Hallelujah The Hills

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Trashcan

  1. HONEY, DON’T IT ALL SEEM SO PHONY (2013)

    Recorded at Puritan Garage. “Simulated reality is the hypothesis that reality could be simulated-for example by computer simulation-to a degree indistinguishable from ‘true’ reality, and may in fact be such a simulation. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not be fully aware that they are living inside a simulation.” The song’s initial kernels of inspiration arose from this idea. The phrase we shout at the end of the song is a paraphrase of the title of a Philip K Dick essay worth reading. Look up “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” on the web.

  2. COUNTRY BEFORE KINGS (2011)

    Recorded at The Soul Shop. Putting relationships ahead of nationalism is the topic here with a single instance of hand claps thrown in for good measure.

  3. CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-GHOST (2013)

    Recorded at Puritan Garage. I hope I left plenty of room for you interpret the word “ghost” literally or figuratively depending on which idea is more palatable to you. I always loved on soap-operas when people faked their own death but then came back. Always causes a stir! In this instance our hero is “back” to find his true love.

  4. MEET ME IN THE CAR (2013)

    Recorded at Puritan Garage. Low E string tuned down to a D. Put Joe on Moog. Voila!

  5. THE THREE MINUTE MARK (2013)

    Recorded at Puritan Garage. Write about writing about singing about remembering some kind of love.

  6. SOME OF THEM WE LOST (2011)

    Recorded at The Soul Shop. The backwards records samples, I believe, is made up of running part of Johnny Cash’s “Everyone Loves A Nut” album in reverse on a turn table. You can watch us working on this sample and the samples from “Country Before Kings” in this video clip.

  7. NURSES 5 FLOAT PAST (2008)

    Recorded at The Soul Shop. This was the kick off of the Prepare To Qualify EP which appears in its entirety on this collection with the track order split up into different parts of the disc. As I recall, this is the first song we came up with after Collective Psychosis Begone came out. Mike Fiore, our friend who fronts Faces On Film, once covered this song in a very different way to great effect.

  8. DON’T TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS BUT TAKE MINE IN YOURS (2008)

    Recorded at The Soul Shop. This title has very little do with the song! Sometimes you get a title that you love, but you know if you wrote FOR that title, the song would just suck. If I had written with this title in mind, I believe we would’ve gotten a very sappy country number on our hands. Instead, I stapled it to this draggy bit of psych-pop and I think it works.

  9. LET IT WAVE (2008)

    If you’re not from Boston you may not be familiar with a man who lived on the streets of Allston named Mr.Butch. He’s dead now, but during college until his passing in 2007 he was a reliable, eccentric, larger than life character who invaded your day when you least expected it. Original Moog/Guitarist Matt Brown and I were putting up flyers in Allston one evening when Mr.Butch approached us. “Just tape the top of the poster,” he explained, “and let the bottom fly free. Let it wave. So people walk by it, see it flapping, and go ‘what the fuck?’ Then you got people at your show.” We did and it worked!

  10. (YOU BETTER HOPE YOU) DIE BEFORE ME (LIVE) (2008)

    One night at the Middle East Club we performed Collective Psychosis Begone in its entirety. This song was brand new and we used it as the encore after performing all of CPB. I think this version is superior to the one that ended up on our second album. Maybe you’re one of the yellers at the end? You can hear the entire night’s set here.

  11. AMATEURS (2011)

    We’re amateurs. Recorded at Puritan Garage.

  12. INTRODUCTORY SAINTS (2010)

    We shot a video for this one in a skate park in Hyde Park. The kids were eager to help us out and they did a great job. Later on, some of the kids messaged me on YouTube to tell me certain kids in this video were posers. Duly noted, kids!

  13. EVERY # HAS A POTENCY (2009)

    We recorded a second Daytrotter session in 2009 but I was fairly ill at the time and most of the songs sound like tepid milk spilt on a tape machine. There were glimmers of quality in this song, though, and some overdubs were made to deliver to you the only recording there will ever be of a song called “Every # Has a Potency.”

  14. THAT TICKING SOUND YOU HEAR (2010)

    Recorded at Puritan Garage. A strange song with an odd arrangement. Sometimes when you agree to ignore something that’s pressing, and negative, and seemingly insurmountable with someone you love you find temporary freedom and joy. But it won’t last! Pay attention to the ticking sound!

  15. THE GIRLS ARE HERE (2011)

    Recorded at The Soul Shop. The same trio of women who sang on “Get Me In A Room” (Noell Dorsey, Katie Von Schleicher, Leah Hennessy) sang this song with us on the same day of recording. For a long while, I thought this song might the centerpiece of No One Knows What Happens Next. One morning I woke up and thought, “I love it but it has ABSOLUTELY NO place on this album.” I believe the footsteps you hear at the end were going to lead to “The Game Changes Me.” I like when I can include lyrics that are also verbatim recurring thoughts I have. “Whatever it is in the way / tear it down / make the time” is one of those lyrics.

  16. WAVE BACKWARDS TO MASSACHUSETTS (BIG DIGITS REMIX) (2007) - I received an email with the subject heading of “Unsolicited HtH remix” and opened it up to find an MP3 of this track. The band kind of lost it when we first listened to this. It really gave us all quite a charge!

  17. CATALOGING CANDY’S DEMISE (2008)

    Recorded who knows where. I read a story from my hometown about someone who died way before their time (late teen? early twenties?) According to the article I read, the deceased’s friends threw a multi-day rager at the gravesite of their friend and vehemently shut down the police who were assigned to remove them from the graveyard. That idea triggered the idea for this song.

  18. WHEN NIGHT FALLS (2008)

    Recorded at The Sound Museum. My niece had a joke book. One of the jokes was, “When night falls who picks it up?” This riddle seemed to carry some kind of darker weight in my mind upon first reading it and this song was built around that feeling.

  19. MONSTER EYES (2008)

    Jonathan Lethem wrote a book called “You Don’t Love Me Yet” about a fictional band. For the book tour he wanted bands to write a song using these lyrics. The organizer of Lethem’s event in Boston asked us to give this a try and we were happy with the results. We performed the song at his Boston book reading which was attended by all types of avid readers, many of them older women who were not shy about clasping their hands over their ears and making unpleasant facial expressions during our performance.

  20. ELEMENTARY ZOMBIE (2007)

    If you saw HtH live in the first year and a half of our existence you’ve probably heard this song before. It was a strong staple of our live set and was poised to be included on Collective Psychosis Begone for quite awhile. At some point, we realized this stuck out like a sore thumb on the album and it was tenderly removed much to the protest of bassist Joseph Marrett. When this recording was unearthed a few months ago Joe’s face lit up like a Christmas tree when he learned his beloved Elementary Zombie was back and would finally see the light of day.

  21. PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG TRASH CAN (2013)

    In summation…

Hallelujah The Hills: Past & Present