We all know The Waitresses, right? “I Know What Boys Like?” The Square Pegs theme song? Surely at least “Christmas Wrapping”? That band was the product of the storied Northeast Ohio scene of the late ‘70s, forming when Akronite Chris Butler, a veteran of 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band) and Tin Huey, moved to New York and assembled a group with Television’s drummer Billy Ficca, improv jazz sax giant Mars Williams, and the unforgettably droll and flippant Cleveland vocalist Patty Donahue (RIP 1996). That band recorded a version of Butler’s “I Know What Boys Like” that became an underground hit. The band went on to make two LPs, Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? and Bruiseology before breaking up in 1984, when Williams joined the Psychedelic Furs.
Since then, Butler has continued an edifying if low-key music career, writing and editing music criticism, serving as a producer, and of course writing, playing, and recording original music. (He also made some headlines in the ‘oughts for unknowingly buying the Ohio home in which cannibalistic serial killer Jeff Dahmer grew up. You’d think that kind of thing would have been in the disclosures.)
In 1995, Butler wrote a five-minute pop song called “The Devil Glitch,” which ended with a numbing number of variations on its main vamp, the phrase “Sometimes you can fix something by just [whatever].” Joking around with a musician pal, Butler determined that what was there wasn’t enough, and wouldn’t it be hilarious to fill an entire CD with just the one song? And so it was that, with collaborators, a 69-minute version of the song was recorded, exactly fitting the capacity of a CD, and that version was accepted by The Guinness Book of World Records as the longest song ever recorded. And of course, in the digital era, there are no mechanical limitations on the length of a release, and so now hearing the entire song occupies approximately four and a half hours of a listener’s life. Because I’m not a sadist, here’s the original 5-minute version. Longer versions can be streamed at infiniteglitch.net.
Well, four and a half hours still isn’t enough for Butler. On December 4th, Akron’s Hive Mind art space posted the following, from Butler, to a Facebook event called “Grand Open Call to Submission for The Infinite Glitch,” which is exactly what it says in the title:
You got all that? Great! The range of dates on the event page would seem to imply that the call for submissions is open until December 18th, but info on the “Contribute” tab on Butler’s own “Devil Glitch” site doesn’t mention any ending date. It’d sure be cool to hear a lot of submissions from Dangerous Minds’ readers—we KNOW there are plenty of musicians and writers who follow us.
Here’s “I Know What Boys Like,” since it’s probably been stuck in your head since the first time I mentioned it above.