Artist: Grandaddy

Album: Arm of Roger - The Ham and Its Lily

Date: 1999-01-01

10 tracks. 2 images. 1 text file.
# Title Duration Formats
1 Robot Escort 2:49 MP3 (320k), FLAC
2 Down With The Animals 3:05 MP3 (320k), FLAC
3 I Like Lo-Fi Recordings 3:15 MP3 (320k), FLAC
4 One Time They Called And Asked For Freddy 3:10 MP3 (320k), FLAC
5 Counting To Zero 0:49 MP3 (320k), FLAC
6 Seven Days Of The Week 5:51 MP3 (320k), FLAC
7 Band Synergy (A Peek Inside The Magic) 3:12 MP3 (320k), FLAC
8 You Know You're Fucked Up 3:19 MP3 (320k), FLAC
9 Down With The Animals (Radio Remix) 3:12 MP3 (320k), FLAC
10 The Pussy Song 2:08 MP3 (320k), FLAC

More information:


The Story According to Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy Guitarist, current Modest Mouse Guitarist):

In 1998 we were a comparatively small, small town concern that had been presented with a little more success and opportunity than we had imagined. I guess we’d imagined it, but it hit us differently than we’d dreamt. Along with our relative success came some additional expectations we had not anticipated. I remember a number of conversations with people from Big Cat and V2 that ran roughly along the following lines: “Summer Here Kids would have been a huge single if it wasn’t so lo fi”…”maybe next time we can get the drums to sound a little bigger”.

At it’s roots, Grandaddy is five kids who grew up skateboarding. Listening to punk rock, metal and FM radio and finding oneself through singular pursuits outside the mainstream based on all this information. When we encountered a tested and proven method of moving down any path, chances are we’d switch vehicle and direction. In the blur of the aforementioned speculation, in a gold prospecting sense, we started having funny conversations in the Van (US) and in the Bus (Europe) about having fun with these new commercial ambitions. There were hours of drunken riffing and laughter, making up fake songs about California and Skateboarding, Pavement (we were supposedly the next Pavement) Spacemen, etc, all based on what we thought were people’s impressions of these bearded skateboarders from Modesto, California. Over time, these conversations began to take shape and reveal themselves as a goal to actually record a fake album that would be submitted to the label on completion of the real album. Some comically distilled version of what people outside of us imagined us to
embody. When we had a real album in our pocket we’d send our (admittedly great) label V2 the fake one, let them trip out for an hour or a day, then send them the genuine article.

They would think it was funny. It would level expectations. And provide some insight in to the personality of the band.

We did this. We went through the trouble of making a fake record. Or most of it. You Know You’re Fucked Up actually stems from a recording Jason and I made with Randy Keener in 1993. Down With The Animals was a tune we’d made up in the van years before. We would get wasted and write and record things like Robot Escort or the Pussy Song in a couple hours. The fake album was more or less done before we began work on The Signal to Snow Ratio EP, which preceded the Sophtware Slump as the test of our newly acquired gear and space.

We sat on it for months. When Jason finished mixing The Sophtware Slump in November, 1999, he made cassettes of the fake album (yes cassettes) for I guess around 7 of the key people at V2 worldwide. We FedExed them so that they’d all arrive on a Thursday to offices in England, Benelux, France, US, and maybe Australia. Each had a personal note from Jason that said something about our excitement for what we’d made and our looking forward to working with everybody over the next couple years. The story we heard was that people were arranged around tables in different parts of the world, listening to the new Grandaddy album, conference call buttons engaged. Jason had made the sequence so that the first few songs could be sort believable as our new tunes. I mean, the songs are largely terrible, but there is a sense that whoever made them possesses some knowledge of song structure, melody and general composition.

This is Thursday. I was “managing” the band at this point, so I thought for sure I’d hear a word of response by that evening, Friday at the latest. The weekend came and went. I called Jason Monday and was scared. Thinking the idea had crashed one of two ways; that V2 had found enough to like that the gears were in motion to release this piece of shit, or that we’d been dropped. I wanted to call and say, hey guys, we were joking! Jason’s perspective was just chill and let them reach out. Another day and a half went by and I was properly freaked out.
This was pre-caller-ID days, so every call that came to my house, I’d let it go to the message machine, begin listening and if it was someone from the label, pick up and be prepared to continue the ruse as long as I could. Finally at the end of Tuesday, the phone rings and our beloved A&R person, Kate Hyman, is leaving me a message about receiving the record. I pick up and Kate says “Hey Jim, I got the album….now will you send me the real one you fucking asshole?!” Exact wording, I can still hear it. I guess at the conference table there were a few people who thought it was pretty weird, but okay. Maybe order some new mixes and see what happens. Some people thought it was terrible, that we’d spent our advance on booze and drugs and this was the result. And then I would imagine most listeners were simply confused. People were either angry with us about wasting their time with this stunt, or had a decent sense of humor and were as pleased as we were about it.

Three years later, while we were making Sumday, we thought we should start a little label called Sweat of the Alps. One of the first releases would be the fake album, but surrounded by this concocted story of a fake band called Arm of Roger. So we created this other world around this ersatz band, it’s members, the bands they used to play with, backstory, an aesthetic, all of it. We pressed up probably 3 or 4,000 of the CDs and sold them on tour and through our website during the time we supported Sumday, neither confirming or denying whether this was in fact the semi-legendary fake album. We spent so much time of the website, the artwork, the concept. It’s far more difficult to make something believably unbelievable than it is to just do your thing.

Arm of Roger played one show in May 2003 with Elliott Smith, Built Like Alaska, Earlimart and Pine Marten at the Derby in Los Feliz. Two nights before that, I was run over by a semi truck carrying our gear in Tempe, Arizona while wearing a red Arm of Roger shirt. The hospital workers cut it off me, but I still own it. Arm of Roger looked a lot like Grandaddy and played only Grandaddy songs. In 2012 they reunited for two shows in Merced, California to coincide with Grandaddy’s reunion.