ELECTRIC EARL
Halftime (2000)

Halftime

MP3 = MP3 (128 kbps quality)     WMA = Windows Media (96 kbps quality)     RA = RealAudio (lo-fi)

1. Ian the European   (4:23)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
2. Inside the Pyramid   (5:12)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
3. Tra La La   (2:11)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
4. Walls Into Flowers   (1:56)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
5. These Four Hands   (1:51)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
6. Falling In Love   (2:34)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
BONUS TRACKS:
7. Another Sunday [studio outtake]   (2:30)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
8. Dead End Road [studio outtake]   (2:12)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
9. Oz [studio outtake]   (2:27)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
10. Everyone I'm Close To Is Far Away [studio outtake]   (5:14)   MP3 WMA lyrics chords
11. Once Today [studio outtake]   (2:14)   MP3 WMA lyrics chords
12. Keep the Poor Poor [studio outtake]   (1:38)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
13. Inside the Pyramid [home demo]   (4:47)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
14. Rot In Hell [home demo]   (2:32)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
15. Rot In Hell (instrumental) [home demo]   (1:14)   MP3 WMA
16. Ian the European [home demo]   (4:37)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords
17. Walls Into Flowers [home demo]   (2:14)   MP3 WMA RA lyrics chords

Total time:   50:27



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CREDITS

# title musicians / singers
1. Ian the European EARL: vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass, maracas
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
TERRY REID: backup vocal
CAROLYNE MAS: backup vocal
MARK JOHNSON: backup vocal
HELEN HENDERSON: backup vocal
"Ian the European" had its roots in an earlier song called "If Thou Must Love Me," which was itself inspired by the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem of the same name. When I was mixing that recording for We're Not Strangers (1985), I discovered that the backing track sounded good by itself, so I expanded that into a full-fledged instrumental. Years later, a filmmaker friend of mine had a little boy named Ian, and I used say we should make a video about "Ian the European," a comic figure who embodied all the European stereotypes. (One point of reference may have been an old "Saturday Night Live" skit about a man called The Continental.) I thought that my instrumental would be a suitable theme song for the soundtrack. The video never got done, but the idea persisted. Ultimately, I wrote some Euro-speak lyrics and "Ian" became a song instead, with some of the music based on "If Thou Must Love Me." I still think that it would be a good concept for a movie, perfect for somebody like Robin Williams. The setting would resemble the header graphic on my international Webcams page, with all the famous European landmarks in the same city.
2. Inside the Pyramid EARL: vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
CAROLYNE MAS: backup vocal
MARK JOHNSON: backup vocal
HELEN HENDERSON: backup vocal
The original idea came from an article my friend Judy Pennington wrote in a Baton Rouge weekly about the importance of arts education. She pointed out that most of what we know about ancient Greece is from the art that was left behind. For the song lyric, I changed the setting because I knew a lot more about Egypt than I did about Greece. Even so, there is an error in the lyrics. At the recording session, Terry Reid (who does not sing on this song) pointed out that there are no pyramids in the Valley of the Kings, as mentioned in the song. A Wikipedia article confirms: "While the iconic pyramid complexes of the Giza plateau have come to symbolize ancient Egypt, the majority of tombs were cut into rock."
3. Tra La La EARL: vocal, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
CAROLYNE MAS: backup vocal
MARK JOHNSON: backup vocal
A song about writer's block. Previously, a solo version of "Tra La La" appeared as the title song for the Tra La La album (1993).
4. Walls Into Flowers EARL: vocal, guitars, keyboard, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
TERRY REID: backup vocal
CAROLYNE MAS: backup vocal
MARK JOHNSON: backup vocal
HELEN HENDERSON: backup vocal
I wrote the lyrics as Princess Diana's funeral played on TV. As you can hear in the home demo (track #17), it was originally written as a slower lament, a Celtic-sounding Richard Thompson kind of song.
5. These Four Hands EARL: vocal, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
I got the idea for this song while watching Toni Dodd's parents renew their wedding vows on their 50th anniversary (6/6/1998). During the service, Toni's sister Tina read a short essay, which I think she'd been given by the pastor, that repeatedly used the phrase "four hands" and told of all the various things her parents' hands had done together through the years. The lyrics were hard to write because I'd composed the music first, and as you can hear there aren't many notes to the melody. Saying something intelligent with so few syllables was as challenging as writing a haiku.
6. Falling In Love EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
7. Another Sunday EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
A song about being unemployed - and getting unemployment checks! - during El Niņo. I was only too happy to stay home and not have to venture out into the storm.
8. Dead End Road EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
9. Oz EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
I wrote this during downtime at a temp job. I was doing office work for a company that sold herbal "supplements" of dubious medical value. The products had fancy packaging and were sold at high prices, but I thought they were worthless. Hence, the line that says: "the wizards are gift-wrapping empty boxes." In this Wizard of Oz allegory, the phrase "somewhere over the aurora," of course, is a reference to "Over the Rainbow."
10. Everyone I'm Close To Is Far Away EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
"Everyone I'm Close To Is Far Away" appeared in solo form a few years earlier on Fishing Season (1995).
11. Once Today EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
12. Keep the Poor Poor EARL: vocals, guitar, bass
JOHN BARNARD: drum machine
13. Inside the Pyramid (home demo) EARL: vocal, guitar
14. Rot In Hell EARL: vocal, guitar
This 1997 attack on the music industry is notable for suggesting that musicians sell their music directly to the public through the Internet, a novel idea back then. On September 14, 1994, I had heard a report on public radio about musicians using a service called IUMA to distribute their music on the Internet. Excited about the prospect of reaching the public directly - without having to go through nightclub bookers, radio station programmers, A&R folks, etc. - I taught myself HTML and built my own Website, which you are now looking at!
15. Rot In Hell (instrumental) EARL: guitar
16. Ian the European (home demo) EARL: vocal, guitar
17. Walls Into Flowers (home demo) EARL: vocal, guitar
Tracks #1-6 engineered by John Barnard, mixed by Electric Earl.
Tracks #7-12 engineered and mixed by John Barnard.
Tracks #13-17 engineered and mixed by Electric Earl.
Recording dates: November/December 2000 (track #1-12), 4/29/1997 (track #13-16), 11/17/1997 (track #17).

This was originally started as a 12-song recording project. But due to time constraints - I wanted it ready for Christmas - I decided to concentrate on just six of the songs (track #1-6). I was planning to complete the other songs later (hence, the title Halftime), but for various reasons that never happened. The unfinished recordings are presented here for the first time (track #7-12), with simple instrumentation and basic vocals. The remaining bonus tracks (#13-17) are home demo recordings from three years earlier. Among these simple guitar/voice performances, you can hear "Inside the Pyramid," "Ian the European" and "Walls Into Flowers" as they were originally written.

The original cassette version of this album had track #1-2 on side one, and #3-6 on side two.

All words and music by Earl P. Reinhalter.


 




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