industry band to have covered "Jolene." The Fibbers' version of "Hands On The Wheel" made me a fan of Willie's Red Headed Stranger well before Carla released a cover of the entire album in 2003. Around the same time, she released a compilation track, "Lonesome Roads," which showed that she was still writing country songs and might do more original material in that vein. But then there was another compilation track, "Blue Boys," which was on a weird electronic tip. And then there are some noisy collaborations with Ches Smith and John Talaga on Carla's MySpace page, as well as one from her new rock band, The Night Porter, which supposedly has an album coming out next year.

There's been some talk in the past year of a personal and professional split between Carla and Nels Cline, which for a while I assumed was just a result of his joining Wilco and having less time to work on her projects, but now I'm not sure. I hope they aren't done collaborating, though, as I think they've both made a lot of their best music together. Carla released her first solo album of (mostly) original material this year, Evangelista, with folks from Godspeed! You Black Emperor backing her up, and it's a lot of the dramatic horror movie strings and static and ranting preachers type stuff that they do, and I haven't really listened to it much ("Prince Of The World" is just about the only pretty song on there). For a lot of the album she just sounds unhinged, screaming over minimal noise with no percussion, which reminds me of my least favorite Scarnella song, "Death By Northwest," more than anything else. I have slowly warmed up to some of it, though (particularly "Evangelista II" and the cover of "Pissing"), but I didn't even bother to catch her on the tour this year playing that material, and I'm kind of waiting for her to move onto something else.

Carla's official site has a bunch of mp3's of some of my favorite music she's made ("Lilybelle," "Ripened Peach," "Masters Of War"), so I posted some other stuff I like with these mixes. It's more of an examination of the huge variety of projects and different genres she's worked in, than a mix of purely my favorite stuff she's done (which would probably be 80% Fibbers songs). The disc of original material isn't necessarily stuff she wrote (since she didn't really have a hand in writing the Mike Watt or Two Dollar Guitar tracks), just stuff that wasn't a cover, where she sang on the original or definitive recording. "Yoo Doo Right" is amazing and completely eclipses the original for me (although I was probably never really going to like Can anyway), as is "Tuff Gnarl" (although I really love Sonic Youth). "234" isn't really one of the Fibbers' best songs, but it's kind of rare and only appeared on a European vinyl pressing of Butch (along with an alternate version of "Claudine"). If anyone wants a copy of the discs, let me know, there's a lot of good rare/unreleased stuff on here that I mainly got from lurking on the official Geraldine Fibbers e-mail list. The version of "Times Square" up there is a live recording that someone from the list recorded, and I think is way better than the version on Carla's I'm Gonna Stop Killing EP. Might be one of my favorite versions of any song ever.
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment