Seventy-Seven Degrees (by Rods and Cones, 1996)

Rods and Cones
Rods and Cones


In 1996, Rods and Cones had been broken up for several years, but we were all still in touch. Singer Chris Kelley had gone to live in a rustic retreat in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, and he had an idea of recording some tracks with Cones guitar player Gary France. Who should play drums, bass and keyboards? One thing led to another, and before too long, we had another Rods and Cones recording session. 

On a long, snowy weekend, and feeling no pressure whatsoever, we went into a little studio and spent three days cutting basic tracks of some new ideas and some old ideas that had never reached completion. For reasons that no one can remember, we recorded under the name the Raven Cravens. It's the only case I know of where a band reunites with all its original members, and changes its name.

So with no producer, no record label and no deadlines, we just let it all hang out, and we recorded some of the best-sounding stuff we ever did. But since we weren't really a performing band anymore, none of this material ever saw the light of day.

Now that Rods and Cones are performing the occasional show, we are planning to compile and release a "best of" collection that would include some of these 1996 recordings.

This track, "Seventy-Seven Degrees," is an example of the kinds of sounds we were putting down that particular weekend. The lyrics speak for themselves.


Seventy-Seven Degrees

It’s 7 a.m., and I’m crawling down my back stairs to where the sun comes crashing through the trees and lights up the hot gravel.

Hot gravel in my mouth as I crawl my way back to the sun and make up for all my lost time. Time wasted. Time spent with hooligans.

As I reached the road, the tar melted in front of me. And I swam the breaststroke all the way to the interstate.

Hot tar filled my lungs as I spat my way to a brand new day. A black trail of smoke behind me, so that those who wanted to follow could have an easy trail.

And then we came upon a place. Ah, it was beautiful. You would say it was unique.

I had never shown up at sunrise for a sunset engagement. But this was one time I had to make the exception.

Beyond the benefit of a doubt, beyond all popular belief, as we climbed the incline and got just underneath, we saw what we had come to see, and we felt the presence of the ultimate…

Sunshine, blue skies and 77 degrees.

Sunshine, blue skies and 77 degrees.

Sunshine, blue skies and 77 degrees.

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