April 28, 2011

Work continues on “Everyone’s Unplugged but Martin”

Category: recording,UK Tour 2011 — admin @ 1:00 pm

Work continued last night in the secret vaults of Whispermaphone Studios (swamp version*) last night.

The original tracks (cut last week) were made with the four of us playing live in the room (as opposed to the players overdubbing their parts individually). All of them were done this way but one: “Clever Things”. This was cut a few minutes before Leland could get there. So tonight, Leland strapped on the headphones and laid down the piano part—-no mean feat. Sometimes it’s hard to make something ‘feel’ just right; finding the ‘pocket’, ‘the groove’, can be tricky when you’re laying something down while listening to the original track—Leland pulled it off perfectly.

The next challenge was to fix a problem that I had caused. Two of the tracks “Who’s Got a Light?” and “Send the Band to Liverpool” didn’t have drums. Well, they sort of did…I had re-routed John’s mic’s for the previous song, and then didn’t set them back to where they belonged. The result: two perfectly good takes with drums that you could only hear bleeding slightly through the other instrument’s mics. Gargh!

John set about trying to overdub drums. Not only is this an ill-advised way to work (you want your rhythm tracks locked in perfectly), it’s severely difficult. If the band’s tempo varied at all (and it usually does), it can be impossible. I’ve seen John pull it off, but in this case, the original drums bled through enough to highlight any discrepencies. [ach, who was the lame engineer who'd led us to this pickle?] After a valiant attempt and some creative work-arounds, we decided we’d end up with something we were all proud of only if we re-cut the two tunes. Luckily the band had just enough juice left (even though it was getting late) to pull off two fiery takes each of both songs.

So….the work continues.

Not only do these versions have a different ‘sound’…what with us using only acoustic pianos and guitars, but since we’re using a different approach, the arrangements change a bit…it’s more a creative re-working than a reproduction of these songs which are a familiar part of our live sets. I’m hoping that those who recieve this new disc (by pledging 20 bucks or more on our kickstarter.com campaign—-Click here!) will be very happy with this unique project.

watch the video to learn more.

*It does get a little ‘swampy’ in there when recording four folks live, and you’ve gotta turn the air conditioning off (it makes noise y’know) when the tape’s rolling….but that, and Leland playing the rather down-home-y upright piano…made for an atmospheric deep-in-the bayou mood on these sessions.

April 27, 2011

working on our un-plugged album

Category: recording,UK Tour 2011 — admin @ 12:37 pm

We’re nearly finished with “Everyone’s Unplugged Except Martin” our un-plugged album that we’re recording exclusively for our kickstarter.com fund raiser. The backing tracks were recorded in one day-long marathon session last week. Tonight we’ll be doing a few overdubs, and I expect the whole of recording will be done by early next week. Add on a couple more days for mixing, and the album will be finished. We’ll be mailing it out to those who pledged twenty dollars or more for the fundraiser that’s helping to launch our tour of England at the end of May.
The way kickstarter fundraisers work, we have a set amount of time (19 days as of this writing) to raise the dough or we get nothing….so, if you’re so inclined, please hop on over (click here) and donate anything that you can. You will recieve fabulous prizes—like the album I’m writing about. A slightly higher pledge will get us to write and record a song customed made for you. A bit more will hire us to play at your party or function. Oh what a bargain! Plus…you’re helping send this band on it’s way to Liverpool, Manchester and London.
Watch the fun video here!

April 15, 2011

You’ve only got 30 days (and ticking) to help us out..

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:17 pm

Please click HERE. It’ll take you to our Kickstarter.com page. There’s an amusing video that tells you about our upcoming England Tour
(may 20-may 30). It’s kinda like Public TV…but with cooler premiums! For example…for a 20 dollar plege, you get an exclusive un-plugged CD that we’re recording just for this fund-raiser. A bit more gets you a song written and recorded *just for you*, and a bit more gets you a live performance for you party/event/etc. DANG—-you DO get some fabulous prizes! (and you’ll also be playing an important part in sending one of your most beloved local art-pop bands [smile] on their tour of Jolly ol’). Thanks for your consideration! No donation is too small or too large—but time’s limited…if we don’t get it by our kickstarter deadline of May 16, we get nothing…we even forfeit the pledges we’ve recieved so far….so please help us out. THANK YOU! (Pledging is super easy….and the page shows you how…you can even do it through your Amazon.com account…which, if you’ve ever ordered anything through Amazon…you already have–easy schmeasy!