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three sheets and alas

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RE: the difference between | from RossJun 12 2002 - 09:58

When listening to the albums from oldest to most recent, I perceive a weird cycle in the 'feeling' that each record has.

I guess part of the reason I usually play 'Three Sheets' for people is because it is the most structured of all IDAHO recordings. What I mean to say is, you don't really need much context to get the music... my impression is that the fact that Jeff had surrounded himself with a full band at that point, has much to do with that. The music was being created by a number of people (quite a high number by IDAHO standards) and therefore the music was very big and tactile sounding and had a more structured "feel." It just didn't come out of Jeff's head and go directly onto tape. Different people's interpretations layer on creating the heavier feel. Even on the duo albums, with the Right Honorable John Berry, and Sir Dan Seta, when two people are writing sympatico, it tends to 'sound,' or 'feel' a lot more distant, or introspective, if you will. That sort of buffer, or barrier still exists.

I'm sorry, I know I sound like I'm talking out my ass here... the only way I can discribe it is that the older IDAHO records (Palms E.P., Year After Year) sound as though you were looking at them from a dock and they are at the bottom of a lake. It's a mystery that your imagination tries to work out. There is a barrier of icy lake water between you and the music. As the records progress, they ascend closer to the lake surface. I think on 'Three Sheets' IDAHO breaks the surface. Everyone on the dock can see it. It's right there. Then after the Forbidden E.P. it starts to descend back into the lake. Back into the womb of Jeff's soul.

Wow. That was deep. Yeah, I'm sorry. That was a bit much... but we are talking about very intagible music here. There's a lot of mystery (see 'spooky little album' etc.) to it. It's pretty tough to describe in more 'normal' terms I find. Anyway.

RE: the difference between | from Sam SJun 12 2002 - 09:09

Well said, Ross... I don't remember if I've said this before, but I'll say it again: I love Three Sheets not for what rock did for Idaho, but what Idaho did for rock. I bought the cassette version so I could play it wherever I went, and snapped the tape from wear within four months!

As for playing Idaho to people, I play that record. However, a friend turned me on to Idaho with Year After Year in late '95 or early '96, before Three Sheets. It took me a *long* while to get into that album, but once I did, I was hooked.

Since then, I've gotten to hear their records more or less in sequence, and I must tell you, there really is something to hearing each record in order. It's hard to describe, but the feeling is something like going through the seasons.

RE: the difference between | from RossJun 12 2002 - 07:47

Rob s:
I totally agree with your comment about 'Alas' being "a spooky little album." I wrote some time ago on the board about 'Alas', and I was asking Jeff about it - in hopes of gaining some insight as to why exactly is sounds so... "spooky." He said that he "barely remembered recording it."

Dan's post, here is pretty cool and provides the setting...

'Three Sheets' is brilliant. It is somewhat like a (for lack of a better word) "rock" album... simply in that it seems to be the most widely accessible album - in other words, when people ask to hear this band IDAHO I'm always talking about, I'll put it on. It's from that album they seem most able to get into the band, and then they move forward and backward in the catalogue. That being said, there is nothing "standard" about the album. One of my all time favourites. I don't think I listened to anything else for about eight months after I managed to find a copy.

RE: the difference between | from Rob sJun 09 2002 - 02:15

"3 sheets" is the only album with a rhythm section. Yet, I don't see it being that different from the first 2 albums. Alas has almost anti - songs. Songs that build oddly then die. Something he continued for "Hop" too. I s'pose Jeff has to keep himself amused.

RE: the difference between | from Sam SJun 07 2002 - 13:59

Three Sheets and the Bayonet EP are different inasmuch as they are different from **everything** else that Idaho has done.

These are the "rock" records, with the sound of a full band doing the arrangements as opposed to one or two people executing their collective vision in the studio.

Had the four-piece stuck together, I can guess that the directions in which Idaho would have gone would have been incredibly different, and for that matter, an old Hüsker Dü fan like myself would have loved it.

However, it would have strayed further and further from Jeff's inner vision, so I guess that's what broke the whole thing up. It's just as well, too... Idaho's later stuff was great as well.

But that's just my guess. Dan? Jeff?

RE: the difference between | from danJun 07 2002 - 09:37

Hey Rob,

The most significant difference between Three Sheets and Alas I think was the departure of Terry Borden and Mark Lewis. Jeff and I wrote songs differently in the absence of a permanent rhythm section. Also some quirks of the recording process made Alas a very dark sounding record.

Forbidden EP was kind of the watershed record for Idaho, because everything was turned on its head. We had a tiny room and a crawlspace in which to make it, Jeff had to be Engineer and Producer and had to really learn ProTools, and we still weren't sure we were going to continue as a band. We just had fun making it and entertained all ideas.

RE: the difference between | from Rob sJun 06 2002 - 18:11

Thanks for that fellas. I shall ask no more.

RE: the difference between | from idahomusicJun 06 2002 - 10:08

its actually when jeff stopped doing ludes

RE: the difference between | from edJun 06 2002 - 09:08

I think it's when Jeff started doing ludes.

RE: the difference between | from MartyJun 06 2002 - 07:55

A good point.

three sheets and alas | from Rob sJun 06 2002 - 06:57

This topic my have surfaced here before... but not in my time.
There seems to be an enormous change between "3 sheets" and "Alas" (i know Forbidden was in between). Jeff or anyone else in the know... why such a sudden departure in such a small amount of time?
When I first heard ALAS I was quite taken back, now it's one of my faves. It's a spooky little album.

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