Monday, March 22, 2010

The hal al Shedad Singles Collection

Here is the download: The hal al Shedad Singles Collection

This download attached is the "Singles and Unreleased Recordings" CD put out by Buddy System in the early part of this century, and compiles all of our recorded music that does not appear on the Self-Titled album or the Textures of Tomorrow album. The first seven songs of the CD were essentially our live set for the first six months of the band's existence, and included our first three singles as well as one song that was unreleased (Good Intentions). Here is the artwork from these singles:

The Sound of Swords Clashing (At A Loss Records, 1995)

Josh White from Auburn was a big fan of ours in the beginning, and he decided to use some settlement money he got from a car wreck and start At A Loss Records, with our first single as his first release. We put a lot of care into the packaging, using a professional printer for the artwork and even using extra-thick 7" sleeves to make it look extra classy. There was also a poem included behind the lyrics, but I can't remember now where it came from. We were very proud of this single, and were pretty bummed when Josh released At A Loss number 2, which I can't remember what band it was for, but included a photocopied black and white photo of dead deer carcassas as the cover. Josh has since moved on to release great metal albums on his label, so I'm sure the Hal 7" was a little different from his overall vision of the label, but it was a good single nonetheless.

Split with Inkwell (Lunchbox Records 1995)

Here is single number two - the split with Inkwell put out by Steve Wishart from Car vs. Driver on Lunchbox. We used another poem on the back, because we were pseudo artists. If you also remember during this period, there was a trend in record artwork to make something look like it came out in the sixties, but in the end looked like something put out in 1995. This single fell into this trap.

The Symbol of Sound Progress (Auto Stop Records, 1995)

This single was put out by James, Patrick and Turtle from Auto Stop Records in Knoxville, TN. The only other release I can remember of theirs was a Jeff Humphrey single, which was my favorite of his. I got the name of the single from a Rolling Stones record sleeve. Benjamin and Phil were working the night shift at Kinko's on Windy Hill Road at this time, so all of these covers were printed for free at their shop. There were three different color combinations for this single, grey with blue lettering, black with red lettering, and maroon with black lettering. For some reason I can only find the grey one in my collection at the moment.

Running and Falling (Troubleman Unlimited/Buddy System, 1997)

This was the single recorded in between the self-titled album and the Textures of Tomorrow album, and shows how our sound progressed/transitioned in 1997. The photos were taken at the Peachtree Center Marta station, and designed by Phil Dwyer, of course.

The Dichotomy of Yesterday (Simba, 1997)

This was our European Tour single on Simba Records out of the UK, so almost nobody in the US has it. I think we got 10 copies or so and the rest remained in Europe. The design is by Phil Dwyer, of course, and the guitar cable was Ed's guitar cable he used during the entire length of the band, which was borrowed indefinitely from Rich Morris (aka The Spirit of Nashville aka Dream Sanitation from Noot d' Noot and Good Friday Experiment). I think this cable still works and is laying around the Living Room Studio somewhere. The song Yesterday's Bullets was recorded with David Barbe in the same session as Human Again and Eloquent Loser from the Running and Falling 7", but the B-side 11.16.95 was recorded by Alap Momin during the same session as the Self-Titled Album. This song appears on the CD version of the Self-Titled Album and was not included in the Singles compilation CD due to time constraints.

Split with Rainer Maria (Tree Records, 1998)

It was great we were able to do one of these Post-Marked Series singles, and appear on a record with our BFFs Rainer Maria. The song Solitaire was part of our next generation of songs in the evolution of the band, that also kind of caused the implosion of the band in 1999, but such is life. The mastering of this single is so bad, it is unlistenable, but at least the CD came out and you can listen to it in its intended state.

Here is the artwork for the compilation CD (click on the photos to enlarge):

The artwork includes several photos from our tours as well as two entries from my European tour diary. I don't think I will post it on this website anytime soon, as it's pretty bad. The CD includes several unreleased tracks, such as Good Intentions (mentioned above), On Building A Timebomb (recorded at the time of the first album, but was intended for a Troubleman comp that never came out, an early incarnation of the Troubleman Mixtape I guess), Separation Anxiety and Question Statement Answer (songs that were supposed to be on the third album) as well as several live version of songs for the third album that was never recorded. I'm glad everything was released in some format or another, and this blog exists to fill in any gaps as I think it's a shame when music is never released or otherwise made available for the public to listen. I also have a photo collection to post sooner or later, but this might be all the Hal-related posts on the blog for now. Thanks for all the good times.

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