Saturday, August 28, 2010

Youth Fellowship Volleyball

I heard rumors that some pictures from my 1985 and 1986 Christ United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship days had surfaced.  Though scared at what I might find, I went in search of these.  

What you see here from Summer 1986 is the first glimpse of the 8 photos I discovered.  It's a poor quality picture of a picture but it's nonetheless revealing.  The gratuitous "ass shot" shows me in uncharacteristic colorful clothes.  Sporting an aqua blue shirt and a rainbow striped white swim suit, I'm preparing to return a volley.  Not many photos exist of me wearing colorful clothes but click here for another one captured by Kim (Scott) Hepfer from Spring 1987.

P.S.  Pictured from L to R:  Ruby Appleby, ???, Jen Davidson, Suzie Jacobs, Matt Norcross, Dave Wolfgang, and Ann Shallcross.  The person obscured by me is most likely Pete Morgan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Need You Tonight

As Dungeon Aire, we had quite an eclectic and adventurous set list for our first and only gig on 12/31/87 at "Number 9" in Shippensburg, PA.  It included such diverse songs as Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop, The Cult - Wildflower, The Suburbs - Monster Man, Mondo Rock - Primitive Love Rights, and even two original songs (Pung and Progressions) that we had written.  Somewhere between all of that, we also chose to perform INXS - Need You Tonight.

Here is a jam box recording from the show which features Brad Shaeffer - Vocals, Matt Skirpan - Guitar, Matt Norcross - Bass, Scott McConnell - Synthesizers, and Tim Harrell - Drum Machine.  It's the only song that Tim played the drum machine.

P.S.  Pictured from L to R: Scott McConnell - Synthesizers and Matt Norcross - Bass.

Monday, August 23, 2010

In The Pools Of Blood

The Summer of 1991 was another very fertile period for Any Questions? and for me personally. After purchasing our first computer (an Atari 1040STe) for music production in March of 1991, we had left hardware sequencing behind and been working almost extensively with Steinberg Cubase software for music sequencing. This software allowed us much more flexibility in music editing and song arrangements. It also allowed us to quickly and easier save and load our song ideas so we were no longer burdened with the arduous task of manually setting all of our instruments up for each song.

This previously unreleased demo of In The Pools Of Blood is a good example of how quickly it was to sequence the music for a song idea and then work on it. For this idea, I programmed a very basic 4 bar drum pattern. Next, I layered a synth bass line, some string pads, and a reverse cymbal effect. This 4 bar pattern was repeated ad infinitum.

What makes this song idea very unique in the Any Questions? canon is that it is the only one ever recorded that captures me completely improvising lyrics. Even to this day, all Any Questions? lyrics are written out (electronically or on paper) first and then rehearsed with the music. It was very early in the morning (around 3AM) at FFS II when I began to sing (term used loosely). As usual, my Korg A3 provided me with just the right vocal effect and set the mood for me to expel my dark, introverted thoughts. Some of the classic lines from this include... "Liquid tears from placid eyes mix tranquilly", "Slowly gnawing on your flesh", "Spiraling downward you and me", and "In the pools of blood".

The vocals were purposefully recorded farther back in the mix since they were just improvised ramblings. They may be hard to decipher but, if you're up to the task, write them out and e-mail them to me at If they are correct, I'll send you a ***FREE*** autographed 18" x 24" Any Questions? - Prey For Death (Special Edition) poster. Act soon, this offer ends 10/31/10.

P.S. This photo of Ttam Troll was shot at Floating Fish Studios in 2000 (approximate date).