52 Card Pickup, Song #24 - The Master Cleanser

LINK: https://davidmorrison.bandcamp.com/track/the-master-cleanser

I have slightly remixed and then remastered my biggest hit, AKA the only one of my songs--to my knowledge--to ever have been played on the radio, via the syndicated Hour of Slack, official radio ministry of the Church of the SubGenius™.

I have included the following disclaimer in order to make it clear I am not sincerely evangelizing for this new age bullshit:

This ode to Stanley Burroughs, creator of the Master Cleanser, is not to be taken at face value. The man was a dangerous fraud who killed at least one of his "patients." I have only given him a sympathetic voice because I thought it made for a better song. The unreliable narrator is a device that may be used not only in prose, but in song as well. If you get sick from starving yourself on lemonade, don't blame me.

Summary of the manslaughter judgment against Stanley Burroughs:


Podcast of the Hour of Slack episode featuring this song:


52 Card Pickup, Song #23: Soon

LINK: https://davidmorrison.bandcamp.com/track/soon-2

It was unplanned that immediately following the very short Scott Walker song I just posted would come a very short song of my own. It also didn't occur to me that I had chosen pictures taken on trains (taken years apart, one in Poland & the other in China) for both of them. Unconscious continuity, I guess. I certainly don't have much of the conscious kind.

Anyway, I wrote this song when I was living in Nacogdoches in about 2008. I recorded the guitar and the vocal in one take. Around two years ago I put drums on it. Then a couple weeks ago I slapped on some bass. (Not that it's slap bass; I don't even know how to do that.) Now I guess it's done.

I often work on a set of lyrics for years, rewriting them, mulling them over, tossing them out and starting again, etc. But this just sort of popped out all at once. Clearly it's about the indignity of being shuffled off to an old folks home, which is an odd inspiration to strike one suddenly, in one's 40s. But I believe that the point is just to get out of the way when the antenna is picking up a signal, so there you go.

52 Card Pickup, Song #22: 30th Century Man

LINK: https://davidmorrison.bandcamp.com/track/30th-century-man

Sadly, Scott Walker died this year. He was a unique and uncompromising artist who had a huge influence on Bowie and many others. I've always loved this song, which was on his 3rd solo record, Scott 3, in 1969.

I recorded this version about 4 years ago, but when I listened to it recently, it felt not-quite-finished, so I added some harmony vocals & tambourine and completely changed the mix. Scott's original is perfect in its austerity; I saw no need to try to recreate that, so I gave it a fuller arrangement.

If you wonder what that strange sound is at the end, it's the washing machine from my flat in Kazakhstan, looped and echoed. Or else maybe it's a time machine.

52 Card Pickup, Songs # 20 & 21: The Happiness Engine & My Fondest Regrets



I believe I wrote this in the early 90s. I've been trying to record it properly ever since. It sort of sounds like it's about some diabolic combination of Happy Fun Ball and the internet, but at the time I wrote it, the internet wasn't much of a thing yet, at least in my world. Perhaps it was prophetic.



This wistful instrumental originally appeared on All Kinds Of Wrong, my folksy album with Jeromy Barber, in a stripped-down arrangement, but it's probably my favorite of my instrumental compositions and I always wanted to do a bigger production job on it, so here it has piano, bass, and drums. I think of it as a soundtrack to a film that is half spaghetti western, half French existentialism.