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UNCLE TUPELO - Screen Door

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Published on Apr 21, 2011

No Depression is the first studio album by alternative country band Uncle Tupelo, released in June 1990. After its formation in the late 1980s, Uncle Tupelo recorded the Not Forever, Just for Now demo tape, which received a positive review by the College Media Journal in 1989.[9] The review led to the band's signing with what would become Rockville Records later that year. The album was recorded with producers Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie at Fort Apache Studios, on a budget of US$3,500.

No Depression was critically acclaimed and sold well for an independent release. Selling over 15,000 copies within a year of its release, the album's success led to the release of the No Depression periodical. The record is considered one of the most important alternative country albums, and its title is often used as a synonym for the alternative country genre after being popularized by No Depression magazine.
Six months before signing a full contract with Giant/Rockville, Uncle Tupelo recorded the tracks for No Depression over ten days in January 1990 at Fort Apache South, a musician-run studio in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.
As the trio could not afford the cost of recording at a twenty-four track studio in nearby Cambridge, they settled on the cheaper Fort Apache studio. The album cost US$3,500 to produce, $1,000 of which went to in-house producers Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie. The band was interested in working with Slade and Kolderie after hearing their production of Dinosaur Jr.'s album Bug.
The producers allowed Farrar to use the same 1961 Gibson Les Paul guitar that J. Mascis used on Bug, which gave the power chords on No Depression a richer tone.

Slade and Kolderie suggested that the band deemphasize the roots rock influences heard on Not Forever, Just for Now and convinced them to replace the harmonica parts with pedal steel guitar. For this, Slade and Kolderie recruited guitarist Rich Gilbert of Human Sexual Response for the recording.
The tracks were recorded using little overdubbing; only a few banjo and acoustic guitar parts were later added to the songs. At the suggestion of Slade and Kolderie, No Depression was recorded on eight-track, so "the music would compress and "jump" off the tape during playback". The recording sessions occurred before Uncle Tupelo officially became affiliated with Giant Records, so there was little input from the label.

Lyrically the songs reflected the band members' experiences growing up in Belleville. Farrar and Tweedy romanticized tales about unemployment, alcoholism, and the feeling of living in a small town in an effort to emulate the profundity of songwriters such as Woody Guthrie. Musically, No Depression was influenced by the start-stop musical pattern of the Minutemen.The cover of the album features a blurry photo of the band, taken by J. Hamilton, reminiscent of the albums released on Folkways Records.



SCREEN DOOR

Down here, where's we're at
The weather changes, that's the way it goes
Sometimes it snows, when everything's wrong
Sometimes it snows, but when it does, it doesn't last long

Down here, where we're at
All we do is sit out on the porch
And play our songs, and nothing's wrong
Sometime friends come around, they all sing along

Down here, where we're at
Everyone is equally poor
Down here, we don't care
We don't care what happens outside the screen door

Down here, where we're at
Sweat drips from the tip of your nose
You wear loose clothes, and you try to stay cool
We all still have a lot of fun, never saw much school

Down here, where we're at
Everyone is equally poor
Down here, we don't care
We don't care what happens outside the screen door

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