Ball of Wax 40 Songs: Hixton Yor – Clinton/Knievel

[Ball of Wax 40, as we’ve mentioned, is a little different. Given the unique nature of each of the bands and songs on this collection, we decided to eschew our usual track-review format for the blog in favor of letting each of the bands speak for themselves about the songs they wrote and recorded in a day. Hixton Yor, a band composed of Mike Bundy, Bart Cameron, Olie Eshleman, and Jon Rooney, tackled the tribulations of 2007. Jon and Bart share their reflections on the process.]

Jon: Once names were chosen, we immediately began working within certain constraints: the year 2007, our own abilities and Olie’s declaration that no guitars (not even bass guitar) be used in the session. Bart and I needed a moment to pull ourselves together facing a guitarless afternoon, then 2007 topics were bandied around. Some ideas we passed on (Romania joining the EU, the deaths of Boris Yeltsin and Anna Nicole Smith) while others stuck (the apex of Hilary Clinton’s campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, the death of Evel Knievel). The song came together pretty quickly, with Olie adding some sort of electric-drill-powered string instrument and Mike drumming on a small can amplified by a pickup and run through an extensive chain of effects pedals. We finished the song early in the evening on Saturday, likely less because of a rush of otherworldly inspiration and more because Bart, Mike and I have kids and kinda had to get home. So, one perspective of Hixton Yor is Olie producing a dad rock band. Sorry Olie.

Bart: I think we also finished quickly because of the way we worked—without ego. The song we wrote was about ego, Evil Knievel and his embodiment of all that is great in the prepubescent ego (as appropriated by Kanye Ego West later), and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Otherwise, I remember laughing a lot and watching how everyone was smiling the whole time. And I remember finding a large piece of salmon wrapped in newspaper on the back steps. When you find a large, old piece of fish wrapped neatly in newspaper, you remember something like that.

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