Thursday, June 18, 2009

'although i wear a uniform, i was not born to fight...'

all of a sudden i have a completed version of the 'all hope is blind' album. i have loose ends to tie in, but other than that if i wanted to start mixing right now i'm pretty sure i have the final tracklist. i wanted to finish the title track and see about fitting it in as well, but it's a very long track and at this point it's just under 50 minutes with 11 tracks- which is pretty much the ideal length in my mind. the goal was 12 songs, but 'narcoleptic' is almost 8 minutes long, as is the title track. i'm beginning to think that it's going to have to end with 'narcoleptic'- it's sort of an 'up' ending. at least it's as much of an up ending as i'm probably capable of. it ends very abruptly as well- which i quite like. i'm going to try a mix with the title track and 'narcoleptic' but the title track is incredibly gothy and i'm not sure that i want to include it because, apart from the first track, the album doesn't have a gothy feel- which i thought it would. i'd rather not impose a gothy feel on the whole thing because it'd be nice not to do something too gloomy. plus as it is right now it's a good listen- after i was done listening to it i could barely breathe. every track was very affecting and i couldn't quite figure out which ones were the weak ones. they all sounded really great! a lot of the finished ones are pretty much mixed- i am planning on keeping a majority of these rough mixes as final mixes. it's pretty simple to mix them because all of the stuff that i normally have problems getting it to work aren't variables with these tracks- it's very simple and spare and the toughest thing has been getting the strings at the right level. i really outsmarted myself in that department for the most part because of the mics i used and a majority of the strings don't need any eq- something that's also decreased the amount of tape hiss. it's the same with the vocals. today i was going to go ahead and mix down a few other tracks that i have completed that are extraneous. i'm pretty sure that i'm going to do the christmas single, i'm going to do it purely as a digital thing for the time being- it's possible that i'll include the title track in that if it turns out really nicely. i'm not too certain at the moment. i might actually ask for a bunch of input from everyone (if they're up for it).
last week was a bit difficult in some ways- i'd say it was a bit more difficult than it needed to be. the day that i spent getting home last saturday was a bit of a bear. mainly i just got home much later than i expected and once i got back to chicago time started moving at warp speed- i'd blink and 15 minutes would be gone. once i got home and was trying to relax before taking a shower i somehow lost about 45 minutes without being aware of it- which was really valuable since i had to wake up at 6:10am the next day to open the shop. before i knew it midnight had come and gone and i got really pissed because i didn't have that much time to do much of anything that i needed to do. funny how that works. that ended up being a recurring theme throughout last week. on tuesday i did what i call the walk of shame- while i was in kansas city recording with billy i got a call from reckless records telling me to come pick up my cds. never a fun call to receive. they basically give you a week to come get them before they just flat out give them away. so i went down to wicker park from work, then looked for some stuff i wanted on vinyl (they didn't have any of it at all) so then i went down to permanent records in pursuit of the new spacemen 3 'tones for djs' record and they had it there, along with the new deerhunter ep on vinyl- so i had a little cash therapy as well. from there i went to the lakeview reckless records, ran into a friend of mike's who was in crap corps (it was libby the drummer- who is the nicest of that bunch) and chatted for a bit and then got my cds and left to meet stefanie to go back up home on a crowded as shit rush-hour train on a game day after getting soaked to the bone. i didn't mind the rain at all at that point- i was more annoyed at the giant crowd and it put me in a terrible mood. i also did get ridiculously soaked despite having an umbrella- my shoes still haven't dried.
i dunno- it should've been a breeze since it was so short, but it wasn't. i don't know why. then my transit card reloaded again- i can't for the life of me figure out the system by which it is constantly reloading. it seems to do it whenever it feels like it- sometimes it waits until as low as $5 and sometimes as high as $9. who knows?
i'm trying to quit questioning my station in life. it seems kind of futile to do so. it would be nice to make more money, but i don't really see how that would solve that many of my problems. obviously i need some money, but realistically money is something that no one feels they have enough of. i suspect that even millionaires think that they're underpaid. i once read a story about the phenomenon of the working class millionaire in palo alto, ca- where microsoft is based. it basically interviewed a ton of microsoft workers telling their tales of woe about how even if you're making 2 million a year you're 'struggling' because palo alto is so expensive. fair enough, it certainly is- but it's california and any property you're going to buy is going to be obscenely expensive. they also interviewed a lot of these people at a popular local winebar and all of them were sipping on spendy glasses of wine. so basically i'm just trying to be a bit less negative. i can't really tell if it's working or not. i still have the hurdle of how to get the next record released. i can't remember if stefanie was telling me that grant money for artists has dried up or not- but the time is approaching where i need to go and check into that option and apply and whatnot. i have a semblance of the finished product ready to go. in fact i might have to start raising money to get it mastered. i think i'm going to tack the single onto the end of it so that it's all done at once. i found out i'm on a fixed rate at magneto mastering- $300 per album. at least i never have to wonder how much it's going to cost. very nice indeed!
we're slowly raising money to go to portland- i think the new date is around halloween. i'm hoping that the show at the record bar works out- because that would make for a nice long weekend in august and ideally we can get another show sussed out in lawrence as well. looking forward to it. hope it works out. then there's the possibility of playing a free monday night show at the empty bottle with this band called soft speaker. keep your fingers crossed for us folks.
over and out.

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