Wednesday, October 31, 2007

what to say?

i had all this stuff in mind to say... ah, yes-
finally got ahold of the new warlocks cd and i fucking LOVE it. i'm not sure if i like it better than 'surgery'- it's pretty different in most ways. i love the really dreamy billowy stuff on it (which is a generous chunk of it). i've listened to it about three times today. the first time during the first song i was kind of like 'oh, man- is this going to be what the whole album is like?' but it isn't. now i actually like the first track. the last track is super weird, but every time i listen to it i like it. it really isn't like anything else they've done so far. the production is worlds different- it's a bit low-endy and less crisp. at first i didn't like it but then i realised that i've always thought that the guitars sounded a bit too sparkling and crisp, so they gave me my wish. i think one of the reasons i didn't like it at first is because i've been trying to make my own recordings of my guitars sound less low-end heavy and make them a bit clearer, but i realised that if that's what you're going for, then that's what you're going for. it gives everything a very heavy, dreamy feel on the new record. now i'm making it sound like i'm going to go off and make all of our guitars sound that way- no i think that i strive for a happy medium between heavy/dreamy/low-endy and clear/crisp/sharp.
speaking of my own music work some very relieving news to myself- i love the tracklisting that i picked out for 'down to sleep,' so basically now i know what to finish asap. i'm still going to try and get as much of the other tracks done as possible, but so far the songs have seperated themselves pretty well. i have listened to the album several times through and i really like it- it is the kind of album i have been looking to hear for a long time. i was thinking of trying another version of 'ada' with some bowed guitar, and i'm still going to try it, but if it doesn't work better i'm probably going to still put 'ada' on the record. so now i have to buy a bunch of new microphones, two distortion pedals, a voc ac30 and i'm weighing the possibility of buying another doo-dad that makes the low-end all nice and fat, but as luck would have it might not be necessary. for the ten songs i've selected i need to re-record some guitar parts (with the new mics, amp and pedals) and the drums need to be finished (for which i also need the new mics- not as many as i'd thought and i realised we don't have a lot of pieces). so voila! magnifique!
of the incomplete songs only one needs string parts- so i thought i might see if i could get them done while in kansas city for christmas and then i won't have to go back in march- it might be able to wait a while- which will help if we are able to get a tour together for march (hardee-har har!!!). i am going to try and sell the electric piano that i have to make enough money to release the album. i think i'm going to ask for about $1200 for it in the hopes of getting $1000. it's in very good shape, 88-keys and everything on it works and i'll help people move it to their vehicle. this will be if i can get sam's mom's piano as well. i might sell the electric piano first, tho. my dad will be pissed. the fact of the matter is that i would rather have a real piano and i need one for recording purposes anyway. the only times i've used the electric piano is when i've been working on string arrangements.
so that's my news for the moment. more on this as it develops.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

i hung out with billy and mike today

it was pretty much like being transported back 10 years. talk about a ten year reunion- that was really the only one i'd be interested in. some highlights and quotes-
new band names-
pussy sandwich
my bloody fudge tunnel
crotch coffee

yes, it was like that.
my visit's been okay so far. today was probably the highlight. we hung out on the lawn in front of the art museum and watched two different bride and groom couples taking pictures. billy and mike bought cigars and were smoking them only to abandon them claiming that they tasted like 'alligator dick.' it has been unbelievably good to be around them again and not have to watch anything that i say whatsoever. this has definitely recharged my batteries and i am really glad that i came. not everything's been so great, but none of that is to do with mike or billy at all.
to stefanie- i have gotten ahold of something you will be VERY amazed to see again (as was i).
end of transmission.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

i am a vegetarian no longer

i'm in beans and bagels and i just ate a bacon and cheese bagel and it was so fucking tasty! more later on if it makes me sick. so far i feel a little weird, but mostly good. mostly i am all hopped up and exhilerated. hopefully this will be the result.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

i never realised...

here's a post for everyone who hasn't spoken to me in a while. the details of my upcoming trip-
i am leaving on thursday night at around midnight. my bus gets into kansas city at 10 the next morning. i am leaving to come back to chicago on monday night at 8pm. my bus gets back in to chicago at around 6 or 7am the next morning. i am not bringing my guitar back home with me (at least at this point). i am reconsidering this as i was playing it last night and it was nice to sit around and play songs for a little while.
i am indeed working a new job. it's at a lockbox. i am not allowed to speak about it. basically it's just pushing papers around and it's your standard corporate environment where a million people do a million very specific jobs and no one really knows who's supposed to be doing what or what's going on elsewhere. yes, indeed. it's a pointless busy-work paradise. although it is something i'm not supposed to talk about it's not an evil purpose that i'm serving there- it actually is a good purpose, which i'm happy doing.
we are throwing around the idea of going to new york on stefanie's birthday to catch the acoustic mainlines show at the apollo theater. we must procure plane tickets, a hotel and tickets to the show. we haven't really gotten down to the nitty-gritty of this yet and it still looks like a pipe dream at this point, but it doesn't look like the acoustic mainlines shows are making it over this way- which seems odd to me personally as they're playing three shows in california and then one in toronto (?) and another one in new york. i'd think that it wouldn't be entirely out of the question to stop in chicago and play a date, but whatever.
what else? a new song is up on our myspace page called 'angels floating on the head of a pin'- thus far it's only a demo- the guitars and drums will probably be redone soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

still no skinnernet

our internet went dead probably last friday, right around the same time that our land line was dropped. so yeah, we've been without internet since. i'm at beans and bagels right now. not much to report- i'm going to be working the next two saturdays to make up for the time i'll be in kansas city. the last step is to buy my bus ticket. i'm hoping that my paycheck will arrive in the mail today so that i can start doling the money out. i basically get about $50 from each weekly paycheck to do what i want with it. i hope that that's enough- there's really no reason why it shouldn't be. my horroscope today told me to live the extravagant life. we'll see if it's $8 or $8.50 an hour. it better be the latter- because that's what i was told it is.
i downloaded the new radiohead album- i paid about $5 for it. i also bought the last few tracks on the nina nastasia/jim white album that i didn't have yet and all of the rare warlocks tracks that they're selling on their myspace page. that's just good stuff.
i should go though- i have some errands to run and such. adios muchachos!
watch this-

Saturday, October 6, 2007

i went to the nina nastasia and jim white show

it was really good as expected. the set was very short, though- i wish it had been about 15 minutes longer (i suspect that i'm not alone as far as that goes). i found my favourite place to stand at schuba's- in the back behind the soundboard. the show was sold out last night and i came in right after they'd started playing because stefanie met up with me wanting to go to the show- but our internet went down yesterday so she wasn't able to buy a ticket beforehand and the show was sold out, so i walked her back to the belmont train station. when i got back, of course, no one was working the door to the music space, so after standing there for a minute or two and hearing that nina and jim were already playing i finally just opened the door and went in and stood behind the soundboard area. very very nice- i had plenty of room- no one was invading my personal space at all and it sounded very nice back there. i was right next to the merch booth- so this is a space that isn't always open- the merch guy wasn't taking up hardly any room. they played for about 30 minutes and then stopped before coming back to play three more songs. it was really really good- her songs are refreshingly unassuming. she has a reputation for writing really dark material- but this is definitely not always the case. difficult to pin down or talk about. i'm not sure what made me get into her just now as i heard some of 'dogs' back in 02 or 03 when it had just been reissued and i didn't think that the way people described it was accurate at all and i didn't like it. back then i kind of expected all music to be subversive in some way sonically- i don't know why this is. a lot of this accounts for why i didn't like the brian jonestown massacre at first. i also hated organs. this is not the case anymore. they played a lot of songs from the latest record, which is fantastic. i listened to it a thousand times at work during the week- which kind of facilitated me going in the first place. i listened to her so much that i had to go. i wish i'd had some cash as they had the new record on vinyl and since i have all of it but three songs on mp3 it would've been nice to buy it on vinyl so i'd only have to convert three songs and i'd have it on vinyl for fuck's sake. that's the ideal situation nowadays.
today we went to evanston because i had to buy another screen and a hinge-mount for it. i also got a bonding agent as per nick's advice at the radish patch show- my biggest silk-screening problem last time was that the arigato paks kept sticking to the screen by the ink and when i'd pull them off the ink would end up looking stretched and too thick. i ruined about 10 paks that way alone and it caused me to have a meltdown. i need to do more silk-screening this weekend because i have to start sending copies out for reviews and to cdbaby etc. etc. i emailed 'love, chicago' in the hopes that they would do a profile on us or something. the reason for the renewed silk-screening activity is because the photoemulsion that i made for the first screen is going to expire on monday, so i need to use it. i wanted to make a screen for some t-shirts and i'm trying to come up with a simple design that will work and won't be difficult to screen- and with just one colour. i have a few ideas that i like- one that's the easiest i am beginning to think would work the best. ideally once i come up with a design i'm going to go ahead and prepare the screen and do the exposure so that it's done and i can use it whenever i finally have money to buy some t-shirts and ink with (haw haw haw). i think if i get it done the impending november 3rd show will be a good impetus to try and make some shirts. yes, i'll doubtlessly wait until the absolute last second to do them, as per usual. i should go though because stefanie's going to leave.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

a little better

by the end of yesterday after work i felt like i was joseph k. in 'the trial.' just ask if you don't know what that means- or better yet read the book- it's by franz kafka.
today was better though, i am beginning to understand what my function is. this is of course after i emailed my temp agency asking about the possibility of being moved to 3rd shift. now i would like to give this current job assignment a little more time. i also emailed about all of the fucking days off i'm going to need in the next three months. i didn't mention the possibility of the london trip, since i'd rather just fuck with that once i'm ready to book it i'd say.
i didn't do much today considering that i actually got up at 7:45 to take stefanie to work and drink some tea at the coffeeshop. i witnessed a near-fender bender on the way home- past hazel street (which i didn't know that we had a hazel street here in chicago- but given the deerhunter connection it made me really happy). it was one of those situations where someone decides they're going to go over a double yellow line right in front of a stop light and someone is actually letting them through, but then those who are trying to get into the turn lane don't see the people making the idiot left turn since they're basically coming out of nowhere. there was a teeny little tap. i don't even think that it left a dent in either car, but man- it was close. scary. the dude making the idiot left turn just smiled and drove off. the person who was hit froze for a while and then drove off. how exciting.
i did convert 'pinkerton' to mp3 from my old cassette copy of it- purchased new in 1996 a week after it came out. i also did the dishes, which stefanie told me cheered her up a bit from her frustrating day. she had to deal with call-center employees who don't really speak english very well. a truly ingenious corporate device- outsource call centers to foreign countries in the far east and give them to people there. yes, your call center employees will be totally challenged in the realm of communication as it will be in a language they won't know very well, but this will work to your advantage because your customers will get so frustrated trying to convey their problems to these poor call center employees that they will call much less. it's pretty ingenious. anyone who claims that they just did it for cheap labor is deluding themselves. this way you get cheap labor and you cut off all forms of communication from your customers. i should write a book.

Monday, October 1, 2007

my connection to the outside world

unfortunately this blog will now be my only contact with my friends and loved ones during the working week as i am now working second shift and once i start at the coffee shop, my days will consist of get up at 5 or 6am, go to work, get done at 2pm, go downtown, work some more, go home at 11:15, go to sleep at midnight start over again. i hope that it doesn't kill me. the idea behind this insanity is that this second shift job is most likely just a temporary thing- the likelihood of it lasting more than three months is very low- that figure is in fact very generous of my tolerance of it. it's going to be strictly week-to-week. the training was very long, boring and kind of a long drawn-out process of learning a really complicated way to do something fairly simple. tonight i went in to start and they aren't even having me do the job i was trained to do. it's related in a very abstract and removed way, but what i'll be doing all day (or afternoon, evening and night i should say) is pretty different. today they really didn't even have anything for me to do in the department that i was moved to. at one point i was sticking labels onto folders for an hour because i was wandering around looking for something to do and someone pulled me aside and had me do those. to be honest i wish that that was all i did all day, every day. labels onto envelopes. if that were my sole responsibility for chase that would be divine, but sadly the man has other plans for me.
what is my job? i have no fucking clue. basically moving files and papers and organizing them over and over again and preparing them for their next round of moving around and organizing. working for a corporate behemoth is amazing in its banality. so much sound and fury for so little. that goes for the pay as well. the only reason i'm going to try and stick it out is because working two jobs for a while is a good way to get a good deal of money fairly fast. my plan is to get my studio started. for real. even if i'm not able to get the board and the tape machine the likelihood of getting everything but those two things is not that bad. at worst i should be able to make enough money to buy the microphones i wanted to finish the next album and the vox ac30 i wanted to buy as well. the microphones are kind of the big to-do for the studio. once i have a good smattering of those, the rest should be fairly straightforward. after those two things next would be some little fixings like preamps and headphone amps and extra sets of headphones and whatnot. after that would be a 1/4" analog 2-track tape machine. then board. then 1/2" 16-track tape machine. fairly simple. all told about $6000. maybe.
right now the woman who lives above us is doing some hammering on the ground. it's 12:40am. i sometimes think that she's a drug-addict of some kind because she keeps the most crack hours of anyone i've ever seen. up and hammering shit into the floor at 1am, but also up and stomping around bright and early at about 6am. can't figure it out. i appreciate that she tolerates the considerable amount of noise that i make, but this is fucking ridiculous.
i'm off to sleep now i think.