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."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laughs. A great way to start my day. I particularly liked:

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?"