Release Date: 20 January 2014
Format: LP Vinyl
|Jim Woerhle & Michael Yonkers Borders of My Mind Limited Vinyl LP
· By now, the legend of Michael Yonkers has ascended to estimable levels, at last. It should have happened long ago - after all, it was over ten years back that the word got out, when his previously-unreleased 1968 Sire album
‘Microminiature Love’ was issued by Destjil and then Sub Pop. A thousand noise-rock ears pricked up, in the same fashion as in 1967, when folks heard The Velvet Underground and Nico, when those lucky enough to stumble across said sounds formed their own bands immediately. Yes, it turns out
the reclusive Minneapolis dancer had just as seminally prefigured proto-punk / metal / noise though his own brand of amped-up garage rock, but no one knew. In this blog-happy latter decade, Michael has picked up where he left off, exploring blown-out frequencies with collaborators around the globe, and his work has claimed a seat next to underground legends like The Fugs, VU, Sonic Youth and even ol’ Jimi.
· What a lot of folks still don’t know is that Michael put aside his hand-built fuzz boxes and bellowing vocal style in the 70s to record and self-release some truly lilting homespun folk albums, where he explored the sound of
acoustic guitars, layered, madrigal-like vocals, and only the most subtle applications of electricity, all in service of some truly somber and mesmerizing songs. Of these albums, only ‘Goodbye Sunball’ and ‘Grimwood’ have been reissued, as well as Drag City / Galactic Zoo Disk’s now-sold-out ‘Lovely Gold’ (recorded in 1977, but unreleased until 2010).
· The album that initially prompted Clint Simonson of Destijl records to track down Michael Yonkers and get this whole legend thing on wheels was 1973’s ‘Borders Of My Mind’, recorded in the living room of Jim Woehrle, Yonkers’
former bandmate in Michael & The Mumbles and the Michael Yonkers Band.
Woehrle had to quit the MYB shortly before ‘Microminiature Love’ was recorded, because of his school and work schedule, but the two were fortunately able to make this privately-pressed LP a little ways down the line.
· The songs were recorded at Jim’s apartment using a full-track mono, one quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape recorder, using only one bi-directional ribbon microphone. Mic placement was extremely critical, because only this
microphone was used to capture Woehrle’s transcendent piano, Yonkers’ plaintive guitar playing, and the two’s arcing vocal harmonies. Plus, one can hear the very real sounds of the phone ringing and natural reverb, along with the occasional post-production psychedelic flourish, making this an unjustly-unheard classic for lovers of homespun astral folk. Fans of Ed Askew, Fred Neil, Mij, Tim Buckley, and Bill Fay, take note.
· The original art and labels have been faithfully reproduced, and with a similarly sensitive remastering job, the tracks shine brightly. Originals go for about the same as ‘Lovely Gold’, so get these before they fly out the door
ala ‘Michael Lee Yonkers’.
Borders Of My Mind
Story Book Kind Of Madness
Place Called Home
Standing In The Doorway
Lovely Lady Companion
Smile Awhile For Me
Happy Ending Woman