Thursday, September 24, 2009

i think my head might explode

too much information going around and doing so much of absolutely nothing. i can't keep up. after a very productive week last week where i recorded several amazing new songs that i'm ridiculously happy with it's not much of a surprise that i am due for some time in the doledrums. that's right folks- back to the crippling, black depression i'm so used to. to add to that i am feeling more sleep-deprived than i have in months and we just started an extended housesitting stint. *yay*
we have some kind of plans to do something expensive and social tomorrow night- so i'll be stuck with the dog at the house in evanston all day (when will we feed our cats? who the fuck knows?!)- not that it really matters. here's my schedule for my 'days off' when we housesit- 6am wake up to feed the two cats, 7am wake up to drive stefanie to work, 9-9:30am (sometimes 10am if parking's bad enough in our neighborhood- like today for example) arrive at our apartment. from there the options become whether or not i should get a few more hours' sleep or go ahead and head to coffee shop for my mandatory loafing time. today i'll basically have to leave the apartment after being there for only an hour and a half today- not long enough to really commit to doing much of anything.
rolling into month four after having ordered that ever-elusive spectrum ep i STILL DO NOT HAVE IT IN MY HANDS! this time it's thanks to the never-ending idiocy of the chicago postal service. it's flashes of the spritualized green vinyl debacle of last year- even after waiting for two months for the vinyl to be mailed it took TWO FUCKING WEEKS TO GET TO ME! earlier in the year magneto mastering was trying to send me reference discs from minneapolis- they shipped them via priority mail and it took four weeks to get to me- for some reason the package just sat in a warehouse in glen ellyn for two weeks. i think they have me on a 'do not deliver' list and it's really goddamned fucking annoying. i think i've decided to go to permanent records and buy a copy there, that way it'll finally show up in the mail and then i'll have two. maybe they'll become valuable and i can sell one (which i did with the extra green vinyl lp i had and ended up selling for less than what i paid for it because some numbskull didn't know how to use the 'buy now' feature on ebay). i dunno.
i'm in the middle of the hopeless task of 'saving money' to pay for more 1/4" tape and mastering. the tape machine has a feature i wasn't aware of- the 'repro' head which is basically what you're supposed to use when you're doing your final mixdown. basically i suspect that if i'd done this with the 'dandelions' ep then it wouldn't've had quite as much hiss as it ended up having. i was going to go to the trouble of calibrating the machine before doing the 'all hope is blind' mixdown, but then after reading about this feature i decided it would be better to just give it a go using this new knowledge.
i have nothing else to say. at all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

same time, same place, every week, predictable as the tides

the frustration of ordering tangible music online continues, but with a bit of relief this week. back in june i pre-ordered a vinyl copy of the new spectrum ep ('war sucks') and still haven't received it in the mail- to be fair there was a problem with the manufacturing, the label owner (and i suspect sole employee) ended up in the hospital for a spell and now i discovered that he took a $2 loss per record because he didn't allow enough for shipping (it was only $15 for the record- which surprised me, actually). yikes. i was getting pretty pissed and sent him a slightly curt email- i never resort to name-calling or anything like that in emails no matter how pissy i am- and then heard that it had been shipped and i should have it by this weekend. i'd offered to send him the additional $5 (it's listed on the website now at $20) and he told me he'd appreciate that, given the loss, so i did. i now feel kinda bad for being a bit pissed. there's a fellow chicagoan posting on the spiritualized board and he'd already received his, so naturally i went and assumed the worst.
i'm a bit rattled though- i'm beginning to wonder if i should bother pre-ordering such limited edition types of things. i do so to avoid having to pay ridiculous prices further down the line to some kind of ebay price-gouger. speaking of which i was going for the wrong vox guitars during that whole ordeal- i saw a 12 string vox phantom go for less than $700. DOH! i found out that the one at chicago music exchange is $2000. nice. i did find someone online who restores old and weird vintage guitars and collects airline guitars (an airline guitar is a guitar that is currently played by the likes of jack white) is selling a 12 string phantom for $1100. i'm thinking of asking anthony how much he wants for his epiphone les paul and putting some time and a little money into fixing it up somewhat and maybe i could sell it (as well as selling my fender mustang) in order to afford a vintage vox guitar. kind of pipe-dreamy, but perhaps it could work. you never know until you try. probably not going to happen tho.
what else? i'm not really working on anything but the preparations for our show on the 24th. i am going to save up the money for the mastering of 'all hope is blind.' i'm hoping i can pull this off by the end of the month (hilarious huh?). i'm still clinging to the notion of being able to get the whole thing out and released. don't know what that's about...
tons of concerts. i have some extra moolah on my paycheck that i have to go get today. i do have to pay my normal $300 to the credit card bogey-men- this is essential. essential.

Monday, September 14, 2009

for old time's sake

i shared this show on the keep music evil forum, so i thought i'd put it up here just on the off chance that others might hear it (har dee har). this is a warlocks show from 2007 in sheffield, england at the shakespeare. it's in two parts and the files are wav files. an unknown benevolent soul on the old brian jonestown massacre board is the one who shared this. one of my great regrets of this year is not taping both nights at the empty bottle. why?!

part 1-
part 2-
enjoy the icky ads!

Friday, September 11, 2009

bouncing bee

i've got the whole ennui thing going on right now- not able to wake up so much. i recorded a new song that is currently operating under the working title 'california light bright' because it's actually an upbeat song. seriously- even the lyrics are upbeat. it might actually be a bit too upbeat for me. not sure what i'm going to do with it, but it went really really well- acoustic guitar, two electric guitars (one doing some nice melodic leads), vocals, two drums, a tamborine and a really killer bassline that was added absolutely last. i'm still really good at the bass- it's a shame i don't play it more often. when i pick it up i can come up something good with very little effort. i have another song i was thinking of recording today that's been rattling around in my brain for years called 'amoeba'- i finally got a good chord progression nailed down on the fucking thing. the way it was when it was first written was a bit too much of a rip-off and then i thought that i'd fixed it, but really wasn't too excited about the way that i'd 'fixed' it- it just sounded like i subbed in a different chord for the one that i really wanted and yesterday i was just strumming around and figured something out that worked better than both previous ways. today i would like to record it- hope that works out for me. i have another song i've been working on for eons as well and it's kind of in a strange state at the moment- it was just going to be an instrumental of about four guitars- i did it that way and i was going to experiment with recording the guitars all direct and adding the effects later. while doing that i wrote some lyrics, let them sit for a long time and then added more. added the effects and then decided i could also do a mix with even more stuff- organ, drums, have stefanie write some more lyrics and add them a la 'the sun is so bright...' where we both sing different parts. these are all potential 'chinese blue' songs. i think it's been decided that that will be the next shalloboi record. it's kind of the batch of songs i've been working on for a few years that i'm most excited about finishing- so why not?
other than that it's very hum-drum again. not much to do lately. i'm already sick of converting lps. it looks like we're going to have some trouble with the show coming up on the 24th. i don't think chris can do it- he's in a show that runs until nov. 1. i'd really rather not do it without him, but we already said we would so now i have to figure out how to get ahold of another violist. bummah! plus all of his parts are written in treble clef already and i don't know if i can take rewriting all of it in alto clef. pooo! oh well- i shall see...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

another link on the chain gone

this should be a pretty decent weekend- today at least appears to be a likely candidate for a good day. i'm here at metropolis listening to the new vivian girls lp. i converted the new cramps lp i bought on tuesday as well and last night i finally converted kate bush's 'the sensual world' (which i listened to at the same time and was a bit non-plussed by it mainly because 'hounds of love' has crept back into my listening schedule and is taking up lots of real estate as it always does- it's one of my favourite albums of all time). i have two new songs to record as well- wooot! the title track for 'all hope is blind' is a few parts away from being finished as well- at this point it doesn't look good as a candidate to make the final tracklisting. kind of a shame since it is the title track.
stefanie and i have a two week reprieve from housesitting. after that we have an intensive two-week stretch of seth time. the week-long session wasn't too bad- there were a few crummy elements- namely one of jay and diana's neighbors who have a pit bull that keeps getting out of the fence. not cool. at all. and it happened twice while we were there. once while we were getting out of the car with seth- or rather while we left seth in the car until the dog was behind the fence.
i don't know if i have much in the way of thoughts to share- i'm glad this week is over. it was incredibly nice to have monday off- but it's always nice to have a day off with stefanie since it happens so irregularly these days. hardly ever i mean. i really need to get a new job. i have found a few things on craigslist that seemed like they might be okay to apply to in addition to my current job. i need some more money, of course. i didn't win the vox starstream from last week- not a huge surprise. it stayed completely unbid on until a few hours before it closed. by the end of the auction the price had sky-rocketed from $500 to $1300 or so. damn. shot down! it's probably for the best- i really didn't have the money to afford it and this way i can use the money from the next house-sitting adventure to have 'all hope is blind' mastered. i've got to buy some fairly expensive calibration tape and calibrate my machine so that it sounds better. i felt like it sounded very good without being calibrated, but the calibration will take care of the bulk of the tape hiss i think. i also hit upon a good idea for the tour- i was going to make cdrs of all of our single releases. it would give me a reason to master those finally, as well.
this month ended up being a triple paycheck month. the money i'd saved from my small paycheck to pay for the proposed guitar purchase wound up being spent on records and dvds- i got '30 rock' season 1, 'weeds' season 3, the new vivian girls lp and the cramps 'songs the lord might have taught us' lp. besides that there was tons of eating out in evanston. good stuff. my next paycheck will be for my credit cards.
anyway, off i go.

Friday, September 4, 2009

go figure.

right after i wrote that entry i went and asked for another show at the empty bottle.
yesterday was kind of a rough one- i thought that stefanie wanted to scale back on band activities, but as it turns out i was mistaken. besides all of that it was an incredibly stressful day- i probably would've been brutally depressed even if that hadn't happened. no one told me, but yesterday was chicago's 'holy-fucking-shit'-level of traffic day. i spent about three hours in gridlock yesterday. at least i know what it's like to live in l.a. now. good to know. i did a ton of running around yesterday as well- i somehow managed to break in the new turntable we got that has a usb chord hookup. i converted the monks record and the vivian girls song from the 'the world's lousy with ideas' comp. not the crystal stilts record just yet- i lack the proper 7" adapter (it has a large center hole). the crystal stilts 7" is very good, though. i also did an alternate version of the vivian girls song through the cd burner. i still have the old turntable hooked up.
today will be nice because i have absolutely NOTHING to do whatsoever. i did my chores yesterday while transferring the monks record.
i have my eye on a vox starstream that's up for auction on ebay. i am prepared to basically sell my soul to get ahold of it. no one's bid on it yet. yet. there are a few things on it that don't work- namely a few of the built-in effects (which is what the vox starstream is known for). sadly the repeater is one of the effects that doesn't work on it- and i just did a google and discovered that the likelihood that it could be fixed is indeed very very low. i did, however, find an effects box that does a good job of emulating the repeater effect. obviously this would be an acceptable substitute for me. in a way i am going to think of this as good news- perhaps no one will want it now and perhaps that will keep the price static. it will take a good deal of maneuvering to get my slimy little mitts on this beauty, but dammit i'm going to do it if it's possible. if the price holds i see no reason not to score one of these beauties- especially since i'd just gone through a phase of being completely discouraged about the fact that i wanted to use hollow bodied guitar tons on the 'chinese blue' record and even possibly a vox 12 string of some kind if possible- seeing one at this price is just a little too good to be true! a fully functional one would easily cost 4x that price. it's mainly that specific tone that i'm after anyway. also it's missing a bridge plate and comes without a hardshell case. i'm hoping this will be like when i got my jazzmaster way back ten years ago- it was obscenely cheap because it came without a hardshell case. basically my plan is to sell my fender mustang in order to acquire this thing. pretty much what i have to do is wait to see if i win it and then start to list my mustang while paying for the vox with a credit card- which i'll pay off once the guitar is sold and we're also getting some serious money for a two-week long housesitting gig that's coming up later in the month. it's a bit risky, but i believe that the risk would be worth it in the long run. if this works out it'd be quite a coup- something that most likely wouldn't come along again.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

congratulations are in order...

... i've finally gotten the hint- i'm through begging and begging for shows- congratulations to all of the discouraging booking agents, the talking crowds and the special elite high school-like society that exists in every tier of the music world. you've all won! i can't handle the rejection anymore. i might make an effort to book one more show this year, if any of the colleges we just sent fliers to respond (which i don't anticipate this happening at all) then i'll attempt to flesh out a tour for march, i'll go ahead and flush $25 down the drain and apply at sxsw again, but after all of that i'm basically just going to try to get the new record out (at least digitally) and then work on another record. beyond that i don't have any plans to continue begging and begging and begging and begging and begging and begging and begging and doing what everyone says i'm supposed to do (that NEVER works btw) in order to play local shows. if anyone out there thinks they can prove me wrong then, by all means, i'll send you our press materials and links and YOU can do all of the begging and networking and wade through all of the high-school-mentality dreck. i would love nothing more than to be proven wrong. any takers?! i didn't think so. over and out...