Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Are Done....I Think

The record is finished.

Well....not exactly. But there isn't anymore tracking/recording left to do. After last night, everything looked and appeared to be finished.

Tha D finished out his guitar solos for Gold Rush and then sat on the couch and drnak whiskey while I piled through one last attempted to save he vocals on Gold Rush. The gamble worked.

We listened and discussed most of the night. So far, everything is sounding really good. The Rice is trying his hardest to get everything mixed before he leaves for New Zealand on Jan 4th. His trip will delay the mastering of the record but what's another month??

We are looking at a February digital release on Itunes and a March/April release for the physical cd's.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One More Day....Just One More, I promise, just one more

Today I turned on the 4-track and worked out a demo for a possible "INTRO" to the record. I would for it to be on the album, but being that time is squishier than ever, it may not happen. I honestly won't be disappointed either way. But here's to hoping.

I also started working on many many newer song ideas. I even went down the lyrical path a bit. I revisited some stuff that was in the process of becoming potential songs but never got anywhere. It's how just rewinding a tape to find something specific makes you stumble upon older stuff you completely forgot about. Being that school is out until mid January, and all i have to do is work, there may be a few new songs by the end of the Xmas break. This happens alot around this time of the year. i get bored, so I write. Imagine what will happen in May when I graduate and this current album is out. We have more material coming. Or atleast material for our ever evolving list of side projects that only exist in our minds. Made-Up Country album anyone?

I think we bought ourselves some time. Not sure about it yet. Tha D is finishing is his last song tomorrow. I might clean up for vocals. The problem I'm coming into is that the longer we take, the more I'm going to pick at my singing. After listening to "mixed" versions of 7 songs, I came to conclusion that no matter what, I won't be happy, so I should just get over it. I don't think I can song these songs any better or different. So i'm just going to re-do Gold Rush for the 5 millionth time and just walk away.

I would also like there to be more than just me singing. There are several areas in all the songs that could have a double, a oh, an ah, a woo-hoo, etc etc. Its weird just listening to one Kelly. It feels kareoke. Like some rapper rhyming to a track, and nothing else. This could also be a mix issue and the vocals are just too high in the mix....who knows....

Release date? Not sure....I'll get back to you on that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can't Hardly Wait

We are still awaiting the final finale of this record. We are waiting on Tha D. But I would much rather be waiting on him than Josh. It would be weird if the drums were not finished already.

Schedules have been the hurdle. Sure we have all the time in the world but our schedules have not been matching up and holidays don't help either. Tha D is getting antsy too. But the longer we wait, the better and more conifdent he is becoming, and his parts are blossoming even more than before. Sometimes time and thought can be a good thing. Just wait until you hear Let's Go To War. It's nothing like you've ever heard him do!

The mixing process allows us to be productive while being unproductive. Not sure where we are in that but Daniel Rice has been working pretty hard lately. I know he has 6 songs mixed. Not sure if anything else.

We are practicing tomorrow. More like a jam because Tha D is in the magical kingdom for the week. We all feel a bit sluggish because the practices and shows have been fewer than normal but as the history of this band has shown, the fall is just a bad time for ALL of us. So far we have two shows in January, and possibly two others coming down the pipeline. There are also two in the works for Feb. and another one for March. Hopefully one of these shows will be the record release show for the album. That all depends on time now. I have given up on a January release date and i'm looking more towards a February release. It wouldn't surprise me if we have to wait until March or April though. I graduate at the end of April, so that will be perfect timing. I just want this thing out so all these up coming shows won't be for nothing. I hate playing 12 songs that aren't available for the crowd to purchase. There is also alot of promo work to be done. We plan on sending this thing out for reviews and hopefully generate some hype. I've got an idea for a 3-4 song sampler of the album. Just something to ge the taste buds flowing. We are just too damn proud of this thing and its making us nuts!! Ever since I finished my vocals i've been pulling my hair out. I just can't wait for the world to hear this wonderful peice of work we have spent nearly a year working on.

Monday, November 23, 2009


As we left the studio Saturday, I told Kelly that it felt weird to have the vocals finished. He said it didn't feel like he had actually done it. In fact, it sort of creeped up on us, but we did in fact leave on Saturday with all of them finished. Some effects need to be placed on them and there's still some editing work, but we've got it. They are done. This vital piece turned out to be much more tedious than we had planned, so we hadn't budgeted the hours that we ended up spending on them. All in all, the record is better because we put the time into it. I swore during that session that I wouldn't come to the studio for any more vocal tracking sessions anymore because they are so very tedious, so it was also a bit of a surprise that things finished up as neatly as they did.

We did a very little bit of instruments and hand claps, and we did all the backing vocals that hadn't been done yet.

It feels funny. It feels weird. But when I think about it, it feels good. That leaves so little to be done for the record I can hardly stand it. Daniel Cat is on deck to finish up tomorrow night. Barring any crazed lunatics driving through his yard, he should be able to knock out all that he has left in one swoop.

My excitement has been waning in the inevitable set-backs of making this record, but knowing that we are finally finishing the tracking is helping me to build steam to hopefully finish the artwork so it will be ready for the final push to pressing once the mixing and mastering are finished.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:

1. I don't know when the album will be out. Mostly because its not finished, but after this week it will be.

2. Tha D used every guitar he owns.

3. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a single track with a Big Muff pedal. But don't let that discourage you.

4. There will be 13 songs.

5. There will be a bonus EP.

6. There will be a massive tour of Tennessee following the release of the album.

7. Unfortunately none of pets appear on the album.

8. We are self-releasing the album. Hopefully someone will pick it up and make it available to millions.

9. I'm not a Free Mason.

I hope this helps!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 Hours and 40 Mintues In The Studio


I went to the studio today. Peach was there too. I did vocals. Peach watched. I sang. Peach nodded. Daniel Rice moved the nobs. We finished "CIA."

Productive and satisfying.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Came, We Rocked, We kicked Ass!!!

Saturdays show at the French Quarter Cafe was great!

It was cool playing nothing but the new record during the initial portion of the set and I felt as if we were a more "seasoned" or "veteran" band when we saved what are now considered "old" songs til last! The set flowed! Real well. I don't think we had any down time.

It felt good to play out again after a few months. We are trying to do another show before Xmas and then it will be show-less until January 15th @ The Rutledge. Atleast there is nothing as of now but that can all change!

The album is almost dome. A few things here and there. Tha D felt that the triple practice and the show last week was enough to get his brain rolling and what to do with some of his remainder guitar work. I've got to finish Gold Rush and then do Let's Go To War and CIA. Hopefully this thing will finished by the end of next week. In the meantime, we are still being productive. The mixing stage is happening as we speak. So far we have been given 4 songs and they sound great!! The album just keeps getting better and better!!

Also, we are trying to put together a bonus disc or EP for the album. I think we may just hand it out for free or put it as a digital only download. We'll see. But for now, I'm polishing some demos of songs that never made it, and listening to some live tracks for inclusion. A little audio clean-up and some extra time, we should have an interesting bonus EP. I'm leaning towards a free giveaway. But we need money. Badly!

More news to come! To stay tuned!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hallowed Practice

There's always something about coming back together for practice after not playing together. There was something even more about practicing again after focusing so hard on the new songs and going back last night to bash through some Whimsical tunes and the rocking history songs. It was absolutely cathartic to get together to play last night. There's so much of a release in rocking out to those tunes. We're all excited about returning to the stage on Saturday, and we're glad that this week will yield 3 practices to help prepare us. We certainly need it, and we'll be in fine form if we have two more anywhere near what we did last night.

Saturday will be the first time we play a complete set of only history songs, relegating the older songs to the encore. We're even talking about not playing covers, which is certainly a departure from what we've always done up to now.

Daniel Reekay made a visit to give us a CD with four completed mixes. We once again piled into Daniel's car and listened to "Eli Whitney" and "Dear Abbey" before rocking out to "Commodity" and "Know It All." We are so excited. We're about to lose control, and we think we like it.

We rounded out the night with a few more tunes that needed more rust knocked off of them. There's something other-worldly about playing "Gold Rush." It doesn't sound like it's even our song. It feels like a cover. If we can bring it on Saturday like we did on the second run through, we'll certainly have an instant hit.

I was glad my brother was there to make videos of us hanging out and practicing for the documentary I've been preparing. I've got 3 hours and 45 minutes of footage without that, and I have a feeling I'll shoot some more in the coming weeks.

Practice is good. It was so good last night that even Daniel went home and advertised it on Facebook. It's good to know that we'll be practicing sets again after so long of focusing on new material. I think we needed that kind of low stress setting for a while after working so hard on this new stuff. When was last time we had it so nice? Leading up to the Whimsical release? I'll have plenty of other things to blog about for us other than practice in the near future, but it sure is nice to be through the thick of things in making the record to where we can enjoy the fruits of our earlier labors much more. Back to the stage!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Recording Vocals #2

On saturday I went back to the studio to work on more vocals. The plan, as always, was to finish all of them in one sitting. But as usual, this did not happen but in a good way.

I'm glad the vocals are coming together slowly because this is one aspect of the album that has not been put into any perspective. Even with me, I have not put a whole lot of thought into the performance of some of these things, mostly because for the first time ever I have the opportunity to do WHATEVER when it comes to singing. Daniel Rice has pretty much told that whatever I want to do, we can find a way to do it. How cool is that? The feeling of endless possibilities is nice, and time consuming.

Saturday I did all the lead and back-up for Groomed To Lead. The lead vocals were done rather quickly. I did three full takes, and then 2 full takes singing the song piece by piece. After some cut and paste, we moved into the back-ups. The "bops" didn't take long. We did one track with the root note and the other with a high octave. So the fused low and high sounds pretty smooth up against the lead vocal. We also did some nice three part harmony. This was a task that required some thought but once we figured out a way to have a guide while I sing, the takes we done fast and easy. The "ah's" inbetween the chours are smooth! I didn't know I could sing like that!

We then moved back to Gold Rush. The only real serious problem with doing the high three part harmonies on the chorus is the last note is too high for me to reach. But its ironic that without the backing trakc splaying, I can do it every time. The more relaxed and chilled I become, the easier I can do it, but the song itself is so intense, its hard to relax! Being that it was towards the end of an already 5 hour day, we decided to stop and call it a day. Next time, I think I can finish out Gold Rush with no problem. All this stuff is just practice as well. The performance is set in stone, I just need to get it down.

All is coming along very nicely. The mixing has begun and will continue throughout this week. Tha D is planning on using the two practices and the show this weekend as lubricant to go and finish all his guitar. I think after next week, everyhting under the sun will done. Not bad I should say. Not bad at all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recording Vocals

Kelly and I met with Daniel Reekay at the studio for the seventh day of recording, only to put in about 3 hours.

I began by discussing mixing with Daniel and mention some specific places in certain songs where I had questions about what I was hearing in the rough and about specific parts. We went through the editing a bit before Kelly arrived.

We began by working on "Election: 1800." Kelly did several takes on them and finally got what he was happy with. We talked some about the guitar we've wanted added to it, but ultimately we declared the song finished with the stipulation that if Tha D gets in the studio and records something before it's time to mix it, he can add something else.

We then did several takes of "Gold Rush," which just seems to have fallen on the back burner since it hasn't been touched since its initial tracking date. Kelly got the verses the way he wanted, and we then focused on the chorus. We want it to sound like its inspiration, an un-named Poison song, but I quickly felt like we fell short. What we have sounds pretty dense with so much falsetto over Kelly's lead, but it was still shy of what we wanted. Kelly had to split as three hours had gone by so fast, and Daniel and I played around with the song after he left to see about creating the sound we want. Daniel showed me how his vocal tuning software worked, which I found very interesting.

Our deadline of November 1st is three days away, and it's safe to say we won't make it. The vocals are going more slowly than we'd hoped, which is good since we're happy with them but bad in terms of cost, the factor that is now working its way to the forefront as our biggest challenge. I think Daniel's guitar sessions will also take some more time than we originally planned, and so we could have worked up quite a bill even before we add in the mixing.

The bad thing about all this is that now the Jan 1st deadline to have the CDs in hand won't happen. This makes it harder to think about release shows and other ideas until all those details are more worked out and closer in sight.

The best we can do for now is get in there and do what we can while we pay for what we can and work to complete the album as quickly as possible. Nine tracks are completed. Four more to go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The 25th has come and gone, and the busy schedules we're all living leave us little time to think about blogging. We did indeed go to the studio on Sunday. We tracked "Groomed to Lead" and "Central Incompetence Agency," both of which took much more time than we had hoped. There's always a difficulty adapting to the new locale of the studio with headphones and buffers and more distance between us, and that combined with the lack of practice really made it tough. The end results still sound great, but it was a rocky road getting there. Spirits were low by midday when we had only done one song and were questioning whether we were happy with it. Things picked up in the evening, and we finished the second song and began working on other tunes. We put finishing touches on four songs quickly enough, leaving the engineers a total of eight completed songs to begin mixing.

The remaining five songs need both vocals and some further instruments. No word from the D yet on when he'll go out there. I was hoping I could join him for a session, but I won't be there if he decides to go this weekend. Kelly and I return tomorrow to do some vocals and hopefully round things out with some other instruments.

There was much discussion earlier about running time, but the concern faded once we hit thirteen songs. The current running time is 44:13, but with about 6-20 seconds to shave off of most songs for the roughs I have, it will probably be right at 43 minutes in the end. Bullseye.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 25th Needs to Get Here Quick!

The 25th is going to get here soon enough!!

Aside from my nightmares, I have good feelings about this upcoming session. I also hope its the most productive with the mad dash to finish all the necessary tracks. With the way things are, the record won't be out until after Xmas but that doesn't mena we can spend more time. There things to to that take time and unfortunately too much time. So there are no problems in the art department and we have narrowed which company to get it pressed at to just two or three. I have a phone meeting with another company later today but so far its looking like we may go with the company that sponsors us on Itunes. Thats if we can get the this done in time to cash in on the super-mega-money-saving deal they have right now.

Practice is going good. We are playing at a less-loud volume which is making the 2-3 hours alot easier and less headachy. With the show coming up, the last two practices have been intense in terms of playing. We seem to be doing these at "show intensity" which is good because I like the excitement of being back on the stage and taking the music to the masses.

No tracklisting yet but you can expect these to be on the album: Eli Whitney, Bring Out Yr Dead, Whiskey Rebellion, The Great Stink, Bob Dole, Dear Abbey, Election:1800, Commodity, Groom To Lead, CIA, Gold Rush, Know It All, and Let's Go To War.

Thats 13 songs! There may be a 14th that acts like an intro. Josh had some more idears on that one on the drive home, so we may put a few of those into practice.

Tha D will be out for a week but when he returns, it's on!!!

Oh...and I got a new guitar! Come to the show on November 7th to see it!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lawsuit Dream

I had a dream last night we got sued over "Eli Whitney." The details are vague but we were freaking out. Glad it was a dream. But a faux lawsuit might get us some press.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Of Course The End Would Be The Hardest

How did I know that when we got closer to the end of this project it would prove to be more difficult to finish it?

The band itself isn't having issues. Its scheduling that is getting in the way. I hope its good karma and not bad karma.

My job has been occupying alot of my time. We are in "crisis" mode. Which really doesn't make much sense. I could sit here and explain it but the short story is that I'm on a mandatory 50 hour week. The "night shift" debacle only lasted two weeks which was great but the 50 hours is keeping me from not just band stuff but from school, home, and sleep. I have so much to fit into one single week and having the thunder of finishing stuff on time makes it hard. Atleast we got to practice last night.

I feel like we're just beating off and jerkin ourselves right now. I just want to get back in there and knock the rest of it out. I think we are strong enough to focus even if we are a bit under rehearsed. I also feel like after one more practice we should be good. Now in terms of playing these last two live, thats a different story....but for recording purposes, as long as everyone knows what is going on, we can kick out the jams.

I put down the hammer and decided that "Gone To Texas" will not be on the record. I have my reasons. I'll polish up the demo and put it on the bonus EP along with "Salem Witch." I hope we can get a couple of good sounding live tracks together to add to the bonus ep also. There may even be another lingering song to finish and put on the EP. Only time can tell, and thats if I have time.

Making this record has made me think alot about doing more and more stuff. I'm busting with ideas! Its insane! But for now I want to build a small recording set up at home. I've been watching and taking mental notes. It makes we wish I hadn't given up on this years back. But who needs school when you have direct experience. I'm looking forward to taking what I have learned from this and moving forward by doing it myself and producing the records at home. It's challenge I want to take.

We are playing at The French Quarter Cafe on November 7th. Come see us.

Tha D is going to Canada....canwe come too????

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gee, It's Good to Be Together Again

It's amazing how long ago it feels since we played our last show on August 15th. The record has progressed so much both in and out of the studio. I keep in the most regular contact with Kelly, then occasional conversations with Daniel and every once in a while with Josh. Josh and Kelly and I ran around this weekend to some music stores on Saturday so Josh could replace some drum equipment, and it was the first time I hung out with Josh since that last show. It's always fun just to hang out and do something other than practice. It feels like we never actually do that. We warmed up on some of the new stuff on Saturday, but it was short lived since Kelly had to leave.

We got together at the space on Sunday to work on what will probably be the last batch of new material. For the first time, we were working on not one but two of mine, with "Groomed to Lead" having the shortest gestation time of any Distractions song, having been written on Monday and worked up by the band on Sunday. I anticipated problems on "CIA" but not so much on "Groomed to Lead," but it turns out both presented their own problems. We did a few rough runs through "Groomed" and found that I had made "CIA" a bit too complicated to fully explain what was going on in the song without a demo. Daniel and I are going to work on that tonight. As of now, I'm optimistic that the songs will be ready to be recorded by the end of October, but we're certainly off to a bumpy start on them. Kelly's new tune, "Goin' to Texas," progressed more easily than the other two, but it still feels like it needs sort of a creative burst on it from all of us to give it the umph to make it stand out on the record. It's missing something, or things, but I'm not at all sure what.

The Distractions impress me. Seriously. I had sung "Groomed to Lead" once for Kelly and Josh before we did a dry test of it on Saturday. My vocal on it was always very straight, but Kelly really impressed me with how well he sang it and how good he made it sound. I was pleased that just his doing that gave that song an extra push. I had scripted parts for Josh and Daniel for "CIA," and they both quickly found ways to make gigantic improvements to those ideas. It surprised me that it was received better by them than "Groomed." I think that's because it provides them more room to play something different and emulate a style in new territory instead of coloring within the lines of a more defined genre of rock.

The excitement of what all three of these songs can be, just from one practice, is always one of the most exciting aspects of this band.

All in all, it's great to be back to practicing. I hope we can juggle practice and Kelly and Josh's proposed studio time with Daniel's need to finish his parts within the next44 days (don't check the calendar--I'm just referring to our self imposed deadline of Oct. 31st) with everything we have in our busy lives to crank this thing out by the end of the year like we're hoping.

Practice, New Jamz, and Headaches

After 4 weeks of not playing together, we still sound awesome!! I'm also shocked of how well everyone remembers the newest stuff during these long periods of time without any practice. But he have been in and out of the studio, so that helps.

We have three solid new tracks to get ready for the next and last band tracking session. I'm going to try and plan our a full two day session to not only get the band tracks down but finish out everything else that needs to be done. Two more full days should get all that done. In the mean time, I 'm hoping to get back and finish up some vocals and hopefully get Tha D to finish a little guitar work. It's only the end of september, time does seem to be on our side as of right now.

The band fell into Groomed To Lead and Going To Texas. We tried to work on CIA but we almost need to devote whole practice to that, and we didn't even get to it towards the end. On top of that, my practice headaches started to kick in, and doing ANOTHER new tune that required thinking seemed like a long shot. Good thing we ended when we did.

The CIA is going to be the end of the record. But what about the other two? I still think that those two are still debatable on whether or not they will appear on the final product. I like them well enough to play live and even maybe make available on a bnous EP, but they both seem like filler to me. They stand out and sound nothing like any other song, but they seem like filler. Groomed To Lead almost sounds like Whiskey Rebelllion and Going To Texas is a complete Refreshments rip off. Going To Texas is in fact such a rip off there are a few things we can't do to it. Which makes me think we don't need to put it on the album at all. The Salem Witch song got more praise than Going To Texas, but thats another I feel is very much filler.

It was very nice to practice again. After a two day stint of doing band stuff is was great to have everyone in the same room together once again. It as obvious no one had lost any steam or focus. We rocked! So lets play a show!

I get headaches when we practice. And last nights was really bad.

Lately I feel as if we play too loud but there isn't any way for us to control that. I should have worn ear plugs but last night i realized that ear plugs have nothing to do with it. I have chronic migraine. I known this for years. It has everthing to do with my brain surgery when I was 13. Band practice is going to be miserable no matter what I do to help myself.

When I wear ear plugs, I can only hear Tha D and Josh. Plus I can only hear myself singing, only loudly. The loud noises combined with me shouting/singing puts alot of cranial pressure onto my head. Bright lights bother me, which is why I wear sunglasses everywhere. This is common for someone with migraine headaches. Playing with the band makes all of that about 10 times worse because I'm working too hard.

It's no big deal. But last night I felt like shit. Real shit. Dirty shit. It was the worst it has ever been. It was so bad, I popped one of my 800mg ibuprofen tablets. The drive home sucked but I went right to sleep as soon as I got home.

I need to do something about it because i'm tired of leaving practice or shows feeling like shit. I;m sure there is an easy to ease the headaches. I've been doing some reading and trying to comply, so hopefully I wont have a repeat of last night. It was terrible.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Groomed to Lead

The inspiration for this the fourteenth completed song of the history era came while I was stuck in boring in-service meetings before the school year started. The meetings were in the library, and I serendipitously sat at a table near the history section. So while some overpaid educational consultant stood up there droning on and on, lying about how they wish they were still in the classroom, I was thumbing through various history books, mainly coming across the second edition of Don't Know Much About History, a compendium of sorts of history written for the post college American who still doesn't know squat about our country. I found it to be a good read, some of it along the same lines of what we're doing only without our humor and certainly not focusing on quite so much of the random.

In it, I found that it said that Profiles in Courage was ghost-written by John F. Kennedy's speech writers, primarily by one man who was also a book reviewer in The New York Times who turned around and gave himself a glowing review. I'm pretty well versed on the Kennedies, and what struck me about that was just the lengths that Joe Kennedy Sr. was willing to go through to have his son elected President. The Kennedy image was carefully, carefully crafted over time to produce a President.

I had been looking for a 50s boogie for the history record to round out the inadvertant organic development that it is also a "history of rock 'n' roll" record with the numerous styles we used to tell our stories. I had been looking for material, but on Monday while I had my urchins doing independent work, the words just came to me. I sat and tapped my pencil on the desk as they read and worked, and I just kept on coming up with more and more lines to put in it. When Kelly wrote "Know It All" I quickly found that I could take the rhythm and melody of the pre-chorus and come up with anything that I wanted to say and make it fit. To this day I still come up with new phrases for that song, but I certainly don't want to change it. This rhythm for the newest song was much the same, and I shot out the song in a little over an hour with nothing but pencil tapping.

All I had to do when I got home was pick up the guitar and decide what key to put it in. I decided on E-flat in honor of Fluid Ounces' "Poet Tree" and because we don't have a song in E-flat (I certainly like to mix things up).

The song itself talks of how Joe Kennedy, Jr. was originally slated to be the Kennedies' golden boy, but he died in World War II. It was Jack's turn next, and I discuss how he had to sharpen his image to become President material despite numerous setbacks. It then goes into the election itself. It's also funny to me how history creates legends: we can't imagine now that JFK ran against Nixon, the most infamous President of the last fifty years, and only won by one percentage point. The last verse shows how he squeaked into office at the beginning of the biggest period of social upheaval of the century as well as one of the most shaky in terms of foreign affairs. He quickly was in over his head, did what he could to muddle through, and was shot for being President at the wrong time. (As an aside, it's also interesting to me that Lyndon Johnson took the brunt of this, receiving less credit than Kennedy for civil rights action and taking more blame for the Viet Nam War, which started while JFK was commander-in-chief. Johnson was more of a slap-your-back politician brought in by the strategists for the Kennedy campaign to win Southern votes and was equally unprepared for the America that awoke once Eisenhower left office. I can only speculate that Kennedy could have handled it better had he completed his term, but I digress...)

I played the song for my wife, and she objected that I refer to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis as a "trophy wife." I didn't have an immediate answer to this, but after a little reading this morning (the kids are working on essays), I would stand by what I said because the fact that she was so beautiful and elegant and so cultured even would make her a trophy wife, the only trophy wife capable of helping to create the JFK mythos. And it's just a stupid pop song anyway.

It does occur to me that a song about JFK puts him among the rest of the subjects of our record--Eli Whitney, Marie Curie, Aaron Burr, Davey Crockett, John Adams, Bob Dole--and that there's something a little less random and with less indie rock panache to have a song about him, but I think the treatment of the subject matter--my wife said it's like bluegrass because it's so happy sounding but about such a depressing topic--ranks this one with some of the more funny takes of history of what we've written for the record and one that I'm very proud of.

I wish I could have a more clever title than "Groomed to Lead" because that's just the dominant phrase of the chorus, and I don't want to overkill the "sing the title over and over as the chorus" syndrome that we overdid on the last record.

We've certainly hit a fourth flowering of songwriting in the last month. This is good, but it may mean that Kelly and I will have to choose to leave something we've written off the record. I'll push for this one pretty hard because it's so much fun. Content-wise, putting number of tracks and running time aside, if we used only the fourteen completed (writing-wise) tracks we have as the record, I would be completely satisfied with what we are saying and what we have. So with this one, I'm finished looking for new history material and am ready to move on to other topics to develop my songwriting skillz. Greek mythology, here I come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jazz: The New Classical Music

"Jazz musicians enjoy themselves far more than anyone who will listen to them. It's what you do when you can't get a gig. Two steps below Hollywood Squares." ~Tony Wilson

"Jam bands are the new jazz" ~ Justin Kerr

I wrote a "jazz" style song. I guess I always knew it would turn out that way because of how I sang it to myself over the last few months.

I have had some more free time, so I have picked up a few more songs that have been left by the wayside since June. June was a great month because not only was "Gold Rush" and "Dear Abbey" written and finalized pretty quickly, I also put down ideas for MANY songs. So many, that these will never see the light of day unless I end up using them for future projects. "Salem Witch" is one of those songs.

I had the first two lines written out, and a jazz beat from my keyboard. What sparked a revived interest was when Peach took a peak at my notebook this weekend while I was doing vocals. It had the rough scribble of the first verse in black marker. He asked me what it was and I read it to him aloud. He gave a look on his face that read "wow! thats depressing!" or "geez! thats dark!" I don't remember if he said anything but I do recall that he had a look on his face that screamed confusion. That means I was onto something! But the song was pretty close to being done back in June, so not much work has been put into it. I had to dig up the rest of the song because it was on another sheet of paper in a different stack of papers. It's more "inspired" by the Salem Witch Trials than about the events itself. Everyone likes witches!

It did not take long to complete this one. The demo is taking the longest because I'm doing it on Garage Band instead of the cassette 4 track. I need to hurry this one along and GarageBand will allow me to get the point across and let the others hear what i'm thinking rather than explaining it. Digital is good like that.

Will it be on the record? Maybe. Maybe not. Just getting it recorded will be enough to satisfy me.

But I know one song that WILL be on the album. Its called "I'm Going To Texas." This was another song before. (its a long story). This story is about Davy Crockett quitting the Senate and deciding to go to Texas. That simple. It's a Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers rip off all the way. No question. But the demo is pretty close to how it will be on the album. Very simple rock tune. This one will also allow me to mess around with the vocals a bit more. I used a really nice Phaser/Chorus effect to simulate the dreamy "Western sunrise." Yummy. I'm Aaron and Daniel have something in their arsenal to recreate the effect.

I need to buy a mini-megaphone.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recording Day 5: I'm Giving Myself a Tambourine Credit on the Record

I got there bright and early as the first on deck to begin the long day's work. We started with 12 string acoustic parts for "Eli Whitney." I had three separate parts that make for one complete take for the song. I then worked on the bass solo for "Let's Go to War." I had practiced plenty, but we still ended up compling several takes and then punching in the sketchy bits to make one gigantic frankensolo that I probably could not play if I just picked up a bass and wailed one out.

During this time, Daniel called me to weasel out of coming to the studio. I was frustrated about this because we are starting to feel like we're waiting on him, but I wasn't too surprised. I waited until Kelly got there to tell him because I knew his first reaction would be not to record at all (which it was). We cooled off once we got to work and realized what all could be done. Kelly finished up several vocals, and I spent more time yesterday with a tambourine in my hand than I ever thought I would in one day.

The best part of the day was starting to work on "Dear Abbey." Kelly laid down the basic classical guitar and vocal, and then he and Aaron and I just sat down, put our heads together and started talking about all the layers we could put on top of it. We wanted to add light percussion first, which meant me back on tambourine (of course). Aaron went upstairs and came back with a bongo box, which is a wooden box that looks like a Big Muff box and does a fine job simulating bongos. I wasn't sure about how it would fit the song, but Kelly did one take and really did some cool irregular things throughout the last two thirds of the song. I did my tambourine part after that and then put on some root note bass to fill out the sound. Kelly had to run, so he put on some guitar and took a rough of the song with him. Too bad, because we changed it a lot after that. Aaron had been working since 10am (this was around 7pm) without a break or food (I had been grazing all day from the cooler I brought--I am my mother's son), so I went to my house to get my Casino (which I was hoping would make it on to the record) while he took a break. I came back and added acoustic on this great guitar from his arsenal. It's a really great player with nice sound and feel, and it took the song up another notch for a fuller sound in the last 2/3s. I then plugged in the electric guitar and added a very different part from what Kelly was doing to the last 1/3. What was crazy was that after thinking about it this morning with what the upright bass player had said when we were discussing "Eli," I had inadvertantly added a string arrangement to the song with electric guitar. The bass was there, and the parts I added were the parts a viola and two violins would play. I'm now hankering to take two seconds and put in the cello part next time we're there. As always, the last song written or recorded is my favorite, and I am so in love with this song right now that it's really a chore not to want to listen to it.

I ended the day by working on "Election: 1800." I always felt like there was something missing from it, especially the first verse, so I felt it needed a really smart guitar part to mix it up a little as the song progresses. I used my ebow to simulate feedback since it is actually very controlled feedback, but it didn't simulate it well enough and was too controlled, so Aaron just said, "Why don't you just do some feedback?" Oooh boy, the fun. He just recorded my feedback a few times and comped to wherever he wanted in the song, making the first verse what I want to be. But I didn't have ear plugs and Aaron's wife and baby were upstairs and we were pushing 10 o'clock and I couldn't manipulate it to get the right feedback notes we needed (next time, write the song in A instead of C#, Kelly-gah!), so I cut it short. I did some ebow work later in the song hoping to land somewhere between Sonic Youth and New Adventures in Hi-Fi, and I'll leave it up to the rest to decide how close I came to the former (where I was aiming). I'll also leave it up to them to decide if we want to add more skronk to that one too. Personally I find it delectable and find that one to be my second favorite right now.

I took the roughs home. I was the last one there, and I needed some fresh cuts to send to places that ask for CD's to let us book shows there.

According To Plan

Well yesterday didn't exactly go according to plan but it was quite a productive day.

I arrived around 1:30. Not bad considering I had to turn around twice! Peach spent about 3 hours doing overdubs and some bass. After that we jumped into some light percussion. Then I started doing vocals for some songs. Just sort knocking them out one by one. After a few fixes here and there, we ended up with 5 completed and ready for mixing tracks. It was still early, so we started working on Dear Abbey for a bit. I got a good acoustic and a good vocal take on tape, and then we started layering one thing after another. Time was getting closer to an end (for me atleast) so we started just marathon-recording whatever we could think of just to get anything down. After Josh adds some cymbal swells and drums, and I can add thebells from the demo,we should have a nice completed track.

I sang in the bathroom! It was awesome! I'm going to do that for the rest of the tracks. I feel like the room is too dead for me to sing. The bathroom reverb really helped me carry everything.

Not much left to do. Tha D couldn't make it, so it really put a wrench in our plans but after yesterday we realized there isn't THAT much left do on these 11 songs. All Whiskey Rebellion needs is a guitar solo, and then its finished! Pretty simple stuff.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh Oh To The Studio We Go!!

One more day until we are back at The Gravity Boots studio. The excitement is making my work day pass by slowly.

We are almost finished. I hope. There are two/three new songs that the band has either heard or half the band has heard. We have not played any of these as a band. Will they go on the record? Not sure. but I will go with a yes for now. Mostly because we are in the head set to get the thing wrapped up in terms of band tracks. Being in overdub mode with band tracks to be recorded does come at you slightly awkward, but atleast lately we have been on a roll when we are at the studio and we go into it well rehearsed. I think we cna think alot more clearly after these initial 11 tracks are finished or practically finished. Only two/three more to learn and record. Which means we need to keep those minimal and just plain band performances. Judging from the color of the songs, that won't be a problem.

The plans for saturday have changed every couple of days, so i;m glad on sunday we nailed down what we were going to be doing. Having Tha D there will push many of the things on the to-do list along, shortening the to-do list by half if he can get most of his guitar finished. Peach will be bassing it up for a bit and I will be singing also. Very productive day coming.

I also got a replacement pedal this week. Instead of spending 100 bucks on a new Tube Screamer, I got a Boss Super Overdrive. I like it. It gets the job done. It also only cost me 40 dollars. I prefer the other pedal, but for right now, this will have to do. The Tube Screamer has a more thincker distortion and a nastier sound. This one is a little more tame in comparison. But I don't need much for what I do.

The end is near. I'm a bit relieved to hear that from many sources. This record has been a mental challenge for me. I have put alot of hours, days, and weeks into writing all these songs. There is stuff that will never become songs, and stuff that will become different songs. Certain songs like "Gold Rush" don't feel like I wrote it all. Mostly because it spilled out in a matter of minutes and the guitar riff is as old and standard as dirt. All this has really evolved any sort of song writing skill I had possessed before. Lately I have been writing more songs and not feeling as if I have to spend a tremendous amount of time of them. It's like writing a paper, it takes practice. Just the other day I wrote two songs in one day. Two songs I am proud of and could be future band songs. Writing isn't getting easier, its just becoming more comfortable.

Someone needs to fix the keyboard on this computer.....it keeps skipping letters or typing the wrong ones...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gear Swap

Another day in the studio is set for Saturday. The end is definitely in sight as I think we can get most of the clean-up stuff done Saturday and then only have one more full-band day and a few little over-dub sessions as needed. It's actually hard to believe that this thing is close to getting finished.

I went over to Daniel Cat's yesterday to swap off some stuff to prepare. I borrowed his delay modeler for a part I'll be doing on Saturday, and he borrow my 12-string to prepare for "The Great Stink." I also played him the new "Eli Whitney," which he agrees is now totally awesome.

I've been listening to the Minutemen and Dos to get my brain juicy to rev up for my bass solo on "Let's Go to War" on Saturday. I ran scales last night to get my hands limbered up, and I'm going to work on the solo itself the next few nights.

The plan is to tag team throughout the day. I'll work first in the morning before everyone gets there, then Daniel and Kelly will swap off until Kelly has to leave, then all Daniel until we get too sleepy to pick up any insturments. Josh will be there after 5 for moral support, and I'm going to be there all day working on the documentary, which I haven't mentioned heretofore in the blog but will bring up later.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Central Incompetence Agency

It's hard to say if the song I finished last night is the twelfth or thirteenth completed song with the record because I'm not sure exactly how far along the songs are that Kelly is working on. I am especially open to others' opinion on this one for re-writes as I think there's something that could be added to make it really pop.

At any rate, it's about the CIA and the way they've handled, or mostly mis-handled, American foreign affairs for 70 years. When you put it next to three of the four twentieth century tracks ("Know It All" being the exception, and it's the only one I didn't have a real hand in writing), it really speaks of how the last century has been a violent affair and how deep paranoia strikes in our psyche when you think about it. The tone of the record turns a little darker on the twentieth century pieces, and this is the most paranoid. I don't think it will cripple the record or hurt the tone of it because it still is still pretty light, but it's there.

Musically, I sought to make something more exciting than the rest of what we've been working on lately without a big guitar solo. Instead, I decided to use riffs that will play sometimes together over the same chords but mostly with the whole band stopping and one guitar riff going with no accompaniment. It's been so long since I created the riffs that I'm not sure to the first time listener how much I preserved the feel of the spy songs I was using as influence. Daniel's lead ideas when we first played it together in April were to make the verses sound like a James Bond opening credits song. He can be in charge of that. The pre-chorus may have a little R.E.M. in it since that's what I've been listening to lately, but the crowning piece, the piece that requires this song to close the history record, is the outro, which I took a small cue from Abbey Road as to how to do, not by calling it "The End" or tacking on a 17-second ditty at the end, but something else more grand and under-stated that they did on that record and that I'm making more pronounced for ours. I hope the other guys like it--I'm intentionally not saying what it is because I want it to blow their minds when I play this one for them.

I hope to make a demo for this one, but I'll have to use a multi-track recorder to do it, and time and borrowing one are two complications on that one. I can't estimate the time it will take to this one until then, but I'm pretty sure it falls between three and four minutes.

Running time is a big factor for making this record, as we've discussed many times, and I'm starting to wish we had the time and resources to make a double album of history songs. I think we're already getting a little tired of refining ideas to write the songs, and we want to get it out while the project is still fresh. It would probably take much longer to double what we have, and I don't think the end result would be the effect we really want deep down.

Still, I'm glad that I had time to finish this one and to give it a chance to see the light of day since I liked the song since its inception. It will now have to pass the test with the other boys.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Obsession: For MEN

There is nothing wrong with a little obsession!!! (read below post)

I go back to the studio tomorrow. Possibly with Tha D in tow. Hope it all works out!!

Cut Off

I am making a confession to...well, basically to you, Kelly, since you're the only person who reads this blog that we imagine other people read.

I am the biggest fan of Kelly Kerr and the Distractions there is. That's probably sad since I play bass for us, and in many ways it doesn't count me as the title of "fan" since I am a part, and it's lame and sad to admit it among a profession where we're all supposed to be too cool or too busy or too deep or too ironic to actually like our own stuff. But I like it.

I listen to us more than anyone.

The rough cuts have been a sore spot for me because I want to listen to them for purposes of enjoyment and for creative purposes since I'm still thinking about new things to do with the works in progress, but they are also something I want to stay away from because I don't want to wear out the record or feel too familiar with it before it actually comes out.

So I decided that, for a while at least, I will not be getting the new batches of rough cuts we get from the studio each time as we add more bells and whistles and proper vocal takes to the recordings each time we go to the studio. I can't wait to hear "The Great Stink" once it gets the lead part and all the solos to come, but I want to wait until something closer to a finished product. I've already had to pace myself with the roughs to keep from playing them too much, and I think new ones would only perpetuate this.

The only reason I'll need them is for practicing, like with "Eli" this week, or for a few listens to make sure I'm satisfied with the parts, or later on, when we're talking seriously about track listing. For that reason, I'll probably get roughs of any new songs we record, like when Kelly goes in tomorrow and puts down an initial track for "Dear Abbey." And okay, I was going to cut myself off earlier but absolutely couldn't resist listening to that fiddle that had us playing "air violin" in the control room as soon as she started. But other than that, I'm taking a break, another step I have to take keep this record from being my full blown obsession and to let some other areas in my life have some room to get the attention they deserve.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Read The Post Below First! Then Read this one SECOND!

Peach did strings last night.

I was jealous he got to go back and work some more. I was going to meet him up there and get in on the session but the last week has taken its toll on me. I was too tired to go anywhere. I probably would have fallen asleep on the couch in the control room. But after talking to Peach after the session was over, I didn't really need to be there.

I haven't heard it yet. But I already like it. In fact, I don't need to hear it.

I need to start giving up control on certain things. Peach made the strings happen whether its good or not. The string section could completely suck and it wouldn't bother me. I have trouble making decisions on things because I want to do EVERYTHING that can be done OR limit everything t the smallest degree. One extreme or the other. Complex or bare bones. I find no middle ground. I used to say I either want 10 kids or 1. If that gives you a reference.

I find it flattering that the band thinks so highly of Eli Whitney. I wrote it in 2 hours and it has not changed since. Sure there have been band changes and what not but the song remains the same. I take pride in delivering a good product the first time around. What next? A dance remix?

But in the end the "big" treatment was something we wanted. For about a month I was trying to do it the way we have always done the song because I still feel the recording on the first record is very medicore. The only thing I really enjoy about listening to the Whimsical version is the fuzzy guitar solo. Deep down I know the band can perform the song better and certainly have performed it better.

Then for about two weeks, it was looking as if it would only be acoustic with some bells and whistles. Adding all the orchestrated stuff has led me to think there can be more done to every other song. But this album is supposed to represent us as a live act or as a unit. We can save the Brian Wilson stuff for the next record. But not for this song. Is it our hit? Maybe. It's the closest to the conept becuase it was my response to hearing the Giants song "James K Polk." Even for a short time Peach didn't want to be a "history band." I couldn't help it. I just kept writing songs like that. I remember sometime in October/November we were all sitting around thinking "we could totally do this!" And look at it now! We have strings!!!

I say bring the violin player back for Dear Abbey. Guitar, piano, violin. Boom! There you have it. Next song.....

Kudos to Peach for making the strings happen. We can now safely say we are not just a rock band. I just wish I could been there to see it happpen. I always wondered about mic placements, eq, and stuff for strings.

Now it's back to making demos....

Overdub Session #1: Strings!

I spent the evening for our first overdub session with two string players who came in and did new parts for "Eli Whitney." I had thought there would be time to record more afterward, but that didn't happen, so I will have to go back and do some more at a later date.

The bass player came first, per my request. He was very professional and came in and nailed the part. As he started, I kept thinking, "A real bass player is playing our song! Wow!" I told him he could change the bass line to whatever he wanted, and he came up with a completely different part. It changes the groove of the song considerably. What he played would not work as well on electric bass, so I'm not sure if I would change what I do, but it is the first and smaller way that "Eli" will be a different listening experience on this record from what anyone has heard before.

The question arose while he was playing whether we were recording a sweeping string section or if the bass was acting as part of the rhythm section. I had envisioned a sweeping string section, but that would mean him recording another part and considerably more parts to record. We recorded additional bass for the song in case we wanted to go that way later, but in the end we decided that the bowed upright bass would still serve sonically as part of the rhythm section and the violin would serve as a lead instrument over the chorus. The effect is similar since both are bowed instruments playing at the same time, but it's good to have an important mixing decision made early.

The violinist came in next. She's a high school student who has been playing ten years and has a good ear for melody and harmony. I think she might have been a little nervous to be recording a session with just me and Daniel Reekay there, so I tried to keep it light and encourage her so that she would be comfortable. I thought about adding documentary footage of her saying how Kelly kept hitting on her or how she's in love with Kelly, but I never felt quite like I knew her that well.

Her parts came with much discussion. The bass player came in and did his part and knew what to do, but the decisions that had to be made for playing her part kept getting more complex as the session went on. Aaron would come down with the baby and give input when he could.

I had given her R.E.M.'s "Electrolite" as a reference piece for the solo, and Aaron had given her the rough practice cut of the song we had done on the day of the first band tracking session, which she took to her instructor and learned the first part of Daniel's solo note for note (which is really cool to hear). As she was starting, I also gave her one of my favorite pieces, "Ashokan Farewell" as another reference to what she could do. She could play that famous violin piece easily and it may have made her more comfortable to get started.

The bass player took about an hour and forty-five minutes to record his part, and she took probably two and a half hours on top of that, and the result was quite a bit different from what I imiagined they would do. I had a certain part in my head for the strings to play, but in the end the sessions musicians were so smart with what they did that it left what I had envisioned behind in the dust. They both thought it was a great song and were interested in the whole concept album, making me happy that we can impress strangers who are also musicians.

The question then arises now that the strings are on "Eli" is whether or not this acoustic symphony (the original concept for the song, I might add) doesn't come too far out of left field for the rest of the record. I could easily envision a similar treatment to "Dear Abbey" to give another counterpoint to this song and alleviate that, but time and money and the fact that it's the band's decision ultimately may keep that from happening. I guess we'll decide once we start to hear more of the record all together.

But at the end of the day, having listened to the rough cut once since hearing it on their awesome mixing speakers, the changes to this song are extremely positive. The argument could be made that "Eli Whitney" is itself the history album and that the other 12+ songs are just buffers to fill out the concept captured so well on what could easily be our finest song ever. What we did yesterday ensures that if anything, the song we've paid the least attention to in preparing to make this record (as it was worked out in our minds long before we started) will stand out among the rest of the tracks as the classic song it is. The whole record could revolve around or hinge upon this one great song, perhaps the best song Kelly's ever written, and it also presents the interesting and frightening challenge of making sure that the other songs can top it or at least come close to it in some arena.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coffee Made My Teeth Yellow

I woke up yesterday morning and immediately thought, "I need more sleep." I dragged all through the day's tasks at work and was ready to go to bed by the time I started cooking dinner. I had to pick up some stuff from my local Kroger afterward, and I noticed for the first time that they have complimentary coffee in the front. Normally I wouldn't drink it and would just go on to bed, but I had a big night ahead of me. I'm going in to the studio tonight to oversee some strings and do my own overdubs, so I had some extensive practicing to do. Two cups of coffee while I shopped later, I was ready to get home and practice for a solid two hours (not bad for one song) before going to bed.

I'll blog about the actual session tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dead On The Same Day

I hope we can go back to the studio this weekend. I'm just waiting to hear back from the Tha D and hopefully we can make it happen. If not, next week will definatetly work out.

As of right I'm finishing up the tail end of all the written portions. I went camping over the weekend to find that I had it in my write a song to completion in one sitting. I brought some reading material and while sitting in my chair next to the fire pit, I hammered out a new track that is tentively called "Dead On The Same Day." I made a demo for it yesterday using drum loops and amp simulation on the Garage Band program. I just to need to apply the vocals and we will hopefully have a new tune for the record. It's a pretty interesting song but VERY straight forward. It's my attempt at writing a song that sounds like Cheap Trick and Roger Clyne combined. Naturally, considering thats what I have been listening to alot lately. I've got msot of the song worked out, I only really need the band to apply their own musings and leads, and work out a few start and stops with the drums. I'm putting in alot of extra work on these last few because we really don't have much time to dwell as we are trying to knock all this out in the 4-6 weeks. Using the computer as opposed to the cassette deck makes this go faster.

I also demoed another untitled track on wednesday that is VERY Cheap Trick. As a matter of fact, its a rip off but very jammy and lends itself to be extended for a longer track. I've been trying to come up with sort of jammy and extended songs. I've been using Television's Marquee Moon as an example for this because the riff is repeated over and over and it clocks in at about 15 minutes. The song goes in so many directions. DO we have time for something like this? Maybe. And I hope. Then again, i'm sure we do. A little magic goes a long way.

I have also sort of decided to stop thinking in a "book end" type way. The album needs to be bookend but the question has been "how?" To avoid that, I don't think we need an intro or an outro. Just substance of song. I have mentioned before, so far, the album is 31 minutes with the potential of 35. That leaves really only 7-8 minutes to try and fill as we don't want to go over 42 as that would be too long for a single LP. We don't want to bore the listeners. So....one new song, two more coming. Maybe more. we can pick from those and we will have a record. a very diverse record I might add. thats been the problem all along. we have so much content but how do we make EACH track stand out from one to the other. Thats difficult. Thats like making a greatest hits from scratch.

So....almost there. I can feel it. Here it comes. I managed to trade my piano for a real upright, so maybe more songs from that change of instrumentation. I need to get together with everyone, whether as a group or individually to hammer out some stuff. My engine is lit and I feel the need for speed. The last surge might spawn more than we can or want to work with. I told Peach the other day "I have good stuff and crap." and then Peach says "crap is good, even if its useless, i like crap"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Soon be DONE!!

All geared up!

Next week I hope to go back to the studio with Tha D to finish tracking what needs to be done tracking. Hopefully it won't take longer than a day to complete.

4-track PLUS Garage Band equals COOL!! The last two/three demos made for the album will be awesome. I recently got a new computer and have been messing with the garage band program along with my four track. The results are are great and make the cassette demos sound wonderful. I hope to have all of my home recordings for the album available for free download sometime after the album comes out. It gives the listener an very different look at how all this has come together.

I still have not replaced my overdrive TUBE SCREAMER pedal. Saturday's impromptu appearance at Tomato Tomato proved that I and We can't live without it. Big Muffs are too noisy for what we do. I want my TUBE SCREAMER back.

We also got rejected from playing Next Big Nashville. I guess its no real loss but honestly, I think we should be playing and we deserve to be on any bill for it. It's very lame we got a negative answer. As far as I'm concerned they are making a mistake by not letting us play. I'm sure all the obvious Nashville bands will get to play. I feel very distanced from that whole scene. It also feels like a waste of a $10.

Hopefully the money-fairy can bestow the funds needed to finish and press the album. We have an art idea for the cover that I really want. I need to do a little more research and talk to a few people to really nail down what we can do and we can't afford.

In other news, I'm "producing" the new Henry Daggs album...more on that later.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've Done This Once: Making Good Records Means Recording Them Twice!

Josh, Chris Freeman, and I were talking about how some albums are made two, even three times before the final product is even heard. This is not true for us.

I've made 4 trakc demos for pretty much every song on this album. Actually, Commodity was the only one i did not have to do because there was nothing to do with it or change. I didn't even need to practice singing it. Therefore, no demo for that one, except Peach's. But other than that, I've made this album once already. I can't even fathom having "band" demos, and then recording. I guess if you aren't playing live very much, you need that middle step, but that seems as if you're starting and then starting over. So for the next record, and the record after that, we will just stick to 4 tracks recordings and band rehearsal. Besides, we don't want to pay for the album three times either.....but.......

Lately I've been wanting to expand my home recording set up. I love doing simple 4 trakc cassette recordings and will continue to do so, but for the band as a whole, I want to expand and get some nice/cheap equipment. I've got a new computer, so maybe a nice mic or two, an 8 channel mixer, and some nice/cheap plug ins. As a band, we love being in the studio and always feel sa dto leave. This record starting off as a home project and the switch was a good one, but what about that need for more? I'm pretty confidant that we can emerge as a great studio band and make something as good as Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds, Dark Side of the Moon if we have more time in the studio. Working quickly does not leave much time for experimentation. Plus, I want the current project to represent us as a live act because we put so much time into being a good live act.

I guess what I am saying is that I have big ideas and big things I want to achieve but can't with limited time. I see Josh three times a week outside of band activities and Tha D and Tha Peach are always up for a few hours of nonsense. I want to start recording us more and not just live shows. Many of my songs and ideas fall by the way side because I don't have somone else there to play the drums or just someone to "perform" to. In the future, I'd like to try recording the band myself because I have learned so much from Daniel and Aaron these last few months. All this makes me wish I had remained in the RIM program. I got out after completing all the core classes, all of which have been useful to this day.

So...anyways....all is good...some shows coming up, some more sessions coming up. There is a lot coming up. This fall is going to be good and big for us. The record will hopefully be out before Xmas and we can all sit around and have a beer and listen to our wonderful piece of work.

I also plan on keepingthis blog going long after the record is finished........

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quick De-Brief of the Last Session

There was essentially one objective with Friday: band tracks. Everything else can be added later, but not having to coordinate between bass and drums and extensive set-up for later will make it much easier for Daniel and Kelly to go in and do their parts. To that end, we succeeded wonderfully in putting down tracks fror 6 songs.

"Eli Whitney" There had been much contention about whether we should go through with an acoustic version of this song instead of an electric one, and we decided to do acoustic in the end. The drums were the same, and I was wondering how it would really sound when we put it all together. Daniel made one of his best performances of the song with the Martin he bought from my Dad, finger picking out this needles and pins for each note. Kelly used the classical guitar my Dad made to come in behind it with a blunt broad stroke that filled out the sound. I can't wait to hear it once we add other instruments. The roughs are being sent out to other people to bring some more to it.

"Bob Dole" It really was neat to hear this song finally committed to tape. There's only one acoustic guitar, and Josh and I put out a particularly tight rhythm track on that one. I have to use a much lighter touch on the bass in the studio to make it come out right, especially on that one where the airy arrangement does the least to hide my slurs and extraneous bumps. Overdubbing this one was fun as Kelly added some little sound effects and we all crowded around a microphone to record some laughter.

"Election: 1800" and "Commodity" It still blows my mind that two songs we've never played live have already been cut in the studio and are 90% finished. It feels good to have them worked up with that accuracy before playing them. "Commodity" was our best performance of it so far, even though I think future live performances will eventually make that one pale in comparison. With it and "Bob Dole," it is really neat to hear my own song that I wrote and demoed reach that kind of development and treatment.

"Let's Go to War" didn't come as easily as Kelly was saying. There is some question of the guitar tone on that one. Since our primary goal was the bass and drums, Daniel played it as a live track and the difficulty was bypassed, but it will take some head scratching in future studio sessions to figure out how to get more volume and less gain and not lose the feel of the song. Less distortion also means more work for Daniel to hit the intricacies of that lick with more precision as the the FabTone pedal he uses often covers up the way he walks up to the C and dances on the 16th notes with a stutter in there before walking down, leaving him some breathing room to make a mistake live without anyone noticing. A cleaner sound will make it sound more like an engine propeller, which is cool, but it may take a few extra takes.

"Gold Rush" The session was winding down in the evening, and we decided to do still go ahead and do Gold Rush instead of polishing off what we had already done. We began joking around which helped to psyche us out for it, culminating in us determining that the only way we could perform this redneck anthem was shirtless. So we did it. We ripped through the song in a few takes, but there were some hiccups in there, some that we fixed and some that we didn't, that could have been avoided if we had played on that one longer before recording it. Still, the cut of it sounds good, and I can't wait to hear the D's shredding tracks over it. What I really want is a double solo.

We spent so much time on band tracking that the rough cuts are not quite as listenable as the last batch--Kelly didn't put in polished vocal tracks, and knowing that some of the main guitar tracks will have to be done over gives us a feeling like we have much longer to work. But we can now listen to 10 tracks of the history record and continue to look at the big picture of the album and think about other aspects with that much at our disposal.

I also can't wait to go back, even if it is for little pick-me-up sessions along the way in the coming weeks.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Want To Go Back

Yesterday we completed our second full day in the studio.....and now we have 10 rough tracks ready for overdubbing.

Thursday night was nice. We set up, hung around, ran through some songs, and went back to Peach's for a sleepover that included the Beatles movie "Let It Be." An early morning and a trip to IHOP, we were back at the studio ready to get down and rock.

From 10am to 3:30 we knocked out basic tracks for 5 songs. I had to drive back to Mboro to take care of my dog, but when I came back two hours later to find Tha D finishing up his acoustic parts for two of the songs. After I jumped in did my acoustic parts and a few other little nuggets, we all cranked the amps to 11 and piled through "Gold Rush" like it was 1976 again. The long day ended with rough tracks in my hands and a rather silent trip back to the Boro. Everyone was in awe and wonder from the extremely productive day.

Tha D and I have ALOT of work to do. Peach has got some random things to do, and Josh just needs to look good. We didn't get to Dear Abbey which will be on the agenda for the next session. We also found out that the running time so far is 31:12. Abbey plus two more should do the trick. We are also in need of an epic closer, which is well on the way after a long and boring day at the office (not joking, all i did was write today).

It's weird listening to all 10 songs together. it really feels like an album now. Yesterday's session has jump started the engine and I'm full speed ahead to finishing this thing.

Anyone know any good vocal coaches? I need to figure out getting my piano to the studio to do one 20 second solo for Eli Whitney....

I miss the studio already, I want to go back.....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm Nervous and Excited

I'm nervous and excited about this weekends recording.

Last night we had a practice that was a tad bit off. I attribute this not to our playing but our equipment. Josh's drums need some work, repairs, and replacements. I could tell he was getting very frustrated and was not feeling it, that is until we kicked into "Let's Go To war" and he practically tore the drums to peices. Thats more like it. But its that type of intense playing that keeps his drums in constant need of repairs and Josh ALWAYS plays at a Dave Grohl intense level. Small price to pay, but this is a bad time to need anything like that. I borrowed a nice snare and some hi-hat cymbals to get us through the recording.

On top of that, my Tube Screamer Overdrive did not make it back from Rock Camp. I've had this pedal for three years and it was a gift from my parents. It's gone. This has been my main overdrive since day one of the band and I really feel naked without it. I was using the FuzzFace but it really only works for two songs. Noise and fuzz is Tha D's department, and I try to keep my guitar low key and just overdriven. I have a solution but other than that i miss the Tube Screamer and when I get the money, I will just buy another one.

Speaking of money......we don't have any and we need it to finish the record and press it. Any ideas? We are considering holding a bakesale. This is not a joke. Only we'll be selling beer instead of cookies. We made close to 150 bucks at the last show. If only we could do that more often! The shirt have helped out and I sold three more today. Thats money in our pockets to aid in these weird financial times. But after some talking with the guys, peddling Bucket City beer will be a great way to bring in some extra cash flow. Selling a case of beer at the price we plan will bring in a half day of studio time. Now all Tha D and I have to do is make the beer and bottle it.

Even with a shaky practice, I still feel good. Josh and I felt good on the way home. We know these songs and have had alot of practice, we just have to be confident in our playing. I say this over and over, we play like the greatest band in the world but we don't act like it. Starting now, we are the world's greatest band and this is the greatest record ever! (cue the music)

Monday, July 20, 2009

To Wank or Not to Wank

That's the REAL question, and in the case of "Gold Rush," the answer is Yes. A whole=hearted YES.

In response to Kelly's last post...summer is ending. The end of summer means I go back to school, Kelly goes back to school, Daniel tends to leave town more often, and our nights and weekends book up as fast as they do during the summer. So I'm a little disappointed that we don't have more recording days to show for it as we wind it all down. We have some fantastic new songs, but I was hoping more that the new record would have more to it on the recording end.

Kelly is right that we must change the way we approach recording, and the only downside is that it may be longer until we're playing shows again in order to record. Oh well. Nothing is shaping up for August at the moment, so I'm content to give up some practice time in order to hit the studio for a while.

The delays in finishing the songs and to record have given me some hope to maybe write another tune or two in time to get them on the record. The spy song I started last spring may get finished and see the light of day after. And I've got some ideas for a Civil War song or a song about the Know Nothing Party. I'll probably only have time to write one or the other if at all.

My focus now in my energy is on artwork and the other sides of making this thing. I have three people in mind to design the cover, but not being able to pay our friends doesn't make for a lot of promise this far out. I'm hoping to get some design ideas together and just saying, "Can you do this?" to them. I'm also considering sites and cost efficient ways to do the band photograph that we want to do for the CD insert. Everyone seems to be okay with using my brother, so I'm happy about that.

I'm still extremely honored to be playing with Chris Freeman this Saturday. I have been listening to his music lately, and it is really great stuff. I hope it will help bring some new people out to see us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chill Pills

We need to take a few chill pills. For some reason I have been sort of flipping out over all this nonsense.

Practice is going to become an issue and it never really has before. Which is strange because even with the three week lull of June, the last 3-4 months have yeilded the most productive and the most practice in a short amount of time. So why are we freaking out. Good question, and I wish I could answer it. but I have a few theories..

Number 1: We are aiming too high.
Number 2: Tha D has to go out of town, and we've been lucky about that all summer
Number 3: i've got rock camp for a week
Number 4: we are just too damn excited and worked up about all our new material."
Number 5: we have t shirts coming!

I'll go with number 4. and maybe number 1. But the truth, we just need to take a chill pill and let all these things happen on their own. It seems we have gone far enough with making plans and such, and there is only so much we can do ourselves.

We planned for three days in the studio. It's not going to happen. The writing is on the wall. So, just one full day is in the works. Looking at it now, I keep wondering how to make it work and its just not an option. We should only do one day a week for studio because it seems these days everyones schedule changes literally over night. Its about time this happened because lately we've been pretty good with practice and doing it atleast once a week. Call it karma. But really there is quite a bit to do just that one day. Enough to keep busy. Maybe we can go back the next week? and then the next?

Last night I recorded a new old song. I had nothing to do so I recorded an old song of mine. It felt nice and I felt productive and I stopped worrying about the damn record. I have been putting way too much thought into all of this that it has been keeping me awake at night. Plus, I got new toys in the mail that have jumped started some more creativity.

I'm ready to rock tonight. We have practice and eveyrone is going to be there and its gonna be an all out assault. On the agenda is just the new shit but if we are feeling it we might just play whatever. I really want to skronk it tonight. The Sonic Youth show from the other night has really put me in a noisy mood. Lets do this!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

To Skronk or Not To Skronk?

That is the question........

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 4th

It's the 4th of July. The day we set aside in rememberance of a bunch white, slave=owning, aristocratic males that did not want to pay their taxes.

Only two good things ever came out of England....America, and the Beatles!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Guitar Center was all out of Boss Tuner pedals! WTF?? They said it's one of their most popular items and goes in and out of stock all the time.

I find it funny that I finally decided to go buy one and the place I went to is all out!! I'm gonna hit up Nashville Used Music when I drop off Peach's bass today.....which by the way....

Getting a new nut for a bass is easier said than done!!! I;ve been through 4 and they don't fit, no matter how much I file it......

In other news, I was messing with possible tracklistings for the record, and the exciting thing about it is that the record is going to rock! The possibilities are endless, but I have two in particular in mind. I will reveal them later when I finish the next two songs.

Also.....all this new energy that Peach speaks of is all around us like a wild fire. I feel like braking something or climbing a mountain. I'm very worked up about all this....so worked up....I wrote two songs last night that are not history songs. How does this happen you say? No clue. But if you remember, the day of our first show, I was so nervous, Eli Whitney just spilled out and the chords, melody, and chorus for Paid In Cocaine came out on that day as well. I think this over stimulated excitement is going to prove to be useful...and with that being said....

After all this is over and the record is done, i'm going to announce my my canidacy for Mayor Of Murfreesboro.....or maybe just keep the rock going...can't decide.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

About Last Night...

The record continues to take shape as we arrange the songs into more diverse directions. Last night's practice was our single most productive practice probably since the first one I blogged about, and it was exhilarating. The more we play, the more excited I get about the individual songs we have. They continue to grow into their own and overshadow those old songs we used to play, taking the pressure off my old fear that "Man Vs. Cheetah" would be the only song people would want to hear of ours.

"Dear Abby" got its first band treatment, with Daniel playing E-bow. If he doesn't used the melody I wrote for it, I might make it the bass line. Josh knew exactly how to drum that one, and it certainly stand as the emotional anchor for the whole record. It has the farthest to go in fixing the details, but the raw song itself is so strong that it is really a hard one to get wrong. Getting it exactly right on the other hand...

"Commodity" is different from the rest of the songs we do because I have a very particular notion for how it is to be played and what it is to sound like. It feels so good to do that one as a full band after imagining it for so long. We had to tweak the ending on it because the original one I envisioned couldn't work with the drum beat. We found something else, and I think we'll get it within a practice or two.

"Gold Rush" is Josh's new favorite and maybe Kelly's too. It's based on Southern rock, and we took to it like ducks to water. Stadium solos. This one will require some stage craft, that's for sure. We can now play redneck dives anywhere in Tennessee by just opening with this song. After that, they will just eat out of our hands.

We finally gave a band treatment to "Election: 1800." The problem with it was that we just didn't know what to do with it, so we've sat on it since January, just planning to record it with Kelly and an acoustic guitar. "Dear Abby" is not solo acoustic, but it took away the emotional spot where I'd imagined "Election," so I wanted to try something new with it. I knew doing it with just distortion would yield a song that had nothing to make it stand out. The solution was a LOUD quiet LOUD formula, which morphed over and over until it was more like quiet loud quiet LOUD quiet loud quiet LOUD quiet LOUD LOUDER really quiet BERSERKER. The song that I didn't think would stand out much in a set has turned into a frantic piece that could easily become one of our more talked about songs. Kelly had always done it quietly, and it was interesting to see how quickly it became a shouter in places.

I still need to work out the bass parts on virtually all of these. I'm just playing root notes on them right now and feel that adds little to a song. My bass broke at the last show, so I've been borrowing Jason Manley's bass. It has much hotter pick-ups and a heavier sound to it more like a Thunderbird. I want to buy it from him to use as a back-up, but I'd rather put my money toward studio time. Maybe he'll let me borrow it to record "Let's Go to War" and "Gold Rush" and any other heavy numbers that may come along.

Daniel and Aaron came last night. I was happy to have them there as they are so full of ideas on arranging songs. They're the ultimate consultants for us as they understand the way we work together pretty well and can suggest parts for us individually or as a whole, always looking toward the good of the song and the idea of putting a spotlight on different parts of the song. We also talked seriously about booking studio time and the possibilty of booking some studio musicians to play on the record. I don't want to get into any details on either at this point as the recording process feels like it has stalled since March, and the plans we've made feel so delicate that I don't want to jinx them by talking about them yet. I will say we pencilled in some dates to record, and I'm now confident that we could get in there and hammer out a large chunk of the record in the time we have allotted if it comes together as planned. Here's hoping.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Practice Space

I was very happy to have our inaugural practice at my old home, henceforth referred to as our "practice space." You'd think that if three of four dudes in a band each have houses that of course we'd have a regular practice space, but no. Kelly's and Daniel's houses have been the popular places, but we always have to set up and tear down because we're in high traffic areas of the house. My house wasn't good because of Josh's cat allergy. Now that I'm married and living in another house in Inglewood, my house is vacant until I sell it. With eleven songs written for the history record and plenty more work to be done, I have been excited about getting a place where we can leave everything set up and have plenty of room to set up and play. Better still, my ever intrepid brother walked around while we were playing last night and deterined that playing underground in the basement won't really disturb the neighbors, so we can practice much later than the other places, where 8:30 was pushing it (even though Daniel's neighbors always had good things to say about us, going so far as to invite us to play their 4th of July party for 2010--guess they already had this year booked).

Still, all this is good. I was in a hurry yesterday to get it ready, so I made some cosmetic changes after everyone left and adjusted things with the drums and PA and amps all in place. I think it'll help to expediate the process of completing this project, which is taking more shape and becoming much more interesting than I had ever really imagined.

Now if we can only align four schedules to practice...


Everyone is back!!!

Saturday's show was great. I was veyr well received and the rest of the band came out. We had a good time chilling afterwards, discussing all the things to come.

Last night we all got together for a practice. It was great. You couldn't even tell we have not played in nearly 3 weeks. We ran through every thing with little to no hiccups. After a break we worked on the new song "Gold Rush" and the forever sitting song "Commodity." Both came together almost immediately. Another practice, it will be perfect. For real!

We have been selected to be Chris Freeman's back up band for a show on July 25th @ The Boro. This is going to be a lot of fun for us because we love Chris Freeman's music and feel honored he even thought of us.

More plans to record but nothing in stone. We have the two new(er) tunes to work up before we head back. That gives us 5 songs that are "ready" and just need practice. That has been the nice thing about the two forementioned songs, not a lot of work is needed on the actual song, just practice to make it tight. Hopefully we can get it together with all that we have coming up. If not, there is always August, but no one is standing above us begging, getting it right the first time is the key, plus, we want to enjoy our time in the studio and not feel rushed to be somewhere before or after.

More new tunes coming. Everyone is thinking up stuff for Dear Abby. In a few more days, I should have the last few more songs finished. There may be more after, but I think the 14 we will have will be enough to work with. I am certainly not going to stop, just back off.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Been Kinda Lonely

Peach gets back from Italy today. Josh is coming over to record demos, and Tha D will be back from NC. What a day.

It's been a lonely week. For the last month we've been hard at work as a band, and all this week, I;ve been at work alone. This is good, but with Josh's work schedule and the other two out of town, the communication has been minimal or non-existant. It makes a musician feel lonely. But thats ok. Everyone will be back today.

I guess I feel that way because we've been hitting practice hard lately. Even during the wedding rehearsals, we managed to get some band stuff worked on. From April to June 6th we were playing together alot. I want more of that. Especially now Ive got close to 5 new songs to bring to the table and we have Commodity sitting in the queue.

The more I listen to the Commodity demo, the more I think it will be easy to do. It could be longer (as I mentioned before) but its a very basic song. For some reason, I'm not sweating it. Plus, I realized, that song is kinda depressing....seriously....Not in a "sad bastard" way, just in a sort of "reality" kind of way......

Come out to Blue Coast Burrito to hear me play all Tito Puente covers, and maybe a few history songs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Track

It's Thursday and only two more shopping days until my guest appearance at Blue Coast Burrito.

I have been hard at work on all these new songs. So hard at work, I came home yesterday and passed out. I made dinner, watched a movie, and passed out again. My brain couldn't function.

Not all has been wasted. I recently got a new music program for my MAC called Ableton Live. This is a multi-track recording thing but I have not been using it for that. I have been creating some beats and instrumental tracks. My computer is a Mac, which means it does not come with an input, and like all Apple products, they make you buy something. So I can record any live tracks yet, but as soon as I can get a USB thing to bring in audio from an alternate source, it's on! I have a ton of 4 track stuff to mix down and it's a pain getting with Peach to use the mini-disc because we are both on polar opposite schedules, or we both often forget. This will solve some problems.

I added an extra vocal track to "Dear Abby." This is my feeble attempt at doing harmonies with myself. I also found the old "Bring Out Yr Dead" and recorded myself playing the "new" verison. It's funny I refer to it as new when we've been doing it that way for well over a year now. I also cleaned up the "Know It All" demo I made in Feb/March. Since that one is practically done for the record, I just removed the really bad organ part. It sounds better without.

Josh will be here tomorrow to make demos of "Gold Rush" and possibly "Observe and Report." This will be fun because we will have the mixer from Josh's PA and multiple microphones running into the 4 track. I think we're just going to jam it out for a bit and then hit the record button and see what happens. Sounds like a good friday night ahead.

We had plans to be in the studio this saturday but it's not going to happen. Tha D ended up having to go to North Carolina for work and Josh couldn't get off work. Plus Peach is getting home from Italy the day before. Bad timing. More plans to return to Gravity Boots are currently underway.

So tonight should be interesting. I'm going to try and finish up my song about Nikola Tesla and then cut it off and start practicing for saturday. I've been hitting the practice hard so I can avoid using a music stand. We will see how all that goes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stuck, but squeezing through

It's been a pretty productive week, and it's only tuesday!

The show on friday night was great. I played "Dear Abby" for the first time. I stumbled through it but it still worked.


Welcome To The Working Week
Bring Out Yr Dead
Eli Whitney
Bob Dole
Know It All
Dear Abby
I Bought The Farm
Outdoor Type (w/Jimmy Australia)
It's A Shame About Ray (by request)
I Only Play for Money (the frogs)
Great Stink
Man VS Cheetah (first half)
Marsha (chris freeman)

All in all is about 32 minutes. This guy named Jimmy Australia joined me for Outdoor Type because he knew the guy who wrote it. He then requested another Lemonheads song, so I played Ray. It was good times.

I have been plugging away long and hard on this thing. I have progressed to the 4 track phase of all this new stuff, which really seals the deal on the lyrics (or the white paper and sharpie phase).  Last night I completed the demo for "Dear Abby" and got started on several others. Josh will be joining me on thursday/friday for the demo recording of "Gold Rush." After this short break and some dinner, I will then proceed to begin working on another tune called "Observe and Report." This song is meant to be about the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Thomas Jefferson, blah blah. It has been given a Lemonheads treatment, and was written in about 10 minutes. I am very proud of that ten minutes because last night as I was finishing up and getting ready for bed, I decided to do a little improv into the 4 track and out this came. The chords were written down and the basic lyrical ideas were noted. I wrote the words at work today. I tell ya, some days it's just too easy.

On the agenda is an instrumental I came up with by layering 4 tracks of casio keys. This one has a future! Plus I need to devote some more time to "Tesla," which is near completion.

For Those coming to the show on saturday night, here is the setlist, no surprises!

Lies (my teacher told me)
Bring Out Yr Dead
Know It All
Great Stink
Eli Whitney
Bob Dole
Dear Abby
Election: 1800
Gold Rush
Whiskey Rebellion
Observe and Report

Order subject to change because I'm experimenting with the track listing. I will not play "Let's Go To War" because it will not be as good solo. Thats how good the band is at playing that one!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Song List Grows

After about two weeks of hard work, I managed to knock two new songs in one night last night.

The months have been busy, but this week was quiet enough for me to concentrate on the record. Most of the week was just me jamming and making notes, but last night, I emptied my big stack of papers onto the floor, forcing myself to sift through everything. After 8-9 piles were made, I picked up the guitar and wrote "Dear Abby."

"Dear Abby" is a song about Abigail Adams. It was supposed to be sung from John's point of view but it is being sung from Abigail's. The title may have to change because of that. I managed to peice together every little note I made for myself, promising myself I would go back later and put it together. This song features a capo on the 4th fret!

Speaking of capos and 4th frets, Election: 1800 is now new and improved from last night, featuring a capo on the 4th fret! It sounds better this way. I also changed the words around and the song flows better than it ever did.

Another tune that pretty much came out and wrote itself is called The Gold Rush. This song has been a jam at band practice that we have been referring to as "typical southern rock song." Like "Whiskey Rebellion", this one just came out. All I had to do was clear my head and concentrate. Took about an hour.

After some clean up and practice for tonight's show, I had to call it a night, so I will tackle the 4-track with these new tunes during the weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Restaurant Tour 2009

I have two solo shows coming up!

The first is next week on June 12th @ Tomato Tomato. The second is on June 20th @ Blue Coast Burrito. I'm calling this my "Restaurant Tour 2009." I will be doing to majority of the material for the new record. I've got many new songs, most of which the band has not heard, so this will be a good time for them, and you, to come out and hear the new songs, and rock out.

I had to break down the music room because we had a show and my brother was staying with me, but now that I'm back from a mini-vacation, I have spent yesterday setting it back up only to realize the microphones I use to record are at the practice space! Oh well. I broke out the old radioshack mic and its a goner! After about 10 years, its about time it died. I was left without a way to capture my sounds, so I plugged my new Casio pt-30 into the four track and dropped some sounds down. I spent some time working out lyrics to prepare for when I can make some more demos.

I've got to catch up on some demos. I never made one for Bring Out Yr Dead, and if I did, I can't find it, or its on a different cassette that went unlabeled. I may just knock it out even though we already recorded it in the studio. I still need to mix down the Know It All demo and remix the Bob Dole demo. I gave it another listen and it could be better. I found the very old Eli Whitney demo I made in January 2008. So, there is plenty of mix-downs to do. Plus I need work on Commodity for both upcoming shows. My only beef with that song is that its too short. I could handle another verse. Maybe Peach will write one. If not, no biggie. Maybe a bridge? Maybe a coda?

Ive made alot of progress for only being back a day. "Tesla" is coming along and needs to be demoed so I can play it live. "Lies My Teacher Told Me" is also ready for live and 4 track treatments.

So if you want to hear what I have been up to...come to the shows!

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