Tabs Out | Various Artists – Gentle Bells: Celebrating Ten Years of Personal Archives

Various Artists – Gentle Bells: Celebrating Ten Years of Personal Archives

6.14.21 by Ryan Masteller

OK, you guys all ready? Decorations are up, we gotta fridge full of beer, and the gifts are stacked neatly on the table in the corner. Great! Now, everybody, HIDE! Find a good place so that Bob doesn’t see you the moment he walks in the door. I want to make sure he can turn on the light first and kind of get that “Wha …?” look on his face before we all jump out and shout “Surprise!” You know the look – yeah, that one, Curt Oren, you do it perfectly! Thanks for bringing your skronky sax – we’ll let you play it.

Sam Gas Can, get down behind the counter, we can see too much of you! This is going to be so fun – Bob Bucko Jr., purveyor of Personal Archives, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the label, and so a bunch of his favorite friends and collaborators have come together to fete him. But to really make the event special, we’re going to surprise him, then let everybody record something for a special tenth anniversary tape (let’s call it … “Gentle Bells”! Yeah, that’ll do), then we’re going to donate all the proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. See? REALLY special. 

That’s why Healthy Realism is here, ripping horns and drums. That’s why Mustard-In-Law is standing over there looking like an enormous yellow candle, dripping with his favorite condiment. That’s why Fritz Pape is rocking orchestral synth space music, because you have to have a COUNTERpoint to all the weirdos with saxes. (Sure, we’ll let BBJr. do his own thing by the end of this tape.) But there’s Container, more sax, but with noise rock! And how do you have a party for Personal Archives, for Bob, without Sex Funeral partner Matthew Crowe? You can’t, that’s how. He does an untitled drum track.

Now if Ben Ricketts, Daniel Ryan, and Painted Faces can stop jostling around in the bathroom and keep it down, we can let Kathy’s Special Brownies do their thing … which is pipe in frequencies from the ghost of a radio. A perfect anticipation track! Wait, I just heard a car door slam – is that Bob’s Subaru? OK, places, everyone! Spare Ribs, you can’t just hide behind your electric guitar, he’ll see you there! Try behind the arm of the La-Z-Boy. He’s unlocking the door, it’s almost time! OK, on three, two, one …

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