Returning to the Fetal Position
(Nutra Stick Productions, 1999)
The first NSPS CD release, Returning to the Fetal Position was recorded 1998-99. It started in the direction reached at the end of "Those Wacky Crazy Canadians," then shifted gears for songs like "Paper Jacket" and "Civil War," which features the great "Furious" Joe Irvin on drums.
I put the album together with a couple old pieces ("The Happiest Girl in Utah" was originally recorded with a different arrangement on the first demo tape and "Insincere Ode to the Fan" was on a version of TWCC), but mostly new ones, ranging from the random tempo "Orange Flavored Drink" to the multi-instrumental "Waiting." In short, if you only own one NSPS CD, it ought to be this one. If you don't own any, you're probably on the right track, too.
I conceived the cover as a puzzle of Pangea, almost put back together, but struggling with a few pieces. I presented the idea to Alex Gershon, hoping he would again work his design magic. Unfortunately, he couldn't find any images of Pangea that suited him and suggested I try some graphic design myself. I ended up tracing Pangea out of a rather expensive book in a store, and working from there. I then came up with the final picture, minus the water, with an art piece done with crayon, colored pencil, eye pencil, and other elements. I then toyed with some digital elements on the computer, including the askew compass with the cardinal directions N,S,P and S.
Some people have asked me about the high level of depression on the album. While I wasn't the happiest camper when I wrote it, I would point out that the first person doesn't mean that a song is autobiographical. Some characters are imaginary and some are based on what was going on around me. "The Naked Man's Lament: The Story of M. Edwards," is, as indicated by the subtitle, about Mark Edwards, the singer / songwriter / guitarist that made several very cool indy rock albums under the band name My Dad is Dead and never received recognition for his excellent albums (For Richer, For Poorer is my favorite). As I have never met Mr. Edwards and suspect he might not like being the subject of a depressing song that he didn't write, I changed the name to initials, but thought that "M.E." would look too much like "me" and be considered a rather poor disguise. "Yet to Walk a Mile" was originally titled "Absolutely Phil's Mood," and was written about a down-on-his-luck friendbut I've told you too much already.