Notes For “Just Sittin’ Around The House”
by Evan Cantor
Original cassette liner indicates:
c. 1987 all songs by Evan Cantor
all instruments by Evan Cantor; recorded in March & April 1987
1005 Marine St. Boulder CO 80302 (postal address at that time)
SOP 106, Sound of Pig Music c/o Al Margolis, 28 Bellingham Lane, Great Neck NY 11023 USA (address of course no longer current)
At the time of WoG’s break-up, I was concerned about how my musicianship was being perceived by the underground. Despite all the myths about Walls Of Genius being idiot-savants wailing away with no musical background or chops, I was feeling un-appreciated for all the musical chops I brought to the table. For instance, I could sing in many different voices, but everybody seemed to think those voices were Little Fyodor, or so I perceived. So I was ready to assert a part of myself that had been subsumed by Walls Of Genius.
“Just Sittin’ Around The House” became a sort of “All Things Must Pass” for me, music that had been literally been ‘sittin’ around the house’ for years. Although I received positive reviews for this album, I realized, or thought, that this wasn’t really the kind of music that was in synch with the cassette underground of the 80s. For me it may have been experimental—yes, I was experimenting with different tunings, but primarily the tunes are very conventional. A lot of tunes like this were incorporated into Walls Of Genius titles, but they had always been engineered to be “odd” or “off-beat” in some way, something “experimental”.
At the time of the WoG break-up, I needed something conventional. Not only was I concerned over the perception of my musician-ship, I also feared that the Walls Of Genius “scene” would banish me forever to a life lived on the fringes of society, that if I continued with it I would never have a satisfactory sex life again and never meet anybody but the weirdest members of a small segment of society. So, in some sense, “Just Sittin’ Around The House” was an effort to counter-act all that. But not long afterwards, I dropped out of the underground scene, believing that nothing would ever come of it in the future. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I was wrong.
In any case, the recordings I made subsequent to this album were not, as far as I can recall, introduced to the Cassette Culture underground. I made a series of recordings starting with “Hell Is Empty…”, which focused on more original material, and then “Chestnuts” and “Straight Covers”, both of which were cover versions of classic rockabilly and top-40 songs. My recollection is that none of these recordings were presented to the Cassette Culture, although I would have distributed some of them to friends and family. As I have a nagging memory of somebody saying something nice about my version of “Love Potion #9”, I may be remembering this inaccurately.
- Evan Cantor
May 18, 2018
Walls Of Genius
Walls Of Genius formed in 1982, a musical performance-art comedy experimental noise ensemble, featuring everything from musique concrete, sound collage and extended rock improvisation to demented top-40 parodies, free jazz, industrial and audio experiments of all kinds, mostly fitting in no category whatsoever.