Becoming Faust: The "Waiting in Vain" Demos

by Wooden Wand

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I could write a book-length piece about my major label experience making Waiting in Vain, but I won't. Briefly, these are a handful of the home recorded demos made for this record, which eventually featured Nels Cline, Carla Bozulich, Andy Cabic of Vetiver, John Dietrich of Deerhoof, and others. It was a fun record to make--Steve Fisk produced it at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco, with the longest stretch of time and largest budget I'd ever been given to make a record. Unfortunately, Waiting In Vain wound up being something of a 'bad luck record' for me in the long run. In fact, there are still Wooden Wand fans who do not know that this record exists. I wanted to call the album "Becoming Faust"--actually the title of a DVD chapter in Jan Svankmejer amazing film, Faust--but was talked out of it. I still think if it had been released under its original title, things might have gone differently. Some good songs here, and some cool moments: hear me curse the singing birds outside at the conclusion of "Doreen"; hear the only line A&R Slim Moon ever asked me to change in "Beulah The Good," which I'd inadvertently stolen from Abbie Hoffman, anyway; and a few songs that were intended for the album but, for whatever reason, weren't recorded for the album and have never been previously released--or heard!--in any form. "The Natural You" would eventually be recorded as "The Arc" for Death Seat, several years later. There were other songs in consideration--this was a very fertile period--but the rest of those outtakes ended up on Ecstatic Peace! release Hard Knox (to be released on vinyl for the very first time by Fire in late 2013!).


released June 18, 2013



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Wooden Wand Lexington, Kentucky

Says Swans frontman and head of Young God Records Michael Gira, James Jackson Toth’s “got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies—harrowing, bleak and darkly comical—in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.” ... more

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