It took me a year to getting around to doing it, but I’ve finally managed to archive and post the recordings that Nick Hennies made last August of the The Viper & His Famous Orchestra playing at Mike N’ Molly’s in Champaign, Illinois. The individual tracks are now available for free streaming and/or download on the archives page of the Viper’s page/blog at https://theviper.org/dig-the-archive/: 2 sets, 1 encore, 24 songs in total. Over the next few weeks, I hope to get other shows up and online as well.
This particular show show is fun and relaxed – at times very relaxed – and gives a fairly good representation of the Orchestra in its current incarnation and a pretty decent preview of the sound we’ll be bringing to Mike N’ Molly’s when we play there along with Edward Burch this upcoming weekend (Saturday, July 10 at 11:00 p.m.) and when we host the kids show and instrument-building-session at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum also in Champaign (Sunday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m.). I’ve put these up pretty much as is, leaving out only the between-song banter.
But I also am planning to do some basic editing and mastering of some of the better tracks – adjusting the volume, cutting to the chase, etc. And so in that light I present below a good performance of Liz Phair’s “Flower.”
Flower (Liz Phair) (click to download)
You’ll hear the Viper on the baritone ukulele, Riley Broach on the bass, Edward Burch on the suitcase, Rob Henn on assorted percussion (is that him doing the flamenco handclaps?), and Victor Cortez on metal music stand and Thor knows what else. That great sounding electric mandolin you’ll hear belongs to Kip Rainey.
I’ve cut out some out-of-tune a cappella caterwauling I’d done at the beginning of the performance, and cut out some of the middle parts where Riley & I go out on the floor to dance (the visual effect is lost here). But I’ve left in Edward’s confessional ruminations on how things are going in his life. And I’ve left in every single one of the filthy filthy lyrics. Don’t play this for anyone under 38.