Monday, June 27, 2005


I do love fabric. I got an award in my 8th grade sewing class - I made a pillow that looked like a surfboard. No, this does not make me gay.

Ted and I put some snazzy fabric up in the live room at Smoke and Mirrors - finally covering the one ugly, nasty wall that hadn't been finished. George saw it and said "Exit Stage Left", I guess because it looks like the curtain on the front of everyone's favorite live Rush record. It really does make one side of the room look like a stage... add a stool, a glass of water, and the SM58 on a stand and Belzer could get up there and do five minutes.

The Acquiesce songs are still being mixed at Electric Lady - haven't heard anything yet. They are taking some time away from the studio to prepare for their live show at Bowery (July 7) and to do a few more gigs to raise some funds. Hopefully they will come back in soon - we've still got 9 more songs to do! I feel like we've streamlined the process with them a bit, so we should move a little more quickly.

Preparations for "Tedstock" and the Happy Boy reunion continue. Here's some ideas for a setlist - any thoughts?

Sometimes the Dark
Thumbnail Moon
Peace Chicken
Plastic Girl
Princess Leia
Vegetable Man (really a Sex Circus Star song, but who's keeping track? Me.)

There She Goes Again (Velvets)
When Tomorrow Hits (Mudhoney via Spacemen 3, or is it the other way around?)
Halloween (Dream Syndicate)
Damage (Yo La Tengo)
Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus - this one's for Ken)
Fuzzy Wuzzy (Luna)
Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young)

I want to do a long, trippy set with some real dynamics - not the frantic, over in a blur, out of tune sets we did in the past. Ted and I have started practicing... what key was that in again?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Alright, I just read that they will only play 4 songs. So.....

"Shine On"
"Comfortably Numb"
"Us and Them"

That's it. No more predictions.


Alright, let's do it. Here's what they'll play... not in order, of course.

"Us and Them"
"Comfortably Numb"
"Run Like Hell"
"Another Brick (part 3)"
"Wish You Were Here"
"The Great Gig In The Sky"
"One of These Days"
"On The Turning Away" (just kidding, 'though it would be appropriate)
"Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

Remember, you heard it here first.


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."
-Lewis Carroll

Well, the pigs have taken flight. As we all know, Pink Floyd is reuniting for Live8 (organzied, of course, by Pink himself). What will they play? What will they wear? Will Gilmour and Waters hug? Will Snowy White be there?

Well, it's a bit hard to say. A little easier would be to list...

A Few Things Pink Floyd Won't Play at Live8

"The Final Cut"
"Dogs of War"
"Arnold Layne"
"Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict"
"Radio Waves"
anything from "The Division Bell"
"Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast"
"Let's Roll Another One"
and, sadly,

Monday, June 13, 2005


A lot of kids like to sport those "What Would Jesus Do?" accessories, everything from toe rings to head tattoos. For me, though, "Star Wars" is a religion (or it was, until they screwed it up by adding that extra testament), and so I ask, "What Would R2 Do?"

R2 was like the Jesus of the first three (second three, I don't know what to call them, but the movies that were made in the 70's and 80's). He was the prime mover, after all - Leia gave R2 the message to Obi Wan, R2 was the one who decided to take the escape pod to Tattooine, it was R2 that wandered off from Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's farm (if Luke hadn't been out chasing the little droid he too might have been killed). R2 had the Death Star plans, R2 was Luke's onboard droid. How many doors did R2 open in all three films? Who cut our heroes out of the Ewok's trap? Who stopped the trash compactor? Who shot Luke his lightsaber above the Sarlock pit? Who finally got the Millenium Falcon into hyperspace after the evil Empire turned its lightspeed drive off? Who served drinks on Jabba's barge?

What Would R2 Do? I think he'd say something like "Beep boop P-ting" and get the shit DONE.


Well, while Jackson was off buying records, seeing live music, and earning a living, I've been holding down the fort.

Acquiesce's record continues it's slow climb toward greatness, or at least completion. 3 of the tunes are going to be finished to coincide with their gig (as headliners) at the Bowery Ballroom on July 7th. While we are going to continue to work on these and the rest of the tunes for the record, we're also going to send them out to be mixed, and we'll see whose mix wins...

Our competition is a little studio called Electric Lady, which is currently owned by this guy named Ric who used to be in some kind of 80's band, and apparently doesn't have a lot of time to update his website. The studio was built for some guitar player in the 60's, a lot of people think he was English but he wasn't, and now he's dead. It's the home of the only purple SSL. They have more gear than we have, so I guess their mixes might sound better, but we'll wait and hear.

In Smoke and Mirrors news, the past week has been an upgrade to the live room. New paint (including a new white floor) and carpet for the drum riser, to complement the new wall and additional flooring. No complaints from the neighbors yet. The big change is that we now have the ability to vary the acoustics of the room, from live to dead to combinations in between. Everything had to be pulled out and put back in, and starting Saturday it was back to work on Acquiesce. Cutting guitars with a Mesa Boogie and a Fender Deluxe, I've started using my old omnidirectional mic, the first mic my original recording partner (Matt, a drummer) and I bought in the late 80's. We tried some new vocals last night, and started preparing for the transfer to ProTools (the only format the Lady will accept, and make sure you label everything correctly!).

The omni mic is a whole blog unto itself. In short, it doesn't differentiate between sounds arriving on axis and off; it "hears" everything around it equally, so it's ideal for picking up room sound. It's also less susceptible to sibilance and has no proximity effect. Great fun! Used as a second mic, way up in a corner of the room, blended in with the direct mics on the guitar amps, it can give close mic'ed sounds a little space, 'though I probably overused it and will be chastised by other, more knowledgable engineers.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Here are a few questions we're currently printing the answers to:

"Where Did God Come From?"

"Does God Ever Sleep?"


"Where Is God?"

I'll let you know the answers when I see the proofs.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


This weekend was a little trip over to the Javits center here in NYC for something we like to call "Book Expo America 2005."

For those of you unfamiliar with the business of buying, selling, or manufacturing books, this event is an opportunity for the Javits center (or whichever convention center it happens to occupy in a given year) to suck as much money out of the pockets of Publishers, Booksellers, Printers, Bookworms, and anyone else they can for an entire three days. Water was a bargain at $2.50 a bottle.

I wandered around the 1700 booths rather aimlessly, in an ink induced haze, although I did meet some interesting people. It's really incredible how many books are being published, how many of those books end up as "remainders" (read unsold and available at a discount), and how few of the publishers cared about what I was selling (printing). But one positive note - there's an incredible amount of diversity out there, more than ever I'm sure. There's something for everyone, and a lot for no one, and my feet still hurt. Friday night I went to the Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors (check out which I expected to be a transcendent event, but alas there was more business than enlightenment. Saturday night was a dinner party for 60 of our clients at the Peking Duck House in Chinatown, and yes, the duck had a head just like in "A Christmas Story."

I did talk to the publisher of the new Rush book "Contents Under Pressure," and thumbed through the book a bit. Great pictures - really amazing shots of them in the studio, great for stealing mic techniques, my favorite part of the show.

In the end it left me wondering about myself as a salesman. I love music, I could spend my life in a control room with no windows, I want to make records. Everything else just seems like a distraction.