The photo above was taken on Valentine's Eve, 2006 just across the Snohomish river slough from where I spent the entirety of my fifth grade year - on a place in the flood regions called Ebey Island. Though technically surrounded by water, this tropical paradise was in fact a marsh-covered wasteland positioned directly beneath a highway overpass - bordered on one side by a christmas tree farm, on the other by this polluted off-pouring. Ebey Island is removed just enough from land to have isolated me entirely from my hometown of Everett, Washington, with no bus service nor reasonable roadway with which to travel by BMX. Separated by blocks from any other residence, our home was the bottom half of a two story duplex, its yellow wooden siding visibly stained well above the second story with the semi-annual high water. It was on Ebey Island that I had my one and only legitimate fist-fight (sans a couple of beatings that could scarcely be called "fights" that I experienced during my high school years) - I lost. It's here that we mastered Safe As Houses, the next Parenthetical Girls record.
Matters are a little rocky right now. I'm still sort of queazy. First, the good news:
* After about a month of impossible server woes, email problems, Moveable Type issues, cholera, and just about every other computer problem you can imagine, we've jumped to a new server (thank you to Jona and the Merrills), can finally update, and just couldn't be more tickled. Hopefully the great lulls of the past will soon find their remedy.
* The remastered (((GRRRLS))) CD has finally been pressed, and will be available for online ordering shortly - as soon as we can knock out the gift shop section of the Slender Means Society site. In an attempt to maintain the distinct duality of the LP release, the CD version of (((GRRRLS))) features both editions of the album - but in two different, enhanced CD formats: version "O" plays on any standard CD player like your average CD should, while the "X" version, takes advantage of the near ubiquity of the iPod revolution by offering its tracks as super high quality MP3s, accessible via any computer. Additionally, the enhanced materials feature "Inspirational Shortpants (avec paroles)," a newly finished track (originally for the 20 Bees Series) not available on the original vinyl release. It will be officially "released" on April 25th, 2006, because records are supposed to come out on Tuesday.
* Our beloved compatriots in wistful isolation - the onesome known as Casiotone For the Painfully Alone - recently released the stupefyingly beautiful Etiquette, which features a bevy of cosmic strands traceable back to the Parenthetical Girls: Jherek plays on and produced much of the album, Sam drops one of his signature spoken word appearances, and most notably, the final track is a touching cover of "Love Connection". Needless to say, we are honored. Equally self-evident: you should already own this record.
* Safe As Houses is in one of the final stages of "done-ness" - as I swear I've been saying it's done since, like, November. This is not in that Picasso-y, "a painting is never finished" sort of way, either - there are just infinite ways in which an album comes to completion, I'm finding out. Presently we are at the music-and-mastering-is-totally-done, art-is-totally-done (seriously amazing - a million thanks to Autumn Whitehurst and Corianton Hale for utter brilliance on this one), having-problems-with-the-printer-again phase. Right now it's looking like a mid-June release, but we will invariably have copies for sale before then. I don't intend to make a habit of this, but as I was bored during mastering - perhaps the most tedious process in the world - I decided to kill time by making an unnecessarily lengthy video on our progress. Everett-o-philes only, Please. (5.6 MB - MP4)
* The Slender Means Society now has a Myspace page, which will have to act as the closest thing to a Parenthetical Girls myspace page until we sign to Virgin and the lawyers make us.
And now, the bad news:
* Previously reported Parenthetical Girls/Dead Science tour has been officially cancelled, due to unforeseen Dead Science fortune - the gents will be instead be supporting Carla Bozulich on her Summer tour... and effectively leaving yours truly up shit creek. No beef, I assure you. Alternate tour plans are being cobbled together, so for my sake, please keep your fingers crossed - the fates are officially against this band surviving until year's end. But then again, haven't they always been?
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