Listen to THE BUNGLED and THE BOTCHED at http://www.dakotaslim.bandcamp.com
I have been working on two narrative albums for over 2 years. The writing started amidst the release of my last album, Hitherto The Aminals, and production occurred in many places along the western United States. The common occurrence of bad decision making, rebellion against societal standards, and incessant drive to create have befuddled me since I realized the weight of every action I make. If “Aminals” was a loose narrative on my prediliction to American Folklore, The Bungled and The Botched would take the same lyrical writing to despondant, confused, angered and resolved situations that surround my personal life.
I posted this on myspace to explain the metaphorical narrative of THE BUNGLED and THE BOTCHED back in June of 2008:
“The Bungled and The Botched, 14 tracks, recorded in Oakland, CA and Portland, OR respectively:
This musical process (as with any creative process) can be daunting. not so much the process of the said “write/record” loop, but the problems concerning motivation versus drive. The need for productivity and the set backs caused by means of creating that productivity. These set backs could include necessity for materials outside financial means, below standard health habits, and negative effects due to an inability to change one’s environment.
I own nothing materially worth anything. But am instead a participant in a sect of people who exist to create and become buckled under their own self-critiscm and cross examination pertaining to their creations. Everything else that doesn’t concern passion, love and the pursuit to dig (and to dig deep) remains immaterial in this sect. This can cause one to lag in the hue of general perception. Eating dirt is delicious, but it can be devalued to the point of losing its taste.
I am thoroughly concerned with how much other assholes affect what I think about myself, you know? Are their ideals poisoning ours? Or am I allowing myself to feel as if I am societal miscreant? I respectively choose the latter.
It is still romantic (first word that comes to mind) to not identify with the idea of work. It is romantic to exist, with a smile, amongst dread and the art of scraping by. It is imperative to us, The Bungled and The Botched, to realize that, in a small amount of time we will die and the “what-if’s” that come after, a beautiful blunder, that should be truly exciting to us all. But, who the fuck knows, right?
Dilapedated Beds, Broken Shoes, A Myriad of Different and Mysterious Ailments, The Incessant Need for Duct Tape and Super Glue, The Derelict Neighborhoods, The Long and Harrowing Mornings, The Zest Then Regret, The Hair in the Tub, Boutings with Black Magick, The Circumstantial Hygiene, The Want for Youth while Growing Old, The Romance of Ol’ Scratch, The Adoration of an Absent Family, and The Beginning of Sinning.
This is How We Do.
The Zydeco Funeral is recording THE BUNGLED (co-produced with Jeff Schenk) in Oakland (July 2008)
The seven songs are in the vain of what Nietzche said about us losers:
When Christianity departed from its native soil, that of the lowest orders, the underworld of the ancient world, and began seeking power among barbarian peoples, it no longer had to deal with exhausted men, but with men still inwardly savage and capable of self-torture — in brief, strong men, but bungled men.
ISOLATOR and Dakota Slim [The Hallowed March] will be recording the second half of the album trans-westcoast (Portland and Oakland) entitled THE BOTCHED (co-produced with Dominque Reveneau) (july 2008)
The Seven Songs are about us as societal dregs:
Socialism, Puritanism, Philistinism, Christianity — he saw them all as allotropic forms of democracy, as variations upon the endless struggle of quantity against quality, of the weak and timorous against the strong and enterprising, of the botched against the fit.”
The recording and technical process of both albums unavoidably exemplifies these ideas as well.
“THE BUNGLED” started with home demos (one of which, “Cruel Lastima”, is actually used) recorded by my lonesome at a then girlfriend’s apartment in Korea Town, Oakland. Though my collegiate lifespan at Expression College was shortlived, I had managed to find a keen partner and all-around sonic patron in Jeff Schenk. We had performed early versions of these songs sometimes as a duo, and sometimes as a chaotic 6 piece. We moved the demos to the studios of Expression, where I recorded most of the junk percussion and rhythm guitar parts. Later, we would return to the school to finish vocals.
Jeff and I had played these songs with a revolving cast of so many local musicians that the finished product seems to be a perfect semi-colon in the Dakota Slim discography, leaving many members behind, and allowing the hope for many more to join.
This is why the finished document is a prime example of young nefarious musicians dipping their skin into my amorphous pool of songs. Around this time, Jeff and I, along with my great friend and confidant, Ryan Stively (Port O’ Brien) were performing all over San Francisco and Oakland. I was hosting a futon in a friend’s sleephole on Apgar st. in Oakland when I decided to dub the revolving, and inconsistent, backing crew The Zydeco Funeral. The Funeral’s pique consisted of Danni Finneman‘s involvement as a back-up singer; Danni drew me to a large crowd of fellow naysayers including another back up vocalist (Rayna Kilroy), junk percussionists (Dave Campbell and Sterling Leva), and whatever ghoul or goblin we knew around Mama Buzz that wanted to shout or bang on beer bottles. You can hear Danni’s hauntingly beautiful voice over the home recorded “Cruel Lastima” and “Now I slumber”, which is the coda to this musical outing. Danni remains the only member of that large community that I encapsulated on record.
After most of the auxillary players dissolved, Jeff and I remained. Not soon after, I seduced a Mr. Ryan Parks to embark on these recordings. Parks would later round out the overtly re-recorded material with his superb bass playing and drumming on songs like “Salvo, Siempre, Salvo” and “Que Locura.” Parks is an amazing songwriter himself, which is exemplified with his work with NO’s and B.Hamilton. Our collaboration on The Bungled would later evolve into the B.Hamilton/Dakota Slim hybrid THE AWFUL LOT with long-time Dakota Slim performance drummer Bill Crowley, of Oakland’s finest instrumental hip-hop crew, Shinythings. Ro-z (Wordsky, Good Mitten/Bad Mitten) contributed her amazing voice to “Que Locura” and her awesome fiddle skills to “Zydeco Funeral”. Roberto Miguel played the slickest trombone, I’ve ever had on any recording, on “Que Locura.” And Mr. Blake Ellington Larson (Belly of the Whale, Porchlife) and Ryan James allowed me to throw their choral duties on “Las Resultas”.
Even though I feel the album to bit a bit unfinished, I can’t deny the relevance to the “Bungled” creedo. The somewhat disgruntled production, the janky instrumentation, and nervous vocals do well to place me in the nervous sunlight of the Bay Area in the late 20-oughts.
“THE BOTCHED” was retardedly simple to compose. I recorded vocals, guitars, and banjos then shot the files to my boy in Portland, Oregon, Dominique Reveneau (who produced and engineered “The Hymns of Dakota Slim) where his band Isolator (Colin and Nate) dumped there amazing talent on top and created the most sonically amazing album I’ve ever been a part of. The Hallowed March was born, and hopefully we will tour and become more of an integrated band, soon.
My artistic life partner, Ryan W. Brewer did the art for both records. He spent just as much time through trials and tribulations trying to figure out the perfect art for the concept, and he came up with these epically amazing images:
Ryan and I will be working on our graphic novel, ZOZOBRA, next. I promise it to be nothing less than amazing.
I have found nothing has changed in regards to the aforementioned sentiments that THE BUNGLED AND THE BOTCHED consists of. The only thing is that my bite for a fully satiated creative mind is engulfing my intention, fully, and am disastrously resilient when it comes to being defunct via societal standards.
It’s Finished, and I couldn’t be more proud of my friends and the help I received in making the two best records of my career. Come help me celebrate all our hard work!
and check out the quick video I made after shooting guns in Arizona for DS + THE HALLOWED MARCH’s “RAZA RHUMBA”