POST ELECTION VOMIT
The day after the federal election was grey and wet. Ed Broadbent and Stephen Lewis had just been on the CBC reflecting on the NDP’s results and their words were bouncing around my head as I walked to the studio along Queen street when I took a step into something very soft. Someone had left some post-election puke on the side walk. It was hard not seeing it as some kind of sign. Just a little later, Remy, from Good Rats Radio also stepped in it.
This week involved a few full band sessions. It led to me drinking a lot of coffee. Good Rats Radio came in to begin work on their EP. An EP they already started, actually. Somewhere else, but they came in to continue the work. So we tracked drums, bass, gtr, vocals and keys on 4 songs to get as much of the band glue as possible. It’s promising to be an energetic reggae/ ska recording that dips into the more atmospheric moments of the Specials and even a touch of Portishead. Though the latter just popped in by a nose. Time will tell if they break out the Theremin. We’ll be picking up the session as soon as I’m done on Bri-anne Swan’s EP.
Yesterday (Wednesday) we tracked the bed tracks for 3 of Ms. Swan’s songs. Bri-anne recruited some incredible players (The Outlanders) for a day of re-interpretation. For the most part everyone remained in the room together. Listening back to the rough ref mixes you can really pick up on the fact that they were up to their arm pits in each other. Bri-anne and I have had the idea of recording something a little closer to A Boot And A Shoe (Sam Philips) for quite some time and now listening back to one of the takes it struck me how close we actually got to the tone of that record.
Last weekend, I had Wool And Howl over for some live off the floor takes of their most recent material. The line-up has changed a bit, but the core has remained consistent and it was clear that they’ve aged well since the recording of the LP. Everyone was confident (in playing only – otherwise they’re emotional wrecks) and breathed through the epic arrangements. I was happy to have our Rhodes piano (thanks Ralph) come to good use. Possibly some of these tracks may get used for content on Myspace or something.
This song was completed while in Costa Rica. More ruminations on the afterlife. I recorded it one night using the Sony C38 as a one take/ one mic song. The analog echo was added after the fact and has made it more than sufficiently dirty.
Now onto some recordings that I’ve been digging.
1. Trying to lighten the mood a little. The Way You Look Tonight manages to give me the tingles. Better than the tinkles, I think. From 1964 (Sinatra’s version), the Beatles were busy conquering the Western World, but Frank was taking his time.
2. tUnE-YarDs with My Country from her latest record, w h o k i l l. Merrill Garbus’ brain child that keeps expanding and opening up. Each layer is chalk full of gnashing teeth. And she plays the uke, how lovely is that?
3. The Rural Alberta Advantage with Drain The Blood. This act also taps it’s inner hostility, or is that just good ol’ passion? I like the limited palette that they work with. Somewhat like Garbus, they make as much as they can with a slightly left of field trio of instruments.
4. Junco Partner by the Clash. Here the Clash rework an old American blues song on what could easily fit on Black Market Clash. Unmistakeably The Clash with their combination of stiff reggae, throaty vocals, wandering parts floating over and passing through the track.
5. Codex by Radiohead from their latest record, The King Of Limbs. Although this track feel very minimal they’ve (as always) got a lot going on here. Little parts are being introduced throughout the 5 minutes and manipulated tirelessly. Another one to add to their self-releases.
6. I first heard When U Love Somebody while watching Youth In Revolt. I’m blanking on when it appears in the film, but hearing it again was like seeing an old friend, but not really remembering their name or if they owed you money or if you owed them money. I got to hear Liam Kearney do a Fruit Bats song a while back. I still have the note to check out the group’s music. So here I am, checking it out.
7. Dreamland is off of Don Juan’s Wreckless Daughter by Joni Mitchell. I still have this on vinyl, a double record set. This track is not necessarily typical of the rest of material from this release, but then there are a number of tracks that stand out this way including the 16 minute Paprika Plains which she does with an orchestral arrangement. Released in 1977, the year of Star Wars. Atleast someone was thinking straight.
8. Paranoid Android taken from Corporate Love Breakdown. Didn’t mean to weigh in too much Radiohead, but as they’re not performing this version… the second half offers some ear bending harmonizing.
9. The first thing that gets me on this recording is the drum tone. The slightly woofy, possibly satruated kick drum and the claustrophobic snare. Juxtapose this with strings, ooos and other soft tones and presto! You Got Me.
10. Chinese Bombs by Blur. Just cleaning the pallet with something from a CD full of surprises.
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