Friday, August 10, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

one more

When I published the post below, I was thinking this one would require a lot more work than it needed. This one's called Paper Airlines. Chris laid down drums, bass, and guitar on Saturday, and I laid down a synth track last night....I think this is the best drum sound I've ever recorded, it's just awesome. You can hear the cymbals ring forever, yet the cymbals don't sound overly bright; the kick and the snare hit plenty hard, the toms are present without a close mic....and I had two channels to spare!

We haven't tried to play this one with Kevin yet, although I suspect we will....

[EDIT 1/30/08 mp3s taken down per Chris' request....]


OK.....buncha news to talk about....

Chris, Kevin, and I are continuing to slog away....we've been focusing on playing as a group the last week or two, which is terrific. The music feels very natural to play, although it is tough to remember some of the very fine details....I've been playing on the new Premier drumset, except with Chris' 24" kick....the bruise on the top of my right foot has convinced me that maybe I ought to get the 22" back out. In fact, I feel like I'm getting a better drum sound now with the new mic setup, so maybe I ought to set the Pearl kit back up anyway.

We've updated Snowball Effect, which was kind of serendipitous the first time around (when it was just drums and bass, no guitar, no keys). We had tracked the drums and bass at the same time, and then overdubbed four or five more bass tracks. We were thinking it was a marginal take and then I started futzing around with the sound, applying some distortion to the main bass track (which of course has drum bleed in it) and applying a completely different distortion to the drums (which has bass bleed). That, and the reverse echo applied to the bass harmonics, sounded really cool.

But we thought we could play it better, especially after we'd rocked it a few times with Kevin. We did overdub Chris' harmonics, but we didn't use the reverse echo. That might still happen, but I wanted to hold off and give Kevin as much space as possible. We laid down Kevin's part last night.

So I'm not sure we really recaptured the magic or whatever, but it's a pretty damn good piece of music and Kevin really adds a lot....

Here's a super spacy, super jammy thing we did based on a loop laid down by Chris back in May. Kevin did two takes over what was at the time a pretty unorganized loop. It had no beginning and no end....Chris had just kind of filled out a rhythm line, and Kevin just kind of went with the flow. The 2nd take is the one we ended up using, essentially without any modification at all. (Did I mention he has some really top-notch pedals?)

The guitar and bass parts kind of peter out after a while, and the drums kept going. I'd hacked the drums up a bit more (the drums weren't done to a click originally so editing these has been rough, and there are some definite tempo slips, but we're leaving them in deliberately) by this time, and then we decided we needed an ending. So I sat down in front of the synth and gradually snuck into the song, gradually getting more prominent. As the guitar eventually falls apart after this long, pleasant jam, I come in with a smeared line more or less repeating the bass line at the beginning. As the gtr and bass droppped out, I just kept going and eventually brought it down and out.

Listen for yourself but it's definitely kind of a surprise ending. We ended up putting guitar and bass on the very end, and I think the guitar part in particular could be spun off into a totally new song. We'll see....

I've got one more that I want to post, but it needs some significant editing, so it'll have to wait.


Some other stuff that's happening....

....Kevin wants to start a hip-hop oriented band, separate from the math rock stuff we've been working on with Chris. He's got a bass player and a percussionist from another band he's in coming over tonight. Chris will be there too, so it should be interesting. Kevin's been getting inspired by some of the instrumental Beastie Boys material (from Ill Communication for example), which I've always thought was pretty cool. This seems like it will be much less serious than the other project (no we don't have a name yet), so maybe it won't go anywhere.

....It looks like Adam's sound guy Bryan is going to get into that building at Antioch & Winn after all. They've been trying to sell the place for months now, and evidently haven't had much interest. When myself, Adam, and Bryan went to look at the place about a month and a half ago, the realtor said it would cost 9 grand to get the keys. Then, a few weeks later, it was 8. Now they're telling Bryan they'll let him rent-to-own, so he'll get in for one month's rent ($1,000).

Hot damn!

Bryan (who's picked up a day job in the meantime) hasn't signed the papers yet, but it looks like that's going to happen. Then we're going to have a shitload of work to do to turn the first floor into a studio, but we could feasibly have the place up and running by October.

....I broke a tine on the Rhodes a couple days ago....the one that's already busted is B flat below middle C....the A right below that was getting out of tune, so I spent some time fiddling with it, and got it there. Almost immediately after, I go to hit that A and hear a boink! And I knew right away what happened. Bummer. I have got to find somebody that can work on these things....

[EDIT 1/30/08 mp3s taken down per Chris' request....]

the rabbit hole

Here's a pleasant, light piece from the New Yorker for your perusal. Here's how it starts.

In March, Mariane Pearl, the widow of the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, received a phone call from Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General. At the time, Gonzales’s role in the controversial dismissal of eight United States Attorneys had just been exposed, and the story was becoming a scandal in Washington. Gonzales informed Pearl that the Justice Department was about to announce some good news: a terrorist in U.S. custody—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda leader who was the primary architect of the September 11th attacks—had confessed to killing her husband. (Pearl was abducted and beheaded five and a half years ago in Pakistan, by unidentified Islamic militants.) The Administration planned to release a transcript in which Mohammed boasted, “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”

Pearl was taken aback. In 2003, she had received a call from Condoleezza Rice, who was then President Bush’s national-security adviser, informing her of the same news. But Rice’s revelation had been secret. Gonzales’s announcement seemed like a publicity stunt. Pearl asked him if he had proof that Mohammed’s confession was truthful; Gonzales claimed to have corroborating evidence but wouldn’t share it. “It’s not enough for officials to call me and say they believe it,” Pearl said. “You need evidence.” (Gonzales did not respond to requests for comment.)

There's a Radiohead song that goes "your alarm bells, your alarm bells, they should be ringing, they should be ringing...."

The rest of the article is about the gulag being run in our name (secretly of course) by the CIA.