Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla is an EP by indie rock band Grandaddy, released on September 27, 2005. The name comes from something Jason Lytle saw on the vanity license plate of a large truck in his home town of Modesto, California. The CD version was released by V2 Records, while a limited-pressing vinyl edition was released on the Devil in the Woods label, with a bonus track "Hidden Health Announcement".
Title and theme
The EP's title reflects Lytle's frustration with Modesto, and has been described as "not so much a farewell as a fuck off to the town". In Lytle's words, the EP "was a nice opportunity for me to produce some whiney little complaining songs about my hometown. I think it's pretty blatant; it's pretty stripped down in terms of the message." It was recorded simultaneously with the final Grandaddy album, and Lytle planned to leave Modesto as soon as the album was complete, stating "In Modesto, it's like gravity is a lot heavier. There's something that just makes you feel like you’re doing all you can just to keep your head above water, when in fact there's not a whole lot going on."
Todd Zilla was recorded at Lytle's second studio, in Ceres, California, on older equipment — "none of that glitzy 24-track business". Its eight tracks do not appear on the band's fourth full-length album, Just Like the Fambly Cat. He recorded it as "a way to fill the gaps of time while recording the new album. I just thought I could throw together some old songs and some newer ones and a really new one". Some of the songs had been written much earlier, as far back as ten years before, as Lytle stated: "There are years-long gaps between a lot of these songs, and mostly they were just annoying me because they were sitting around doing nothing."
Everything on the EP was written and recorded by Lytle with the exception of drum tracks by Aaron Burtch.
Marc Hogan of Pitchfork Media gave it 5.6/10, calling it "a goofy, sloppy mini-album, cramming familiar Weezer fuzz, stoned piano ballads, playful analogue synths, and misguided Bad Company references into a little more than half an hour". Gareth Dobson of Drowned in Sound gave it five out of ten, calling it a "mixed bag". SPIN gave it a B+ rating, calling it "richly illustrated, grim but empathetic, epic yet humane art rock". In the view of Joey Lipps of The Michigan Daily, "it falls short of the captivating quality of their previous recordings". Shilpa Ganatra of Hot Press opined that the EP represented "a wander into the field of revolution rather than evolution".
||"Pull the Curtains"
||"At My Post"
||"A Valley Son (Sparing)"
||"Fuck the Valley Fudge"
||"Hidden Health Announcement" (locked groove on exclusive vinyl edition only)
- ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (2005) "Grandaddy Can't Wait To Leave Home — But They Have To Finish Telling It Off First", MTV, September 21, 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ Lytle, Jason. Grandaddy's Jason Lytle talks about Grandaddy's last record, his mood, and why it is hard to make money as an independent musician. with Alex Steininger. http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/articles/71h20.html. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- ^ a b Long, Joe (2005) "Jason Lytle: The Grandaddy Landscape", Glide, November 14, 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ "Grandaddy to release mini-album", music-news.com, August 11, 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ Rowland, Marijke (2005) "Grandaddy's Newest Inspired by City's Sprawl", Modesto Bee, September 23, 2005, p. H5 ('SCENE' section)
- ^ a b c d Rubin, Joey (2005) "Excerpts from the Misery of Grandaddy", PopMatters, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ a b c Hogan, Marc (2005) "Grandaddy Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla EP", Pitchfork Media, September 25, 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ a b Dobson, Gareth (2005) "Grandaddy: Excerpts From The Diary Of Todd Zilla", Drowned in Sound, October 20, 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ a b Ganatra, Shilpa "Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla", Hot Press, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ a b Lipps, Joey (2005) "Grandaddy Coasts on Latest EP", Michigan Daily, November 16, 2005, p. 5, retrieved 2011-08-07
- ^ a b "Quick Cuts: Grandaddy Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla", SPIN, October 2005, retrieved 2011-08-07