Friday, April 10, 2009

productive, non?

yesterday was a pretty productive day- that new song 'field of flowers' is almost finished. i got the main vocals done and stefanie played the drum part. i doubled it, but i'm not sure that it's necessary. an interesting tidbit i discovered- when stefanie can't hear herself very well she hits the drums incredibly hard- harder than i can in fact. she had some problems shaking a maraca for six minutes and she seemed to have some problems keeping it the same a few times but the rest of the beat is incredibly solid and ridiculously fat- mine is wimpy in comparison, so thus it probably won't be necessary. plus i got a great drum sound for her part. i am so happy that i was able to get the sound i was after without having to buy new microphones- it is incredibly refreshing to not feel dissatisfied with my drum sounds- it's usually the one part of a recording that i am most disappointed with. i also did some fucking with natural reverbs in our bathroom- i was really happy with what i had until i hooked up the 8-track through the stereo to play stefanie some mixes and then i was incredibly disenchanted with it. it's its own sound really- but no substitute for a good stairwell and, let's face it, that's the sound i'm after. i think i'm finally at the point where i'm going to buck up and try to go back to the stairwell- i'd like to do it today. i actually came up with a new way to try it down there that would prevent the previous problems and possibly be a bit less disruptive- something i don't know why i never tried before. baffling. i'm going to try my hand at the same vocal parts again- it's mainly just trippy 'oohs' and stuff and then a chorus. i'd then like to give it a shot with stefanie singing harmonies on the verses. if that would be the case it would make it the ideal live song- a fat, driving beat, a beautiful and textural guitar part, another use for the fender jaguar (it's in the open-C tuning) and a song that we both sing. i am always trying to put sets together where the vocals are varied throughout the show- i don't like it when one person has more to do in that area than the other. it's gotten easier as we've done more songs that stefanie just sings and more and more of the songs she sings are working out well live. i think it works very nicely and i think that people are enjoying it.
tonight we are going to see 'adventureland' and going out to eat at burrito house again. a few weeks ago we did something like that- a date night, if you will. we went to see 'i love you, man' (i too am a bit tired of the term 'bromance') and went to burrito house. jim derogatis was there with his wife ordering takeout- surreal.
other than all of that i'm doing okay i'd say. the rather large task that looms over tomorrow after work hasn't really hit me yet- i am going to have to ride my bike to and from work no matter how cold it is. time is just a bit too precious at that point. we are supposed to load-in at wnur at 3pm. not too much of a big deal (at least it's close by), but with work it's going to be a bit of a tight squeeze. i really hope it's not busy that day- but that entirely depends on the weather. it shouldn't be too much of a problem- if i have to be gone by 2pm i don't think anthony or adam would fault me much. even on the day of the downtown st. patrick's day parade i managed to get away at 2:30. we've got our set all worked out so it should be pretty smooth- it all clocks in at a little over 30 minutes i do believe. i think it should be alright. after that it's back to evanston for some more housesitting, the strings show, and then another little period of inactivity which will doubtlessly be filled with recordings and whatnot.
i posted a bunch of new tracks at the myspace page- they allow you to upload 10 songs now- kind of nice. i've got tracks from 'down to sleep,' 'dandelions,' 'all hope is blind' and the christmas compilation track. 'falling stars' and 'paper doves' are now finished tracks. i was going to add some drony, dreamy guitar textures, but when i mixed them down i was so happy with the fact that you could pick everything out and the space that everything was occupying i figured that i should stay true to my original ideas for the album- giving the songs space. so there you go. done. kind of nice. i'm close to having a handful more finished tracks. a lot of the earlier tracks just need one or two things- vocals, a redo of a string part, etc. it would be a nice goal to start ticking off the pages during the rest of the month and pretty much all of may. i think i might institute a regular recording schedule for that entire month, dependent on what still remains to be done. that last recording trip to kc is looming large in june. i hope to have the record completed by then- that trip being the icing on the cake. a bit of an optimistic prospect as there is still a generous chunk of the record that i haven't gotten to yet. everything kind of switched around on me- a few songs i'd given up on were resurrected and a few songs i'd planned on doing refuse to reveal themselves- some are so old that the notebooks they belonged to are gone.
all of this is beginning to make me wonder where the hell i am in all of this- i guess that it means that i'm happy. i'm usually pretty happy when i'm working. i think that stefanie and i have carved out a little corner of contentment for ourselves. it's the oddest thing and really unexpected. i didn't really notice it too much until very recently. it makes sense really. i guess that what we're doing is working in its way.
we watched 'lust for life' last night- a movie that neither of us remember adding to our netflix queue but we figured out that it was me during an adding spree- i'd just added 'king of california' and 'lust for life' must've come up under the recommendations and i must've accidentally clicked on it or something. we figured that must be what happened since 'king of california' features michael douglas acting crazy and having an unkempt bearded appearance and 'lust for life' features kirk douglas acting crazy and also having an unkempt bearded appearance- obviously we would love both of them! it is funny that we never took it out of the queue- i wouldn't take it out because i thought stefanie put it in and stefanie wouldn't take it out because she thought i put it in. o, universe!
right now i'm listening to 'amazing grace' which i think is one of the most underrated spiritualized albums- that one and 'let it come down.' i am really loving both at the moment. i had another neglected album in mind to write about but, naturally, i forgot it. funny that. 'amazing grace' i've always loved from day one really- i don't know why. when people start bashing on it i really don't understand it- it boggles my mind. it's the most proudly shambolic of the spiritualized records- the least labored over. my conclusion as far as people who don't like it is that they fall into the camp of 'we wish they would just make "lazer guided melodies" and "pure phase" over and over and over and over and over again' and fuck all that shit. i love both of those albums (actually 'pure phase' is kind of weak as an album in my mind- it can be a bit of a chore to get through the whole thing in a sitting) but it seems bafflingly stupid to expect someone like jason pierce to just repeat himself forever and ever. i really didn't like 'let it come down' that much at first- i always thought it was the weakest link but it really was just a question of getting past the unabashed sentimentalism of a lot of the songs on it- or at least what one perceives as sentimentalism. i'd even say that it takes a considerable amount of time to figure out how to listen to it- so much is going on it can sound too dense, but lately i've been able to listen to it better- pick more things out and draw more from it. it's incredibly rewarding. 'amazing grace' just doesn't give a fuck that there are mistakes all over the place on it- it plows forward with abandon. but then the end section of the record features that suite of gorgeous songs that kind of tie it all up. a lot of people perceive that section of the record as 'boring.' kind of how people at work (read: will) claim that i am always listening to boring slow shit. one day will was playing a bunch of obnoxious, rocky stuff, even some metal, from 7am onward and i went to change it and he said 'just play something rocking dammit- keep it going' and i said 'you know- not all music has to be loud and fast- there needs to be some relief at some point or else it all just starts to sound the same.' this is something i actually did say for a change- oftentimes (a lot of people do this i know) i say that i said something that i wish i'd said when telling a story like this. but i think it's true- i feel like so many people totally lose sight of this feature in music. they just want something loud and raucous all of the time that they don't have to think about. i guess it's just like anything, really. that said whenever i play 'amazing grace' at work will manages to turn it off during 'lord let it rain on me' which is my favourite song on it. it's very irritating because he claims that he thought it was over because it was so quiet- to which i always say 'well if you look at the display don't you notice that it is indeed still playing?' this excuse really just means- 'i am turning your music off in the middle of it because i don't like it and i am too much of a wuss to be honest about it and therefore you won't point out what a hypocrite i am being since i totally lose my shit whenever someone changes my music in the middle of it.' ah, the hipster job. it's not all it's cracked up to be kids- don't let anyone tell you differently. pettiness is everywhere and no one is above it- least of all me.

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