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Halo
January 22nd, 2009 by lo-budge

halo_logo

BIO: Halo was formed in Albuquerque after the absolute destruction of G Faithful. An acrimonious ending to that band led to a few months of no activity at all, and then I wrote the roots of two songs, “January” and “In My Tree”, that led to beginnings of Halo. Similar to how Nick and I would write and record in Osuna years later, I would handle some song writing and drums, drum programming, bass, keyboards, and guitars, and Nick would provide his own guitar work, keyboards, and vocals. This marked a new direction in our cooperation together after the break up of a band whose three central members had pretty much agreed had phoned it in for the last couple of years.

This band also had a few phases along with many side projects. Phase I was Nick, Lisa, and I recording in Albuquerque and then in San Francisco. Some of these songs became staples for our live shows in the next phases. Nick and I met Lisa during G Faithful as she attended many of our rehearsals and became our good friend.  Phase II involved recording more with Gavin and Will after we formed the core group, and Phase III was a four-piece power-pop group after Lisa departed the group. The band ended with a final performance in which we destroyed Will’s drum kit on stage with some pent-up rage coming from Gavin and I knowing that Will and Nick had already started their other band, the Blast Rocks!!!, and a parting of ways that led to that band becoming a SPAM Records trio while Gavin and I as roommates started Tiger 2 for more bedroom recordings.

Halo never recorded a proper album, and we have some recordings that were never finished, but we did press a red vinyl 7″ for “Losing My Head” with “Outside My Door” as the B-side.  Some of these became my wedding invitation.

Band Members: Sergio Chavez (bass, drum programming, keyboards, occasional backing vocals), Gavin Rhodes (guitar, vocals, keyboards, drum programming), Will Eskridge (drums, vocals, drum programming, guitar), Nick Campbell (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Lisa Shane (vocals, Hammond organ)

Years of Operation: 1997 – 1999

Location: Albuquerque, NM and San Francisco, CA

Song List:

I have attempted to put the groupings of songs below in chronological order.

The following songs were recorded on a 4-track by Lisa, Nick, and I at Michael Tomlinson’s clothing store on Central Ave in Albuquerque, NM:

At Night

I Want Your Body (This is an entertaining lo-fi electronic jam featuring Mark Chavez, my cousin, on beat-box delayed vocals, and not really a Halo song)

Universal Love Slave (Another jam with Mark Chavez and a few other friends singing back-up, obviously after many beers.  Some of those beers should have worn off before any attempt at mixing this song was done, but that wasn’t the case)

In My Tree (Instrumental Version)

In My Tree (Version 1)

In My Tree (Version 2)

In My Tree (Version 3)

In My Tree (Version 4 – the best version)

January (This is the recording that Nick and I first did after G Faithful ended, which sparked a new sound for us)

January (Version 1)

January (Version 2)

January (Instrumental Version)

Rock Halo Not Adidas (This song probably had a better title at some point.  Another Mazzy Star-esque early song that devolves into typical lo-budge style knob twiddling on the drum machine.  One interesting thing about this recording is that the tape twisted at the beginning and you can briefly hear Chris Gatley singing backwards on an older G Faithful song, which was clearly on the other side of this 4-track cassette tape)

Instrumental Song (A pegged-to-the-red-lines on the Tascam 4-track instrumental jam that Nick and I recorded)

The following songs were recorded on a 4-track in Lisa, Nick, and I’s apartment in the Outer Richmond district of San Francisco:

10 Percent of Me (We had a Hammond organ in the living room that was later replaced with a piano.  The organ can be heard on this recording.  I think just Nick and Lisa did this recording and the other version below)

10 Percent of Me (Version 2 – more slide guitar and better quality.  Has a bit of a Mazzy Star sound to it)

A Lonely Night (This was a song that Nick and I recorded that never became part of the Halo set list.  It’s in the same vein as “Dust Devil Girls”)

Basement (Another song similar to the one above.  I like this one quite a bit, and I think Nick used it in his later band, The Foxgloves Family)

Charlatenesque (I think this one-off recording was just Nick and I messing around, and it never became a song.  It sounds more like a lo-budge song than a Halo song)

Consider (Will wrote this song and we all sang backup on it.  Will programmed the drums, also.  I love this recording)

Ghosts (Version 1 – This is sort of a lo-budge song recorded by Lisa and I)

Ghosts (Version 2 – a much better version)

Hey Allen (Version 1 – Instrumental)

Hey Allen (Version 2 – A song about Lisa’s brother)

Makes Me Wonder (Another song recorded by Lisa and I)

Real Life Angels (I think Nick recorded this song all by himself.  We didn’t use it in Halo, but it’s a nice recording)

Slow Motion Suicide (Version 1.  A much different and folky version compared to what it turned into)

Take a Ride (Version 1.  This is a very early version with the Hammond and slide guitar styling)

Take a Ride (Version 2.  This song went from the folky version above to this more airy keyboard style to the rocked-out version the full band turned it into.  The tape speed changes in this version and the next were intentional)

Take a Ride (Version 3.  A better recording of the keyboard version)

Technicolor (Version 1 – Instrumental)

Technicolor (Version 2 – This song never became part of the live Halo set list)

The Boy Who Flew Away (Version 1 – A very early version of this song about Nick and I’s strange experience in Big Sur with a group of friends)

The Boy Who Flew Away (Version 2 – with guitars and bass)

Twilight Hanging (I wanted our friend Nathan Petty to join our band on keyboards, and this is him playing along to a recording of Twilight Hanging.  We decided to be a non-keyboard band after Lisa’s departure, or at least to stay as a four-piece)

Walk Away (This is Gavin and I doing an early instrumental version of this song.  I remember discussing how out of tune my keyboard part is.  It really is pretty bad)

This was our red vinyl single:

Outside My Door single cover

Outside My Door single cover

Side 1:  Outside My Door (Featuring audio of Nick, Gavin, and Thomas Tomlinson playing basketball from a few years before this recording)

Side 2:  Losing My Head

The following songs were recorded on Gavin’s Mac in San Francisco, either in his apartment or at our rehearsal space in SoMa:

losing_my_head_single_cover

cassingle

Blue Fool (Originally called “Twilight Hanging” when Lisa sang it.  Will took over on vocals for this song after Lisa left the band and wrote new lyrics)

Drive Your Car (Even though we lived in SF, Nick wrote a lot of lyrics that remind me more of Albuquerque, such as this one)

Electricity (Instrumental version.  Probably our loudest and fastest song. )

Electricity (Version 2 – also instrumental)

Everybody Wants to Bring Me Down (featuring a Vietnam-nightmare at the beginning)

Ghosts (We tried to make this a proper Halo song but it didn’t come out too well, somewhat due to technical difficulties (as you will hear in this tape recording), but it has its moments.  Nick apparently didn’t get the pattern at all.  I’ll need to work on that)

Hollow Eyes

Instant Classic

It’s Wrong to Love You (I used the bass parts on my own lo-budge version, also, called “Eskridge”)

Makes Me Wonder (Another tape recording at a rehearsal)

Practice Jam (Another tape recording of a song that never turned into anything)

 

Santo Cielo (Some vocal clipping and general yodeling in this one.  Since the original snare drum did not get picked up very well by the drum mic, Will went back over each snare hit with an electronic snare from the GrooveBox, hence the “drum fill” at the end that cracked us up so much)

Santo Cielo (Version 2, with Nick and Will both on vocals on the verses, and Gavin doing the chorus wailing)

Shine Like (Instrumental version.  I wish the vocals had been completed for this version.  Will does another excellent electronic drum solo at the end)

Slow Motion Suicide (Version 1 – a tape-recorded lo-fi practice rehearsal)

Slow Motion Suicide (Version 2 – with a drum machine)

Slow Motion Suicide (Version 3)

Stella (Version 1 – Instrumental)

Stella (Version 2)

Take a Ride (Instrumental version)

Twilight Hanging (Version 1 – Instrumental version.  This song later became “Blue Fool”)

Twilight Hanging (Version 2 – With vocals by Lisa)

The Boy Who Flew Away (Version 1 – Drum machine version)

The Boy Who Flew Away (Version 2 – With Will on drums at a rehearsal)

The Old Way (Gavin kept this little discussion about doing some song “the old way” and it is pretty funny)

Walk Away (Version 1)

Walk Away (Version 2 – I love the banter at the beginning that Gavin decided to keep on this recording.  I thought that Will was joking around when he sang some portion of his vocals, but apparently not.  The ending involves talking about Black Star beer, which our friend Richard was some sort of promoter or salesman for.  I do like this version a lot)

 

 

These songs were recorded at one of our gigs at the Boomerang on Haight St. in San Francisco (its original location has since closed down) on July 3rd, 1998:

Electricity (Will provides some humorous commentary at the end)

It’s Wrong to Love You (It must have been entertaining to watch the drummer sing the song, and it’s quite a talent)

Instant Classic (Will takes his shirt off.  With the on-board recording only picking up the drums and vocals (and sometimes the guitars), you’d think I wasn’t even there!  But I was, believe me)

Losing My Head (Some Mötley Crüe-esque fills by Will in here, which he did just for me)

Outside My Door

Shine Like (“Shake yo booty”, says Will, while Nick explains the dance barrier that, when broken, leads to things being “all over”.  I like this song about a woman trying to catch her a man)

Take a Ride (Cut off at the beginning)

Santo Cielo (“You can rock your pants off to it”, says Will.  The ending screams from the audience and the Boomerang’s sound man’s little speech are nice touches, too)

These are other various live recordings of Halo:

Electricity

Everybody Wants to Bring Me Down

Instant Classic

Losing My Head

Outside My Door

Shine Like

Take a Ride (Cut off at the beginning)

Walk Away (Nick explains that Will has tattoos and likes to take his shirt off and ladies love him.  Then Gavin starts up with a very weird intro)

Wooden Box (This was probably the last Halo song ever written, and I only have this live version of it.  I think we did a better recording of it that I’ll try to find)

Santo Cielo

Extra info: Here are some photos and scans of Halo members and releases, and a film made by Will Eskridge will be hosted here soon:

Here is the Halo Documentary that Will Eskridge filmed on Super 8 and added audio material to:

The much better quality uncompressed file is available here.

 


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