Saturday, October 24, 2009

diary 10.19.09- the troubles

a new diary mix. october is proving to be a bit of a difficult month-

song- artist- album
1. a new silence/the best explanation- the morning after girls- alone.
2. disappearing ink- deerhunter- rainwater cassette exchange
3. hellhole ratrace- girls- hellhole ratrace 10"
4. go meet the seed- thee oh sees- help
5. service bell- grizzly bear- horn of plenty
6. ghost car- helium- superball 7"
7. little stars- holly golightly- little stars 7"
8. for you/dreamlanding- jessica bailiff- even in silence
9. walking & falling/over & over- spectrum- war sucks 12"
10. i need no trust- my bloody valentine- feed me with your kiss
11. medication #4- the gris-gris- for the season
12. wine- the raveonettes- in and out of control
13. stay with me- spiritualized- 2009.10.12- london, uk- royal festival hall (all tomorrow's parties 'ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space' bootleg)
14. fall aside- hope sandoval and the warm inventions- through the devil softly
15. the kick inside- kate bush- the kick inside

Thursday, October 22, 2009

change of venue

due to some really sad news for the metropolis folks- namely this i'm at pause right now. really sad news- not real sure what to say as i didn't know her, but i know who she is (did a google and found some pictures to confirm this). it's odd to think of anyone being gone that suddenly. a little unnerving... enough to get me back into 'scared to die' mode last night (which happens occasionally). i'm glad that they were closed today- it's an encouraging sign when people are allowed space to grieve after something like that.
listened to the new raveonettes album on the ipod for the first time (i usually just listen to it on the computer). i like about half of it a lot and the other half not so much. i guess they'll never make a record as great as 'lust lust lust'- the lukewarm response to that record is something that i've never found anything short of completely baffling, but whatever. so this raveonettes record goes in the drawer with most of their other records- a handful of really amazing songs coupled with another handful that are trying a bit too hard and fall a bit short of their intent. i am impressed by 'boys who rape (should all be destroyed)'- it is an impressive thing to make a song that poppy about disturbing subject matter- it's probably enough to give the sense of what it was like in the 60's to hear a song like 'there she goes.' but things like 'last dance' and 'suicide' and 'd.r.u.g.s.' (there's a line in there about burping and farting- what were they thinking?) just really aren't doing it for me at all. that said 'wine,' 'gone forever,' 'heart of stone' and 'echoes' (i bought the album on itunes and it had two bonus tracks) are all fantastic songs! i guess i'd rate this album above 'pretty in black' as that one has some truly wretched songs on it (why did they cover 'my boyfriend's back' again?). i'm not so keen on 'chain gang of love' as an album either, but at least it's doing what it's originally set out to do. given all of this i still wouldn't mind going to see them at the metro- i'm on the lookout for free tickets. the black angels are opening and i wouldn't mind seeing the raveonettes again- my theory was if i got the free tickets i'd watch the black angels, wait for 30 minutes and if they weren't onstage at that point then i'd just leave rather than wait the full hour. seriously- that shit is inexcusable.
i'm back on a cure kick. listening to 'pornography' right now- i don't think i've ever listened to it on my own through my ipod. adam snow played it once at beans while we were closing on a sunday afternoon. i'm kind of back on the cure wagon because the 'disintegration' remaster is finally coming out in 'spring 2010.' i'm hoping that doesn't mean may or something like that. it's going to be three discs and the third disc will basically be a remastered version of 'entreat' which will include the remaining 'disintegration' tracks that weren't on- so it's basically a live version of the album. that is just ducky with me because there is a fucking amazing live version of 'the same deep water as you' from the fourth show at wembley arena (which is where 'entreat' was recorded) that i have on a bootleg, but certainly wouldn't mind having on a cd. i'll probably actually buy this one- i skipped most of the other reissues simply because i had vinyl versions of most of them and went with those in lieu of expensive reissues- i also found out that i could get ahold of the individual extra tracks through itunes. i had a download of the bonus disc for 'faith' and i didn't like it very much. i haven't listened to the whole of the 'pornography' bonus disc either. as if that weren't good enough news supposedly 'show' is finally going to be released on dvd and blu-ray next year as well. AT FUCKING LAST! i'll buy that one even if there aren't any bonus tracks (although i'm hoping for some pretty nice ones knowing the cure). it's always been baffling to me why they released another live dvd from that 2005 festival tour with all old songs right on the heels of the amazing 'trilogy' set.
i was wracking my brains trying to figure out what album to play on mr. james eric lazckowski's new series of people playing albums in their entirety, but last night as i was discussing it with stefanie we kind of figured it might not be worth doing. the best idea i think that i had was if i can get the string players to come along we could do a 40-minute selection of acoustic arrangements of cure songs- i had some ideas for some decent ones. i even have a string arrangement mostly done for 'plainsong.' arranging the cure for strings is pretty straightforward. i had this idea that i wanted to record versions of all of the songs on 'disintegration' for my 30th birthday, which is also the 20th anniversary of the album. i started a cover of 'untitled' as well since i thought that i was selling my 6-string bass for the vox ultrasonic and the irony was that i was getting the tones i've been chasing fruitlessly for years and figured out a simple way to capture them accurately. basically at this point i'm planning on spending the next year saving up to buy one of those vox ultrasonics- it'd be easier to have the money once one pops up rather than trying to find anything and everything i could sell in order to afford it. this way i am also able to keep the 6-string bass around.
anyway this is long, rambling and weird enough to be over. listening to 'a strange day' right now- how fitting.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

hope sandoval and the warm inventions- 2009.10.05- chicago, il- lakeshore theater

here is my recording of the hope sandoval show at the lakeshore theater a few weeks ago. it's in flac or in mp3. i re-upped the flacs on 12.2 due to some problems and a remaster (it sounds quite a bit clearer now). enjoy!

part 1
part 2

Friday, October 16, 2009

'all hope is blind' is finished

the record is finally finished. just in time for me to find a listing for the nap study at rush university. maybe i can actually do this this time. it'd be a good time of year to do this if everything will work out (i strongly suspect that it will not). *good vibes, good vibes*. i'm thinking that the portland trip will most likely be the one that spoils the whole thing. if it were during the whole of november that would be best- there aren't any shows i want to go see, no shows that we're scheduled to play, absolutely nothing! i'm really hoping that that works out. i really have no other way to earn the $1500 to pay for the vinyl pressing- pretty much totally out of options. i was supposed to do this work for will once he got his new computer from brad, but i'm certainly not counting on that to pan out. he was even going to give me an advance on the money so i could do the vinyl pressing, but there's no way i'm taking that now. what's more it's a bit moot- i'd be surprised if he even has any memory of telling me he'd do that, or even that he's asked me to do the entire job. i'm still having a lot of trouble understanding exactly what it is that i'm supposed to do in the first place... as far as i can tell it's just naming tracks and converting everything to mp3.
i'm listening to the final mixes at the moment. the tape captures a lot more low-end than the cd burner- i normally have to push the low end up so high to get it on cd. i'm wondering if the digital mixes will end up sounding better or not... it could also just be my shitty ipod's sound quality (it is really bad when you listen to it through headphones). the thing is it doesn't sound muddy. i also think that my ears are completely fatigued... my left ear started ringing out of nowhere last night just as i went to bed. totally weird. i hope against hope that i'm not losing my hearing, but i'm pretty sure that that might be the case. i feel like if i'd really done too much hearing damage from all of the noisy guitar playing that i would've contracted tinnitus by now, but i haven't.
well, i'm completely out of things to say at the moment. tah-tah for now!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'think i can hit the mark...'

another useless news flash- I’m re-entering the doledrums at work. It has to do with my manager 100%- not going to go into it because it’s just the same old shit, so what’s the use. I’ve pared my responses to him down to the bare minimum. I’m sure all of this will blow over fairly quickly, I’ll probably be duped into thinking that he’s my pal again and then he’ll totally lose his shit over the way that I cut a tomato or something like that (no seriously). That’s my prediction- there’s only three months left anyway and then I’m free to start looking for other work- just in time for the recession. I’ve figured out how he works- he always has to have someone to pick on and project all of his ocd/monster control freak neuroses onto. At the moment I’m the one in the hotseat. He rotates between the three five-day workers. I’m quite sure that I don’t consider him my friend anymore, though- he’s used up all of his brownie points and now he’s in the red and has proven himself to be completely unworthy of my trust. That’s the general recipe for me ditching friends (or people who I thought were friends). Cold as ice. People are given multiple chances and if they piss all over all of them despite my plainspoken objections then they aren’t friends, that’s pretty much where it begins and ends. This is why I only have a few real friends- I can’t seem to have more than five close friends at a time. That’s how few people actually do have any insight into the type of person that I am and how I work. So if you’re a good friend of mine consider yourself very lucky- I think very highly of you and I don’t think very highly of the vast majority of people that I come into contact with.

It occurs to me that this is indeed a rather cold way to live and indicative of a great deal of cynicism and elitism and I’d just like to footnote that by saying that I don’t think that I’m better than everyone else, it’s more that I don’t think that there are a lot of people in the world who I can share a true understanding with- a reciprocal kind of thing. It’s kind of my opinion that most people don’t really care about this fact- they just are more social people and like to have a lot of friends. I guess that they’re more forgiving than me. At the same time I find I’m more forgiving than a lot of people I come across and when I decide someone isn’t my friend anymore they’ve been given tons of chances and just tossed them all aside and I take that to mean that they don’t view me as an equal and expect more respect from me than they are willing to give back- then you have a textbook one-sided friendship and I’m not doing those anymore- they’re pointless. Someone who wants you around as their doormat isn’t really interested in you as their friend. I’ve been through this pattern enough times to know.

I’ve been really pissed for the last week or so but I wouldn’t call this an all-out depression by any means. I don’t really know how that’s possible- but that’s what’s going on here. I’ve definitely been down in the dumps feeling really really low before and I’m definitely not there yet. I actually am enjoying having the experience and knowledge to be able to catch these things before they become a problem and start doing a number on my self-esteem and self-worth. It’s a positive effort to turn my problems with those two things around. It’s actually what you’d call being proactive.

On a happier note I’m listening to an awesome recording of the spiritualized show at the royal festival hall earlier in the week. They played ‘ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space’ in its entirety with a giant gospel choir, horns and strings. I was walking around listening to it yesterday and there were several times that I found myself with tears in my eyes- powerful stuff. I can only imagine what it was like to actually be there.

We have a strings show coming up a week from Saturday- a bit of a shame that chris won’t be there, but after all of the run-throughs it seems clear to me that it’s going to be pretty fucking awesome and the groundwork has been laid for many future strings shows- I’ve noticed that once they’ve practiced a song several times it’s pretty much in the vaults- at the first practice we ran through three songs from the other show back in april and Katelyn and aleksa were right on point. All we have to do is run-through them now. Nice. They’re really part of the band now- that’s pretty much how Stefanie and I do it- we practice a song a few times, play it live, work out the bugs if there are any and then once that’s all done we never have to practice it again. I’m quite excited about the show. Quite excited. The only thing is that we don’t really have anything else set up at the moment and I’ve kind of dropped the ball in that regard because the dates we wanted in December are coming up too soon and I wasn’t on the ball enough to ask for the dates far enough in advance and it looks like it might not be happening… fucking BUMMER…

Friday, October 9, 2009

monstrous update

yesterday i was just about to start some new recordings when stefanie called me to come meet up with her at the goose island brewery for some drinks. i was going to do the guitars for this song that has had so many titles since it was written that i don't even know what it's called now- 'fall' maybe? or is it 'high'? or is it still 'high as i fall'? who the fuck knows. i have a bit of a small cycle of very fuzzy, vaguely poppy songs- a few of them with direct-recorded guitars. a few are 'down to sleep' leftovers. one isn't making the cut because i played it for stefanie and she asked me if it was a bjm cover.
someone emailed me this morning about buying my bass vi. fingers crossed. i talked about recording a cover for that cure song 'untitled' with it if someone showed any interest in buying it. i guess i should get to work on that one today when i get back to the apartment.
something strange- i'm kind of looking forward to the working week. i don't really understand this development as it's most unexpected. i've got a practice with aleksa on tap on sunday and i'm going to have her record some cello parts for the redone version of 'christmas song'- three to be exact. woot! hopefully we can get that one finished quickly and then i can finally do the 'all hope is blind' mixdown and see if i can tack on the 'christmas suite' single and that way it'll be ready in time for christmas. it will just be a downloadable thing, but since i'm already getting an album mastered and there is enough space to fit it on there i might as well do it concurrently for $300. i'm already paying the money as it is.
listening to the hope sandoval and the warm inventions show right now. i haven't written about it yet, so i thought i might as well right now. i'm going to post the audio as soon as i can anyway. just like when i saw her the first time at the aladdin theater in portland back in 2002 she played an unreleased song- back then it was 'friends of a smile' (which later came out on an ep). this time it was 'courting blues'- which is a fucking EXCELLENT song! i hope that it comes out on an ep of some kind as well because it is so awesome! yeah, she performed in near-complete darkness. yeah, she seemed uncomfortable onstage and didn't say hardly anything to the audience at all. they had some film projections that were pretty nice. good stuff. i didn't really care too much for the opening band dirt blue gene- but they were also her backing band. their songs were too blissed-out and airy even for me. they tried to do a 'rockin' number to close and i really didn't feel like it worked. it just seemed a bit obligatory. normally i eat that shit up like candy, but not this time. that said they were great musicians and i thought they were great as hope's backing band. i guess that their music isn't that song-based. i'm never a fan of style over substance. it was great to see colm playing again as well- i'm always tickled by the contrast between his drumming in my bloody valentine (now that i've seen them live as well) and with hope. he is fantastic at both- an excellent drummer- very song-sensitive which i admire more than anything. i'm beginning to really loathe the lakeshore theater- it just seems like an awkward venue for a music show. i've only seen two shows there- jolie holland and this show. i really hate how they open the doors and cram everyone into the hallway-sized lobby area and make them wait until they open the theater doors. the place just isn't laid out for something like that and they always seem to be running late with the soundcheck (i could hear the band soundchecking 'blanchard' as i was waiting out in the lobby despite the loud music they were blaring to try and cover it up). considering how small and intimate and beautiful the venue is (seated shows of this nature are the apple of my eye) the sound should really be better. it just seems a bit muddy for whatever reason- what's more it doesn't even seem like they send barely any of the drums through the p.a. if the p.a.'s that quiet then the sound should be crystal clear. i think this just ties in with the fact that it's primarily a comedy theater. another wonderful thing- the crowd was AWESOME! so quiet and reverent. such a rarity for such soft and beautiful music- if only every crowd could be so respectful. wonderful stuff. the people behind were obviously a bit three-sheets to the wind and elicited a few eye rolls from me at the time- but they were able to confine their annoyingness to the period inbetween songs. in retrospect they weren't bad at all- i am just very grouchy when i'm amongst a giant throng. all in all it was a great night and i'm so glad i went! i will go see hope sandoval whenever she plays. i'm beginning to kind of wish that i'd gone to see the milwaukee show as well.
not much else on tap today- i'm hoping a shitload of recording will happen. i carried all of my stuff over the other building to try to use the piano yesterday as well but chickened out. there were a lot of people in the computer lab and i didn't feel like subjecting them to an 8-minute long piano dirge that has no changes in it at all.
that's about all i have for today i think.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

they orbit... never to land...

a lot of stuff is kind of coming together at the moment. it's a very weird kind of thing going on at the moment- it looks like we'll be opening for dr. killbot at beat kitchen next wednesday. the show at uncommon ground is two weeks from saturday. we still haven't practiced a 2nd time because katelyn is very busy and she had to flake on the practice we were going to do at jay and diana's- which was okay because aleksa ended up not coming either because she was sick. so right now the pressure's on. yipes. the show at beat kitchen though will allow us to supplement the gigantic book of songs that we are always wanting to play and trim it down into two manageable halves- one loud and the other quiet.
not much else to say- i'm planning on having a go at mixing 'all hope is blind' down to tape today. not sure when the hell i'm actually going to have the money to master it- i have been getting better about putting money aside, but the trip to portland is looming and i'd be very surprised if i managed to fritter away enough money in that time to afford mastering and have any amount of mad money to spend in portland. right after that is stefanie's birthday too, which i need to save money for as well. right after that i have my dad's birthday. it's kind of a now-or-never situation in a lot of ways... hmmmm...
this blog has really died a death lately- i never have time to write here or anything. it could have to do with the in-the-red hectic schedule we've been keeping for the last month or so. today was the first day in about a month that i was able to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep and not wake up to an alarm- truly a beautiful thing. truly beautiful. i think due to the chaos of the last three weeks and the sleep deprivation and the onset of colder weather i am now in the midst of a cold- much like everyone else around me. everyone at work has the sniffles right now. it's kind of frustrating as i'm pretty sure it's not going to go away by the time of the show- or the time of the portland trip. maybe so, maybe not. i'm doing my best to get it under control. not sure of how good of a job i'm doing. i had a sore throat for a few days, but it seems to have gone away. i can't tell if i'm entering the nasal salt-flats period of the cold or not yet- that's the most fun stage.
i dunno. i tried to get some artwork together for the proposed zine that's supposed to go with the 'all hope is blind' album- i was just going to put together a xeroxed zine with it with artwork and cut up lyrics along with the run-of-the-mill liner notes thrown in there. i thought it would be a special thing to do with this very special album.
i've cleared the hurdles for the album that were in the way- fixed the problems that i was having, etc. etc. i've gotten the revamped 'christmas song' up and going- recorded a nice bowed-guitar part in one take that i'm pretty happy with and now just have to add strings and such and vocals... good stuff!