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In early 1997 Young & Sexy’s Paul Hixon Pittman sent out 100 or so demo tapes to indie labels across North America. The songs were catchy, poorly recorded and occasionally funny. Paul was pictured on the cover, with a black eye he’d gotten, walking into a pole, a year earlier in England.
One label out of Portland Oregon sent a letter back, asking if he wanted to come down and make a record.
Recorded at HUSH records later that same year, Paul Hixon Pittman’s self-titled debut is of its time, no doubt. Sensitive, folk tinged indie rock anyone? Certainly, but with a naive, wide-eyed hopefulness not usually associated with the genre. There is also a casualness to the sessions. Perhaps the fact that the majority of the songs were recorded early one Monday morning, after he and his small band (Colin Mclean – Guitar, Gord Schmidt – Percussion) had taken an overnight bus from Vancouver BC, had something to do with it. Maybe his guard was down? Maybe he thought they would re-record them “properly” later? Northwest music rag The Rocket said of the album upon its release, “It sounds like it was written in front of a television looping the idyllic farm scenery from Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid”. Hearing it again now, some 25 years later, it’s hard to disagree.
Released in 1998 at the dawn of the digital music revolution, the album fell into obscurity within a few short years. It’s a shame too, because it’s aged pretty well. One of the first releases on Portland’s HUSH records label in its infancy, the album was recorded and replicated with the vanguard of consumer technology in early 1998: a beige Apple Power Macintosh G3 computer and a sidekick 4X CD burner. Each CD was hand-assembled with Xerox-printed liner notes and rubber-stamped graphics. What label proprietor Chad Crouch lacked in audio engineering skills, he made up for with pluck and an early interest in the digital tools that would evolve to bring sweeping change to the music industry in the ensuing years. By 2001 HUSH had outgrown its boutique CD-R roots, and Pittman had formed the band Young and Sexy, signing to Vancouver BC’s Mint Records label. Three of the tracks from Paul Hixon Pittman would be revisited over the next five years with new arrangements for Young and Sexy’s critically acclaimed discography.
Aside from being available for mail order for a couple years and briefly available for digital download on the HUSH Records website, Paul Hixon Pittman has been lost to time. Along with the album re-issue are two EPs recorded during the same sessions. Eight additional songs. Upon listening to these EPs you might wonder why a standout track like Accordion was left off the original album. When asked about the Burt Bacharach inspired tune, Pittman only had this to say. “I was young”.
1. Laptop 03:17
2. Honey 04:16
3. Lose Control 03:48
4. We Got The Faith 03:15
5. Lies, Ties, and Battlefields 03:06
6. Favorite Flavor 02:56
7. Oh Heck 03:15
8. Altitudes Right (Ronnie Boy) 04:43
9. Bobby Baby 01:39
10. Bluegrass 04:30
11. Stale Pigeon (Bonus Track) 04:29