The Erasables

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“Heads in the Sand”


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The Erasables

Liner Notes

The writer (also the lead singer) is shown in parentheses.

1. Long Story (Bob). Bob also played the arsenal of guitars. Fagan and David are singing harmonies. Fagan played some keyboard parts, including the nice arpeggio in the bridge. On this and all songs, the wonderful Rob played killer drums and tasty percussion.

2. When I Come Around (Fagan). Fagan played acoustic and electrics. I played a bunch of guitars, including the one that kind of sounds like an organ and the solo at the end. David, Fagan and Bob sang harmonies. Fagan played the piano parts.

3. Abraham’s Daughter (David). David played the main acoustic guitar; Bob added one acoustic and two electric overdubs. Chuck Michaelson played piano and organ, and Nellie Eshleman played cello.

4. Calling Members of the Tribe (Bob). Some of these tracks date back to a demo Bob made 10 years ago or so, with old friend Ric Kaestner singing lead. A few years later he completed a produced version with George Tortorelli singing lead and harmony and playing flutes. The drums, percussion, keyboards, and bass on that track were programmed by the amazing Tracy Collins, the MIDI arranger who worked at Mirror Image for years. Bob did all the guitars, a bunch of textural synth tracks, quite a bit of percussion, and some backup vocals. For this project, David replaced the bass, Bob replaced George’s lead vocals, and Rob redid the drum track. We kept quite a bit of the original percussion to get a more tribal thing. David and Fagan did back up vocals, but Ric and George are still in there, too, most obvious in the serendipitous magic of the weaving vocals in the outro. All the guitars survived from the previous version, with a little bit of editing.

5. Bella Modella (David). Fagan played most of the guitars, including the solo, as well as organ. Bob did the weird sounding guitar in the Bella Bella… part. Fagan and David did most of the backing vocals, with a little help from Bob.

6. Honest Hearts (Fagan). A Fagan extravaganza, as he did the bulk of the tracks, including the seminal synth and guitar lick at the heart of Honest Hearts. The sitar-ish thing near the end is a high-strung guitar (higher of the two strings in each pair of a 12-string set)—or, actually, three of them played together (by Fagan). Bob added an electric sitar making droney noises. The ripping sustained notes of the solo are Fagan using an ebow (a magnetic device that keeps the string vibrating without plucking). The very cool background vocals are almost all Fagan, with David singing the answering lines in one verse (“we crawl our way…”). Rob had a field day with percussion on this one. Bob played acoustic guitar and created the backwards snare track during the solo.

7. Come See (David). David played two bass tracks in a call-and-response to kick off the song. Rob’s tasty percussion is a wonderful addition to this arrangement. Fagan played keyboards and most of the backup vocals. Bob did all the guitars and a little singing. Nellie played cello.

8. Find Out Who I Am (Fagan). Fagan and Bob played guitars, with Bob playing the solo. Fagan and David did all the back up vocals, except for the held notes under the chorus. We created those with all three of us singing the same note sustained; then I looped it. By combining different held notes we created different chords (similar to what 10cc did on “I’m Not In Love”).

9. Erased (Bob—with help from Fagan with the second half of “where did I go?” and on into the solo). Fagan played one of the guitars in the bridge, but otherwise it’s a Bob guitar extravaganza, with the power coming from the rhythm section of David and Rob.

10. No Free Ride (Fagan). Opens with Ottenberg on upright bass and a drone keyboard Bob borrowed from some other track he recorded for some other song some other time. Bob played acoustic 12 string in the intro, then the song kicks in with Fagan and Bob on electric. David and Bob sang backup. The crazy middle section was something we pieced together with various snatches of guitar feedback, while Rob crafted the manic drums there. You can hear all three singers at the end individually—Fagan, then David, then me.

11. Each to His Own (David). Fagan played electric guitar, lead guitar, and keyboard. Bob played a bunch of textural guitars and the arpeggiated 12 string. David came up with the guitar chord swell. The harmonies are David singing with himself.

12. Wiggle Room (Bob). Absolutely the most involved thing Bob ever produced! After huge amounts of experimentation, Bob finally found the right combination, after raising eyebrows from the other band members for several months. The final track involved piecing together two completely different versions of the song recorded months apart. One worked for the verses and one for the rest of the song. Bob did all the vocals except for harmonies by our friends Cathy DeWitt, Janet Rucker, and Jolene Jones; Fagan doing his best Frankie Valle in the chorus; and David singing the bass “they do the twist…” parts. Bob played the guitars, including the weirdest guitar solo he could imagine and still be in key. The various voices are a mix of tracks we did and clips from the internet.