do you ever wish for more?

by The Gretchen Phillips Xperience

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about

I don't know what qualities make me like or dislike a singer, but when I heard Gretchen's voice and saw Andy playing Casios in an evening gown at that party on the hill, I knew I had to murder her drummer and take his job. Fortunately he was leaving . I told Gretchen that she needed me to be her next drummer. She was slowly convinced. I love these recordings. We rehearsed a lot and never played a bad show. The politically correct, uptight '80s were over & we all just wanted to rock the fuck out and hear hilarious songs about fuckin and Satan. Hope you like these recordings . - Thor Harris

I met Gretchen in 1988 through Don E. Piper. She was in a band called Two Nice Girls. They blew my mind. Seriously. I was mesmerized by their vocal acumen and rock power. It has been my supreme pleasure to have had the opportunity to play music and sing with her. These songs capture a magical time in my life. - Jo Walston

These tracks are raw. At least, they are rawer than anything else I’ve ever released to the public. When I put out an album I usually like to ensure that everything is in tune.

But I really want to put this out even though everything is not in tune. Because I want to cash in on the Thor Harris craze. You’ve heard him in Swans, you’ve heard him in Shearwater. You’ve seen him crashing the beatables half-naked on stage. Well, back in the ‘90s, when he was just proposing the idea that he write to Michael Gira and tell him that he should be the drummer for Swans, he had already gotten a gig with me by showing up at my door and telling me he should be the drummer for The Gretchen Phillips Xperience. And I believed him. And I’m glad I did.

Thor – AKA McGyver – took the band to a whole new place, as did Jo Walston on guitar. You’ve seen Jo Walston front The Meat Purveyors. You’ve lost your heart to that sassy singer with the sexy big hands who stands up there enthralling you with the sweetest songs of loss and despair and alcoholic depression you could ever be lucky enough to hear. No one else ever made that stuff sound so good. But did you know that before Jo was in the band she was joining me on electric guitar in The Gretchen Phillips Xperience? Back in the day Jo was known for her tasty lines and her exquisite tone. What a pleasure to play with!

I am attempting to cash in on my associations with these people. I know that there are hard-core fans that dig deeply into the bins of the internet and want to hear an even fuller body of work by the musicians they love. Heck, I’m that way. Well, I present to you Thor Harris and Jo Walston quite possibly before they showed up on your radar. They were definitely well established already in the Austin Music scene by 1994 when they joined the incredible Andy Loomis and me in The Gretchen Phillips Xperience. But you fans in Denmark may not have been aware of their prodigious musical talents yet.

After my all-girl and democratically run band, Two Nice Girls, broke up, I wanted to be really bossy. I just wanted to call the shots. I wanted to top. And God bless my good fortune, I found some incredible bottoms with which to make some beautiful music.

The Gretchen Phillips Xperience rocked. I had a whole batch of post-Two Nice Girls songs back in 1993. A fresh-faced, young man came up to me after a Blaubie show where Darcee Douglas, Meg Hentges and I had just presented a set of songs that had been created by setting to music the poems that people had left in a box soliciting their submissions at the local lezzie bar, Chances. Andy Loomis approached me and said that if I were ever looking for a band mate, he would be happy to provide.

A multi-instrumentalist with a sweet, high voice, we eventually settled on a line-up of me on 1964 SG and Andy on a double-tier keyboard stand of cheap Casios, bass and drum machine. We played as a duo for quite awhile, sometimes employing more go-go dancers onstage than musicians. That was the first phase of the band. Eventually John Paul Keenon asked to join and our sound changed with the addition of live drums. That was the next phase.

Then John Paul moved to NYC and Thor came a’ knocking, literally, to offer his services pounding the skins and donning a dress. Oh yeah, that was one of our shticks. I, (and later Jo) wore a suit and the guys wore dresses. Why? Honestly, it was their idea and that just made sense back in the ‘90s. We played all the usual venues of Austin at the time and even went on a little tour of the west coast before I busted up the band in order to move by myself to San Francisco and be miserable there. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

One of our last gigs was on KUT’s Live Set with Kerthy Fix as host. Most of the tracks presented here are from that recording. Pease Park is a jambox recording from Liberty Lunch. One Proposition After Another is from UT’s student radio, (at the time called KTSB). I sold a cassette version of these recordings for a while, but then I got too self-conscience about the mistakes. I can be a control freak. But I’ve learned that being a control freak can make my life too small. I keep trying to grasp and hold onto every drop of water and it’s too much work. Why not attempt to cash in on my beloved and still fruitful relationships with these people who went on to much greater fame once I’d broken up the band and moved to San Francisco? Jo started The Meat Purveyors and Thor joined Michael Gira in Angels of Light. Once they were free of me they went on to shine internationally, putting on the great shows you’ve come to know and love.

Before that, however, we four were rehearsing upstairs in a creaky barn in East Austin that swayed in the wind. They were all being exemplary straight allies to my vision of lezzie rock. I’m not entirely sure why they did it, but I’m sure glad they did.

credits

released November 10, 1995

Lead vocals and electric guitar: Gretchen Phillips
Backing vocals and electric guitar: Jo Walston
Backing vocals, keyboards and bass: Andy Loomis
Drums and percussion: Thor Harris

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about

The Gretchen Phillips Xperience Austin, Texas

I got your lezzie rock right here! Since 1984, keeping it real in Austin, TX. What do I mean by "real"? Transgressive, literate, unapologetic, and unafraid. Plus fun. Don't forget fun. Even when it's sad, let's look for the fun.

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Track Name: Burning Inside
A college dorm room
Ten feet square
What can I say for my twenties?
I had some high hopes
They started there
There's nothing much
To show for my twenties

But it's hot and I'm
Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside

A tiny sublet
Full of her stuff
No room to think
Can't crack a window
They're painted shut
This place stinks

And it's hot and I'm
Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside

I don't feel pretty
I don't feel okay
But I can't even get it up to cry
If I should start spewing
You'd best look away
I'd hate to put out your eye

And it's hot and I'm
Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside

I got on the bus
I took off my shirt
Some dude asked me my name
Then things got dramatic
Some dude got hurt
Oh motherfucker won't you
Tell me tell me tell me who's to blame?
When it's hot and I'm

Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside
It's hot and I'm
Burning inside

Written by Gretchen Phillips & Sonic Youth
Track Name: Lesson
I hope you feel this message
I'm sending you tonight
I hope that you are living
Hope you are alright
I wish that I could call you
See if you're okay
I find it hard to feel safe
When I'm away

Since our country's been at war
I've been really scared
I never understood it before
I never really cared

But in the last year I've come around
I'd like to live
I'd like to live with you
In a nice house
Learn to feel
Learn to give
Make some plans for the future
Actually care whether I live or die
Allow you to be important
Let me be satisfied

I've made some plans for the future
I've had some dreams about the future
We have a life
And there's a war on


I hope you feel this message
I'm sending you tonight
I hate that we are separated
I hope you are all right
I hate that life is so uncertain
I hope we die together
Holding hands and making plans for our
Afterlife together
Being sweet
Being brave
Not afraid to die
Holding hands and making plans for our
Afterlife
Together

Written by Gretchen Phillips
Track Name: Gretchen Phillips Says "Yes"
Can our government be competent?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Can our government be honest?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Can our government be decent and open?
As our 43rd president I have spoken Yes
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"

Can our government be feminist?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Can our president be lesbian?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Aren't you tired of those sleazy old men?
With a dyke as our leader we'll have hope again
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"

SPOKEN

Can our government solve problems?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Can the president be sexy?
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
What, what are you living for?
The pursuit of pleasure. You want more, more more
Gretchen Phillips says "yes"
I am Gretchen Phillips, our 44th President
Gretchen Gretchen Phillips, our 44th President
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yeah

Written by Waskey Elwood Walls, Jr & Gretchen Phillips
Track Name: Pease Park
Written by Gretchen Phillips
Track Name: I Can't Feel It
Wondering when I will be clear and bright?
There are things I am ashamed to tell you
I drove my car like a madwoman tonight
In the rain
On the freeway
Getting lost in my own town

I admit I am affected by your moods
They can shape me
I get lost in your worries
Your lack of time
Your sadness

Wondering when I can stay clear and bright?
There are things I am ashamed to tell you
I cannot feel how close we are sometimes
I cannot feel my love for you
You may touch me
I may be numb

I may be gone
Afraid to be affected by your tenderness
Yet I'm affected by your moods
It's cold
And you can't touch me
I long for sensation burning like a cigarette
Undeniably there
How hard can I take it?
If it's too soft I can't feel it
If I must pay attention I'll get lost

I want something constantly there
Something I can touch and know
Will I ever be bright and clear?
Will I ever feel your love, my dear?
Will I ever trust you?
Some things
I am ashamed to share
With you

Written by Gretchen Phillips
Track Name: Swimming
I saw you first at the gym
You were just learning how to swim
I'm a certified lifeguard
I could teach you a thing or two

I think you have pretty eyes
I see you have shapely thighs
My wet dreams materialize
When you rise up out of that pool

Can I ask you a question, please?
Are you comfortable on your knees?
Could you handle a pair of these
If I offered them up to you?

Please, please let me taste you
Lick the water off of your skin
It seems such a waste to get this close
And not come in

Did you see that dude freak and stare
Enthralled by your pubic hair?
Well, it's a wondrous amount to behold
You must feel very proud

I guess I'll just cut to the chase
You have such a lovely face
Would you care to come back to my place
And....uh.......?

Please, please let me taste you
Lick the water off of your skin
It seems such a waste to get this close
And not come in
I tried and I tried to get you by the side of the pool
So I could stick my fingers in you
I tried and I tried to get you by the side of the pool
So I could stick my fingers in you

Written by Gretchen Phillips
Track Name: One Proposition After Another
Satan wants
Wants to kill
Kill my libido
I must not give in
Satan wants me
Wants me to doubt
Satan wants me to doubt everything
I cannot let him win

Get thee behind me Satan
I'm over you
But you tore me up so bad inside

I feel all empty
Cause I'm enraged
And they wanna kill us
They wanna wipe us off the page
If you can't say something nice
Don't say nothing at all
I hate to admit it
But I'd love to shoot off your balls

What do you fear?
Listen here:
"Are you a queer?
We don't want you
We don't want you here"

I babysat your kids
Taught the little one to read
For fifty cents an hour
In your time of need
I helped you up the stairs
When you were expecting
I can only respect a family that's worth respecting

Why don't you just go to hell?
I'd say that's a place you know rather well
You wanna send me some place to rot
Let me tell you, motherfucker
I got something that
You don't got

A girl who loves me
We fuck all night
And I love her back
And it's all worth the fight
You try to push me
I just don't know what I will do
If good living is the best revenge
I got something on you

Is it enough
To shut you up?

Written by Gretchen Phillips