Month: April 2017

Sleeves and dress cut just right.

For a year now I’ve had somewhere around half an hour of raw footage collecting digital dust on a hard drive from the day Ron and Dean came over to record the piano part for Ron’s song “Tattooed Lady”. I figured it was time I got around to editing it.

The finished segment came out shorter and snappier than I expected, but I think it works as a little slice of studio life. What kept me from making it longer was the lack of visual movement. I didn’t set up a second camera to grab Ron and Dean, so while there’s a good bit of dialogue between the three of us, you would only see my headless torso no matter who was talking at any given time. That would get old pretty fast.

Better to keep it brief. In a minute and-a-half you still get a bit of banter, a pretty decent idea of the feel of the song and what I played on it, and a few moments from takes that weren’t used in the final mix (as far as I can tell, what’s on the album is about 80% of my penultimate take, with the rest flown in from the very last take we did right after the camera ran out of recording time).

I’m trying not to share too many more video-related things before the big beefy “this has been the last few years of my musical life” video is finished, but I don’t think this little bit is giving anything away, and I kind of like the way it turned out.

Someone should write a pulpy, jazzy detective novel called “Trumpet Trouble”.

Just got this little guy back not long ago. Thanks to Kelly for taking good care of Señor Trumpet over the last few years.

I’m lucky enough now to know some people who, unlike me, can actually play brass instruments, and who are open to doing session work. If you’re thinking that might stop me from using the trumpet and the bugle to lob occasional dissonant curveballs at songs that don’t seem to want them, well…I’ll probably keep doing that here and there until the end of time. Ha!

You can never have too many acoustic ballads with random atonal free jazz trumpet solos.

Remastering update #2.

Hark! I hath passed the halfway mark!

98 songs down. 90 still to go.

More surprises and mostly-forgotten little audio relics:

  • An unused kick drum part to bolster the stomping and tambourine-shaking on “Everything He Asked You”
  • Drums recorded for “Creepy Crawly Things” but left out of the final mix
  • The rain at the beginning of “Wait All Morning” fades out just before I get into an argument with the sky, asking for (and not receiving) thunder
  • As with “Raccoon Eyes”, “Everything Matters, Everyone Cares” started out as some improv behind the drums recorded with the idea of building some music around it after the fact; unlike what happened with “Raccoon Eyes”, I ended up casting out the initial drum part once it became clear it didn’t play well with the music it inspired
  • Some out-of-tune piano over the bridge section on “What I Would Do for You” that was junked at the mixing stage
  • The tenor banjo at the end of “I Love You” goes on quite a bit longer than the CD mix would have you believe (and longer than I remembered), growing even more crazed and dissonant
  • An unused bass harmonics overdub in the middle of “95 Streets (Is Where I Will Find the Heart of You)”
  • An alternate lead vocal for “Fat Mouth” that does some pretty serious attempted Springsteen-channeling circa Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Some acoustic guitar accents recorded for “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fondue” right where the drums kick in, but abandoned after about thirty seconds and not present in the final mix
  • Several foul-mouthed arguments with an interrupting phone and/or fax machine
  • More forgotten riffs and licks sandwiched between proper songs

I’m still not as far along as I’d like to be, but I’m beginning to think I might actually finish this pet project someday.