Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All good things

Wednesday. Middle of the week. Hump-day. Today feels like that. Last night, Syrhea from Stella Mora successfully knocked out all of her scheduled vocal lines. Now this doesn't mean that she is completely done, but for now, we have wrapped up all of her stuff. Now, I must tell you, Syrhea has a symphonic big-bang swirling around inside of that cranium of her's. It is the most crazy cool creative combination culminating collectivelly creating caccophonic curvaceous characters clashing condesendingly...wait, where am I going with this? It's awesome. She has some of the strangest and crazy harmony ideas I have ever heard that, although I may not always agree with, I have to give her credit for being able to pull off. Good job girrrrl! Anyway, with all of her jams laid down, Laura and I will finish up rocking out her parts tomorrow. And then? The part you've all been waiting for! KEYBOARDS!!! Once Dave lays down a heaping helping of sonic shredding I think it will be time to regroup, re-listen, reflect and reassess. It is one of my favorite parts, with all the heavy lifting done and the songs coming together, we get to smear on the shmootz (thanks Roid-dog), and really have some fun. Exciting stuff!


Today Jason and the Beast was in the studio with DJ Uptown scratchin' up the scene. He popped by and laid down some live record spinning awesomeness to the Beast's upcoming release. Not to forget to mention that on Monday Shae was kind enough to rock out the drums for some live drum action to complement the tracks that Uptown produced. Really sounding cool! Pics and sneak peeks coming soon.

Friday, June 13, 2008

So much music...

A day that has a soundtrack which spans from Hip-Hop, to Traditional Folk, and finally ends with a proper face-melting helping of straight-forward Rock, in my humble opinion, can never be a bad day. Yesterday was that day.

My morning saw the first foray of the Jason and the Beast sessions at YH Studios. Jason has asked us to assemble his tracks and help him add vocals to five tunes which will make-up his debut EP. His "hip-hop sonnets" are different and refreshing to my eardrums and are proving to be fun to work on. We completed the better part of three songs, with some backup vocals from Emily splashed onto two of the three, which set us in a good spot for the day. We are looking to get together next week to complete the tracking portion of the vocals. We are also chatting about collaborating with him on his imminent full-length release.

After my session with Jason, I joined up with my wife to check out Robin and Linda Williams and their Fine Group at the Focal Point in Maplewood. These veterans of A Prairie Home Companion sang some beautiful folk and gospel tunes that would soothe any man's soul. You should definitely check these guys out!

Leaving the show at the intermission, we headed to see the Raconteurs sold-out show at the Pageant. Brendan Benson, Jack White and company rocked my ass off. Performing almost all of the songs from their latest release, they slashed open my face and let the rock flow in. If you havent heard this record, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Today finds me neck-deep in rock guitar recording with the boys from Echo Bravo. Adding some fat riffage to their three song and discussing vocals and such is on the menu today. Shae is at the controls and I am simply an observer today. I get to sit on my laptop and drink coffee. Such a hard life!

Also, we have also moved a bit on the Stella Mora record finishing up vocals on a couple more of the tunes. Syrhea laid down a symphony of backing vocals on Lucid Dream swirling that song into completion. Just a few more tunes to finish up vocally and we will be doing some seriously spaced out keyboards/theremin/noise with Dave. That is gonna be totally rad! I can't wait.

Lastly, check some of the new photos of what's happening with us at our joint!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rock Vocal Power

As the Dynamos say, "you can't stop, you can't stop the progress". Hopefully that mantra continues to follow all of my projects. Yesterday saw the near completion of Laura's vocals on the Stella record. We slashed through song after song stopping only after a lengthy discussion and realization that it might behoove us to wait for Syrhea's part on a particular track to go down first. All told, we finished every song but that one. Awesome. Syrhea is up tonight to most likely kick the crap out of the rest of her vocals and leave us in quite a nice spot, yeah!

There has also been some talk of cutting some new and "never before heard" some could say "exclusive" SM tunes to include on this new album. Pretty stoked about that. I believe these will be approached from a different direction and could prove to be the glue that binds the record together. I will let you know as I know more.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Head games, that's all I get from you, Head games, and I can't take it anymore...

Ahhh, Foreigner. Where are you now?

Last night found me working with Syrhea from Stella Mora and Syna So Pro. We began her journey in the vocal realm on the Stella's forthcoming release. All in all, we had a fairly productive night. It is always a challenge working with someone on vocals, but one I am always excited about undertaking. One always has to figure out the nuances of the vocalists psyche and learn to communicate in the same "speak". I am pleased that I feel Syrhea and I got that out of the way last night as well as knocking out two of the songs cold and kicking one in the teeth rather good. Today will find me working with the other singer from SM, Laura, forging ahead with her parts. Should prove to be a good day and find us further down the path to completion. I cannot say enough how happy I am with how awesome this recording sounds.

Yesterday I also took a peek at some of the Echo Bravo rough mixes that Shae had whipped up and have to say he is kicking out the jams. Look forward to hear those barn burning guitar jams as they progress.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend Update

So another week has come and gone, and this one was a very busy one indeed. I spent the first half of the week working in Manhattan. It has been a while since I had been to NYC and actually had a few minutes to roam the streets. I enjoyed this trip very much, even though most of the time found me loading into or out of a ballroom. You would think I would be used to that by now. We had some great food and some great weather. What more could you ask for? I even got to sample those cupcakes Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell are so wild for in this video. All I can say is they did have all the bomb frostings! The only part I didn't enjoy was somehow losing my phone between the airplane and home. Oh well, it's only technology!

Once I got home, it was time to get right back to work in the studio. Shae and I finished construction on most of the planned acoustic enhancing devices that now inhabit our studio and I also re-patched the patch bay adding in a new headphone distribution system (that should be appreciated by all the musicians who stop by!). We also added a new microphone to our arsenal, a Beyerdynamic M-160, which is extremely awesome. We got to try it out on the Echo Bravo sessions this weekend, utilising it as a room mic for the drums. It's transparent character added a nice feel to the sound of the kit. The sessions went extremely well, seeing the drum and bass tracks rocked out as well as most of the guitar overdubs. The band is coming back soon to finish up the guitars and add vocals. Look out for these scorchers very soon.

The upcoming week will also see Stella Mora working on vocals and the start of the Jason and the Beast EP. All in all, sounds like anothe busy week. Will post a progress report as things progress. Until then, "Good Niiiight ChicagOOOOOH!! You're brutal!!!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Update

Just waking up in my Manhattan hotel room, I realized that I didn't catch up with my weeks progress. I don't know whether it was all the fresh air from our walk through Central Park, or my belly full of wine and pizza from Fiorello's (or some combination of the two!), but I totaly crashed out last night neglecting my poor little recording blog. So let me sum up what has happened this past week:

Stella Mora
  • The triumphant return of Greg's amp=kickass guitar tone and all of his parts (for now) done
  • Laura's guitar parts conquered
  • Bass overdubs over
  • Vocals underway
  • Shae Moseley+Drums+SSL console+Jason McEntire=wicked baddassness
Jason and the Beast:
  • Tracks loaded
  • Ideas abounds
  • Time scheduled
Heroes of the Kingdom:
  • Recording? Check.
  • Mastering? Check.
  • Kickass tunes? Check.
  • Baddass record? Check. (I like the double D!)
  • Happy band? Check.
Also on the horizon is Echo Bravo. These dudes are headed over this coming weekend to unleash some serious rock on us. Should prove to be filled with awesomeness.
We also completed some new baffles (gobos, bass traps, etc.) at the studio and continue to tune the rooms. We recently added a new headphone monitoring system which should help the artist to hear what they want a little bit easier.

Not to forget, the Jovian Chorus is having it's first ever show at the Bluebird in St. Louis this week on Thursday, June 5th. Please come out and show your love.

Gotta run, can't be late for work!