>I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since I posted here; that will explain the long post, at least. I haven’t been lazy, I’ve just been busy and I have a ton of catching up to do. Here’s what’s been going on:
La Bruja Recorded
The new LAZERWOLFS album will be called La Bruja. We set up our “studio” in the Rock Office on a Friday evening and by Saturday night it was done except for the mixing and mastering. The “Rock Office” is actually the office of WCEC, the environmental consulting company that Jimmy manages. It is the gray building on South Avenue right across from the fairgrounds. That is where we rehearse. We used to rehearse in Jimmy’s studio, which was in his refurbished garage, but since he moved into a new house we have been somewhat homeless because his new, improved studio facility hasn’t grown beyond the planning stage yet. Nonetheless we pulled it off, and we’re pretty happy with it. The project presented some challenges — of the 10 songs recorded, 4 have never been played live, which is unusual for us. Usually we are totally dialed in with our material before we record it, but not this time. Hell, a couple of the songs I sang for the first time when they were being recorded. I think it shows in a couple spots where we aren’t as tight as usual, but it’s still pretty awesome. Here are a couple pictures as well as a couple dorky video clips I made of the goings-on:
Mission to Habbilis
The following weekend, which would be last weekend, TATER PIG also went into the studio to record. We went to Habbilis Records, and it was awesome. Cam and Jessica are great people and we had a blast. We recorded all day Saturday and all day Sunday, and wrapped up 12 songs, which will be a full album as well. I really can’t tell you what it’s like to play in the family band, let alone make an album. It is a level of cool I’ve never experienced before. Habbilis did a great job capturing our vibe and the results are, to our ears anyway, incredible. Raw, rough around the edges, a few flubs and tuneless voices here and there . . . but that is what Tater Pig is all about. I even played a little two-finger piano on one song, and I don’t even play piano! We still have to mix and master that recording as well, but laying it down was a gas. In my opinion Sid was the MVP of the sessions. His playing was tight, and I think we only had to restart one or two songs because of flubs on his part. This was my first opportunity to really listen to his playing, and I was impressed, especially with his sense of dynamics and feeling the rhythm of the beat, when to lay back on it, when to push it, etc. At 14, the kid is really getting good. Here are a couple shots:
After all the studio stuff, I’m pretty worn out. I also had a couple freelance pieces to write for the Indy (more on those tomorrow). And, to top it off, Tater Pig got invited to play a show at The Palace this coming Sunday (more on that to come as well; click flyer image for more details!). See, I told you it’s been busy!
Saturday night after our recording session Julia and I went to The Top Hat to see Junior Brown, whom I’d mentioned before on this site. It was supposed to in The Wilma but was moved because of low ticket sales (a situation which I will address in a future rant!), but it was better for us because we got to watch him from about 5′ away. This show to me was musical perfection, and I am not exaggerating. Junior and his band blew me away. Just three guys; a small guitar combo amp, a small bass rig, and the drummer merely played a snare and crash/ride, and it just floored me. Junior can play anything, and the way he goes from the tele to the lap steel and back and forth is mindblowing. And the drummer, wow. Shows what a real master of his instrument can do; the dynamics he pulled off that drum using sticks, brushes, and the snare switch — not to mention speed, power and finesse — were fantastic. I can’t summon the hyperbole to describe it. It was a revelation to me. Our goal with Tater Pig has always been to keep it stripped down like that; being able to throw your whole band in a minivan or outback and tour cannot be underestimated. Unlike Lazerwolfs, which is such a friggin’ production because of all the friggin’ gear we carry; that totally works against us. As much as I like the band, our inability to do anything but play LOUD really, really limits us, which is probably one of my top reasons I appreciate Tater Pig so much (besides playing with my oddball family, that is).
Anyway, Junior Brown — fuck. The guy blew me away. And my friend Charles Martin, who for the second time was at a gig I attended and managed to avoid being seen by me (I think he’s either a ninja or a shapeshifter, who knows) took some great photos; I, being lame, forgot my camera.
What else? Oh yeah, I am writing from a hotel in Mukilteo, WA, on a work trip. I wrapped up a little early, so I am going to go for a hike this afternoon. Should be great. I love this part of the world. Since the ferry to Whidbey Island is about a mile away, I rode it across and back the other night just because I love the water. It was cold out on the prow of that thing in just shorts and a t-shirt, but I loved it anyway. I was accosted by one of the deck hands before boarding though, grilling me about my Ace Frehley tour t-shirt I had on. That was pretty cool. Here are some pictures, but there are more — even more studio shots as well — on my Flickr page.
Stay tuned! Next post will be about my hike that will hopefully happen, more about my relationship with Whidbey Island, and about how I channeled the Sierra Madres while eating Mexican food and quaffing cerveza and tequila in upscale suburban Washington!