Thursday, May 27, 2010

DAY 3.5

Sitting aka staggering at the keyboard after roughly 14 hours in the studio/dinner party.

Arrived after far too much Turkish coffee and horrible decaf from the place that replaced Victor's Deli on Franklin. The mere fact that they forced someone out of business is further compounded by the dollar surcharge... good times.

Arrived at Electric Thomasland studios to find Henry's friend Mike sitting outside. Mike factors into this story later when a) he offers me Coors Light to easy my vocal stress and b) he watches Evie and Henry Jr. so we can have a massive Partridge Family Thomas jam.

Christian, our producer, arrives around 12PM. We're thrilled to blast through the guitar on Ulysses which I'm slightly concerned sounds like u2 in a bad way (yes there is u2 in a good way from approximately 1979 to 1981). Christian assures me that I'm being neurotic which I buy because a) he has way more indie street cred than I do (read none) and b) I'm playing through Henry's effects and with a borrowed Epiphone Casino Elitist so I'm not totally in my element.

Christian plays back our takes and I'm still not totally convinced but he in his bearded hipster way convinces me that the delay actually marries the guitar line to the track.

We move on to our second song of the day and Christian announces that our scratch guitar track is out of tune. That means that we have to re-do that and the lines I've just laid down. Bummer because the song is 1/2 a step up and we spend the next hour tuning the guitar.

Finally we're in tune and lay down a passible track and then flip through the vocals faster than anything I've ever done (well almost anything). Mike's Coors Silver Bullet eases the process and suddenly it's 4:30 and we have a track...

Christian leaves for the day and I find myself swept up in another Henry/Anna barbecue with their friends Mike, Meredith and Andrew. Andrew it turns out plays drums and after a tremendous amount of eating and watching Andrew play air drums to God knows what via the iPod docking station we all retire to the studio. Andrew plays drums on Trouser Confidence, Anna sings backup and we sound surprisingly tight for two people that have never played with us before. Suddenly it feels like we have a real drummer which is great. (and if Andrew reads this, I mean... ah... it feels like maybe we have someone who might eventually be a drummer with us... no pressure... ah... totally).

We blast through five or so songs including a cover of Depeche Mode's PUPPETS and then that's it for the evening. A pleasant feeling of Mission Accomplished.

And so we sleep.\


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Back in LA and have spent the last week suffering GAS which for the uninitiated is Gear Aquisition Syndrome. Henry announced that he was looking for a "tele" sound which then prompted me to go on a 48 hour telecaster Craig's List binge before finding a 1980's thinline Telecaster from Japan at an incredible price.

I accompanied Henry to the sellers house in Echo Park which can always be a dicy thing (I once purchased a Gretsch off a nice but shady seeming guy who said 'I'm selling the guitar so I can buy food for our tour'. I instantly felt horrible about taking advantage of the fantastic deal I was getting until he said 'What do you think about this Rickenbacker bass I just stole'. I then happily paid up and left hoping to the Karma gods that my new Gretsch wasn't stolen. It turned out that the band he was touring with was The Bravery. I now think of them as kind of like the Killers but worse and with stolen gear.

In any event, my willpower was severely tested by a trip to Highland Park which has music shops that still "gasp" sell used instruments at reasonable prices. I was shocked to find a Japanese 62 reissue telecaster from the 1980's for $450. I tried it out and had that instant moment of being torn between 'this guitar doesn't really suit me' and 'it's so cheap' which is essentially a variation on 'this girl doesn't really suit me' and 'but she's so cute'. Invariably you have to go with what suits you and I passed but it doesn't still stop me from thinking 'what if' in both scenarios.

I also found out an interesting fact that almost all guitar strings are made in the same factory and just repackaged. Thus the next time I hear some yo-yo in a store say "I really love Gibson vintage historic strings they just give me the sound that you can't anywhere else", I won't have to feel remorse about instantly punching him the face (Metaphorically of course).

So, tomorrow recording and then packing up my stuff for NYC with the potential for an opening slot back in LA mid summer for a fairly well known band...

Good night you princes of exile.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

DAY 2.5.5

Okay, I said there wouldn't be more posts until we reconvene in a week and a half to finish the tracks but I felt it only fair to share what the plan is. I believe we're going to attempt the aforementioned Sunset Junction in August and then Henry had the idea of a month long residency at Spaceland.

While we'll have a normal set (yes we have about eight songs right now) we're not such egotists that we don't think the odd cover shouldn't be thrown into the set so perhaps, dear reader, in the the absence of new posts, you can create a virtual cover setlist for us of songs you'd like to hear.

While the rest of the band will I'm sure resist, I was walking down the road today and the image that kept playing in my mind over and over again is standing up at Spaceland, having Anna, Henry's wife join us along with her friend Danica, a familiar beat starts up and from the audience I hear someone say "F#$k, that's 'EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD'".

Oh, yeah. It's gonna be like that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

DAY 2.5.5

We're on a slight hiatus right now. Henry is in the midst of dealing with the arrival of number one son, I am in New York, Corey is no doubt careening around the Watson Twins party in honor of Derby, Max is wrangling twins and Christian is most likely composing another email trying to convince me to sell my Stratocaster to him.

There will be updates, there will be photos, there will be music and most importantly there will be an ep. So please excuse the fact that updates will probably be nil for the next two weeks until we reconvene in LA to begin recoding anew.

All I can say is that so far what we have sounds good enough that at least eggs won't be thrown at us if we play live (cabbage perhaps).

Until next time. Rock on... or you know, alternative music shimmy on, or whatever.