Cassettarcana

01. Cripple Queen Anne
02. Young & Relentless
03. Two Charcoal Hearts
      (Cassettarcana version)
04. I Bought A Headache
      (The Replacements cover)
05. Mondays Will Never Be The Same
      (Hüsker Dü cover)
06. Cool Coquette
07. Ready To Wear (Cassettarcana version)
08. Drownin’ of Two (Cassettarcana version)
09. Here We Are With Our Feet
      On The Ground
10. I Wish I Could Make More Noise
11. Real (Cassettarcana version)
12. Glued For Breakin’
13. Mule (Cassettarcana version)

14. Summer Becomes You (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)
15. Shambala (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)
16. Mercy Wind (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)
17. I Wanna Be You (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)
18. El Dorado (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

“Cassettarcana” by Willie Wisely
Ella Records LA 2057 | released 2015 | download/CD/cassette

A collection of Wisely’s most transcendent moments from decades of recording on 4-track cassette decks.

   Home-Burned CD with Hand-Assembled Art | PayPal | $25
   Homemade Cassette with Hand-Assembled Art | PayPal | $20
   downloads | iTunes | $9.99
   downloads | direct from artist MP3/AAC/FLAC | $7


Early Works From Willie Wisely’s Cassette Tape Archive

Willie Wisely cassette tapes Peas Porridge ROIR Pravda Records, Raincan Gark

Many 4-track projects from over the decades.

4-track recording deck

Yamaha MT-120 bought 1993 has required no repairs.

On the counter by the cash register, of any Minneapolis/St. Paul record store worth remembering, sat a homemade cardboard box, covered with hand-glued yellow construction paper. A panel stuck out the top with the logo of an unknown band and a burst that read ‘Cassettes $3.99’.

Willie Wisely grocery store

c.1986 current project Peas Porridge

As early as 1982, I recorded all my bands on analog 4-track cassette decks, mixed the sessions onto my dad’s stereo system, duplicated copies in my bedroom and then put them on consignment in homemade display cases at local stores.

Cassettarcana compiles the best of these hot messes – full of weirdness, hiss, hard edits, odd tuning, and lopsided stereo images. It is the glorious sound of limited means paired with the naive will to make records like my heroes. The videos below tell more. But so does the stash of cassettes that to this day, occupy the middle console of my 1990’s Mercedes.

Cassette recording equipment, if manipulated properly, makes for a sound that is so satisfying and complete that to call these tracks mere “demos” would be understating the goodness.

Many of these recordings were made in the basement of an old house in Dinkytown, probably built for railroad employees around the turn of the century. The first floor tenants wanted to kill us. So, we built interior walls & and a door to deaden the sound. Still, loud as hell. So we nailed discarded carpeting found in dumpsters up onto the walls, ceiling & floors. Within weeks the carpet was completely molded. Didn’t matter, we rehearsed and recorded there for another 10 years. At $450 a month rent for the upper three-bedroom unit, we couldn’t conceive of leaving. Affordable mold. -ww



Album Credits | Lyrics

Written, performed & produced by Willie Wisely except where noted
Peter Anderson: drums [01 03-08 12 13 15]
James Voss: bass [03-08 13 15], backing vocals [06]
Greg Wold: trombone [08]
Paul Grubb: bass [16 17]
Michael Leville: drums [02 16-18]
unknown: drums & percussion [09 10]
Steve Kent: drums [11]
Chris Lakey: drums, tambourine [14]
Written by Paul Westerberg [04], Bob Mould [05], Daniel Joseph Moore [15]
Recorded at 1302 7th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN [01 02 04 12 16-18]
Recorded under Delisi’s Bar 2377 Penn Ave N., Minneapolis, MN [03 06 07 13 15]
Recorded in a hotel bathtub in Thunder Bay, ON [05]
Recorded at Beloit College, WI [09 10]
Recorded at 1140 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis, MN [08]
Recorded at 3948 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN [11 14]
℗ 1986 [16-18], 1989 [13], 1990 [08], 1993 [05], 1998 [02 09 11], 2015 [01 02 04 06 07 10 12 14 15] & © 2015.Ella Records


Lyrics

Cripple Queen Anne

Born in the gallion
Attendant to the maiden Queen Anne
Reared as a noble
She rode her little pony in the yard
Reared from the saddle
Her neck broke was broke in Brigham Wood
Cripple Queen Anne…

I witnessed the crippling
And I wish to see that justice is inured
Committed in malice
Her total paralysis endures
Cripple Queen Anne…

As your humble servant
I wish you’d utter but to name a man
Mark your assassins
I’ll find them if their feet can stroke the sands


Young & Relentless

Giddy up go daddy oh dee oh
I have bit the snow cookie
I have felt the canoe pull
Perrywinkle peapod oh dee oh
I have played the horse breather
I have tasted monkey

Longevity pie oh dee oh
Come in and seedy furniture
I have smelled the Q-Tip
Tyrannosaurus Rex, the eater of cars
My mother is my tow truck
I have alien armpits

I have loved the dance horse
Peas Porridge loves a girl fight
I’ve absorbed the flurp stains
Filafel P. Pancake commonwealth pie
Nick St. Nicholas gives bass lessons, oh dee oh

I was young & relentless
I was young & relentless
I was young & relentless
I was young & relentless
I was young & relentless
I was young & relentless
I was young


Two Charcoal Hearts (Cassettarcana version)

Two charcoal hearts
We stick together
Birds of a feather
Two charcoal hearts

Planets collide
You won’t impress us
Charmed like asbestos
Two charcoal hearts

My how those long distance bills
They sure add up

So if you’re feeling tart
And they’re much the lessor
Call me professor
Two Charcoal Hearts

My how those long distance bills
They sure add up

Two charcoal hearts…


I Bought A Headache

Standing in the snow
Suckin’ my soda pop
Hopin’ of a glimpse of
ZZTop

Come on St. Paul
Civic Center
Eight dollars fifty cents
I bought a headache
I bought me a headache

Smokin’ Jim
Till it’s coming out of my ears
Long haired girls
Shakin’ way past her years

Come on St. Paul
Civic Center
Eight dollars fifty cents
I bought a headache
I bought me a headache
I bought me a headache
I bought me a headache


Mondays Will Never Be the Same


Cool Coquette

She’s the oriental girl with the popsicle stand
Twirling her bikini top in her hand
She’ll be getting your bundles all up in a brief
She’s packing a rod so don’t piss on her seat

Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette

Alligator suit and a gabardine smile
Astroturf weave and she keeps it in style
They all call her Max but she’ll answer to Steve
You can look up her number in the dictionary

Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette

Swashbuckle pants and a mastodon footprint
She’s poppin’ the hood as you’re copping your last glimpse

Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette, ooh-la-la-la-la
Cool Coquette


Ready To Wear (Cassettarcana version)

Paris she’s the perfect girl for me
She goes all the way
Touches me in that special way
Paris she’s the perfect girl for me

She does all them things I’d like to do
Sips me like I’m tea
Swallowing occasionally
Paris she’s the perfect girl for me

She, she takes me there
She waves her hair
She’s ready to wear

She wears all them clothes I’d like to wear
Her tastes are refined
I think they’re the imported kind
Paris she’s the perfect babe for me

She, she takes me there
She waves her hair
She’s ready to wear

Paris she’s the perfect girl for me
She goes all the way
Certain things I don’t have to say
Paris she’s the perfect girl for me

She, she takes me there
She waves her hair
She’s ready to wear

She, she takes me there
She waves her hair
She’s ready to wear


Drownin’ of Two (Cassettarcana version)

I try to be kind then I find that I
Lied to hide how I feel
So I smile but you know how deeply it goes
Low, oh I got it bad

I seen you baby sit stare at the pool
You wait till I’m watching you
Before you jump in
Fool you know you can’t swim, so let it begin
The drowning of two

I seen you baby sit stare at the pool
Then you wait till I’m watching you
Before you jump in
Fool you know you can’t swim, so let it begin
The drowning of two
The drowning of two


Here We Are With Our Feet On The Ground

I won’t steel your children
I won’t steel your cows
I won’t knock your fence
‘Cuz I know that’s your personal walls

Send me to your rivers
Send me to your farms
Lead me down the path boy
Where the sun beats nice and warm

Meadows green with no sunlight
Bacon in the pan with no pigs in the sty
Cars wizzing by at the speed of sound
Here we are with our feet on the ground

Meadows green with no sunlight
Bacon in the pan with no pigs in the sty
Cars wizzing by at the speed of sound
Here we are with our feet on the ground

I won’t steel your children
I won’t steel your cows
I won’t knock your fence boy


I Wish I Could Make More Noise

And I’ll ask why you’re getting used to
And you’ll tell me about your chosen issue
And I wish I had anything to tell you
I wish I could make more noise

There’s no fear I could handle more of
TV is there to reassure us
And all a bunch of flag waving’ morons, yeah
I wish I could make more noise

I love listening to b-sides
And I love looking into my eyes
And I’m scared of what can happen if I slide in away forever
I wish I could make more noise


Real (Cassettarcana version)

When famine flies land in the face of people
And hungry eyes, tell you fate is sealed

This might smart a bit
No avoiding it
It’s not counterfeit… it’s real

The ambassador had failed to gain appeal
At the backstage door where she finessed the deal

No more alibis
Broadcast to justify
The years we all denied… what’s real

Whatcha doing about tomorrow?

Nations wiggle out, curmudgeons grudging steel
And they whistle a tune of drought, bodies are revealed

It’s no TV show
To hell with rock and roll
It’s not a vaudeville joke
Or extra terrestrial… it’s real

You can’t wiggle out
With your frown or pout
Why don’t you cut it out
‘Cuz this here it’s all about… real

Real

Glued For Breakin’

I’m a racehorse gambling man, and I’ve bet my life away
Ridin’ home on empty, not a penny for the tank
I don’t mind, I don’t mind, glued for breaking

Faulted at the banks and I’ve stolen on the job
Begged from my own wife and I’ve cheated my own Pa
I didn’t mind, I didn’t mind, glued for breaking

I’m a bronco at the factory
That clowns and cowboys broke
I’m shards of wedding china
Left next to her note

Had my run of luck, leaving card games still alive
Why is it they don’t gag me up, put me in the trunk and drive
I wouldn’t mind, I wouldn’t mind, glued for breaking

I’m a bronco at the factory
That clowns and cowboys broke
I’m shards of wedding china
Left next to her note

I miss my little girls, but I mustn’t dwell tonight
Why’s it when you’re sick, can’t remember feeling right
Pay it no mind, pay it no mind, glued for breaking


Mule (Cassettarcana version)

I’m a man named Mule without a queen
I’d raft upstream to find your swarthy dream
I’m a man named Mule without a home
The river gives me two directions known

I have seen the sky turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I have seen your ship out on the rise
It comes so near then sinks below the skies
So I followed you to Cairo, Illinois
You knew this man and gave him mooring lines

I have seen the skies turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I can see the day I broke my knees
Two feet towards the town two towards the trees
I’m a man named Mule without a queen
They’ll drag the river bed for my remains, for my remains…

I have seen the skies turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I have seen
Clouds run blue
I dig you, out there on that horize
Point, my Mississippi eyes


Summer Becomes You (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

Summer becomes you
A drop of the ocean tide on your cheek
Summer becomes you
When a sunny day spent on the beaches
Seems to last all week

Summer becomes you
Never surrendering more
You become summer
With my finger I leave an impression
On young lover’s tan
By the shorter days of autumn I can’t

Summer becomes you
Summer becomes all you are
And when I ask you
You’d say summer becomes me too

Summer becomes you
Watching a ladybug drink our wine
Summer cocoons us
When we lie so close that I can see
For miles inside your eyes
As our picnic blanket blows into the sky

Summer becomes you
Summer becomes all you are
And when I ask you
You’d say summer becomes me too…

Finally the long walks did some good
So great to get out of the house now
To see how lucky… two can be
Summer becomes you…
Summer becomes me too…


Shambala (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

Wash away my troubles
Wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow
Wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala
Ah ohhhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ah ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Everyojne is helpful
Everyone is kind
I’m on the raod to Shambala
Everyone is lucky
Everyone is so kind
I’m on the road to Shambala
Ah ohhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ah ohhhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

How does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala
How does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala

I can tell my sister
By the flowers in her eyes
I’m on the road to Shambala
I can tell my brother
By the flowers in his eyes
I’m on the road to Shambala
Ah ohhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ah ohhhhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Tell me how does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala
How does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala
Tell me how does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala
Tell me how does your light shine
In the halls of Shambala

Ah ohhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ah ohhhhhhhhh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
On the road to Shambala…


Mercy Wind (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

Walking from Menomonee
I see a car wrapped around a tree
Spring blooms a tailpipe
Fruits are red and very nearly ripe
Dig the mercy wind what it does to my hair
Digging the mercy window and you will be there

A hundred million thousand folks
Pass me by on the road
They’ll all get where they want to go
Unless tomorrow tells them ‘no’
Digging the mercy wind what it does to my hair
Dig the mercy window and you will be there

Not just a new direction
But actually gripping what I need
Not just romantic vision
But choking because I could not breathe
Digging the mercy wind what it does to my hair

I had a maid she served me well
We had kids they’d believe all that I tell them
But when you got you got no dreams
And all you got is the right to leave
Digging the mercy wind what it does to my hair
Digging the mercy window and you will be there

Not just a new direction
But actually gripping what I need
Not just romantic vision
But choking because I could not breathe
Digging the mercy wind what it does to my hair

Dig…


I Wanna Be You (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

You
I want to be you
I got to be you, baby
I want to be you

And I
Understand me
But I don’t myself
So seriously

Nice
I’m tired of being nice
I’m tired of grab-ass, kissy-face, red-noes, pink-bow bullshit
I just want to be you

Oh You
Want to be you
I want to be you
I got to be you

You
I got to be you
Want to be you
I must be you


Don’t Leave The Country (Cassette Exclusive Bonus Track)

Well it feels like shit when you say to me
You’re so bored you got to leave the country
Minnesota can be all that you want it to be
Don’t leave the country, oh you’ll never be free

Head off t the coast the day you graduate
You heard about the 60’sicties now you’re born too late
But you’re still on your ass and that truly proves
Don’t leave the country ‘cause the problem’s still you

Well you got to run away to answer all of your lies
And you cannot tell today for the rest of your life
You got all these problems so you think you’re alone
Don’t leave the country, you got me at home

Don’t leave the country…