Notes on “Casualties Like Boxer”
In 2006, the only hope offered in the world I felt was The Gits and my new musical soul mate, a 1930’s blues guitarist named Robert Johnson.
I was working at the Hollywood Video in Calhoun Village on the border of Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. After going through a difficult breakup and curbing a drug habit, I found myself somewhat clear-headed and with much more free time. I noticed I’d been neglecting my guitar and hadn’t written a song since quitting my band the previous summer.
Feeling alienated and weird and too often contemplating the nature of my wage slavery in relation to my convictions, I spent a lot of time alone. My schedule consisted of getting up, working on music until I was nauseous from too much coffee and cigarettes on an empty stomach, then I’d eat something, get in my car and drive through rush hour traffic to get to work by 5 PM, I’d get off at 1 AM, drive home and play guitar until falling asleep.
This record for me is about finding my voice and I can now listen to it proudly as a mark of where I’ve been. In many ways, I went back to my roots in pursuit of that voice. I grew up listening to my parents’ folk revival records, and as an adolescent, punk rock saved my life. And the Delta Blues style of Robert Johnson and Son House schooled me when I decided it was time for me to become a technically skilled guitar player.
I adopted a style which I called for a time “Hardcore Blues,” encorporating blues turnarounds, power chords, open chords, made up chord shapes, and slightly out of tune or detuned melodies and chord progressions, chasing an ethereal otherworldly sitar or oud-like quality; and the speed, aggression, freedom and honesty of punk rock, as well as the lyrical emphasis upon storytelling taken from folk music, but departing from tired cliches and sensibilities, I was determine to write how I actually speak and tell the stories of the people around me and the world as it appeared to me.
To Explain the title: Remember the book “Animal Farm.” Remember the Horse named Boxer. He worked harder than any of the other animals on the farm, he was an asset to the entire animal run farm. However when he became injured he was no longer of use to them, Napoleon the Pig made the decision to sell him to the glue factory.
Any advancements, whether they be technological, artistic, organizational, it doesn’t matter, there are always casualties….like Boxer.
released October 1, 2007
-All Song Written and Performed by Patrick Callan.
-“Just Fine” was Engineered by Brian Mengy at IPR Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota during October of 2005.
-“All Alone on Decatur,” “Cold and Cigarettes,” “Catapult Rumble,” and “Heater Blues” were Engineered by Ryan Worthman at his Home Studio in St. Louis Park, Minnesota on March 20, 2007
-“Robert Johnson’s Ghost,” and “Like Pauper Kings” were Engineered by Ryan Worthman at his Home Studio in Columbia Heights, Minnesota on August 11, 2007.
-“Light up the Moon,” “Drunken Bar Blues,” “C.M Blues,” “Ten Inches of Snow, and “Disturbed as hell at the DMV” were Engineered by Patrick Callan at his parents’ house in Lino Lakes, Minnesota during Summer of 2007.