Friday, March 28, 2008

the album is now done!

whoohoo! i can't believe it. so quickly too. i didn't feel like doing anything today, but got a little inspiration going and finished 'ahn' with a new guitar part that i made up as i went along. by the third take i finished the part while it was being recorded. awesome! stefanie's drum part for the song was okay as well- i'd thought that she needed to redo it and we were going to do that tomorrow after practise and neither of us were looking forward to it, but voila! it's done! i did not finish all 24 songs (yet), but i plan on keeping the work going on them. but i am about 99.9% positive that this will be the final tracklisting- not a dud in the bunch. the song titles are links as well, so you can listen to these initial mixes that i am very happy with so far, so they may end up being final mixes in which case they will be mixed down to dat and then cdr to be sent away to be mastered at magneto as always. please listen and give some feedback-

the sun is so bright...
don't go
to the sky
crawl to you
you turn down
angels floating on the head of a pin
down to sleep
so goodbye...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

that's entertainment

these videos on youtube are haunting me at the moment. please watch...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

the album is nearly finished

there are only a handful of things left to do in order to finish the album. i never mentioned it here, but the violinist worked out in a huge way. we got three songs finished. in retrospect it might've been wise to get one more song done as another song kind of pulled up from lagging behind and made itself a serious album contender when i finished a really fantastic alternate version of it. it's been in and out of the running order since the beginning.
i downloaded a free version of photoshop to do the artwork, but found out to my surprise that we don't have the minimum requirements to run it, so it sits on our desktop insulting me. that's probably for the best since the whole thing isn't even finished yet.
if you noticed i've added some blog links. i found two sought after spectrum albums off of one- 'soul kiss (glide divine)' and 'highs, lows and heavenly blows' that are impossible to find for a reasonable price since they're both long out of print. i figured it was time to share the love with whoever it is who actually reads this thing. i'd also like to get some music up on here at some point.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

oh sloba, save me...

this thing is a fucking GEM! i recorded the vocals for the new song for the album- which is called 'sloba.' the pedal depicted above proved integral to the astounding sound that i was able to achieve on this song when i did the guitars for it last week. i'm listening to a record right now, but i think i'm going to go to the stairwell and try and get the reverb recorded for it after the record is over. i did the vocal a different way- bouncing over and over again until the vocal was done on the tape rather than doing it seperately and then sampling it and trying to get it to sync up. i wish i'd done the whole record that way- it would've been a lot easier, but i guess that's how you learn... doh!
just read an excellent interview with jason pierce on the observer's website (that's an english newspaper that's a pullout section of the guardian, which i read every day when i was living in london- it was a requirement for my journalism class). it was very inspiring and is pushing the very limits of my unbearable anxiousness to hear the new spiritualized album. may 26th is not soon enough dammit! as if that weren't enough someone on the spiritualized board posted a clip recorded for a radio broadcast of the 'soul on fire' single. fucking excellent song!
conversely i read another anton newcombe interview after checking my myspace and (like the other interviews with him that i've been reading lately) it was yet another eye-rolling experience. he acts like a completely arrogant, self-righteous prick in it and it's completely unbearable to read. it made me want to delete him as a myspace friend. it was seriously completely off-putting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

got so much done yesterday i didn't even have to time to surf the net

it's nice to have days like that every once in a while- internetless days. it reminds you of what it was like back in the early nineties. i suspect that i could possibly be even more prolific if it weren't for the fucking internet. however, if there were no internet no one would be listening to our stuff on the site where i just set up most of our releases for people to listen to and download. so far there are some really nice people there and the response has been positive. i like that.
anyway, yesterday after i woke up and stefanie dropped me off at home and i went back to sleep i woke up and tried to figure out if i should go to the coffee shop or stay home and try and get some guitars recorded. one part in particular was nagging me, so i get everything set up and did it on the first try and it was perfect. it was a song we've played live a bunch and i'd already done the guitar for- 'crawl to you.' so that one was done and i figured i should try another one. so i did it and the first take had a few little ticks in it and the microphones went dead a few times at this certain point in the song where the microphones always seem to go dead- some weird voodoo kind of shit. i could tell the neighbors were walking around up there so i thought i might stop for the day, but then i was walking around in our apartment and it appeared that they had left during that first take, so i did it again and got it bang zoom immediately and then did another song. and then i did the framework and 2 guitar parts for that new song 'sloba' (which we've also been practising a bunch). it was amazing- both parts were first takes and i did things in each that i hadn't planned on and just came to me in the moment and were inspired moments that made it onto tape. that is my favourite kind of recording and one of the things i love the most about my method. awesome! so i got guitar parts for four songs finished- so basically all told the guitar parts for the album proper are all finished! the violinist is coming by on sunday to record those last few string parts that are straggling behind. i need to do some vocal re-synching on a few songs and then everything will be done. i still need to pick out a tracklisting and stefanie has a few drum parts to finish. i would like to get all of the other songs finished as well and i've been working on it, but i'm not sure it's going to happen.
but it's all very exciting- the record's almost done. the only piece of equipment i wasn't able to procure for the recording was the vox ac30, but that's okay because i was still able to move the guitar sound into new territory. i'm not even sure if i want one of those amps anymore. maybe someday. i didn't use jay's amp because i wasn't sure if he had the original speakers because he said i could use it as long as i keep the volume at a reasonable level. i think anyone would agree that this is not the case with me, so i figured i should probably just not bother with it. if they were the original speakers and i fucked them up that would make me feel really awful. i played on it and got it to work (the reverb channel's fucked up) and it sounded really nice, but when i was looking to buy one i played a few twins that had the original speakers but also had a ton of high-pitched buzz and the guy at midwestern buy and sell told me that that was because they still had the original speakers and that the previous owners had fucked them up by playing through them too loud. so there you have it.
i've also rediscovered a lost album that i used to listen to a lot- beth orton- 'central reservation' which i've always liked more than 'trailer park.' i bought it on cassette right when it came out and i listened to it until it got all demagnetized and fucked up. i might not even have the cassette anymore but even if i did i didn't want to convert it because it wouldn't've sounded very good. but they had a partial copy of it at jay and diana's so i just ripped the tracks they had and searched for the other tracks online and found all of them but one- can't really remember the name of it- it's been a while. i never really knew the names of the tracks anyhow, except for a few.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

sian alice group show last night

last night we went out to see sian alice group play at the empty bottle despite the following facts- 1) i had to be awake at 8:30am the next morning, 2) the bill was expanded from three acts to four and finally 3) that whole 'daylight savings time' ridiculousness making the previous two difficulties all the more difficult. i'm really glad we went- it was totally worth it. work on less than five hours sleep was not that cool but they were really good live. the place was very empty as well- i'd say there were maybe 30 people there. this is kind of funny and ironic because i spent most of december begging to be added to this show and instead they added two weird noise bands. it was a ridiculous pairing to be certain. i was bummed about that because i think that, for once, we would've been in half of a good pairing, but that's ok. the show was still super good and it made me feel a bit better to see that a band of their stature who has gotten the sacred pitchfork seal of approval falls victim to the same problems that we have- getting people off their asses to come see you play. i was expecting the show to be absolutely packed to the rafters after all of the fawning i'd seen about them in the local press, but, as i really need to learn, that doesn't mean that anyone actually listens to the press.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the fear is coming...

not to be dramatic or anything, but i think it might be in the mail.
i just spent a while looking up people i used to know on myspace. that's usually not a good sign. it's also not the best feeling.
it seems like when you have really strong feelings for someone at any given time you don't even really see them as a person- just some kind of idea of a person that you see and perceive (project even?) when you look at them. it takes some time and some perspective to really see that sort of thing. i know that i did this an awful lot when i was young. what brought this on you say? i was riding the train to work this morning and i thought that i saw someone who looked like laura mcrae and it made me think about what it would feel like to talk to her. it wasn't a good feeling- mainly because i don't know about that ridiculous little letter i wrote to unburden myself. it helped me get past that whole obsession, but if she ever got it and read it it probably just passed the burden on to her, which makes me feel very bad for having done that. what a terrifying thing to have to live with. but i guess i've kind of paid a price too- i dredge this up and agonize over it.
i dunno. i guess i'm a bit intense whether i like to admit it or not and not in a good way i don't think. it's something that's a bit scary even to me.
i'm not going to make any sense right now.
i'm listening to this elliott smith bootleg compilation that i made. it's about 40 songs long and goes from 1994 to 2001. the bootlegs are especially sad now because they capture these incredibly intimate moments that heightens the sadness in his music. plus he tells all kinds of stories and muses a bit oftentimes. he also fucks up a lot and it just all kind of brings all of the humanity of it into such sharp focus. about a week after he died i was driving around listening to 'either/or' and i'd turned '2:45am' up really high because it's my favourite song on the record and because it's also at a very low level and driving around downtown portland i could suddenly hear all of this incredibly intimate stuff on the recording that i'd never been able to hear before- you could hear his tongue hitting his teeth- his breathing on the rhythm track, the creaking of a chair he was sitting on. it was just so strange in a way that's impossible to describe. normally when you listen to recordings it's stuff that gets covered up and disguised or edited out. i've gotten stuff like that all over my recordings and it just seemed at that moment to be so incredibly precious and miraculous. it's these strange and tiny seemingly insignificant sounds that are suddenly captured for all time. the fact that these tiny 'accidents' have outlived the person who made them makes them all the more unsettling. the more i go and continue making recordings and releasing records, the more i begin to believe that there is no such thing as an accident. it's very odd.
how this ties in with the whole myspace nostalgia-fueled guilt i'm not real sure. i guess that the unsettling feeling i describe is the same way that i feel when i think about things i've done or said or even thought in the past about real people that i'm ashamed of now. on a recording it's a beautiful thing. in real life it's just unsettling in a bad way. it never ceases to amaze me the amount of things in our lives that are solely ruled by chance and randomness. and luck. i don't feel like i have much luck. or charisma.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

a mixtape

i made a playlist on my ipod. when i was at lorna's laces for a while i made diary mixes. it looks like i've only made two both when i was clawing at straws trying to stay there. i just made another one so i thought i'd post the tracklisting and some artwork i thought was kind of appropriate-

1. shine a light- spiritualized- 11.26.07- boston, ma- mfa (acoustic mainlines bootleg)
2. don't go- sonic boom- what came before after
3. salka- sigur rós- hvarf
4. in the morning- shannon wright- let in the light
5. 100 knives- mirah- you think it's like this, but it's really like this
6. nightime- elliott smith- 2.26.00- chicago, il- empty bottle (acoustic show bootleg)
7. will to love- neil young- american stars 'n bars
8. the body- nina nastasia- run to ruin
9. don't smoke in bed- nina simone- the definitive collection
10. burger queen- placebo- without you i'm nothing
11. all i need- radiohead- in rainbows
12. cherubs- arab strap- elephant shoe
13. because- the beatles- abbey road
14. 23- blonde redhead- 23
15. my back pages- bob dylan- greatest hits vol. 2
16. under the milky way- the church- starfish
17. catch- darker my love- darker my love
18. leather and lace- lee hazlewood- cowboy in sweden
19. where is the love- mojave 3- ask me tomorrow
20. look for me (i'll be around)- neko case
21. backstreet girl- the rolling stones- flowers
22. dreamless days- the warlocks- heavy deavy skull lover
23. french vacation- the walkmen- everyone who pretended to like me is gone
24. fabulous muscles- xiu xiu- fabulous muscles
25. with you- zaza- n/a

haven't gotten much work done in the past few weeks. we had some really great drum tracks that we finished a few weekends ago, but everything else has been kind of a bust. it's been a bit of a struggle to get back into a normal headspace. i don't know why. i spent about two weeks being ridiculously sensitive to everything- i spilled a bucket of mop water at work during this time and almost went to the bathroom to cry about it. very weird- not something i'd normally give two shits about. i seem to have gotten back to normal though, which is good. at least i'm not that sensitive. i think that the full moon got everyone kind of wacked out for a while because i noticed that a lot of people were awfully touchy as well following that event.
i found a violin player who seems good to go through a posting on craigslist so i'm trying to get a recording date set up to get the three key tracks for the finishing of the album recorded asap so that if he flakes on me then i'll at least have gotten those three done. that will help the little creative blockage that's been going on because while i was totally worthless with recording stuff i did get two more final mixes for the album- 'down to sleep' and 'the sun is so bright...' that makes about four total. we also got a nice glockenspiel part laid down for 'don't go' that was kind of inspiring- we accidentally happened upon a really easy way to get the sound that i was after and didn't even know it. i also reworked a song that had kind of been counted out from competition, and have been playing it in my room and it's been sounding really great, so that might knock it back into the running- the ep afterwards is changing shapes as well constantly.
i wonder if i should post these tracks or a zip file of the whole thing. if anyone wants to hear this two hour mix, leave a comment and i'll do it- otherwise nevermind for now.