A GUEST POSTING (AND IDEA!!) FROM DAVE GLICKMAN
And then one day, you just have to have it all…
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I come across a band where I eventually decide that I have to get my hands on everything they ever recorded. It usually starts innocently enough – one album purchased on iTunes or a couple of songs downloaded from my favorite indie music blog. Perhaps I’ll find a b-side collection on a fan site and pick out a few favorites or come across a video of a particularly stellar radio or television broadcast. And then suddenly, the obsession kicks in. What else in their catalog is still purchasable? Where can I find the best quality rips of those broadcasts? And, by god, why didn’t I download all those b-sides when I had the chance?
Maybe this sounds all too familiar to you or perhaps I’m just sharing my own personal demons. Collecting anything, after all, must be a mild form of psychological illness, albeit a rather benign one. I take solace in the fact that when bit by the bug, I tend not to be a full “completist”, limiting myself to studio tracks, outtakes, alternative versions, unreleased tracks, compilation contributions, tour disks and broadcasts. Knowing that there is a place on the internet where I can get my hands on bootlegs of every Morrissey show is good enough for me; I don’t need to have each and every one in my personal library.
With all this in mind and in the spirit of T(n)VV’s ICAs, I thought I might propose a corollary concept: OCD EP’s are short collections of the best or most interesting obscure, off the beaten track songs that only the most ardent, and dare I say obsessed, fans might be familiar with and have in their libraries. I have in mind a few of these EPs from my own collection, which is where I found the courage to title this piece as number 1 in a series (number 2 is forthcoming, but I make no promises after that). I have no expectations that others will join in as has been the case with the ICAs, but please feel free to contribute your own if so inclined. Guidelines of your own choosing of course, though these were my thoughts as I put together the first one:
• It’s an EP, not an album. So 4-6 tracks max and no hidden tracks.
• No album tracks, a-sides or anything easily purchasable at a digital music store.
• Not so sure about b-sides. I suppose if they are very obscure and hard to find they could be worthy inclusions. But, just for example, The Smith’s “These Things Take Time” would hardly qualify.
• Focus on songs that even the average fan of the band might not be familiar with – unreleased tracks and sessions, outtakes and alternate versions and otherwise obscure or difficult to access songs.
As I’ve mentioned before, this blog has played a major role in reconnecting me with the indie music scene, filling in the gaps during the years that I was focused on other things and introducing me to new music. So, let’s start with a group that I never would have heard of were it not for JC’s promotion – Father Sculptor. One advantage of choosing a more recent band is that there is only a limited catalog of tracks to find; the counter-balancing downside being the lack of other collectors and established fan sites on which to find them. In this particular case, there isn’t likely much new to discover, as it seems that after just a couple of years, the band disappeared from the scene. I have no background or insight into what happened to them other than noticing that their website and social media presence is no more. Perhaps our host, who seems to have had some relationship with them in the past, can share some additional information?
To my knowledge, during their short lifespan, Father Sculptor released only two EPs – Vi, which collected a series of singles that had previously been made available as free downloads from their site, and Faith & Violence. Stand out tracks for me included Aristide, Frances and Swallowed in Dreams. Beyond the EPs, my library contains a radio edit of one of the Faith & Violence tracks that was posted on this blog a while back and five other songs that I found in various corners of the internet (which may or may not be by the band – more on that later). No tough decisions this time, as these five tracks, listed chronologically, comprise my Father Sculptor OCD EP:
1. Velvet Fall (2011)
On their website, Father Sculptor had artwork posted for what appeared to be their first single, Velvet Fall/Two of Swords (demo). However, it seemed that the tracks were never made available for download from the site or for purchase anywhere else. My guess is that the single was never released. Searching the web for “father sculptor velvet fall” brought up nothing relevant, however, one day a couple of years back I did find a “Velvet Fall” video on a relatively obscure site with no mention of the band name (I can’t find that video today).
Is it this Father Sculptor debut single? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly sounds like it could be. While not as good as the tracks on Vi, it is certainly listenable.
2. Two of Swords (demo) (2011)
The video for Two of Swords (demo) is quite easy to find and clearly labeled as a Father Sculptor song. In contrast to Velvet Fall, this song is excellent and ranks up there with my other favorite tracks from the band. It would have been interesting to see what would have come of it with a full work up in the studio.
3. Faith & Violence – Coming Soon (video backing track) (2013)
Prior to the release of Faith & Violence, a promotional video was posted on the Father Sculptor website. It didn’t include any snippets from the new EP, but was instead backed with this short wordless song. Of course the music may or may not be a Father Sculptor composition, but I’m inclined to believe it is until I find out otherwise.
4. Blackshirt (2013)
Not long after the release of Faith & Violence. A video for Blackshirt was posted on the web. Perhaps this was intended to be the follow-up single to the EP or maybe an early peak at a debut LP. There was no way for me to know as only a couple of months later, traces of the band on the web began to disappear. In any case, it is a quite enjoyable song that would have fit comfortably on the preceding EP.
5. Ray (2014)
Naturally I assumed that there would be no more Father Sculptor after 2013. Yet, a year later another video appeared. Ray is an instrumental that I would have to guess was something they were working on at the time that they disappeared but had yet to add vocals to. I quite like it and fairly recently discovered that it bears some resemblance to Intro by The xx.
JC adds…..with apologies that the link to Velvet was’t working properly at the start of the day. Sorted now.