The Luskville Session
By the summer of 2012 The Jeers had an upwards of 40 song repertoire. There had been a number of changes in the extended lives of the band. As Jackson put it, three of us had undergone significant “re-boots” in our professional and family lives and Daniel was starting to look towards a full-time move to Toronto. We began to feel that, while we wanted to have a record of the work we had done, a formal studio recording might not be the way to go. Alternatives began to suggest themselves.
The Jeers did a bunch of great gigs over the years. Our first was at The Elmdale Tavern one hot August evening in 2010. The last was at The Dominion Tavern in September 2012. However gigs never produced much revenue, touring was not an option, and looking for professional management or production strategies would have set up expectations we would not have been able to meet. Another set of reasons to record on-the-cheap.
In the summer of 2012 we decided to take a crack at recording on our own. Just as Daniel had come to write songs that responded to the traits and skills of the members of the band, so did the band identify as a whole with the breadth of music we were producing. The differences one might identify between a song like Fructify (a surprise favourite from this session) and Ride the Wave are addressed (but not justified) in the music and lyrics of Na Na Na: music comes before and indeed transcends the painful disciplinary work of classification and judgment. These are the lessons we had learned from punk and were interested in interpreting. As we began to sense the end of the operation it became more important to create an archive than to craft a marketable album.
One Friday afternoon we rented some recording equipment and headed out to Lorian’s house along the Ottawa River in Luskville, Québec. We spent Friday evening working on a set-up that would capture room, amp and vocal sounds. Amps went in closets and separate rooms, the vocal mic was set up behind the sliding glass door in the kitchen, and the drum mics were hung in a stairwell. Somehow we managed to get everything ready to go before passing out.
Saturday was a marathon. After crawling out of bed and warming up briefly we hammered through about thirty-five songs. We played most of these songs only one time through and we didn’t stop to listen back to the tracks. We didn't have much of a sense of how our performances were turning out 'on tape.' We felt that energy was off because of restricted movements and obscured sight lines. Both the adrenalin and the drive were fairly high though, and the songs included here are a record of our performances that Saturday.
By the end of that day we were spent. Sunday morning we tore down and headed home.
Mark and Lorian split mixing duties and as songs began to appear, and in light of the recording circumstances, we were all surprised at and pleased with the results. Each of these songs was mixed individually rather than as part of a sequence of songs, and if the result is a set of diverse song 'personalities', the four of us have come to feel strongly that, along with the energy of each performance, it is this sense of diversity and openness that we want to carry on beyond the mortal coils of the band. As of the end of 2012 there are more songs to mix: they’ll all appear here soon and we'll announce these apparitions on our Facebook page. We invite you to leave us your thoughts and comments there too.
By November 2012 a variety of circumstances brought The Jeers project to a conclusion.
So here it is: a cornucopia of condensed conspiry, a plethora of punkish performatives, the ruins of a rabid desire to find both rage and reason in a tune.
We invite you to keep these songs and to find something in them that is of you. They are the record of two years of commitment and conviction that informs this music, and that we want to share.
Thanks to our families and especially to John and Karine Jackson; to the Elmdale Tavern; to John Jastremski; to Andy; to all the bands we played with; to all the people who listened to us play; and to everyone who might come along to hear.
released December 23, 2012
Daniel Jackson - rhythm guitar, vocals
Mark Matz - lead guitars
Lorian Bélanger - bass
Randy Innes - drums
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