Sunday, November 22, 2009

TagYerit gets a feature article in the Valley Advocate

TagYerit gets a feature article in the Valley Advocate

Check out this article that explores our music and our toilet paper collection. Pretty funny I hope.
The Valley Advocate

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Toilet Paper Museum travels to WMAS

For this brief moment in time, press has been falling into our laps like a succession of dominoes.
After having had our toilet paper collection on the web for over 10 years, the Smithsonian Channel filmed us talking about our collection for an upcoming episode of their series "Stories From The Vaults". Using that domino, we sent out a press release. The local paper, the Springfield Union, thought the story interesting enough to feature our collection as a cover story to the great delight of many of our friends who report their first reaction at seeing our faces in color on the cover of the newspaper out on the news stands was to fall over laughing.

But they weren't the only one's to see the article. So it came to pass that Lopez from WMAS 94.7 invited us to their station for a quick interview on the collection. One cool thing about this is the location. WMAS studio is in the Basketball Hall of Fame building. For once a destination that's hard to miss - The building is in the shape of a basketball.
Once we got there, the first stop of course is to get some toilet paper from the bathroom so we can get Kellogg Krew D.J.'s signatures.
What should I see on entering the bathroom than this electric hand dryer in the shape of a basketball. And people make fun of our collecting obsession? Really?

Once in the studio we get to meet Chris Kellogg, Dina McMahon and Lopez. We had a fun though brief interview. I guess there's no point in holding up signed toilet paper to show a radio audience, so the listeners would have to trust that Chris, Dina & Lopez would be able to verify that there was no sleight of hand happening.
As I said, it was fun. - but our adrenaline was in overdrive and we could have gone on talking for a long time, which thankfully they didn't let us do. It's always great to see DJs at work. When they're on the mike it seems as if their brains shift into gear. They know just what to ask and when to keep it moving. From our perspective, being in front of a microphone in a radio station is almost the complete opposite experience to recording music in the studio, where everything is measured and precise. Anyway, the Kellogg Krew were great and they were gracious enough to sign some tp for us afterwards.

Most likely, they'll be broadcasting our segment either Friday 8/21/09 or Monday 8/24/09 on their show which airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. (E.S.T.)
You can listen live at:

Finished! Pressed! Printed! We've got it - we're psyched! TagYerit's new
CD "Shimmer" is in our hands. It's been a long wild road from the inception of each song to this little package. It's like a Song Mixvah! For us, it represents years of creative play-work. So now it's another exciting moment for the songwriter (that's us - Rich & Flo) ...will the music reach out and 'strike a chord' with you, the listener? Touch you? Transport you? Crack you up?
We've been working in a vacuum, so the "Listener" is the other
important part of the equation.

Since we're not exactly your love-song-pining-over-relationships kinda
songwriters - here’s some of the subjects we’ve explored:
- There's an examination of ‘collection’ addiction and hoarding as
expressed in "Neat Junk". - OK, we admit it, it could be just a touch
autobiographical ...
- You'll run into the strong willed "Pirate Bride" who's damned tired of
being stuck ashore - She deeply longs to rule the High Seas herself.
- In "The Trick or Treat Trials" Flo recounts the Halloween fixation she
and her best friend Sylvia (and others) had as they meticulously planned
their costumes & plotted out their routes in their attempts to amass huge stockpiles of chocolate. Things didn't necessarily turn out as they had hoped..
- And who was the mysterious carver on Mt. Katahdin who left the beautiful but anonymous words etched there in stone? These words inspired the song "Mt. Katahdin" and became its chorus.
- You'll also share in a rather disconcerting chance meeting in the woods
with a dryad that Tolkien might have suspected was a Close-Encounter-of-the-Entwife-Kind.
- ... and more ...

There's plenty of humor, true-life mishaps, reflection and melodic story
telling. - and then there's the rousing return of the "Vulgar Boatmen"
(originally heard on our "Heavy Construction" CD) as they add their
unique blend of voices to yet another song.

If you're interested in getting a copy (No presha, pal!), it's available
for $10 (plus $3 s&h) for CD ($7.50 for digital download) at

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A video of The Whole World Toilet Paper Collectors

As part of a news story on our toilet paper collecting, the Springfield Union photographer also took this short video. I'll post the article when they put it up.

Toilet Paper collecting video

Monday, May 11, 2009

Studio wrap up

It's been a busy few weeks. Ed was free the week of Monday April 20th to Friday, so it was an intensive week. By the end of Friday we just didn't want to listen to any more music at all. Not by no one no how.

Monday 4/20 - Flo putting down back up vocals for "Accelerate" & "Sylvie".

Greg: (peeking through the glass window) Are you out there?
Flo: Yeah!
Greg: Find your center
Flo: My placenta?

Greg: You just have to pick a note that actually IS a note!
Greg: That was an interesting note. - kind of a 'Thomas Dolby ate my Buick' note

Ed: That was a good idea. I liked that
Greg: Flo had a good idea? Mark your calendars.

Greg: Are you ready? I have faith in you, You're a woman. (sings)
"I am woman. Hear me roar. In numbers too great to ignore" -
They should have taken away women's rights after that song.

Greg: We watched "A Shot in the Dark", the Pink Panther movie last night with Elke Sommer. You know it's going to be stupid, but you laugh hysterically. It's exercised stupidity
Ed: That's what we should call TagYerit - exercised stupidity

Flo: That's kind of weird
Greg: Even for you
Flo: I'm throwing that in there, in case Ed wants to use it.
Ed: Don't worry, there's toilet paper in the bathroom

Ed: Maybe we'll have them (the backgrounds) come from outer space.
Flo: Maybe we should get rid of this crap.
Ed: No, we have an idea for this

Flo: (referring to the lyric she just sang) Do you think "birth" was okay?
Greg: Yes
Ed: It's the afterbirth we're worried about

Overheard during the lunch break ...
Ed: (to Greg) Have you got a napkin?
Flo: He's got paper towel.
Greg: I have to fold it for you nice
Ed: It's a napkin, not an effen flag

Ed & Rich reunite as The Vulgar Boatmen (last heard on the background of"Joy 1995). This time they're singing "licka the lollipop / tell us our teeth will rot". Well maybe singing isn't the right word.

Ed: I'm getting nervous about our having to sing our parts
Rich: Really?
Ed: That means Flo will have to supervise us
Rich: Oh? Now I'm nervous

The banter is low key on Tuesday & Wednesday
- 4/21 Flo sings her background vocals on "Neat Junk" & adds guitar tracks for "Neat Junk" & "Sylvie". Then Greg & Ed Mix "Accelerate".

- 4/22 Ed & Greg spend the day mixing Pirate Bride. There are many tracks to go through and it takes the whole day to mix.

Ed: Here's how I picture it. At first that guitar is like a boat coming in from way out in the horizon. From quieter to louder and wetter to drier on the bass and the fuckin' guitar. I could be wrong. This could suck. You know me. (Greg tries something). See that's way too tasteful.
Greg: (laughs) I'll have to work on this.
Ed: There's 4 figures, each one should be less wet. You know what I mean - so it's moving from far away and moving closer.
(note: "wet" refers to reverb effect. More reverb is wetter, less is dryer. )
Ed: So the last one will be normal
Greg: (silence working on the board)
Ed: Are you listening to me?
Greg: I hear you - just choosing to ignore you
Ed: That's okay so long as you'll know later why you find yourself on the floor.

Ed: (mumbles something)
Flo: Don't hate today
Ed: Why'd you say that?
Flo: That's what YOU said
Ed: I said, what'd you eat today?

Ed's getting pissed that Greg is fussing over the intro so long
Flo: If he (Ed) gets a little food in him - he won't be quite so cantankerous.
Greg: "Cantankerous" is his hobby - he's like a playful little gerbil that bites you sometimes.

Greg: I've got to figure out what these guys are doing (referring to Flo's background vocals)
Ed: Sounds like heroin

When Greg played back one of Flo's vocal tracks, we can hear her say quietly, "Oh my god that's awful"

Thursday 4/23 At the end of each day we take home a copy of the mix and listen to it to check for any possible problems. It's different listening to the mixes on a car stereo, small computer speakers and other inexpensive equipment. Keep in mind that the mixes are created in the studio on beautiful sounding speakers. Under those circumstances, we decided that Pirate Bride still needed work and it took almost 2 more hours till it was the way we wanted it.
Now back to the banter ...

Ed: Greg I'm talking to you
Greg: (stops what he was doing) Did it ever occur to you that maybe what I'm doing is more important than some petty thing you're interested in.

Rich: I registered
Greg: Did you hear that Marilyn Chambers died?
Flo: Who's that?
Ed: made movies
Rich: Porn
Flo: Did you say that is a porn site
Rich: No, I said Marilyn Chambers was in porn movies
Rich: Maybe she was in a pirate bride movie
Ed: Well she did have booty and a great chest

Fortunately mixing "Sylvie" (aka The Trick Or Treat Trials) went pretty quickly especially after Pirate Bride had taken so long.

Flo: There's still a ghost voice
Greg: Well there's supposed to be a ghost, it's a halloween song.

We were also able to mix "Neat Junk."

Friday April 24, 2009
- Flo recording background vocals for "Mount Katahdin"

Flo: Can I tap my foot?
Greg: Sure if you want it on the track .... You could take your shoe off
Flo: OK
Ed: Take your pants off too. that will help.

Greg: Are you ready?
Flo: Yeah
Greg: Just remember what Eddie said. You don't want to make him mad.

Greg: Just in time - click your toes together
Greg: What you should do is join a marching band over the summer
Ed: You can carry the drums
Greg: A uniform - Rich will like that you like feathers?

- Rich played the chime (bell - singing bowl) on "Mount Katahdin" ... well, Rich hit the chime and then Ed & Greg moved them on the track to where they sounded good.

Thurs. April 30,2009
- Flo recorded background vocals for "Dryada"

Greg: Are you ready?
Flo: Yeah
Greg: Do you want me to tell you a joke
Flo: No, I heard enough on the ride over.

Flo: That part repeats do you want me to redo it
Greg: Yes, If I have to suffer, then I want you to suffer along with me. I've given up on my christian philosophy. So you WILL do it again.
Flo: Okay
Greg: You're awful accepting of my change in philosophy.

Greg: If you died tonight we have one good enough, but seeing as how you're here, let's get a better one.

Thursday May 7, 2009

Some math whiz decided that 5/7/09 is Odd Day, one of 6 events in a century. It's where the month/day/year are consecutive odd numbers. (unless you use the European notation). I suspect fans of set theory can find other numerical anomalies to fill up the other 36 thousand plus days of the century.

Not that I can't relate to a fascination with insignificant numerical displays. I have a thing for digital clock numbers - Any that read the same right side up and upside down ... like 9:06 & 11:11

Flo explains what background vocals she'll be adding to "Neva Prepared"

Greg: Where does this start?

Flo: in the beginning

Ed roars

Greg records one through: Sounds pretty good, but I need to record the beginning again.

Ed:I'm not happy

Flo: Ed you can get rid of any of this you don't want.

Ed: Okay. You're done. Come on in. No, no - I'm just kidding.

Flo (sings): "A startled snake"

Greg: I've been taking new medication for reptile dysfunction

Ed to Greg: don't you love me?

Greg: That's one word for it

Rich & Flo add the shout outs on the tag at the end. Greg processes some of them to sound like they're coming through a telephone. He's been wanting to use this effect on other songs. Finally got his chance. Then he spent some time getting the bass on the D part to be more dominant. He tried a number of approaches. The Max Bass program did the trick.

Neva Prepared is the last of 8 songs. We'll take a short break from the songs before mastering, so we can hear them with fresh ears. In the meantime we'll be working on the graphics.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting There

Getting There:

A break down of a typical (for us) studio day ...
By Thursday morning, Rich's amp is downstairs ready to go in the minivan and Flo's bun-tar & Rich's bass are sitting upstairs in their cases.
Noon - Flo is having a smoothie for breakfast while Rich is eating lunch.
12:30 - Rich gives the buns a run around the yard. It's a beautiful sunny afternoon, near 70 degrees, but since it's too early in the season, there's very little shade and the buns spend most of their time looking for the shady spots.
1:30 - put together dinner, snacks, notes etc. for the studio & prepare bunny suppers (for Louise to give them @ 6:00ish) We won't take a break for supper. Rich eats while Flo is recording & Flo eats while Rich is recording.
2:30 - load equipment etc. in the min van. The length of the 2 bass cases are a perfect snug fit between the wheel wells. Wonder if this was a result of intelligent design? synchronicity?
2:45 - leave driveway. Flo has a small pot of soup perched on her lap, while Rich drives
3:00 - arrive @ Ed's. He's just back from driving his route. Grabs a few sandwiches and we head west.
4:10 arrive @ Derek studios ... Greg starts moving wires sets up amps & mics, boots up the Mac and the TagYerit hard drive and we're running the first song of the day by 4:45

Ed: "We're going to do the vocals first."
Flo: "I just want to warn you I'll be peeing a lot".
Greg: "Why's that?"
Flo: "I had a bowl of soup for lunch and a smoothy for breakfast"
Greg: "You've been drinking again"
Ed: "What's first?"
Flo: "Neva Prepared"
Ed sings " Momma neva prepared me for this - Why I have to stop the song to take a piss".

Greg, "Are you ready? We're gonna roll this. Are you scared?"

Greg: So we want to hear you feel the emotion
Ed: Flo you sounded like you were mumbling
Flo: Cause I missed the intro
Ed: And don't you forget it
Flo mimics strumming the guitar to help her find the right spot.

Greg: Okay, let's listen back
He plays back the track but turns a knob so that a chipmunk voice sings over it.

Flo coughs. Ed echoes her cough. Rich & Greg laugh
Flo: What did I miss?
Ed: Oh nothing
Rich: Ed's echoing your coughs. We're laughing at your expense
Ed: It'll cost you 50 cents to find out what we're really laughing at

Greg: Do that part again. It needs something else
Flo: like a 'p'
Greg: You goota pee?
Flo: No, I sang 'In the shi' of my relations' Came out sounding like 'shit' instead of 'ship'.

Greg goes off on a political rant. Then he says, "Enough about these small minded assholes. Never mind, I shouldn't be going on about myself"

Flo singing vocals for "Mount Katahdin"

Greg: What the F just happened?
Ed: What?
Greg: It stopped recording. Wait, let me see. Flo sing anything.
She does and it works fine this time. Greg turns to Ed, sitting 8 feet away from the board on the man-eating couch, "Eddy, don't touch these knobs."

Greg: That's your cue
Flo: Oh sorry
Greg: Those stories they told about drugs in high school? They were all true

Ed: I don't like the 'into'. Can you sing either 'in'' or 'to'?
Flo: No, I like it
After spending a few minutes discussing the relative merits of good vs. bad meter. Ed begrudgingly concedes, but comment, "I think we should add lots of 'intos' as a chorus it would be into-ative (sic)."

Flo: I think I need to hear that 'yeah'
Retakes the line
Greg: Did you like that 'yeah'?
Flo: Yeah

Flo working on vocals for "Neat Junk", a son about collecting funky stuff.

Greg: You have to give it more. Are you excited about your collection?
Flo: Yeah, but this part comes in quieter
Greg: Still have to have a reason to want to listen

Ed reflecting on the songs, "She should write a Broadway musical. I want to produce it."

Greg: You know what this song needs?
Rich: What?
Greg: What I was hearing is xylophone or marimba
Ed: That's nice. Keep hearing it

Flo singing "scuba gear"
Greg: Sing it again. I want it to make me want to get wet
Ed: Come over here. I'll get you wet

Flo: I need to do the end again
Greg: Are you ready?
Flo Yeah
Greg: Okay, now don't fuck it up

Ed: She has six songs sung. Rich records his bass on "Pirate Bride" & "Sylvie" while Flo gets a chance to rest & eat supper.

On Pirate Bride, Rich had trouble hitting the groove, Greg says, "Boy Rich gotta cut down on that fucking coffee."
Rich: I'm just trying to be artful

Flo: Did you get it alright?
Rich: Yeah, At least that's what they tell me.
Greg: Yeah, that's Rich - he even thinks Obama's all right.

Ed: Oh oh, it's kind of funny there - it's got that LSD kinda mindset
Greg: Not bad for a white boy

During a conversation about the number of projects that Ed has done with Greg, and that TagYerit's first CD was recorded analog on tape.
Flo: It was amazing to watch Greg cut tape. I even saved some of our project that was on the cutting room floor.
Ed: I used to watch him splice tape. He was the master. Greg - he used to do things with tape - I'm telling yah. You know, aside from the sexual things.

Flo records rhythm guitar track on "Sylvie".

Ed: Greg, give her another track. She's got another part and then we can quit if you want Flo
Flo: I'm alright
Ed: You look tired
Flo: No. I'm just trying too hard
Ed: That's an understatement

Ed (about the "Sylvie" lead guitar track): I'm excited. This is some of that old Floey

Greg: Some interesting shit there ... in an alternate universe with string theory.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Notes from Derek Studio Day 2 & 3

Notes from Derek Studio Day 2 & 3 (Thursdays March 19 & 26)

The Cast:
Rich (bass )
Flo (rhythm/lead & vocals)
Ed Vadas - Producer
The Couch
Greg Steele - Engineer
Locale - Derek Studios, Dalton MA

This is our 4th recording project @ Derek. Ed, (producer), & Greg (engineer) have a healthy push & pull, keeping a banter going, often trying to get a rise out of us, the hardworking musicians (i.e. Flo & Rich). More than once, Flo has asked them what they thought their wives would say, if they heard them. I should mention for those who don't know us well, that Flo can swear with the best of them. Still there are times when the goading has a purpose. for ex. If Flo is trying to sing an angry part, she might not get it right until they taunt her with something totally politically incorrect, and then she really does get pissed.

Jopey nailed all his drum track on Day 1, Saturday March 7, now on the 19th, Rich finished bass tracks for Accelerate, Beyond De Feet, & Dryada. Flo recorded vocals and guitars on Accelerate and guitar tracks on Dryada. And while Rich & Flo were doing all the "real" work, what were our esteemed producer and engineer up to? Here's some quotes ...

Ed (wondering what's holding up the works) "C'mon! We're on a limited budget & limited talent".
Ed, "Now where the f*ck did he go?"
Greg, (in the midst of hooking up mics & chords), "Hey, It takes a long time to make the magic happen"
Ed. "Listen Merlin, If you don't hurry it up, I'll stick a wand up your butt & that will really make some magic happen."
Greg, "Oh boy! Gee really? Thanks"

Greg: "That's the spot you're going to come in. No animals will get hurt."

Greg, "Play me a little bit, so I can hear what you're gonna do. Better yet don't" (and he heads out to take care of something else)

Greg to Flo, "Would you like to try another guitar for a different tone?"
Ed, "Give her a smelly Tele"
Flo who has to date recorded all TagYerit material on the Rabbit Guitar asks fretfully, "Will it make me sound like everybody else?"

Greg, "Tune that guitar again"
Flo, "(expletive deleted)

Greg, "I'm going to take a whole other track so I'll have some options."
Ed, "Moptions? Is that what you use to clean up problem areas?"

After hearing Flo's lead for "Dryada", Greg said, "Either she's crazy or she's a genius." Then he added, "Flo, I think what you should do is get a heroin habit
& smoke a lot of shit & it will really open you up."

Flo."I went to the wrong note."
Greg, "How can you tell?"

Day 3 March 26
Rich recorded the bass tracks for Mt. Katahdin, Neat Junk & Neva Prepared. Flo finished all known guitar parts & lead vocals on Beyond De Feet & Dryada. And she did the rhythm guitar on Neva Prepared.

Imagine a room about 15' square with one corner cut off. That corner becomes the diagonal wall that faces into the recording room with the help of a 2' h. x 4' wide window. The window worked well when the room was first built, but now as Greg sits at this station, he has to look around a large Mac monitor that blocks much of the view. The floor is carpeted except for the area where Greg sits on his desk chair. There he has a wooden parquet floor, which he slides across from side to side as he adjusts knobs & patch chords on some of the dozen pieces of equipment that blink & pulse and whir in perfect synch to the music. The finish on the floor is gone except for the corners which attests to Greg's constant tweaking.
The Mac screen shows a series of black sine waves across half a dozen gray horizontal roads. Flo's singing a new vocal track for Dryada. The new live track being recorded grows across a red roadway.

The song Dryada is about meeting a tree spirit (dryad) who is speaking in her native language. As Flo sings into the microphone "Ah da Keena Ah da keena wayah", Ed sits next to me on the couch singing his own spin (off microphone), "Ike & Tina, Ike & Tina Turner."

Ah yes, the couch. The back wall of the room facing the board has a most benign looking monster, posing as a couch. You must be very careful if you decide to sit there. This beast will do its best to ingest you. If Ed weren't such a big man, it would certainly have swallowed him whole. As things are, Ed must make a supreme effort to escape this sponge that pretends to be a cushion. I am not exaggerating that I watch Ed huff & puff for 5 minutes until he was red in the face before he was able to free himself from its gravitational pull and stand upright. For a moment I thought I was witnessing Ed have a heart attack. I'm just a skinny guy, so I do my best to sit gingerly on the edge. I don't doubt that more than one band has lost a drummer to its bottomless depths. For years, Flo has begged, threatened and tried to bribe Greg to ditch the couch. She can't remember EVER attempting to sit in it, since in her mind it reeks of boy cooties (lost drummers?).

(back to Dryada)
Greg, "We should do the Pink Floyd thing and have a bunch of children sing it."

Flo, "I've put a breath in there, like a breeze blowing through the trees. It's a girl thing."
Greg, "It's brilliant".
Ed (to Greg), "Can you hike the breath up about 8 dbs?
Flo, "Can you hike my breasts up too?"
Greg, "That'll be extra."

Flo, " I keep tripping over the word 'sensation'."
Greg, " Just sing it from the top and I'll plug it in & you'll never know what hit you."

Ed, " Great! what song's next?"
Rich, "Beyond De Feet"
Ed, "Oh, the ankle song".
explanation: the song's about how the music travels from a musicians hands to the dancer's feet.
"It's their insides going through their hands and coming out your feet". So we came to calling the song "Beyond De Feet".

Flo, "I want to redo the E part"
Greg, "Do you want moreroll time?"
Flo, "Yeah."
Ed, "Chicken shit."