Non Equidem Invideo

by vonHummer

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about

Some clarification will be needed when I say that "Non Equidem Invideo" is the first vonHummer album. After all, the songs on "That Which Does Not Smash" and "Leftoverwhelming" were both recorded a year prior. The vocals, however, were deemed unworthy of release at the time, and so that material moldered on a shelf while the spare arrangements of "Non Equidem Invideo" skipped to the head of the line, making it the first CD to bear the "vonHummer" name for Therisno Records.

Like "That Which Does Not Smash," these songs were recorded in the one-car garage of the Brookdale Glen Apartments complex on NW Barnes Road, just over the West Hills of Portland. I'd set up a big yellow volkswagen camper tent from the 70s in the middle of the garage, plugging into the door opener/light for the power to feed my makeshift studio. I kept a Vornado space heater running in there, Fall to Spring non-stop, so I imagine the apartment manager must have been scratching her head as to why the electric bills were so much higher each month. I'll assume my getting away with it was the repayment of karma somehow.

Obsessed with being able to play each song live and have it sound similar to the CD, I recorded each song live, including the vocals, using my trusty Tascam 420 cassette 4-track. Using only the black acoustic ovation bass, I split the signal to tracks 1 and 2 with one being a straight bass sound, and the other with effects. The third track was a mic for the stings and vocals. The vocals came out a bit too low, overall, so I doubled them on an extra track before the final mix.

With the exception of "New English Blues" and "Before the Traffic Backs Up," "Non Equidem Invideo" was full of brand new songs, which was a departure from my normal MO of squirreling away "the hits" for years, doing and re-doing them until I was sick to death of playing them.

This might have been around the time I read Moses Avalon's "Confessions of a Record Producer," too, which had a great influence on my thinking about a career in music. The book details the slimy ins and outs of the record industry and poisoned in me even a hazy notion of being "professional" to any extent. Which was convenient, too, as a stance of artistic defiance to cover any perceived talent deficiencies.

Thus, the title, which is part of a famous Virgil quote—"Non equidem invideo miror magus"—meaning, "Hell, no, I don't envy them, more like astonished by their idiocy!" was my newfound response to the self-directed charge of being a wannabe. Along those lines, the album art was made to look very do-it-yourself: handwritten sharpie on a blank CD and jewelcase, a cut-out vonHummer taped on. I actually did put such a CD together, then gave it to an insider at Nike to have it shot by their high-rez product camera, on the sly, so the printed piece would look as real as possible.

Naturally after all that effort, I never released the CD for sale. Still, it was a primitive time. No iTunes. No CDBaby. No Bandcamp. I did mean to sell copies at live shows, but then—as usual-I never played any. Instead, I got caught up in TV.

Only four of the songs from "Non Equidem Invideo" made it to the TV show, as is. "Madame Impossible," "Different Blues," "High on My Own Agenda," and "Private Jokes" all became very familiar videos on the show, if not highly downloaded. "High on My Own Agenda" was at least in the top 30 downloaded mp3's from vonHummer.com.

Overall, looking back, "Non Equidem Invideo" was an important milestone to me as an artist. It was the first album I'd ever done that was unshackled from the expectation of making something "big" out of it, or trying to create an illusion that I was better than I actually was. It's a highly unvarnished work. Only "Indiscreet Where You Live" or "October Surprise" have bested this album's spareness of sound. It was the start of my appreciating my own sound.

credits

released November 4, 2000

Produced by Clark Kent
vonHummer: Bass and vocals.
Recorded on Fostex 4509 4 Track Cassette, in a VW tent pitched in a garage at Brookmont Glen Apartments.
Cover design by Clark Kent
Cover photos by Ann Hammer

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about

vonHummer Portland, Oregon

vonHummer is a Portland music/cable access legend whose career spanned from Fall of 2001 to Fall of 2011, during which he recorded a hundred or so songs for use in his absurdist show (and feature film) and played only a handful of concerts. Currently retired, his work shines on for the ages. Or will he someday return...? ... more

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Track Name: Madame Impossible
"Madame Impossible"
[vonHummer]

She’s got a shaky grasp on reality,
Two eyes that refuse to see harmony, synergy, that life can be lovely,

She got a jones for self righteous indignity, Two fists to beat her chest silly:
Emnity, tragedy, the “show-me state”, misery...

Put your hands on your head, and come along docile, cos she’s got you surrounded, this Madame Impossible, put your head in your hands and consider the fossil you once called a life with Madame Impossible, fifty years to life with Madame Impossible...

She got a license to kill joy immediately, Two lips that pout instantly, “Free to be you and me”: kiss goodbye eternally,

She’s sad as a rain cloud in mourning, she’s a ring around the moon: sailor take warning,
She’ll put your manhood in chinese handcuffs and march you away to the wedding march, and we’ll all stand and say

Put your hands on your head, and come along docile, cos she’s got you surrounded, this Madame Impossible, put your head in your hands and consider the fossil you once called a life with Madame Impossible, fifty years to life with Madame Impossible...
Track Name: Private Jokes
"Private Jokes" [vonHummer]

Sitting on a garbage heap, talking trash, Shouting while you’re counting sheep: mix and mash, what remains but for the stuttering swine to stick his head through the screen and stammer, “That’s All, folks?”

You can’t keep it to yourself now, can you man? You can’t keep it to yourself now, can you man? You can’t keep from going public with your private jokes!

Bite the hand that gropes the tit, tit for tat, Talk above the tried- and-true through your hat, what remains but for the Frito Bandito to blow the Pepcid Generation for a smile and a coax?

You can’t keep it to yourself now, can you man? You can’t keep it to yourself now, can you man? You can’t keep from going public with your private jokes!

The First Amendment wasn’t written in invisible ink, the Berlin Wall wasn’t merely mirrors and smoke, Aromatherapy wasn’t built in a day, and I stink of the common folk, you can’t think of the common folk who interrupt their scavenger hunt for meaning, scratching their collective skulls numb at your private jokes??

Can you man? You can’t keep it to yourself now, can you man? You can’t keep from going public with your private...
You can’t keep from going public with your private... You can’t keep from going public with your private jokes!
Track Name: Different Blues
"Different Blues" [vonHummer]

Your Daddy’s face shaves in a different mirror now, Your Daddy’s face shaves in a different mirror now, his whiskers wash down a different drain to a different river in a different town...
Your Daddy’s hands turn a different doorknob now, Your Daddy’s hands turn a different doorknob now, his key ring jingles with different keys, move a different door latch in and out...
Your Daddy’s laugh bounces off different friends, your Daddy’s lips mumble some different names, your Daddy’s means justify by different ends, but his heart breaks just the same...
Your Daddy’s eyes stare down a different ceiling now, Your Daddy’s eyes stare down a different ceiling now, where he’s hoping the light of a different dawn shows him something different somewhere somehow...
Track Name: High on my Own Agenda
"High on my Own Agenda" [vonHummer]

I cruise from place to place, tryin’ to score, each day it seems to take a little bit more til I can roar like a lion, high on my own agenda, I'm so high on, high on my own agenda
Started crackin’ wise, sneaking sarcasm, having the final word was like an orgasm, soon verbal spasms were just flyin', high on my own agenda, I'm so high on, high on my own agenda
So superb, no matter the verb, the subject is always me, as I center myself self-centered, high on my own agenda
First rate, can I stand up straight, such colors and shapes I see, walls melt and reality bends, high on my own agenda
I’m so high on, high on my own agenda, I'm so high on, high on my own agenda...
So superb, no matter the verb, the subject is always me, as I center myself self-centered, high on my own agenda
First rate, can I stand up straight, such colors and shapes I see, rules melt and reality bends, high on my own agenda
Track Name: New English Blues
"New English Blues" [vonHummer]

I've been/ abandoned again/ Tall woman, short fuse/ but all/ in all/ I've just learned to crawl/ cos I've got these new english blues…

Tick tock/ Ring around the clock/ Time wins,/ I lose/ But all/ in all/ I've just learned to stall/ cos I've got these new english blues…

Ah, these new english blues,/ keep me warm when I'm/ low on options/ and possibilities/ Which I can't affirm and I can't refuse/ cos I got these new english blues…

Skin deep/ Beauty's dirt cheap/ Take what you can use/ But all/ in all/ I dump what I can't haul/ cos I got these new english blues…


Har! Har!/ Feathers and tar!/ just paid off my dues/ But all/ in all/ the payments were small/ cos I've got these new english blues…

Ah, these new english blues/ give me one more unchosen/ option's impossibilitiy/ with no means to win and no mind to lose/ cos I got these new english blues...
Track Name: Impatience
"Impatience"
[vonHummer]

I could hang around this town another week or two cos I know so totally you were meant for me and I was meant for you

and it’s just a matter of time til we can go on our final first date,

but impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, better never than late…

I could lay the foundations fascination builds skyscrapers onto,
well before I do, I’ll have to call in a wrecking crew
To raze the eyes and cross the tease, left by the last erection spate,

but impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, better never than late…

You can see that I’m eager to go, that I’m ready to step and fetch, those three words jump out of my throat (where we both know there’s a catch…)

Momma said you can’t hurry love, that’s the thing about love I hate,

but impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, impatience won’t let me wait, better never than late…
Track Name: Before the Traffic Backs Up
"Before the Traffic Backs Up"
[vonHummer]

Honeychild, let’s run wild, let’s go out and drive our cars before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, let’s run wild, let’s go out and drive our cars before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

Honeychild, flash that smile, we’ll pass each other on the right before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, flash that smile, we’ll pass each other on the right before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

There’s something bittersweet warm in the belly of my spill-proof travel cup…Oh say can you see in the rearview mirror, it’s the Joneses, they can’t keep up…

Honeychild, we’ve got style and gas and cash and time to burn before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, we’ve got style and gas and cash and time to burn before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

Honeychild, I’m filled with disgust: everybody had the same idea as us! And now the traffic’s backed up...