Infinite Possibilities

Happy Friday with more from the Alleged Artist…

After “Sax and Violins”, I really started to get comfortable with the Yahama multi-track recorder – which again, really cool technology for the time, to be able to record four tracks onto a single cassette tape. I was also getting more comfortable with the Casio CZ-101 keyboard and the Roland TR505 drum machine and how best to use them together. Meanwhile, Tastiera lyrics continued to run the gamut of possible topics. That all led to a new album in January of 1991 called “Infinite Regression”.

I want to talk about that title, but first I want to talk about “Sax and Violins”. I’ve always been very frustrated that more people didn’t laugh at the name. I mean, come on. It’s double entendre times two.

Ok, so “Infinite Regression” references a concept I first heard from Carl Sagan as part of “Cosmos”. The idea is that every elementary particle in our universe is another universe all its own, and our universe is just an elementary particle in a much larger universe – an infinite regression upward and downward. Yikes. So I thought it would be a cool name for an album. Within that, I have no idea what the graphics above were intended to convey. I was only 21 at the time. “Sax and Violins”! Come on, man!

Taken in the context of the money I had at the time, and the tools that were available within that budget, I honestly think “Infinite Regression” was the best Tastiera production of all time. One key piece that elevated it beyond “Sax and Violins” was the purchase of an Audio-Technica 75-D microphone. By studio standards, it’s not top of the line by any stretch, but it’s far better than anything I had used before. How much better? I’m still using the same microphone today. In fact, I used a “better” and more expensive microphone on the first couple of songs on “Plato Fun Factory” in 2018, and ended up switching back to the 75-D for the rest of it. Of course, that was partly because I literally did a “mic drop” at the end of one of those songs, and I think I broke it.

I digress. “Infinite Regression” had such a saturated sound across the board, I spent the next few albums trying to recreate it (and never really managed to do that). I’m not sure why recreating that was so hard, but the album itself was gritty and fun to make. It boasts two songs on “Origin Story”, the first of which is “Paper Crushes Scissors”, a trite but punchy take on the evil of money, which also just so happens to contain enough cowbell to make Christopher Walken very proud:

When I first played “Paper Crushes Scissors” for my friend Keith, he said something like “whoa…” – not because the song is so great, but because the vocals sounded so much clearer and crisper than in previous albums. Unfortunately that just makes it easier to tell I’m not a trained singer. But if I’d spent money on lessons I wouldn’t have been able to afford the multi-track recorder or the microphone. We do what we can.

LYRICS

Welcome to a green world – I’m not talkin’ ’bout trees
It’s hard to find God here, but you’ll be on your knees
Chill your heart now, remove your soul
Now you’re ready for the big time, headed for the top of the totem pole

There’s no room for friendship – put your love away
There’s only one rule here – you have to win to play
Diamonds are forever, because they’re worth a lot of money
Paper covers rock crushes scissors cuts paper, but you know, it’s really kind of funny
When you start to think about it

Paper crushes scissors when the paper is green
And the rock survives when it’s made of gold
And though you may try to wash yourself clean
It’s the same old story that’s been a million times told

The root of all evil, it makes the world go ’round
And you can scream if you have nothing, but we won’t hear a sound
Have you really ever thought about what we’ve gotten ourselves into

Paper crushes scissors when the paper is green
And the rock survives when it’s made of gold
And though you may try to wash yourself clean
It’s the same old story that’s been a million times told
Paper crushes scissors and your soul

There’s something wrong here

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