Lubriphonic - Super Moncho CD

We have a song in our live repertoire off of our first album called "Speed-Dial." It's from our debut album "Lubriphonic" (2003) and it has been a live staple for years-- probably will be for years to come. This song is almost 7 years old, and it has mutated through several different arrangements and feels. It always works, because it's a great song. But here's the thing-- I know for a fact that I will never sing it as well, we will never play it as well, as the first time we ever played it in my living room in 2002. Is my recollection of this event skewed due to the raging hangover I endured throughout that rehearsal? Fuck it-- probably. But, I think that anyone who has ever been in a band can attest to the power and elation of the first time you really nail one of your own songs, with your friends, and it's a good one.

When our co-founder and drummer Rick King called me up with the idea that we should do our second album entirely live somewhere, with no instrument isolation, no studio frills, I called him crazy. Then he pointed out that we had a current account balance of $200. Thus, the path was set for our second album "Supermoncho."

We wanted to call the album "Supermoncho" because of a photo Rick had taken on tour in Puerto Rico with Koko Taylor. It was of a building, decorated from sidewalk to sky with an explosion of color, stuffed animals, masks, and artwork. It was benign chaos, and in the center of it all was a plain white sign with black lettering that said "SUPERMONCHO." How could we not aspire to that? We later learned that in Puerto Rico, Supermoncho is a pop-culture character akin to Super Dave Osborne-- a lovable and injury-prone parody of Evel Knievel. Even better!

With our budget dictating our methods, we now let it find our location. We put the bite on aliveOne, the bar in Chicago where we held a weekly Thursday night residency. Proprietor David Halpern came through by allowing us to close off the back room (where we usually played) on two separate Sunday evenings. This was on condition that we would be in after 4 p.m. and done making noise by 10 p.m. For recording the sessions, we turned to Adam Newman and Ryan Staples at Pragma Sound Engineering to haul and assemble a ton of complicated recording gear into a bar-room with like, three power outlets. I also later learned that those guys had to bring that same gear down three flights of a winding staircase to even get it to aliveOne. They did an amazing job in ridiculous circumstances.

Because the sessions were completely live, we invited our entire family of musicians. At the time we usually worked as a five piece-band but for this event we had everyone that had regularly collaborated with us at alive One --Johnny Cotton on trombone, Ron Haynes on trumpet, Jowesley Boston on saxophone (this was Jowesely's only recording with us before he passed in 2007), Joe Rendon on Percussion, Daryl Coutts on organ, and former member Marty Sammon on piano. Friends of the band were perched behind the bar with drinks and open ears. It was like a family gathering without the baggage.

Everything was set-- except the songs. "Pariah," "Go Down, " Leaving Things Behind, " "Devil's in the Details," "Up All Night, " and "Survivors" were the only songs that band had ever played, even heard. When you hear "Safe With Me," "Step Closer," "Hipster Blue," and "Waiting, " those are literally the first performances, the first takes, of those songs. We essentially recorded a rehearsal that turned into a performance.

When I listen to "Supermoncho" now, that's what grabs me about it. I love it. Partly I love it because it's like a photo album or a home movie; it captures something that will probably never be the same again. But it also captures the power and elation of the first time you nail one of your own songs, with your friends, and it's a good one.

Track List:
1. Leaving Things Behind listen
2. Step Closer listen
3. Hipster Blue listen
4. Safe With Me listen
5. Waiting listen
6. Devil's In The Details listen
7. Pariah listen
8. Go Down listen
9. Up All Night listen
10. Survivors listen

Released in 2008.