Monday, September 28, 2009

I Have Not Yet Begun To Sing

In the spirit of John Paul Jones (the revolutionary naval commander, not the Led Zep bassist), I have not yet begun to sing. There is a serious possibility that I am in love with the sound of my own voice. There's nothing I like better than cranking the band in the headphones and giving my all for a keeper vocal take. And when we're done, I want to go again. Alas, nothing lasts forever. Landy generally shuts me down after 3 full takes, which is a good thing since I'm usually spent at that point and it's basically a case of diminishing returns. I'm starting to respect Mike's instincts in these matters. He knows what he's talking about. Last week, Mike also clued me in to a crucial element that's missing from our session. It seems that on all major important recording sessions, the band and producer work off of a 'Progress Board'. You can see Earwig's very own progress board for the Gibson Under Mountain sessions above. The board has each song listed in graph-style with specially selected magazine photo cut-outs pasted to show what elements of the recording (drums, bass, guitar, vocals, etc.) have been completed. It's encouraging, in a gold star for potty training kind of way. Whatever that means. I like it.

Things are moving right along. We got a lot accomplished this week and I even found a new hub cap! We worked on Star Cross'd, Lovesong Cockroach, Her Heart and Shiny Morning. We'll be taking the next two weeks off and then be back at it in early October. I'll still be posting a new acoustic song each week though. This week's track is Not About You. Enjoy.

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby Jesus gave me a hubcap

Over the past year, the Universe has been speaking to me through abandoned hubcaps. Whenever I see one on the road-side I take it as a sign that the Universe is pointing me in the right direction and helping deliver me to awesomeness. I've started collecting these lost hubcaps and covering the side of my out buildings with their tainted glory. On the drive to CBus to begin recording this week, my eye caught something shiny on the side of the freeway. I stopped to collect it and brought it with me to serve as inspiration in the studio. Mike was a bit baffled when I tried to explain the whole idea to him, but he catches on quickly. It didn't take long for him to hang the hubcap up on the wall of the vocal booth to help provide the needed connection with the unknown.

From there, you'll be happy to learn that things got off to a smashing start at the Curry House this week. Recording with Landy is fun and we share an appreciation for many of the same bands and albums. The level of communication is good between us and the brightest moments we've had so far involve us throwing caution to the wind and going off the deep end with some whacked-out sounds and new parts. We started out on Monday/Tuesday doing guitars and vocals for 'Not About You' and 'Wicked'. Both worked out well. Our pal Andy H. was kind enough to bring us over a swell Les Paul, a Stratocaster, a killer VOX amplifier and a handful of cool sounding effects pedals. These provided the inspiration for diverting from our expected path and really experimenting in a few spots. On Wednesday we started tracking guitars for 'Star Cross'd' and everything was super crunchy and great sounding. When we came to the bridge, Mike suggested just throwing some crazy, direct fuzzed-out guitar in there. It wasn't what I had planned, but sounds incredible! It really elevated the part and is taking that song to another level. I hope that these types of sounds and experimentation continue to really shape the feel of this record. If they do, yr in for a real treat. For now, you can enjoy the no-frills, acoustic version of 'Star Cross'd'. But don't get too used to it, the full band version is going to seriously kick yer ass. Here's the link to download the acoustic version.

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save page as and store the file on yr desktop.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Own Private Listening Party

I’m set to begin the final stages in recording the new Earwig record with producer Mike Landolt . We’ll be tracking overdubs and mixing at his studio, Mike’s Curry House, or MCH, in Columbus. One of the first things we need to do is to bring Mike up to speed and get him familiar with the new songs. So last week I sat down on his couch with a tiny acoustic guitar and played all 11 songs for him. He set up 1 microphone and recorded them direct into the computer. I got one shot at each song and we didn’t fix anything or take too much time really worrying about the sound quality or the mix. I didn’t get all of the lyrics right or sing awesomely in tune (when do I ever?), but we ended up with a decent take of each song. These are no-frills, solid working versions of the new tunes. Listening back to them, I thought that you might like to hear them and that it might be a good way for you to get to know the songs before the album is complete. I'm not going to “officially” release these rough tracks, but I’ve decided to post these acoustic versions on my blog as we work on finishing the album. Consider it something special for those of you that are kind and cool enough to actually come here and read my blog. I’ll post one song a week here and if you collect them all you’ll have a nifty acoustic bootleg of the new Earwig record. So spread the word and feel free to share these MP3s with others.

I’m posting them in the same order as what I think the track listing for the new record will be, but that could change. Who knows? Please feel free to leave comments here and let me know what you think. The first track is ‘Trees’, a song which came to me in a dream.

These Trees turn black in winter

And a sap runs through my veins

All these decisions that I haven’t decided

Are just mistakes that I haven’t made

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save page as and store the file on yr desktop.