Bitter Stag Records is a small San Francisco-based label that has so far concentrated on releasing the overlapping works of a small group of artists.
You could call us a collective, but we're more like a dispersal. Projects splinter and indivudals get hurled to the four corners of the world. (Well, mostly the west coast, the east coast and the sub-continent). Fictitious managers appear to give bad advice from websites and dubious record company owners write spurious diatribes. Meanwhile, more work is gradually made and even more gradually made available.
After a period of relative inactivity, we're currently experiencing a flurry. The site itself is part of the resurrection, so links might not work for awhile and prose may suddenly morph. Have no worries.
Here's the news...
THE SIZE QUEENS
IS IT IN YET?
We're wildly excited about the LIMITED EDITION OF 300 NUMBERED COPIES of The Size Queen's debut album,
A little background:
The Size Queens sound like a toast of arsenic at a Paris bistro, a languorous, bitter swig of defeat. At other times, they sound like a Salvation Army Band, trying to raise nickels for alcoholics. On Is It IN Yet?, the band's debut CD, they've attempted a protest album of the last 40 years, drawing on their seminal influences: live footage of The Bee Gees (particularly the hairstyles that left broken hearts un-mended); the second coming of Woodstock AND Iraq; celebrity child murders; the blessed resource, Amazon.com; the rueful recollections of both Nico and the lesser known drag queen, Bambi Lake; and the marching orders of faith healer and great anti-war activist Shirly Phelps Roeper.
How could we have hoped for anything but crushing defeat? To this end, the band applied serious limitations to the making of this record, not unlike bandages.
"Embellish!" Drummer, Tim Mooney (of American Music Club) did not know any of the songs until he played them, nor did Laura Hanna have parts for Pianola, Glockenspiel, or for the drums she contributed to "Weather Underground Goodbye." Carlos Forster (of the band For Stars), was asked to create harmonies on the spot, and did so with a delicious fullness of feeling.
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Similarly, Dale Pickard had never played bass in a band before, nor had he played with a drummer at a single rehearsal, before this record was recorded. To be fair, Klein, Mullen and Mooney formerly worked together as the band, Roman Evening, and Carlos Forster sang on earlier tracks with that band. But The Size Queens had a different intent, a desire to capture a moment of unique inadequacy, what may be called "An American Moment."
And now, in a numbered, limited edition, they are sharing their efforts with you. They remain grateful in the knowledge that a handful of listeners will take this journey with them, deep into the heart of heartless America . If we can encourage one person to shriek "American Taliban,' we'll have accomplished our small goal.
Finally, all correspondence to the band can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org , We also encourage you to view our first ROCK VIDEO for "Quiet Homes" on our our myspace website at: http://www.myspace.com/thesizequeensband
Love to You,
"Is It In Yet?" is not quite out yet.
SMALL ILLUMINATIONS IN A DARKENING SKY
Pocket Shelley (as in a small volume of poems by the poet Percy Bysshe) is project organized by songwriter Michael Mullen.
The first Pocket Shelley release was "I Don't Want to Terrorize the World to Protect My Luxuries". The three-song single was written, recorded and released in the fall of 2002 in response to the imminent and avoidable war in Iraq. Copies were mailed to college radio stations around the country, in the hopes that they would do ANYTHING to help organize efforts against the war, including playing the single. No copies were made available for sale, but some were given out for free at anti-War rallies.
The single did indeed get played on some stations, as evidenced by subsequent royalty checks. However, as an effort to stop the war from happening, it was an utter and irrefutable failure.
That single made for an interruption of work on the first full-length Pocket Shelley CD, "Can't You See It's Late." The CD was eventually finished, but remains unreleased until sudden inspiration strikes. It is now one of the label's ghost releases.
In the meantime, work began on the second full-length CD, which will be released in December of 2006. The CD features performances by Tim Mooney, Marc Cappelle, Carlos Forster, Kirk Heydt, ten original songs and covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Tony Kushner.
Expect lots of piano, the odd tootling of flugelhorns, sliding cellos, the distant roar of thunderstick, and moody meditations on love and loss.
More information, and sample tracks, will be posted soon. Stay tuned.
Standing Up to Life's Cruelties...
BITTER STAG RECORDS
Come Touch the Bitter Stag!
2001-2006, Bitter Stag Records, P.O. Box 190008, San Francisco, CA 94119-0008.
the size queens
is it in yet?
limited edition of 300
in November 2006
in a darkening sky
out in December 2006
heaven will not
delay a traveler
just because it's late
i don't want to
terrorize the world
to protect my luxuries
your trendy dump
living and forgetting