BD's Fabulous Audio Archive: Here to provide you with untold hours of exquisite wonderfulness, these ditties stream as scintillating 320kbps MP3s. One day I might figure out how to make a playlist for you, I try and try and try but it never works. Imagine my woe. Until then I'm afraid you'll have to play each song seperately.
Bob Drake solo: 1980-20???
Except where indicated, everything here was written, performed and recorded by me.
The Dawn Chorus (2018)
In 2017 I was given a 200-year old upright piano which hadn't been tuned in at least that long. This was a half-hearted attempt to write a tune for it. I also play it on a couple of songs on my latest album l'Isola dei Lupi. The Pshent of a Skunk (2015)
Nothin' fancy here, just a little piece for nylon-stringed guitar, drums and bass.
I Should Have Listened To You. (2015) Lyrics here.
Originally conceived as a song for my album Arx Pilosa, but The Panel Of Experts gave it the thumbs down. In other words, at the time I thought it wasn't up to snuff, but I quite like it now! In the first section hopefully you will agree that I have scaled the Summit of Incompetence to at least a reasonably respectable height, then you get a slide guitar solo, then into the verse with plenty of Hammond organ and flappy drums, even more guitar solos, more of this and that, and so on. For you technical trivia fans: the chorus-like effect on my voice during the verses is due to me waving a cymbal around in front of my face as I was singing.
The Isotope The Isotope. (2012)
Every now and then I like to make stupid, incompetently performed, badly recorded songs. (Some say that's all I've ever done, hahah) so here is one from September 2012.
Going Nowhere. (2012)
Once I finished building my new personal studio made of straw bales, earth and wood in Spring of 2012 out in the garage (some photos here) and moved my gear in, I recorded this piece just to try it out, and to have some fun coming up with a good bassline for a very simple chord progression. I also had just put flatwound strings (D'Adarrio Chromes) on my old Rickenbacker 4001 bass for the first time, and it sounds even MORE like a Rickenbacker than it did with the Rotosound or GHS roundwound strings I'd been using on it since 1974. The title refers to the ending bit which seems to keep going up and up but never arrives...I've since been told this effect has a name but I can't recall it.
It Wasn't Meant to Be. (2011) Lyrics here.
A song I'd planned to include on Bob's Drive-In, but felt it never quite made it as a song, so off it went to the musical recycling bin. I do like the guitar solo though, and have re-used the melodic and chordal idea from the chorus (the bit at 1:10-1:20) in a song on my Lawn Ornaments album, Perpetual Lamps.
Badgered. (2010) Lyrics here.
When I read this and pondered whether I'd rather be haunted by a headless badger or a badger's disembodied head, I whipped up a song and recorded it on my Zoom H4n 4-track recorder, using the built-in mics for everything except the singing, that was a Siede PCME mic, and an Oktava MK319 on the bass amp. Mixed in mono. I sent this to one of my music heroes Jon Anderson and he replied "cool song...do more animal songs...many animal songs..." which provoked much glee for mee.
Trashcan of Love. (2008) Lyrics and illustration here.
I did this for an online compilation of 60-second "furry" pieces, which isn't available anymore. I recorded a different version called Letter of Complaint on my 2016 album Arx Pilosa.
Post - Shunned. (2006)
After I finished The Shunned Country, which consists of 52 extremely short, tightly composed miniature songs, I had to go in the complete opposite direction as a relief from the nearly two years of condensed, concentrated songwriting, so I did this long shapeless multitrack improvisation, whose only structural element was watching a stopwatch so I could leave pauses on the overdubbed tracks rougly at certain pre-decided intervals of time. I used my Bruno Royal Artist guitar plugged into a Fender Twin Reverb amp, on a stand, directly in front of the speaker, and played it with another guitar pickup also plugged into the amp. I never touched the guitar with my hands - just held the pickup above and/or pressed it against the strings. Overdubbed 3 or 4 of those and did a bass track the same way, then a track of non-rhythmic drumming, and was satisfied!
Untitled Banjo Song. (2005)
I recorded this as a track for The Shunned Country. Though it's a neat little piece, the rest of the album was nearly complete and this felt superfluous.
Someday. (2003) Lyrics here.
The piano came from a cassette of me improvising on a beautifully dilapidated piano, recorded in the mid 1980's in Denver. In 2003 I added the drums, bass, guitars, voice, and a barely audible and amateurish "Some Enchanted Evening" found on an unlabeled cassette. It was never really more than just something to toy around with, but it has a nice atmosphere and really like that bass solo! The lyrics were composed by cutting up two cut-ups of two different little stories I'd written.
The Unused Announcements. (2002)
The original working title for what became 13 Songs and a Thing was Some Recordings of Pieces of Music With Instruments and Voices on them, and I planned to include announcements between songs, of which only four were recorded before I decided not to include them. I still think they're pretty funny. The background music in the first one is me on bass, Ron Miles on trumpet, Eric Moon keyboards, Mark Fuller drums. the second is me solo, the third and fourth is me and Eric Moon. The fourth announcement was to introduce this track which also wasn't included on the final album.
Pleasant Valley. (2002)
Bass, drums and vocals thing I recorded during the sessions for 13 Songs and a Thing. The lyrics are from a book summarizing each of H.P. Lovecraft's stories in a few sentences, this one was for In the Vault. While the protagonist in the story is called Mr. Birch, I changed it to Smith for reasons unknown. (This information included for the appeasement of you Lovecraft scholars). "It's the story of Mr.Smith, an undertaker who was not particularly conscientious as to the manner in which he carried out the professional duties of his trade. But he came to have sound reason for contrition the night he was trapped in the receiving room of the Pleasant Valley Cemetery." Muranda. (2002)
The basic track of guitar, recorder and voice was recorded on cassette in the late 70's, I added the drums and another voice in 2002. It was a contender for 13 Songs and a Thing but I left it off for some reason... The words came from a notebook of poetry written by one Katie Floyd which I found in a dumpster outside a dilapidated hospice in Denver Colorado in the late 70's: "It's always cold in the city, but Muranda lives in the sun, and calls out "here kitty kitty", and "I don't want to see anyone"".
The Roger Variations . (1998)
Thusly named as it contains a few musical references to some of Roger Miller's songs. After I finished my album Medallion Animal Carpet which includes a medley of noisy, chaotic, lo-fi country-rock, a record label asked me if I'd be interested in doing a whole album for them in that vein. I was tempted, and did record a couple of potential tracks for it including this one, but felt I'd already done enough of it on Medallion Animal Carpet.
One Dyin' and a Buryin' (Roger Miller cover). (1997)
Here I do a version of one of my favorite tunes written by the late great Roger Miller. Recorded in 1997 just after I'd finished recording Medallion Animal Carpet and was still in the same noisy mood. Posted here with kind permission of Mary Miller, Roger's widow. Thank you Mary!
Deserted Downtown Denver. (1986)
This one has a long story behind it - read it here if you like!
Guitar Solo. (1980)
There I was, 23 years old, in my little, one-room, 75-dollar-a-month apartment at 1205 Washington in Denver, on a summery afternoon in 1980 - hoping the landlord wouldn't come knocking at the door asking for the rent I could never pay - with a cheap Epiphone electric guitar I'd fitted with a telephone mouthpiece microphone and a "head" pickup above the first fret a la Fred Frith, a dilapidated acoustic guitar, a borrowed reel-to-reel tape machine and a little 4-channel Teac mixer I'd re-wired so the inputs and outputs fed into each other (they call this "circuit bending" today) all feeding into a cassette recorder. At times I leaned the guitars against the tape reels so they'd be "bowed" by the edges of the reels, and you can sometimes hear the ambience of the street below through the open window via the Epiphone's telephone pickup. If you think you recognise a funny noise now and then, could be you've heard it before: I've used snippets of this recording in a song or two from The Skull Mailbox and Other Horrors..