Monday, 16 November 2015

Art of the Cover - Slint's "Spiderland Box-Set" (1993)

This is giving me Spidey tingles!

Yap, 22 1/2 years later, Slint’s seminal second album Spiderland is being reissued in a new (very) expanded  Box-Set package that includes the remastered album ..... a disc of 14 outtakes and demos personal selected by Slint .... plus a brand-new 90-minute documentary about its making called “Breadcrumb Trail.” .. plus a 104-page book with over 100 never-before-seen band photos, lyrics to the songs on Spiderland.

The wonderful, sparse yet unforgettable, other-worldly, cover artwork was shot, of course, by some guy called Will Oldham. Or perhaps it was Bonnie Prince Billy!

Oldham provides the foreword to the special new 104-page book.

The Spiderland  Box-Set includes:
1) The album, remastered by Bob Weston from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180 gram vinyl. 
2) 14 previously unreleased outtakes and demos selected by the band, mastered by Bob Weston, and pressed on two 180 gram vinyl albums, 
3) A 104-page book with over 100 never-before-seen photos, lyrics to the songs on Spiderland, and a foreword by the album’s cover photographer, Will Oldham 
4) 2 CDs: remastered Spiderland on one, and the 14 bonus songs on a second CD. 
5) Breadcrumb Trail, a new, 90-minute documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland, directed by Lance Bangs. The doc include interviews with Slint, Steve Albini, James Murphy, David Yow, Ian Mackaye and Matt Sweeney.


The box will be available in a hand-numbered limited edition of 3,138 copies.

The packaging concept and design is by Louisville native Jeremy deVine (founder and president of the Temporary Residence label).

Slint's 1991 album was remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and pressed on 180 gram vinyl. 

Both CD and LP include a download coupon for 14 outtakes and demos personal selected by Slint and mastered by Bob Weston. 

The package includes Breadcrumb Trail, a brand new, never- before-seen, 90 minute DVD documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland, directed by Lance Bangs. 

The album's beautiful black-and-white cover photograph, which depicts the Louisville lads (David Pajo, Todd Brashear, Brian McMahan, Britt Walford) treading water in the lake of an abandoned quarry, was taken byWill Oldham.

An article in The Stranger credited the cover for creating a mystique surrounding Slint, noting  ...
"most people only had seen Slint as four heads floating in a Kentucky quarry on Spiderland's cover. Listeners pondered the band's sparsely adorned black-and-white covers as if they were runes bearing secrets."
Chris Gaerig of the Michigan Daily wrote, "the cover of Slint's masterful Spiderland captures the joyous fear and violence of the album so precisely it shakes souls. The group -submerged in a lake to their chins with deranged smiles - seems to be stalking you, hovering out of the black-and-white façade."

Several other promotional images were taken from the same photo session with Oldham.

A photo of a spider taken by Noel Saltzman is used on the back cover, reflecting the album's title. The inside sleeve contains the message "interested female vocalists write 1864 douglas blvd. louisville, ky. 40205". 

McMahan confirmed that this message was serious, and said "We did get some responses and we did listen to CDs and tapes. We didn't end up doing anything immediately, so that idea of adding someone sort of fell by the wayside."


During its original run in the late '80s and early '90s, Slint never reached a huge audience: Its music was, by its nature, too dark and strange and sprawling. But its influence has stretched for decades, and its two full-length albums (1989's Tweez and 1991's Spiderland) are, to this day, counted as underground classics.

Featuring dramatically alternating dynamics and vocals ranging from spoken word to shouting, the album contains narrative lyrics that emphasize alienation. Spiderland was Slint's first release on Touch and Go, and the group's last.

Although Spiderland was not widely recognized on its initial release, it eventually sold more than 50,000 copies and became a landmark album in underground music after Slint broke up. 

The album has been highly influential on the styles of many bands in the post-rock and math rock genres, including Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor, and has been named a favorite of several indie rock musicians.

breadcrumb trail (remastered)
nosferatu man (remastered)
don, aman (remastered)

washer (remastered)
for dinner… (remastered)
good morning, captain (remastered)

Nosferatu Man (basement practice)
Washer (basement practice)
Good Morning, Captain (demo)

Pam (rough mix, Spiderland outtake)
Glenn (Spiderland outtake)
Todd’s Song (post-Spiderland song in progress)

Brian’s Song (post-Spiderland demo)
Cortez The Killer (live Chicago 1989)

Washer (4 track vocal demo)
Nosferatu Man (4 track vocal demo)
Pam (4 track vocal demo)
Good Morning, Captain (Evanston riff tape)
Nosferatu Man (Evanston riff tape)
Pam (Evanston riff tape)

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