Eric D. Snider

Eric D. Snider's Blog

An album I like: ‘Dynamo,’ by Faded Paper Figures

I have an old friend named John Williams. Not old in the sense of being elderly, and not John Williams in the sense of being a famous film-score composer; old in the sense of I’ve known him a long time, and John Williams in the sense of being a guy in his mid-30s from Utah.

Anyway, this John Williams, like the other one, is a talented musician. When we were living in the same dorm at BYU, he was in a band called Anyone For Squash, which practiced in our basement and which some of us uncharitably called Anyone For Guitar Lessons. They went on to record a fine CD and do some shows around town and goodness knows what else, and then they all graduated from college and did other things.

John graduated from college a couple times, actually, and was an English teacher at Utah State University for a while before moving to Southern California, where it is my understanding that he continues to be both a college student and a college instructor of some kind. He’s super-smart,  and also a good singer and musician.

And now he’s in a new band! They are called Faded Paper Figures, their MySpace page is here, and you can download their album, “Dynamo,” from CD Baby. You can also listen to their stuff for free at both places, to see if you wanna download it.

Faded Paper Figures belongs to the genres of indie and electronica, or “indietronica” as some of the kids are apparently calling it. They remind me of The Postal Service: electronic but not techno, and indie but not emo.

I like the album a lot, and maybe you will too! At any rate, good luck to you, John. It was great to hear your work again in the new Indiana Jones movie.

15 Responses to “An album I like: ‘Dynamo,’ by Faded Paper Figures”

  1. John Williams Says:

    He’s also, lest we forget, a long-time Snide Remarks fan.

  2. Adam Frederick Says:

    That’s awesome. Not only was I John William’s pupil at Utah State (I didn’t know he was a musician); he is also the reason I’m a regular reader of Eric D. Snider. In fact, I bought Eric’s first books when John had Eric as a guest lecturer up at Utah State and I did regular readings of Eric’s Titanic article (after hearing it in class) for my friends so they would get as addicted as me.

    Wow, I’ve never posted on this site; yet read many posts, and I’m all of a sudden very self concious about grammar and the like. I’m sure I screwed something up and will hear about it. (oh no, I ended a sentence with a preposition)

  3. John Williams Says:

    It is true I’ve taught a lesson or two on logical fallacies using the angry letters Eric sometimes receives. Some of those letters are priceless.

    And good to hear from you, Adam. I’m glad I at least instilled a mortal fear of grammar in you :)

  4. Momma Snider Says:

    Mortal Fear of Grammar: that’s going to be the name of my band.

  5. Jake Egbert Says:

    Hey! I still listen to my Anyone For Squash CD! In fact, my kids pick that disc all the time when they’re riding in my car — mostly because it looks like it’s covered in straw or hay. They like the music, too, I think, but their musical tastes developed much later than their love of CD art.

    Before he was teaching English, John was teaching Spanish at the MTC by day and playing at some pretty happening birthday parties in the Provo/Orem area by night. I have an awkward memory of Anyone for Squash playing for a group of 10-year-olds in a darkened dance hall in American Fork… I guess I wasn’t too surprised to learn that the band split up shortly thereafter. Saddened, but not surprised.

    I always wondered if John would join or create another band and I’m glad to learn he hasn’t abandoned his musical gifts. Googling “Anyone for Squash” never led me anywhere and there are just too many John Williams around to sort out the real one.

    So, was ‘Ladybug Picnic’ actually recorded in Eric’s basement? I’ll have to listen to it again today to see if I can hear Eric’s distinct voice in the chorus…

  6. Casey Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I listened to the songs on myspace all morning and am now purchasing the MP3s. As a fan of about every band listed under “influences” on their myspace page, the sound was right up my alley.

  7. John Williams Says:

    Hey Jake, I love that your kids choose the Anyone for Squash CD because it has hay on it. That’s my new favorite target market: smart kids who love hay. Glad (and perhaps a little embarrassed) to hear people still listen to even my ancient recordings with Anyone for Guitar Lessons :)

  8. Sean Says:

    Adam, all the cool kids now know that a preposition is a totally good thing to end a sentence with. It actually contributes to clear, consice writing. And in other news, “and,” “but,” and “so” are excellent ways to start a sentence. So there’s no need to stress about incorrect, non-existent grammar rules they taught you in high school.

  9. GWGumby Says:

    Hey John! Hey Eric!

    John Williams and I went to Hillcrest high school together (and then later on to BYU) where we were in a band together called “Narrow Escape.” We even recorded an album and distributed it on cassettes.

    You want to talk about ancient recordings. I’ve got the music on my Sketchbook here:

    Two of the songs came directly from the apparently well-beloved John Williams.

    I can’t wait to listen to John’s songs. Sadly, work blocks the sites where his samples resides, so I’ll have to look into them later.

  10. John Williams Says:

    Hey GWGumby, it’s been a long time. What a nice place for a reunion!

  11. Marty Reeder Says:

    While everyone else is making the connection between knowing John Williams and reading Eric Snider, I might as well pipe in as well.

    Hey, John. I’m excited for the new CD.

    There. That ought to suffice.

  12. John Williams Says:

    Also for the record, Marty Reeder is one of my heroes. Teacher, author, family man, pirate–he is a man of many talents.

  13. osrevad Says:

    I just ordered the CD. I’ve noticed the songs on myspace have gotten 2,500 hits in the last two days. I hope you guys have success because this is amazing music.

  14. Meischa Says:

    I had the Anyone for Squash album Portraits and Poetries on cassette tape. Oh, I’ve missed it so! Any way I could bribe a fresh copy on CD from someone? John Williams? Anyone?
    I’ve looked and looked, ever to be thwarted — until tonight.
    I’m happy to pay copious amounts of cash for it (or at least a fair price). I still have my three pages of hand-typed lyrics. Weird, huh? I wonder if I got them all right…
    Anyhow, please drop me a line!

  15. Meischa Says:

    …or throw me a daisy, as it were…

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