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Swearing At Motorists

Exile On Gipsstrasse

It was late February 2005, and I had just moved from Philadelphia to Berlin. I was in the process of mixing the album Last Night Becomes This Morning (released February 2006 on Secretly Canadian). To keep myself from going insane spending all my time at the mixing console (and to make a little money instead of only spending it), I started taking my guitar to the Ubahnhof - an underground train station - at the end of my street to busk. The first night I didn't make much money, but was floored by the huge sound created in the tube by my unamplified acoustic guitar and voice. So the next night I returned with my tape machine and 2 microphones, set them up, got good levels, and just let the tape roll as I busked. I made a little more money that night, but upon returning home and giving the tape a listen, realized that the trains and passengers were too distracting from the overall recording. So I started going to the station later, near closing time (12:30 am), when there are less passengers and 15 minute pauses between trains. After a few days of this, I was so excited about the sound I was getting, but losing patience with trying to get as much done as possible in 15 minutes, hoping that passengers coming and going would be quiet. By this time, I was playing facing the wall with no hat out, to discourage people from stopping to listen or give me money. I was obsessed with replacing the studio versions of 3 songs on the album, with versions recorded in the Ubahnhof, as I felt they better fit into my concept of the record as a film soundtrack. One night I finally got the courage to wait until the station closed, then climbed over the entrance gate and hurried down into the tube. I got about an hour of uninterrupted recording in before the Polizei politely informed me I had to leave. I ended up getting the versions of "This Is Not How Forever Begins", "Lost Your Wig", and "Ten Dollars" I needed for the album, and was thrilled at how well they worked in the context of the record. Since Last Night Becomes This Morning was released, many folks have commented about how much they love the sound of those 3 songs. That got me thinking it would be interesting to hear how a whole record culled from all those sessions would sound. I like it and I hope you do, too. - Dave Doughman

recorded live in the Weinmeisterstrasse Ubahnhof - Berlin, Germany cover photo: self portrait by Davis Kettering All songs by Swearing At Motorists except Coming Home which is by Richard Hawley.

Done In A Hurry This Is Not How Forever Begins Northern Line Waterloo Crescent Time Zones and Area Codes Not Tonight Ten Dollars (false start) Ten Dollars Jackie and Will Parker River Lost Your Wig Your Side Of Town Coming Home

(SC158 released: 10/05/06)


  1. Done In A Hurry
  2. This Is Not How Forever Begins
  3. Northern Line
  4. Waterloo Crescent
  5. Time Zones and Area Codes
  6. Not Tonight
  7. Ten Dollars (false start)
  8. Ten Dollars
  9. Jackie and Will
  10. Parker River
  11. Lost Your Wig
  12. Your Side Of Town
  13. Coming Home