Pre​-​Season Scrimmage

by vonHummer

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At some point in 2004, I was going through stray piles of CDs in the studio and I found a CD I didn't remember recording. In Sharpie on the disc it said "Pre-Season Scrimmage." Playing it didn't clear things up much. Based on the instruments (the Applause accoustic bass drone, EKO high drone and what was surely the last recording done with the drum guitar,) I dated this to June of 2002.

My supply of recorded songs for my bi-weekly cable series, "The vonHummer Hour," would be just about out in another month or so at that juncture in history and I started recording these six songs to be the new material. I think. Or possibly these were demos I made to test out new songs before the next season of the show rolled around. Hence the "Pre-Season." And "scrimmage" is just a football word I love, although I generally don't like sports at all. I think originally I was calling this collection of songs the "pre-season songs," but kept thinking "scrimmage" for some reason and it stuck.

Actually, only one of these was a "new" song: "Do It to Them." "Like Junior High" from 2000 already had a demo from the year before, but this arrangement is markedly better than the one that appears on "Isoprolific." Likewise "Pioneer Squire" and "Insufficient Funds." "No Parlez" was written and arranged way back in 1991, I think, and "To Slur with Love" had lyrics dating to 1998, though the arrangement was new to 2001 or so.

Recorded on my trusty Tascam 420 4 track cassette recorder, in the living room of the duplex on 4020 SE 10th, this is last pass at what I consider my "classic" instrumentation. Shortly after finishing this recording, something broke down in the electronics of the drum guitar and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. That drum guitar is a wall decoration now.

I would have added this into the upcoming box set of rarities coming out early next year, since nobody but me heard it at the time, however, in 2005 I made music videos for all of these songs and substituted them into episodes of "The vonHummer Hour" for other music videos that had run in previous episodes." Since then, these songs have been heard on tv and downloaded, so I figured, I'd release "Pre-Season Scrimmage" separately.

These songs are very homespun-sounding to me. Warm and folky. Everyone of the tracks is a character song, so it's not a very confessional album to me. Except for "No Parlez," which was about my lousy marriage in 1991, and the trouble I had communicating at the time and even that one is a bit camouflaged.

The cover photo of me is another Jason Kaplan shot, of course.

credits

released June 4, 2002

Produced by Clark Kent for Therisno Records

vonHummer: vocals, guitar drum and percussion, bass drone, high guitar drone.

Cover photography by Jason Kaplan

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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: Like Junior High
"Like Junior High"
(vonHummer)

Finally wrote you the ultimate love note, gonna slip it in the pocket of your pea coat, loved you all year, it’s time to let you know, cafeteria theory says it’s so…

In the girls room, you are a smoker, which makes me an impractical joker, you’re so hot, you walk by and I’m all “whoa!”
Way cooler than me, maybe, but who knows…

You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you,

See you roaming the hallways cos you always have a pass, can’t sit nearby you no more cos you crack me up in class, there’s sparkle in your eyes like streetlight on broken glass, you could stop an assembly with your laugh…

Someone said that you got detention for telling truth too ugly to mention, I’m so into you I’d risk suspension just to play hooky all day with you…

You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you,

Finally wrote you the ultimate love note, gonna slip it in the pocket of your pea coat, loved you all year, it’s time to let you know, cafeteria theory says it’s so,

Still thinking about you in Social Studies, after Math, you’re still the topic sentence in my perfect paragraph, though you left my love note for the janitorial staff on the floor by your locker torn in half…

You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you like junior high,
You’re all high school, but I love you,
Track Name: Insufficient Funds
"Insufficient Funds"
(vonHummer)
I'll stay, if you want me to stay and share my insufficient funds, I'll go if you want me to go and take my insufficient funds,

No there's no place for the root of evil to grow if I stay stuck and stick with what i know I know: money talks, bullshit walks, but beggars and goldiggers run from insufficient funds,

My trick: pick a card any card has insufficient funds, vanish when the waitress returns with insufficient funds,

I’m so full of love, credit checks won’t go thru, if you think you might want me to get fiscal with you, a penny saved is a penny earned, when pennies cause me concern, it’s insufficient funds…

If ever anyone had it all, they'd be carefree like me, mother theresa and all the young nuns, like atila and all the young huns, freedom's just another word for insufficient funds…

It's true, I got nothing but love and insufficient funds, Sheepish grins, jack benny jokes, and insufficent funds ,

So take my all if nothing's nothing to you, a wealth of good lovin' work wonders for you, the poor God blessed, well more or less, at least articulate ones with insufficient funds…

No even a broken clock is right twice a day, so, broke as I am, maybe someday I'll pay? That'll be the day and twenty-one guns will thunder to salute the bitter end of insufficient funds...
Track Name: Do It to Them
"Do It to Them"
(vonHummer)

Do it to them, before they do it to you, Figure out how to use your feet, lest they spring your ejector seat, it’s ship or iceberg: ask the Titanic’s crew, Do it to them, before they do it to you…

Do it to them, before they do it to you, Shake the moss off your rolling stone or the vultures surely circle your bones, don’t wait around for some fool to say, “Aprés Vous!”: Do it to them, before they do it to you,

You got to do it, do it, don’t need no good excuse, you got to do it, do it, whose neck is for the noose? You got to do it do it, whose chef will cook whose goose Thanksgiving Day? “Bon Appetit’s” so sweet to say…

Do it to them, before they do it to you, Before your government gets overthrown, launch a little coup de tat of your own, Let ‘em land the first punch after you’ve landed two: Do it to them, before they do it to you,

You got to do it, do it, don’t need no good excuse, you got to do it, do it, whose neck is for the noose? You got to do it do it, whose chef will cook whose goose Thanksgiving Day? “Bon Appetit’s” so sweet to say…

Hate to hear the angels sing “Who’s Sorry Now” for you, no need turning the other cheek if you’re the first one to bitch slap ‘em black and blue…

Do it to them, before they do it to you, If your conscience tears you up inside, then rest assured, my boy, you’ve done it right, Them that sleep with the fishes sleep no better, true? (True!) Do it to them, before they do it to you,

You got to do it, do it, don’t need no good excuse, you got to do it, do it, whose neck is for the noose? You got to do it do it, whose chef will cook whose goose Thanksgiving Day? “Bon Appetit’s” so sweet to say…
Track Name: Pioneer Squire
"Pioneer Squire"
(vonHummer)

Hey on your way in help me out? My afternoon’s in doubt. Five bucks? Fifty bucks? Man, my situation’s dire,

I’m thick as the brick everywhere in the Square, oh, and I’m thin as a wire,

Hey help me out. My afternoon’s in doubt, five bucks, fifty bucks? Who’s gonna give a fuck about the Pioneer Squire?

See you don’t know me, but I know you, dude: common sense all krazy glued. Five bucks? Fifty bucks? Then we can both retire.

I’m the Thrill of Yamhill, Sun of Morrison, and in the cold I’m on fire, but I know you, dude, common sense krazy-glued, five bucks, fifty bucks? Who’s gonna give a fuck about the Pioneer Squire?

Sixth Avenue’s just a candy bar to you, Broadway’s where they play lullabies, I’ve kept my distance for a full minute or two, so don’t shoot til you see the reds of my eyes…

Hey on your way in help me out? My afternoon’s in doubt. Five bucks? Fifty bucks? Man, my situation’s dire,

I’m thick as the brick everywhere in the Square, oh, and I’m thin as a wire,

Hey help me out. My afternoon’s in doubt, five bucks, fifty bucks? five bucks, fifty bucks? five bucks, fifty bucks? Who’s gonna give a fuck about the Pioneer Squire?

Who’s gonna give a fuck about the Pioneer Squire? Who’s gonna give a fuck about the Pioneer Squire?
Track Name: No Parlez
"No Parlez"
(vonHummer)

If you’re looking for someone to explain things better, letter for letter, I don’t speak the language,

If you’re wishing for someone to make meanings more clear, don’t ask here, dear: I don’t speak the language,

I don’t speak the language, not to your liking, not the right accent, ill phrases striking, I don’t speak the language like the people you walk among, I don’t speak the language, ah but it’s my mother tongue!

If you’re asking for someone who can interpret, I’ll have to forfeit: I don’t speak the language,

If you’re hoping for someone to edit your phrasebook: hey, listen, wait, look, I don’t speak the language,

I don’t speak the language, not like a native, don’t know accusative, I don’t know dative, I don’t speak the language like the people you think of as “hot,” I don’t speak the language, but it’s all the language I’ve got!

I can not “speak the speech,” it’s entirely out of my reach, I can gesture all right, but I say “black,” and you hear “white,”

If you’re waiting for some kind of tender discussion without repercussion: I don’t speak the language,

If you’re looking for someone to explain things better, letter for letter, I don’t speak the language...
Track Name: To Slur with Love
"To Slur with Love"
(vonHummer)

Sibilance, sibilance,
Testing testing one two three,
Sibilance, sibilance, sibilance,
Check check check, can you hear me?

Only I know what I'm trying to say,
and that's likely how it's going to stay,
as I gaze up at you gazing back down at me from above,
I can feel how much you want my diction,
but I'm starting to slur with love,

To slur with love, love, o jai waddeva, om ny binadum...
with love, love...hagh mi madeendnum...

Sibilance, sibilance,
puff puff puff is this on?
Sibilance, sibilance, sibilance,
don't turn me down the feedback's gone,

I try and try and try to form the words,
unintelligible sounds occur, as you sway in a
volcanic rhythm all your own just above,
I can feel you reach for my diction,
only to slur with love

To slur with love, love, ja hadra riddnum...
To slur with love, love, ha ba mazuzza...

Sibilance, sibilance,
Testing testing one two three,
Sibilance, sibilance, sibilance,
Check check check, can you hear me?

Sibilance, sibilance,
puff puff puff is this on?
Sibilance, sibilance, sibilance,
don't turn me down the feedback's gone,