The Continuing Story of Vostok Lake: news, updates, blogging
(... on the playground of the broken hearts...)
Website's updated. Because it needed an entire "brain transplant", as it were, we've made a conscious decision not to restore some really crusty ancient pages from before Tricia joined the band. Some of the photos were pretty, but they didn't add anything to the future. There might be room for a "VL History" subsection, featuring pre-2018 material; or even load such stuff up on the "Daphne's Old Music" website. If there were any public interest.
Our long, strange trip nears its end. “Under the Mountain” is another piece with pre-2010 origins, which refers to a famous New Zealand children’s novel by Maurice Gee, in which the volcanic hills of Tāmaki Makarau/Auckland play a central role. It’s a song about leaving home and finding a new one, about faith and trust in the future, about new life. The last tracks were laid down with the album at about the time our second child was conceived. So there’s that.
“A Limousine in a Cul-de-Sac” is at the intersection of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities and Peter Hammill’s “Losing Faith in Words”. Not much more to say about that, apart from that we're particularly proud of the percussion line. Tricia's backing vocals really make this track, her "unearthly calls" somewhat freaking out the producer; the image of the party bus on the roundabout is hers.
“Your Next Show” came fully formed to me in a dream in 2009, in which Split Enz were performing it (it possibly bears some relationship to their “I Got You” and “129”, possibly Bauhaus’ “Spirit” while we’re at it). The lyrics don’t make a hell of a lot of sense because they, too, were downloaded fully-formed from the dream world. In hindsight, I'm not sure it fits with the rest of the album, but it didn't deserve to be forgotten either. We sometime open the live gigs with it.
“Don’t Tell The Doctor” began as one of Tricia’s poems, written from the point of view of a mental health consumer, which I decided to package as a synth-punk quasi-Ramones piece. Tricia’s improvised “Batmannery” in the bridge had the rest of us cracking up in the studio, though we’re still working on her confidence to do it live.
Tricia’s decision, first, to provide backing vocals on the recording, and then become a full-fledged member of the band, was the catalyst without which this album would never have been completed, because it would have been difficult to make it something more than a re-hash of Small Group Psychosis. “The Ballad of Ghost Point 5” is a prime example.
“F is for Fake” was the final track to be recorded, and again, only completed soon before that - the last part was the counterpoint vocal arrangement (shades of the March Violets), without which the song would have not been interesting enough to make the cut for the album.