today some drum recording is going to happen. not sure if i even knew that we were doing this last week, but james posted on the cllct board about doing a christmas songs compilation- either covers or originals- and i thought about doing a revamped version of our 'christmas song' until a little inspiration struck and i ended up writing a pretty nice new song based off of the first 'christmas song.' what's it called? 'christmas song revisited.' nice, huh? the weird thing is i'd already written a 'revisited' song but now i'm going to have to think of another title for that one. the new christmas song is based mostly around the same chords and has a similar structure and i'm taking one of the melodic elements from the original one and building on them. the verses are pretty different. there's going to be an awesome loud drum part at the end with christmas bells. since no one's going to be able to understand the words (and since they are very loosely linked to christmas anyway) the bells would serve to be festive enough. so that's that.
we're also going to do a drum part for 'willows' which will finally make it a finished track. then that ep with have a few little touches that it needs- i mainly am in a bit of a panic at the moment because chris, our violinist, is really busy at the moment and won't be able to do any recording until after christmas time. he sounded really stressed last time i contacted him and he offered to do some work if it really urgently needed to be finished, but i don't think i should take him up on it. it's possible that the mixing of the ep won't be finished until the new year even if i can find someone to redo that violin part. there isn't too much wrong with the playing per se- it's mainly that it's a bit rickety at the beginning (which i would normally just leave in there because i kind of like that sort of stuff) and there is way too much bleed from the guide guitar that i played along with him. i figured out how to lose the bleed even on the most stark tracks when i was recording with billy last time so his parts have no bleed at all so i wanted to redo the violin part since it can be done without any bleed because you can really hear it on that track when it's in there. i should probably just ask drew at work if he could do it but i feel bad taking time out of his schedule because he practices the violin for 6 hours every day. i feel like taking some time to record with me would be a bit of a waste of his time because he's in it for pretty serious and i'd rather not make a habit of interfering with that because i don't want to fuck with his shit.
so it's crunch time i guess is the basic theme of this entry. i'm trying to get ahold of a 2-track right now. i had the opportunity for the perfect deal on one last weekend and it was snatched out from under me on ebay at the last second because the auction was ending on a friday night at 9pm. it was the night we went to the brauhaus and i got rip-roaring drunk. i'd bid on it earlier in the day and my bid held firm until the very absolute end. it was torture and i'm still gutted about it- i should've raised it right at the very end. in the future i guess that will be something i'll do, but at the time i didn't think of it. so i found two of the same kind of 2-track on ebay ending tomorrow in the afternoon, so i'm going to try and get one of those. hopefully it'll work and i won't have paid too much (i'm thinking i'll probably end up paying a lot for one of them). the other thing about this last 2-track was that it was a pickup only auction and the machine was in lemont, which is not that far away- it's on I55 near the bolingbrook exit about an hour away, so no shipping costs. bummer.
anyway, that's what i'm going to be doing tomorrow at about 2pm.
i had a wretched week last week. i feel like it started with that whole losing the auction thing. after that it took us two hours to get home on the cta because shit was all fucked up for some reason- i had to wake up early the next day and go in to work so the longer we were stuck waiting on the platform the more annoyed i got because it's like watching the precious few hours you're going to get slipping away from you and there's nothing you can do about it. stefanie got upset at me for getting upset (even though i had every reason to) and we ended up getting into a giant fight when we got home, which then took another hour to resolve itself. all told i went in on about 5 hours of sleep. plus the normal opener wasn't there and the person covering the shift is someone who i know as notoriously flaky, so i knew i'd get there and the place would be empty and i'd have to open things up. that's pretty much what ended up happening- except that the normal flaky person had gotten someone to cover the shift for them who had never opened the store before and had no keys. this replacement person seems to lack a decent amount of common sense as well, so all in all it was a bit of a trainwreck and everything ended up taking double the time because the few things i asked them to do they didn't know how to and i ended up having to redo everything they did and hold their hand through every teeny tiny thing they attempted to do. as if that weren't enough this girl knocked into me while i was holding my latte that i make for myself in the morning and spilled it all down my front. i'm not a morning person at the best of times and being on five hours sleep and being a bit annoyed with this person to begin with i can only imagine the kind of shattering look i gave her after this occurred. naturally the person who used to open every saturday isn't going to be coming in on saturday mornings anymore and for some reason will has delegated this opening shift to this person who does not know what they're doing. at all. but that's okay with him because he's never there on the weekends and doesn't even keep it in mind that we are open at all. so now i have to open with this girl on saturdays until she 'gets the hang of it' which i don't anticipate happening any time soon. until then it's going to be me and her there at 7am every saturday morning (which is my monday morning by the way). i even said 'you know what, why don't you just let me open that day?' and he didn't even take the bait there instead delegating me to train this person on how to do it. i don't want to train anyone- especially anyone who is that devoid of common sense. oh yeah- she also kept stopping albums i was playing on my ipod and changing them after five songs. at one point she was back there and i was playing the new spiritualized album and she goes 'you have so much stuff on here- i can't chose something' so i said- 'put the ipod down! we are listening to the rest of this album. do not touch!' i am not equipped to work with the ADD generation. that sort of shit's just annoying and rude. and you know my policy on rudeness. i'll put up with any amount of crap from anyone as long as they are capable of politeness and are considerate.
so this carried on through the week and by wednesday i was ready to kill someone when i walked in the door. my manager opened and did his little three strikes act with me which resulted in me not speaking to him for about two solid hours. my manager does this thing where he'll do something belittling or rude to me that i don't like and i can manage to be graceful and not think anything of it until the third offense and then the graceful forgiveness is stopped dead and i'm pissed, usually for the rest of the day. when i get pissed though at work i mostly just walk around with my scowl sewn to my face. i never have a problem being nice to the customers during this though. i never have a problem being polite and nice to the customers there at all come to think of it. the customers are the least annoying bunch in that place. i like anthony- he's a nice person. at least to me. he's a get what you give kind of person. i'm nice to him so he's nice to me. what people complain about him principally is that he's late everyday. news flash- even our manager makes a habit of coming in at least 15-30 minutes late every day as well. i think i'm the only one who shows up exactly when they're told to show up. he gets a little salty with the customers sometimes- but he isn't the one at the front counter most of the time. it also just depends on who it is and what they do.
so that was my week. suffice to say that i'm incredibly relieved that it's time for the weekend. hallelujah already. i went to bed fairly early last night (about midnight) and slept like a log until 9:30 and now i'm here at the coffee shop. after this i have to go back to beans and bagels because the new walkmen lp came in the mail and i forgot to take it home in my eagerness to leave. i did come up with a decent 'life plan' should i get so irrevocably burned-out with that place that i actually have no other choice but to leave and actually do something with my life. i decided that if i'm going to back to grad school for english/writing/whatever that i should look into going to grad school in london or someplace in england. it'll be perfect- i can get a student visa and it probably won't be too much of a problem bringing stefanie with me since we're married now. i don't know how that works, but i'm sure that that somehow will make it easier in some respect. go to grad school, do some internships and then hopefully that will parlay itself into some kind of employment there. what's more we would be living in london (ideally) and we'd be able to start playing shows over there. then we could test the little thesis i have that we'd be more readily appreciated in the uk and possibly europe. 90% of the song downloads/listens are from oversees ip addresses. when someone in chicago downloads/listens to a song it's generally either my ip address when i'm checking a link or it's james' ip address (he lives in elgin) or it's a complete fluke. a lot of people from the bay area listen, which is ironic to me since we weren't able to play there over the tour.
this brings me to my next little thesis- the tour. stefanie and i now agree that it was a really great experience and that's why we're so down in the dumps about everything else at the moment. my life seems a bit meaningless and rote now that the tour is behind us. obviously we're going to have get out and go again. unfortunately this won't be for quite a long time. i hope we get into sxsw because it will give us an excuse to get the fuck out of town. i'd like to play at the record bar again on the way down there (or on the way back). speaking of which i'm still not 100% sure of what's happening with the acoustic show- if that's a firmed up thing or not yet... i guess i should write.
i think i might actually get my ass to the coffee shop. at least it'll give me something to do to waste away the day. plus i'm not the monthly pass again so it's basically like it's free- or at least that i've already paid for it so i might as well use it.
i think i'll talk about the new walkmen record now. i know no one's made it all the way to the end here- but i would highly recommend it. it's become one of my favourite records released this year- i actually might like it more than the first walkmen album which has always been my favourite of theirs. it's such a beautiful record and it's like the audio equivalent of a warm blanket- a perfect winter album. all of the tracks are wrapped in this layer of gauzy dreamy reverb and the effect is quite nice. talk about a mood enhancer. i'm a bit biased as i'm obviously of the opinion that you can never have too much reverb- anyone who listens to the music i've been making these days can tell you that. the songs are all really strong as well. it also has all of that weird, fucked-up, grimy walkmen-feeling all over it too that i really like. they don't really care if they sound sparkly and perfect- that's not the point. there's some vintage amp grumbling in there that i usually leave in our stuff as well that i obviously love.
there have been too many amazing albums released this year. surely there has to be a ceiling somewhere, but it just keeps getting higher and higher. i thought that last year was a good album year, but this year has really taken the cake. the 'white chalk' of this year has been the new sigur ros album. what i mean by that is that it's the album by a band i've loved for a long time that i somehow haven't gotten around to buying. i still don't have 'white chalk.' i put it on my christmas wish list and never got it- it was a scheme that did not work. i also never bought 'mountain battles' by the breeders which i've heard as well and that sounded like a really excellent album as well. haven't gotten the new mogwai album either. criminal really.
i guess i should go though- this post is much much much too long.