Monday, November 29, 2004

Finally - a Rock Band

Well, had a pretty peaceful Thanksgiving weekend. Ate too much, laxed around and did nothing mostly, but I finished it off with a session today - a 4 piece "modern rock" band. Their name is Silhouette, and they're a bunch of young kids, but they're really good. Their sound to me is reminiscent of Uncle Tupelo or Wilco, with some Soul Asylum thrown in. Good stuff.
I hope to be able to say I knew them before they were famous.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Little Funny Things

Okay, not much happening at the studio this week. I've got bookings later in the week. Meanwhile, here's a couple of funny things I saw:

Looking at a job listing, and next to "salary/wage", it said, and I'm not kidding, "Comiserate with experience [sic]". Seriously. I couldn't make that up.

Today, driving around running errands, I saw one of those little SUV's that had been lowered, had fancy wheels installed, those wacky looking wipers, and in the windshield, it had visor that said "FIESTY [sic]". Kind of takes away some of the intended impact, don't you think?

More later in the week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I Should Have Died, Epsiode 1, prelude

In keeping with my idea of posting interesting stories from my past, here's the first of several in the "I Should Have Died" series:

When I was sixteen, I had a 1966 VW Beetle. At the time, it was about 17 or 18 years old, which isn't ancient, but it was old. Also, over the years, lots of redundancy and safety features have been added to cars - the 1966 VW Beetle had almost none of those. When I got it, it had lap belts, front seat only.
Now, in this car, the engine is in the back, so all that's in front of you is a trunk; and the windshield is literally like, 6" in front of your face. And 2" away from your chect is a pointy, non-collapsing steering column. In short, this is not a car you want to be driving if you get into an accident.
Another major safety improvement modern cars have is that they basically have two (some even have four!) braking systems - one for the front, and one for the back. The idea is that if you get a leak in one end, your car will still stop at least a little, so that you can get safely off the road, or to a shop. And this is also another safety feature missing from the '66 Volkswagen. If there's a problem anywhere in the brakes on a '66 VW, the whole system goes out. All of this intersects to create the interesting story in my next installment....

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Wacky Anecdotes

Slow week in the studio this week, so it occurred to me I could post some funny/interesting anecdotes from my past. Kind of give you a peek into the experiences athat combined to make me.
Here's the first one:

This story happened in the 8th grade, which, for me, is the '78 - '79 Timeframe.
In our neighborhood, the token thugs that everybody was frightened of were the Meltmars... Phillip, and his older brother, Chuck. If there was a cat killed, a
window broken, a bike stolen, you could be sure the Meltmars were
behind it. They were just bad news. For starters, their parents were
divorced, and they lived with their mom. Now, I know that today,
that's almost de rigueur; but in 1977, it was still pretty unusual. I
only knew two or three people whose parents were divorced back then.
Anyway, one wintery January morning, we were waiting at the bus stop,
going back to school after Christmas break. It was cold. So cold,
everything actually sounded crisp. Unless you've lived through a
Midwest winter, you probably can't comprehend exactly how cold it was,
so just imagine the coldest thing you can think of, and double it.
There was a big elm tree at the bus stop, and as we were all standing
around, a piece of the bark on the elm tree near me popped off, as if
it had exploded. I thought that was a little weird. A few seconds
later, another piece popped off, and then another.
The third time, I heard the small "crack" sound from about 200 yards
away, just a second before the bark popped off the tree. I looked
toward the sound, and saw Chuck Meltmar up in his window, but didn't
think a lot about it. Just then, the bus rolled up, and we all got on.
Later that day, when I got home from school, my Mom told me that Chuck
Meltmar had been arrested. His grandfather had apparently gotten him a
.22 caliber rifle for Christmas, and Chuck had apparently been taking
pot shots with it out his bedroom window.
Never was entirely sure if Chuck was shooting at the tree, or at me. I wasn't exactly his favorite person...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Today's Session

Another Rap Session. Same guy who came in last Saturday. I hate rap, but I gotta say that this guy does have a work ethic. Gets the job done, and his songs are a litte more hummable than most.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Whoa! A Metal Session...

... for a change. It was kind of a train wreck, though. The guy was the guitarist from a metal band who recorded here before. He's since dumped his band, and got bored trying to find another band, so he decided he'd record on his own.
Incidentally, his former band is the source of one of my funnier studio anecdotes.
After about the 6th take of a song, this guy turns to the other guitarist, and asks,

Guitarist 1: "What chord are you playing there??"
Guitarist 2: "F#"
G1: "It's not F#, it's F!!
G2: "I've been playing F# for three f7cking years!
G1: "Well, then, you've been playing it wrong for three f7cking years!!"

I couldn't make that stuff up if I had to.

So, anyway, this guy came to the studio today, and obviously didn't know the song as well as he did. The guitar tracks are a punch-o-rama.
Then came the bass parts. Dude bought a bass one hour before the session, and wanted to use it. Nevermind that he didn't know how the controls on the bass worked. Nevermind that it already had light strings on it, and then he proceeded to tune it down a whole step...


Monday, November 08, 2004

Rap, Rap, Rap

Well, yesterday, another rap session. At least, this guy was moer talented than usual, and his "beatz" had some melody to them. I can actually hum these.

Today was guitar lesson day #1 for the week. 10 year-old girl. I was skeptical at first, but I gotta say, this little girl is driven. She was supposed to learn to tune using her tuner, and learn three chords. Well, I think she learned about a dozen. She's doing really well, and she's definitely got the enthusiasm. If she keeps it up, she'll be the next Yngwie.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My New Amp Got Here Today

... and it is sweet! Once again, I have a Marshall in my stable, and all is well. That's about all that happened today. I voted. Other than that, pretty quiet day.