Day: July 8, 2008

Every time you stub your toe, somewhere someone is singing about instant rice.

There are now twenty-one songs recorded for THE CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN WITH A TRIANGLE, though a few of them probably won’t make the cut and a few still need to be mixed. I still need to record some more stuff. But how the hell did that happen so quickly? The way things are going, if I hold off on “releasing” the album for a few months it’ll probably turn into a double CD.

I don’t think I’ll do that. Trying to sequence one two-CD set is going to be enough of a puzzle as it is.

On one of the songs I recorded tonight, there’s a part where it sounds like I was sort of channeling our friend Bono, along with some pretty frenetic banjo picking. I’m not sure how I managed to keep the rhythm constant without a click track, because there’s some busy playing there. It just hit me tonight that I haven’t been using a click track for most of these songs. I’m not sure why. It wasn’t a conscious decision. The songs just seem to breathe better and ebb and flow more naturally without some clicking thing reminding me what rhythm I need to stick to. Lucky for me my natural sense of rhythm is pretty solid, or else recording the drums would be kind of maddening.

Tonight I pulled out this electric chord organ I’ve had for eight years but have never given as much love as I should have. Johnny Smith found it at a garage sale for something like ten bucks. It sounds a bit like an accordion with a chest cold. I’ve only ever used it on a few Papa Ghostface songs. It’s not in tune with any other instrument on earth, but that can be remedied by changing the recording speed when you need it to play nicely with others.

It’s got a built-in fan that starts up when you plug it in, and it takes a while before the thing gets fired up. If you try playing something right away, you’ll hear the notes start out really faint and then fade in until the fan reaches full power. It’s kind of neat to hear it whirring away. Now that I have better mics and preamps, it also sounds better recorded than I ever thought it could. Just point a mic at the top of the instrument and away we go. So I’ll be making some use of that little brown beast. I already recorded a little see-sawing thing while playing it, improvised a pretty demented half-spoken interlude on top, and sped my voice up a bit. Not anywhere near chipmunk territory, but enough to sound silly.

I also recorded something I wrote late last night on the mandolin, again inspired by the new tuning. It must be the wordiest thing I’ve written in ages. The words just keep coming and coming, with no real pauses between them. It’s like a musical run-on sentence. It’s also possibly the oddest love song I’ve ever written for someone who doesn’t exist, somehow tender and macabre at once, if that’s possible. I like it. It’s definitely going on the album.