Wayward Sun - the later years

Ben's picture

The Magnanimous Matthew B was kind enough to donate some valuable barnson.org bandwidth so that I could put up some of the later Wayward Sun tracks for public consumption. Enjoy!



No Further Questions

(CD, recorded January 1995, Studio 508, Baltimore MD)

  • Destination: Nowhere (Sam/Ben) - This song was a chance for Sam & I to rail against the expectations of our parents and society and everyone who thought we should "make something" of ourselves. And a chance to rock out in the process. (mp3, streaming)
  • Afterlife (Ben/Katy) - Originally from The Right of Way, this was a song I wrote in high school (my sister Katy wrote the second verse). I really don't have a clue what it means, but it's still one of my favorites. I much prefer the CD recording of this one to the original - the real piano adds so much depth. (mp3, streaming)
  • Waterfall (Ben) - Rock epic! In my further attempts to break the 8-minute barrier, this tune reaches incredibly self-indulgent lengths, but still turns out well, mainly due to the services of the Horns of Terror. (mp3, streaming)
  • Chica's Rag (I'll Put My Love In You) (Sam/Ben/Matt/Kevin) - As Matt mentioned in his liner notes to The Right of Way, this tune was the result of a late night jam session in my parents' basement. I've never been happy with the CD version - I always thought that Kevin went overboard on the auxiliary percussion, and I don't think the final mix is especially good. Your results may vary. (mp3, streaming)
  • All Over Again (Matt) - One of my favorite Matt tunes. We really could've brought about the resurgence of the power ballad with this one. Magical moment: that perfect bit of feedback on the guitar in the beginning of the second verse was a complete accident. Somehow it's perfectly in key. (mp3, streaming)
  • One Man (The Road to Forever) (Matt) - Another Barnson classic. I know I couldn't do it justice, but I loved being able to record this song again. I play the piano and the guitar on this one, but not being as talented a tapper as Matt, Sam had to sit next to me during the recording session and dampen all the other strings while I was recording the track. (mp3, streaming)
  • Breathless (Sam) - A Sammy G gem. The recording of this track is so tight, Sam's vocals so warm - if this song doesn't get you laid, there's something wrong with you. (mp3, streaming)
  • The Big Picture (Ben) - Me being deep. There's a number of things I would change about this track if I had the chance to do it over (mostly having to do with the awkward ending), but overall I'm pretty pleased how it turned out. (mp3, streaming)
  • Bad In Practice (Sam) - This song began life as "Sixth Sense", a song that some our fans thought was crude even by our standards. Sammy went back and re-worked the lyrics, and the song morphed from a diatribe about fat chicks and transsexuals to a diatribe about consumer culture and the dumbing down of modern America. (mp3, streaming)

Stream the entire album!



Unreleased

(A fancy way of saying that these are tracks we recorded in Ed's basement in the fall of 1995)

  • Goes Around Comes Around (Sam/Ed) - Never ones to take criticism well, this song is an outright attack against a music reviewer for the UMBC Retriever who described one of our songs as "the kind of lyrics used to seduce 13-year-old girls." The result is a really fun song, and the most difficult rhythm guitar work I ever had to do. (mp3, streaming)
  • Hamlet In My Mind (Ben) - Perhaps the best song I ever wrote, at least if you ask my family. I wrote this during my junior year of college, when I was already starting to get tired of all the crap that comes with college. For some reason, my dad thinks it's about suicide. (mp3, streaming)
  • Jane (Ben/Sam) - Ah Jane. Dani's college roommate, 6 feet tall, gorgeous, English. She came to us one day and said that all of the songs called Jane (Foreigner, Jane's Addiction, etc.) sucked, and that we should write a song for her. So we did. I banged out the music (complete with the idiotic semi-classical instrumental break), and Sam and I wrote the lyrics. On a side note, Jane is getting married this summer and is thinking about opening a boutique. (mp3, streaming)
  • Order of the First Verse (Sam/Ed/Ben) - Wayward Sun's attempt at Art Rock. I think Sam and I were listening to too much Kansas at the time, and the result was this amalgamation of time signatures and nonsense lyrics. Unfortunately, this recording was the first time we played it, so it's a little rocky. I'll have to see if I can dig around for a good live recording. The title, by the way, comes from the fact that Sam and I wrote a series of completely unrelated verses, and we decided that it was completely arbitrary which verse should go first, and which order the subsequent verses should go in - hence "order of the first verse". (mp3, streaming)
  • Shadows on the Wall (Ben/Katy) - At Matt's request, here's a recording of this song. My sister helped me with some of the verses, which explains the paranoic, stalker quality of the lyrics (she's especially good at those). When it comes down to it, this song just plain doesn't work -- the original recording (which I've lost) had this weird break in the middle, which we tried to cut in this recording, and the result just sounds awkward. It has its moments tho. (mp3, streaming)
  • Leave the Past Behind (Ben/Katy) - Originally on Don't Try This At Home, this song turned out to work really well live, although we only got to perform it a few times. The outro is totally worth it. Don't ask me what it's about, because I don't know. (mp3, streaming)
  • Compulsive Fire (Sam/Ben) - Two recordings for the price of one! We pulled this Right of Way track out of the stacks for one more go-around, and found that it held up pretty well! First is a recording done the same time as all the rest (mp3, streaming), and the second is a later recording we did using an electronic drumset that Kevin had borrowed from a music store at which he was employed at the time - very cool. (mp3, streaming)
  • Worlds Collide (Sam/Ben) - The last Sam/Ben collaboration. I remember writing this song in Sam's Virginia apartment - he'd been working on some lyrics and I'd been working on a chord progression, and we just shoved them together. I've always been fond of this song, and although it's not the best recording (the electronic drums don't sound as cool on this one as they did on Compulsive Fire), it's still a good indicator of what a good song this is. (mp3, streaming)

Stream all the Unreleased tracks!



Live at the End of the Edge

(Live concert as part of UMBC's "End of the Edge" concert series, recorded April 30, 1996)

  • Come and Get It (Sam/Ben) - This is the song with "the type of lyrics used to seduce 13-year-old girls", and doggone if it didn't work! I mean, uh... Anyway, I think it's a pretty mature look into the power struggles of sexual relationships, but that's just me. (Note: Due to stupidity on my part, there's about 16 seconds of empty space before the song actually starts.) (mp3, streaming)
  • Back to Basics (Sam) - Written in the summer of 1994, this tune was written by Sammy for his then-girlfriend Noel, who at the time was on a choir tour of Europe (with me). A straightforward pop song, this tune was always a big crowd pleaser. (mp3, streaming)
  • Dirty Shoe Funk (Sam/Ben/Ed) - No self-respecting band can consider its repertoire complete without a booty-kicking funk instrumental! Based on a funky bass riff by Sam, this tune grew into one of our most popular offerings. A nice touch in this recording was that I got to play on a vintage Hammond organ. (mp3, streaming)
  • Seasons Change (Ben) - This is the last pop tune I wrote. It's a wistful piece about how change is eternal, and yet everything comes full circle in the end (a point well illustrated by the fact that 15 years later, we're all chatting). (mp3, streaming)
  • Famous Band/A Day That Ends In Y (Sam) - These remain two of my favorite WS tracks. Famous Band is a semi-comical look at our own dreams, while A Day That Ends In Y is about the mundanity and boredom that ultimately creep into any serious relationship. Pay close attention to my awesome bass-guitar work. ;) (mp3, streaming)
  • Spoken Echoes (Sam/Katy) - Sam took an old poem of my sister's and created this atmospheric tune. It's anyone's guess what it's about. I remember Kevin throwing a fit when we suggested using a drum machine for the beginning of this tune. Temper! (mp3, streaming)
  • Hoped to Be (Sam/Ben) - A collaboration from Don't Try This At Home, it was nice to get to do this live - I think it's the only time we ever did. I remember cowriting the lyrics with Sam at my mother's house, trying to fit words around the complicated internal rhyme scheme we'd worked out. Again, Sammy on piano, me on the bass. (mp3, streaming)
  • I Will Wait For You (Kevin) - A WS switcheroo! Kevin on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, me on the bass, Sammy on drums. This was a happy little tune about whoever Kevin happened to be dating at the time. (Note: Due to the recording engineers running out of tape, this song fades out about halfway through.) (mp3, streaming)

Stream the entire concert!

Comments

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Sammy G's picture

You rock!

Thanks for throwing these up!

"Live At The End of the Edge" is my favorite WS gig. It was great to play for a packed studio where everyone was attentive to the songwriting and the intra-personal dynamics of the band. Plus, if I recall, you can hear Weed yelling at us during song breaks. Classic. We should have gone through and released this in album format with packaging and artwork...

matthew's picture

Jennifer

<cough> Where's "Jennifer"?

<grin>

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Ben's picture

The fate of Jennifer

Certain tracks were removed to protect the innocent.

Seriously tho, the reason I had all these tracks in mp3 format was that I ripped them to be playable in my mp3 player (a cheap iPod knockoff), and I didn't think I'd ever need to listen to "Jennifer" or "Lullaby for Kim" (sorry Sam!)

--
Ben Schuman
Mad, Mad Tenor

--
Ben

Ben's picture

End of the Edge

I'm still sorry the bastard recording engineers didn't just put another tape in -- this concert went for a full hour and a half after the tape ran out, and included such rare gems as our only live performance of "Slowly But Surely".

--
Ben Schuman
Mad, Mad Tenor

--
Ben

weed's picture

Rochester

I have to say I have fond memories of the Rochester gig, if only because I got to get friendly with a WS groupie while Kevin and Sam slept on the floor :) That and the sight of the sound guy taking the wrong turn in NYC and driving off somewhere...

As for the chica who wrote was the WS-hater at UMBC, her name was Karen Keys. She has a picture here. I think she writes transportation info for the Baltimore Sun (Train/Greyhound schedules, etc) Nice to see she did well ;)

That was also when they cut WS's gig short during Quadmania for some silly reason. UMBC was full of such wonderful administrative types. I miss Eva Chatterjee so much.

I still wish I had a recording of WS's cover of "Never Been To Spain" The original can't hang with your version. Anyone out there with an mp3 floating around?

My $.02
Weed

My $.02
Weed

Timpane's picture

The collection is almost complete..

I may be willing to spend some time come may taking out the hum and tape hiss on the live ones.

Some I like, some I can see why they stayed unreleased.. in particular, I really love "Hamlet in My Mind".

I too noticed the removal of jennifer.. My love will go the extra mile for that song.. heh.. heh.. I have it on my computer so I can listen all day long.

I was impressed with the clarity of no further questions.. but I felt as if the band had lost a bit of its soul.

By this, I mean that whatever emotional oomph was on the "Right Of Way" (see.. compulsive fire, house of dreams, all over again, one man, and the bridge of Leave it all Behind) and TAFTFT (See The Sky is always There, Sweet Lori, On My Way), was missing. Instead, there were a lot of songs longer than 5 min, a couple longer than 7, and a couple longer than 8.. and while many were technically very very well done, it seemed a bit.. emotionless. Notable exceptions include whatever the "God's Easel" song was, the remake of "All Over Again", the "Can't Hear The Soundbites" song, an dabout the first 3 minutes of "Destination Nowhere".

With Apologies to Weed..
My .02

JT

NVZ: NINJAS VS ZOMBIES - THE MOVIE - www.nvzmovie.com
THE OFFICIAL JUSTIN TIMPANE WEBSITE - www.timpane.com

weed's picture

The Emotion of WS

Having watched the band a lot during "The College Years", I came to the conclusion that WS was definitely a live band. Meaning that listening to recordings was never close to hearing them live. All the songs on No Further Questions rocked when they played them at gigs, but for some reason that didn't transfer to the CD as well as in the past recordings.

It's kinda like Boston's first album...the first cut, recorded in the garage, sounded better than anything they tried to do in the studio. We should have recorded NFQ in The Pub and put that on CD. With me, yelling between songs, "Free Bird!!!" :)

Yes, I was that guy
My $.02
Weed

My $.02
Weed

weed's picture

Sixth Sense/Bad In Practice

I personally think Sixth Sense was hilarious...I'd love a copy of the original if it exists!! :)

My $.02
Weed

Ben's picture

The problem with studio recordings

--I was impressed with the clarity of no further questions.. but I felt as if the band had lost a bit of its soul.--

Here's where I think we went wrong with No Further Questions. We were always at our best, as Weed says, when we were playing live and could play off each other. A lot of the energy of our live concerts (and, to a lesser extent, the first two cassettes) came from the synergy of playing together - Kevin and Sam sinking into a tight bass/drum groove, etc.

When we went to record No Further Questions, Dr. Cerri, the recording engineer, insisted that we record each instrument separately, in order to better isolate the tracks in the mix. So we recorded all the drums first (with me singing into Kevin's headphones so he'd remember how the song went), then the bass, then the other instruments, and finally the vocals. I think this sucked a certain amount of energy out of the songs. Kevin in particular, having to play his part in a vacuum (and with a click track), lost a lot of that unbridled, chaotic energy that characterized his live performances. And in some cases (Chica's Rag in particular) he tried to fill up that empty space with more instruments, which just made it sound messy.

So, No Further Questions is still a good album, in my opinion, but it's not indicative of how good a band we really were. That's obvious when you listen to something like the live version of Dirty Shoe Funk. Yes, it's a messier performance than much of the CD, but it's got so much more energy.

Weed, I think I've got "Never Been to Spain" on a video somewhere - I'll see if I can dub it down. I've got two gigs from The Pub, and our final gig at Towson.

--
Ben Schuman
Mad, Mad Tenor

--
Ben

weed's picture

Barnson.org video gallery

Ben,

If you were to get me that video somehow, I could put capture it and put into a format that all internet citizens could share...

Just an idea
Weed

My $.02
Weed

matthew's picture

Hosting videos

I already host several videos here for other web sites that I run, and am familiar with streaming formats. Just get it into .wmv, Quicktime, or whatever, and I can put it up here :)

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Ben's picture

Videos

I'll see what I can dig up.

--
Ben Schuman
Mad, Mad Tenor

--
Ben

Ben

Dude...long time...email me man...coosh38@hotmail.com

Haven't really read up on everything...but ever hear from Dani anymore?

matthew's picture

Dani

You know, I think Ben saw her very, very recently :) But he needs to put up pictures of her and more of his little boy!

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

?

Wasn't the "Live at the End of the Edge" gig the one in the upstairs studio at UMBC? As I recall Ben took requests towards the end, and Steve Zebrowski shouted out "Play One Man!" and Ben hollered back, "But that one's hard!"

If so, wasn't that gig's of Hamlet in my Mind also taped? (I thought it was the first of the set.) If so, can you post that?
-RH

matthew's picture

Hamlet In My Mind

Hamlet In My Mind is in the middle of Ben's post at the top of this page :)

Happy to help!

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson