Bill Doss (1968-2012) – a tribute
Published on August 1st, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker was heartbroken to wake up this morning to see a Facebook post from Robert Schneider announcing the death of his Apples in Stereo band mate and Olivia Tremor Control mainstay Bill Doss, a man we were thrilled and honoured to interview on these very pages last November.
As this writer stated then, Doss is a man whose songs I and who knows how many others have not just listened to but also learnt (sometimes from scratch), sang and strummed over the years, and as I write this I’m listening to his sublime 2002 LP Age of the Sun released under his solo guise as The Sunshine Fix.
Speaking purely as a fan I’m gutted that this should happen just as The Olivia Tremor Control were finally getting around to recording a third album, their first together since 1999’s Black Foliage, but this mere musical craving of course pales in comparison to what his loved ones must be going through right now.
At just 43 he had so much more to give, and I hope that his family and friends can take some solace from the fact that what he does leave behind has brought – and will continue to bring – a great deal of joy to many people.
As crass as it can seem to use the death of an artist as an excuse to roll out their works, only good can come of more people hearing his beautiful songs and it is in this spirit that I present you with a selection of his finest songs.
I can’t claim to know enough about the inner mechanics of the band to know who exactly wrote what and when, so I’m working on the assumption that Olivia Tremor Control tracks featuring him on lead vocal were primarily of his composing.
As he and Will Cullen Hart were such a potent songwriting partnership the line is bound to be blurred at various points, so I apologise in advance for any incorrect assumptions and encourage anyone reading to set the record straight.
The proud owner/regular wearer of an Olivia Tremor Control T-shirt, and the sad bearer of this awful news for anyone who mightn’t have heard about it yet.
“I might get away from these four walls (I might fly away) / I might escape from what’s holding me”
“Jumping Fences” (from The Olivia Tremor Control’s 1996 LP Dusk at Cubist Castle)
“Hideaway” (from The Olivia Tremor Control’s 1999 LP Black Foliage)
“Love Athena” (from The Olivia Tremor Control collection Singles and Beyond)
“That Ole Sun” (from The Sunshine Fix’s 2002 LP Age of the Sun)
“Extraordinary/Ordinary” (from The Sunshine Fix’s 2004 LP Green Imagination)
No Growing (Exegesis) (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
A Sleepy Company (from Black Foliage
“Courtyard” (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
“A Sunshine Fix” (from Singles and Beyond)
“A New Day” (from Black Foliage)
“Enjoy the Teeth” (from Green Imagination)
“Everything is Waking” (from Age of the Sun)
“Marking Time” (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
“I’m Not Feeling Human” (from Singles and Beyond)
…and my own personal cover of this very song, recorded goodness knows how long ago…
“I Can Smell the Leaves” (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
“The Sound’s Around You” (from The Sunshine Fix’s 2000 EP The Future History of a Sunshine Fix)
“A Place We Have Been To” (from Black Foliage)
“The Sylvan Screen” (from Black Foliage)
“Runaway Run” (from Green Imagination)
“72 Years” (from Age of the Sun)
“California Demise (3)” (from Black Foliage)
“NYC-25” (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
“Hilltop Procession (Momentum Gaining)” (from Black Foliage)
“What do you do when the magic’s gone away?”