Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yes And Also Yes

''I had a big thing for Raymond Scott loops. Hell, I could probably eke out a living producing hiphop records, using nothing but breakbeats and Raymond Scott compositions.''

Today Mike Doughty dropped his new album, YES AND ALSO YES. There's no connection to Raymond Scott on this record, but we wanna plug it anyway. Irwin and I are big fans of Doughty's music and his 1990s band Soul Coughing — and not just because they released three tracks with Raymond Scott samples.

"Bus To Beelzebub," from their first album RUBY VROOM, was based on adapted loops from Scott's "Powerhouse," as heard in numerous Bugs Bunny cartoons. "Uh, Zoom Zip," from the same album, uses samples from the RS Quintette's recording of "The Toy Trumpet" that are so distorted they went unidentified for years. By contrast, the loops from the RSQ's "The Penguin" heard throughout SC's "Disseminated," on their 2nd album, IRRESISTIBLE BLISS, are easy to spot. I love the track and think it's one of the coolest uses of Scott samples by any artist, but Doughty is ambivalent. "The lyrics are not my proudest," he explained for SCUG.net. "Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-nonsense, but at the time we were sequencing the record I dismissed the song as 'harmelodic vaudeville.' Democracy won out, the song made the record, and it ended up being the only damn song on the record that Robert Christgau liked when he reviewed it in Spin."

Doughty has been busy — he also released an album of loop-based electronic music this month called DUBIOUS LUXURY. He explains, "I wasn’t noisy about it, at the time, but much of the sampled stuff in Soul Coughing was my work: the crazed Bugs Bunny sample on 'Bus to Beelzebub,' the peculiar Raymond Scott sample on 'Disseminated'." But don't expect more Raymond Scott samples. "After the first record, my bandmates were increasingly unreceptive to loops I brought in from other people's music. Maybe they were right, we woulda been poorer, giving our money away to other composers," he said at MikeDoughty.com. "I could only use the majority of the loops live — gone are the days when Warner Bros. would write a fat check to pay off the Raymond Scott estate and Toots Hibbert for their unsuspecting contributions! Even rappers are too smart to use samples these days."

ADDED BY I.C.: Doughty just confirmed he'll perform live on my WFMU program on Weds. September 21, between 5-6pm (Eastern). MD also performed a couple of songs on WFMU's snarky SEVEN SECOND DELAY, hosted by Ken Freedman and Andy Breckman, broadcast from the UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE on July 27.

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