Hands Down Eugene: Narceologist
A Tragedy Corrected.
After the triumph that was the creation of Hand Down Eugene’s “second album” — The double EPWhite Stone / Black Witch — Matt Moody was a man possessed. Not only in his own eyes, but in the eyes of his peer, he could do no wrong. Work immediately began on a follow-up. the focus was close mics, no jazz, bass drums, snare drums, bass, single vocals, double vocals, first takes, Matt Rowland organing, Andy Willhite on Telecaster, and pure pop gold. Sessions dated back to as early as March 2007 and as many as 21 songs were tracked, titles ranging from Montana Honey to This Trap, Glad To Be to the unfinished Bearded Spirit Glory Formation Pt1. The theme of the songs loosely formed a story arc involving a serial killer.
Waiting on the delayed vinyl production issues that plagued White Stone / Black Witch, and lost “in the mind of the character”, Moody’s demeanor became dark and muted. Often in recording sessions, he would sit in the studio corner, hood up, contemplating fate and demanding “more distortion” and “push up the money making fader, motherfucker”. It was a sick game but one that drummer Matt Martin, guitarist Andy Willhite, keyboarder Matt Rowland, co-producer and co-engineer Jeremy Ferguson, and a cast of assorted other performers played with a anxious stuttered note here or the whale bend of a string there. In what is typically the environment of a no-rules circus, fun and fancy-free, the band lifted their collars, pulled their coats tight in front, and continued down the path.
By December 2008, White Stone / Black Witch still had not seen a physical release as sessions began to wrap up in the now year and a half long making of a third album. What was once the tall bearded “Wizard” to his friends was now a lowly, tall bearded “wizard”; no better than the turd off your shoe. Moody contemplated grand suicide schemes and alternate realities as 2009 showed what would be to Moody, its “ugly bitch face”.
Moody befriended some Columbians who promised him the kind of money that he had hoped would fill his construction-in-progress “mini-mansion” with the royalities from White Stone / Black Witch… All that Moody need do was get on some aeroplanes with baggies in his ass — nothing that he hadn’t done before. However, shortly after receiving such a tempting offer, word was given that the White Stone / Black Witch vinyl release would finally become a reality. The date was set and a release show was announced. Expecting massive crowds, Moody ordered somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 copies of the 12 inch record, going as far as hiring a private steam engine to deliver them dramatically the day of the show.
In what has been called one of the most vile exhibitions by an audience anywhere at the 5 Spot, only a few thousand fans showed up and half of them didn’t even bring money to put the greatest record of all time into their undeserving, grubby, pizza-encrusted little hands. After calling the audience “a bunch of fuckerbitches”, Moody broke down on stage, proclaiming he was giving up music and becoming a drug mule, at least until the newly dubbed “Casa de Moody” was completed, where he vowed to “drown my goddamn beard in a lake of my own blood in my marble, diamond-encrusted fucking bathtub”. The Audience was shocked. The Author of this story was deflated.
As suddenly as his glorious visage had appeared as if from the ether, Moody was gone. Where there was Beard, there was No More.
Skip ahead to February 2010. In the mailbox of Ferguson was found a note “This hole is closed for business. I’m back. -M”. Slowly, details too unbelievable to print emerged from those partially covered lips. Stories of wonder and murder. Moody asked whatever happened to “that serial killer album”. Ferguson explained that a pack of retards had ransacked his studio months back, dislodged gear, throwing guitars and sheet music everywhere. To make matters worse, they had mislabeled all of the hard drives and taken the master tapes and cut and spliced them together in random ways, making for the ultimate cluster-fuck that haunts the dreams of fearing engineers everywhere. To put it mildly, “shit is gone, dude”.
The year moved forward slowly as Moody reacquainted himself with music and his Nashville friends. He even started a new band called A Country Gentleman, picking up on the heaviness and pop where Hands Down Eugene III left off. But the thought of this amazing album possibly existing amongst the mess stayed with Moody and, again, he became a man possessed. This time with using the “detective skills” he acquired from his recently-left mule job, explaining “Man, sometimes things got so lodged up in there, I had to use a stick or something to get them loose. If I can get ballons of drugs out of my ass with a stick, I can find these songs in this tape mess! Archeologist? Shit man, I’m a Narceologist.”
Beginning in November 2010, Moody searched through the tapes, hundreds of mixes, mislabeled or retard-fucked multitrack masters, and gave what he came up with to Ferguson, demanding “Bring my dead baby back to life. Pinocchio this broken pulp back into a son I can love again.” It began a cold December for Ferguson; one that had him picking up the dragons moody had chased and throwing a new coat of paint over them just to see if they would still attack or become the ornament of glory he knew they could be.
And here we present that journey in luxurious Mono sound. Not all of the songs could be revived but, luckily, most of the best survived. Consider it a 2010 Christmas Miracle. From Matt Moody (who has sacrificed so much so that you may have song), Hands Down Eugene, and Battle Tapes Recording: Hands Down Eugene’s rediscovered masterpieceNarceologist.
released October 25, 2010
recorded at Battletapes by Jeremy Ferguson. played by, Matt Moody, Matt Martin, Matt Rowland, Andy Wilhite, Jeremy Ferguson, Anna Fitzgerald, Jeff Stolz, John Cochrane, and a few others maybe..
all rights reserved