Magician Among The Spirits

From Bruce Butler, manager of The Church

27th Feb 1996
Bruce Butler wrote with some more news about the album.
...
The Church album has been put back until at least the 15th April. It was 
mastered today by Simon Polinski at Studios 301 in Sydney. The album is 
titled "Magician Among The Spirits". Tracks include 'Welcome', 'Ritz', 
Comedown', 'Ladyboy', Romony Caravan', It Could Be Anyone', 'SADS', 
'Magician Among The Spirits', 'Grandious' & 'Further Adventures Of The 
Time Being'.

That's all for now. See you at The Continental.

Bruce.
Peter Koppes has also contributed to five of the songs on this album. Yes, he's back !

18th Jan 1996
The as yet untitled Church album will be released in Australia on 25 March on the Deep Karma label through White Records. At this time it will only be available overseas on import from Mushroom Exports. The final selection of songs has not been made from the 16 tracks recorded but 'Comedown' is likely to be the first single and 'The Ritz' IS on the album along with the 14 min epic 'Magician Among The Spirits'.

The album was engineered & co-produced by Simon Polinski who has worked with Steve on Fake, Stephen Cummings (a new album with some great SK songs has just been completed), Kev Carmody as well as on Crystal Set, Paul Kelly and many other Australian artists. Peter Koppes plays guitar on about half the album and Tim Powles is on drums.

The album will be released in UK, Europe and Canada by Beggars Banquet in April


Possibilities ?


17th October
An e-mail contact with a friend of Margot Smith's has confirmed that this song, "The Comedown" has been recorded !

During the recent Australian acoustic tour, Steve and Marty performed a new song that Steve had written. Paul Crick has transcribed the lyrics which are reproduced here.

These lyrics are the intellectual property of Steve Kilbey and I apologise
for reproducing them without permission and any inaccuracies present.

You should decide what you want to believe in
How can I describe what I'm receiving
It's like the marquee says, "One Night On the Stage"
You want to live forever but you don't want to age
I just can't help wondering
It seems a waste of time
The life-buoy in the life-boat he was a sailor
You could not describe him old words would just fail you
And Justine's laced up tight in her shoes
You're gonna get it whatever you choose
I just can't help wondering
It's such a waste of time
That's the blues man
That's the big town
That's the rebound 
That's the comedown
Halfway up a mountain you wanna be first
Lying beside a fountain dying of thirst
And the marquee says, "One Night On the Stage"
Wait 'til I let this soul out of it's cage
And I can't help wondering
It's such a waste of time
That's the blues man
That's the big town
That's the rebound
That's the comedown

I recently bought an album of "poetry on groove" called Loudspeaker, to which Steve contributed a track. Jules Shear also did a track and it led me to think that if he was in Sydney while the Church were recording, he might have worked on the new album. He's worked with Marty in the past, so I think its a possibility.


Predictions From Seance

In late August I asked members of the Seance mailing list for predictions about the new album. It was based on carefully thought out deductions, guesses, wild hopes, you name it. Here's the results....

Brian Smith (that's me) says

1) Steve's "comedown" song will be recorded, but Ritz & Cortez won't be
2) Lyrics won't be included with the album (fairly easy one, that :) )
3) The album will be less technologically oriented than SA, I think, because
Marty has to leave the country in about six weeks, so they've got less time
to get it done.  Of course, Steve could add all the technical stuff afterwards
too.
4) The album cover will be black & white (in the tradition of Starfish,
P=A,GAF.  SA was an aberration; a glitch in continuity :)
5) Andy Dare Mason will be on the other side of the glass again.
6) Anyone want to guess a drummer ?  It'd be cool if it was JD again.

Brian Turner says

1) After touring the past year on and off with an all acoustic set, I would
like to see SK & MWP get back to the basics in the studio and leave
all the techno-hoopla behind. A few keyboards would be fine.
Don't get me wrong, I love techno bands like Bel Canto(next fav.
after the Church), but in my opinion techno and The Church
do not gel.
2) Cover will be color( Yes I am going out on a limb here...)
3) Steve's new song will be recorded
4) Dare will be back
5) No MWP vocals on new album.(Stop all the hissing out there.......)
                                          (  I adore 'Spirit Level' )
6) No lyrics, maybe a pome
7) First single will be SK & MWP's first stab at Jazz & Polka Fusion.
		   --    J U S T  J O K I N G --

Thomas Irvin has set his sights pretty high:

I predict a "Kilbey/one off female colaborator" song that becomes an
international hit ala "Unguarded Moment" or "Under the Milky Way" that
triggers a worldwide renewed interest in the Church and lots of articles from
writers tired of singing the praises of Eddie Vedder & Co. about how the
Church has always been the best band on the face of the Earth.

World peace presumably ensues.

Thomas Irvin

James Dignan says

Hmm. some say colour, some say B&W - I say 'monochromatic', but not
necessarily black and white. In otherwords, something more like the Pink &
Maroon of Seance's cover, or the silver/black mix of P=A

3) (or some other number) - going out on a limb with a weird hunch here -
perhaps we'll get a guest appearance by someone who doesn't normally appear
on a Church album. A female backing vocalist, perhaps, or even an
appearance by G W McLennan on one track. As to the latter, perhaps we might
expect a reworking of a Jack Frost song on there, since that's been
consigned to the filing cabinet in the room with "Beware of the Leopard" on
the door...

Lars Christensen reckons

Maybe in lieu of my recent thread, their new album will be entirely 
covers! Naw, probably (hopefully) not.

Technology ? 	Well of course Steve is the technology guy, compare Narcosis to 
Spirit Level. I'd like to see them experiment some more with it, but not 
rely on it like they occasionally did on the last album.

SA strikes me as a very unChurchy cover, I guess they were trying 
something new. I don't really like it much.

Producer ? This was mentioned a long time ago but it's always worth it to 
bring it up...how about Eno? (yeah right)

JD again ? At least they can spell his name right, that's a plus. I think 
it'd be neat to see Steve or Marty doing some of the percussion, I don't 
know how skilled they are but I'm always interested in seeing people try 
their hand at more stuff. I think it would be great to see the same sort 
of sharing of instruments and vocals that was a feature of the last 
album; it helped them break away from the standard mold of Church songs. 
(That also answers the question of vocals--I love Marty's voice).

John Brown-OSullivan adds

my predictions for the new album: the 'metal machine music' SK & MWP
said they always wanted to do. Two discs and 140 minutes of mayhem... (I
wish)

Suzy (the AOL Goblin !) says

1)I think it will sound a little like "Sometime Anywhere" only a little more
updated.  Lots of keyboards and lots of bass.
2)It will be full of colour (on the cover of course)

Jeffrey Ylvisaker says

I think that their next album will be more like Priest = Aura,
unless there is something more missing from The Church than Koppes.
Also the cover will not have as much going on in it as SA, and perhaps
not as much technology.  The disc(s) will be 70 minutes long if two 
then ~110 minutes.  It will be powerful music something on the 
order of Two Places At Once, My Little Problem; yet have that 
P=A sound and feeling to it.   So forward I look with green eyes.

Marten Landstrom comments on choice of producer

Producers? I once discussed this briefly with Marty, and I suggested Bob
Ezrin. Marty said that he*d love to have Bob but he sort of didn*t think it
would happen. Bob has, of course, produced Kansas, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Trevor
Rabin.

Paul Crick started a whole new discussion with this observation

I predict another album of great songs that doesn't sell shit.
I want to see a band again. 
The acoustic duo thing was 'nice' but lets get back to business.
The Church as the Indigo Girls is old and I AM NO LONGER INTERESTED!
If it's not going to happen with Ploog and Koppes ever again then get
someone else!
Regarding labels, in the UK they would be given higher priority on a label
like Creation.

Actually, Paul's just written to me clarifying his previous comments.

...Anyway, I was surprised to see my name
appearing twice relating to the 'Comedown' transcription and 
in particular the comment on the mailing list relating to 'The
Church as the Indigo Girls'. The comments seem so aggressive
taken out of the context of the mailing list and were in fact
meant to stir things up a bit and promote discussion (the whole
point of a mailing list) rather than be taken literally. I 
would really appreciate it if you could add this e-mail as a 
post-script comment to that particular posting.

There was another e-mail, which I deleted (DOH!), from a girl describing a dream where she went into Tower Records and bought the new album ! She described the cover and said the song names were quite long. But she got woken up before she could "hear" it.


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