Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Whilst packing this past Saturday, I tried (unsuccessfully) to get my old Silverface Deluxe Reverb working. It needs to go to "The Shop".

The Silverface came from Lawrence, Kansas, in the mail, about 7 or 8 years ago. It's the best sounding amp I've ever owned (or, indeed ever played) and soon it will be back in working order, at which time all will be right with the world.

I also own a '65 Blackface Deluxe Reverb Reissue, which isn't quite as good. I've always felt there was something a little wonky about it so I don't use it much. But Saturday I was in a Deluxe Reverb mood so I put its tubes back in and cranked it up. Tremolo (incorrectly called "Vibrato" on Fender amps) is the Greatest Guitar Effect Ever, no question, no debate.

I tremoloed for a while and starting doing a simple little progression over and over. Of course I asked Ted to record it. We figured out the tempo I was tremming at, got about a minute of the riff, and made a 16 bar loop. Within another half hour or so we had a few drum loops to match... recorded with the 2 overhead mics and EQ'ed just so.

The rest went really quickly - by far the most rewarding way to write and record, for me. Sometimes Ted and I get into this kind of zone and just hold on for dear life.

Last night I finished the lyrics and vocals and put on a guitar solo (the old blonde Tele - this recording is the wonky gear special). Today I did a quick mix.

Played it for George who said "It's awesome. Now get all this shit packed up!"

You can download an m4a from the link below thanks Mike!). If you can't play an m4a (aka an AAC) then, well, you should join us in the 21st Century.


Let Go

Monday, July 24, 2006


Tips for using microphones*

- point the microphone at what you want to hear
- point the microphone away from what you don't want to hear
- don't place the microphone near reflective surfaces
- use as few microphones as possible

* adapted from Model SM57 User Guide (Shure Incorporated)

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Saturday, July 8, 1:58 AM - Smoke and Mirrors - "Ted Record" session - 40 Deuce

Editing drums for "40 Deuce," a blues bit about Times Square written by Chan Chandler. It has lyrics about dime bags, girlie shows, and police brutality, so I guess it's a bit nostalgic. In numerous altered states I've demanded it be included on the "Ted Record", mostly because of the vocal. Trouble is, we recorded the vocal - and the guitars, bass, and keyboards - to an out of time drum loop.

We've all agreed the vocal performance can never be redone.

We'd also like to keep the guitars, mostly out of spite.

Anyhow, tonight I played some new drums, listening to just the original click and the vocal. Now I'm assembling and trying to get the guitarist, singer, keyboardist, and drummer on the same page, or at least in the same room.

Here's a screenshot of the song in Digital Performer's edit window. There's a guitar track partly visible at the top. Below are the kick drum, snare, and overhead mics. Each vertical line represents an edit; each little "slice" is a bit of my drum performance.

The big stretch that's intact is the chorus. I played that fucker all the way through, asshole.

Times Square used to be shady and dirty. Now it's clean, shiny, and fake, just like my drums.