Thursday, October 16, 2008


AUX1: Coliseum Demo CD
Released March 2004, Out Of Print

In coming weeks, I plan on writing about each of the Auxiliary releases so far, including whatever thoughts, information, and memories I can muster up... Sometimes even four or five years ago seems like a lifetime away.

What I've referred to as Auxiliary #1, after the fact, is the Coliseum 4-song Demo CD that was released in time for Coliseum's first show in March 2004. We sent it out to friends and labels, sold it on our first few tours, and it was eventually rendered obsolete when the recordings were re-released in June 2004 on the Coliseum self-titled LP/CD. There's no Auxiliary logo on the packaging and it wasn't considered an Auxiliary release at the time... But for some reason I decided that it was our first release when working on the following Coliseum / Lords split 7", giving it the catalog number of AUX2. Possibly to make the split 7" seem a bit more legit? Who knows.

While this was considered the official Coliseum demo, we'd actually already recorded these four songs on a Tascam cassette 8-track and I posted MP3's online for a handful of friends to hear. Since Black Cross was signed to Equal Vision at the time, I first offered it to them and they declined. (How strange would it have been if Coliseum had signed to Equal Vision?) Greg from Hot Cross / Level-Plane Records immediately offered to do an LP and I quickly took him up on his offer. I knew Greg a little bit from Black Cross and Hot Cross playing a handful of shows together and from designing a couple of records for him around this time.

We felt that the cassette recordings were too rough for an actual release, so we recorded the four songs again with Jason Loewenstein on his reel to reel 1/4" 8-track machine. The cassette demo was recorded live without vocals in my garage, using just a few mics, while the Loewenstein recordings were a tiny bit more high tech... More mics, different amps set up in the bedrooms upstairs, then we did vocals later in the bathroom of his house, and mixed on his computer in his bedroom.

(Side note: Jason was renting his room from the owner of the house, Doug, who was the manager at local indie record store mainstay ear X-tacy. My girlfriend later worked at the ear X-tacy when she first moved to Louisville, and she and I bought the house from Doug in 2007. So I, somewhat randomly, now live in this house... My office is in what was previously Loewenstein's bedroom. Pretty wild.)

The packaging was designed by me, my brother Evan screen printed the covers, the first run were red and the second were silver. I had the CD-Rs printed and duplicated by Furnace MFG, traycards printed by Jakprints, and a small photocopied insert done at Kinko's and inserted under the tray. The design isn't much to speak of really, I was using this unaltered snake image from a clip art book that I was drawing source material from a lot at the time. It's all a bit basic and somewhat uninspired in hindsight, but it was a humble starting point for a future Coliseum visual aesthetic.

Remixed versions of all of these songs appear on the first Coliseum LP, and eventually the original cassette 8-track recordings will end up as bonus tracks on a reissue of that LP.

Track listing:
1. Detached
2. This Mind Locked Inside This Body
3. In Time
4. Pretty Situation

Around 200-250 compact discs


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