Sunday, March 19, 2006

LTD Sans Muscles

My dearest friends,

Sorry for 2 week+ lag since our last communique. Things have been hopping in ye olde workshoppe as of late and none of us have had a moment to sit down and collect our thoughts (and shots) of the recent sessions.

As was posted a whilst back ago we have completed the musical foundations for the bulk of the material on the record. Thus & therefore, most of the recent time spent in the studio has been to overdub parts such as Gene's & Trevor's bits on the song O Honey We're Ridiculous. Trevor came in first during the week with a handful of ideas he had demo'd at home. He forgot all of his lovely noise pedals, thus we had to create any and all guitar distortions via the olde fashioned way by turning all the knobs of a tube amp to TEN. This did wonders for some shimmering arpeggiated parts he had written for chorus, but the effect needed a bit more for his guitar phrases during the we called it a night. Adieu!

That weekend Gene flew in from the Big Apple (does anyone call it that anymore?) to record his bits for O Honey and anything else we had time for. Fearing Gene may not be flying with his magic sound box due to New York's stringent flight regulations, I sought to quickly purchase an overdrive pedal or two before he landed. I happily fell upon a forum of folk vociferating about the virtues of an inexpensive line of Danelectro effect pedals. I ever so swiftly googled up a source for these econo-efx and tripped over Music123's site that were selling them for $14.95 each (free shipping!). I took the plunge and bought the overdrive and the distortion boxes and both arrived in time for Gene to crank & wank with them. We used them with great effect (yes, a pun, I believe) all over his tasty bits and never looked back! Sooo, that pedal is all over O Honey and it will be featured a bit on Gene's parts for We Made Our Way, We Amtrakked in which said lead guitarist made like Sterling on the self-title VU record (my favorite of the bunch, mind you). I tracked Gene's and Naud's guitar bits in a similar fashion for O Honey: Gene's homemade Genelectric was plugged into my lil' Gretsch tube amp and was close mic'd by an AT4047 with a Shinybox ribbon microphone about 4 feet back. Trevor Naud's set up went the same way except he played his Fender Jaguar through my Fender Champ. I think for both of their bits I am gonna trash the close mic...the far mic'd ribbon caught all I wanted.

Panic and I had a couple sessions along the way as well recording piano bits for the song Citizen Army Uniform. For the bulk of this song he plays a very distorted (and very near death) Ace-Tone combo organ, but there are a couple of moment that we wanted a lighter sonic scenario for. I didn't like the sound that was falling into the mics above the piano so we pulled off the heavy wooden kick plate in order to get at the strings that seemed to be making the most racket. I used two Oktava MC012s for the task, one to handle the upper and one to handle the lower registers of the instrument. The recorded sound made me smile.

The pictures in this post you are viewing currently are from this past weekend's session. We decided to include the recently penned song I Wanna Lil' Red Radio on this ever-forthcoming album. I made a demo of it where I played everything sans bass (thank you, Burgy!) and the drum arrangement was not so much lacking creativity as it was simply sounding like a very sucky drummer. So, we took a stab at LTD just re-recording the drum track...which is something that I pray you never try to do unless you are going for that Madcap Laughsian oh-so-sloppy-lysergic-muddle type of thing. It was frustrating and it sounded shitty, so we ended the night with LTD being mad at me for wasting his time on a days worth of nothingness. Panic was hanging out at the Workshoppe and him and I went back in to throw down a Juno-driven comfort jam. I felt better. On Sunday LTD came back, we set up some mics, I threw a cloth over his snare (pictured with muscles above), and away we went with the idea of totally re-recording the whole track. We got a scratch Ace-Tone track down and the main drum track done in a lil' over 3 hours. I am very pleased; I have a lot of work to do...I need to stop typing and get back in there.

ta for now,


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


'Vogues' bassline...done. Caz called me Bootsy Collins & then he sang that mogwai song from Gremlins . It was a beautiful moment.

I'm really excited about this [click it]:

Though the trailer makes it look a bit silly. But they always make good movies look insipid & braindead movies look brilliant in trailers. Anywho, Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff paired-up again can't be bad.