Thursday, March 5, 2009

this is not life, goddammit!

oh the shame- i am fully immersed in digital life. why o why? i did have a dream that i was trying to get a gigantic reel-to-reel tape machine working. it was incredibly neglected and left above a dumpster in the side of a warehouse. the tape was about four inches thick. i believe i got the thing working again. it was at least 12 feet high and probably about 10 feet across. i had to use a ladder to work on it. the amount of satisfaction that i got from working on this thing was pretty unreal. a sign perhaps?
i'm sitting in metropolis right now listening to the second silver apples album. i'm a bit reticent to get into the newer albums that were released during the 90's- i am really loving these first two that were made in the 60's though. it's almost painfully advanced. tyler ritter this will be your life in the future.
back to the whole digital-life crisis. my procedure when i get here is kind of unreal- facebook, hotmail, myspace, twitter- god where does it end?! i suppose i could just give up on all of that stuff- honestly if i wasn't working on band stuff i'd probably just give the whole digital life thing up. commit digital suicide- ooh, that'd be a good title for a song. of course then it would solidify my status as a full-blown luddite. ah, modern life is so over-rated anyway- who needs it? i mean, honestly...
a few lps converted- the white album (still need to edit the tracks), the cryan shames- a scratch in the sky (fucking awesome album), laura nyro- new york tendaberry (ditto) and then more more more after that. to say the least the editing of vinyl is at least an opportunity to become more familiar with all of the vinyl that i buy. it is forcing me to listen to it.
this is relating to that new 'sharp darts' about a journalist who is trying to launch a slow music listening movement. kind of a way for people to actually listen to all of the stuff they have in their music libraries/on their ipods. i am getting close to having listened to everything on my ipod. there might be a few things i've never listened to once at all, but they aren't very many and they are getting to be less and less over the years. i'm up to 13000 songs or so now. yipes. it's almost full too. i think it might have a capacity of about 2000 more songs. who knows? of course some of that room is being taken up by videos i never watch. i should probably get rid of the ones i never watch (which is a generous chunk of them).
the weather's really nice right now so it was kind of difficult to find a seat here when i got here. i got here before 11am which usually guarantees a decent seat (read one with an electrical outlet right next to it). so now it begins. *sigh*. i am trying to keep an optimistic view here- at least i'll be able to ride my bike to work now- that'll be nice. less of a strain on the old wallet. i've been thinking lately about how much more money i'll be able to save once i don't have to pay the $86 every month for a 30-day pass, but really i won't save that money- it'll just get spent on other things- but they are good and justifiable things, really. i am hoping i will be able to set aside some of that money to put towards paying down the balance on my credit card (which honestly isn't going so well these days). this is the last month i'm buying a pass though- after that i'm switching back to the pay-as-you-go model. we're also housesitting again. i'd like to be able to use some of my half of that money to pay down some extra things i've been putting on my credit card. i bought a bunch of microphone cables and a few mic stands that i needed to keep the recording going. i was going to try and get some more microphones, but i've accepted the fact that there isn't going to be time or money to do that. i will still chip away at that list as much as i can, but really i've found that a lot of my current methods are working just fine for me. we were recording some drum parts that were played with brushes and i tried to incorporate two of my new mics into the proceedings and i actually found that i had to take them out of the mix and go back to the original way that i mic drums in order to get a better sound. the drums with sticks is more compatible with these new mics, so they are still good to have. the method i have set up for recording guitars is as perfect as i need it to be, really. it's definitely working for this current crop of songs. we'll see what happens next as we start to record some of the tracks live. an ancient song just came together very quickly and almost beyond my own comprehension. i have a song called 'whisper' that i made up about as early on as 2003 or 2004. it's a bit foggy now, but there was a 4-track demo for it that i recorded in our last apartment in portland when i was unemployed and bored. i demoed a ton of songs during that time- another one is on the album and we've almost finished it- the strings and main musical parts are finished, stefanie needs to add a glockenspiel part and her vocal (which she's still kind of struggling with)- but i wrote the song, recorded a demo with an improvised arrangement, never wrote lyrics, gave the demo to stefanie to write lyrics to, we moved, i wrote lyrics one night when i couldn't sleep in kansas city before we moved here, wrote the rest of the lyrics and came up with a chorus melody and fit some words in for it from there and wrote them down in a bit of a haze and recorded the melody late at night half-asleep. a few days ago i tried to find the lyrics- i didn't remember where i'd written them down in the middle of the night during our first christmas home from chicago back in 2005. finally found them squeezed between two lists in my first moleskine diary. wrote them down and arranged the song and figured out a good guitar tone for it. wrote a string arrangement. bang, zoom! ready to record! i think i am waiting on one more microphone stand to start with the live recordings including that song. oh yeah, stefanie has to learn to play and sing it as well. a fire has been lit under my ass since i have an impending weekend in kc coming up in the beginning of april and i'd like to get as much going as possible. i have four songs or so that i need billy to do but it would be nice to get as much as possible done with him so as to have a nice foundation to work from and then hopefully i won't have to go home again to do more work for a few more months (although it's not really a pain to get there anymore). billy has a guitar now too- so all i have to bring home is headphones, a mic and a preamp- everything else is there- an 8-track, guitar, a microphone stand...
i'm now listening to shannon wright's 'let in the light' album- a really beautiful record that i haven't listened to in a really long time. it's a restrained affair- a unique thing in her discography. she pulls it off really beautifully. when we saw her play last too it worked well for her live show too- when she got to the older, brutal stuff she was really able to let loose. entrancing.
no plans for today really- i think just possibly going to a movie- 'coraline.' we've been meaning to see it for ages- i think we were supposed to go on valentine's night. we tried to go again last week when stefanie had last thursday off, but it didn't end up working out because it was in 3d and we didn't want to see it in 3d. now all of the 3d showings are gone, yippee!
with that i think i shall wrap this up in a tight little package. good night and good luck.

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