Dables - Pretty Ugly
2010 Slacker Pop Records
all music written, performed, and recorded by David Walker
track 15 is a Daniel Johnston cover
3.Did You See?
4.Sober and Bored
7.An Exercise in Isolation
8.An Exercise in Stupidity
9.This is Nothing
11.Mind’s Gone Blank
12.An Exercise in Laziness
14.She Don’t Dig Me
15.True Love Will Find You in The End
Time to get back to what I created this tumblr for, which was blogging liner notes for the CDs I have released as Dables in order. This is Pretty Ugly, my 4th album and definitely the first Dables album most people heard because shortly after it came out is when I started performing regularly. During this era, 2009-2010, I was still performing solo, but instead of just playing improv noise or electronic music, I started playing songs more songs from my albums using a set up similar to Ween or Big Black. I played electric guitar and sang while my Tascam Portastudio was plugged straight into the PA, playing the pre-recorded bass and drum machine parts. I played my first “electric” show this way in December 2009 in Fountain Inn, SC at a house party with Coma Cinema and it went over extremely well. I played mostly songs from the “14 Songs” album, and a few from this disc.
Released on February 3 2010, this album was conceived as a concept album to mix pretty pop songs with ugly noise songs. The idea was to go back and forth, first track being a pretty pop song, the next being an experimental or weird/off-putting/ugly noise song. The cover illustrates this concept with combining the beauty of a sunflower, placed in an ugly toilet. That is also actually my real toilet, from my parent’s house, with plastic flowers inside of it. I took the picture and sent it to my friend Victoria Ferrer, who runs The Black Lodge, a subculture get together at various local clubs. She edited it for me, writing the text on it and coloring the background around the toilet black, and turning the flowers red instead of yellow, and I think she did an absolutely fabulous job and I love her for it. My friend/occasional-partner-in-crime with Slacker Pop Records Micheal Keller, of the band Satan in Bondage, helped me put together the inner artwork including the lyrics, and he paid to help me print and make over 50 physical copies, and he helped distribute it so I also owe a huge thanks to him.
Listening back to this album reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. I was working at a Kangaroo Express gas station, and came in one day to find out my store manager and good friend Russell Folk had committed suicide the night before. I was extremely shocked and upset by this and I ended up walking out on my shift, and quitting the job on the spot. It was my first day back from a two week vacation and I couldn’t handle the responsibility of having to be the one to tell customers who came into the store who were asking me, “Where’s Russell?" all day so after about an hour of my shift, I just up and left. I went home and wrote "Song For Russell”, which didn’t make it onto this disc but ended up on a future one called “Stuff Volume 2”. I spent the next two weeks frantically recording songs to help escape from the depression caused by the death of such a close friend. I had known Russell for over 2 years, and saw him about 5 times a week and we had become very close. This disc is most definitely dedicated to his memory, and I recorded it as therapy to help cope with my first experience of death. Besides my great-grandmother, who I wasn’t very close to, Russell was the first person I knew well to die. I still miss him very much, and this disc will always remind me of him. Anyways, on to the songs themselves.
‘Boredumb’ is one of the most popular Dables songs. It has been performed at every single show since that first electric show December 2009. Funny that this one is such a fan favorite because it took me less than hour to write and record it to completion. However this song is sort of a loose rip-off musically of Flies on My Dick by Ween. It has minimal guitar, slow, plodding drum machine, monotone vocals, and quirky lead guitar breakdown just like that song does. Although I like to think I did my own thing with that formula and I wouldn’t say this song an out-right rip-off, just inspired by the formula of Ween.
'Sober and Bored’ was the first track recorded for this album and the title and music itself was inspired by The Boredoms.
'Hang Around’ came out extra poppy because The Beatles remasters had just came out and I was listening to them non-stop and wanted to do a song with “doo-wahs” vocals on it. Besides a short, sloppy, semi-solo on the song “Who Are You?” from Slacker Pop, this track was the first “real” guitar solo I ever put on a song and I’m still pretty proud of it and I think I nailed it on the second take. Prior to this, I was pretty opposed to doing guitar solos. Never performed an electric version of this song live before, but I’ve played it at acoustic shows several times.
'Live Forever’ was my attempt to emulate The Melvins, although it sounds little like them. The odd lyric “I want to lick your knees” was inspired by a porno I saw where a girl was blowing a guy and said “I wanna lick your knees” and proceeded to lick his kneecaps for a few minutes. I thought that was odd and hilarious so I put it in this song. The lyric “I want to see the end cause you know it will start again” means that if a person were to live forever, they would witness the collapse of civilizations and empires, only to see them get rebuilt and start again.
Along with a fellow local band Hollow Body, 'An Exercise in Isolation’ as well as portions of 'Boredumb’ was later put on the soundtrack to local independent film, “WTF?”, a horror/comedy film made by Firefly Ink Productions about a group of people on a road trip who’s car breaks down and the person who picks them up off the side of the road who proceeds to slaughter them. Clips of the movie are available on youtube.
'This is Nothing’ was a jab at the poor work ethics of my fellow bandmates in my side-project DAN, about how they wanted to play shows really badly, but weren’t dedicated enough to practice regularly. Needless to say, DAN broke up about 6 months after Pretty Ugly came out after only playing 3 shows together, all but 1 were a disaster. Although we eventually made up and became friends again, after another year or so we fell back into the same drama and currently haven’t spoken to each other in a while, but if either of them happen to read this, I have no hard feelings toward Sid and Clayton and I think the music we made together in DAN was some of the most creative and interesting songs I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m proud of the recordings we made together and I wish them luck with their recent project, Zelda Zonk.
'Loop 3’ is the third installment of tracks I create using my Boss Loop Station. The first one was on '14 Songs’, and the second was on 'Stuff Volume 1’. This is probably my least favorite and is definitely the laziest one and in hindsight should’ve been left off this album entirely. Loop 4 appears on the most recent self-titled album.
“She Don’t Dig Me” was the last song recorded for this album. This song was lyrics written probably 2 years prior that I never put music to. I lifted the vocal melody of this song from Get Me by Dinosaur Jr, although in the end it turned out Listening back to it, the audio quality on this track is embarrassing, and I remember being very frustrated with mixing it, and eventually giving up and just releasing it as-is, with several glaring technical mistakes, that hopefully nobody can notice but me.
'108’ was an older recording, recorded shortly after finished 14 Songs, but was saved for this release. At 9 minutes and 32 seconds it is the longest track I have ever recorded.