You’ve taken my limbs and wet the wick.

Out-takes, they be funny things. And I seem to rack up a lot of them. I mean, even an album like IF I HAD A QUARTER, which is about as insanely crammed with music as one CD can possibly get, had out-takes. I can think of a dozen songs off the top of my head that were recorded for that album but didn’t feel appropriate. Some of them I liked a lot, too. They just didn’t fit in with the venomous vision I had at the time.

To that end, here’s one of the songs that didn’t make the cut on the new album. I like it, but again, it didn’t quite feel like it fit. The 1945 Martin 00-17 and the funky Ace Tone combo organ do make interesting bedfellows. I think that Martin is destined to remain my Holy Grail acoustic guitar forever. It sounds so good it’s ridiculous, and I’ve yet to find another guitar that feels so comfortable to play.

While I normally record the Ace Tone through the amp that came with it (I think it might be another mysterious Paul), I’ve started running it into the Fender Twin after processing it with some effects, and I really like the way it sounds. Seems to give it a bit more of a middle frequency push to help cut through a mix. My old friend slapback echo shows up on the vocals again as well. It must mean a Guys with Dicks reunion is just around the corner!

Well, not really. But I dig the tremolo-fried electric guitar anyway.

For the Affection of Leona

While I’m still no big proponent of MP3s, I’ve started encoding them at 320 KBPS instead of 190. The files are a little larger, but the difference in sound quality is pretty huge to my ears. So hooray for meatier MP3s not sounding as bad as slimmer MP3s!

I’ve got half a mind to go back and replace every single MP3 I’ve ever put up here with a higher quality version. But I probably won’t. Because I’m lazy.

As for the picture up there, just about every single image result I got for “Leona” when I typed it into Google was a picture of Leona Lewis. And since a few of my very favourite computer drawings perished in a recent stupid virus attack (grrr), it gave me a good excuse to get back in the swing of that particular thing. It isn’t as good as a few of the best ones I lost, and it’s rough around the edges, but I kind of like it anyway.

While the song is not at all about her, I like the name, and no other Leona comes to mind (well, maybe the one who wrote “Charm Attack”), so why not put her up here? Did you know some crazy guy punched her in the face last year at a book signing and then fell to the floor laughing when he was tackled by police? I didn’t know that. I may not be a fan of modern pop music, but man — that’s harsh. Poor girl. I could never punch someone that pretty.

Justin Bieber, on the other hand…


  1. Hey, what happened to the rest of this post? I thought it made an excellent point.

    I was just listening to and thinking about drums. It’s so strange, that drum sound they get in the studio. It sounds so tiny. It sounds as though they’re trying to get the drums to sound like a drum machine, instead of the other way around.

    I much prefer that real sound that you get with the drums, as though they are actually being played in a real room.

    Also, earlier I was listening to Iron and Wine’s Endless Numbered Days on the strong recommendation of my sister. It really got annoying and tedious, I couldn’t hear anything that appealed to me, so I turned it off after a few songs. It was like it was trying to be a great album but just ended up trite. Have you listened to it? Was I just in the wrong mood? Should I keep trying with this album? ?

    1. Damn it, wordpress took out my joke! In paragraph 2, after “listen to” add (insert random studio produced album name). Silly me used the pointy paragraphs and I guess wordpress thought I was doing html, as if I would know how.

      1. WordPress made an ass out of itself! It assumed things!

        I think you must be the only person who read the post as it originally appeared when it was a lot longer, because I edited it pretty quickly. I guess the main reason I got rid of my little rant was because I didn’t want it to sound like I was complaining or being petty…even though I don’t think it should have come off that way. Bit of the old self-censorship rearing it’s ugly head, I suppose. If that particular point I was addressing is raised by someone else again, I’ll probably end up posting about it anyway. So the joke is ultimately on me.

        I like Iron & Wine, myself. It’s not something I throw on when I want anything with fire in its belly or anything that challenges me at all, but I think it’s perfectly nice, languid stuff. That’s just what I hear, though…if it doesn’t do it for you, that’s a completely valid response. There’s plenty of music that’s been championed by people whose taste in music I respect but I just can’t get into it. Antony and the Johnsons…lots of people call it brilliant, but nothing there grabs me. The Arcade Fire…nothing grabs me, AND I hear things I feel were done better years ago by the Talking Heads, the Pixies, and Roxy Music. I like Radiohead, and there’s plenty that grabs me in their music, but I think they’ve been vastly overhyped for years and years now. Elliott Brood…plenty of people think they’re great, and there’s a Windsor connection there, but all their songs sound pretty much the same to me, they don’t really move me, and after I heard a few I didn’t feel like I ever needed to hear any more. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that their drummer used to be a mastering engineer in Toronto and completely butchered one of my older albums, though you’d think that might be a factor.

        I could go on. And yet, there are people who get a lot out of this music and think it’s fantastic. Definitely more than the amount of people who are taken with my music, so what do I know? It’s all a matter of taste.

  2. Hey, if you can’t rant on your own blog, where can you??!

    I remember listening to Antony and the Johnsons’s “I am a bird now” and thought that the first song was really good and full of promise, but the rest of the album failed to raise a fraction of the spark of the first track. Antony also does himself no favours with a terrible job of Leonard Cohen’s If It Be Your Will on the I’m Your Man concert.

    I think radiohead are ok, but I’ve never understood the hype there either. I don’t hear them really pushing any boundaries as far as I can tell.

    Wilco on the other hand, I really love that band! Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are two absolute masterpieces in my book, better than any albums by the Beatles. I only discovered them for myself in about 2006, after seeing YHF in the shops for years and never thinking it would be my thing.

  3. I was reading back through my earlier post subscriptions and found it very interesting that I know a Leona very well now! (In Japanese, the Re/Le syllable is interchangeable and I usually refer to Reona as Leona.)

    Of course not at the time of this post, we didn’t meet until about a year and a half later. Still fun.

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