Duplexes of the Dead
Unhelpful husbands, uncomfortable shoes, underwhelming messages of inconclusive import from the back of Beyond, sisterly suppression from seemingly submergedly Sapphic spiritual supervisors: All these and air-conditioned buses combine to make things difficult for the Lady Writer in this day and age. And also the day and age of a few years ago. –But the worst is the unhelpful husband. What could be worse than an unhelpful husband?
The songs “Duplexes of the Dead” “Automatic Husband” and “Ex-Guru” tell the tale. The would-be Phoebe Crackenthorpes of today are constantly set upon. Or “submergedly” suppressed; and so are her sisters Micklethwaites. Let’s be honest here and put seeming “successes” to the side.
Here is some technical information about this recording (”recording”, considering it as one song):
“Duplexes of the Dead” features an Univox electric guitar mic’ed with a AKG 414 (right on the strings, not on an amp) through an ARP 2600 synthesizer set on a standard patch given in the old how-to book. The strings during the drum solos and the winds in the key change are one of the old Chamberlins at Key Club Recording studio. The “dead” drum kit which plays during the third verse has it’s snare pitched down quite a bit by the frequency mod of another synth (at Soma E.M.S.).
“Automatic Husband” also perpetrates the audio pun of switching back and forth between “dead” and “live” drum sounds. And everything goes quiet, except that player piano in the parlor, when the ghosts-or-whomever speak directly to the listener. The ghosts are played by me.
“Ex-Guru” has the rhythm guitar through a vocoder. The guitar in the Wrath of the Guru part was played though a very small, very innovative solid state amp called a L’Amp. “Ex-Guru” also features that great trick of the songwriter’s trade, the key-change chorus. At the end of the song I can be heard telling myself to stop playing the Chamberlin flute. But it was too late.