Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mixing Gareth, part 1


I hit on every song today. I've found a good balance & consistant mix volume for each song. I've also given each instrument its intial timbre. Man, this thing has taken a long time (for many reasons), but it IS good.
I watched 'Wolf Creek' tonight. It's an Australian horror movie set in the outback. A serial killer abducts these backpackers and tortures them. The coolest part is where he severs a girl's spine to keep her from screaming and.or running away. Pretty crazy, huh?!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The 1963 Fender Precision Bass


I traded in three items for one... but, boy, it was a good 'one.' Sure, it's been refinished... but that doesn't make it bad. It is the best bass that I have ever played. I decided to test it out in the studio he second that I got back from Atlanta Vintage Guitars. It made me play better. I was vibing the hole time. It came with a white case... which itself is a very rare Fender item. I plan to move the bass around in a good gig bag & retire the case to a safer locale. I also plan to refinish the bass in a much sexier color eventually... but that's for another day.
I set up Gareth's album for mix today: i.e., editing, omitting unused tracks, cleaning things up. It should be a breeze (knock on wood - a wood grain '63 P-Bass). Can't wait to actually get started.

Close to the End


Michelle & I went to Snellville to help her parents pick out a computer. After we got home, I watched 'Talledega Nights' for the first time. It was pretty funny. At 2 hours length, the movie would've benefitted from a shorter running time.
I met Gareth at the studio at 7pm. We listened to all of the songs & then waited for drummer Mark Cobb. Mark showed at 9:45pm. We've decided to add one more song to Gareth's record before we're done. Mark played it 3 times & all takes were great. Gareth & I left the studio around 4:45am. I'm sleepy again... that happens when you don't sleep.
I wrote this while watching 'Watership Down' on cable. This was a very important movie to my development. I learned about death for the first time from watching it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Finally!


Martin Scorsese wins! I remember distinctly when I walked out of the theater after 'The Departed.' I said, "that was the best film of the year." I had no idea that I would be so prolific. Even if it was his first Oscar, I think that 'Raging Bull,' 'Taxi Driver,' Goodfellas,' & 'Casino' were even better movies. Let's not forget 'The Last Waltz,' which was ahead of it's time in it's scope as a concert video. Sure it moved around between set order & interviews, it still was a great snapshot of rock 'n roll in 1976 (and the cocaine residue in Neil Young's nose).
Cangrats to all... especially a well deserved nod to Forrest Whitaker. He finally did it as well. All that voted for Jennifer Hudson were as guilty as those who voted for The Dixie Chicks in the Grammy's. I never saw the movie, but the clips that I saw on TV clearly pointed out what a average actor she is. The same goes for the Al Gore doc. It was okay. It was not the best documentry out there this year. Oh well... politics infiltrate entertainment every 20-25 years. Nothing we can do about it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dibby


Dibby is David Warren, the road manager for The Marshall Tucker Band. He turned 50 this week. At some point this week he booked our last minute tickets to Newark, NJ. Everything was correct on the tickets excpet the month. David booked all of our tickets for March 24th. Apparently, they wouldn't let us check-in a month early. We were lucky enough to get out of Atlanta to Philly. Then we had to rent a car and drive 1 & 1/2 hours to East Brunswick, NJ. All of us were counting on getting to the hotel today at 2pm... then we would all sleep until our 10pm bus call. However, we didn't get to the hotel until 8pm.
I must say... we didn't play a very good show. Barry forgot the form to a song early on in the set. In another song, Doug had us, sort of, start over a song that we had already started. It was just a weird vibe that was hard to shake. And by the time we shook it, it was too late.
We got back to the hotel, we had about 2 hours before we were to leave for the airport. I'm just trying to stay awake. I have to drive a rental car to the Newark airport before our flight. I guess I'll continue this later.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Possibilities


I spent a few hours today driving back & forth between the studio & Atlanta Vintage Guitars. I'm working out a deal that will land me a '63 Fender Precision Bass (with white case, no less). I should have it by next week. I'm pretty stoked about it.
I saw "The Number 23" tonight. Don't waste your time.
Well, off to sleep. I have to be in the show in 6 hours.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Me Likey de Soundy


It's not that don't appreciate Vic, Greg, & Kip, but I have a great studio report with Nick Niespodziani. He and I just work well together. He just got home from a world tour with Y-O-U & Bobby Yang. He had some good stories to tell as well. We just worked on vocals tonight. The Soundelux E47 & the Shure SM7B are my friends.

Progress


I finished the two new songs with the help of Vic Stafford. He engineered some great drum tracks. I spent the rest of the night playing electric guitars, acoustic guitars, pedal steel, bass, percussion, & vocals. I'm really excited about this album.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Closure


I've learned things about music from different people, records, & events in my life. No one person taught me more than Joe Carpenter. Joe passed away almost 2 years ago. He was my first steady guitar teacher (from 8-13 years old). I still continued to learn from Joe until I was 24 or 25. I didn't see him much after that.
Today I helped his widow inventory & "price" his guitar collection. Let me tell you... it is vast. All the work was for insurance purposes, but I was proud to help in any way.
This evening I worked on two new songs with Greg Lee engineering. We also did some overdubs on some other songs. I really like getting different people to engineer. It's worked out fabulously. The picture to the right is of Greg Lee & NOT of Joe.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Marcus & Adam


I cut Marcus Henderson & Adam Mewherter tonight for a song on Gareth Asher's record. Marcus & Adam used to be in a band called King Johnson. Marcus plays atlo sax & Adam plays trombone. They have a great sound together. They know each other SO well. I don't even have to tell them what to do... they just do it. Royers is how I roll... with Chandler Germaniums, son!
I also had lunch with Mom & Michelle in Snellville.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Success!


I slept in. I showered. We ate at Panera. We saw 'Breach' at Hollywood 24 with Dad & Josh. We ate Chinese. She went to sleep. I went downstairs... to write two of my best songs ever: "Going Through The Motions" & "Losertown." I can't wait to ADD them to the new record. Life is good... even before midnight.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hammond


I worked for six hours today. I played Hammond organ on Brian Collins new album. I love the sound of my B3. I has it's own "thing."
Lunch @ Savage Pizza. Dinner @ Moe's. Fernbank is closed on Saturday night. But Dairy Queen is open until 8pm. Nothing else to report.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thank You, Kip Conner


My friend & co-worker Kip Conner helped me record tonight. I played Hammond on 3 songs and sang lead vocals on, say, 7 songs. I may only keep the vocals on 2 or 3. I just wasn't happening today.
The day started out around 10am in the studio. I had to come home around 1pm because my left leg was hurting. It was an ache. It was weird. It has never happened before.
Anyway, I relaxed for a couple of hours and veged on the couch and the pain went away. - I know!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Taking a Break


I am knee deep in this new record. I am making serious progress today. I'm playing bass, acoustic guitar, & electric guitar. The new Jaguar has already made it's money back. It's such a different sound. Most of it has to do with the lack of sustain. It's a great rhythm guitar.
I started this morning at 10am. I am on a roll so I'll probably work for a few more hours.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy V.D.


Most people don't know, but today is not only Valentine's Day but our 7th Anniversary. Michelle & I went on our first day 7 years ago. We ate at a closed Glenn's Bar-B-Q (with my friend Kevin, whose paretns owned it) & saw Leo DiCaprio in "The Beach." Today we visited my Mom & her Mom, as they were left home alone this Valentine's Day. We ate lunch with my sister, Ana, and her boyfriend, Mackie, at Panera in Lawrenceville.
We saw "Music & Lyrics" with Michelle's mother. It was a pretty good movie (for Valentine's Day). I liked it for the subject matter. Hugh Grant did a great Andrew Ridgely... or Clay Cook for that matter.
Dinner was at The Sycamore Grille in the old town of Stone Mountain. It was really good. Ah, what a day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Much Ado...


I didn't accomplish much today. Sometimes you don't have to. After running a few errands & waiting on Michelle's flowers, we went to see a movie: Factory Girl. It was about Edie Sedgewick, one of Andy Warhol's poeple. It was pretty good. Sienna Miller was okay, but Guy Pearce was a great Warhol. Aniken Skywalker was Bob Dylan. Weird.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Hammond is Better Than Yours...


I played Hammond organ all day. Greg Lee engineered/produced the tracks at The Small Room for artist Brian Collins. It's day 1 of 2 & we only got 6 songs done. My limits as a keyboardist were exposed all day in F#, B, & Eb. The best part of the day was the realization that my Hammond sounds WAY better than the Hammond that resides permanently in the tracking room. We had a problem with the normal Hammond & decided to try mine. I only use mine for live performances. Now it will be used all the time on records,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Grammy Disillusion


Whatever happened to rock? I guess it died with grunge. Green Day gave it a good go a couple of years ago, but I don't like them. Red Hot Chili Peppers were the only rock band to perform. Sure, The Police performed... but I missed that because my plane landed at 7:30pm. Rascal Flatts & Carrie Underwood represented country music. They are VERY average and VERY uncreative. Ricky Scaggs won best Bluesgrass Album... but that wasn't presented on national TV. We all got to watch Mary J. Blige sing twice. I don't get her. I could go to any black church on any given Sunday in Atlanta & find 4 Mary J. Bliges. Congrats to John Mayer. He is holding on strong when others have faltered. I wish the best for him.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

...to White Plains on a plane

I awoke at 6am to fly to White Plains, NY. I played a private party with Shawn Mullins. We played very well.
I don't like Airtran... I DON'T LIKE Airtran as much as I LIKE Sheraton. I had both today. I also watched Scoresese's "Casino" on USA. Their language subsitutions are rather funny... especially on this movie because of the frequency of 'language.'

Friday, February 9, 2007

Le Jaguar


I traded a Brown Fender Princeton & a refin Fender Musicmaster II for a 1964 Fender Jaguar. I've never had one of the "mod" Fenders before. The "mod" guitars are the Jaguar, the Jazzmaster, & the Mustang. At the point of it's release, the Jaguar was the top of the line Fender. In hind sight, it had too many bells & whistles for the market to sustain. People wanted a more simple operation. It contained the "Jazz" circuit... which was, in essence, another set of controls which gave another sound option. It also has a "buzzy" sounding bridge. There are ways around that though. This is a picture of A Jaguar... not my Jaguar.
Michelle & I saw 'Hannibal Rising.' It's pretty gross, but I liked the back story to the Hannibal Lechter character. The actor who played him SUCKED!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Connections


This is the first time, excluding holidays & special occasions, that I've seen my parents on the same day in quite a while. Although it was only for a minute, I dropped by my Dad's apartment this morning to hand off a CD. Apparently he likes my new song "New Rome." Ofcourse he would probably like it if I pooped on a CD and sold that.
From there I went to eat lunch with Michelle & my Mom in Snellville.
Many errands after that I made my way to Wallace Reed Music. Wallace was my stepfather for many years. He had a lot to do with raising me. He's also my Dad. He moved his store a year ago from Duluth to Suwanee. This was my first time in his new store. I think it was a brilliant move & I'm very happy for him. My brother Josh & I had dinner with him tonight.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Uber Errands

I did a whole bunch of nothing today. I ran around town and picked up things & dropped things off. The sad part is that I have to do more of it tomorrow. At least tomorrow I'll get up earlier than 2pm. (I hope)

Red Tuxedo Mastering


I kept loading up ye olde iPod today. By the time I was showered and ready to leave the house it was 4pm, Tuesday. I made a dropoff to the studio & then made my way to Red Tuxedo Matering. There, Alex Lowe mastered Nicholas Alan's new album titled "Busker." Alex is very good at what he does.
Shortly after that, I met Kip Connor at The Small Room. He engineered some electric guitar tracks that I played for my new record. I'm getting more excited the more that I work on it. We used Shawn's '60's ES330, my '58 RI Les Paul, & my Custom Shop Nocaster. The amps were my 65 London, '53 Fender Deluxe, '66 Fender Deluxe Reverb, & my '60 Fender Bassman.
Gareth Asher showed up around 11:30pm and we worked on his record for 4 hours. Kip left somewhere in the middle of it. Gareth's album is shaping up to be a gem.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Break in!


I had my first waking moment around noon. I spent most of the day relaxing & importing CD's into my iPod. Michelle stayed home with a migrane today. We watched Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam" this afternoon. It's good, but graphic.
I spent a couple of hours consolidating the SCSI drives at the studio. Gareth & I started around 8pm. We had Eryn McHugh come in and sing background vocals on a song. She did great. Actually, the evening was going fine. Gareth & I were making great time. We took a break around midnight and discovered that Gareth's car had been vandalized. The perps broke a window & stole song change & his iPod that he got for Christmas. Needless to say, we didn't get much more done tonight.
We waited for two hours for the cops. He filled out the report and we went home.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Two words... Pey. Ton.


I credit Nick Niespodziani, Indiana transplant, with the title of this blog. They finally did it. The Colts one not only the AFC, but Super Bowl XLI. Peyton gets his ring & an MVP. Congrats to all involved & Indy fans.

Aw shucks!


I've tried to keep up with the blog... but I don't get internet access everywhere on the road. So, I've decided to keep an offline blog during my time away from the net. Here are some exerpts:
Wednesday; The plane left Atlanta around 1pm EST. I got into my hotel room around midnight PST. It was a long trip to Bow, WA. What do beans & Elton John have in common? They are both musical fruits! All I did today was travel. I listened to Nicholas Alan's mixes on the plane ride. I still like them. Nighty night.
Thursday; Today was full of rest. I'm gonna need it. We'll leave the hotel for the airport tonight at 3:30am PST after the show. Sleep is for fairies. I rented "The Descent." It was a horror movie from last year. It was pretty good. A solid B- at least. I played sax & flute tonight with Tucker. It was not as skilled of a performance as David Muse might have given but it worked all the same. I think the place where I really shined was on the Hammond. I've tripled in my ability since last I played with them. It was a good night.
Friday; Chalk today up to traveling back home. It was a long day because of the lack of sleep and the 2 hour lay over. Demitri Martin's new comedy album is amazing. I suggest it if you're into comedy CD's.
Saturday; After sleeping in (in my own bed), I picked Shawn Mullins up at his house. We drove to Gainesville, where Kip Connor had our gear setup for tonight's performance. It was the best gig that we've ever played together. Shawn was still a little sick from his flu type thing last week. It was completely painless. I was home by midnight. Boy am I ready for Super Bowl XLI. Let's do this!