?

Log in

blog...blog...blog...
 
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in suedetjazz's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
6:07 pm
New Update!
Wow...it's been years since I posted anything here. I have nothing particularly new to say...just checking in. I may have to go through and delete all the now defunct videos that youtube eventually took down. I'm noticing some of my picture links don't work any more either. I may have to get right on that.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
10:38 pm
Exile on Main St.
Photobucket

So I have been corrected that the new Exile is not remixed, but only remastered. I still think it sounds much better. Unlike the Beatles, who (mostly post '66) had tons of overdubs which could get buried in muddy mixes (and which are now audible in the new mixes-and often revelatory, the Stones tended to jam in one room, using very few overdubs other than some leads and vocal touches.
Thus, you don't find a lot of new sounds, but the sounds you do hear are much better. I notice the improvements mostly on the accoustic tracks: (Sweet Black Angel, Sweet Virginia, I Just Wanna See His Face etc.). For the electric tracks, I find the drums, vocals and guitars are much improved. The horns still sound great, bass is still kinda weak (but that could be the player more than the remix-this isn't Funkadelic after all). The lack of bass presence actually made me think back to the Beatles remixes which seemed to bring the bass way up (a huge improvement--McCartney plays it like a lead on the later material).
I've only burned through the bonus material once, but I am a big junkie for rare bonus tracks-especially since Exile era studio bootleg stuff is super rare. That said, all of the unheard tracks are pretty good. The first-Pass the Wine-sounds like it comes from another era, maybe an outtake from Goats Head Soup. The next, 'Plundered my Soul' is a great song. This is one of the tracks that didn't originally have vocals and MJ and Mick Taylor were brought in to do new vocals/guitar this year (MJ used the original lyrics which were never recorded at the time).
I have had a debate with a huge Stones fan at work about whether you can tell the 'old' Mick voice from the 'new' Mick voice. Originally, I couldn't hear a difference, but if you listen to all of the first, original Exile and then delve straight into the bonus tracks, you can totally hear the difference in vocals. No big deal, though. His voice is still strong and the song is really good.
'I'm Not Signifying' & 'Following the River' are piano driven, gospel/blues songs which are fun to hear, but you can immediately tell why they didn't make the cut, unlike the first two.
'Dancing in the Light' & 'So Divine' are gems, but still don't sound like Exile tracks. Some of these bonus tracks make me wonder-especially after having read about how unproductive & slow-moving the Exile sessions were-if these tracks are from other sessions. Still, fun to hear.
The alternate 'Lovin Cup' (from 1969-Let it Bleed Sessions) only makes you thank them for re-recording it for Exile (sloppy and slow, but again, interesting for purists). I really like the Keith Richards vocals on the (Alternate) Soul Survivor, but I can still see why they used Mick's. Still, this is my favorite bonus track along with 'Plundered'.
'Good Time Women' is an early version of Tumblin Dice (with different (not as good) lyrics, and 'Title 5' is a BS jam with no vocals.

Overall, I love the new sound and mostly love that this new remaster has forced me to give this great album another serious listen. The bonus tracks are nothing special (Plundered & Soul Survivor (Keith vox) are the real gems), but still fun.
Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
6:22 pm
YAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!
Our favorite restaurant-Queen of Sheba-is not just back, it's right in our backyard! We can't even stand it. I could really eat there every night. I think this is her opening weekend---she took the spot where Dreamcatcher used to be in Timberlyne Plaza.
As cheered as I was seeing the big hole and the Obama crane on Rosemary Street, it was always bittersweet knowing that QOS was gone. We would be going there right now if we didn't already have reservations at Mint. If they dick us around like they did last week we are outta-there and headed straight to Timberlyne. Psyched!!!

Current Mood: ecstatic
Monday, November 10th, 2008
11:31 pm
This Really Cracks Me Up...
Spy TV was this cheezy Candid Camera knock-off, but occasionally they would have a really funny bit. This is my favorite...I like my hot blue sweater in the summertime! I like my hot blue sweater in the summertime!



Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
8:06 pm
Weird Cover
Can you guess who this is covering The Beatles? No peeking!


Current Mood: tired
Saturday, October 4th, 2008
6:18 pm
Sarah Palin Debate Flowchart
Thanks to Mac for this.
Photobucket

Current Mood: cheerful
Sunday, July 27th, 2008
8:40 pm
My 40th Birthday Party!
Photobucket

Had a great time at my 40th Birthday party, a surprise party put on by the lovely Alison. I can't believe I didn't figure it out ahead of time. All the tell-tale clues were in place:
1)John asking me what time my party was...
2)My mother asking me if I had had my party yet...
3)Jordon & Becky coming into town for no apparent reason...
4)Alison locking the cats in the upstairs bedroom...something she only does when we have a party...

On and on...but thanks all of you who could make it. For those of you who couldn't you can check out some pics (excellent pics courtesy of Sarah)here. I'm not sure how long this link is active, but I am guessing for at least awhile. I think the last pic is my favorite(33).

There were songs written, games invented, an effigy-er, a pinata filled with booze, BC powders, vitamins, candy and beauty products. Great fun, though I finally had to bail during the charades game.
I also just figured out the significance of the '40s' of beer being passed around. Hilarious.

I wanted to do a quick thank you for all the great gifts. I got a chance to really sit down and take a look at them today and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Mac-Thanks for the Red Dawn DVD and also covering up John's gaffe by pretending to have a Red Dawn party-which is still a great idea by the way. Alison thought you were having a 'Rescue Dawn' party which would have been a whole different thing. AVEEEENGE ME!

Jenn & Eric-I love gift cards. As a teacher it is the best gift imaginable. Even better than a wooden desk apple, or apple-scented soap! Thanks for the great song, too! You should include it on your next album! Also loved the hummos and (especially) the salsa-maybe the best we've ever tasted.

JJ & Amanda-Loved the home-made card and can't wait to use the gift certificate at CD Alley. $40-nice touch!, though my 60th birthday party may prove fiscally unmanageable!

Bevin-Vonnegut is always awesome (especially a book I specifically asked for!) and I love the beautiful bookmark! The card was hilarious, and more embarrassing beauty products!

John-Where to begin? Another JP original! I think I'm going to see those teeth even when I sleep. Hopefully Eliza won't make the connection that that is me. It compliments the priest picture perfectly!

Michelle-love the bust! Will take a prominent place on my piano-replacing the original bust of Beethoven! Makes me seem more important historically than I actually am. Thanks for classing me up!

Gill & Patrick-thanks for bringing the easel and giant paper/markers. I woke up to some pretty interesting "art" on Sunday!

Amanda, Shelby & Sarah-thanks for the great, and well-researched summaries of my life! Very clever and (sadly) very accurate!

Vern & Sean-listened to the Bowie this morning-fantastic. Almost worth a whole blog by itself. The Nat. Lampoon book is filthy, raunchy (and in some cases ) stomach-turning fun. Perfect! I've been wanting that T Rex movie almost as long as I've been wanting a John McCain "I'm Old" button (which Jordon wore all night). Seriously, I've been wanting that a long time.

Jordon & Becky-I love Cds and love being embarrassed by my obsession with beauty products. Now you've managed to marry the two! Thanks! Seriously, I will enjoy both immensely.

Steve-I can never read enough about Zappa!

Big Vern-thanks for the 1792 whiskey---I'm sipping it right now as I type. Great stuff...really smooth!

Mirek-thanks for the 10 gallon drum of Jack Daniels!

And of course, buckets of love to my sweetie who put it all together. It's ironic that I crashed out while someone was acting out 'Tom going to bed in the middle of a party' in charades. It was good to see you all and I hope you continued to have fun!



...Tuesday...F*ck 'em...F*ck 'em all...

Current Mood: blank
Sunday, July 20th, 2008
5:54 pm
Shroomin'
It has been raining quite a bit down here, and lately Alison and I have noticed many new and strange growths spread across our yard. We decided it would be fun to see how many different kind of 'shrooms we could find. We found a ton and I took pictures of some of the weirder ones, but then Alison was attacked by a yellow jacket and our adventure was ruined. Thank God we had wine in the house, or it would have been a trip to the emergency room.

Anyways, if you want to see some pictures of our mushrooms, check em out here. Bring on the hallucination jokes!Collapse )

Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
4:31 pm
This n' That
Hey! Some good/interesting news in the sports & music world!

Photobucket

1) Boston Keltics beat LA Lakers!

I don't usually follow the NBA (I can't even remember the last championship series that I watched, but I think it involved the Knicks, which means it happened a long time ago), College basketball replaced it completely when I moved to NC, but I did tune in to this one mainly because I have always kind of liked the Celtics(does anyone know why they made it a soft c?).

I tuned in for the final two games rooting whole heartedly for the Celtics. One, they hadn't been to the championship in a long, long time and the irritating Lakers go there almost every year. Boston narrowly lost the first game in LA, but last night redefined the term "annihilated" when referencing sports. I enjoyed it because it really mirrored the most recent Superbowl.
A scrappy team that has sucked for years (Giants/Celtics) beats a huge, evil money team that wins every year and is filled with reprehensible players (Patriots/Lakers). I guess that's not really fair to the Lakers. I hate Kobe, but I can't think of anyone else I can't stand. I really just hate the fact that they win every year. How boring. Plus the overcoverage of Jack Nicholson on the sidelines....*yaaaaawn*

Anyways, Yay Keltics!

2)Bob Dylan (sort of) Endorses Barack Obama!

I didn't know this, but I guess over Dylan's 40+ career in music, he has never endorsed (nor publicly spoken about) a US presidential candidate. (Is this possible?)
Well, the Bobster actually broke that tradition and (sort of) endorsed Obama without actually naming him. This was from an interview with the London Times:

"Right now, America is in a state of upheaval. Poverty is demoralizing. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor [Huh?!]. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining...what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Things are going to have to."

I guess it's not really "ringing" but unprecedented none-the-less.

3) Tom Waits on Tour Again!

I would actually make an effort to go to one of these shows if anyone were interested. Unfortunately he is avoiding coastal states (I have no idea why), so the closest he is coming to us is Knoxville TN (6/29-a Sunday) and Atlanta GA (7/5-a Saturday...this is the one I would shoot for). He has a couple in Alabama also.
Here's what he says about the tour: "[My band plays] with race-car precision, and they are all true conjurers. I'm doing songs with them I've never attempted outside the studio."

4) Funny/Scary Video that Alison Sent Me

This cracked me up...and scared the hell out of me at the same time:


Current Mood: Relaxed
Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
8:00 pm
Weird Death Conversation Over Dinner With Alison
Alison and I were eating dinner tonight and listening to the Incredible String Band. I was kind of giving her a vague rundown on their history and it led to a very strange conversation.

The thrust of the String Band history is that they started as a four piece and then one of the main guys(Robin Williamson) brought his girlfriend-Licorice-into the group without full consent from the others. This created friction and the band broke up a few albums later (for the record I always thought she added to the band. I get sick of Heron's and Williamson's voices pretty quickly and Licorice offered a nice diversion).

Anyways, the Incredible String Band broke up in 1973 or so and she joined this band called The Silver Moon Band, (which played benefits with ex-Bowie bandmates Woody Woodmansey and Mike Garson.
In 1977 she joined Williamson again for some of his solo projects under a pseudonym, then got married and kind of stayed out of the limelight.

What prompted our conversation is that, mysteriously in 1990 she apparently disappeared off the face of the earth. She just vanished, and no one has ever heard from her again.

I certainly hope she's alive and she has chosen to disappear, but it led us to the discussion of: If you wanted to kill yourself and leave absolutely no trace, how would you do it?

These days with DNA and bloodwork and everything it's a pretty hard task.

TOM'S IDEA:
Photobucket

I thought that if you could somehow climb into one of the thrusters of the space shuttle the night before take-off (you could bring a flashlight, a couple of sandwiches, maybe a bottle of booze and some magazines) you would surely be incinerated beyond any trace at the second of blastoff. The only flaw is that it would probably be really hard to get past security.

ALISON'S IDEA:
Photobucket

Alison's idea seems much more practical than mine. She suggested taking a boat out into the deepest ocean, anchoring and then throwing out chum. Once the sharks start to circle, start up the boat at full speed and then lean over the edge of the boat and shoot yourself, so that you fall into the water and are instantly devoured by sharks. I mentioned that they may cut open the shark and still find you, but she found that to be an unlikely event.

Feel free to share your own ideas!
Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
4:51 pm
Indy Review of Puritan Rodeo
The Indy reviewed our album. It's a pretty positive review, though he never really comes out and says that he loves it. I guess I was expecting a Sgt. Pepper-esque review, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's actually a pretty thoughtful analysis--citing lyrics and instrumentation to back up certain conclusions. I had never even thought about the irony of the woodblock in 'Heartpine'.
Anyway, if you want to read it here it is!Collapse )

Current Mood: Headachy
Monday, May 26th, 2008
9:46 pm
Mac Vs. PC
It's probably getting close to that time when we need to get a new computer. Unfortunately all I can gather from these guys...
Photobucket
...is that Macs are smug and annoying and PC's are geeky and full of crap.

Ah...back to the drawing board.

Current Mood: calm
Saturday, May 10th, 2008
1:27 pm
Clambake Wrap Up
Well, bobtshirt has finally finished his series on the immortal Clambake.
I threw together some pictures to put images with some of his(and my) posts.
Check 'em out hereCollapse )

Current Mood: peaceful
Sunday, May 4th, 2008
2:27 pm
Obama on the Wing
Well, I missed early voting so I guess I'll be standing in line this Tuesday.
I wasn't really ready anyway. Now I think I've got all my votes hammered out.

Got a surreal robo-call yesterday from a woman named 'Mary Kay McCain' who was stumping for Hillary. Then we got a call from Hillary today. It's sweet of her to check in but I think I'm still voting for Obama.

Speaking of Obama, I guess Roger Waters is a huge supporter. At the recent Coachella festival he had a plane drop Obama fliers and he even changed the inflatable pig he launches at every show.


Sounds like a pretty cool version of 'Sheep'. I wonder if you can get a clip with the whole song.

Current Mood: cheerful
Monday, April 28th, 2008
11:25 pm
Photobucket

Sean and I, both huge Velvet Underground/early Lou Reed fans bought tickets to this a while ago. I really wasn't expecting much, since I had seen many videos and read many articles about Reed's grumpy/lackluster live shows. I expected a lot of sloppy guitar, barked vocals and disdain for the audience. Boy was I wrong.

Sean and I had a nice dinner at The Federal (and a couple of incredibly high octane beers) and headed over to the show. This band I had never heard of (but apparently has a huge following) called 'Melt Banana' was supposed to open, but cancelled so Lou started around 8.

When he started I had three immediate impressions:

1)For such a notorious grump, he seemed really happy and joked a lot with the crowd.
He wasn't chatty, but smiled a lot and occasionally chatted with the crowd.
At one point he said "When were we last in North Carolina? I think it was 1837. That was
shortly after I finished inventing the phonograph."

When the band had trouble going into the 'People going to the Stratosphere" part of "I'm Sticking with You" He said, "Could I have a moment alone here?" and strummed the chord leading into the part. It wasn't petulant or grumpy, just sort of goofy and the band laughed.

While he was getting ready to start another song, someone shouted "Play them all!" and Lou responded, "Okay. I guess we can do them all. Let's start in 1966!"

2)His band was super tight. Lou isn't a great lead guitar player, but he had some really great moments-some cool droning stuff that really sent the songs into other places. His guitarist-Steve Hunter (original guitarist on the Berlin album, and also played with Peter Gabriel) was amazing. He really was one of the best guitarist I've heard in a while, and Lou really gave him a lot of space.

His drummer was amazing-Tony "Thunder" Smith-who was really hard hitting but also played with nuance. He used to play with Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer and the John McLaughlin group.

It took us until the band introductions to recognize Rob Wasserman on bass. I guess we should have recognized his 17 string stick thing. I'm not a big fan of his bass playing, but he really shined tonight.

3) Lou really tried to sing and play well. This was a surprise after being subjected to video after video of that 'barking' vocal style. It only really occurred during a quick 'Sweet Jane'

I was impressed how much I liked his newer stuff. He really only did 3 VU songs and only a couple of his solo old stuff. The rest was new.

Overall, a really enjoyable night. I have a renewed appreciation of Lou Reed's music and may even have to check out some of his newer stuff. The crowd loved it and showed it by giving a standing ovation after every song (which became tiring). One guy had this annoying whistle he would blow during the quiet parts of songs and which sorely needed to be shoved up his ass.

SET LIST:
1)Mad (new song? pretty good, great jam at the end)
2) Sweet Jane (great to hear, a rushed version, though)
3) I'm Set Free (one of my favorites and an excellent version-great guitar by Lou)
4) Ecstasy (great newer song-had a really cool 'drum' jam in the middle with everyone
playing percussion on their guitars/keys)
5) I'm Sticking With You (great version of the VU song-part 1 sung by the keyboard player
who sounded alarmingly like Moe Tucker, and the second half sung by Lou)
6) Power of the Heart (brand new song--not that great--probably about Laurie Anderson who
didn't show up tonight)
7) I Wanna Know (this is one of the Edgar Allen Poe songs and I loved it. It was a sort of
weird, gospelly call and response thing with the drummer. Great groove and
great jam. Kind of kicked the 'standing ovation' fiesta into high gear, though.
8) Halloween Parade (great version of this song from 'New York' about how the U.S. spends
billions destroying other countries while ignoring their own citizens (in this
case, those with AIDS. Really pretty)
9) Video Violence (I'm not a huge fan of this song, but great jam)
10) Guardian Angel (new song used to showcase a custom built 7-string guitar. The guitar
sounded great, but the song didn't do much for me).
11) Magic and Loss (cool song. built into an amazing crescendo. Great way to end the show.)
ENCORE:
12) Perfect Day (a note-perfect version. Lou's voice really sounded great. The group came
together for a bow and that was it).

What a fun night! Even for a Monday!
Photobucket
Thursday, April 10th, 2008
10:22 pm
Spellhouse
I originally asked Vern if I could do this post, before realizing that I remember very little about this hideous experience. Last weekend I hung out with Vern and Sean and asked them what they remember and discovered it really didn't matter. They remembered very little as well.

We had finished our recording with Frank and were really displeased with the results. We continued to play crappy paying gigs that Cody booked in order to save up money to make a better recording. At one point someone (I think it was either Cody or Vern) discovered an ad in what was then The Spectator. The ad read something like this:

SPELLHOUSE RECORDING STUDIO:
Inexpensive recording for local bands.
A full-service 24 track recording studio with
digital and now analog recording capacity.
Call now to book studio time for all your
recording, mixing and mastering needs!
Call Scott at XXX-XXXX.

We called and his prices were around the same as Franks. Inexpensive, but still pretty
expensive for our budget. After talking to Scott on the phone he convinced us that the
'analog' recorder would be perfect for our band. We decided to check it out.

Scott lived in a huge, cathedral like house in, what I think was Mebane, NC (essentially
Middleofnowhere, North Carolina). It was about a 45 minute drive from Carrboro and once we entered the Spellhouse, the whole place immediately reeked of 'Trust fund.'

The main room where we would set up had ceiling with a skylight which was like 50 feet high-a huge benefit for recording drums, Scott told us. Adjacent to the main room was a rec room with a TV, couches, board games etc. which would have been perfect for relaxing in, if we ended up having even 1 second to relax during this harrowing experience. There was also a small kitchen on the other side which will come into the story later. In the back of the room was a really high, narrow, railing-less staircase which led to the bedrooms upstairs-one which was Scott's (with his girlfriend Naomi, a white hippie-chick with dreadlocks), and his control room.

Scott was a really nice guy. He was a hippie who had just moved from San Francisco, and had long red hair. He was really mellow and seemed to know what he was talking about as he gave us a tour of the house. When he took us upstairs to see the console I was really impressed. Where Frank's 'studio' was essentially a four track hooked up to a computer (only one step above our 'studio' which was a four track not hooked up to a computer), Scott's console was a huge twenty four track board, run through an analog reel-to-reel rig and a digital hook-up with monitors and video screens. Knowing nothing at the time about analog vs. digital, or sound boards or consoles I was really impressed with the size of the stuff he had.

He convinced us after hearing some of our demos that we would want to record on the analog reel-to-reel. We agreed whole-heartedly, having no idea what that meant.

TIME LINE:
As in the past(with paid recording sessions), we did ourselves a disservice by trying to figure out how long the recording would take. With Frank we figured since we knew all the songs and we were only doing four, it would take, say four hours. It took 3 days. With Spellhouse, Scott felt it was important that we record most of the tracks live and do minimal overdubs. So we got out the Clambake calculator and calculated that the session would take no more than 3 hours.

Here was our schedule:
2:00 Arrive at Spellhouse, settle in.
2:30 begin recording.
3:15 begin overdubs
3:30 finish overdubs/begin mixing
4:00 finish mixing.
4:30 Leave with our pristine, Dark Side of the Moon quality analog CD
5:15 Arrive at Todd St. Order a pizza, drink some beers and listen to our
Sgt. Pepper.

It didn't really go down that way. First off, because the place was in Middleofnowhere, NC we got lost and didn't arrive until 3.

3:00 PM
After the tour (30 minutes) we began set up and miking of everything. Like with Frank, the set up and sound checks took like two hours. I remember, even though the place was huge, the room we were in was relatively small, so my keyboards were set up right at the bottom of the narrow, rail-less staircase. Scott couldn't communicate with us without coming downstairs, so I was constantly having to pull the keyboards out of the way for him and then putting them back.
Scott was up and downstairs about 100 times adjusting mikes and moving drums. Vern was having all kinds of trouble with his guitar pedals and we really didn't start recording until about 5:30. We could sense Cody's mood becoming blacker and blacker, since the session was no longer following the Clambake schedule.


5:30
We finally began recording. Being in the same room, facing each other was a pleasant difference to recording with Frank. We started with a great song Vern wrote called 'Sharks'. We did several takes, and then went up to listen, quickly realizing that Vern's guitar was out of tune. We went downstairs and tried again. By now the drums were getting faster and faster and the takes shittier and shittier. We finally agreed on one passable take and moved on to another Vern tune 'Maybe Someday'. After about 10 takes of this we decided to take a break.

7:00
By now it was around 7 oclock and we were all starving. Over cigarettes we had an impromptu band meeting and decided that rather than take a dinner break and have this session end at like 11:00, we would soldier on and hopefully be home around 9 to eat and listen to our mindblowing 'Ok Computer.'
We were breaking down stuff to take a break and Sean, Cody and Scott had already gone outside. Vern and I were still breaking down when we smelled some really good food. In the kitchen, right next to us, Naomi had begun cooking dinner. Half thinking that she was cooking for the band, we wandered over and asked her what she was making. "Beans." she said curtly and went back to cooking. Essentially, a more accurate answer would have been "Go Away Beans."
As our stomachs began slowly digesting themselves, we joked about other possible answers.
"Fuck Off Beans." "Get Lost Beans" "Take It On The Arches Beans."

Vern and I joined the others outside, and when we returned the little curtain separating the kitchen from the "studio" was pulled closed. Now heres where my mind started to unravel. We still had two songs to do-basic tracks only- and all the overdubs. So when we came back in, Scott announced that it was dinner time for he and Naomi and went behind the curtain, into the kitchen where the two of them ate 'get-lost beans' and we twiddled our thumbs in the main room.

8:30
We finally began recording the basic tracks for the last two songs, "Invisible Man" and "Mr. Thompson". By now Cody, hungry and irritable, had become a genuine nuisance. Everything was a problem and he had no problem venting. "Invisible Man", a song by me, was a really simple, three chord song in 4/4. As our live shows progressed, Cody added this weird 11 beat ending to it.

So now our "1-2-3-4/1-2-3-4/" song went "1-2-3-4/1-2-3-4/123456789-10-11!"

We did about 50 takes of "Invisible Man" now noticeably suffering from malnutrition and all of our nerve-ending and synapses frayed and on the verge of collapse. At least 5 times we had done perfect versions of the song and then screwed up the 11-beat ending. I think it was Vern who was brave enough to broach the subject of getting rid of the 1234567891011 ending in favor of a normal "Ba-DAH!" ending when Cody exploded. "WHAT DA FUCK! IT'S 11! YOU CAN FUCKING COUNT, RIGHT? 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11! JESUS CHRIST IT'S FUCKING THAT SIMPLE!"

Scott came barreling down the stairs and managed to calm us down. Sean suggested getting some food but was voted down. Things were getting ugly. We finally nailed "Invisible Man" but still had "Mr. Thompson". A short, heated debate ensued about whether we should just skip "Mr. Thompson" and go into the overdubs. Vern strongly objected and we marched into "Mr. Thompson".

9:45
We trudged through several lifeless, sloppy versions of Mr. Thompson before finally surrendering to our hunger and decided to take a pizza break. We still had all the overdubs to do, and almost suffered a collective nervous breakdown when we discovered that no pizza place would deliver to Middleofnowhere, NC. As I recall, we ponied up money (sans Cody, Scott or Naomi) and I rode with Scott to the nearest Dominos (which was like 20 miles away). When we got back we wolfed down the pizza and I recall beginning to feel quite a bit fatigued. We had been drinking cheap beer on empty stomachs, smoking, watching Naomi eat her Go-Fuck-Yourself Beans, and after wolfing down 3 pieces of salty, crappy pizza, the night had caught up with me.

11:30
I can't remember if we did all the overdubs the same night or if just some band members went back (I know I didn't), but by the time we went upstairs to listen to the playback of the tunes, I felt nauseous, tired and cranky. We sat on the couch and listened, found the recording satisfactory, and finally loaded up the cars and headed back to Todd St.

THREE WEEKS LATER
We still hadn't heard from Scott and finally Vern called him to see what the status on the CD was. Scott told him it wasn't finished because he and Naomi were moving back to San Francisco and he hadn't had time to finish the mixing. He promised that he would have the CD to us the following week.

THREE WEEKS LATER
Vern called again and the CD was "finished". I think Vern had to drive all the way out there again to get it. Anyways, we took the CD back to Todd St. and Vern, Sean and I prepared ourselves to be blown completely away by the stellar sound and mix and to finally hear our tunes played in their speaker-bleeding glory. Sadly we sat limply through a fuzzy, poorly mixed, crappily played CD of our songs. The overdubs were far louder than the basic tracks and the basic tracks sounded like they were under water. While listening, I tallied up in my head the cost of the Frank and Spellhouse sessions and came up with about $900. $900 spent on 14 songs which would not be really usable for anything. $900 worth of songs that none of us would ever want to hear again.

THE DILEMMA
Reflecting on the Frank/Spellhouse recording sessions I began to ponder the following hypothesis:

In both of these sessions we went into the console room and listened to versions. Both times, the entire band agreed that they sounded good. Then, when we got the CD it sounded like shit.

Originally I thought, "Wow. Clambake has no ears at all". I figured, we listened but didn't hear how totally crappy it sounds and then got what we deserved when the CD was delivered.
But now, having been in Puritan Rodeo, I don't think that's true. We know what a bad mix sounds like and we know what a good one sounds like. Something changed the sounds of these songs after we left the session. We heard what was supposed to be the "mix" but somewhere between final playback and the CD being delivered it sounded awful.

This was the last time Clambake ever paid money to make a recording. In fact, it was close to the last time Clambake ever recorded anything.

Current Mood: sleepy
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
9:36 pm
The April Fool, I.
VERN'S PRANK:

Among our circle, Vern is the master of April Fool's pranks. He had gotten me pretty good when we first moved down here. I was pulled over for speeding and the cop noticed that I still had a NY license. He issued me a warning (I had had it for months) and encouraged me to get down to the DMV immediately and change it over to NC.

That weekend I went down and took the test, photo and had it changed over. One of the drawbacks of never knowing the date is that on April 1, I got home from a really crappy day at work and listened to my messages. It was a woman's voice (with a think Southern accent) explaining that there had been a mistake and that I had actually failed the driver's test and needed to come down immediately and hand in my license or suffer serious penalties. Having just received a $100 driving ticket, I did not need any serious penalties.

Red-faced with rage I threw on my jacket and was almost in the car when I thought, "That can't be right. She marked it right in front of me and told me I passed. Somebody screwed up." I marched back into the apartment, listened to the message and called the number. "Person County Industries," the voice said. "How may I direct your call?"
Call me rube, but I vowed never to be had again by Vern on that most foul of days. I dodged a bullet by not going down there and making an ass out myself.

THIS YEAR:
There's a back story to this. I have had a past history of bad luck with weird, lonely friends from my childhood (not HS or college-I'm talkin' 4th grade) finding me and wanting to reconnect.

The problem with having parents who lived in the same house and had the same phone number for 30 years is that these people can just call them. In the past my father has given them everything but my social security number.

About two weeks ago I got a Myspace friends request from a guy named Chris. I checked it out (I almost never go on myspace) and it was this kid Chris R who I was friends with in 4th grade. He was always kinda weird, but as we got older he drifted into creepy, psychopath weird, and myself into a more mainstream, quirky kind of weird. Anyways, by 7th grade we had drifted apart.

So I accept him on myspace and check out his site to see what he is up to. Apparently he still lives in Niskayuna, is still looking for babes, and is an extreme conservative republican.
Having found out what he was up to, my interest was sated and I logged off. He sent me a message wanting to catch up, but I couldn't really see the point.

A week later I get another email-"You have a new myspace message!" which almost never happens. I click on it, and it was a friend of mine from Albany-a girl named Jill who is an extreme liberal, animal rights activist and a really nice person. Her message was, "Hey Tom,
How's it going! Do you know this guy? He's giving me bad vibes. Jill"
She attached this long string of messages from Chris basically hitting on her, asking her how she knew "Tommy" and where she lived.

Now I was pretty creeped out, so I told her not to respond and to let me know if he ever contacted her again, so I could remove his page. I left him on, but vowed not to encourage any more "connection" between the two of us.
So today I get home after one of the most exhausting days of my life and, forgetting what horrible day it was, clicked on my messages and began feeding the cats.

Phone: "Hey! Tommy! It's Chris! Listen, I'm in New York City with some buddies, but I'm flying into Raleigh on Saturday! I have a little business in the morning, but after that I thought we could get together and you could show me the hot spots in Chapel Hill! Of course the brews are on me! Man, you've got some hot tail, on your myspace page! I can't wait to learn from the master. I hope you don't try to "cock block" me man! Anyways, give me a call-518 387-9087. Don't blow me off, buddy, I'm counting on you!"

Masterful. NY voice(a friend of Vern's from NYC). Correct area code. Sounded Republican.
I stood there, visibly shaking cat food all over the floor. I get creeped out by strange people in my past showing up out of the blue anyway, but this one was actually flying down to get me. I quickly brought up his myspace page for further perusal. His job description didn't really warrant any "business" in Raleigh, and his site creeped me out even more. Under 'About me' it said "I love being a Republican and making money!!!!! I guess that makes me a capitalist!.

Anyways, in a panic I figured if he knew my phone number, he probably knew where I lived and would come here whether I invited him or not. I called my dad to ask him if he had given Chris the number. Luckily I got the answering machine, so he was spared my prepared speech:

"Dad, in the future, let's make it a policy that if any apeshit crazy ex friend calls you asking for information, you tell them I'm dead."

I then googled my name and north carolina chapel hill in about 100 combinations, but nothing came up. I then googled his name and nothing came up. All this research was coming out of nap time, by the way.

My next step was to delete my myspace account. I would have just blocked him as a friend, but I figured that may just send him into a psychopathic rage when he got down here. Finally, I decided, well-he's not coming today, I'll take my nap and think about it.

When Alison got home I ran up to her like kids run to Santa Claus. "Alison!! You're not even going to believe this. I don't know what to do. Do you remember that creepy guy I told you about that I went to school with in 4th grade and...[you know the rest]"

She looked concerned for a second and then started laughing. "You know, it is April Fool's day." I had been had again. I now have 364 days to exact my revenge...and it will be sweet.

Photobucket

THE KIDS:

I had forgotten about April Fool's Day completely until the kids all came into the room and beat me about the head and neck with "Mr. Latimer! I broke my arm! APRIL FOOLS!"
"Mr. Latimer! My mom's birthday is today! APRIL FOOLS!" and standard lame attacks such as that.

I thought up, on the spot what I thought would be a great class April Fool's joke. Unlike Vern, I pretty much suck at fooling people-even kids-but today I was masterful. We were getting ready to go to an assembly, and I called the class to the rug. On the table I had a bunch of little jars of paint and two brushes.

"After the assembly I have a special art project we can try--Eye paints!" The class looked on with intense interest. I held up jars of different colors. "See? You take this brush and you can paint over the colored part of your eye. Any color you like! If you have blue eyes, you can make them brown! If you have brown eyes you can make them pink!"

"Can you make one pink and one blue?" they'd ask. "Of course! You can color them anything you want! They only stay that color for a few hours and then wear off!"

"Can you color your whole eye? Not just the colored part?"
"Oh sure!" I'd reply. "Last year some kids colored their entire eyes yellow and they looked just like aliens!" Ooooh! Aaaaah! I felt like Willy Wonka.

"Can you color your whole eye white, so there's no color at all?"
"Anything you like! Have a snozzberry!"

Anyways, I kept going on and on waiting for someone to call me on it, or at least question me (Mr. Latimer, are you indeed suggesting putting paint in our eyes?) One kid's mother was a doctor and was always questioning things I told him:

Me: If you break the thermometer do not touch the mercury because it is poisonous.
Bill: My mother says it's not the mercury that's poisonous, its the contaminants.
Me: Far out. Just don't touch it.

Even he didn't call me on the Eye Paint. Finally, after a barrage of questions, it was time to line up for the assembly. The kids lined up, all detailing the different ways they were going to paint their eyes and contemplating whether their parents would freak out.

The assembly was long and boring and I completely forgot about the eye paint. After the assembly I had them vote on whether they wanted to go outside for the rest of the day, or have recess in the room. All but one voted to stay in, which I found very peculiar.

Back in the room the kids shrieked "EYE PAINT!" and brought me the bucket of paints. "Uh Oh." I thought, but figured that once I tried to stick a paint brush into one of their eyes, they would call me on it. All but the one kid who wanted to go outside lined up to have their eyes painted, buzzing about which eye would be which color.

I asked one to go fill a cup with water and the rest dutifully lined up. Sam was first in line and she was the most excited about having her eyes painted-one black and one white. I opened a can of black and told her to put one hand over her right eye. "Now open your other eye really wide and look at me. It's a very special paint. You won't even feel it!" I slowly brought the paintbrush closer to her eye. She didn't even blink.

"APRIL FOOLS!" I screamed, waiting for the peals of laughter. Instead, the entire group took a step backward in stunned shock. Sam gasped and took her hand away from her eye. I thought she was going to cry. Even Bill who knew that doctors often inject patients with mercury looked shocked and saddened that Eye Paint wasn't real.

"Cmon!" I pleaded. "Are you crazy? You can't put paint in your eye!"
"Oh." They murmured and wandered away. The room was strangely quiet. And to quote
F.Scott Fitzgerald, "The number of enchanted things in [their lives] had diminished by one."

Current Mood: Foolish
9:36 pm
The April Fool, I.
VERN'S PRANK:

Among our circle, Vern is the master of April Fool's pranks. He had gotten me pretty good when we first moved down here. I was pulled over for speeding and the cop noticed that I still had a NY license. He issued me a warning (I had had it for months) and encouraged me to get down to the DMV immediately and change it over to NC.
That weekend I went down and took the test, photo and had it changed over. One of the drawbacks of never knowing the date is that on April 1, I got home from a really crappy day at work and listened to my messages. It was a woman's voice (with a think Southern accent) explaining that there had been a mistake and that I had actually failed the driver's test and needed to come down immediately and hand in my license or suffer serious penalties. Having just received a $100 driving ticket, I did not need any serious penalties.
Red-faced with rage I threw on my jacket and was almost in the car when I thought, "That can't be right. She marked it right in front of me and told me I passed. Somebody screwed up." I marched back into the apartment, listened to the message and called the number. "Person County Industries," the voice said. "How may I direct your call?"
Call me rube, but I vowed never to be had again by Vern on that most foul of days. I dodged a bullet by not going down there and making an ass out myself.

THIS YEAR:
There's a back story to this. I have had a past history of bad luck with weird, lonely friends from my childhood (not HS or college-I'm talkin' 4th grade) finding me and wanting to reconnect.
The problem with having parents who lived in the same house and had the same phone number for 30 years is that these people can just call them. In the past my father has given them everything but my social security number.
About two weeks ago I got a Myspace friends request from a guy named Chris. I checked it out (I almost never go on myspace) and it was this kid Chris R who I was friends with in 4th grade. He was always kinda weird, but as we got older he drifted into creepy, psychopath weird, and myself into a more mainstream, quirky kind of weird. Anyways, by 7th grade we had drifted apart.
So I accept him on myspace and check out his site to see what he is up to. Apparently he still lives in Niskayuna, is still looking for babes, and is an extreme conservative republican.
Having found out what he was up to, my interest was waned and I logged off. He sent me a message wanting to catch up, but I couldn't really see the point.
A week later I get another email-"You have a new myspace message!" which almost never happens. I click on it, and it was a friend of mine from Albany-a girl named Jill who is an extreme liberal, animal rights activist and a really nice person. Her message was, "Hey Tom,
How's it going! Do you know this guy? He's giving me bad vibes. Jill"
She attached this long string of messages from Chris basically hitting on her, asking her how she knew me and where she lived.
Now I was pretty creeped out, so I told her not to respond and to let me know if he ever contacted her again, so I could remove his page. I left him on, but vowed not to encourage any more "connection" between the two of us.
So today I get home after one of the most exhausting days of my life and, forgetting what horrible day it was, clicked on my messages and began feeding the cats.

Phone: "Hey! Tommy! It's Chris! Listen, I'm in New York City with some buddies, but I'm flying into Raleigh on Saturday! I have a little business in the morning, but after that I thought we could get together and you could show me the hot spots in Chapel Hill! Of course the brews are on me! Man, you've got some hot tail, on your myspace page! I can't wait to learn from the master. I hope you don't try to "cock block" me man! Anyways, give me a call-518 387-9087. Don't blow me off, buddy, I'm counting on you!"

Masterful. NY voice. Correct zip code. Sounded Republican. I stood there, visibly shaking cat food all over the floor. I get creeped out by strange people in my past showing up out of the blue anyway, but this one was actually flying down to get me. I quickly brought up his myspace page for further perusal. His job description didn't really warrant any "business" in Raleigh, and his site creeped me out even more. Under 'About me' it said "I love being a Republican and making money!!!!! I guess that makes me a capitalist!.
Anyways, in a panic I figured if he knew my phone number, he probably knew where I lived and would come here whether I invited him or not. I called my dad to ask him if he had given Chris the number. Luckily I got the answering machine, so he was spared my prepared speech:

"Dad, in the future, let's make it a policy that if any apeshit crazy ex friend calls you asking for information, you tell them I'm dead."

I then googled my name and north carolina chapel hill in about 100 combinations, but nothing came up. I then googled his name and nothing came up. All this research was coming out of nap time, by the way.

My next step was to delete my myspace account. I would have just blocked him as a friend, but I figured that may just send him into a psychopathic rage when he got down here. Finally, I decided, well-he's not coming today, I'll take my nap and think about it.

When Alison got home I ran up to her like kids run to Santa Clause. "Alison!! You're not even going to believe this. I don't know what to do. Do you remember that creepy guy I told you about that I went to school with in 4th grade and...[you know the rest]"

She looked concerned for a second and then started laughing. "You know, it is April Fool's day." I had been had again. I now have 364 days to exact my revenge...and it will be sweet.

Photobucket

THE KIDS:

I had forgotten about April Fool's Day completely until the kids all came into the room and beat me about the head and neck with "Mr. Latimer! I broke my arm! APRIL FOOLS!"
"Mr. Latimer! My mom's birthday is today! APRIL FOOL!" and standard lame attacks such as that.

I thought up, on the spot what I thought would be a great class April Fool's joke. Unlike Vern, I pretty much suck at fooling people-even kids-but today I was masterful. We were getting ready to go to an assembly, and I called the class to the rug. On the table I had a bunch of little jars of paint and two brushes.

"After the assembly I have a special art project we can try--Eye paints!" The class looked on with intense interest. I held up jars of different colors. "See? You take this brush and you can paint over the colored part of your eye. Any color you like! If you have blue eyes, you can make them brown! If you have brown eyes you can make them pink!"

"Can you make one pink and one blue?" they'd ask. "Of course! You can color them anything you want! They only stay that color for a few hours and then wear off!"

"Can you color your whole eye? Not just the colored part?"
"Oh sure!" I'd reply. "Last year some kids colored their entire eyes yellow and they looked just like aliens!" Ooooh! Aaaaah! I felt like Willy Wonka.

"Can you color your whole eye white, so there's no color at all?"
"Anything you like! Have a snozzberry!"

Anyways, I kept going on and on waiting for someone to call me on it, or at least question me (Mr. Latimer, are you indeed suggesting putting paint in our eyes?) One kid's mother was a doctor and was always questioning things I told him:

Me: If you break the thermometer do not touch the mercury because it is poisonous.
Bill: My mother says it's not the mercury that's poisonous, its the contaminants.
Me: Far out. Just don't touch it.

Even he didn't call me on the Eye Paint. Finally, after a barrage of questions, it was time to line up for the assembly. The kids lined up, all detailing the different ways they were going to paint their eyes and contemplating whether their parents would freak out.

The assembly was long and boring and I completely forgot about the eye paint. After the assembly I had them vote on whether they wanted to go outside for the rest of the day, or have recess in the room. All but one voted to stay in, which I found very peculiar.

Back in the room the kids shrieked "EYE PAINT!" and brought me the bucket of paints. "Uh Oh." I thought, but figured that once I tried to stick a paint brush into one of their eyes, they would call me on it. All but the one kid who wanted to go outside lined up to have their eyes painted, buzzing about which eye would be which color.

I asked on to go fill a cup with water and they dutifully lined up. Sam was first in line and she was the most excited about having her eyes painted-one black and one white. I opened a can of black and told her to put one hand over her right eye. "Now open your other eye really wide and look at me. It's a very special paint. You won't even feel it!" I slowly brought the paintbrush closer to her eye. She didn't even blink.

"APRIL FOOLS!" I screamed, waiting for the peals of laughter. Instead, the entire group took a step backward in stunned shock. Sam gasped and took her hand away from her eye. I thought she was going to cry. Even Bill who knew that doctors often inject patients with mercury looked shocked and saddened that Eye Paint wasn't real.

"Cmon!" I pleaded. "Are you crazy? You can't put paint in your eye!"
"Oh." They murmured and wandered away. The room was strangely quiet. And to quote
F.Scott Fitzgerald, "The number of enchanted things in [their lives] had diminished by one."

Current Mood: Foolish
Sunday, March 30th, 2008
8:40 pm
Continuous Trainwreck Redux
Photobucket

As bobtshirt discussed, Continuous Trainwreck was a local TV variety show filmed at the The People's Channel-the equivalent of Channel 16 for those of you who used to live in Albany. Essentially any lunatic could get their own show, and Charlie had his.

Like Vern said, Charlie was a Dominos delivery guy who met them delivering them a pizza, and Vern set up our appearance on his show. When we showed up for the first one we didn't know what to expect. We actually did two shows, Vern sort of blended the two together, but there were some fundamental differences.

For the first show, Alison(my girlfriend) and Bevin (Sean's girlfriend) both attended. It was actually kind of a pleasant experience. We went out to dinner with Cody beforehand and had a nice time. We arrived and there was pizza and soda available for all. The crew(and Charlie) were very friendly and very accomodating. This was not the show where Cody threw his tantrum. He was actually really into it, holding up 'Applause' and 'Cheer' signs during skits and generally enjoying himself.

I remember being surprised how nice everyone was and also how committed to the show they were. We didn't really get a sense of what the show was until we actually went to Cody's to watch it. The taped intro featured Charlie getting a pie thrown in his face while he sang a song on the Fidelity St. Apartment lawn (where I lived at the time). His show was designed like most late night shows: Charlie did his stand-up(along with a sidekick- a guy named Rob who had long blonde hair and seemed really out of place), did a 'Trivia for Treasure' segment, greeted several guests and ended the show with a couple of songs by his guest bands.

On the first night we and Pluto from Plutopia were the bands, along with a "pole jumper"(no idea) and several other guests. We did a little soundcheck early, and the show began to be filmed live (edited later). Charlie (without telling us) went into his 'Trivia for Treasure' segment and then only called on members of Clambake. I was called first ("How about that grumpy bearded guy in the back!"). He didn't actually say 'grumpy' but I desperately looked for anyone else with a beard in the back and realized it was all me. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate being on stage or singled out for any reason, so I was a little annoyed. After choosing the 'Music' category I was asked to name 8 instruments that you have to blow into. I was nervous and could only come up with 3. Luckily Bevin shouted out about 15 other instruments, so I won some free Chicken wings which I never actually got.

Vern was next, asked to name 8 imported beers and Sean followed him needing to name 8 winter olympic sports,and all the while Cody was running around with his 'Applause' sign.

During the show they kept running these disgusting ads promoting recycling. The one I remember was a bunch of old men talking about how Mildred does it 'two times a day-sometimes more!' Finally Mildren walks in and they all start to adjust their ties and straighten up. "Mildred! Come sit next to me!" they all cry. Mildred-who is like 100 years old-says, "One second boys! I need to 'do it' one more time!" They all gasp as she recycles her aluminum cans.

Anyways, the first one was really fun and exciting. We did 'Kurt of the Kouch' to close the show and earlier did 'Trees' which really wasn't as bad as Vern makes it sound. His guitar solo does come on like someone starting up a chainsaw, but he quickly regains his ground and we do a pretty okay version of the song.

The most alarming part of it was that Charlie told us to smile and look directly into the camera. When I play keyboards, I mostly have one expression: the 'Thinking about how to play the keyboards' expression. Just like now, when I play bass, I have a 'concentrating on playing the bass' expression. All during the video whenever there was a closeup on one of us, Charlie would stand behind the camera with a huge grin, jump up and down and wave at us to smile. Sean was the only one who looked natural doing this. I looked like some psycho, glancing up, grinning and then looking back down, horrified at the keyboards trying to figure out where the hell we were.

When 'Trees' ended the camera hung on Vern (like on the news when the newscaster says 'and now to Jane Shierdre in Durham' and the camera hangs too long on the newscaster), and he stands there smiling like a mental patient. Cody never smiled once. He always looked grumpy. We all look basically uncomfortable, but had a good time. Also, for some reason Sean and I decided that Hawaiian shirts were the cool new look. We were sadly mistaken.

The second show was the 'Holiday Extravaganza!' and Charlie's usual sidekick Rob couldn't be there, so he recruited Sean. Sean had to wear pointed 'Spock' ears and a Santa hat to make him look more like an elf. Charlie was wearing this weird, too small mesh shirt (the kind tacky gay guys like to wear) and a reindeer outfit. They started the show with a cringe-inducing rap called 'Hey Rudy!' Sean was surprisingly a good sport during this show. If it had been me people would have said "I wonder why they had the grumpy elf there?" But Sean really got into the spirit of things.

Anyways,this was the show that Tangeena Barren got too drunk to play, and also the show where Cody bitched and moaned about having to leave and insisted on having a bass drum mike, until they finally stuck Sean's vocal mike into his bass drum. The resulting sound could be described as 'Bass & Drum' if you remove the bass and every other instrument except the kick drum. We did passable versions of 'Elephant Love' and 'Alarming Facts About Elvis'-a song that would be retired shortly after.

As soon as we were done we(Cody(left to catch his flight) and Vern & I (left to go home and get drunk) left, abandoning Sean to finish the show.

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, March 20th, 2008
7:41 pm
Elvis to Carolina To Clambake
PhotobucketPhotobucket

Current Mood: chipper
[ << Previous 20 ]
About LiveJournal.com