While we understand why Ethan Miller’s been spending most of his time with Howlin’ Rain these days (that’s what happens when Rick Rubin’s bankrolling your records), the self-titled staff is hoping he’ll follow up that band’s next full-length with the first new Comets On Fire record in four years. That probably won’t happen, however; not when Howlin’ Rain’s still in the pre-production stages of an album they spent the last 15 months writing.
Here’s something for our fellow Comets On Fire fans, then: a rare cassette that Miller ripped on his Silver Currant blog last fall. An explanation:
I was going through a box of old tapes the other day and found this artifact. The Comets On Fire “Black Cassette”. This sucker is so rare and forgotten I didn’t even give it a catalog release number on my Silver Currant label when we made them. Just its number out of 21 made. Most often in Comets, Noel or I would make these at 2:30 am the night before heading out on tour and we’d just pull old rehearsal recordings from out of a box of hundreds that we have and find a couple killer 20 minute free jams and dub one on each side and there you go. So that’s what this is. The cover is made of black lightweight construction paper, the comet symbol is burned into the paper by bleach, the Comets title is silk screened in gray ink and it was numbered in pencil. I’m not positive about this but it sounds like these jams were probably between Blue Cathedral and Avatar, I guess that’s sometime in 2005 most likely. Side one sounds like the full band: Utrillo, Flashman, Noel, Myself and Chasny. Side two sounds like myself, Flashman and Utrillo but Chasny or Noel or both could be in there—it’s hard to tell. Most likely this was recorded by Noel on a 4 track that we just used 2 channels of with two PZM’s laid out on the floor haphazardly and would have just been a regular beer guzzling practice night. It’s likely that both jams were completely spontaneous rather than riffs or songs someone brought in.
There is also a “White Cassette” that exists that I am trying to find to put up here but I am having trouble finding it in the vault. Will keep looking though. Enjoy!