Saturday, June 11, 2011

For Squirrels - Baypath Rd (2008 remaster) & 1993 demos

I've had For Squirrels on the brain ever since namedropping them in my Naomi's Hair entry a few days ago.  Before they pondered the significance of Kurt Cobain in "Mighty K.C." (from their 1995 Example album), and more notably before the tragic van accident from the same year that claimed the lives of singer Jack Vigliatura, bassist Bill White, and tour manager Tim Bender, the Gainesville, FL quartet issued a self released CD in 1993, Baypath Rd.  Limited to one thousand copies (or so I've heard) Baypath Rd. became an almost instant collectors item as word of For Squirrels misfortune got out, and in years to come would routinely fetch over $100 or so on Ebay.  I don't have an original copy, or even a cd-r of an original, but MP3s weren't hard to come by, and in fact are available from the For Squirrels fanpage linked above. The Squirrels aforementioned sophomore disk, Example, sounded like a perfect fusion of Nirvana-esque tantrums amidst the esoteric folk/pop tenor of Fables/Pageant-era REM.  On the other hand, the preceding Baypath Rd plays out almost as if Nevermind failed to see the light of day altogether.  The REM influence on Baypath is unmistakably pervasive, and for that matter signals where Michael Stipe & Co. would have gone were it not for all the "innovations" they dabbled in during the '90s.  Vigliatura bears a cathartic, yearning timbre that would be deemed "emo" in todays marketplace, but Michael Tooke's ringing chords countered the Squirrel's angst factor in ways their contemporaries didn't contemplate attempting,  "Go On Up" and "Flagboy" were terse, driving rockers, while on the opposite side of the coin, Baypath offered more than it's fair share of reflective ballads in the form of "Kill the Birds" and "Left Behind," among a few others.  To this set of ears the album's crescendo is struck on "Nathaniel's Song" a brisk, strummy pop jewel buttressed on a backbone of sublime multi-tracked harmonies.  A highly endearing set of songs

As mentioned, copies of Baypath Rd are long gone, but one particularly enthusiastic For Squirrels supporter with some studio know-how took it upon himself in 2008 to "remaster" the whole enchalada, giving it a louder mix and boasting the album's sonic attributes in general.  The original Rapidshare link where I obtained this from has expired, so I created my own and have provided it below, but do yourself a favor and view this Live Journal page for more details.  As an additional download, I'm also sharing six demos the band tracked in 1993, including a handful of songs that didn't make the cut for Baypath.  There's also a bevy of F/S live shows, more demos, and evan a radio appearance up for grabs over at Forsquirrels.net.

Baypath Rd.
01. Flagboy
02. Kaberet
03. Go On Up
04. Kill the Birds
05. RO
06. Nathaniel's Song
07. Unicycle
08. Plymouth
09. Left Behind
10. 3

1993 demos
01. Go On Up
02. Flagboy
03. Cliche Song
04. Death of a Salesman
05. Pre-Skool Daze
06. The Incan

11 comments:

Todd said...

Holy crud!

I already have this, but I am excited it will get long overdue exposure now. Does anyone here have their B-side "Van Gogh"?

Todd said...

So, I click on the link and see everyone and his uncle is asking about "Van Gogh." Sorry for the redundancy.

Wayne said...

Example was an amazing album, so it's nice to know that others felt the same way. I never knew that Baypath was so limited. I picked up a copy about 10 years ago, on an obscure trader's [now defunct]site along with a promo for Belly's "Red" single, and played it a few times. Yeah, R.E.M. is a definite influence, but thanks for reminding me to go play it some more. Limited to 1,000, really? As a hint dropped, do you know of any live Belly bootlegs around? And I think Tripmaster monkey and Summercamp would be awesome future posts. Just saying............

spavid said...

Actually I heard of the 1000 pressing of Baypath Rd straight from the band themselves in a radio interview. I'm not really sure if I have much more in the way of Summercamp to share, and nothing by Tripmaster Monkey. As for Belly boots I'll keep my eyes peeled.

piratecyan said...

Your description was interesting so gonna give them a go, Thanks!

tadawoosh said...

Could anyone upload the CD "Example"?

Shuuichi Nitori said...

please upload the albums again!!!! I implore you! this wonderful music is hard to find today, so please, help me!

Aaron said...

I learned of For Squirrels while a student at UF from '97 - '99 and was particularly moved by their story. Then a year or two later, I discovered that I was a classmate of Jack (drummer) in grad school.... I was a big fan of Example, but somewhat embarrassingly, I just heard Bay Path Rd. for the first time today and am floored by the sound. I think I like this album more than Example.

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J Krall said...

I would love to get a copy of the remastered versions you had posted previously.

For those of you that can't find either Baypath Road or Example, you can get them here: http://www.forsquirrels.net/downloads/

spavid said...

The links have just been updated.