Friday, May 30, 2008

listening to some sad bastard shit

i'm at the coffee shop at the moment listening to one of my depressing diary mixes. this one i made before i went to bed one night- the date on it is the 27th. i usually just date them and then post them. here's the tracklist-

1. nightsong- sian alice group
2. you want the candy- raveonettes
3. night of the lotus eaters- nick cave and the bad seeds
4. red rooster- the warlocks
5. duress- swervedriver
6. so mystifying- the kinks
7. just like tom thumb's blues- bob dylan
8. all night long- spectrum
9. promise- mirah
10. you and me- neil young
11. twist the knife- neko case
12. baby i'm just a fool- spiritualized
13. hunter- portishead
14. favorite uncle- bardo pond
15. blue moon revisited (song for elvis)- the cowboy junkies
16. forever- flying saucer attack
17. goodnight irene- leadbelly

i was thinking of adding in 'heart of snow' by black mountain when i was listening to it yesterday. there was something else too but it eludes me now.
it's rainy today. i like. it's a bit muggy. i stayed up too late last night and now i don't think i'll be able to get to sleep tonight, so i'll be wiped at work tomorrow. that's ok.
yesterday we did some awesome sounding vocals in the stairwell. 'fade to white' and another song that doesn't really have a title but does, however, have everything else. i wanted to call it either 'i gave you petals' or 'petals in a rainstorm' but stefanie doesn't think those are a good idea. i can see why given that we already have a song and album called 'petals.' a bit redundant. we haven't even gotten 'down to sleep' released officially yet and already the next ep is pretty much finished. i think of the 8 songs i have at least half of them totally finished, one just needs violin, one needs some other strings (probably just viola) and some minor cosmetic stuff, one needs the drums redone and the last one is kind of still on the drawing board in a sense- i've got the meat of it, but it needs a few more things to flesh it out, which i'm not entirely sure of yet- violin and glockenspiel and some spacy vocals. possibly a few more things for colour and texture. that would be the one i was going to have stefanie's grandmother sing, but it doesn't really look like that's the plan at the moment anymore.
i dunno. doledrums. i need money, money, money. big surprise. so far the current tally is about $3500 for the rest of the year. i'm trying to sell my digital piano at the moment on so far no one's biting at all. this will allow us to release the 'down to sleep' album. i'm starting to understand that i don't think that all three albums will be able to be released this year. i haven't given up on two. my standards for these records is inordinately high- that tally includes the desire to get a 2-track tape machine to mixdown to, a bunch of microphones and another preamp, the projected total cost for the tour (which my dad said he's going to give us some money to help us afford to get out to california) and i haven't even factored in the cost for the 'all hope is blind record.' the microphones are for the recording of that album. we are going to try and do it live. a few of the songs are finished. i'm going to try to book some time in mid/late october to come to kc and do some recording with billy- consider yourself warned sir. i'm not sure how many trips it will take- but quite a few i'd imagine. i'm going to have to sacrifice my weekends to get this done. basically i'm going to start looking into booking that stuff now so i can take advantage of the low megabus fares. it's not out of the question to me to pay $2 for a few weeks to travel down to kc for my weekends for one full solid day of recording. ridiculous. but necessary. that's how important it is to me to have billy play on these records. plus the last time we worked it was so easy. i think it only took a few hours to get quite a bit done.
i meant to write an entry about something personal. i have again failed so far. i feel like my life is being whittled down to practically this tiny little pinhole through which i look out at the rest of the world. the pinhole is basically just making and releasing my music and playing shows. that seems to be all i can think of at the moment. i can hardly even find anything on the internet that holds my attention for more than a few minutes. i don't know what it is but there is an urgency that's going a bit wonky and out of control this year. no idea why or what it is. i recorded a song the other day that i didn't record the vocals and guitar at the same time because i had to use a rhythm track. when i went to record the vocal i couldn't sing it anymore. i'd done the whole rest of the track, worked on another song, ate dinner, watched a few things and then when i went back the vocal was gone it seemed like. scary. and a bit upsetting as well.
that said the last time i went to kansas city i didn't work on anything and it was quite nice for a change. i think it was because i brought home plenty of dvds to watch and the sheer amount of drinking we did. discovery- beer no longer makes us drunk. a bottle of sixth glass does, but at the moment we can't seem to drink other beers fast enough to have an effect. billy took me on a drive around the paseo as well, an area i've never even seen in kansas city. it was most interesting. and enlightening. we didn't make it out to lawrence this time around either. everything else was just too darn hectic what with jake and adrienne being in town and everything. that was pretty fun as well- i think i would've enjoyed it more if my allergies hadn't been bugging me so much. i feel kind of bad, stefanie showed me a bunch of pictures from when i was over there hanging around on the back porch and i look so pissed off and grumpy in all of them and now i'm a bit worried that people thought that i didn't want to be there- which wasn't true- i was just in so much agony because my eyes were killing me. i finally bought some eyedrops. i've only had to use them once since i've been back. i think that kansas city is an awful place for my allergies. i don't know why. here it's mostly just sinusy dry nose type of stuff. after two days there i wanted to rip my eyeballs from their sockets to stop the itching. the heat wasn't so bad. when we got back, though, we had that muggy memorial day, which i wasn't too keen on mainly because we had just spent so much time at my parents' place which was air-conditioned and at stefanie's parents' house (which her mom keeps at 60 degrees at all times- which i really liked when we were there- call me strange).
my mix is almost over, so i think i should be going mebbe...
see you later. i'll leave you with this stones video that was making me laugh last night-

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

born on a black day...

i am now facing a bit of a moral quandary- i have not bought 'songs in a&e' on regular cd as i was hoping that i could get the import version of it that comes in a book, possibly with a bonus dvd. i post on the board frequently and currently have heard no report of the existence of a bonus dvd. i have figured out that since i didn't pre-order a copy on double green vinyl that i will never be able to get one for a reasonable price as those have already sold out. that was available only through rough trade's webpage or at the instore that happened in their store (which is in london, of course) and i wasn't even aware that it could be ordered through their website. there are rumors floating around that more copies of the green vinyl will be made available through the official spiritualized website, but so far that doesn't seem to be happening. i've heard that the deluxe version of the cd (which costs about $40 to buy on import here in the u.s.) isn't really worth the extra money apart from the fact that it isn't a standard jewel case and there are pages and pages of pictures of needles. i'd like to buy the regular black vinyl and have found where to do so fairly easily- which would be nice since i already have a digital copy of it and spiritualized vinyl is almost always guaranteed to be worth something someday- i also bit on the 'amazing grace' vinyl version that was spread out over three 12 inches (and i still bought it on cd when it came out). i think i'd most like to have the green vinyl one simply because i love coloured vinyl, love to listen to music on vinyl, already have the album on mp3, but might have already missed the boat so i'm not sure if i should just buy the regular vinyl version and chance the coloured one turning up later. i guess that i'm just going to wait and see what happens (if anything). items on the spiritualized site tend to cost an arm and a leg as their pricing is always in pounds sterling and often even a bit spendy if you were living in the u.k. and earning money in pounds sterling (i.e. all of the t-shirts are £20 for instance- which is about $40 for a t-shirt). i don't know- i am beginning to think that this is why special editions and whatnot are introduced in the first place- just to get people to spend more money buying the same record on multiple formats which has nothing to do with the process of listening to music. i'm beginning to think i should just buy the domestic cd for $12 and then buy the vinyl later if i feel like it. i heard a rumor that it was coming out on vinyl on june 7th or something like that. i'm sure they'll have it at permanent and i'll be notified the second it comes in. i've also heard that the regular cd has incredibly beautiful artwork and is well worth the price, plus i'd finally own the actual cd. *le sigh*. i already love the shit out of the record- i guess that's the important thing. bottom line i probably should've waited.
not much else to report really- my digital piano is listed on craigslist for about $800. no one has emailed about it at all, but it has only been listed for a day.
i bought two cds in the last 48 hours- the raveonettes- 'lust, lust, lust' and spectrum- 'forever alien.' my review so far- i think the spectrum album is kind of ridiculous. it was at least used and cheap. i need to stick with sonic boom's guitar-based stuff because i love that stuff- 'highs lows and heavenly blows' and 'soul kiss (glide divine)' are beautiful as is 'spectrum' and that compilation, but his synth stuff i am not very enamored with- it just sounds horribly dated and cheesy. plus there are vocorders, which i'm not a fan of. i guess you could call it a personal prejudice. i dunno.
the raveonettes record is a lot better- i really love that. i listened to the whole thing today during my commute. i kind of understand why they're compared to the jesus and mary chain, but that said i don't really think that whenever i listen to them so much. mainly i think they just get compared to them because they have noisy guitars over 60's pop song structures. strangely i think that brmc sound(ed) more like jamc despite the fact that they used the noisy guitars less.
i think that's about all i have to say of worth right now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

swervie luv

i'm really into swervedriver right now ever since i found 'mezcal head' at permanent records. it was basically a brand new copy and it was only $9 or something. it is so awesome and the tracks from 'juggernaut rides' that were from 'mezcal head' were mostly shortened (bogus). so i've listened to it a bunch of times and it reignited my swervedriver obsession that had lain dormant for a while. i started scavenging for b-sides once again. i bought another one of those out of print singles after i found a gold-mine of them through some mp3 blog that then went dead all of a sudden (as in yesterday). there are nearly 40 b-sides and i've listened to the 25-30 that i have and even their b-sides are fucking amazing. i've located the other two singles that i don't have of theirs.
tonight we are playing a show. i'm hoping it'll be brilliant as always. there were a few shaky moments during our last electric show, so i'm hoping that tonight we'll really be awesome. we only have 30 minutes, but we managed to practise a 5-song set in about 30 minutes last night. with our new setup it's much easier to be set up much faster- it usually only takes us about 10-15 minutes to set up and we can be off the stage in about 10. it'd be nice if that meant that we could play longer at the places we play at, but i'm sure that won't be the case tonight. we're playing with cains and abels, which will be really nice because they just expanded to a four piece (with cello- very nice) and seemed to have just written a bunch of new awesome songs. i was going to probably go this show anyway, so it's kind of cool that we get to play it as well. i'm going to try and get a show at empty bottle or schuba's for june or possibly august, but other than that i'm anticipating that the rest of the summer will be pretty quiet for us.
i have faith that the tour will come together as so far i've gotten a positive response from the office of doctor glorious (an awesome sounding house in seattle that does shows) basically telling me that they'll give us a show whenever we want one and then i emailed jim who does the 'what's this called?' radio show on kpsu and he gave us the go-ahead to play live on his show, so now all we really have to do is get a portland show set up somewhere else (i've emailed metal but haven't heard anything from them), a show in the bay area, and a show in l.a. and that'll do it. very nice. as it is now we will rent a car, drive to seattle, play and then drive to portland that night so that we're there for three full days before we drive down to seadrift for my dad's birthday celebration, play a show (or two hopefully), and then down to l.a. for a show and then drive back to chicago for the next few days. this will get us home in time for my bloody valentine and nick cave (who just added a second night that we're going to go to as well). it's going to be a busy summer for going to awesome shows- warlocks and nina nastasia/jim white are playing back to back in june, shit even swervedriver are playing, my dad's buying us tickets to see feist at ravinia in july- which'll be pretty sweet. yes, that's right- i like feist.
in july we discussed going down to kansas city to play a show and trying to do a daytrotter session on the way back. haw haw haw. it's an idea. hopefully it works out. hopefully the record will come out in late june and we'll do an instore at permanent if that's the case. after the september tour i still want to do a show where we have live strings and play the new songs. that would take some doing, but at least we finally met a band that we'd like to do the show with and it would probably work. i haven't heard from chris yet, which is kind of a shame- i was really hoping he'd record with us again as i really liked the way he played. i'd like him to do some live stuff with us as well at some point. soon the ep with be done hopefully- got another track finished last week- well, it just needs some strings and then it'll be done.
so far things are going okay as far as the allergies type thing is going on- my eyes did almost swell up the last few nights and are itchy as all hell, but i seem to have a few moments of respite.
oh yeah, and i'm going to be 29 this weekend. yipes.
my project tomorrow is to get going again on the 'angels floating on the head of a pin' video- which is supposed to be animated. i did a few tests for it a few weeks ago and then ended up figuring out how to fix it which would require rescanning of all of the images. what's more i need some leaves for a part of it and the leaves have just arrived so now i can get down to business- it's going to be pretty sweet though. hopefully it'll work out. i need to finish drawing all of the drawings and then it'll be all ready.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

that's how you sing amazing grace

i'm listening to the latest ref disc of 'down to sleep.' it's the same as the other one- it just has different fades, namely all of the tracks crossfade into each other and i had to remove a weird noise that my cd burner makes that made it onto the end of one of the tracks. rrrr.
i didn't realise that i hadn't updated since before we went to fort wayne. the show was really fantastic! we lagged a bit towards the middle only messing up one song really badly (it was 'crawl to you'- i couldn't hear stefanie playing the drums and then i got confused at the end and it sent the whole thing into a tailspin because neither of us could tell what the other was doing), but the rest was really fantastic. we played 'sloba' live for the first time and it fucking killed which is what we were expecting. it was loud, loud, loud and achieved the proper effect. at one point some drunk girl came over and was telling us 'it's too much! it's too much! the noise is too overwhelming!' and she got kind of upset at us because she was drunk and misheard everything we said to her and got defensive. what was really funny about it was how it totally didn't bother us at all. as i noticed that she was getting more and more upset i was like 'i'm sorry, we'll fix the problem.' at which point she got all apologetic and i was like 'it's okay, don't worry about it.' and then we didn't change anything at all and it was fine. everyone at the show who talked to us was like 'i'm sorry about that drunk girl harassing you- that was such bullshit' and we were like 'that happens to us a lot- it's not a big deal.' i'm beginning to think that if at least one person in the room doesn't beg us to turn it down a bit we aren't doing it right. all told i really liked that place- and the people were all super nice. i'd love to play there again. i had my doubts walking in- an effect that's been happening since after the elbo room debacle (you see, no one told us to turn it down at that show and it was a terrible show).
n-e-way we have another show on the 15th at ronny's- which is a place i've never been to. i emailed the mpshows goons and asked if they had anything for us at ronny's and mentioned something about how i noticed all of these bands that i liked were playing there- namely cains and ables (who we played with once way back in december of 2005) and they just offered us a slot on that show. kind of nice since i was thinking of going to see it since they expanded into a four piece and dave writes such amazing songs and i happened upon their myspace and it looks like they have a fresh batch of them coming out soon.
so that's excitering. now that the final master is finished i think that it might be time to start listing the electric piano on craigslist and looking for a free upright to buy.
it'd be nice to get the new record finished soon too. stefanie is really dragging her feet about doing her vocals for it- i can't quite figure out why. she also has a drum part to do, but again dragging her feet. i have about eight decent songs. one of them the lyrics aren't finished yet- i have one really great verse, but that's it. that song also needs a violin part written- it is a droning masterpiece if i do say so myself. it might be the slowest song we've ever written. it's 44bpm. mike told me that most metronome's don't go that low. hee hee!
apart from all of that i had my first serious summer depression episode a few days ago and it was mainly over the music selecting politics at my new job. everyone there is already sick of everything i select to listen. mainly will just seems to only be in the mood to listen to raucous loud shit or weird electronic elevator music and he's been dominating the airwaves there. i was playing the cure unplugged set that i have on my ipod when i was opening with liz because i figured he wouldn't be there to hear it and it's a very upbeat cure set and also acoustic so good for the morning time and then he showed up and the second it was over he switched it and we listened to shit he picked all day long. at one point he said something about sad bastard music and then he puts on 'kid a.' ah, these bohemian jobs. you've gotta love it. *vomits*
if you're still reading i'm going to elaborate on the causes and problems caused by this summer depression. i have met a handful of people in my life who suffer it as well (and silently as well). i get violently depressed during the summer months for a few reasons- 1) my allergies awaken as early as march, taper off until the dogwoods and other trees start to flower, go into overdrive towards mid-to-late may and usually stay at a level that can only be described as difficult and stressful to deal with until as late as mid-to-late june. that's a good four solid months of all-allergy action. i've tried every kind of allergy medication on the market, and several that are prescription only and the conclusion i've come to is that they will work moderately for one season and that's it. what can lessen the symptoms and make me semi-functional is tea with honey. tea geschwender used to sell a looseleaf stinging nettles tea that worked the best, but now it's gone and my stash hath run dry. i've been on pretty much nothing for the past week. it's fine for now (it helps to be busy at work and that at least distracts from it for a period of a few hours), but when the heat and humidity hits and the symptoms worsens it becomes extremely stressful to deal with. i try my best not to complain and rant and rave too much. i really do. usually now i'll only enlighten people on why i don't enjoy summer if they ask me about it. i try to keep it kind of lighthearted. so that's reason number 1. 2) when you experience seasonal affective disorder during the summertime you must suffer silently because everyone else is so happy that the warm weather is finally here that hearing you bitch and moan about how miserable you because of the heat ruins their enjoyment of it and poops their party. i say this half-sarcastically, but also fairly seriously. i get kind of bummed on rainy days sometimes because i love them so much but usually have to spend the day hearing people bitch and moan about how rainy and grey it is and how much they hate it when it rains. it doesn't ruin it for me, but i do find it a bit irritating. during the warmer days when i'm really feeling awful invariably everyone will come up to me going on about what a wonderful, beautiful day it is. since you're suffering silently and can't really find anyone to talk to about how last night you couldn't sleep because your eyes were bugging you to the point that you wanted to rip them out and your nose is so bone dry that you wake up in the middle of the night because you have rivers of blood coming out of your nostrils and since you're getting so sleep-deprived and constantly uncomfortable while everyone else is so happy you also start to feel incredibly isolated and freakish. this is where the suicidal feelings come in because it's a long time to feel isolated and freakish without getting suicidal. i try not to and i'm generally pretty clear headed about these things but there are moments when those thoughts pass through your head. what's more i've noticed that people don't like to hear depressing music when it's dreary outside, but while you'd think that the opposite is true it's not- they don't want to hear it when it's nice out either. they don't want to hear it period because evidently their lives are so happy that even the mention of sadness will ruin their little perfect world so you also can't listen to depressing music when it's nice out because that will ruin their 'nice day.' for me i listen to 'sad bastard music' mostly because i feel incredibly isolated in the world and intrinsically different and out of step with about 99% of people that i meet (all bohemians included) so i tend to listen to a lot of sad music because being isolated and different from most people makes you feel like there's something wrong with you. sad music usually is often an ally waving a flag for a fellow isolated person to see. you listen to it and it reminds that even though you hardly ever meet anyone else who understands you someone out there is right there with you and it's invaluably comforting. if i listen to too much happy music it begins to drive me insane. songs like 'fire and rain' by james taylor make me equally insane because that is an artificial sad music song- a sadness that everyone feels (which is why it's so acceptable to people who normally can't stand to listen to sad music). to someone who's really isolated it seems incredibly trite and precious. it just doesn't cut the mustard. also people tend to lump slow music (even if it's loud) in with 'sad bastard music.' i also listen to a lot of loud, slow music- which is also enough to ruin a happy person's day.
so this is why i'm in such an awful mood because i now see that this will be my summer and all i can do is try to get through it. i will at least most likely write a slew of amazing songs (most of my music is written during the summer months).

Friday, May 2, 2008

there ain't nothing you can give me that i need to own

we need a chicago show folks! i'm not talking about these laid-back restrained affairs either, i'm talking about a place where we can turn it up and make some ears bleed. i feel like i'm going to explode right now. it's quite annoying. we are getting met with deafening indifference whenever i email anyone about playing anywhere. i hope that we can get some shit set up with one of the bands we're playing with tonight- they sound really good on myspace. i'm pretty keyed up at the moment. i don't really know or understand why. i'm anxious to get the tour booked because the sooner it's booked the sooner we know we're going for sure.
last night we both drank our sixth glass bottles. that shit fucks you up- i don't know if you've ever had one, dear reader, but i highly recommend them. it's a drunkenness that i've never really felt from anything else- kind of like how you feel when you drink a bunch of brass monkeys but less nauseous and even more mellow. it's a happy mellow glowing drunk. i almost wish that we could drink those before we play. not a full one, mind you. it's such a drag that someone has to drive home afterwards. this is the sixth glass brewed by boulevard in kansas city. it comes in a champagne-sized bottle and my dad bought me one when i went home once back in october and i drank the whole thing before i even noticed it was having an effect- it just creeps up on you because the beer is so smooth and tasty.
i haven't done much today- i did get stuck out in the downpour today. my jeans, shoes and socks are all still wet. i'm not going to change them. why bother? it's probably just going to rain more today. i found it real difficult to get a decent amount of sleep last night after drinking that sixth glass stuff. i went in to tuck stefanie in and evidently fell asleep within seconds because i woke up at 1:30am and had to get up and find things to do for a few hours before going back to sleep. then i woke up at 9:30 and just got up and got moving. it's taken me all day to get to the coffee shop (which is where i am now). i wanted to go to reckless to see if they had a few 7"es i'm looking for (the new nina nastasia one and the new spiritualized single) but i don't think i'll have time to now as i have to pick up the car at 4pm and then pack it up so we can get our asses down to fort wayne. so that's about the size of it. i hope the show goes well. we are armed with a new tear-the-place-to-pieces set ender. it's called 'sloba.' i'm so excited to play it for the first time.
anyway, i guess i should get moving then, or at least end this entry.
oh yeah, btw- the new mastered version of the 'down to sleep' album is up on our website. the links in the entry down below will work as well as they were overwritten when i uploaded everything. otherwise-
click here
or go here-