Monday, December 31, 2007


Here’s some sports news, taken directly from here:

To get to the meat of the story, I made a few edits, all of which are clearly marked. Enjoy!

Boston 110, LA Lakers 91

By KEN PETERS, AP Sports Writer
December 31, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Wearing short shorts and having Hall of Famer Jerry West in the building … the Los Angeles Lakers revive(d) their storied rivalry with the Boston Celtics…

The Lakers introduced West as their honorary captain before the game, showed highlights from past players … and wore throwback, short shorts for the first half…
Boston coach Doc Rivers enjoyed the big screen video.

"I don't know if it spurred anyone on, but it gave everyone a history lesson in some ways… really cool to watch," he said.

He smiled and added, "I told Kobe, the one thing I know from this point on, our generation had better bodies than their generation."

"I don't know what it feels like to wear a thong, but I imagine it feels something like what we had on in the first half," he (Bryant) said with a grin. “…I felt naked.”

There obviously was a lot of emotion during the game…(the refereess) called seven technical fouls at different junctures.. (including) on coach Rivers and the Lakers' Bryant…

(Rivers) said. "… everyone was excited, both the teams and the refs.”

(Lamar) Odom also was called for a flagrant foul late in the game, with Ray Allen drawing his “technical” (quotation marks added) on the same play (emphasis added).

Allen said of that brief tangle, " I got the rebound and he tackled me.”

(ed. Note – Although thousands of fans cheered as they watched, Allen appears to be denying that he enjoyed the “brief tangle”, implying that he and Odom may not play for the same team.)

He said, “I know this is Sunday, but this is the wrong field."


A quick lesson in determining if a band is worth its salt: do they know where they fit? If they do, they're worth nothing. If they do what they do and let the listeners and critics catch up, then they're worthy. They're worthy of salt.

- Mike Ingenthron, Stinkrock

Friday, December 28, 2007


In just a few hours we'll begin doing our part to help bring the second House of Blondes record to fruition.

You know the story - band finishes project and either drifts away or rides the wave of inspiration to create. Fortunately, it appears that the latter has happened to John Blonde and his House.

John and fellow Blonde Paul Reyes have been writing feverishly, using Garageband I believe (more about that little program in another post) and making some pretty good "demos". These days a demo can be a record, and with Garageband in the hands of writers, arrangers, and musicians, there can be a surprising amount of depth in a recording made primarily to write. I have no doubt tracks that John and Paul have already created will find their way into the new record. It's much like what Blonde Mike I. has been doing with His Friend Tony in their band Get Help.

A very productive way to produce, no question.

I'm excited about the new project, at least partly because John seems so excited. Every collaborative effort deserves someone to keep the dream moving forward, and John's the perfect person to play this role. After all, he created the part.

That he would ask us to be involved with the next stage in the Ascent of the House of Blondes is flattering, to say the least.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"I suggest as a solution what has worked so well in nearly every other aspect of my life, both personal and professional: more reverb."

-Tony from Get Help, suggesting a way to improve a stubborn mix


In light of the Mitchell report, I'd like to weigh in on the issue of performance enhancing drugs.

To me, the term "performance enhancing drug" is redundant (except for when it's an oxymoron). You could look at any drug as being performance enhancing; without this pill to lower my blood pressure I'd die, which would affect my performance. I'm a professional but not that professional.

Having a teammate/roadie inject something into your buttocks to help you throw that 98mph fastball/play those 32nd notes is simply a natural consequence of a world that values fastballs/32nd notes. Of course, if we were happy with quarter notes we'd simply use a different type of enhancement. There's a reason the Velvet Underground did speed while the Floyd did... other things.

Caffeine enhances my performance until the Effexor kicks in.

The real question should be who's using drugs to enhance their appreciation of the performance. In other words, without beer, would anyone sit through an entire football game?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tonight, Strikes Again!

This record (working title "Cure All") is rapidly reaching the finish line. Any day now we're going to look around at each other ("we" being me and whoever still has any hearing left) and say "Sheeet, that's it, eh?" or something like that.

At that point I hope they duplicate it and pass it out. If they don't I will. I've said it before: the reason I really do all this recording is to receive the finished record*, preferably in shrinkwrap, when all is said and done. That's the real payment. Fuck iTunes or CDBaby, I want Product with a big "P". I want to try and decipher the average publishing credit or figure out why I wasn't listed as "Aural Sherpa". I want something to put on the shelf next to the Jerk Alert CD. This is the hardest part of the process, releasing the damn thing. What good is having a baby if you aren't going to show it off at the ice cream social?

I'll say this - musicians have become experts at barcodes. They might spell the name of the studio wrong, they may forget just who did that tambourine overdub, they may even skimp on the shrinkwrap, but they've figured out how to get that barcode on the back of the jewel case (or, increasingly, digipack). Why does The Beast get such a good credit? What did the Dark One ever do for rock and roll?

Oh, that's right. Sorry.

* the term "record" is here used to indicate both compact discs and traditional "vinyl" records. If your music exists solely on the iTunes Music Store, you have not made a "record". You've made a "recording". Any fool with a microphone can make a recording. Make a record.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Stinkrock says kind words. The Misanthrope as well.

In the studio there is no fear. Fear is for the weekly paycheck, the land of the boss, the subway, the so called real world. No fear is for the perpetual dreamers, procrastinators, depressives. We say we do it for love, or because we're obsessed, or because there's nothing we'd rather do. Sometimes that's true, but the rent lives firmly in Fearville.

I didn't go to business school. I have no right touching any form of currency. It's like a carberator - let a professional handle it.

Wanted - business partners or advisors.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


If you take a look at my recent posts you may notice that they've been a bit infrequent. Hmmm.

Let's see... there I am slamming Def Leppard in late May 2006. A few posts from July 2006, as we prepared to move Smoke and Mirrors Studio to... well....

Ah, yes. There's the disconnect.

I left my last day job at the end of May in '06, fully prepared to go back to music full time. I had new business cards, we were all nutty with MySpace, I had learned so much since the last time I tried to make Smoke and Mirrors a "business". I was very well prepared to do a lot of work and actually make enough to cover the rent and go out to see a movie once in a while. I was very optimistic.

A week later it all caved in. We were told that, after 5 years, we had to be out of the building that housed Smoke and Mirrors by August 1st. Our "landlord," who actually held the lease on the floor we occupied, finally decided to tell us that said lease was up. Suddenly my brand new business cards were obsolete. The internet was disconnected sometime after July 25, 2006. (The Silverface Deluxe Reverb still hasn't been fixed, if you're wondering.)

I was adamant about not following our "landlord" to the new space he was building. After 5 years of broken promises I vowed to move on. And move on we did.

It was then that we met Randy Rollner, diminutive bassist in Blood Orange, owner of Rollner Architecture Metals, and liar extraordinaire. Randy had a lease on a small building (really a big finished garage) about 2 blocks from my apartment. Randy told us he was 2 years into a 10 year lease and wanted to rent the extra 2 spaces in his buildings to studios. Although the bad vibes flowed from him freely, we were desperate. We gave him a security deposit and moved during the first weekend of August 2006 during a killer heat wave.

We began massive construction of the new studio. Little Randy rehearsed with his terrible band right next door to us and continued to amaze with his compete lack of social skills. Why do tiny bassists have to have such big amps? Are we making up for something here?

Six weeks in, Ted and our friend/carpenter John arrived at the space around noon to find the City Marshall's office locking up the building. They'd gone in with cops and chainsaws, opened all the rooms, inventoried (some of) the gear, and put on a fresh new padlock. In short (pardon the pun), we found out that Randy had been in the midst of eviction by his landlords, whose son Michael originally rented the space to Randy. You may remember Michael from this little piece of news. Randy had happily taken our cash, knowing full well that his time was nearly up.

To say I was shocked is an understatement; catatonic is probably a more accurate word. I'd left about 2am the night before the eviction, having just played the last track I'd ever record using my beloved Juno 106. When Randy finally started answering our frantic phone calls a few days later, he said his lawyer was "working on it", and then was unreachable for weeks at a time.

Every bit of music stored on our computer, all of our gear, everything was in that room. We were actively working on projects for clients. We didn't even have the receipts for the equipment and building supplies; they were in the room. We started waiting, got a lawyer, gathered pictures and affidavits. After so many years of being in a studio just about every day, I didn't know what to do with myself.

Six weeks later the building was opened on an order from the court. We got back in, only to find that someone had stolen the Juno, my digital camera, my watch, $900 in cash for rent, nearly all of John's and our tools, and a crappy old worthless lamp. They didn't take the computer, thank God.

That was it for me. I've never been the same.

The day we got the gear back we moved it into our old landlord's new space, and now over a year later the same broken promises (The sound isolation between the rooms will be amazing! It'll be a professional music space! The toilets will actually flush!) float around our heads like so much stale cigarette smoke. Only now the rent is far more expensive, I get no cellphone reception, the location is a bit less than ideal, and the internet connection involves cans and a piece of string.

Still, I'm not really bitter. At some point during that long summer of 2006, waiting to hear any news about our studio, I came to accept that everything might well be gone. I found I could deal with that. I truly let it go during a late night walk around the neighborhood (I'd pass by the building every day, unable to believe that everything was just a few yards away but completely unreachable). It was a true liberation.

As far as Randy goes, I think the fact that he misspelled "Dumber" on his MySpace page pretty much says it all.