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?

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