Thursday, July 31, 2008

safely said- a landmark week

some crazy stuff happened this week- we firmed up about six shows, two of which were originally unsolicited. one- we're playing a fundraiser for a local literary magazine on the 7th, playing the record bar in kansas city on the 8th, playing live on wzrd here in chicago on the 16th, a record release show at the empty bottle on the 3rd of september and then the tour starts in minneapolis on the 13th. we're playing at a place called the terminal, which to me sounds like a totally divey hole-in-the-wall kind of place which means it could go either way. stefanie's and my attitude is 'well, whatever...' i'm mainly just hoping it isn't too awful. the guy from big v's told us to try and get a show there and most of the bands that have played at big v's are good so i assume he wouldn't have sent us over there if he'd thought that it would be a bad place for us- after all he would know better than us. we also firmed up the show in oakland on the 23rd too. it's not a shabby tour anymore either- we basically need about two or three more shows to come through and then it will be an incredibly worthwhile trip. so far i haven't heard back from two or three places in san francisco proper, only one place in davis- basically the guy at DAM house gave me a few other email addresses for davis and sacramento and told me if those don't work out then he would set something up at DAM house- but it can't be too loud because it's a sunday night. last is the l.a. show. i sent the cd off. we'll see what comes of that. it should have arrived by now. i've been keeping my eye on the smell's website as well to see if a bill pops up at which point i will try to contact the bands and the venue to see if we can hop onto the bill. honestly if it doesn't work out i will not be heartbroken- although it is a shorter drive from l.a. to here than it is from san francisco. strange since it's so far south and west- you'd think it'd take forever but it's faster.
so i'm waiting for a meteor to hit the earth and knock it off of its normal rotation. this sort of thing never happens to us. fortunately we also have a rolodex of promotional addresses and people to bother before the tour as we're going to try something called 'promotion.' it just might work, who knows? we're definitely going to promote the show in minneapolis- i think that that might actually be something that could be a saving grace about playing somewhere where you're not 100% sure of. it's the least you can do.
we have been very encouraged by the initial response to the new record that we've received. it's been very positive. shit, there's been a reaction at all. i guess in a lot of ways we've kind of figured out what we're doing with this one. real drums make it all make sense. woohoo!
i've been getting into lots of new music in unsavory ways lately. i have a backlog of debt at the moment. stefanie loaned me $200 to cover the unexpected extra costs of pressing 'down to sleep' (cdman used to include the shipping costs in the amount they quoted you, but that has changed evidently). i've paid about half of that. i still owed her some money for the ft. wayne trip charges- again unexpected charges popped up. we know the drill now. the kansas city trip is going to cost us some serious money too. i hope we get paid a significant chunk of it, but that would have to be quite a bit of money indeed. all told it's probably going to cost about $320. we booked it before we knew that igo charges you mileage past a certain point if you reserve a car for an entire day. this makes sense really- they probably don't want to encourage people to do what we're doing in their cars.
the 'songs in a & e' green vinyl debacle goes on. after getting so unbelievably upset about what's been going on i finally hatched a plan that i'm fairly happy with- since i still want the record i placed an order through their website. i now have a confirmation number through the site. i am going to wait until the vinyl has shipped before trying to open a dispute and getting my $50 back from them. i've contacted every email address that they have in most of the interactions i've had with them and no one has responded at all. so once i know that the record is safely in the mail i'm going to leave some nasty feedback. i've never had to do that on ebay before and i'm not really relishing it. this is about the third or fourth problem i've had. speaking of which my tube preamp should probably be coming in the mail soon. i think that that was a problem that was taken care of a week or so ago. probably another case of them not wanting to ship it to me because i won it for very cheap. that's the new thing- if you win something for very cheap the seller's will take your money and not send it to you unless you hassle them. very fun. stefanie is suggesting that i don't bother buying items on ebay any more. this is very bad because coming up is the recording of the 'all hope is blind' album for which i was planning on buying a bunch of nicer new microphones- i'd mainly like to try an sm81 to record the strings because i think it'll turn out way nicer and then i wanted to get some ksm27s for vocals, drum overheads and as ambient mics for things like recording reverb in the stairwell. had i gotten into that sleep study i wanted to use the money possibly to buy a bunch of api preamps to make things sound nicer. not sure how that's going to go now, but i haven't given up hope just yet. i just thought they'd be nicer to use for the drums than what i currently use, although after listening to the newest mixes from the 'dandelions' ep the drums sound quite nice as does pretty much everything else. the recordings sound surprisingly clean and clear consider how ridiculously cheap everything i use is. it should sound like a giant slab of hissy bullshit. that said i still think that getting nicer mics would really help. it probably wouldn't change the ways that i've been recording guitar sounds for that album as i can attain the sound i'm after with what i have- it's more to make the drums just that much better.
we'll see i guess. as usual. i've already started on that record anyway- mainly just things that we can't do live together. the emphasis is going to be on both of us playing drums and guitar tracks together as we would live. the 'voices on the air' experiment turned out so well that it was something we wanted to do much more often. due to the limitations of the 8-track cassette machine we can't do it that way if there's a loop that we need to both play along to- because you can only record on two channels at the same time so i have to play along with the sample and then stefanie has to add the drums later. i also did metronomic tracks for a while where stefanie would have to play along with a drum pattern from a keyboard i have. we tried that on 'narcoleptic' and it was a total disaster. the guitar parts were very lacking as well and it didn't sound anywhere near as good as it did when we played it live.
well i think that's it for this entry then.

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