April 2005 - Mitch Friedman
Native New Yorker Mitch Friedman has released two previous CDs, The Importance of Sauce and Fred, as well as contributed two songs to previous Medicine Park projects. In April of 2005 Mitch released the delightful surprise titled Purple Burt, a full realization of the character first developed in one of his earlier songs. These tunes expand upon the original lyrics contained in that one song and feature guest appearances by quite a few notables.

So, first off... where can I get one of those magical Hope Ropes?

The Mars Wal-Mart.

Rumor has it that Do Re Mimi actually moved to La La Land (aka as Los Angeles). Any truth to this?

Our lips are sealed.

Quite a cast of characters lend their considerable talents to the project like Andy Partridge, Dave Gregory and R Stevie Moore. Let's start with Dave Gregory, who performed the music for the obvious first single, Color Feel. I assume he heard your demo and too it from there?

Sort of. What I did is record a rough version of the song with my singing over a very repetitive drum loop. It also had a few short instances of instrumental punctuation and a keyboard playing the melody along with my vocals. I sent that to Dave with suggestions for a small palette of instruments that I thought would work well for each section of the song. He followed my suggestions for the most part but certainly added tons of stuff I would have never imagined nor been able to play. I think he did an absolutely incredible job.

Andy Partridge wrote the music for Pluto. How did this collaboration come about? Did you give him the lyrics first or did you write them to fit the music?

At some point in the recording process he asked me if I had any lyrics without specific music in mind. The truth is that I had thought all the songs I was going to need had been written, but when Andy Partridge offers to collaborate, you quickly reconsider. ;) Since most of the songs on the album are based on a lyrical moment in the original song Purple Burt, I remembered that I had never come up with something for the line "Purple Burt dreams of skiing Pluto as he naps in a prism tree." So within about 24 hours I had written some lyrics for such a song and faxed them to Andy right before I left for work one morning. By the time I arrived at work 45 minutes later and checked my answering machine, Andy had already left me a message on which he played his electric guitar unplugged, sang his ideas and revealed the chords to me. You can hear this phone message on the HEAR MORE page of my web site.

Right now my favorite song is the wonderfully bizarre What A Gas. I guess I should have known that R Stevie was involved.

Yes, once again the talents of my musical genius friends know no bounds. The truth of the matter about What A Gas is that I had attempted a version all by myself and was quite disappointed in the results. So disappointed that I thought it should be left off the album. But a little time went by and I decided that I would make a completely different attempt at it. Somewhere in the middle of this attempt, Stevie asked if he could collaborate on something for the album  (other than Wonder Where), and I had just the thing for him. All I provided were the vocals and the drum track. He did everything else.

I gotta ask... where did you get those button eyes for the jewel cases? Quite a clever packaging concept!

Where did I get the eyes or where did I get the idea for the eyes? The idea was provided by my brilliantly talented girlfriend Anne D. Bernstein. The eyes themselves were purchased from an arts and crafts company somewhere out there on the internet after a lengthy search that led me to Hong Kong and back (using my mouse).

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