ELEPHANT MICAH was a boy who imagined himself an elephant. My youngest brother attended Sheri Dalton’s preschool with him in our hometown of Pekin, Indiana. His legacy is elusive. Perhaps inscrutable. But the details I’ve managed to gather have always resonated with an inspiring defiance of reason. It somehow seemed obvious in the summer of 2000 that my music would, at least for a time, bear the namesake of this character.
Three years and as many homemade releases later comes ELEPHANT MICAH, YOUR DREAMS ARE FEEDING BACK. It is an album concerning dreams both literal and figurative. Aspirations as well as imaginations. The songs are typically about the experiences and personalities of my own life. Often their information and misinformation has come back to me after being filtered through the realm of the subconscious. Just last night I dreamt I was leading the University of Louisville to an NCAA championship and a friend from middle school (his father was the proprietor of Pekin’s only liquor store. Not long after its opening he moved out of his family's home and into a trailer placed in the store’s back yard. It was during this era that I let them remove me from the basketball team because the program did not find my haircut acceptable. Back to the dream.) A friend from middle school was wearing a television on his head. Or instead of a head. YOUR DREAMS ARE FEEDING BACK treats the rich psychological events of sleep as artistically revelatory. Not in any Freudian or interpretive sense, but as a way to revisit and reprocess the elements of life.
I recorded most of the album myself in my parents’ house, where there are no disturbances for miles in any direction. My old friend David Badger came over one night and helped out a bit. Other improvised pieces were recorded at an apartment in Richmond, Indiana with the talents of Jason Henn and Ben Racher. No digital recorders were used. There is, though, a healthy dose of acoustic guitar, electric slide, banjo, radioshack sampling keyboard, and most importantly, singing.
When I was 17 and in a different band (Cloverleaf), we played a show opening for a newer group called My Morning Jacket. The singer, Jim, approached us after the show: “Have you guys ever heard Red House Painters?” We said no. “I think you’d like them; if you like what you play.” I thought this was hilarious. So I bought a Red House Painters recording. Other people said we sounded like Codeine or Hayden, so I tried out their music too. It was all very nice, and those who hear YOUR DREAMS ARE FEEDING BACK may also note parallels, though I think it has more to do with The Flying Burrito Brothers; if it has anything to do with music.
- Joe O’Connell, March 2003, Richmond, IN
Download contains JPGs of the original lyric booklet art, and a PDF of the original presskit.
released June 3, 2003
• CD = ltd to 1000 copies
• DIGITAL = unlimited