The 2006 re-release of Worm Quartet's 2000 debut album, "Sumophobia," including a whopping 19 bonus tracks! Features the Dr. Demento hits "Inner Voice" (featuring Sudden Death,) "I Bit William Shatner," and "Coffee," as well as fan favorites "I Don't Give A Shit About Your Website," "Hair On The Soap," "R2D2," "Map Light" (featuring the great Luke Ski,) and "Vampire Penguins."
Why does this exist?
Well, "Sumophobia" (the first full Worm Quartet CD) and the CD re-issue of "Urine Sampler" (the 1996 Worm Quartet demo tape) were both released through mp3.com as DAM-CDs, which were CD-Rs that mp3.com made on demand. They were ugly, but they worked. When mp3.com unexpectedly went kaput, both discs went rather suddenly out of print. Since then, I thought about re-releasing them on a single CD several times, but ultimately decided I didn't want to do so unless I could make things sound a bit better, because I've personally found the original Sumophobia rather hard to listen to in recent years. I didn't want to re-record the whole album, just make the songs more listenable, while staying as true to the originals as possible. And in the interest of making it a worthwhile purchase for the die-hards, I also wanted to include a buttload of bonus tracks. So here you go.
Song notes (The story behind the songs, and what I did to them for this release:)
The Sumophobia tracks:
1. Bunny Bunny Wop Wop - Remixed from the original 4-track tape. I originally recorded this when I was figuring out how to use my 4-track, and left it on a friend's voicemail at a major defense company. He, in turn, forwarded it to other people, and it made its way around the company for a while, bringing joy and confusion to all it touched. The first time my Mom heard "Sumophobia," it got a few seconds into this song and she turned to me and said "THIS is how your CD begins?!?"
2. Coffee - I just did a major revision of this song on FTASM, so this is just a remixed version of the original. This should bring glee to the handful of morons who prefer this version to the FTASM one. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the raw vocal tracks, so you're stuck with the same crappy echo-y thing I did on the original Sumophobia. Sorry. This was the first song that I felt really defined the sound I was going for with the "new" one-man WQ back in 2000. It was written when I still had a band of some sort, and I had intended it to be full-on punk. Once I found myself bandless, I had to adapt and squeeze the song into my new electronic style. This became my standard writing method for a while. Dr. Demento spun this song a few times.
3. I Don't Give A Shit About Your Website - I remixed this and took the effects off the vocals. This was the first song I completed for "Sumophobia" that was recorded digitally, totally sans 4-track. It was a minor hit on mp3.com back in the day (beaten down in the comedy charts repeatedly by Tom Green's "Lonely Swedish" and Tony Goldmark's "Kill the Backstreet Boys,") and remains a live favorite.
4. Death of a Walrus - Untouched. You expected what?
5. I Bit William Shatner - Remixed from the original 4-track tape. Again, playing around with my new ability to record multiple versions of myself...I wanted to see if I could sing one-man barbershop quartet. The answer: Sort of. This made Dr. Demento's funny five a few times, which at the time was my greatest achievement.
6. Hair on the Soap - I had to re-record this...it's one of my favorites, and the original was done in a key I quite obviously couldn't sing in with some serious mistakes in the mix. It sounds immensely better now. This is one of the few cases where I wrote the music and lyrics to a song separately - the music was written while I was pissed, and the lyrics were written while I was bored. Dedicated to a former roommate and his mullet.
7. Violin Solo - Untouched. I actually did take a few years of violin lessons a longass time ago, but I made sure not to use any of those skills when recording this. I used my sister's violin, which had come unglued, and I had to hold it together while playing.
8. Vampire Penguins - Untouched from the Sumophobia version, mostly out of laziness. This was an early (1993?) WQ song that my small-but-deluded original fanbase really liked, re-recorded in '99 with the same old Yamaha I used in the early version, but with more vocals, an extra verse, and an additional layer of keyboards added with a newer Yamaha.
9. The Rabbit Song - Remixed from the original 4-track tape. This is my wife's favorite WQ song, and still goes over really well live.
10. Let's Break Some Furniture - Rerecorded. When I originally wrote this song, I expected it to be the best song on the album. Instead, it sounded like utter friggin' crap. I've corrected this to some degree on the new version and added some spoken bits and more layers of backing vocals than I've ever had in a song before.
11. Lint - Re-recorded in 9487-bit seventeen-channel high-definition surround sound. Remixed by a giant sentient mutant penis.
12. I Can't Get A Job - Since the Sumophobia version of this song was recorded "live" on a borrowed Karaoke machine with former WQ guitarist Coffee Roche back in '94 or so, I've never had a music track for this and thus could never perform it at my live shows. I re-recorded this mainly to remedy that situation. A WQ fan threatened me with death if I changed the sound at all, so I dug up my old Casio and used the exact same friggin' cheesy-ass built-in rhythm that I did in the original, re-played the exact same music, added some backing vocals, and spliced in the original "choruses." So the result is a far cleaner-sounding mix sung by a far-older Shoebox, but it's very similar to the original. There's actually an earlier version of this song in existence, written when I was in high school trying to find a part-time minimum-wage job and couldn't get one. The evil interviewee concept was inspired by a stand-up routine someone did...I don't recall who.
13. Carbonated Hamsters - Remixed. This is what was in the early days was known as a "Chutney song," i.e. a song sung by the worm named Chutney (I used to maintain that the worms on the cover actually sung the songs, and endeavored to apply different characteristics to the different vocalists. I stopped doing this because it was dumb.) I used to have several Chutney songs per tape. Each of my CDs has had one. The music for this song is actually an old .MOD I wrote back in '96 or so, and was my first dabbling into totally-programmed music. It was released on 413 BBS's back in the day under the name "Salad."
14. Hopeless Romantic - Remixed from the original 4-track tape. I have no story behind this song except that it took me several times to get the slap sound right, and I did genuinely hurt myself doing it. That's my wife yelling at me at the end.
15. The Most Wonderful Dream - Untouched. I tend to recite this at my live shows when I have an equipment failure of some sort.
16. Peter Jennings - Remixed. Took out annoying vocal effects, replaced with less annoying vocal effects. Peter Jennings is dead now, and so is my dream.
17. Monotony - Re-recorded live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and special guests Shakira, Pavarotti, Rob Halford, Lionel Richie, Tim Armstrong, and Ru'Paul. Arranged by Jim Steinman, mixed by Brian Wilson, and produced by Phil Spector.
18. Can Of Worms - Re-recorded because I couldn't find the original vocal tracks. This probably shouldn't have been released on a Worm Quartet album, since it isn't funny, but people have said some very nice things about it.
The Urine Sampler tracks:
All I did with these is record them to digital from the original master tape and clean up the hiss.
19. Dead Fragglz - The first WQ song ever to get any manner of airplay. There are two earlier versions of this song in existence, and you'll never hear them. The first was keyboard-based and lo-fi as hell, the second was recorded live with the three-piece WQ sans swearing in hopes of radio play and with me trying (with moderate success) to sound like Tesco Vee of the Meatmen.
20. Spatula - An OK song on which I'm trying to sing in a mock-90's-Alterna-Boy fashion. I really like the raunchy-ass synth-horn lead on this. Kevin couldn't get the guitar solo right when we were recording him...you'll have to take my word for it that he nailed it on practically every practice run.
21. Triks - I'm still proud of this idea. This is another one that was recorded two other times before the Urine Sampler version. The music's boring but heavy.
22. Now That You're... - WQ's longest song, and it's a friggin' piano ballad to boot! The amazingly cheesy music is part live keyboards played by me and part built-in rhythm played by Yamaha. My girlfriend at the time once played this song for her mother, and she never trusted me again. The version of this song on the 2000 CD release of "Urine Sampler" had a stupid annoying echo-y effect on it, which I've mercifully removed.
The Bonus Thingies:
23. Just Say No To Kryptonite - This was originally on the Urine Sampler outtakes tape, "Let's Just Pretend This Shit Never Happened," which was far longer than Urine Sampler. It was also on the 2000 Urine Sampler CD re-release. Kevin and I used to do this in the car, and decided it needed to be a song. We were wrong, but shut up.
24. Tree Bucket - The obligatory Chutney song from "Shit" (I felt guilty for not putting one on "Urine Sampler.") Also on the 2000 Urine Sampler re-release.
25. Russian McDonald's Commercial - Another one from "Shit," also on the 2000 Urine Sampler re-release.
26. The Call of Ktony - Another one from "Shit," also on the 2000 Urine Sampler re-release. This is something Coffee (then known as "Tony") did once during a practice session that amused the crap out of me, so I made him record it even though he'd already left the band.
27. WQ Anthem - Recorded in '97 or so, released on the 2000 Urine Sampler CD re-release. Kevin used to sing this to himself for no reason, and it was obviously stupid enough for WQ. I added music and harmonies.
28. Redundancy - From the "Monotony" Maxi-Single, which was a giveaway to people who pre-ordered the "Stupid Video Game Music" CD. You probably don't have it. The single also included a 20-minute version of "Monotony" and a list of ways to use it.
29. Spatula (Acoustic Live in the Studio) - Coffee and his brother Dan were visiting me, and we decided to do some fun things. This was one of them. Coffee's on guitar and backing vocals, Dan's using actual spatulas to bang various things, and I'm on lead vocals and banging on something with a spatula of my own. This was on the "Too Crappy for the Album" disc that was given to people who pre-ordered the "Faster Than A Speeding Mullet" CD.
30. Let's Make Fun Of The Amish (Acoustic Live on WEOS-FM) - Recorded from the "Metallic Onslaught" radio show. Features Coffee again on guitar, and me on a water cooler jug.
31. R2D2 - A cover song. The original was done by a Syracuse-area two-piece band called Shoegazi. They're in Ohio now. I miss them.
32. I Still Know You're A Fish - Another cover. The original "I Know You're A Fish" was written and recorded by 12-year-old Tony Goldmark for his first album, a kids' record called "You Bug Me." Tony's embarassed by his first album and likes to pretend it doesn't exist, so I came up with this verson of "Fish" to spring on him at PenguiCon, performing it on stage with the great Luke Ski (who also appears in this recorded version as Judge Gilbert.) It broke Tony's brain beautifully, and entertained the hell out of the die-hard dementia fans in the audience who were familiar with the original. This song came out far better than I anticipated.
33. I Don't Wanna Be A Redneck - A cover of a Plan 15 song. This was originally gonna be on a split 7" with Plan 15 (also including their awesome Queers-ish cover of "Dear God,") which ultimately fell through.
34. Map Light - A collaboration with The Great Luke Ski, released on his album "Unconventional." This was supposed to be a one-minute song, but I came up with the nifty instrumental thingy in the middle and he came up with the rant to go over it and it doubled in length. This one's a lot of fun live.
35. Inner Voice - A collaboration with Sudden Death, released on his album "Die Laughing." He wrote and performed the verses and the music, I wrote and performed the "Inner Voice" bits, and it came out friggin' fantastic, and became the most requested song of 2005 on the Dr. Demento show.
36. I'm On Vinyl Now (So I'm More Punk Than you) - Another track from the 7" that wasn't. It made a lot more sense when it was actually going to be released on vinyl. And yes, the harpsichord solo is really me.
37. Recursively Anatomically Correct - Yet another track from the 7" that wasn't. I love this song for some stupid reason.
That's it! I hope you're friggin' happy. Thanks buttloads to all of you for giving a crap about my stupid music.