Friday, November 18, 2011

Toxic Lampshade

Soul spilling, unwilling, out on a limb...

This Halloween, David and I released a music project we started back in freshman year, titled Toxic Lampshade. We had already formed our band Shoot the Runner (which was only a tentative name back then), but we felt the need to express some, shall we say, bizarre ideas. As Shoot the Runner, we were very aware of how facetiously we treated love. Toxic Lampshade started out as another satire on emotion, specifically narcissistic gloom. However, it ended up becoming something quite different.

It all started when we were hanging out at David's sister's apartment. We were talking music, and two of her roommates brought up the name Toxic Lampshade as an especially good band name. Over the years, I wouldn't be surprised if I've come up with more than a hundred band names, some pretty crumby, some so good I would start up a band just so those names could fill their potential. But Toxic Lampshade...exudes something dark, maybe a little playful? It'd be an interesting offshoot of the typically upbeat Shoot the Runner. David and I decided to give it a shot. One arpeggiated guitar part, one recycled chord progression, and we were in business.

My head is crumbling, I don't want what I need

We'd written a good portion of the album before we left for our missions. Once we returned, most of our musical efforts went into Shoot the Runner. But no one is perfectly gleeful. Toxic Lampshade drew us in, and we were back at it, the lyrics stayed morbidly ridiculous--more than once we stared at the lyrics we'd just written and asked, "Did I really write that?"--but we did take it a little more seriously. That is, until David turned to me one day and said, "So you're going to sing all the songs."

I had not sung anything in Shoot the Runner besides some backup and some oh-oh-oh's. I'm not all that comfortable with my singing voice, but I decided to belt it, channeling some Bravery, some Rapture, some Moros Eros, some Morrissey. I can't really say how serious I was in singing, but I did my best. So...of course David had to do some pitch modulation in the end.

The final result was pretty impressive. Seven tracks, none of them three minutes long, dripping with hatred, despair, and a hint of solemnity. All for any willing, listening ear. Download using this link:

Don't complain / It's all in your brain / We all will be slain