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Karl Straub
written by Karl Straub

Story

This is a single I did with the estimable Peter Fox in the knobsman chair. We were mixing up a few different styles here-- bubblegum r&b with a funky loop and some Steve Cropper-esque raunchy Telecaster. If I recall, Pete redid my bass line because it didn't quite cut the mustard. I recommend surrounding yourself with people that can cut the mustard, for those times when you're reminded that you can't do everything.

Karl Straub (with CrowTown)
written by Karl Straub

Story

This is from the CrowTown album sessions. I can't tell if Pat Cavanaugh is on this cut, though he did wonderful work on many other CrowTown songs-- but it's definitely Antoine Sanfuentes on drums, and Jimmie Cavanaugh on bass. On this song, I was trying to combine very different pop sounds from the early 70s. On the one hand, I spent much of my post-crib youth soaking up the hypnotic folk/easy listening/bubblegum type stuff of the era-- Glen Campbell, Carole King, Elton John, etc. On the other hand-- in an Oz I wouldn't hear about til it was too late, bands like the Sweet and  Mott the Hoople were toiling away. Or, as Jimmie put it at the session-- "you've got both Jim Croce and Kiss in there."

 

Produced by Ira Grylack.

 

 

Karl Straub (with CrowTown)
written by Karl Straub

Story

More from CrowTown.

Lyrics

This song is based on the rib-tickling comedy premise of a depressed steel town inhabited vampirelike by chainsmoking teens. I figure a town like that, running on a blend of testosterone, depression, alcohol, and nicotine, should be named "Westerberg."

Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
written by Karl Straub

Story

One of my favorite cuts from the Graverobbers "Harlem Hayride" album. (with Jim Gray on bass and Martin Lynds on drums, plus Peter Fox on keyboards.) For years this track sat unfinished, and when Peter Fox and I pulled it out of the cobwebs, I discovered I couldn't stand the guitar solo. Fortunately, I'd learned two guitar licks in the intervening years. We recut the acoustic guitar part, and Peter and I monkeyed around with the production, going for a layered and dreamlike quality. (In the opinion of some, this was a mistake. If you're lucky enough to have a copy of the original roughs, you can compare. The original had a very slightly harder edge to the sound, and essentially sounded more like an old country record.)

 

With some beautiful pedal steel guitar from Dave Van Allen.

Karl Straub
written by Karl Straub

Story

This is from a session where I recorded demos to pitch to country singers. Jason Stelluto produced, Jacob Chmara played standup bass, and I did acoustic guitars and vocals.

Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
written by Karl Straub

Story

This song was an attempt to create a really epic track, with complex "literary" monkey business in the lyrics, social commentary, and shifting keys and backgrounds to suggest a series of narrative voices (including a serial killer). If you're already rolling your eyes, may I suggest you may enjoy the electric twelve-string guitar.

 

Lee Wilhoit sang background vocals on this-- some tough fucking parts, too. He worked hard on this session. I believe I can hear a bit of Dave Pera singing some backgrounds too, though the tricky stuff is all Lee.

Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
Thelonious Monk

Story

I love this recording. It was supposed to be recut, after I got better at playing it, but I liked the sound of my foot tapping on the floor so we kept this version.

Karl Straub Combo live (w/Eugene Chadbourne)
written by Karl Straub
Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
written by Karl Straub
Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
written by Karl Straub
Karl Straub (with the Graverobbers)
written by Karl Straub
Karl Straub (with CrowTown)
written by Karl Straub
Karl Straub
written by Karl Straub