Friday, August 29, 2008

before i sleep

here's a flier-

all i wish is gone away...

yup, i'm back on the cure folks. listened to joy division this morning as well- 'unknown pleasures' because of the movie (of course). while i was hanging out in our apartment i watched more of 'show' as well. i watched the first 45 minutes right after we got our new tv just to see it on the big screen- it was very nice. the first 45 minutes of it is the best in my opinion- basically that's the set from 'open' to 'trust.' i do really love 'show' very much and for the love of heaven it confounds me and annoys me that it continues to not be released on dvd. of all of the cure live videos that exist the fact that it continues to go without a dvd reissue will always be beyond my comprehension. as far as live documents of them at their peak there is not an alternative to match it. 'in orange' is good too- but 'show' is the closest thing to them near 'disintegration' as there is in existence. plus i really love 'wish' (i'm listening to it right now, hence the quote) and i have come to think of it as a signpost in their career as nearly everything they've put out since 'wish' hasn't quite compared except for 'bloodflowers.' plus it's the last live record with boris williams who will go down in history as the cure's best drummer. period. i'll still watch the damned thing on vhs, but come on- they need to reissue it. '1991- the year punk broke' needs to be reissued on dvd as well for fuck's sake. i lost my vhs copy of it. it's in a golden box along with the old vhs copy of 'show' that i got for my 16th birthday and watched every day over the summer of 1995. there are all kinds of other goodies in that box- and it got lost during the move from kansas city to portland. the cdr with the original 'petals' pictures is in it as well. we had to use a really crappy printout that i had made in portland. our old printer put lines across coloured pictures like that and that's why it looks like that. the original photo was a crappy jpg.
yeah. not much to report today. we're going to hot doug's for lunch today. i had to clean out my little savings raft, but yesterday i discovered that stefanie has a savings raft as well, which i didn't expect. i basically did the finances up and made preparations intending to foot the bill entirely myself. occasionally she contributes monetarily. the last trip to new york we split 50/50 which was nice. this will be nice as well. so basically, i think that we will be prepared once it's time to leave. hopefully we will make enough money at the empty bottle show to pay for the igo car. if that happens then in my mind the show will be a raging success. we got a nice write-up in the onion that i am very happy with. i'd like to give the person that wrote it a gold star because they deserve one. the time out listing was classic lazy journalism- they even got the name of the record wrong. we even sent them a copy of it. somehow they thought it was called 'endless december.' i guess that the 'recordings' part of that sentence isn't important. i also guess that the 'shalloboi- down to sleep' on the spine wasn't enough to clue them in. it seems to have worked for everyone who's accepted it to sell on consignment.
i also have to pick up seth from lorna's after lunch because- get this- the new cleaning lady is afraid of dogs. so here's some more twisted beth logic- bring my intimidating and kind of cranky out of it great dane that likes to bark at everyone and sometimes bully them for no reason, including yours truly, but then when you get a new cleaning woman ask stefanie to remove a dog that is so mild-mannered it could pass for a cat out of the building for the cleaning woman who's afraid of dogs. what the fuck?! i mean, honestly- where is the logic in that? i guess my mistake was not going directly to my boss and saying 'could you please leave that dog at home- i'm afraid of dogs.' i'd been told that most of the time her response to that is 'oh, he's harmless.' i just don't get it i guess...
so now the rest of my afternoon will not be spent relaxing at home- i have to drive the dog back up to evanston and then get right back in the car to pick up stefanie. thanks cleaning lady who's afraid of a cat dog. i'm afraid of dogs and i have never once found seth even the slightest bit remotely threatening. i've heard him bark three times i think and never at a person. this is incredibly ridiculous and annoying to me as you can tell.
no word from the eaf people. just waiting on the okay for the strings show. the date i asked for is october 18th. if that doesn't work then i'm going to ask for the second weekend in november. i might look into some other spaces. i'm a bit reticent to ask at someplace that i've never been as i know that eaf has a decent enough p.a. system to pull off such an endeavor. i really hope it works out because i really can't think of anyplace else that would be suitable and i want the show to sound good. it is incredibly crucial and a half-assed p.a. is not going to do the trick. so here we come awesome strings show. the reader didn't make a blurb about the empty bottle show, so i'm looking at that as a kind of bonus, so hopefully i can get a decent listing about this strings show in there. that would be very nice. what will be even nicer is that we probably won't play another show unless we get some sxsw action of some kind in march- so we'd probably just play an acoustic show in kansas city and then not worry about anything until march if we're actually going down there and just play a warm-up show at someplace like ronny's or something like that.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

watch de moobie!

so much, so much...

it feels so nice to have a day off finally. things have been nice and crazy lately. i am forcing myself to do nothing today. well, i might make a new screen. some of the t-shirts came in the mail and i've messed up about eight of the black ones (basically all of the black ones that i had). i think i figured out what the problem is- the ink was drying too fast, so it wasn't sticking to the fabric- the prints were more and more faded. did i give up? no, of course not- i just ruined about $45 worth of t-shirts that i paid for with a credit card. it's been a bit of a disaster. i've been trying not to think too much about it. i went into it with some really unrealistic expectations- mainly because the first t-shirt i tried to silk-screen went perfectly pretty much, so i just figured all of them would. the first one i did is still the best of all of the ones i've attempted. basically i need to get started on the blue shirts and the screen for those hasn't been made just yet. if i don't do it today i would like to tomorrow and possibly try to start printing the other t-shirts. i really wish that i'd had enough crappy t-shirts to ruin before i started using the ones i needed. there might still be time to replace the ones i ruined before tour, but i'm beginning to think it wouldn't be such a good idea. i'm about to give up entirely on the idea i'm so disappointed in it.
we're also housesitting for jay and diana right now- and have been since last week. they will be back on wednesday afternoon i believe- we basically have to go straight from housesitting to our show at the empty bottle. i'm not too worried about it- we've played some good solid shows leading up to it and the empty bottle has a great sound system so that usually means we'll be fine. we also won't be rushed at all, so that can only help. i think we're shooting for around a 45 minute set bearing in mind that if we go over it won't be a big deal. it'll be very interesting to see how the whole thing turns out. i'm very curious to see what the turnout is like and how many people will stick around to hear us. since there are four bands the outlook isn't too good on that account in my mind. oh well, we'll just have to make the best of it.
two weeks from saturday the tour starts. yipes. i had no idea it was so close. it kind of snuck up on me. the finances are in a terrifying state. we were saving for a nice sized raft of funds, but as always pretty much everything which could go wrong has and every opportunity to fix this problem has been foiled. tips have been very lackluster. i think i have one last shot to rectify it, but i would be extremely surprised if it worked out. i'd be extremely surprised if the chase thing works out because i realised that i might have to do the training again and i don't think i can sanitize missing three more days of work at the coffee shop after missing 10 days just to go through the training again. i guess we'll just see...
to further push the financial troubles the store ended up being closed in the morning on tuesday. i only ended up missing out on about an hour-and-a-half of work. naturally the store is closed on labor day. it'll be nice to have a day off in the middle of my working week. i might try to put my pedal board together that day because that will save us so much time at the shows and then things will be less rushed and we won't forget to do important things, which we tend to do because we are always so rushed at shows.
before tour we are supposed to record with chris. i'm not 100% sure of what we'll be doing that day. 'sleep now...,' 'petals in a rainstorm' and 'no stars' are the most obvious and pressing ones. it crossed my mind to finish 'disappeared' at last, possibly even 'dried blooms in baby's breath' so that it doesn't have to be done later on, but who fucking knows... honestly...
i am just very tired right now and probably not making much sense. i have the car right now- had to go to the post office to pick up a package for stefanie. last saturday we spent all fucking day driving all over the fucking city- stefanie wanted to get her tattoo touched up and the guy who did the work lives over on grand and western, so after i was done with work i figured i'd head to our apartment and spend some time with our cats and feed them, but stefanie called me and wanted me to take the dog while she was getting her tattoo done which she insisted would take '30 minutes max.' well, it took an hour and a half and the car that we're driving around in has no a/c and the dog (he's a greyhound named seth) gets overheated very quickly if it's over 80 degrees. it was humid as fuck and over 90 all day on that saturday and i had to take him around for what ended up being an hour and a half. i was a little upset. this was after opening the store and working a full day. the pace has not really slowed down since that day. then after all of that we came to our apartment to practise. at least the weather got cooler. it's just been very difficult to relax and even more difficult to actually spend time with our cats. after i'm done here i need to head back to our apartment and spend some more time with them. then i have tomorrow off and then i have to go right back into the whole thing again. jay and diana's cats are used to being fed at 6am every morning, so they come into the bedroom and wake us up as early as 4am. as you can imagine all of this running around on practically no sleep is a little exhausting. it'd be a bit easier if we didn't have our own cats to take care of. but really, we like housesitting for them- their house is very nice, it's nice to have a car for a while, it's a refreshing change of pace to go stay out in evanston for a while and basically we really need the money. the payment for this is constituting about half of the money we will be taking on tour. basically i just tried to factor in the worst cost of gas and try to have the money on hand ahead of time so that if we happen to get paid decently at any of these shows (haw haw haw) then we have money to do fun things.
i think i'm going to wrap this shit up in a little bow then. love ya! see you tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

dreaming is free

today is loafing day. i plan on doing absolutely nothing today. nothing. at. all.
maybe watch a few movies, maybe not. it's possible that i might make another guide track, but as it happens i might have to wait to arrange the song before i do so. i resurrected a song i wrote back in 1999 that i'm fairly happy with- reworked it for strings and i went through the lyrics and wrote them all down. they were surprisingly good, i have to admit- a lot better than i was expecting. that's often the case when i go back and read my old lyrics. sometimes they're better than lyrics that i write these days- at least less stuck in a rut. i will have to fix them somehow- not sure how that will be- they are probably a bit of a cure rip off. i will probably just shorten the song as i've been enjoying cutting my songs to bits for this particularly cycle. this song also has three verses- which i never do anymore because it takes too long for me to do two verses as it is.
i have caught some kind of weird cough. it's just a bit disconcerting in some ways because now whenever i catch a cough i worry that it's going to turn back into that cough that i couldn't get rid of for almost a year. when i think about it though that one is always the scariest. why i didn't immediately go to a doctor is beyond me at this point. this new cough has gone straight to my chest. delightful! i don't even think it was in my throat for an hour- all of a sudden i had this really bad chest cough. we have a bunch of cough syrup left over that seems to be helping. i was in a bit of pain by the time i went to bed, but today it seems to be less painful. i also took some emergen-c. i wish we had some colloidal silver because that shit would knock it right out of the water. i won't start worrying until it gets closer to the date of the show and it still hasn't cleared up. i think it should be alright, though.
bootlegs, bootlegs, bootlegs. i have three or so new ones to listen to. there's been a long dry spell, but man is it over.
fyi the students are definitely back. it's a good thing we won't be around much this weekend for the unpleasant surge in drop offs. we do have to practise on sunday. i pondered just moving all of our equipment up to evanston to practise at their house, but that seems a bit ridiculous to me. i suppose it would be more considerate to our neighbors, but then again...
we were interviewed for that 'what to wear during an orange alert' blog. that'll be up a few days after the empty bottle show. the guy asked me good questions- one was mainly a recording question. those seem to be the only kinds of questions that get me to talk. it was also done through email which worked out much much better. i am about a million times more articulate through the written word. whenever i try to think of the word 'articulate' in that context the word always eludes me- i find that incredibly funny.
recorded a nice guide track yesterday. best idea i've had in a while- it was for this keyboard sample thing that fades in and out and is completely arhythmic. i did the part (which will probably be used in the final mix) on the sampler and had a microphone plugged in that i counted through very steadily. i then sang a scratch vocal just to see how it worked. when you take the counting out it's just perfect and even better you can't hear the counting when it's turned down. the problem with doing such stark songs is that oftentimes if i use a rhythm guide like the keyboard drum machine thing, even when you have it turned down all the way or even if you record over it you can still hear it very faintly if you're listening on headphones. i remember listening to 'sloba' and still hearing the drum machine track just at the beginning before the real drums kick in. with the stark quietness of these tracks it's becoming important not to have to worry about that, and my idea seemed to work very well. yay. i'm always happy when something i try works out like that- a problem solving kind of thing. it makes me think that i actually might be good at what i do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

just because

the students are coming... the students are coming...
the more independent ones are already here. the ones who get apartments and live on their own, the returning ones, etc. but i'm not talking about them- i'm talking about the new ones. i saw someone giving a tour to a bunch of fresh-faced kids. they're coming. station wagons and minivans here we come. moronic suburban parents see you soon. probably this week i'd guess.
we are getting an astronomical number of hits on our website these days. well, for us anyway- usually it's just a random handful of people who look at a few things.
i have practically nothing to do today. i was up until 3am last night writing sheet music out. i made a list of all of the stuff that needs to be recorded and played live (hopefully) and since it was so daunting i just got started. i am having trouble finding my cheat sheet for alto clef that brandon gave me. it basically just told me what the lowest note on a viola is and the highest and where they are written out in the sheet music. that's all the info i need to be able to figure out how to do the rest myself. so far i've written out the sheet music that i need chris to record, done two arrangements for 'to the sky' that i want to do at one or both of the shows with strings (dependent on which ones actually work out) and then a handful of other things. if i'm feeling really industrious today i should get some scratch tracks recorded. i worked out an arrangement for 'windsong' that kind of surprised me. that's actually what took me so long to get my ass into bed- i was sitting working it out on the guitar before i went to bed. it's really simple harmonically but somehow quite odd and totally fitting for the song. kind of nice because i was really sweating it over what to do for that song and what i came up with is way beyond my expectations, which is rare. i really love writing string parts so much- it's so fascinating how to get everything to work together and even better to get it to work together and really bring out some unexpected results. i'm quite excited to get to work on the strings for the next record. very excited. i think that they're going to be quite nice and such a good time to do something that's really involved with strings because the songs are so stark and open- they will be the perfect vehicle for emphasizing that element.
i'm getting a bit nervous because the reception to 'down to sleep' is starting to go so well that i'm worried that we're going to blow it with the next two releases that we're already working on. i know that it's kind of pointless to get worried about, but nonetheless i think that'd really be a shame for us to blow something good right when it started happening. nevertheless i am going to stick to what i'm working on. if i think that it's good and worth doing then i feel like the rest will take care of itself.
in other ground-breaking news- we have already booked our christmas flights to kansas city. we managed to get a thoroughly decent deal that i am quite happy with. it does kind of suck that we'll be flying in on christmas eve again, but it made quite a sizable difference in the cost. almost $120 for the both of us. we will fly home on christmas eve and fly back on dec. 29th. i think that it might be nicer because we'll be able to relax a bit after the christmas craziness and there's less lead up to it. i'm going to try and plan on playing a show possibly the night before we leave and i'd really only like to do a day's worth of practise with the string players (or just billy as the case may be). if it doesn't work out it's definitely not the end of the world- especially if the show we're planning here works out. i would like to be very careful not to make it a stressful thing. short set- 45 minutes max. relaxed place with decent sound would be nice, or even something with no p.a. would probably work.
for some reason i don't really have much more to say at this point. i'm trying to scrimp quite a bit. unfortunately tips have gone way down lately- they are just nowhere near as good as they used to be. i guess that that's just the joy of being in a recession. la-dee-dah. liz got a massage job, so she's kind of gone now, which is weird. it's good in the sense that it's much easier and fun to be at work without someone that abrasive and negative. it's bad in the sense that she worked tons of shifts and now they are all open and who knows what's going to happen now. there were only three of us on wednesday and it was quite a to-do to get everything done. we had a busy lunch as well. two people cooking and then just me on the register and making drinks. it was tough to juggle the two. i think i did a good job, but i think that my boss thinks that if i'm not running around like a chicken with its head cut off and harried to no end that i'm not really doing anything fast enough. i just try to keep a cool head during times like that. things i can do quickly i do quickly, but most times i just try to multi-task in an efficient way.
going back to chase looms before me. it's on my mind a lot. i'm going to have to get some days off. i don't know why i'm worried about something like that- it's never been a problem there at all. i really shouldn't be dreading it- it's not a terribly difficult job. hopefully they've worked the kinks out of the problems that they had last time and things will be more laid-back. i'm also not sure what they'd have me doing- it definitely won't be the same things as i was doing last time- that stuff was kind of a special case. i also have to get some kind of a walkman and start listening to tapes again because they don't allow mp3 players there anymore. hee hee- listening to tapes again- it makes me laugh. so ridiculous. i think i'd most like to do more data entry type stuff, although i'm sure that they won't need anyone to do that kind of stuff. it'd be nice if i could just go back and do what i was doing before because i didn't really mind it- it was kind of fun actually.
i obviously have spent a long time not saying much of anything in particular, so i think i'm going to end this here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

wzrd set

here are sound files from the board recording of the set we played at wzrd on saturday night. they've been run through audacity to get them nearer to mastered. sorry if you tuned in at 8pm and got sick of waiting- we didn't even end up playing on the air until about 10. enjoy!

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

Friday, August 15, 2008

shalloboi live on wzrd 8.16.08

my band is playing on wzrd 88.3fm in chicago tomorrow night (the 16th of august). we will be on from 8pm-9. we will play most of the new record, and in order might i add. you can listen to a stream at-

the wintertime looms

i know that summer isn't over yet, but winter is kind of looming already. don't get me wrong- i love winter. it's just going to be something kind of difficult to get through for me. the wheels are now in motion for me to go back to chase after i get back from tour. it is also pretty much a necessity at this point. it's either that or selling drugs. since i get caught for everything wrong that i do i figure i should go with chase. there's a reason why my parents never really worried about me doing anything wrong in high school because the half-handful of things i tried to get away with that most kids do i got caught for every single one- snuck out to lunch one day- got caught the second i crossed the street. snuck out of my house late at night to t.p. someone's house- got caught down the street from my parents' house. smoked cigarettes for a week- a friend's mom saw me and called my mom and i got caught. after that i figured i wasn't getting away with anything so i didn't really bother to try.
the empty bottle show now has four bands. holy shit! so now i'm not very worried about it. my new stresses are getting the t-shirts ready. xl's and l's are out of stock at the t-shirt wholesaler, so we're not even going to have any for the empty bottle show. right now i'm just hoping they make it here before we leave for tour. otherwise that will really suck. i ordered about 20 of each colour- black and light navy. they are out of l's in the light navy. i have all of the inks. i also have both designs finished. one of the designs has two options, but they're both done. i'm just going to make film for both of them and then ask stefanie's opinion. i have one that i am partial to. i spent about an hour of so doing tons of false starts and finally i ended up with two that were decent. one was really small though- probably not great for a t-shirt. another problem that hadn't occurred to me- they are a bit similar. i might have to make a third option. doh! it's okay though- i have enough transparencies to cover it. i wonder when i'm going to get around to getting that done today. possibly right after i'm done here. i have a long list of shit i need to record too. and then we have to practise for the radio set tomorrow night. i'm not real sure if we need to play for the full hour or not.
yeah. i guess that's how shit is right now. it's very odd to be so busy with band stuff at the moment. it's going to be really strange when it's over. i even emailed elastic about playing the strings show there. i am going to email chris again- although i'm not holding out much hope on that front. i haven't heard from him in ages. i'll try and lure him with a copy of the cd. i really hope he is game for playing some more stuff with us- i really love the stuff he did. listening to it now i'm very happy with what he did on the recordings.
the students are returning. bummer. it's been so nice and quiet all summer. i'm going to miss it. they've been trickling back slowly so far, but next week is the week that all of the swarms descend upon our quiet little neighborhood. clueless parents from the suburbs bitching about how there's nowhere to park. all the questions- the dumb, annoying questions. all of the driveway blocking. heaven help the poor people who pay $110 a month for a parking spot in that garage- i'm surprised they don't carry baseball bats in their cars so they can knock people's windows out who are blocking them in or out. no one seems to understand that if you park all the way on the right side against the wall that people can still get in and out and they don't care if you do it. stefanie had to tell the new manager to do it a while ago. the new manager. the first manager was the one who told us way back when we moved in a few years ago.
next week is the third anniversary of us moving here. august 20th three years ago we arrived at our old apartment. oh, the woes. it's nice to know how much better things are going for us nowadays.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

nothing to fear

it looks like they found a decent draw for the show at the empty bottle. ironically it's a tundra- i've tried to weasel my way onto one of their shows in the past. now they're playing with us. jim's band is also playing. should be pretty good. so now that that worry is out of the way i woke up this morning filled with anxiety about the tour. it's entirely possible that we won't be playing a good show until seattle. kind of a bummer. the show in minneapolis is going to be a bit... punky metally. i guess we should just play really loud and be completely unforgiving. that's usually what's most fun to do at those kinds of shows- your songs are mellower and slower, but then you have punks moaning about how you're playing too loud and that it's too noisy. excellent!
i'm also downloading another my bloody valentine bootleg. i've downloaded about four shows now in the past day. the one i'm downloading today is one that i already have, but this seems to be a better version. it's of the third night at the roundhouse. the one i have right now is kind of marred with audience noise- there was a group of japanese people next to the person who taped it and they yell a lot during the show- it's kind of funny because they are obviously enjoying themselves and inbetween songs keep yelling 'whooooooaaaaaa! whoa! whoa! WHOOOOOAAAAAAA!' the only bit of it that i somewhat object to is that one of them is singing along to 'lose my breathe' out of key. that shit just don't fly! nah, it's really not a huge deal- but since there's another version that sounds at least as good then i'll go for that one. i'm really not too picky with bootlegs, but these my bloody valentine ones all sound so good i have actually been making it a habit of listening to them very regularly, so it seems worthwhile to have decent versions of them around. i'm listening to the first ica show right now. i might even download the other version of that that has surfaced- supposedly it's a soundboard recording which means it might sound better. sometimes soundboard recordings sound worse than audience recordings though because you don't have the sense of space or acoustics at all. live albums are mixed both from the board and the space. one of my favourite swervedriver mp3s that i have is that amazing live version that's on of 'duress' which is a combination of an audience and a soundboard recording. it still definitely sounds like a bootleg, but holy shit is it fantastic!
i'm still sick as shit for not having that old my bloody valentine bootleg. of all of the ones i have (which is a lot) i'm beginning to think that that one might have been my favourite. naturally i can't find it at all. i even listened to the new boston show that i have and i actually think that the detroit one i used to have might sound better to my ears. the interesting thing about the boston show is how fast they play all of the songs- the performance has a lot of energy. the detroit one is a bit more of a mix- it's more subdued in places, but a few of the songs are a bit more hopped up and driving. there are a few fuck ups in there as well- 'nothing much to lose' is kind of a sloppy mess as it often is on mbv bootlegs. when i hear it on every bootleg and think of how often it falls on its face it sometimes amazes me that they used to play it so often and still manage to play it so sloppily.
today i have made myself a to do list, which i don't do very often, but things have gotten to the point where there is a lot to do before the tour and it must get done asap. i realised last week at some point that it would be a really good idea to get t-shirts made before the empty bottle show. that way if they sell well we will have time and money to order and make more for the tour. i will be a silk-screening fool this month. i'm going to silk-screen the remaining 30 arigato paks so hopefully we'll sell some 'learning how to crawl' cds. then of course the t-shirts. i also wanted to get on prepping the screens since the weather is so cool lately. last time i made a screen it was incredibly hot and humid and the screen had a few bubbles on it if i recall correctly. i don't think it impacted the screen really- it was for the original t-shirt screen that i made, which i'm planning on using as the back of the t-shirts. mainly i also like to print when it's cooler because the bathroom gets especially hot and stuffy when it's excessively warm out and that's where i print because it's the only isolated room that the cats can't get in besides our bedroom and if i make a mess in there it's easier to clean up than our bedroom. what's more it's the only room that i can make 100% dark so i can expose the screens.
i have some recording to do as well. much to finish, much to finish. i wanted to do some new sounds for 'windsong' and possibly use jim's mellotron on those. i'd also like to use the mellotron on 'sleep now...' as i wanted to do a floaty keyboards kind of combination a la sparklehorse for that song. i have a hammond organ part recorded it already. it had a few problems, but as of the last listen their impact was minimal. i'm keeping the scratch vocal for the first half as well. i'm not even going to double it. every time i try to sing that song it is excessively hard for some reason. the melody is relatively simple, but for some reason i usually have trouble with it.
there are vocals for two tracks from the 'dandelions' 'ep' which we have to do 'down to sleep' style (which just means we have to double them ten times and then add reverb- it's quite difficult to get stefanie to do these) and then a drum part for one of the songs. there are, of course, violin parts to record still. then in preparation for the halloween weekend trip i'll be taking to kansas city to record with billy there are tons of other songs that haven't even been started yet. of all of them i think that the only ones i need to get to work on right now are the ones that have to be done piece by piece because all of the rest of them need to be done live, there's no real way to do them piece by piece. as it is right now there's probably already plenty to do for that first weekend. not sure if i'm even going to bother going the next week for one day. that seems a bit silly to me, but who knows... i've done stupider things in my life, i guess. on the other hand i'd only have about 9 hours or so in kansas city. a new idea popped into my head to do try to find a violin player in kansas city so that some of the parts can be done at the same time and therefore there will be less annoying bleed- because bleed is going to be a serious problem with these songs. they are so minimal and the way that i usually do strings with billy is that i wear the headphones and play along with the tracks on acoustic guitar and he plays along with what i'm doing. there is often some bleed and sometimes it's a problem and sometimes it isn't. i was sure it was going to be on 'fade to white' but it ended up not being such a huge problem- it could be fixed, although if you listen you can hear the acoustic guitar on it because i play with a pick on some of it. but bleed caused what billy did on the verses of 'voices in the air' to be scrapped because it was really hard to play stop start even with myself on that song because i had to do the little cue strums that i did on the recording along with myself and i fucked about every single one up. kind of a shame because on something like that bleed isn't normally an issue because it's just a double of the acoustic guitar that's already on there. also some of what billy played was overpowering stefanie's vocal on the verses. it really was hard to mix out his cello on the second though because on that one it would've been so nice and dynamic to have it there because it kind of underscored her vocal on that one, and i tried to just mix it in and out and it just didn't work.
today is a 'photo shoot.' i should do the dishes too. and order t-shirts. naturally the internet is out AGAIN. it was on last night. annoying. it's been out several times over the course of the week. at&t doesn't even know what the problem is. i think it might be a shitty and antiquated phone wiring system in our building. you can tell just by looking at it. i look at the mess of wires and just think to myself 'yeah, i'm sure there's nothing sketchy about all of that.' it's just a giant mass of wires running in and out of these tiny boxes and the wires just dangle down in the open air. sometimes just the wind can be enough to knock our internet out of commission. ah, humanity and civilization- it's just so SOLID, y'know?

Monday, August 11, 2008

my bloody valentine live at the axis in boston

i spent a few weeks searching for this bootleg after finally hearing good things about it and since i finally found it i figured it would be nice to share the link. here it is-

i used to have a bootleg of the st. andrew's hall show in detroit from this same tour. the cdr that i have it on has completely deteriorated over time, so if anyone happens to see this entry and has that show then please share it with me- i am just sick over the fact that i don't have it any more. i even dug through boxes and boxes of tapes on the off chance that i still had the tape i made of it to listen to in my car.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

what is going on?

i think we've entered a parallel universe now. seriously.
the skinny on the two shows we just played is basically that the 'two with water' didn't really work so well because of a lack of volume- it was held at the catalyst and the p.a. didn't have a lot of power, so we had to be kind of quiet. we were also a bit shaky since we haven't played a show since may. we opened with 'down to sleep' too and it was too quiet and stefanie said that we lost a lot of people because it's so long and doesn't really change much, which is true. we played 'fade to white' for the first time and it was very very shaky. even songs that are normally easy for us were a bit strange. since we were so bumbly and people seemed so bored we closed with 'sloba' and that actually worked really well. people seemed to like that one- so therefore it was the right way to end it. weird fact- the guy who set up the bands told me we were the most notable band playing at that thing. us? notable? i was truly baffled. flattered to be honest, but 100% baffled.
the show at the record bar was a very different story- we started out really strong and threw in 'petals in a rainstorm'- which went very well and then we decided to try 'fade to white' again since we unexpectedly had to play longer than we expected and it went much better this time. i felt like we kind of petered out at the end, but everyone i talked to didn't seem to agree with me- which is a good thing in this case. i was able to get enough volume to get the sounds i wanted- which was very nice for a change. kudos to the sound guy at the record bar- he is the tops! i think we were ready to play in about five minutes and it sounded really good- he seemed to know what we were after without us having to even hint at it. i could hear my vocals really well- so it was really easy to sing. the 'angels...' loop was blaring in the monitors, which threw me off a bit, but i still think that we did a good job with that song. people always like that one. i broke a string onstage for the first time in a really long time. it was a string i usually only strum open for texture and i discovered the value inherent in the open strings that i use for texture during 'sloba.' i'm sure no one else noticed, but i would've been a bit happier if the texture had really been there, but whatever...
ghosty were really awesome- the lead singer/guitarist guy was so nice too. i was a bit bummed when we got home because i had seem them listed on a bill here in chicago and i thought that it was going to be after we played kansas city, but unfortunately it already happened. bummer in the summer. kudos to them!
as if that weren't enough the staff at the record bar were all very nice, gave us guestlist spots, free pizza and other food and six free drinks. at the end of the night we got a very decent cut of the door too- enough to pay for the two day rental fee for the igo car (though not the mileage- that's going to hurt like hell).
on that note i doubt that we're going to do any more of these one-off things unless they are much closer- the mileage is a killer in that department. it wasn't too terrible after the ft. wayne show, but for a 1000 mile roundtrip it's just not worth it. fun fact- if we still had our van it would have cost more than the rental fee and the mileage charges. i don't think we could've done this trip in the van for under $500. seriously. the only reason we were able to do the new york trip in it was because gas was at a low- as in you could still find gas for around $2 a gallon. we lucked out.
we sold a few cds too- which is always good.
frightening news reached me today as well about the empty bottle show- they have us down as the headliners. why the fuck are we the headliners? that doesn't make any fucking sense at all. i feel like everyone might be taking us a bit too seriously at this point and it is a bit of a point of worry for me. i guess i shouldn't get too upset about it, but still i am very worried now about how in the world we are going to get anyone out to that show, let alone enough people to justify us headlining the damn thing! i was considering emailing pete and being like 'are you sure it's a good idea to have us headline? shouldn't you try and get someone who can pull in a significant draw.' even with the promotion we're doing i am still very skeptical that we can draw enough people to justify something like that and it would really suck to ruin our chances of ever playing at the empty bottle again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


even though i'd gotten the day off today i would've had it off no matter what. the basement flooded again at the shop, so much so that they went ahead and closed today. i figured the basement would flood with all of the rain last night. i figured it would be how it always floods- enough to pick up with a shop vac. yipes. supposedly it's supposed to do all of that crazy storming again tonight. i'm wondering if i'm going to get another day off. truthfully two days off at this point would be tantamount to a pretty nasty financial hit at a time when i don't really need it. i can still pay stefanie the rest of the money that i owe her, but i would like to pay the normal payments to my credits cards for this month since next month i'm going to have to do the minimum payments only in order to still pay rent and whatnot. that's why it's important that i pay stefanie back asap- so that then i have the newly freed up money from not having to buy a monthly cta pass. in october i'm going to start it up again at some point in anticipation of winter time when i'm going to have to ride the train every day again.
today i feel a bit better. almost refreshed. i slept for about 11 hours last night. i had some strange dreams. i was drafted by jason pierce to play in spiritualized. so in my dream i got shipped back to london. a beautiful thing. it was about a week before i even met jason. it was sort of a whirlwind of suddenly being summoned. when he'd talk to me i'd be somewhat nervous and over-eager. when the time came to get everyone together and play it was in a kind of beautiful, surreal setting- it was on a rooftop and we all set up in a really wide circle. i was right next to the drummer- who i believe was actually the drummer for the dirty three- jim white. in the dream i even obsessed over which guitar would be better to use for it. i was never shown the songs- they just started playing them and i played along- sort of affected chords because i figured that was what they wanted me for for some reason, plus no one else was doing it. one of the songs was one i'd never heard before and had to figure out as i went along. while we were playing i looked across the way and saw neil young playing with a revamped crazy horse or something and poncho was dancing all crazy up towards neil's microphone and i saw neil quit playing and smash his hand into poncho's face to push him away and get him to stop and it made me laugh. for some reason after the song my sister was there- i think she was playing keyboards or something right next to me and she got upset and was like 'is there any way to make it so that we can't hear those people across the way?' and i was totally baffled because i couldn't hear it at all. then, finally, jason started talking to me- he wanted me to put a chip inside my amp that would block out any interference from across the way- he was very insistent and i didn't understand what he wanted me to do and i asked 'do you want me to just play louder?' and he says 'no, i just want you to put this chip inside your amp- it looks like this- that's all.' and he showed it to me and gave me a key ring. ironically he lived next door to laura mcrae and i was supposed to use the keys he gave me to get into her house and get the three pieces of the chip. he gave me a keyring that was on this massive orange. all in all a really nice dream- you get to be in spiritualized and walk around in london for free. sweet.
i guess that that'll be it for today. titillating as always.

Monday, August 4, 2008


listening to the stone roses and lost in a giant miasma of myspace wormholes. i've written about this very new millenium type of wallowing- looking up people you used to know and haven't seen for years on myspace. or doing googles and finding random shit. these are strange times...
it has been raining buckets tonight. it's been incredibly lovely. it can storm all day and night and all of tomorrow for all i care. i unexpectedly have tomorrow off. someone wanted to pick up my shift, and considering that today was a crappy day at work i figured it would really help to have a day off. this week has been a bit crappy now that it comes to it- but just at work really. everything else has been brilliant. even the loneliness, rainstorms and myspace wormholes or sketchy creepiness. yes, i look up old girlfriends. it's so rare that i even remember them that then i like to try to see if i can figure out what they've been up to lately. it's sometimes very easy and sometimes there's nothing.
last night was brilliant- i went to jenee's going away party that was way out in old irving park- which is tricky to get to without a car- or so i thought. it actually proved to be really easy because it's on irving park road which has the only consistently reliable east/west bus line in the entire fucking city. at least it's the best one i've ever come across. it was supposed to start at 2 or 3pm and i went after work was over- which put me there at about 4:30. i was the first one there. awkward. i didn't really know the person whose house it was at and their family was there. i drank from 4:30 to 10:30 though- i was very wobbly. i woke up to go to work this morning and i was still wobbly. for about two or three hours. not fun- i've never had to do that before.
my spiritualized green vinyl finally came today. i paid for it back in june. christ almighty- i gave neutral feedback since the record was in pretty good shape. they did pack it kind of strangely so the two record sleeves were damaged (the seams were a little ripped from the vinyl flopping around loose inside them), but everything else was okay, so i don't really care. i listened to it twice and it sounds very nice and the vinyl is very beautiful- translucent lime green. mmmm. limes. i left neutral feedback- evidently i wasn't the only one having these problems- they had a few really nasty feedback messages on their page today.
i bought a vox pedal on ebay today too. it's sort of billed as 'top boost in a pedal.' meaning that it emulates the top boost feature on a vox ac30 which is holy grail for tyler. i will one day still try to buy one of those elusive and expensive vox ac30 amps, but i figured that this pedal would be well worth a try. it has the same kind of controls, it does indeed run on tubes (which could only be a good thing) and i figured it might help me have a good dense-reverb sound (which i will need very soon). if it sucks then i only spent $100 for it- it just came out and a new one is $200. i just figured i should buy it- such a good deal, such an interesting and unexpected thing that exists and the coin toss told me to go for it. all signs that are good enough for me.
i'm not depressed i wouldn't say. or maybe i am- i can't really tell the difference sometimes anymore and sometimes i go so quickly from one to the other and back that i begin to question the reality of said depression (or said happiness). there is also no predicting the things that will set me off on any particular day. sometimes nothing at all will no matter what's thrown my way and sometimes it will be the slightest thing that normally wouldn't even make me think twice.
i should really be happier i feel like. financially things are kind of crappy in some ways- i owe a lot of money and can't seem to get caught up at all- but at the same time we have the money to go on tour already. not only are we going to be housesitting for jay and diana before we leave but we will also be housesitting for them for a few nights right after we get back and we'll be nearly destitute, so housesitting for them at that time will be very nice. it might be a nice way to unwind after all of that tour craziness. pretty much the next two months are all planned out for us and we won't have much time to stop and absorb much of anything. getting a day off is kind of a godsend.
i'll probably report back tomorrow from the coffee shop in that case.
talk to you then, i guess.

Friday, August 1, 2008

tv will rot your brain folks

but here are some things to watch instead-

it is possible this will be the last entry in a while

as next week we will be in kansas city to play a show at the record bar. we are pretty excited and it's going to cost us a lot of money to be there, so we are really itching for it to be good. next week is going to be a bit of a harried time. jenee's last day is on monday, which will be sad because she's probably my favourite work person. she's having a goodbye party type of thing on sunday night and i have to be at work bright and early at 8am the next day. very nice. i must say that riding my bike to work every day has made a difference- i can sleep later and i've noticed i'm a little more with-it lately when i'm there. in addition to that since ty had a shift that he needed covered up on the board for the 14th i took it since i'm going to miss a day of work as well and that way it'll still be a full paycheck. he called me yesterday to inform me that he had the wrong week and that it will actually be this coming thursday that he needs covered. so in one way it sucks because that makes this week a six-day week and we have a show that night, then we leave early the next morning, but on the plus side now i'll have a three day weekend and a four day week next week after we get back and it will go by very fast and probably be fairly mellow. we're also playing on wzrd next saturday night. fortunately (for a change) it's a venue that's really nearby and won't be much of a time commitment. thus it will be cheap for us to do from an igo point of view- which will be nice after this whole kc debacle. and then our next show is at the empty bottle and we don't need to reserve an igo car for that at all because we'll be housesitting for jay and diana during that time, so we'll be able to just use diana's car. yay.
after some careful consideration i have come up with a plan for next year. it's always been something we've kind of been wondering about. i have a lot of equipment to buy, so i was beginning to think that i should just start buying it. i'm not going to be able to get a studio together without working up some debt. end of story. since i already have some considerable credit card debt it might just be a good idea to get started after the tour once things have calmed down and i might just go ahead and buy those api preamps and the mics i went on about in the last entry. i'm still going to plan on getting the 'dandelions' ep released once it's finished. disk factory just sent us a nice brochure and they are wayyyyy cheaper than cdman is now and they're in the city. i know where they are. cheaper cds and i can go pick them up on my own rather than pay for shipping. so that means we should be able to get about 500 plain discs pressed for fairly cheap and then we will do what we did with the 'learning how to crawl' ep- i only ordered 100 of the arigato paks from them since i knew that that would last us a while and i've only printed up about 50 of them. we only keep a handful of them around at a time. i think it's about time to reorder more of them, actually. i should take stock before we leave for tour. anyway, we'd do pretty much the same thing with the 'dandelions' ep- the entire cover will be silk-screened. stefanie's going to do the artwork and it's going to be silver ink on red cardstock. very simple. she showed me the cover-design she had finished and it looks very nice- i like it a lot. naturally she's going to get a tattoo of it as well. so hopefully that won't be too much of a production. hopefully. haw haw. i'm going to mix it down to tape and send it away to magneto that way. they have nice tape machines and seem very analog/digital hybrid oriented. i always felt that that was why the stuff they mastered always sounds so great. i think the ep is going to sound very nice- it sounds very natural. it's almost finished too. i need to finish the lyrics for two songs, but those two songs have been started and have a decent chunk of their music recorded. one has a nearly finished string score- i'm missing a good part for the chorus. it also needs a sort of swirling feedback symphony type of thing.
the next project i'm going to start is going to be going through those old instrumentals. i might just mix them all down, redo the ones i think need to be redone and then just make cds of them and give them to stefanie and try and have us write lyrics for them independently. i think that they would make a good double ep or something like that- like if we were able to write lyrics for some of them then they could work well. that stuff would work in that 'low level owl' kind of context. just beautiful. deeee!
our internet has been out for two days at home. i am very tempted not to get it fixed as i am kind of enjoying not having internet. although i worked for about four or five hours on that proposed animated 'angels floating on the head of a pin' video to absolutely no avail. evidently scanning images and then importing them into imovie via iphoto doesn't work as well as it should. they end up looking like total dogshit, especially if they're small. the pen and ink drawings might make good t-shirt designs or what have you. i should probably order some t-shirts as well for the tour. i think it might be entirely possible that t-shirts might be something that could make us some much-needed extra cash on the road. what's more there is something to making people into walking billboards.
so my new plan is just to buy the equipment i want to get my little setup that much closer to being a proper studio and then all i'd need would be a tape machine and a mixing desk, which would be easier to save up for by itself.
my plan for next year- we are going to be very quiet on the local front. i feel like we shouldn't bother with getting shows booked around chicago. if we are offered shows we will probably take them, but we will not actively seek out shows. if i get a jones to play live i should play open-mic nights on my own or something. no local shows. we will still apply to play at south by southwest in march- then just split the cost of a rental minivan with nick and nadine if they're going to go (and by some weird miracle we get to go). then work towards getting the next full-length out in time for another promotional trip in september. this one will be of the east coast and be shorter- ideally around a week long. i'm beginning to think that we should do these week-long or two-week long tours every year, just alternating between the east coast and the west coast. i really don't see the point any more of just going going going constantly and jamming yourself down people's throats. i'd rather do it more gradually. it feels to me that we could do this and it would work out well for us. our music takes time for people to get used to. there's no point or help in just making ourselves incredibly visible- it's just not going to work. i feel like if we find subtler ways of getting ourselves out there then it will grow more gradually and people will react more positively. so that's my plan as it stands at the moment. next year- less local shows (not to say there won't be any) all working towards the goal at the end of the year.
next week my little project is to go on the consignment rounds. i'm going to take a day after i get off of work and go around and take 'down to sleep' cds to permanent records, two or all of the reckless records shops, laurie's planet of sound. voila. i definitely want to do this before we go play live on the radio. it would be nice to be able to say that it is readily available to buy in the city. i don't really think that many people will hear us on the radio, but you never know. do people still listen to the radio anymore?