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THE WASH CYCLE
Liner Notes

This recording was produced by Washboard Jungle and Karen Kohlhaas. Karen pioneered the now-widely-accepted producing technique known as "lying on the floor." Our Executive Producer was the inimitable Aaron Etra.

Recorded and mixed at Grampa Studio in Brooklyn, on weekends from May through October 1993. Recording and Mix-down Engineer with great ears and peerless punch-in prowess: Mick Cantarella. Mick's washer and dryer are in his studio. They dryer made it onto this record, but the washer didn't.

RANDOM STUDIO FACT:
Around the same time we recorded this, Grampa Studio's other main client was a hard-core gansta-hip-hop group called MurderOne. Mick played us several of their partially completed tracks. They featured such lyrics as "Bring out the body bags, bring out the body bags, bring out the body bags, Yo!" and "Yes y'all, yes y'all, put on your bullet-proof vests y'all..." and "Make 'em bleed, motherfucker, make 'em bleed!"

OTHER RANDOM STUDIO FACT:
Mick had many, many telephones in his studio and elsewhere in his house. One was a Mickey Mouse phone, and two of them, yes two, were shaped like big plastic tubes of Crest, with receivers shaped like green blobs of gel-style toothpaste. They actually worked. We used them to order Chinese food on several occasions.

1. CHICKEN
An original composition by Mr. Henry Hample written just before or just after becoming a vegetarian. McPaul insisted his vocal was the lead, but nobody even remotely considered his opinion. McPaul remembers it differently - he says it's more of a dual lead, sorta like on an Everly Brothers song, or an X song. But everyone else thinks that Henry sings lead and McPaul sings harmony.
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Henry sang lead and played fiddle.
McPaul sang co-lead or backup (depending on who you ask), played bass, and yelled "Stuey!"
Stuart played rhythm guitar on his Gibson acoustic, and lead on Mick's Telecaster.
Bob played washboard.

2. OLD JOE CLARK
Traditional (though not in the Middle East). Karen policed the groove and rejected the first several Japan banjo solos. We sped the track up during the mixdown, which natuarally made it faster.
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Henry sang all the vocal parts, and played osi box (African slit drum).
Bob played Japan banjo (neither Japanese, nor a banjo) and DX7 drone.
McPaul played maracas and bongos, and is the old piney guy yelling in the background of verse 4.
Stuart played dumbek and bass drum.

3. MRS. MURPHY'S CHOWDER
Henry contributed this song of course. You may well ask, "what the hell is a 'coco bell' anyway?" Well, Henry insists that it's an obscure reference to a native princess who is the subject of local legend in Eastern Kentucky. By the way, Bob wants you to know that this was his first time recording with an accordion.
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Henry played banjo and fiddle, and sang.
McPaul played bass and counted and sang backup.
Bob played washboard, accordion and said "number nine, number nine."
Stuart played guitar avec fling-dings, sang backup, and said "blech."
Karen yelled "Rack it!" during the third verse. We all thought that very appropriate.

4. NINETEENTH FOGGY MOUNTAIN BREAKDOWN
Music from the Earl Scruggs song, Lyrics from the Rolling stones song. (Hey, somebody had to do it.) 19th Foggy" came about because Henry was playing his half-assed version of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" to warm up on the banjo at a rehearsal. Nobody remembers who first chimed in with the idea of "Here comes your etc." But Henry does remember calling home and asking Michael to dig out his Rolling Stones songbook and read him the lyrics to "19th Nervous Breakdown" so we could work it up on the spot. We also tried to incorporate pieces of "Communication Breakdown" by Led Zepplin, but in this case three was a crowd. Henry recorded the banjo part out in the hallway, near a basement door - at the end of the solo, you can hear birds outside the door, faintly.
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Bob sang and played washboard.
McPaul sang and played bass.
Stuart played guitar and sang backup.
Henry played banjo twice and sang backup.

5. THE CAT CAME BACK
First heard by many of us on TV's Zoom. Karen developed an aversion to the original keyboard voice, and Mick found a better one. Bob didn't like it, but everyone else did.
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Henry Sang lead and Jewish prayer and played fiddle.
Bob played keyboard and nuclear explosion.
McPaul played bass and sang backup and the Hail Mary.
Stuart played bongos and sang backup.

6. EGGS AWAY
Another original Henry Hample song.
Karen made Henry lie on the floor with blankets and a pillow and a teddy bear, hung the mike over his face, then turned off the lights. She also conducted the kids' chorus. Mick ran Henry's vocal and the DX7 through a Leslie rotating speaker. Ooh, trippy.
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Henry sang lying down and played Ukulele standing up. The uke is quadruple-tracked.
Stuart played lap steel guitar.
Bob played ethereal DX7.
McPaul played Bass.
Briana, Hannah, Petr, Liam and Sarah sang at the end and behaved much more maturely than anyone else in the studio.

7. THE WASHBOARD SLEEPS TONIGHT
Traditional African song, based on the arrangement by the Weavers, with lyrics written by all four band members during a rehearsal at the original Brooklyn Academy of Noise on Joralemon Street, in Brooklyn, where we drank lots of coffee and ate basmati rice occasionally. Karen was very picky about the percussion, and we did many, many takes thereof. Mick punched in every second syllable of all four vocal tracks.
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Stuart sang lead.
McPaul played washboard and sang backup.
Bob played dumbek and sang backup.
Henry played banjo and sang backup.

8. ONE MEATBALL
Karen and Mick developed the ultra scary organ voice along with Mr. Bob Goldberg. Mick put the vocal microphone inside the dryer and Stuart and McPaul stuck there heads in there to sing the backup parts. Both of them kept their shirts on.
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Henry sang lead and played balsa-wood Chinese new year noisemaker.
Bob played scary organ, and a slowed down sample from a squeaky drum stool (the stool sample), and secret backwards subliminal commands.
Stuart sang backup.
McPaul sang backup and played floor tom.

9. THE SHIP TITANIC
One of our many merry little tunes about death and destruction. We came up with this one while singing a cappella in the back of a taxi on the way to one of our first gigs. When we arranged it, Stu & McPaul had nothing to do with their hands and so came up with the "naughty gestures dance" that's an integral part of the live rendition. Karen's producing technique included thumb-wrestling with Stuart. She also worked on the surf sounds, adding lots of subliminal "glub glub glubs."
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Henry sang lead and played washboard.
McPaul mimed naughty gestures, played jug and sang backup.
Stuart also mimed naughty gestures, whacked a mixing bowl with a spoon, played the manic kazoo solo, and sang backup.
Bob played moopy DX7 and cheap casio sampler.

10. MAMA DON'T ALLOW
We often played this song live as our big rave-up finale. For some reason, Bob got tired of playing it so we stopped doing that. In the studio, Mick vacuumed carrot gratings up off the studio floor.
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Bob played washboard, ocarina, squeaky hammer, See-And-Say, Dust Buster, and Carrots & grater.
Stuart played guitar, sang, and said "that's really great!".
Henry played fiddle, sang, and said "this really sucks".
McPaul played Bass and sang and somehow managed to not get in a single word edgewise.

11. BRANDY
Karen couldn't believe we wanted to record this. Then she tossed out an earlier, more carefully constructed version and insisted we do it live all in one take. Mick created the ersatz indifferent audience. They're secretly ironic.
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McPaul sang lead and gesticulated, and played rain stick.
Stuart played bass and sang backup.
Henry smacked the rim of the floor tom with the wrong end of a tympani mallet and sang backup.
Bob played DX7 using ersatz Rhodes voice with Bob-ish overtones.

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