Amateur Shortwave Radio

  •   1. Like A Radio
  •   2. Ruby Tuesday
  •   3. Mary's Waltz
  •   4. Blackbird
  •   5. Moth
  •   6. Jack's Valentine
  •   7. Circle of Quiet
  •   8. Anyway
  •   9. My Love Is A Fever
  •   10. I Will Remember
1. Like A Radio

confused
ever since i spied you in the rooms of my mind
now i can't deny you

bleeding and bruised
like a vagabond in rags i've walked the streets to you door
to find just what's in store

i see you
you and many others in your clean well-lighted place
where i would find disgrace

but i do
know i'd find contentment just to be your furniture
i need nothing more

in the thick of the night take me out of the cold
let me sing inside
like a radio
in the thick of the night before we grow too old
let me sing inside
like a radio

shivering and cold this night's conducive to a
flight into my soul but i stand here
though my heart grows bold
once on the inside i can quietly persist
and hold my tears

and so still i wait
though i grow much weaker
i will not faint
i'll stay true

believe me when i say
i'd climb to heaven
crawl beneath the lowest hell
to stay near you

2. Ruby Tuesday
3. Mary's Waltz

There was a blind girl with braids and a black dress
Lived next to me I could tell you the address
I saw her climb out her window one midnight
In to the oak tree scared sacred with moonlight
See Mary dance with the light on her shoulders
She has a secret, like a lover discovers her
Guardian angel with limbs white as lambs wool
Expensive perfume on her feet

Blind Mary taught me how eyes can make pictures
I showed her mine and then she showed me all hers
You have to close them she whispered a warning
Be sure to open them before it's morning

See how we dance with the light on our shoulders
We have a secret like lovers discovering
Guardian angels with limbs white as lambs wool
Expensive perfume on our feet

Mary fell ill on a night in December
And how they tried then to cool down her fever
But she lay so still like a child in a manger
While I closed my eyes tight and prayed for a savior

Let Mary dance with the light on her shoulders
Tell her a secret and let her discover her
Guardian angel with limbs white as lambs wool
Expensive perfume on his feet

 

4. Blackbird
5. Moth

same old question
without words
so familiar
seldom heard
if I answer
I confess
I am only
just a guess
and with my eyes
it's hard to see
with my ears it's
hard to believe that
if I ever lose my will to live
it was me that I could not forgive

there's no savior hanging on this cross
it isn't suffering we fear but loss
this is closer than I ever came
just a burning moth without a flame

isaac's knife can
cut away
all the poisoned
yesterdays
and the anger
ease it down
into the ocean
let it drown
as far as east is
from the west
I let you go
I know it's best
and my answer to the years of strife
is the way I choose to live my life

there's no savior hanging on this cross
it isn't suffering you fear but loss
when there's no one else around to blame
you're a burning moth without a flame

maybe I should take your face tonight
let you see yourself in a different light
if you were to take my place tonight
wouldn't jesus be surprised

there's no savior hanging on this cross
it isn't suffering we fear but loss
this is closer than I ever came
just a burning moth without a flame
it's an offer that you can't refuse
it's a trophy that you'll want to lose
but you'll do anything
anything
you're a burning moth without a flame

 

6. Jack's Valentine

Help me. Spread my table.
I've been tryin' but I'm just not able.
There's so much left inside,
so very much I've been tryin' to hide.
Life gets pretty heavy and I wish it was light,
but after all I love the night.
and there's that word again.
I still hear it every now and again.

I breathe you 'cause you help me forget
everything I don't know about love yet.
I need you 'cause you help me forget,
yeah, you help me forget.
I drink you 'cause you help me to see
it's mostly myself that's killin' me.
I think I have to, to help me forget
everything I don't know about love yet.

Someone said these were the best days,
best days of our life.
I suppose there could be worse ways,
worse ways to learn to cry.
And if these should be the last days,
the last days for you and I,
I suppose this is the best way,
best way to say goodbye.

I breathe you 'cause you help me forget
everything I don't know about love yet.
I need you 'cause you help me forget,
yeah, you help me forget.
I drink you 'cause you help me to see
it's mostly myself that's killin' me.
I think I have to, to help me forget
everything I don't know about love yet.

It snows in here. It snows forever,
but there's no Christmas underneath this weather.
When it blows here and gets real cold,
I wanna trip myself and fall upon your fabulous sword
and move here by the stained-glass window.
Forget about the inside ghetto.
Down here on the hardwood floor,
the lines on the ceiling start to swim once more
like a cheap Renoir, a fake Van Gogh,
a pop Monet, a blue Degas.
I breathe you. I need you. Ah.

7. Circle of Quiet

Maybe you can tell my why i'm prone to wander
i'm like a gypsy to the bone
every time i hear the rain amid the thunder
i want to run outside and shed my clothes
but i want to stay with you
long enough to love you right
and i want to say to you
i love the patience in your eyes

here i am standing in a circle of quiet
where a truce is tactily observed
standing in a circle of quiet
waiting for the world to turn
waiting for the world to turn
waiting for the world to turn

and a hundred days and night could find me scattered
all around the world without a name
but you're more than just a feather in my hat
more than just a fetter on my frame
when I look up in the sky at night
i want to go out and chase the stars
but like the catcher in the rye
i want to stay where you are

there is no shadow of turning with thee
there is no shadow of turning

 

8. Anyway

it's enough for now
besides I feel so awkward
anyway
and there is no doubt
I could sleep for hours
anyway
(i'll never leave you now)

any recourse now
well it's much too late
anyway
and our hate
like toys
should be put away
anyway
(i'll never leave you now)

no wonder this confusion
you've suffered all my delusions

we can right the end
we can close this chapter
anyway
we can start again
no matter what comes after
anyway
(i'll never leave you now)

9. My Love Is A Fever

my love is a fever
my love is a fable
my love is jazz licks
improvised by toddlers
bold Ulysses by nursery rhyme
and firelight

my love is a metamorphosis
reason cold logic
intuitively speaking
my love is syncopated
spoon-fed ignorant
well-read

my love is singular
my love is commonplace
as a gravedigger's own birthplace
my love is a medicine
feeds the sick heals the poor
turns up the volume on the blind

my word it's a trip
like a migraine
on a moving train
it parachutes aeroplanes
watch it fly

eyes soar hands clap
ears ring it's a sand trap
hair raising amazing
grey city transformations
as lips sink stomachs ache
monkeys shine fire flies
foxes trot hobs knob
porches swing brains storm
hearts attack and air supplies
heads light tails spin
steeples chase you along your chin
rock slides

out of the woods now
a virgin in buckskin
moccasins tall thin
she plays your mandolin
so maudlin you begin to spin
out of the woods now

10. I Will Remember

I will remember
every dream about you
I will remember
I could not doubt you
All my first impressions
of my new possession
I will remember
I will remember

Every shadow
every shiver
every breath of borrowed air
somehow
I feel now
Every whisper
taken prisoner
every brush of cloud
and furrowed brow
I feel
This last day darling
Here with me (darling)
All the rest is history

I will remember
every sliver of you
I will remember
every door we slip through
every curving hour
every dying ember
I will remember
there is no other

Every color of our sorrow
every fallen angel's graceful bow
I feel now
Every broken word unspoken
Every crooked line of this sad town
I feel
This last day darling
Here with me (darling)
All the rest is history

Every kiss and curse
every burning thirst
every fix and flush of fire
I feel right now
Every sound we make
is a new prayer prayed
disappearing disappearing
I hold on now
Every shade of white
in the thieving night
that we steal to grow inspired
I know right now
This last day darling
Here with me (darling)
All the rest is history

But I will remember
every dream about you
I will remember
I could not doubt you
I will remember
No other lover
there is no other

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.
-Shunryu Suzuki

NOTES.
Several days ago curiously enough while we were in the midst of planning our next record, maybe it was Maundy Thursday, a music journalist phoned and asked, “Isn’t this the ten year anniversary of Over the Rhine?"

So it is.

What follows may well be some form of spontaneous combustion I don’t know. I walked upstairs toward a leaning windowless room in the Northwest corner of the attic, opened the wooden door on a brand new shivering diagonal slice of dusty Northern light, walked in as if I might trip an alarm, picked up a heavy cardboard box, backed out, turned around closing the door behind me with an unsteady left foot, took a few steps, turned my head slightly to one side to make sure no one was looking and rather unceremoniously dumped hundreds of cassettes and digital audio tapes onto the Indian rug. I stared for about thirty seconds, tossed the box off to one side and got down on my hands and knees: there we all were.

If you walked into a room during the course of the last ten years while Over the Rhine was on stage redreaming the world and hoping for a little wideness and wonder or whatever, you may have turned around and walked out or scratched your head or chuckled or stood stock still or elbowed your way closer or maybe the room was mostly empty. (I can remember setting up and sound-checking at Kilgores one night during the baseball playoffs in 1990 and Michael Wilson was the only person who showed up. We sat at the bar, watched the game, didn’t play a note all night. The Reds went on to win the World Series in four straight.) But if you were there when we did whatever it was we did, this is what you heard. This recording is one way of impulsively baking a cake from scratch and throwing a little party before we remember to feign sophistication and reserve. Pull a string, there’s a bang and ten years’ worth of confetti metaphors fly, landing on the floor a few feet away, or in our hair.

But tune the old radio to the lefthand side of the dial and turn it up deliciously. This grab bag, this cracker jack toy, this photo album of concert recordings, this Spring fling, this bird’s nest document of live arrangements and experiments spanning the earliest days of the group through just a few weeks ago is for all of us. But maybe mostly for you. Happy anniversary honey.

Linford Detweiler, April 1999

SONG DIARY.

01. Like A Radio (8:55)
Words: Linford Detweiler.
Music: Linford Detweiler and Ric Hordinski.
©1991 Scampering Songs and GMMI Music. (ASCAP)
Voice and Acoustic Guitar: Karin Bergquist.
Bass: Linford Detweiler.
Harmony Vocal and Brushed Drum Kit: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar and E-Bow: Ric Hordinski.
Recorded by Colin Cordy at the Emery Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio, for live broadcast on WNKU, December 1995.

02. Ruby Tuesday (4:35)
Words and Music: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
©1967 ABKCO Music. (BMI) All rights reserved.
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Bass: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit and Percussion: Brian Kelley.
Guitars and Sundries: Ric Hordinski.
A revisited rendering of OtR’s first ever cover, this arrangement was originally worked up for a homeless benefit at Bogarts, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1990. Voice and Bass recorded by Linford at the Grey Ghost. All other instruments recorded by Ric at Mersey Beat. Mixed by Ric. Produced by Ric and Linford, April 1999. Thanks to Tony Moore.

03. Mary’s Waltz (4:16)
Words and Music: Linford Detweiler.
©1997 Scampering Songs/Cool Puppy Music/BMG Songs Inc. (ASCAP)
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Piano: Linford Detweiler.
Northern Kentucky Symphony conducted by James R. Cassidy.
Orchestration: Terry LaBolt.
Recorded by Grey Larsen at Devou Park, Covington, Kentucky, for live broadcast on WNKU, September 1997.

04. Blackbird (4:44)
Words and Music: John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
©1968 SONY/ATV Songs LLC. (BMI) All rights reserved.
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Keyboards and Bass: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit: Brian Kelley.
Slide Guitar: Ric Hordinski.
Recorded by Ken Fullam for live broadcast on Nightwaves, WVXU, November 1990.

05. Moth (5:06)
Words : Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist.
Music: Karin Bergquist.
©1998 Scampering Songs/Cool Puppy Music/BMG Songs Inc. (ASCAP)
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Hammond B-3 and Piano: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit and Shaker: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar: G. Jack Henderson.
Harmony Vocal: Terri Templeton. Bass: Mike Georgin.
Live arrangement recorded and rough-mixed by Mark Hood at Echo Park, May 1998.

06. Jack’s Valentine (5:45)
Words: Linford Detweiler.
Music: Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist.
©1997 Scampering Songs/Cool Puppy Music/BMG Songs Inc. (ASCAP)
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Keyboards and Spoken Word: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit and Harmony Vocal: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar: G. Jack Henderson.
Harmony Vocal and Additional Crying Out: Terri Templeton.
Fretless Bass: Mike Georgin.
Recorded by Kerry Faye for live broadcast on Audiosyncracies, WVXU, July 1997.

07. Circle of Quiet (7:45)
Words: Linford Detweiler and Ric Hordinski.
Music: Ric Hordinski.
©1991 Scampering Songs and GMMI Music. (ASCAP)
Voice, Acoustic Guitar and Freudian Slip: Karin Bergquist.
Piano: Linford Detweiler.
Electric Guitar: G. Jack Henderson.
Recorded by Brian Cates at Canal Street Tavern, Dayton, Ohio, March 1999.

08. Anyway (4:47)
Words and Music: Karin Bergquist.
©1998 Scampering Songs/Cool Puppy Music/BMG Songs Inc. (ASCAP)
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Hammond B-3 and Piano: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar: G. Jack Henderson.
Harmony Vocal: Terri Templeton.
Electric Upright Bass: Mike Georgin.
Live arrangement recorded and rough-mixed by Mark Hood at Echo Park, May 1998.

09. My Love is A Fever (5:00)
Words: Linford Detweiler.
Music: Linford Detweiler and Ric Hordinski.
©1994 Scampering Songs and GMMI Music. (ASCAP)
Voice and Keyboard Organ: Karin Bergquist.
Bass: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar: Ric Hordinski.
Recorded by Bruce Knight at the State Theatre, Portland, Maine, September 1994.

10. I Will Remember (7:27)
Words: Linford Detweiler.
Music: Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist.
©1998 Scampering Songs/Cool Puppy Music/BMG Songs Inc. (ASCAP)
Voice: Karin Bergquist.
Hammond B-3 and Piano: Linford Detweiler.
Drum Kit: Brian Kelley.
Electric Guitar and Lap Steel: G. Jack Henderson.
Harmony Vocal: Terri Templeton.
Fretless Bass: Mike Georgin.
Live arrangement recorded and rough-mixed by Mark Hood at Echo Park, May 1998.

ADDRESS BOOK. We can’t thank everybody by name, but these are a few people who physically got their hands dirty in the last decade on our behalf. Thank you Tim McAllister, Michael Wilson, Owen Brock, Mike Zender, Robin Mitchell-Joyce, Gerd Muller, Donna Howell, Tim Eddings, Ken Fullam, Jimmy D., Kyle Taylor, Davis DeBord, Dave Hackbarth, Shelly Ross, Jay Boberg, Stevo, Neil Gallagher, Andy Asmus, Matthew Roberts, Don Smith, Trina Shoemaker, Gene Eugene, Stan Glickman, Jeffrey Bell, Marilyn Wilson, Todd Kearby, Dave Bodine, Jay Bolotin, Kat, Bruce Knight, Scott Griffith, Kerry Faye, Chris Dahlgren, Steve Harris, David Sheldon, Scott Ross, Angie Snelling, Todd Kolloff, Phil, John Dahlgren, Matt, Mark Hood, Grey Larsen, Hazel Henderson, Wade Jaynes, Randy Cheek, Suzann Lynch-Cheek, Jamon Zeiler, Marcus DePaula, Colm O’Reilly and Jeff Bird. Thanks to D’Addario. Thanks to Mike’s Music for a great selection of vintage instruments. Thanks to Rusty at Midwest for the Lowdens etc. Special thanks to Peter Leak and everyone at Cool Puppy. Thanks to Stacie BeBout. Thanks to all of you reading this who we did not name. Last and far from least, immense thanks to the players who made all this noise and their significant others: Karen Jean, Mallory, Bryn, Mike T. and Hazel.

AMATEUR SHORTWAVE RADIO.
Compilation Coordination: Linford Detweiler.
Photographs: Michael Wilson. Design: Owen Brock.
(Thanks Henry. Hallelujah Charlie.)
Mastering and Editing: Mark Hood.

©1999 Grey Ghost Records. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Share with one another. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.


Over the Rhine had been busy touring (including extensive tours and recording sessions with The Cowboy Junkies) for several years following the release of Good Dog Bad Dog. In the Spring of 1999, an Ohio journalist called and reminded Linford and Karin that (depending on how you did the math) the 10th Anniversary of the inception of Over the Rhine had arrived. (OtR did their first tentative recordings in the Spring of 1989, played their first real show in the Fall of 1990, got their first self-produced CD, Till We Have Faces, out the door and released in 1991.)

It seemed like a little celebration was in order. A mile marker of some kind.

“Since we had been on the road so much, we didn’t overthink it. We knew we had a bunch of archival material – concert recordings which showcased pretty much every chapter of the band to date. And we had certainly been having fun with the line-up – trying different configurations – six or seven musicians on stage at a time – or sometimes just two or three of us on stage – we were letting the songs wear different clothes, stripping things away, inviting some of our fave musicians to sit in...

We had recently done a show with The Northern Kentucky Symphony which had been taped and broadcast. And the band had performed a handful of new songs “live in the studio” – simple documents recorded by Mark Hood in Bloomington – as demos for Capitol Records. So we figured we should share the love a bit and include a few of these (Moth, Anyway, I Will Remember).

Bono said that when he was a high school student, they were talking about William Butler Yeats or some such having writer’s block, and Bono raised his hand and said, Why didn’t he just write about that? The point being, If you’re willing to tell the truth about what’s really going on, there’s always something to write about.

In some ways, this has always been our approach to recording. As long as we’re vulnerable, crazy, modest, naïve, bold enough, whatever, to more or less document what actually happened, then we always have something we can offer up as a gift to anyone within earshot. As long as we’re willing to play the holy fool and risk embarrassment, maybe the result will be useful, of interest, inspiring. Maybe the people in the room at the time felt something undeniable on their skin. If the room changed, if something happened, if a few people felt it, why not the world?

So yes, it may sound immodest or overly earnest to verbalize it, but this collection is the sound of an American Band trying to get at something great, something exceptional. Something worth waking up for.

Hope you like it.

“Emotional, melodic songs that exhibit vocal strength and intelligent writing. Spacious and edgy. Ten years in the making and the band's best so far."
- Alyce Frankenhoff, Everybody's News

"'Truly mature players don’t have anything to prove,' explains Over the Rhine’s Linford Detweiler, describing why their sound is so blissfully subtle. With the release of Amateur Shortwave Radio: Ten Years of Show Business, Over the Rhine is in its prime. The group’s maturity shows: they gracefully navigate between folk, pop, and dreamy rock, always maintaining their dignified identity between the lines. Over the Rhine achieves a smooth acoustic flow on their recordings, sometimes reminiscent of Cowboy Junkies (for whom they have opened), but perhaps more swirly and introspective. Detweiler describes their recordings as oil paintings, and their live shows as black-and-white snapshots. Shows tend to be a bit more raw and energized--especially now that they often have a sextet of musical muscles to flex, recordings more refined. Both on disc and in person, however, it ís clear that Over the Rhine understands the importance of playing as a unit, letting songs breathe and inhabit their own space."
- Jaime Vazquez, Ann Arbor Current

"Amateur Shortwave Radio is made up of a mixture of concert recordings and live radio performances from the entire span of Over the Rhine’s career, plus--and here are the real gems--three new tracks recorded (live in the studio) as demos for Capitol Records. The three new cuts (Moth, Anyway, I Will Remember) all continue farther down the road begun on Good Dog Bad Dog, and are elegant in their simplicity. The sound quality of the live cuts is excellent, as is the packaging, which once again draws on the photographic work of Michael Wilson."
- Todd Brown, reviewer based in Toronto, Ontario

"...some of the best work (Over the Rhine) has done. "Moth" soars with Jack Henderson's guitar and Detweiler's keyboards, not to mention the haunting harmonies of Karin Bergquist and Terri Templeton. In addition to Moth, there's a lot on this disc that's radio-friendly, including the sad ballad "Anyway" and the quirky spoken word jam of "Jack's Valentine." The menacing cover of "Blackbird" may be more suited to Alfred Hitchcock than popular takes on the Lennon-McCartney classic, but it gives Karin a chance to stretch as a (brand new) lead singer..."
- Eric Steiner, Cosmik Debris