Thursday, December 18, 2008


the last few weeks have been a bit rough. on the upside a ridiculous amount got done. it is possible that the final mix for the 'dandelions' ep has been finished. there is one track that i might take another stab at because it's being a touch problematic, but other than that i am going to stick a fork in it and say that it's done. the tracklist has been changed a teeny bit because the christmas song for the christmas comp ended up coming out so well that i think i will add it into the ep as the final hidden track. i had wanted to put 'black is the colour of my true love's hair' as the final hidden track but the last mix i did is just a gargantuan hissy mess. i think that the original mp3 that i had of it was better... i don't really know why this is but there's just no way to make it sound listenable. as it stands now it sounds like going out with a whimper and that's definitely not what i want.
my co-workers forced me to play the ep for them through the stereo speakers and it actually sounded really fantastic. it's the ipod headphones as usual. i was happy with the way it sounded towards the end, but then i felt like no matter what i did it would never sound the way i wanted it to, so i just kind of lost hope. ironically them making me play it through the stereo renewed my faith in it. the drums even sounded really nice. they aren't perfect drum sounds, but they are at least distinctive and mine and figured out by me. if i want to push it forward it's going to be a question of getting nicer equipment- better preamps and nicer mics. that's what the release-free year is all about. and calming down my debt.
we just watched 'the dark knight' and 'batman begins.' they were the last two discs we had from netflix. we watched them in the wrong order. i loved 'the dark knight'- it was a fantastic movie- definitely the best of the batman movies. i also liked 'batman begins' quite a bit- it was probably the second best. the original one i would put at 3rd, the second one 4th and then those campy crappy ones at the bottom of the list (stefanie calls 'batman forever' the 'batman nipples' movie).
i did some mixdowns of the 'all hope is blind' tracks and i am thrilled to bits with those. they still don't have drums (i've done the drumless tracks first), but the string arrangements sound really nice. they will undoubtedly be the main feature of that record. the guitars are so gauzy that they are almost like curtains that frame the songs. the strings are so organic and fresh that they easily sit at the front of the mix. i might try a pass where they are a bit more buried, but i have a feeling that they aren't really going to work that way. during this recording-exile i'm imposing on myself for the next week i hope to get some more string parts written possibly for another megabus weekend in kc. we got about six songs done last time out of the 20 or so. the idea was to get the whole thing done in about three passes over the course of the next year as they are completed. i might try and coordinate some sessions with chris and katelyn at the same time- chris has told me he'd play better if he could play live with another string player than he would if he were just playing along to something that he isn't able to hear. this would also be a good way to keep him involved as i'm pretty sure that i want katelyn to play the violin parts on all of the album. her style is going to work perfectly for the sound i want on the album. plus if i have him playing the viola then it's going to make things easier on billy when i go home for these quick weekend sessions. it'll also make those weekend trips more fun for me- even though last time i went home for the weekend i had a really good time then even if it was very short.
speaking of which i should probably look into fares for that shit without waiting too long.
my shopping for stefanie is pretty much done. i wanted to buy her one last gift. not sure if it's going to fly though, what with all of the time off and what not. i think that tips will be getting better on the weekends if for no other reason than the simple fact that for at least a while we are going back to having three people work on saturday and sunday. this makes a lot of sense- things have tapered off considerably and i haven't left there on the weekend with more than $14 in my pocket for at least a month now. with three people it'll get back to the point where it's more worthwhile to work on the weekends. so basically once i get back it's going to be all about paying my way with my tips. it actually works out a bit better than i expected because the paycheck with all of the time off will be the one that i'm supposed to use to pay credit cards and whatnot. there should be enough on there to eke by on that and the tips from the week when i am paid for that time will be used more easily to pay for the difference. it's going to be about february before i'm going to be caught up enough to start buying tape and saving money for mastering and whatnot. after that it shouldn't be too terribly difficult to save money to press the cds. the packaging should be fairly easy to finance as it will be more spread out. so i think that a spring release is realistic (depending on how much work needs to be done to the tape machine). i am going to grab a few of the reel-to-reel tapes that i left at stefanie's parents' house that i had grabbed at the garage sale that stefanie's uncle had at the house he bought in the northeast in portland. i'm going to try a few live recordings and whatnot just to get a feel for working with the thing. i am still optimistic that we will get some money back from our taxes. this might come crashing down once the time comes, but whatever. we always do our taxes really early so even if we end up owing money then we will at least have some time to save up to pay for it. i am optimistic that it should be fine, though. if it's not then i'm going to change my exemptions to zero i think.
i'm still very excited about christmas. it's going to be very good and i'm excited about the stuff i am giving to people. i don't really care so much what i get- i am sure that i'll get plenty of the cds i wanted. even if i get two or three of them i would be over the moon. it's possible that stefanie already got me all of the ones that i really wanted anyway. i hope that i get the new deerhunter album on vinyl because i've really held out on buying that. of course if i don't get it it's no big deal since it's so readily available and so incredibly cheap. i'm just excited to go home and drink eggnog and hang out with my friends and my family. i'm also excited about the acoustic show- which dammit is going to go really well. i was real nervous about it coming together properly, but as long as the foundation is strong then it'll be fine- which it will be because stefanie have been practising for months.
on monday when it snowed i went out and did tons of filming- i filmed about 30 clips that average about 10 seconds each and one is 30 seconds. i used stefanie's sister's old digital camera that they gave to us because stefanie had her old digital camera. i'm very happy with the stuff that i ended up with. i'm not sure what else to do with all of it, but it is intended for a video for 'christmas song revisited' which was just finished and mixed down yesterday for the final time. i have to fill up the rest of the cdr and then it'll be delivered to those kids for that compilation. as mentioned before it's probably going to end up as the final hidden track on the 'dandelions' ep. i'm toying with adding something else instead of it and such, but i don't think that any of the 'down to sleep' outtakes are quite ready for that kind of treatment. i think i might go through some of it once we're back from christmas and figure out what to do with it all. i had spoken to chris about doing some recording, so i could possibly have him do some of that stuff and finish it up finally...
then there's the ubiquitous strings show. i hope that billy will still be able to do it, but i'm not holding my breath. with his new job and school and such. he's in the midst of finals week as well right now. i did figure out how to get an idea of what his schedule is- i just have to check the ku website and it has a school schedule section.
i'm running out of things to talk about now, so it's probably about time to end this entry.

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