Another year. Another silver disc. This time, I decided to go back and sift through the old M.D.G. music catalog, intent on producing a long overdue compilation album. This decision was based mainly on the fact that I haven't made any new studio recordings this year. Another very good reason for doing this particular CD, is the wonderful cover shown above. The TENtative 1988-1998 album cover had already been put together by my good friend, Ron Brancato over six years ago, and it's nothing less than a crime that I never used it. This was originally going to be my first solo CD back in 1999, but I eventually realized that a "best of" debut album from a totally unknown artist might be just a little more than presumptuous. I ended up making the "lava lamp" EP instead, which proved to be a very good move for me on a critical level. So, my Fellow Babies, it certainly isn't too late to release TENtative in all its decadent quirkiness. Hell, I don't think any of these songs were ever really that timely even when they were new. Then again, I've never really lived to serve up the style du jour, now have I?

I began this project by making a list of all the original M.D.G. songs, co-written songs, cover tunes and various other things I'd actually gone into production with during the 1987-2004 period. Without counting any song sketches or live recordings, I still came up with 71 titles! Whew. So how does one narrow all that material down to just one disc? Simple, I thought. I'll just write 71 song titles down on little pieces of paper, put 'em in a hat and randomly pick out a baker's dozen. Unfortunately, that technique didn't work out too well, because I would've had to live with an album that contained a funk instrumental, an Alice Cooper song, a screaming trumpet/vocal jazz duet, and a 30-minute interview program! In truth, all I really needed to do was follow my instincts, and with that, I quickly arrived at 13 songs selected from a 10-year period. When I started to arrange the order of songs, I found that they all seemed to compliment each other very well, despite their differences in development. And best of all, this exercise actually got me excited about the music all over again.

TENtative 1988-1998 leads off with the very first real song that I wrote called Insanity, Please. It became the theme for a friend's original high school play, and the lyric ties in somewhat with the show. I was only 17 when I first recorded the song and I'm still quite charmed by all of its one minute and fifty seconds! Following that, we move headlong into a decade's worth of ambitious, full-production one-offs, better than average demos, experimental techno-tinged tracks, and some sweet, simple songs too. See what happens when you have complete creative control over your own music with total freedom from corporate record companies' specific market needs and demands?! I wonder where on earth they'd even file this record? The Commercial Suicide bin? Well, I would be nothing if I weren't wickedly diverse, and if that is the thing that buries me in the end, then I will go down clutching my old KORG synthesizer and smiling. I was inspired to create these songs in their respective styles because I knew no one else was going to do it. I wanted to one day push PLAY and have them be an instant, satisfying reality. Once you do that successfully a number of times, it doesn't really matter that it's YOU anymore. It just becomes music you wanted to hear, and hopefully, will continue to want to hear time and time again. In my book, true artistic success is being able to listen to your own records without puking. My shoes are clean.

I want to give a very special Arsenio "woof woof" to Robert Blackburn and the Blackdog Recording Studios staff for giving me a nice, comfy place to hang out and compile all this stuff. During the process of making TENtative, I actually learned a few new things about computer based recording systems (whining, kicking and screaming all the way)! So thanks, guys, for putting up with the old school analog kid!

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