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MP3 W.C. Mericle - A bin full of snouts

"Alt. folk" tunes with a catchy sound and touching lyrics that are at once folksy, funny, sad, and pleasantly weird.

16 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Folky Pop

A unique storyteller, Mericle''s songs are at once folksy, funny, sad and weird.

Produced by industry veteran Scott Bennett (Falling Wallendas, Brian Wilson, Liz Phair, Flaming Lips), the songs are acoustic-guitar based -- with ukulele, accordion, pedal steel, and the occasional fiddle giving it a pleasant "alt. folk" sound.

It''s what Vic Chestnut, Burl Ives and the Crash Test Dummies would sound like if they were rolled together into a misshapen ball, buried under a pecan tree and rooted up sixteen months later by a truffle-seeking sow.

Not convinced yet? We don''t blame you.
After all, this section is kind of like advertising.


"On the surface, the world portrayed in A Bin Full of Snouts might seem too bizarre to visit -- like a town you accelerate past on the freeway. Inhabited by circus freaks, amputees and the odd human anchor, you may decide it''s best not to get involved. There is no room for you there. However, dig a little deeper and you may find you really like the place. Using siren Mericle''s come-hither melodies as your trip-tik to the unknown, you''ll realize his geeks are all pining for the same unattainables as we do: happiness, love, and self-actualization. After all, if there''s one thing that unites mankind, it''s our hopes and dreams. It is then that you''ll probably decide you want to stay a little longer, maybe even look into buying some property. Pick up a couple of pigs, too. There may be truffles in them thar soil!"
Allen Keller
Falling Wallendas

"Sort of funny, like the Crash Test Dummies."
Jimmy Mastandrea

"What attracts me to Mericle''s writing is a simultaneous combination of humor and poignancy that I haven''t heard before."
Scott Bennett
Brian Wilson, Liz Phair, Flaming Lips

"Kind of John Wes Harding, which is a good thing."
Lulu Gargiaola
The Fastbacks

"From the first time you hear the title, the listener understands that they''re in for a unique experience. Singer/songwriter W.C. Mericle has put together a fascinating array of tunes to display his musical acumen with a mixture of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and folksy guitar riffs. Although a long CD (17 songs to be exact), the mood ebbs and flows effortlessly from one track to the next. Each song is tied together with simple, singable melodies that playfully skirt around sappiness and sentimentality. However, the words hint at something deeper. Mericle is able to turn mundane, quotidian experiences into personal epiphanies without taking himself too seriously. The arrangements are clean, always conscious to not cover up the base of each song: Mericle and his guitar."
Derek Halpern
Web Posting

"Love the CD! I listen to it while I sew my psychotic stuffed kitties."
Lisa Marsicek
FreakWater alum

"Thanks for the free CD."
Marty Lennartz

"North America has dozens of species of indigenous truffle, the majority of which are not yet fully classified by science or culinary art, and new species are being discovered every year. Many of these new species are edible, some superbly so, and can come in a range of heady and intense aromas and flavors ranging from pungent musk to licorice to tropical fruit. "
An Expert on Truffles

"I was pleasantly surprised to find that what I had thought upon first listening to be happy-happy-joy-joy tunes actually had an unexpectedly twisted perspective. At this moment, "She walks away" is my hands down favorite. I love the line about the flower going through your lapel and growing on the inside. Nice work! (I also love the Snout Story)."
Devin Arkin
The Good

"The melodies and sweet singing voice are so contradictory to the words, I love it! I finally had to look at the words in the CD case as I was listening to it because I couldn''t quite believe I was hearing it right. Really great lyrics!"
Kamala James
Film Producer

"This CD is spanking me in all the raw places. "Amputate" is stunning and deserves wide airplay. I also love "Big Joe," "Something Bad," and "Babies and Vaseline." I am just blown away."
Miles Harvey
Author (Island of the Lost Maps, 2000 Random House)

"Neat lyrics and cool instrumentation ideas. I dug the pedal steel in "Amputate" and the tremelo guitar in "Monkey on a String" (which also has a great chorus). And also the vibes in "Something Bad." Kinda reminiscent of The Eels."
Brian Robbins
LA solo artist

That''s enough quotes. They''re begining to sound like marketing instead of the sincere appraisals they are.

Speaking of marketing, here''s an article by Ulric Bogaerde you can read, about W.C. Mericle entitled, "A MOUTH IS OPENED.":

After a yearlong gig at L''Ancienne Ecole in Le Boulou, France, W.C. Mericle returned home with a fist-full of francs and a red-wine hangover so intense it showed up on a routine MRI. So he packed an overnight bag for an emergency trip to Canada, bought a case of codeine-laced Tylenol, and sat down to clear his head once and for all.

Mericle wrote and wrote and wrote. Then one November afternoon, it happened. He suddenly opened his mouth and the "mouth open" process of creating music was born.

During a performance last December at The Lyon''s Den on Chicago''s north side, Marco Benassi, Speech Professor at the College of Dupage, witnessed first-hand this revolutionary process at work.

"At first, he was just strumming a guitar. Then all of a sudden, his mouth opened up. Everyone stopped talking. By opening his mouth, this guy was able to send songs straight into a person''s ears."

Soon, word of Mericle''s "mouth open" process reached Chicago music fixture Scott Bennett. Resting between tours with living-legend Brian Wilson, Bennett met with Mericle to hear more about the process.

He was stunned.

"I had never seen anything like it," he explains. "Words and music all coming out together. I knew I had to somehow get him into a studio."

Having worked in studios before with artists such as Liz Phair, the Flaming Lips, and his own band, the Falling Wallendas, Bennett knew which knobs to turn and what buttons to press.

Over the next several months -- with a microphone on and Mericle''s mouth open -

"A Bin Full of Snouts" was created.

From his home in Los Angeles, Bennett recently commented on the experience.

"It''s hard to describe," Bennett said. "He just opens his mouth and says different words. And each word is spoken with a pre-determined pitch or note, so it''s not spoken normally, it''s spoken musically. I don''t want to get too technical, but the ‘mouth open'' process combines music and words in a way that is very different from regular talking."

Very different indeed.

Author and frequent critic, Miles Harvey (Island of Lost Maps ©2000, Random House), agreed in a recent assessment.

"I don''t know how he did it," Harvey wrote, "but the whole CD is spanking me in all the raw places. ‘Amputate'' is stunning and deserves wide airplay."

Days after its first pressing, "A Bin Full of Snouts" ‘accidentally'' found its way into the hands of a PizzleCo corporate executive. Always looking for "The Smell of Quality," PizzleCo snatched up controlling rights to the "mouth open" process and formed PizzleCo Ditties to exploit the results.

W.C. Mericle also seems to be interested in exploiting the results. With several guitars and a ukulele, he plans to open his mouth again and again this summer in his quest to introduce others to the strange pleasure of "A Bin Full of Snouts."

"When I describe to my students how his mouth opens and words come out, they don''t believe me," Professor Benassi commented upon hearing the news. "Now, they can see it for themselves."

Excerpted and reprinted with permission from "How do you find a Truffle now?" by Ulric Van Den Bogaerde ©2001

And Lord knows, they are probably right. But just in case they aren''t, here''s a strange PRESS RELEASE from the record label, PIZZLECO DITTIES:

October 21, 2001

Do I smell quality?!
--The PizzleCo family of companies has done it again--

Starting from PizzleCo Novelties'' engaging line of products (including Pinwheel Pasties™, Mr. Chub™ and The Stick™), to the critically acclaimed release of PizzleCo Pictures'' The Best Short Film Ever Made (starring the Tim Kazurinsky), it seems the PizzleCo family of companies has achieved success with every new venture. It''s no wonder the masses hunger for their products.

The first release from newly launched division PizzleCo Ditties is no exception. W.C. Mericle''s A Bin Full of Snouts is pleasantly weird -- yet easy to listen to and understand. The title refers to the fast-paced world of animal bi-products, where coin is king and -- as PizzleCo knows -- people eat anything.

Produced by industry veteran Scott Bennett (Falling Wallendas, Liz Phair, Syd Straw, Flaming Lips, Brian Wilson) and accompanied at times by Brett Simons (Robbie Fulks, Mighty Blue Kings, John Fournier, Graham Parker), Liz Conant (Aluminum Group), Nicole Guisto and S. Kim Latte, Mericle sings with his mouth open, using words in conjunction with specific musical notes. In this exciting "mouth open" process, imaginative stories of frozen birds, dying dogs and legs removed come together to form songs. These songs in turn form the CD. While the actual process sounds complicated, the resulting music is folksy and engaging. You can sing along, sit back and listen, or just talk over it loudly with friends.

PizzleCo Ditties is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois (1951 N. Wilmot Ave, 60647) in a building that once housed factory workers specializing in the production of flags and banners. If upcoming releases are anything like
A Bin Full of Snouts, PizzleCo''s own flag is sure to fly higher and higher.

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Soy sauce snouts

Pig snouts aren''t just for sausage anymore! These li''l pink buttons are low in fat and high in fun. Try this refreshing stew as a delicious pork replacement for chicken teriyaki.

12 pig snouts
1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 medium celery root, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cups water

1/2 cup sliced green onion
Red pepper sesame oil to taste

Rinse snouts in cold water and pat dry.
Place snouts in pot with all ingredients except oil and onion.
Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cover.
Simmer 45 minutes or until snouts are tender.
Remove snouts reserving broth for another use.
Serve over rice, drizzled with sesame oil and scattered with green onions.

Recipe from It''s Pork Time!, by Catherine J. Clapp,
by special permission of Wesley Press Ltd., U.K., © 1974

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