Lisa Mednick Powell

Artifact of an Artifact

Fossils have come to light. Fossils of a fossil in fact. Fossils of a fossil created by a ghost. In 1993 some friends and I made an album called Artifacts of Love. None of us are the same people we were back then. Back then, we were all wonderful. Back then, there was magic afoot and I believed and followed its signs like a pilgrim.

I had the studio for a week and having that sonic space in which to dream uninterrupted was a special privilege I never really have had since. My ensuing dreams were cobbled together--still dreams, mind you, but never anything like what the Artifacts sessions became. To begin with, Kenneth Blevins said to me, maybe it's time for you to make your own record. In fact I think he said, maybe it's time for US to make YOU a record. Something like that. In any case, he was involved in the conception. I was living in Austin at the time, where Steve Wilkison was starting a label called Dejadisc. He offered to make an album with me. I called Kenneth. I called a few other people. Then I met Greg Leisz on stage sitting in with Rosie Flores. He offered to play on my album. I took him up on it and his telepathic guitar utterances became so much a part of the weaving of the sound of the album that I gave him some production credit here and there even though Artifacts was emphatically my baby. I really did have complete creative control. As much as one is ever allowed to have, that is.

Around the same time, my sister Amy was also having a baby. Her first child, Sam, is the human brother of Artifacts of Love. They are the same age: 25. His sister Sophie is 22. He might not see it this way, but in my mind he really has two sisters.

When we started the recording process, I brought food and flowers into the studio. I made sure everyone was comfortable and and the space was pleasant, though I did not have the budget to put everyone up in nice hotels. I had to get them rooms at the Rodeway Inn by the I35. Since all but two of the band lived in Austin, that was only two people I made suffer...and I am sorry. I thought that one day I would make it up to them when we toured with a Prevo and had rooms at the Omni. Ha.

When the recording was done and I had bent everyone to my will, making them play strange parts and push faders up and down in odd places and use backwards reverb and anything I thought of to my heart's and ears' delight...the two engineers and I went to L.A. and stayed in my father's house to get the tapes mastered by the great Joe Gastwirt. He was recommended by Greg Leisz, in whom I placed all of my musical trust. All of this was new to all of us. The engineer, Charles Reeves, had never used a Hammond B3 organ before. None of us even knew what the mastering process entailed. Every single day was like a door opening up to something that seemed to improve our work from the day before. You see, that cannot happen twice in one's life--it just can't. Never mind that my father's dog ate Charles's toothbrush, and then, when we bought him a new toothbrush, the dog ate that one too. Charles I owe you a toothbrush...

Twenty five years later, I hear from Steve Wilkison that he has 98 copies of Artifacts in shrinkwrapped condition and do I want them. Yes please. I am gonna paypal him the funds and should have the boxes sometime soon.

I have been playing songs from that album at gigs and giglets for two and a half decades and for most of that time I have not had any copies to sell. If people hear Harper's Ferry or Dollar, they sometimes want to have a copy of the song to hear again in their car or in their house...and I can't provide that. The internet can now provide that, but the people who like my music are not all internet people. They are fossils, like me. SO I am here to tell you that I am about to receive a box of fossils in the mail. If you want a copy of Artifacts, if you want a fossil of a fossil, let me know and I will sell you one. I'll put them on Bandcamp just as soon as I get the boxes open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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