New Constitution & Mathlete live recordings

As I mentioned when I launched the site, there were a few known articacts from way back that I hadn’t had a chance to get to. I have tracked down a couple more live recordings that are worthwhile. I’m not sure how many more updates like this there will be as many of my leads on unearthing these types of tapes have dried up. I am still on the lookout for more video and photos, that’s for sure, and will continue to work any leads I get on those.

First off, Mathlete recorded live on WNUR (Northwestern University radio, Evanston, IL – 3/18/2000). From what we remember about this one, it was the first time we played as a trio with Mike Marsden on guitar. It was a few months before Telstar Parthenon came out and probably the first time we had played a lot of these songs live. One of our local favorite bands Beauty Pageant also played with us on the show that day. This was 100% live in the studio with no re-do’s or anything like that. Audio-wise it sounds fine. The mix improves throughout the set.

The story behind me acquiring this recording (I assumed it was long gone) was that I simply fired off an email to WNUR’s program director explaining who I was and what I was looking for. I got a reply that he’d look into it, but no promises. A few months later he got back to me with the news he had tracked down the alum that booked/recorded the shows (16 years ago!) and had the file for me! Unreal. I am a firm believer in documenting, preserving, etc… but am also firmly grounded in the fact that a lot of people are fine with leaving the past as the past. Sometimes a project was fun at the time and a lot of work was put into it, but as time rolls on, not so much. I get that. That’s why stuff just gets erased or even if it exists it’s not worth the time for someone to do the digging. I want to publicly thank WNUR for doing the legwork on this.

Now here’s one I didn’t have to search for, as it has always been in my possession. Believe it or not, I simply forgot about it when I was building this site! The New Constitution – Rehearsal Tape, 10/1/03. We were a really active band: we played out a lot and we practiced a lot. We luckily had our own practice space that we didn’t have to share with any other bands. It was our own clubhouse. It smelled horrible. It was wonderful. The thing was though, we didn’t really record demos as a band (Dan and I would do demos solo and bring them to the band). So there was a lack of recordings that happened at the practice space, except for this one. I recorded this live, direct to a Tascam 8-track cassette, although I only had a couple mics set up. It’s a rough recording and sounds pretty much how it sounded if you were sitting on the couch in front of us. As the story goes, we were getting songs ready for a new album and wanted some demos of them to bring with us to the studio. We were probably also practicing our set for an upcoming show, as there are some older songs on this as well.

So that’s what I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for more stuff! I’ve got a new Mike Downey Tape album nearing completion. I’ll be sharing that here as soon as it’s good to go.