[TL; DR: DOWNLOAD WAV, MP3, SOUNDCLOUD]
We suppose to begin at the beginning would be to report that in the summer of 1993 we were driving with the windows down one afternoon in Ardmore, PA, the radio was dialed to Princeton's WPRB, and then we first heard "Claire Hates Me" by Lilys. The tune is a rush of dense guitar and gently modulating melody with an impassioned vocal, so nice it was released twice: first as one side of a split 7" as part of Simple Machines Records terrific triple-7" box set Neapolitan Metropolitan, then as the closing track to Lilys' towering shoegaze classic, In The Presence Of Nothing, released in September 1992. The indelible lead guitar line of "Claire" was instantly mapped to our brain, and we remember literally singing it to our friend Justin later that same summer day, in an attempt to articulate just how inherently, objectively wonderful the song is. To our knowledge that day was our first exposure to Lilys, and the impression was deep and -- obviously -- lasting. "Claire Hates Me" remains our favorite song, and we write about In The Presence Of Nothing as often as we possibly can; we marked the record's 20th anniversary here.
So that would be the beginning for us as listeners and fans. And that is, we suppose, ultimately the first step on a path that leads us to this blog post, almost exactly 20 years later, that announces AND I FORGOT A LONG TIME AGO HOW YOU FEEL, the second digital comp to be issued by Clicky Clicky Music Blog in as many years. The collection features 10 now acts performing selections from the early recordings of Lilys, 1991-1995. Why parse off this first period of the legendarily mercurial band, the brainchild of itinerant musical savant Kurt Heasley, a band that is still a going concern today, that released a single just last fall, that is preparing perhaps as we speak for a highly anticipated, full-band performance at this year's Chickfactor 21 festival? Well, because we can, for starters, and a compilation needs to have a focal point, but also this is our favorite period of the band's work. Different web sites disagree as to whether Lilys sophomore full-length Eccsame The Photon Band was issued at the end of 1994 or the beginning of 1995, and at this point we suppose it doesn't matter. It is the album after that one, 1996's brilliant Better Can't Make Your Life Better, that presented the most stark transition of Lilys' twisting career, from shoegaze and space-pop to Monkees and Kinks-influenced mod-crazy guitar jams. So it is easy to draw a bright line at 1995. Which we did here for AND I FORGOT A LONG TIME AGO HOW YOU FEEL when we began canvassing bands to participate last year.
Oh right, the bands. We couldn't be more thrilled to include on this compilation some of our very favorite acts, Lilys fans all. One difference between last year's Ride tribute comp Nofuckingwhere and this Lilys comp is we did not limit our selection of acts to only those based in Boston. Boston, of course, is still represented by the mighty Soccer Mom, indie pop leading lights Cuffs, shoegaze phenoms Infinity Girl and indie punk giants Speedy Ortiz (who live in Northampton but feel like a Boston band, we think everyone will agree). But we're particularly proud of the non-Boston acts presented here on AND I FORGOT A LONG TIME AGO HOW YOU FEEL. There's old Clicky Clicky favorites Arc In Round (whose stunning version of "The Turtle Which Died Before Knowing" is the slowly swirling eye of the comp) and its Philly scenemates Pet Milk and The Weaks; Portland, OR-based indie pop heroes Lubec; Richmond dream pop titans White Laces; and one new act we're very excited about, Milk Pale, a collaboration between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!'s Lee Sargent and Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff. There's so much to say about the recordings these bands made that we'd have to double the length of this blog post to do it justice, and knowing how fickle blog readers can be, we'll skip that for now -- we'll be on WMBR's Pipeline! talking about the comp on May 28, so listen in for deeper analysis then. We would like to extend a special thanks (there are even more below) to Pet Milk for jumping in late in the game to ensure that Lilys' first single, "February Fourteenth," could take its rightful place at the top of the track listing.
All songs appear on the comp in the chronological (then numerical) order of their original release. Suffice it to say, the comp's line up is killer, the songs are all amazing, and we're endlessly grateful not just for the gift of the music that Kurt Heasley and Lilys have given to us all, but also for the time and energy all of the contributors gave to this project. There's more info about each contributing band and their recordings in the digital liner notes in the .zip file hyperlinked above and below, so giddyup. We've yakked long enough... Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present AND I FORGOT A LONG TIME AGO HOW YOU FEEL.
Click the appropriate link to download a .zip file that contains the 10 tracks as WAV, MP3, as well as a PDF containing the aforementioned digital liner notes created by friend-of-the-blog Matt Dressen. The comp is also on SOUNDCLOUD.
1. February Fourteenth -- Pet Milk *
2. Elizabeth Colour Wheel -- Cuffs +
3. Claire Hates Me -- Infinity Girl +
4. Ginger -- Soccer Mom #
5. YCJCYAQFTJ -- Lubec #
6. Elsa -- The Weaks ^
7. Day Of The Monkey -- Milkpale &
8. The Turtle Which Died Before Knowing -- Arc In Round &
9. The Hermit Crab -- Speedy Ortiz &
10. Radiotricity -- White Laces &
* = released March 1991 as "February Fourteenth" b/w "Threw A Day" on Slumberland, DRYL-7
+ = released September 1992 on In The Presence Of Nothing, Slumberland SLR 20 / SpinART 2
# = released March 1994 on A Brief History Of Amazing Letdowns, SpinART 11
^ = recorded 1993 or 1994, released May 2000 on The Lilys / Aspera Ad Astra, Tiger Style TS-002
& = released January 1995 on Eccsame The Photon Band, SpinART 43
One final special thanks to the folks instrumental in helping Clicky Clicky pull all of this together, or offering support and encouragement of same: Eddie Charlton, William D. Scales, Matt Dressen, Jessica Thompson, Brad Searles, Michael Marotta, Joshua Pickering, Jeff Breeze and, of course, all of the bands. And a special shout out to Clicky Clicky Managing Editor Michael "Rock" Piantigini from Jay: I can't wait for you to hear this, man.