Sunday, August 06, 2006

the nourallah brothers (part 1)

so in the fall of 1998
my brother and i finally got around to making a record
it had taken 10 years of playing in bands together
to get to this point
relying on other people
(whom often let us down)
between the two of us we could now play every instrument
F had started out on drums way back when we were kids
he was also rapidly gaining ground on liberace
with his recent fixation with the piano
we had an 8-track recorder
some mics and a room (which i dubbed pleasantry lane)
that's all you really need right?
so we just started recording
no regard toward getting record deals
or what other people might think about our new decaffeinated songs
we just did what we liked
in the end about 50 songs were recorded
it was a strange time
during those 3 or 4 months we were both falling apart
so many things in both our personal lives going all wrong
and in the thick of it all
we recorded and wrote like madmen

it was tough deciding what should be on the CD
there was so much to sift through
F had fled to portland and we weren't even speaking to each other
by the time the CD was sequenced
i had been the one in contact with western vinyl
left holding the bag to make the final track selections
and running order
i leaned toward the songs that had the most significant memories attached to them
this is my account of some of those memories
if you don't have the CD this might not mean that much to you
but never fear
you can always order it here

a morning cigarette was the first one recorded that made it to the CD
it's a 4 in the morning song i had just written
and was anxious to record
started out with just 2 voices and 2 acoustic guitars
then faris got a hold of it
put some "ringo-esque" drums on it
we flanged 'em
(cause no one could tell us we couldn't!!!)
the rest is history - so to speak
that's when i first realized
we were gonna make some really cool recordings
in our own little "lo-fi universe"
christmastime came next like a bolt from the blue it
absolutely blew me away
F had never really written or sung
when we played in our "rock'n'roll" band
but this was just the beginning of something new
something way more interesting
both of us writing and singing together
for the first time
when i first heard it
i immediately forced my parent's to listen with headphones
at my computer
mom just smiled and smiled and loved it
dad said "it would be a nice song if you erased the middle,
baba, it will scare people away, trust me..."
i put it on a CD and sent it to my friend steve fellows
steve used to play guitar and sing in the sheffield group
comsat angels
now if you've never heard the comsats' first 3 records
go fiind 'em now!!!!
FICTION 1982 is an absolute masterpiece
trust me
F and i loved the c.s. angels when we were kids
i thought steve's little girl nina would love the song
it was in fact almost christmastime
he absolutely flipped over it
was convinced this song alone could make us "loads of money"
in europe
so talk began of him becoming our manager
he was having quite a bit of success at the time
managing his first group
he even mentioned the possibility of us moving to england
if he could land us a deal
of course none of this ever came to pass
but the excitement hung over the sessions
like a beautiful dream cloud
for a little while at least
those days are gone was written almost 10 years earlier
it's about our childhood in el paso
i never got around to recording it before
'cause it just never quite fit in with anything else we were doing at the time
suddenly this song seemed perfectly appropriate
it also happens to be my favorite recording on the CD
i think it's the best example of complete and total teamwork
we were totally n'sync with each other when we recorded it
no fighting
no bickering
it shows
i guess it's fitting that we got along on this one
i wish the whole thing could have gone like that
but it didn't
the wheels would eventually come off
public skool was one of faris' attempts
to contrast the rather bleak nature of a lot of the songs i was presenting
i'll never forget sitting at the mixing board
two feet away from him
as he casually played the acoustic guitar
knocked it out in one take
then he did the lead and backing vocals in ten minutes
took a hold of the faders and said
"that's it - finished!"
i wanted to add bongos
he didn't let me
my little innocent one another completely in sync recording
that was a great day
we were both enthused about steve's glowing response to our initial recordings
and were anxious to get him more material
we went in and knocked off this one right away
it was charmed from the start
the hammond auto-vari drum machine
a pawn shop banjo F had in his possession for a week
some casio tuba
all key indgredients in this one
an NB klassic

to be continued...
stay tuned


Blogger bucks burnett said...

Dear Fellow Salimians,

I can't imagine the possibility of anyone making it to the comment section of this bloggy without having first heard the pop masterpiece that is "The Nourallah Brothers." But just in case you fit that description ...

Stop making the universe weep and buy this album!

While I'm always happy to take a polaroid of a beautiful noise to increase the happiness factor of a moon festival, THIS is my favorite Salim (and Faris) album. Don't think Salim will ever top it but he's welcome to try. For that matter, ANYONE is welcome to try, including me. If more people tried to make albums that are better than this one, well, I'd be shittin' kittens; little pink and blue ones dancing around Barbie's new turntable.

Can harmonies and melodies be harmless AND deadly? Yes, so say The Brothers Nourallah. Can lyrics sound like they were written by a 4 year old with a very old soul? "I wanna be an artist." My mind rejects the utter simplicity of that statement but my heart yearns for it like a tophat dreaming of magic wands. My god it's a good song, a great song, so good that it wipes away all arguments of 'should've been a hit' or 'why aren't they famous.' None of it matters, just listen to the song and most likely you'll wanna be an artist. A song wants no greater compliment than for you to find your own desire for thoughtful creation. They dig a pony and so will you.

I love the other songs just as much. I think their names are Timmy, Jojo, and Sonic Euthenasia. It doesn't matter. This one song is enough for me. Got my $15 worth, thanks. Humans should be charged $1 per listen to this one song because it's nice to you and we need that.

I could go on, in fact I already have. Stop making the universe weep. Burp it instead. When "The Nourallah Brothers" is playing, it's a widdle biddy baby universe, with cute socks on. Clean up your room and tune your guitar. And break out Mikey Microphone 'cause here comes trouble and Mr. Bubble.

Snoop Bloggy Blogg - Aug. 2006, Pretend Magazine

12:48 AM  
Blogger Centuryhouse said...

Nice little outlay of NB history there. Fantastic album, fantastic songs.

To be honest I like your acoustic live rendition of many of them just as well (I recorded the LL show and it remains one of my top 3 live discs of anyone, ever).

As good as NB is, I would disagree with Bucks only in that I think you have topped that with work since then - and I haven't even heard your last CD or two (yet).


11:18 PM  

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