Sean Lennon Unearths The Weirdo ’90s Recordings That Got Les Claypool’s Imprint Dropped From Mammoth
Back in the ’90s, Primus’ Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde had a musical project called Beanpole with Derek Greenberg and Adam Gates of the ’90s alt-pop group Spent Poets. It was apparently so fucking weird that when Claypool tried to release their debut album on his own Prawn Song imprint, which was a sister label to Mammoth Records at the time, the entire label was promptly dropped by Mammoth. And now, decades later, that lost album has been rediscovered by Sean Lennon, who’s putting it out on his Chimera label.
“To get the vibe of recording a Beanpole song, you have to place yourself in a secluded farm valley full of mutant hillbillies trying to recreate melodies that were found on a broken record of Disneyland ride music,” LaLonde tells Rolling Stone in a new article about the release. “The idea behind Beanpole was to give musicians a chance to have fun in their studios without the pressure of having to produce tracks that were commercially viable,” Greenberg adds.
What exactly does that mean? “Musicians were encouraged to perform on instruments that they had not mastered,” Greenberg explains. “Musicians were not given much opportunity to learn their parts before the record button was pressed. Since the musicians knew they could not provide a polished performance, they were uninhibited by the need to demonstrate anything other than a modicum of competence. Mistakes were encouraged. Proper recording and mixing techniques were generally ignored.”
All My Kin, which is out in August on Chimera, features songs recorded between 1984 and the late-’90s. And today, the first of those songs, “Farmer Loved An Onion,” has been unearthed. It’s very bizarre and sounds pretty much exactly the way LaLonde described it, and you can hear it for yourself below.
All My Kin is out 8/31 on Lennon’s Chimera label. “I asked him why he wanted to release this collection of weird recordings,” Greenberg says. “His answer? He liked Beanpole. And that was very gratifying to know.”