AM/FM, while being a gang of two, was intently focused on working with friends. Mike and I would always be looking for friends who were available to come into the studio and add their own touches to the songs we were working on. We never told them what to play or how to play it, we simply gave them a recorded version of the song and had them come in and work it out. It just made every experience that much more fun and obviously, communal.
From 1999 thru 2001, AM/FM was pretty much in the studio recording perpetually thanks to our friendship with Terry Yveres. Terry had played in several bands around Philly and started recording music as well and had a great set up at a studio called The Meatlocker. Located at 5th and Elsworth (or, the Nickle as others might call it) the Meatlocker was just that, an old meat storage locker that was turned into a warehouse and then into a studio. For AM/FM, it became a bunker from which we were able to spend hours and hours mucking about with the music we were making. Mike and I, along with Terry our unofficial 3rd member, formed a pretty great bond over those couple of years and I’ve often felt that those days were some of my most rewarding musical experiences. Just sitting in a studio with a couple friends knocking ideas about and seeing what happened.
On our second LP, Getting Into Sinking, we really started attempted more complex arrangements than we were used to. I don’t mean that in a compositional way, but more in a logistics sort of way. More on that in the future.
Probably the keystone track of Getting Into Sinking for us was the song Come Suck Down a Cloud. Written after a 72-mile bike ride with Mike and Atom on Cape Cod, the song was then recorded to 4-track upon my return home. That demo was then whittled about at the Meatlocker and released on a CDEP on the label Cooking Vinyl in the UK.
LISTEN TO THE DEMO: Come Suck Down a Demo
Once we started working on Getting Into Sinking as a proper LP, Come Suck Down a Cloud song was massaged even more and ultimately, the decision to enlist a chorus for the big ending was made. However, keeping in the tradition of working with our friends, we made numerous phone calls and scheduled a day in February to have everyone come to the studio to sing live on the track.
Mike brilliantly decided to bring a camcorder with him to record the events of that day and that VHS tape has sat pretty much dormant since that cold day in February, 2001. That is, until I bought myself a video capture device.
Presented above is the edited documentary of the AM/FM Philadelphia Good News Singers performing on AM/FM’s song, Come Suck Down a Cloud.
Below, you can hear the final results.