| Where: Mastering @ Red Tuxedo w/ Alex Lowe
Rating: Scary Creaky Kitty With Hell-Cat Meow
Folks, we started recording this project in July 2003. It is now middle-October 2004, and we are finally DONE. Lessons learned:
1. Just because you've got 7-8 songs you're dying to record, it's probably best not to waste $950 and an entire weekend just to get your studio fix.
2. When things have festered out of control and everything seems to have fallen apart, make sure you send the email to the correct recipient.
3. To Whom It May Concern: I sincerely, still and forever, apologize.
4. When in doubt, FTBSITTTD!
5. Trust your instincts. And those of your bass player. /nootch.
6. It truly is difficult to capture the beauty of a tesla coil on film
7. CAT POWER ROCKS!
8. When people tell you that it's better to get it right on the front end than to try to fix it later, take them at their word.
9. Your keyboard player has the simple wisdom of a zen master, hidden neatly inside 1,000 stories of Dave Chappelle and/or Adult Swim.
10. Your buddy Clutch has got your back, and there are no words to express your madd respeckt.
Mastering sailed by with no real hassles. It was awesome hearing the songs through 8' speakers. Alex Lowe, the mastering engineer, is a man of few words. If you crossed the lead singer of Incubus with a Zen Master, you would have Alex. He enjoys pizza, and he can redraw electronic pops *really* fast. As Martha would say, “That's A Good Thing.”
We were all so exhausted by the time mastering was complete (last night @ 3AM), that we were unable to crack open the Champaign and celebrate. But I think we each, in our own ways, are happy with the final product. The process has been much longer, and much harder than we'd hoped. But, I personally think this one was easier than The November Diaries. And at the end of the day, I'm still totally in love with my band, and our hard-headed process.
Now pass me a tissue. And a tall glass of Cristal.
1. What I mean by #9 above is this: Ryan friggin' rocks. it's hard to imagine how weaklazyliar ever existed without him. Not only does he bring all the flavor, he also has a unique ability to see all sides and bring peace (and a few well-timed jokes) to our mix.
2. Just as we were finishing up the mastering process, this...thing weaved it's creaky, unearthly way into the room. it was approximately 97,000 years old, scrawny, blind in one eye, arthritic, with patchy, oily fur. it opened its mouth and let out a banshee-meow that made all our arm hairs stand on end. Ryan tentatively reached down to stroke it, and it creaked it's arthritic old back up to meet his hand, emitting it's hair-raising undead screeching caw. Alex said it looked just like that, 10 years ago, when it first appeared at the studio. (((((((shudder)))))))
| When: 10/08/04
Where: On Paper
My new employers like to order lunch through zifty.com. Today, we ordered stuff from “Joe's On Juniper.” In case you're dying to know, I'm having a wedge of iceberg lettuce with some blue cheese crumbles. Living. Large.
A few days ago, I went over to Peter Bayhouth's house to pick up the photograph that we'll be using in our album artwork. Peter's place is totally cool. It's like Noah's Arc and a greenhouse, all rolled into one. And, he has these amazing treehouses in his backyard. If you find yourself in downtown Decatur, GA this month, you might see Peter's work. He's scattering viewfinders (mounted on metal pedestals) throughout downtown. If you look into them, you'll see great 3D slides of weird, cool things. Like a lady sitting by a fountain, reading a book.
Songs For Any Occasion Update :
-Rama Roy is hard at work on the graphic design. The picture is one component, but the rest is up to her. I've told her we expect nothing less than a masterpiece!
-We're scheduled to master the CD next week, with Alex Lowe. He's the guy that mastered “Camera Obscura” for Paul Melancon.
- I've listened to the songs in a bunch of different orders, and I'm 100% settled on **my** preferred order. That said, I don't know what the final song order will be.
*if* we can get the artwork finished by October 22, and *if* the manufacturer's schedule can deliver within 6 weeks, then *maybe* we'll have copies ready to sell to you guys before the holidays. Keep your fingers crossed!
Incidentally, has anyone figured out what ‘ftbsitttd' means (on our ‘news' page?) It's our new band motto…
| Where: Zero Return
Rating: [content edited by censors: ]
We came pretty close to finishing the record this weekend, but we still have a tiny bit of tracking and 3 songs to mix. Even so, the light is getting brighter and brighter through the fisheye lens of this tunnel. We are THIS CLOSE to being done!
Several truly memorable things happened this weekend.
1. We decided it would be hilarious to have a kind of headphones-moment imbedded in the middle of Ryan's instrumental extravaganza (a really cool little progression called either "I Am Glass" or [removed by editor]. That's all I'm allowed to say about it.
2. [removed by editor]
3. A few weeks ago, Ryan and I were left to our own devices in the studio and I snuck in a ripping, crunchy-azz, electric guitar track on "St. Stephen's Green." The guitar part is utterly unremarkable. But, it occurred to me, as I jogged up to the control room afterwards, flushed and thoroughly overexcited, that i can do this. Anyway, I was sure Chris would veto the part, since SSG is really more of an organic type of song. But, when he heard it for the first time last night, he said, "you played that?" I nodded, and he said, "I think I've taught you everything I can teach you." I would've hugged him, and burst into tears, and stuff, but - you know - there were people around.
4. I've waxed on and on about Rob del Buneo. But he really is, truly, spectacular. Rob's passion is Bio-Diesel. He was telling us about it last night, comparing Bio-Diesel (which is sustainable, renewable fuel made from fats - like vegetable oil, or algae) to Hydrogen Cells (which is probably the ultimate clean energy source - except for the fact that it takes electricity to get the hydrogen, and right now, most people are using petroleum products to make the electricity to get the hydrogen, which defeats the whole purpose of making the hydrogen cells.) Anyway, Rob is not political about this sort of stuff the way some environmental activists are. Its just simple to him: FACT: A relatively clean, renewable, sustainable energy source exists, and could be implemented RIGHT NOW with no modifications to the fuel supply or diesel vehicle fleet infrastructure. Rather than fuss and whine about the world's energy situation, Rob is actually doing something about it. www.atlanta.creativeloafing.com/2003-10-30/news_feature.html Check out this Article on Rob & Bio-Diesel. Learn Even More At: www.biodiesel.org/ One of Many BioDiesel Websites.
5. The 3 songs left to mix (1) "Flora Plum" (I can take this song or leave it. I guess it has its charm.), (2) "A Nice Night Otherwise" (known to us as "Helen Street," Chris and Rob have joined forces against me on my desire to add some production to this simple, acoustic, ballad -but I shall prevail and at least track my additional guitar parts, even if we end up scrapping them), and (3) "Flight Attendant Shaped Hot Air Balloon" (This jazzy-pixies-style rocker currently has about 800 tracks on it. We need to weed out some of that stuff and see what we've got left to work with.)
6. The 8 songs we have finished are:
- "Broken Windows In Factories" (featuring Chris' Cindy Lou Who Guitar)
- "The Year You Were Born" (formerly known as "Jet Airplane." I think this one sounds, sonically, better than anything we've ever recorded.)
- "When Joe Lived On Mary Street" (also known as "The Song In 5," and featuring some excellent drum work by Jeff.)
- "Victoria Falls" (Rob cranked the "Ass" Knob on the loud parts of this one, and it turned out just like we wanted-with real dynamic changes.)
- "Elevator" (featuring some absolutely gorgeous Moog-Through-Space-Echo and Organ work by Ryan.)
- "I Am Glass" (which will be the sort-of hidden track, see item 1 for more details. We had A LOT of fun recording this one, even me, and I don't even play on it!)
- "St. Stephens Green" (We've been kicking this one around for a long time, and its nice to finally hear it recorded.)
- "Boats" (This turned out fantastic. Right now, it ties with "The Year You Were Born" for my current favorite song.)
This update has gotten way more long-winded than I intended. Sorry. I guess, in spite of myself, I'm just really excited to finish and get this out to you guys. Now, we need to get rolling on the artwork!
I just checked the GBM, and did a double take when I saw that the date of the last GBM was November 6, 2003 . Geez! Plus, that GBM said “ This was our last scheduled show, and whenever I find myself in this spot, I can't help wondering if we'll ever play again? ” How's that for a self-fulfilling prophecy?
I was out to lunch today with this girl, Buffi, who plays in a couple different Atlanta bands, and she asked me when we were playing again. I tilted my head to the side, acted all blonde, and said, “Wait….What?” Dude! Am I still in a band, or what?!
Hell yes! And here's what we've been doing:
1. we parted ways with our 8 millionth drummer shortly after the last show
2. then, my dad died
3. During the first part of 2004, I remember not thinking about the band very much, and wondering at times if we even still existed.
4. But, as usual, the boys kept things alive. Whenever I'd get numb and apathetic, they'd start doing Ali G routines until I cracked up.
5. At some point, Ryan and I went out to dinner with Rob Del Bueno [extraordinary human specimen and owner of Zero Return Studios] and talked about what we wanted the record to sound like.
6. We also talked to this other studio – and actually, this is a story I'm dying to tell. But, my bigmouth has been ordered to zip it. Suffice to say, I can add “standing out on the street in Norcross watching Chris smoke cigarettes” to my list of surreal band memories.
7. We interviewed a few drummers. The guy from that Summer/Golden/Hope band never returned my calls. And the guy from … The Drexlers, or maybe Royal 7? Anyway, he had all these vintage drum kits displayed on a shelf, like a chair rail of percussion instruments, all over his house… he was very nice, but didn't really seem too excited about us.
8. Then Chris got the guts to call Jeff Frazier, the original weaklazydrummer. And what do you know? He was into it.
9. Next, we rehearsed.
10. And sometime in June, I started feeling R*O*C*K coursing through my bloodstream again.
11. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the studio
And that brings us to NOW.
Lo and behold, the record is all tracked and halfway mixed. We're totally broke. I got to play all kinds of electric guitar parts on this one. I used Ian Korf's starfire as my main axe. [And Ian, if you're reading this, one of the Studio Owners fell in love with your guitar, and I had to pry it out of his grabbling hands so that I could finish tracking.] Ryan played a real acoustic piano on one of our records for the first time (and it sounds amazing!) Chris played both straight & fuzzy bass. And Jeff Frazier rocked the crap out of the drum set. There will be 10 songs on the record + a bonus instrumental track, written by Ryan, and featuring...[ removed by editor ]... We recorded to 2” tape, and mixed in Cubase. We take back all the bad things we ever said about computers. Yeah, they suck. But they're wicked cool too.
In short, we're happy. We'll be releasing the record to radio officially in January. But, you guys can get it as soon as it's pressed up, which will be sometime this fall. I'm sure we'll have a CD Release Party at some point too. You'll know as soon as I know.
PEACE! And, thanks for keeping up the conversation on the message board while we slacked 2004 away. BTW – the cover song we wanted to do, but which we never got around to doing, is “Summer Highland Falls” by Billy Joel. NOOOOOOOOOOOTCH!