Day: June 25, 2008

Swear on your daughter’s eyes.

New song that almost died magically come back to life! Now on Spyspace! Make you dance with purple pants! Make you crave many air-fresheners for vehicular sustenance!

It’s kinda rough. Things speed up a bit after the second verse because I didn’t use a click track, the singing could be better, and Bono’s planned vocal cameo didn’t work out. But it feels right. And it ain’t quite a tiny song this time. More like medium-tiny.

There’s a whole lot more on the way. I just need to do a lot of recording and mixing, and in about four years and thirty-seven CDs it’ll all be over and I’ll be able to rest in the arms of a Jamaican chihuahua. Does such an animal even exist? I think not. But I can dream.

Sleeping with the television on.

Hello. My name is Johann Westoffovich the Third, and I’m a budding vinyl addict. It’s an illness for which there exists only one cure: beersicles. Lots and lots of beersicles.

That’s frozen beer on a stick, in case you were wondering.

Here are some of the most recent additions. Some of these albums are so unhip they’ll make you cry, but I hear a good cry every now and then is good for you. Cleansing for the soul and all that.

yma sumac // voice of the xtabaycharlie parker // encores vol. 1gary burton & chick corea // crystal lightbruce springsteen // live at the roxy 1978roxy music // strandedeurythmics // sweet dreams are made of thiseurythmics // touchthe 4 seasons present frankie valli solo10cc // how dare you!10cc // the original soundtrack10cc // sheet musicsinatra // try a little tenderness supertramp // crime of the centurysupertramp // crisis? what crisis?supertramp // even in the quietest moments

In other exciting news, after wading through leftover lethargic goo from sickness stupidity and untangling messed up sleep for something like the thousandth time, yesterday I tentatively got back in the swing of things and did some recording. One song had been kicking around for a little while as just acoustic guitar and vocals, and I finally added some more instruments. It took some messing around. I meant to add some electric guitar and bass and drums, but I couldn’t quite get the drums to mesh with the arrangement the way I wanted. In the end it was bass, Wurlitzer, some additional vocals, and a bit of impromptu melodica at the end, and suddenly the song came to life.

Then I went to create a new song on the mixer so I could start recording some of the things I’ve been writing on my new seventy-six-year-old guitar, and everything froze up. I had to turn the thing off manually. When it powered back up again all the songs were there but none of them would let me in. “FUNCTION FAILED!” it said. I could do pretty much anything as long as it didn’t involve any of the songs. It seemed like they were still there. The same amount of time that had been remaining on the hard drive before the glitch was still showing on the screen. All the dates and times were correct. And yet the file size for each song read as “- – -” — which wasn’t exactly encouraging.

Given the nature of the mixer, it didn’t seem like there was much I could do. Short of finding some magical solution, I would have to reformat the drive and wipe out everything in order to restore things to proper working order. This wouldn’t be so bad if I had everything backed up, but there were at least a dozen new songs in various stages of completion that weren’t backed up or on CD in any roughly-mixed form. All of them would be dust in the wind, and Kansas would play a solemn version of “Carry on My Wayward Son” rewritten to address my plight. I wasn’t about to re-record all those songs from scratch, so I made plans to shave, cut my hair, and go to Yale, majoring in waffle cone research.

This morning I discovered you can do something called a “drive check”. I did this, and it told me there were some errors. Corrupted data and so forth. I could attempt to repair the damage but would certainly lose some data in the process (the mixer made no bones about it: “YOU WILL LOSE DATA!” it told me). Every song was fine except for the one I most wanted to save, and it was impossible to say how much of it would remain after whatever data had gone bad was erased. Bracing myself for the worst, I said yes to “repair drive try?” (because how can you resist a question that’s worded in such a way?).

Too bad I didn’t figure this whole process out sooner and do it yesterday. Seventeen hours of muted fury and defeat were undone in about five seconds, and I soon found all the songs were still there. As for the one I was worried about, the only thing missing was the bass track. All the settings were just as I had left them. Only the bass track itself was missing. I was more worried about the Wurlitzer and melodica parts, since they were improvised additions I would be hard pressed to replace without altering the race-rhyme continuum. I re-recorded the bass in about two minutes.

So all is well. The moral of the story: never invite Billy Idol to your stag party. That’s just asking for trouble.

I should have a new song or two up here or on Spyspace sometime this week. I would probably have something to share today if that little glitch hadn’t happened yesterday, but as I like to say, beggars can’t be booze hounds. Also, it seems I may have been a little over-optimistic with my whole “new album by June!” proclamation. It would have been realistic had I not been knocked out for a while by the unexpected sinus infection attack.

Maybe I’ll shoot for July instead.