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Project: Commercially Viable recordings from band in Middle TN. "Heller's Blazing Star" (pigeonhole: Indie/Lofi Rock) Needed: 1 "Hit", 1 "Album Cut", 1 hit cover. MTSU STUDIOS, MURFREESBORO, TN producer: Drew Perkins

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

RECORDING SESSION 11/10 Report 

11/10 - St. B - "Hang the Moon" (2 takes), waltz time version of "Just Like Heaven" (definite keeper !)

4 Hour Session (was supposed to have been 8 hour session but we were forced out of first 4 hr block - it's a long story and it's since been resolved)

Jesse Newport tracked for us, and again, we lucked out when we got him !

We had no special preamps but izz okay - used the Hardy and Calrecs, as well as the Millenia and Origin. I had the drums set up in the vocal booth (the "dead" room), and had Dylan tune down his snare and apply extra dampening to the top head ( I was almost tempted to have him play on the snare side, but that's risking busting the head).
I wanted a much different sound for this one, and Jesse and I talked about using Decca tree, omni spaced pair, an XY stereo pair, and Mid-side. My original concept was to avoid having the every-drum-mic'd thing, except for a reinforcing kick and snare - but eventually I went with his ideas of a couple of small diaphragm cards on the toms. He put a TLM170 on the top head of the floor tom which surprised me - hey, if it works, it works, and high self-noise mic doesn't really matter here. He wanted to try the M147 tube on the kick, but we ended up putting it behind and above Dylan's head and smashing it with the Distressor.

I wanted the green bullet mic, which I've never had a chance to use, turned up and squashed flat, so Jesse placed it sort of pointing at the snare and getting some hat as well - we called the placement the "ghetto". Finally, a single omni TLM170 was a room mic about six feet in front of the kit, a D112 inside the kick, and your standard 57s on top and bottom snare.

Now, the Holland Amp was back from the shop and working (sans reverb)... and I wanted it to SCREAM...
The original concept was to have Chris singing in the piano alcove (very dead near space, but with some projection into the Big Room) - instead, I wanted the Holland amp tucked in the corner, and mic the big room for big natural reverb. I was thinking there was a way to route the guitar 1/4" into a direct box, XLR to a mic line, patch mic line to mic line back out to direct box to 1/4" and into the Holland amp in the other room. Well, no, dammit, that's just not possible. THEN Jesse pointed out the 1/4" jacks in the wall panels in the middle of the big room, so we moved the Holland amp to be facing the control room window and that worked beautifully.

Now, part 2 of my master genius plan was to get the grand piano, have the lid open (45 deg facing the amp so sound reflects directly onto the strings), and then put a weight on the damper pedal and mic the strings to get the sympathetic resonance. It worked ! We mic'd the strings with MKH140s. I close-mic'd the amp with two of Dylan's 57's - pointed perpendicular to speaker, next to each other and as close together as possible without touching, and one mic being the capsule-width behind the other, towards the speaker cone edge. This sounds REAL coo. And just for shits and giggles, put up two TLM 103s way up high as room mics. I'm telling you, that Holland amp turned all the way up to 12 (!) is BLISTERING ! With the studio doors closed, people STILL heard the amp very loud all the way across the hall in studio A ! I finally turned the amp down to 10, and it still crunched. Chris was thrilled about the guitar tone that resulted. I let him plug in a delay pedal, the one that I know does not carry as big a noise-floor penalty as his other pedals.

For his vocal, Chris had the SolidTube set up ad forehead height, upsidedown, with pop filter, and I swear to god it's the BEST his voice has ever sounded.

Here's the breakdown:
Kick - D112 -> Hardy pre
Snare Top - 57 -> Hardy -> Distressor
Snare Bottom - 57 -> console pre
Tom 1, Tom 2 -> MK 40 -> millenia pre
Tom 3 -> TLM170 (card) -> mill.
Dylan's Head -> M147 tube -> Hardy -> Distressor
Ghetto mic -> Green Bullet -> console pre -> dbx165
Mono omni room -> TLM170 -> mill
Guitar amp 1 (closest to speaker) -> 57 -> Calrec
Guitar amp 2 -> 57 -> Calrec
Piano string resonance 1 & 2 -> MKH 140 -> mill.
Guitar amp room 1 & 2 -> TLM103 -> mill.
Vocal -> AKG SolidTube -> Hardy -> plate reverb (not printed to tape)
Bass -> direct into Origin pre/compressor

I'd decided on the keeper take for New Orleans from the last session, so we were blowing over takes 1-4 on the tape (but keeping the Cure cover that the band really liked). We took Hang the moon twice, which turned out okay, but I'm not sure if they're keepers. Then we did a waltz-time version of Just Like heaven, which had been rehearsed like maybe 3 times that way - and it turned out very nice. I played it for Dan, and he dug the hell out of it, and I agree. Chris was hesitant, because he just feels the slower, languid pace was lacking life and energy - but honestly, the version that we tracked on Friday was really pretty darn close to the original Cure version, with the Dinosaur Jr. "YOU !" shouts, also - so it's best to be different and sound like Heller's Blazing Star.
So, with about 30 mins to go in the session and still feeling like we hadn't done the Rock Solid take of any song, we bounced around styles of JLH - we'd done a super fast punk version for fun in rehearsal, so the band just messed around on that - til Chris broke a string, which I should have foreseen, and that killed a few minutes and made the tuning a little wonky on the takes immediately following. We really only had time for one more take before striking at 10 til - and it was at this point that Jesse commented that it was really a shame we'd had our session cut in half by unfortunate circumstances to the effect that we'd just gotten our unique sound, a good board mix, a GREAT headphone mix that the whole band loved, and we were all feeling good vibes and very warmed up, and suddenly it's time to tear down and go home.
Well, tempus really fugits when you're Shakin the Foundation

Since the session, we've been blessed with a reprieve - an extra 8 hour session on Saturday Prime Time. so once again, THE MASTER SCHEDULE HAS BEEN REVISED.

This Friday's session will be used for overdubbing and pre-mixing.

Again, BIG UPS to Jesse Newport for fukkin comin' through and rockin' the thing. Jesse is like me in that when he's in the zone, he likes to work alone without keeping others posted on his work process - you give him a target sound, and he figures out how to do it, without having to be told which dial to turn. Both him and Rob really show their veterans' scars from lackeying in reallife studios - these are stripes I must MUST earn in my internship. Well, I mean, heck, I can run the Otari board and I know the producer's desk gear in B... but it's a matter of doing it QUICKLY and tweaking the right parameter and troubleshooting - as I say, Jesse and I have that in common, that we work better inside our own heads.
Another beautiful, good-vibe session. The Band is still feeling positive. OK, so good day, eh ? Take off you hoser.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

RECORDING SESSION 11/07 Report 

11/7 - St. A. - "New Orleans" (7 takes, take 6 keeper), "Hang the Moon" (2 takes), "Just Like Heaven" (2 takes, take 1 keeper)

Rob Cooper tracked for us. The Studer D950S console phantom power was NOT working, so we put the dynamic mics through the console and distributed the rest of the condensers to the 8 channels of the Millenia HV-3D and 1 x Origin(not that there's anything WRONG with that)... The plan was:

plan:
Neve 1272 - 103s (OH)
Tube Tech - bass, floortom or kick (421, 421, D112 with tunnel)
Groove Tube - Guitar (57 or 421)
Avalon - Snare top (Dylan's 57 OR small dia. condenser)
Coles - Room mics

But the actual distribution turned out to be:


MICS AND PRE'S USED:

Kick IN - Sennheiser 421
Kick Tunnel - Yamaha MZ405
Snare TOP - SM57 through Avalon Pre
Snare TOP - SM81, Millenia Pre
Snare BOTTOM - SM57, Console Pre
Floor Tom TOP - 57, Console
Floor Tom BOTTOM - 421, Mill.
OH - 103s, Mill., GML EQ with air boost
Drummer's head, center - Coles x 1, Origin pre
Crystal mic (for color, a Webster-Chicago from 1950s, about 6' in front of kit) - Millenia to dbx 160 squashed flat
Focus mics (ride, HH) - CMC 5/6, Mill.
Vocal - 58, Neve pre
Guitar Amp (Vox) CLOSE - 57, Neve
Guitar amp FAR - M147 tube, TubeTech pre
Bass - Direct to TubeTech
Groove Tube NOT USED b/c of noise issue


The session went beautifully, with about four hours of setup and adjustment and run-through, two hours of tracking, an hour for smoke breaks etc., and an hour for tear down with time to spare. We filled up the tape with 7 takes of New Orleans, two takes of Hang the Moon, and one take of Just Like Heaven. A rough board mix was burnt to CD. Rob was great and so was Joel. The whole band had fun, expecially after about 30 mins of playing when Chris felt really warmed up. Dylan said he felt like he was completely in his environment, and was very relaxed and psyched, and got in a lot of killer licks. The band ran through several takes at a stretch, back to back, and the session mood (after the usual initial cares and woes during setup) was very positive and fun. Again, it couldn't have been possible if not for Rob Cooper - he enjoys recording as much as I do. ROB - YOU ARE DA MAN

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Revised 

The Production Schedule has been revised. THANKS ROB !

The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and Camper Van Beethoven's "Take the Skinheads Bowling" are out. Yes, indeed, once again another cover is chosen - The Cure's "Just Like Heaven".

Why yet ANOTHER cover ? Because the band never even attempted to play the other two songs, just having a very casual attitude about playing a three chord song (in the case of the CVB song, anyway). In fact, the band does not play covers, ever, EVER... Til one rehearsal I was at, they started playing the Cure song. Well, dammit, had I known, we would've been set to do the Cure the whole time, cause it like makes me look bad. Ah, well, who cares, rock and roll is dead, anyway. win;)k lol rofl ha ha and anyhoo.


"Just Like Heaven", by the Cure, on their 1987 Elektra/Asylum release "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me"
[can't find copyright information for the song yet, so assume w&m by The Cure or R. Smith]

"Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream" she said
"The one that makes me laugh" she said
And threw her arms around my neck
"Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you"

Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
"Why are you so far away?" she said
"Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you
That I'm in love with you"

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You're just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You


Thursday, October 23, 2003

MIC PRE SHOOTOUT, with Doug Mitchell - an AES MTSU meeting, 10/22/03 


BEST JOKE OVERHEARD AT MEETING: Q: What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend ? A: Homeless

NOTE: THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS, AND I AM BUT AN EGG. Notes are verbatim from my notebook.

Sound sources:
........1. Acoustic guitar, fingerpicked, mic'd with Sennheiser KM840
........2. Female vocal, country ballad style, mic'd with Neumann M147 Tube
........3. Snare drum, Shure SM57

Mic Pre's used, no other options or effects or "impedance matching" (on Focusrite):
........a. Aphex 207 Tube
........b. Focusrite Twintrack Pro
........c. Neve "1272"
........d. Studer D19 MicVALVE A/D converter
........e. Avalon SV737
........f. TubeTech CL 2A
........g. Millenia HV-3D

RESULTS:
____________________________________
1. Acoustic Guitar:
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - ? frame of reference
........ b. Focusrite - Brighter, faster action, slight futz at the top ?
........ c. Neve - much more gain after attack, higher RMS perceived, bright
........ d. Studer - gain-y, tube-glassy, smears a little
........ e. Avalon - nice highs, clear seperated tone
........ f. TubeTech - Active mid-hi's, not too squashed when loud, not too airy
........ g. Millenia - Flat, blah, still not much gain

--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - slow, makes it sound like nylon string guitar
........ b. Focusrite - fast, bronzey
........ c. Neve - nicer as it gets louder
........ d. Studer - slightly shaded, "darker" glassy
........ e. Avalon - much string noise (squeaks), most bright string sound
........ f. TubeTech - flatter, more voice than attack
........ g. Millenia - clear, flat, but boring

____________________________________
2. Female Vocal
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - kinda slow and dark
........ b. Focusrite - "sshh" lisp on the esses ? excellent clarity and not too bright, allows more gain
........ c. Neve - warm, less gain on voice
........ d. Studer - stronger mids and low-mids, better for a warm male voice
........ e. Avalon - squashy, sounds like singer is "right next to me", breathing and mouth saliva noise accentuated
........ f. TubeTech - silky, not attack-y, VERY nice (wish this unit had a fine gain !)
........ g. Millenia - *shrug*


--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - there is a slight HUM noise in this unit
........ b. Focusrite - silvery, shiny, hyped hi's, high formants accentuated
........ c. Neve - clear, defined, super nice. MY FAVORITE !
........ d. Studer - warm, masculine
........ e. Avalon - mid-presence rage, maybe a little sterile
........ f. TubeTech - VERY VERY good ALSO MY FAVORITE !
........ g. Millenia - noisy by comparison


____________________________________
2. Snare
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - dark, not very fast
........ b. Focusrite - "snare"-y, hi-end is clear & fast. AWESOME snap
........ c. Neve - short sustain, more tonal than snarey
........ d. Studer - darkish, woody
........ e. Avalon - sounds like marching snare, more shell sound & tone. Good
........ f. TubeTech - Unexciting
........ g. Millenia - just OK


--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - too dark
........ b. Focusrite - not as cracky on attack, hi-end kinda a little hyped
........ c. Neve - tighter, short tone, very good
........ d. Studer - the most "snare-y" (not like 1st impression)
........ e. Avalon - bright crack attack, NICE
........ f. TubeTech - hiss, *yawn*
........ g. Millenia - must be accurate but who cares ?



THERE YOU GO !

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

We have made great progress in rehearsal.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

PREPRODUCTION: SCHEDULE AND CREATIVE PLAN (revised 11/12/03)  


Songs: "New Orleans"
"Hang the Moon"
(orig. songs © 2003 Hellers Blazing Star. All Rights Reserved.)
"Just Like Heaven"
( © 1986 The Cure. All Rights Reserved.)

Team members
.....Chris Cullum - songwriter, singer, guitarist
..... Rob Cooper, Jesse Newport - 1st engineers
..... Dylan Ballance - drums
..... Andy Specialguestar - bass
..... Joel Siegenthaler, Chris Cullum - 2nd engineer

_______________________________

Song: New Orleans

New Orleans will start out with the musical hook right off, guitar only for the first bar (w/ two pickup beats at the top), then with a double-snare-hit pickup beat, the bass and drums kick in on the second bar. The musical hook is repeated 4 bars, then the first verse kicks in. The verses come in triads, and in its original form the song connected 4 of those for one cluster of four repetitions of the figure - what I had done was to have broken them up in halves, and broken the figures of the "oo" chorus in halves, too, and shuffled them. I thought this would give the song more bounce, more body, and more shine, and make it smell, gee, more terrific.

If you're going to New Orleans,
It's pretty humid down there
Don't forget to write me,
While you're staying in New Orleans
Be sure and check out Magazine
It's totally a scene !
Oooo - ooo ooo oo !
X 2

V 2 : All the real cool markets...
Etc.
(The singer's melodic line puts two eighth notes as the pickup for the 2nd verse - Dropping the syllables "all the" will correct this. )

Well, we tried it, and it didn't work. So we undid the split.

The chorus, the "oo"s, are marked with a different feel, a rather traditional indie-rock sort of beat. The verse's guitar chops will be crisp, not muted but definitely with plenty of space between chops - contrasted with the verses, where the electric guitar strings will be allowed to ring. The drums switch from closed hi-hat to ride cymbal keeping time, and the bass has a much busier figure without rests. These will all distinguish the chorus from verse.

To distinguish 2nd chorus from the 1st, just before the 2nd chorus, the last chord will go from a 4 to a 4min, with the vocal complementing with a minor third instead of a major. This minor chord will be hit on the one, and allowed to ring out, before a snare pickup brings us to the top of the 2nd chorus.

The bridge will be marked by a dropout of the drums and very low pitched, low key vocals, followed by a buildup, then a syncopated minor key instrumental section before a turnaround back to the musical hook. Then, either right back into full instrumentation of musical hook OR guitar 1st bar, all come in later like at the top of the song. I kind of like the idea of repeating the top. The second set of verses will be a whole 4x repetition of the triads, as in the original form, not split up. Then the "oo" chorus, again, 4x, will lead us to the outro. The bass stays on a high fifth, while the drum beats get more insistent. The song ends as the whole band hit's the 1st note at the top of the 8th measure and lets it ring.

The guitars of New Orleans are only slightly crunchy and sweet. Stacked (more than one kind of guitar, more than one kind of amp, plugged directly into the Studer analog machine with a groove tube or Avalon preamp. We will record with the Holland amp in B as well as the vox combo as well as a borrowed head/cabinet. We‘re not going for super distorted, and not super-wide chorus-y, just substantial. The snare will be either the piccolo or the regular snare with the top mute partly off (for more top head ring tone) (this will be a sonic hook). For simplicity's sake, and to get a different feel, I'm going to ask Dylan to only bring one tom - the floor - for this song, as well as one dark crash to complement the ride. The bass will be very integral to the main musical hook. The vocal, well, we‘re gonna try the AKG tube mic, from a reasonable distance, and then a 58 for the "oos", and comp like 4 takes. I really want to comp for Chris's vocal. He will most definitely be playing a guitar while singing, though it may be muted or not even plugged in, just to get the push and pull of his moving right arm on his diaphragm to sound like a natural playing/singing track. Now, as for effecting his vocal, I've been considering mic'ing a cab in a Big Room and feeing his vocal thru that, to get a PA kind of sound. I dunno why this sounds like a neat idea to me.

This song will be tracked in A, live, 11/7 in the big room - the bass probably direct. And then more guitars will be tracked that night. The session on the 14th-15th will be another opportunity for more guitar stacking and some backing and main vocals.

Joel's trumpet MIGHT be tracked in C IF it calls for it.

The general direction and sound of this song is a "summer driving" kind of feel. That happy-go-lucky college rock-y kind of feel, that's probably about 1988. But the song will not be Home of the Big 80's Snare, or chorused guitars, or heavy plate reverb on things - it'll be a simple, clean mix, though mixed with some well-recorded clean guitar sounds. The artist's signature sound, in this particular song, rests in there being repeating figures based on 3 instead of 2, in both verse and chorus. The main musical riff, though, is catchy because of the interaction of bass and guitar, and based on 4/4, and a pretty simple riff. The wordplay and repetition of certain phrases which can be construed as "ironic" are being highlighted. Chris understands that I want a lot from his vocal, and is going to let me guide him to giving an awesome performance - in forcing him to just sound like himself, and not try to sound like (or wish he could sing like) anyone else.

The song is awreddy shonuff radio friendly, and, well, just real super friendly, the kind of song that would welcome you to the neighborhood with a plate of brownies. The song's musical riff isn't all in the guitar, so I don't think an acoustic solo version would stand on its own, given the repetition and brief melodic phrases - which is to say, I believe the song will be half-production, half-song driven.

There may an trumpet line at the end, I say - and there may be a spooky sound effect at the minor chord on "Don't go in the alleys !" (I.e. the piano's sustinato pedal being depressed very quickly, carefully mic'd, and all notes on the piano sound and die off, it's cool, maybe something like that) could possibly be considered a text painting sound.

This song will be poifect.


_______________________________

Song: "Hang the Moon


This song will start out at the very top of the first verse, the first word of which is "Hey" with a close-mic'd, painfully high-fidelity (complete with string-sweep noises and shifting-in-the-chair) classical guitar (or otherwise unusual sounding guitar, like a jazz guitar or one of those tiny acoustics). The drums will be there from the top, but hitting a light, airy-feeling rimshot beat, just tapping the edge of the ride. The 2nd rimshot of each measure lands half-a-beat in front of the 3, jumping the gun like a kinduva bossanova-va. A shaker or cuicua (or homemade equivalent out of a coffee can or something) and an orchestral triangle will give a slight Brazilian tinge. The vocal for the first lines is whisper-sung, low-volume, so it will have to be compressed and warm and phat, I think using a relatively small-diaphragm condenser for extra proximity effect warmth.

The bass will have a hollow-body Hohner kind, picked, with flat wound jazz strings, that sort of thing - you know, or a reasonable facsimile. The snare is going to be 70s flat, kind of toneless, very splat, sort of distorted, powerful and punchy, the whole (full set) drum kit kind of compressed sounding. This song will be recorded first live in B on Nov. 10th, with the drums in the "dead" room (usually used for vocals), and scratch guitar vocals, and bass. The toms should sound phat and well-tuned for this one especially !



_______________________________

________________
SCHEDULE:


Preproduction - rehearsals are happening right now, we've done a microphone shootout on Chris's voice, and messed with the Holland amp. Rehearsals are being taped on MiniDisc, and edited down. The resulting files are being put up as mp3s on the webpage for everyone to hear.



SESSIONS STILL UNBOOKED:
Here are the open session hours available as of 9/08/03 11:30 pm means midnight

Subject Start Date Start Time End Date End Time
A 8 hrs 9/26/2003 4:00:00 PM 9/26/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 hrs 9/29/2003 4:00:00 PM 9/29/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/1/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/1/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/9/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/9/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/11/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/11/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 12 Hrs 10/12/2003 8:00:00 PM 10/12/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 12 Hrs 10/13/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/13/2003 8:30:00 AM
B 8 Hrs 10/13/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/13/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 16 Hrs 10/14/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/14/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/18/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/18/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/19/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/19/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/19/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/19/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/21/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/21/2003 8:00:00 AM
C 4 Hrs 10/23/2003 12:00:00 PM 10/23/2003 4:00:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/27/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/27/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 8 Hrs 10/30/2003 4:00:00 AM 10/30/2003 12:00:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 11/1/2003 4:00:00 AM 11/1/2003 12:00:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/11/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/11/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8Hrs 11/12/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/12/2003 11:30:00 PM
B 4 hrs 11/14/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/14/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/19/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/19/2003 11:30:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/26/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/26/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/27/2003 12:00:00 PM 11/27/2003 4:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/30/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/30/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/30/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/30/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 12/1/2003 4:00:00 PM 12/1/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 8 Hrs 12/1/2003 4:00:00 PM 12/1/2003 11:30:00 PM


In the project allocation I have these hours left:
A : 0 hrs left
B : 8 morning hours left
C : 4 evening, 4 morning hours left
post : 4 evening, 8 morning hours left
Mastering lab: will get permission to book soon

We are all going to have fun and get very drunk when its all over.

SCHEDULE AND CREATIVE PLAN  


Band: Heller's Blazing Star

Songs: "New Orleans"
"Hey Did You Know ?"
(orig. songs © 2003 Hellers Blazing Star. All Rights Reserved.
"Wild Horses"
©1966 Mick Jagger/Keith Richards (Warner/Tamerlane)

Team members, in no particular order:
.....Chris Cullum - songwriter, singer, guitarist
.....Brad Hebert - 1st engingeer
.....Jesse Newport - 1st engineer
..... Joel Ziegenmeier - trumpet
.....Dylan Ballance - drums
..... Andy Specialguestar - bass, keys
.....Kris Kullum, Geoel Siegenmeier - 2nd engineers

More are being recruited
_______________________________

Song: New Orleans

New Orleans will start out with the musical hook right off, guitar only for the first bar (w/ two pickup beats at the top), then with a double-snare-hit pickup beat, the bass and drums kick in on the second bar. The musical hook is repeated 4 bars, then the first verse kicks in. The verses come in triads, and in its original form the song connected 4 of those for one cluster of four repetitions of the figure - what I've done is broken them up in halves, and broken the figures of the "oo" chorus in halves, too, and shuffled them. This gives the song more bounce, more body, and more shine, and makes it smell, gee, more terrific.

If you're going to New Orleans,
It's pretty humid down there
Don't forget to write me,
While you're staying in New Orleans
Be sure and check out Magazine
It's totally a scene !
Oooo - ooo ooo oo !
X 2

V 2 : All the real cool markets...
Etc.
(The singer's melodic line puts two eighth notes as the pickup for the 2nd verse - Dropping the syllables "all the" will correct this. )

The chorus, the "oo"s, are marked with a different feel, a rather traditional indie-rock sort of beat. The verse's guitar chops will be crisp, not muted but definitely with plenty of space between chops - contrasted with the verses, where the electric guitar strings will be allowed to ring. The drums switch from closed hi-hat to ride cymbal keeping time, and the bass has a much busier figure without rests. These will all distinguish the chorus from verse.

To distinguish 2nd chorus from the 1st, just before the 2nd chorus, the last chord will go from a 4 to a 4min, with the vocal complementing with a minor third instead of a major. This minor chord will be hit on the one, and allowed to ring out, before a snare pickup brings us to the top of the 2nd chorus.

The bridge will be marked by a dropout of the drums and very low pitched, low key vocals, followed by a buildup, then a syncopated minor key instrumental section before a turnaround back to the musical hook. Then, either right back into full instrumentation of musical hook OR guitar 1st bar, all come in later like at the top of the song. I kind of like the idea of repeating the top. The second set of verses will be a whole 4x repetition of the triads, as in the original form, not split up. Then the "oo" chorus, again, 4x, will lead us to the outro. The bass stays on a high fifth, while the drum beats get more insistent. The song ends as the whole band hit's the 1st note at the top of the 8th measure and lets it ring.

The guitars of New Orleans are only slightly crunchy and sweet. Stacked (more than one kind of guitar, more than one kind of amp, plugged directly into the Studer analog machine with a groove tube or Avalon preamp. We will record with the Holland amp in B as well as the vox combo as well as a borrowed head/cabinet. We‘re not going for super distorted, and not super-wide chorus-y, just substantial. The snare will be either the piccolo or the regular snare with the top mute partly off (for more top head ring tone) (this will be a sonic hook). For simplicity's sake, and to get a different feel, I'm going to ask Dylan to only bring one tom - the floor - for this song, as well as one dark crash to complement the ride. The bass will be very integral to the main musical hook. The vocal, well, we're gonna try the AKG tube mic, from a reasonable distance, and then a 58 for the "oos", and comp like 4 takes. I really want to comp for Chris's vocal. He will most definitely be playing a guitar while singing, though it may be muted or not even plugged in, just to get the push and pull of his moving right arm on his diaphragm to sound like a natural playing/singing track. Now, as for effecting his vocal, I've been considering mic'ing a cab in a Big Room and feeing his vocal thru that, to get a PA kind of sound. I dunno why this sounds like a neat idea to me.

This song will be tracked in A, live, 11/7 in the big room - the bass probably direct. And then more guitars will be tracked that night. The session on the 14th-15th, with the groove tube pre, will be another opportunity for more guitar stacking and some backing and main vocals.

Now, if an oboe player happens along , there'll be a part for it at the end. This will be tracked in C.

The general direction and sound of this song is a "summer driving" kind of feel. That happy-go-lucky college rock-y kind of feel, that's probably about 1988. But the song will not be Home of the Big 80's Snare, or chorused guitars, or heavy plate reverb on things - it'll be a simple, clean mix, though mixed with some well-recorded clean guitar sounds. The artist's signature sound, in this particular song, rests in there being repeating figures based on 3 instead of 2, in both verse and chorus. The main musical riff, though, is catchy because of the interaction of bass and guitar, and based on 4/4, and a pretty simple riff. The wordplay and repetition of certain phrases which can be construed as "ironic" are being highlighted. Chris understands that I want a lot from his vocal, and is going to let me guide him to giving an awesome performance - in forcing him to just sound like himself, and not try to sound like (or wish he could sing like) anyone else.

The song is awreddy shonuff radio friendly, and, well, just real super friendly, the kind of song that would welcome you to the neighborhood with a plate of brownies. The song's musical riff isn't all in the guitar, so I don't think an acoustic solo version would stand on its own, given the repetition and brief melodic phrases - which is to say, I believe the song will be half-production, half-song driven.

There may an oboe line at the end, I say - and there may be a spooky sound effect at the minor chord on "Don't go in the alleys !" (I.e. the piano's sustinato pedal being depressed very quickly, carefully mic'd, and all notes on the piano sound and die off, it's cool, maybe something like that) could possibly be considered a text painting sound.

This song will be poifect.


_______________________________

Song: "Hey Did You Know ?"


This song will start out at the very top of the first verse, the first word of which is "Hey" with a close-mic'd, painfully high-fidelity (complete with string-sweep noises and shifting-in-the-chair) classical guitar (or otherwise unusual sounding guitar, like a jazz guitar or one of those tiny acoustics). The drums will be there from the top, but hitting a light, airy-feeling rimshot beat, just tapping the edge of the ride. The 2nd rimshot of each measure lands half-a-beat in front of the 3, jumping the gun like a kinduva bossanova-va. A shaker or cuicua (or homemade equivalent out of a coffee can or something) and an orchestral triangle will give a slight Brazilian tinge. The vocal for the first lines is whisper-sung, low-volume, so it will have to be compressed and warm and phat, I think using a relatively small-diaphragm condenser for extra proximity effect warmth.

The bass will have a hollow-body Hohner kind, picked, with flat wound jazz strings, that sort of thing - you know, or a reasonable facsimile. The snare is going to be 70s flat, kind of toneless, very splat, sort of distorted, powerful and punchy, the whole (full set) drum kit kind of compressed sounding. This song will be recorded first live in B on Nov. 10th, with the drums in the "dead" room (usually used for vocals), and scratch guitar vocals, and bass. The toms should sound phat and well-tuned for this one especially !

This song will have glockenspiel, trumpet, trombone, and possibly other instruments as they come available - and I'll be scoring them - and we'll rehearse - and we'll see how they turn out. More rehearsal is needed on this song, for sure.

_______________________________

Song: "Wild Horses"

The band still hasn't played this song yet. Chris doesn't know it yet, but the song is, as Chris contends, quite simple and is very confident he can "learn to play it in a couple of days".

Click here for a list of every artist that I could find that covered Wild Horses.



________________
SCHEDULE:


Preproduction - rehearsals are happening right now, we've done a microphone shootout on Chris's voice, and messed with the Holland amp. A firewire drive AND analog tape is being bought. Rehearsals are being taped on MiniDisc, and edited down. The resulting files are being put up as mp3s on the webpage for everyone to hear.



SESSIONS STILL UNBOOKED:
Here are the open session hours available as of 9/08/03 . 11:30 pm means midnight

Subject Start Date Start Time End Date End Time
A 8 hrs 9/26/2003 4:00:00 PM 9/26/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 hrs 9/29/2003 4:00:00 PM 9/29/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/1/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/1/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/9/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/9/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/11/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/11/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 12 Hrs 10/12/2003 8:00:00 PM 10/12/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 12 Hrs 10/13/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/13/2003 8:30:00 AM
B 8 Hrs 10/13/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/13/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 16 Hrs 10/14/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/14/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/18/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/18/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/19/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/19/2003 8:00:00 AM
A 8 Hrs 10/19/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/19/2003 11:30:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/21/2003 12:00:00 AM 10/21/2003 8:00:00 AM
C 4 Hrs 10/23/2003 12:00:00 PM 10/23/2003 4:00:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 10/27/2003 4:00:00 PM 10/27/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 8 Hrs 10/30/2003 4:00:00 AM 10/30/2003 12:00:00 PM
A 8 Hrs 11/1/2003 4:00:00 AM 11/1/2003 12:00:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/11/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/11/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8Hrs 11/12/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/12/2003 11:30:00 PM
B 4 hrs 11/14/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/14/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/19/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/19/2003 11:30:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/26/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/26/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/27/2003 12:00:00 PM 11/27/2003 4:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 11/30/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/30/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 4 Hrs 11/30/2003 4:00:00 PM 11/30/2003 8:00:00 PM
B 8 Hrs 12/1/2003 4:00:00 PM 12/1/2003 11:30:00 PM
C 8 Hrs 12/1/2003 4:00:00 PM 12/1/2003 11:30:00 PM


In the project allocation I have these hours left:
A : 0 hrs left
B : 8 morning hours left
C : 4 evening, 4 morning hours left
post : 4 evening, 8 morning hours left
Mastering lab: will get permission to book soon

We are all going to have fun and get very drunk when its all over.

The only logistical consideration will be the outside musicians and their rehearsal, when they become available.


So Why This Project ? Who's The Target Market Audience ? 


Project: “Heller’s Blazing Star”
Target radio audience:
College Radio listened to by those think-they’re-so-smart college-rock punks who refuse to acknowledge that College Rock is Dead, and they’re Out of Touch, and we Hate them, and all their lo-fi out-of-tune crap, it’s all about the Nu-Metal Breakbeats fusion and bigger-than-life stilt-puppet theater, and S&M Tupperware demos, and Eurotrash hobo snobs ridin‘ the rails, and teens and their mop & bucket parties, and what ChiChi Rodriguez is thinking about this morning, and being “hirsuitically correct”, and trying to not fall in any cats of chocolate and having to yell “Fire !” to get someone to pull you out, and not to put too fine a point on it, rock is just dead, kiss goodbye, gotta go.
Kidding ! Just kidding, we’re reinventing the wheel, here.

LYRICS TO TWO SONGS: 

Please note: There seemed to have been confusion when I presented these lyrics to the other fellas in the class - I just gleaned these off a demo recording - these aren’t Chris’s exact words. It’s a rather lofi recording, there was no PA, plus he keeps changing the words alla time. It was funny, how some of the lines that I wrote in homynymages (or whatever you wanna call em) to stand for the phonetic sounds I could make out, “dah dah dah damage” and “possum thoughts popping pens” and all that, THOSE were the lyrics that Dan and the guys were analyzing in terms of meaning, rythym, sound, alliteration, and in terms of context. I tried over and over to explain, “No, wait, you don’t understand, those aren’t actually Chris’s lyrics, they make a lot more sense, this was just me filling up space…” I think I’ve learned a lesson about trying to transcribe lyrics from bad recordings from the OZ Willis sessions. And the titles are working titles. Subtitles and possible subtitles are parenthathithed.

_____________________

Birthday Cakes
(Pink Plastic Bunnies and Other Assorted Gifts / Birthday Cakes are Never Really Appreciated)
© 2003 by Heller’s Blazing Star. All Rights Reserved.

Stayed up for hours with the pots and the pans
By the stitching on the wall that read “God Bless Our Pad”
The Pokemon belch seemed almost disappointed
It’s a poster to a movie that I haven’t seen
It’s the jokes your mom told me made me really uncomfortable
It’s the cake that you made that I left in my car
That turned out to be and it was so disappointed

My dog, yes, she is an atheist
And all she believes is Outside and Trees
And the frost in the ground that was cold to her feet.
And my dog has the Universe figured out
That the stars could care less about the difference between
The lives that are real and the lives on TV

Everyone’s talking amounts to just random noise
And I can’t understand a single damn word that they say
And it doesn’t make sense no it doesn’t make sense no it,
It doesn’t matter anyway…

Been stuck on this train for four days, it’s alright.
And I haven’t got high in a month, it’s alright,
And my conversation skills can be shit, it’s alright
And the conservation of my friends, what is that ?
It’s a great deal of effort some times,
It’s a great deal of effort some times.

And I finally got out of that tomato with sticks
But two Taurus conception my logic’s the same
And I don’t sleep, watching some Spanish the same,
And I still don’t know anything at all.

And we’re better off knowing that we don’t know ourselves
And we’re better off knowing that we don’t know ourselves
And we’re better off knowing that we don’t know ourselves
And we’re better off knowing that we don’t know
_________________________

New Orleans
(If You’re Going to New Orleans)
(Going to New Orleans)
(Humid Down There)
(Don’t Go In The Alleys !)
© 2003 by Heller’s Blazing Star. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re going to New Orleans,
It’s pretty humid down there.
Don’t forget to write me,
while you’re staying in New Orleans,
Be sure to check out Magazine,
It’s totally a scene !
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.

All the real cool markets in
fin foyt cabbage we‘re so dinged up
we dah dah damage from the work
If you’re hanging out in downtown,
That’s plus we meep meep meep to know
Don’t go in the alleys !

Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.

If you’re going to New Orleans,
It’s pretty humid down there.
Don’t forget to write me,
while you’re staying in New Orleans,
Be sure to check out that museum
It’s totally a scene,
All the real cool markets in
fin foyt cabbage we‘re so dinged up
we dah dah damage from the work
If you’re hanging out in Uptown
The possum thoughts are popping pens
It’s totally a Scene !

Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.
Ooo ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.

“I can totall-…”


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Earth and Moon Viewer 

Take a step outside the planet
Turn around and around
Take a look at what you are
It's pretty scary

Monday, September 15, 2003

This is the flyer going up around the music building.  

The consideration now is whether to drop "Birthday Cake" and go with this new tune...
It's tempting. Of course, tonight is when I'd have the opportunity to rewrite the preproduction plan schedule etc.

Jesse's enthusiastic about the project.

I'm shopping for a firewire drive.

The group had a Talk last night - with everything Worked Out, we proceeded to play a lot of neato. Gonna edit it down, see if we can't pull some tunes out of it.
Putting up flyers inna music building.

K ? Buhbye

Sunday, September 14, 2003

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE - Please see updated Schedule 

Here's the rundown for the sessions:



More details on WHO is needed WHEN coming up...
A Calendar is up at Tripod, with a live link just there on the right side of the page... This calendar has all of the recording session dates and times - if you have any additions, please make them directly to the calendar ! (ones pertinent to recording projects, that is...)

Brad Hebert will not be at the tracking sessions on November 7th and 10th... If Jesse Newport is unable to make these, we will find another tracking engineer.

At reahearsal tonight, will be working on all 3 songs, including broaching "Wild Horses" for the first time.

Joel and his magical trumpet will be featured on some post sessions.

Still no word on the lost media. Since there's a DTRS machine in each room, I've been considering doing overdubs to that, and mixing them at home. Will need consultation on this. I still need a monitor amp - I may go ahead and order the cheapo Samson instead of the slightly-less-cheapo Alesis 300. Why ? Cause it's 1U high and has a headphone jack (which all amps should have !). So the Total Harmonic Distortion is atrocious, I won't even be having the volume up that high ! _drew

Saturday, September 13, 2003

So yeah n stuff. I was sitting down to type this entry when the Landlordlady came by. It was... bad timing, for more reasons than one. It always is, when s/he visits. She and the plumber are fixing the sink, so that'll be good.

So last night, after I wrote the last entry, I met Chris at the studio and we did a microphone shootout for far range mic'ing and close range mic'ing. We were in Studio B, and I used the Otari 54 console's crappy preamps just for comparison. It was a good thing we did, because it highlighted the areas in which I need to brush up, and there are a few. Yeah. Quite a few. Even more than a few.
These are mostly like "time to re-read the manuals again", or more like "time to somewhat pick through certain sections of certain manuals", or OK, actually, just like "time to READ the manuals."
I kid, I'm a kidder. But theriouthly, I'm not worried about most of this stuff, DASH format least of ALL - but there are some options as far as mic selection and new nice preamps in the producer's desk that have been installed since I recorded in there... so that'll be neato.

The DASH machine was not wanting to track to my old tape - and the DASH machine blinked "NO MASTER CODE / NO SLAVE CODE", which I think sounds like a good precept to live by, but otherwise I don't understand why the machine wouldn't be reading the RT track if it was picking up the TC track just fine (the timecode corresponded to the take sheet's markers)... Well, hell, I just needed some sort of usable benchmark to compare Chris's voice on diff'rint mics, and the DASH was only 16-44.1 anyway, and it's one less step of D/A conversion just going direct to CD, so there, so... so I did, so there.

He played his Mustang geetard through the Holland amp, and oh my goodness, that amp is sweet. We used no pedals, and not even enough gain to make it crunchy. The large diaphragm condensers were the AT4033, the AKG tube (I think C-1000 ?), and my Behringer B-2. The dynamics were that beat up SM58 (what's it take to kill those things ?) and a 421... Well, I'd never heard anyone give an opinion of 421 as a vocal mic, though it has a vocal setting for mounting on lecterns, etc. Of course, I was sure to check the switches on all mics, but what I thought was a two-position attenuator on the front of the tube mic preamp (and thus didn't give it a second glance) was, in fact, a hipass filter and was, in fact, ON when we started testing, but caught very soon.

As for the Holland, I close mic'd with a 57, pointed at the bottom left of the cab, and far mic'd with a TLM170, about 3 feet away. Behind the condenser mic was the 5' high baffle, and Chris stood in front of that, and sang about 4' from the mics I was testing. The far mics got plenty of indirect guitar amp in St. B's Big Room.

Chris sang a section of the Birthday Cake song that goes from fairly quiet to very intense and we ran through each mic, recording to a different track on the CD. Then we switched to him singing direct into the SM58 and 421, and then 421 with popscreen. Several things I can tell without having to re-audition the CD-Rs: The onboard preamps aren't very good at all (not a surprise, but that's okay, that wasn't the point in the experiment), a console just having quickie channel conpressors is sorely missed when lacking, ... and I've got to find out how to get stuff to the DA-98 DTRS machine in B - this may be something I can use to port tracks around and assemble at home without having to buy a Firewire drive this semester. I haven't auditioned the CD's yet, because of what happened later. Well, it's like this:

We finished up and went to the rehearsal space (stopping by my house to watch the "Brak Street" episode). At the storage unit, we met the bass player for the first time, the one that everyone's been talking about. I told him we'd run through the songs, just to give him an idea of what I came up for them...

Well, the band could only muster listless versions of the songs, until the end, where we played half-decent finally... Joel played along but I am just not dealing with his part just yet. One problem we had was, I was wanting to give directions for trying out some things on the songs in preparation for recording - "Say, Dylan, I'd like you to try punching the beats on the first bar, kik-snr-kik, kik-snr-kik, and then into the straight beat on the second with a little fill on the pickup, and we'll punch those beats, too..."

This was too much for Dylan right off the bat, I think - not that what I was describing was too difficult at all, but that I would be directing his playing, which is something he and I have discussed at length and marveled at the gall of a would-be produer coming to OUR rehearsal telling the drummer how to drum. He's my friend, he's my buddy, he's my pal, he's the drummer of the group I've been playing in, yet, on this project I need him to do certain things because I said so. I think this will be as easy for him as it would be for me (Not Very) - we be anti-authority, particularly as regards myoozeck.
I must earn their trust. I might have to resort to drugging their food.

I was compelled to come back to my place, just on the other side of Broad, you know, so I did. On my way out the driveway I hit that dang ol tree stump that just sets there stickin up like 1/2 a feets. So my brand new right front tarr I'ne just got from Bud goes PAOW-ssssssssssss! like inna cartoons. So, back to the rolling donut...

And it ain't til an 'ar and a half til my buddies call up and say "Hey, man, whatcher 20 ?" and I'm all like, "Hey, man, I'm immobile !" and they're all like "Hey, man, you wanna lift, getcher piano and pick ya up ?" and I'm like, "Well, hey, man, yall are cool ? yeah, I mean, know whut?, nah, I'm just gonna cheeyuhl here and I ordered a pizza..."

So maybe hitting the tree stump was an unconcious ego histamine reaction to the other bass player possibly taking my place permanently in the group. Gee, think so ? Enh, I ain't worried about it: I'm a piano player.

Friday, September 12, 2003

My name is Drew Perkins, and I'm a producer, and this blog "consoyns" a band called Heller's Blazing Star that I'm recording. Throughout this process, I'll be journalizing on this here blog. Why ? It's convenient.

You'll notice that, for this project as for most everything I write, I'm prone to using surreal and ironic humor, for, oh, call it "color." Sometimes, I'll exaggerate for comic effect: you might say I wax purple, but I won't work blue. The journalism may be yellow, and the little lies may be white, but heck, the project is bound to be in the red unless it lands us some green, and we're all pretty green ourselves(with naivete, not envy or nausea). So what's the hues ? Color me crazy, but I think it'd just be a shade dull to only present the black-and-white, and ignore the whole spectrum of experiences between infrared frustration and ultraviolet elation.

About the band: "- None of us really "know" what we're "doing", but then, we don't "like" people's "music" who are supposed to "know" what they're "doing" - "
About me: I know what I'm doing. I'm so hirable !

Here's the place we be reco'din at - the best picture of the building where studios A & B are.
JOHN BRAGG MASS COMM BUILDING

Here are shots of the actual studios. You'll be seeing the inside of them in the film clips coming soon. MTSU STUDIOS

So here's Dan Pfeiffer

He's the go-to guy. He's the man who gets things done. He's the One In Charge. He's the Guy who Gives the Grade. Knows the Score. Has Worked In the Industry. Produces the sh*t our of some sh*t (my words, not his). He is Don Professore , and trade secrets of the craft pour forth like sap from the scored bark of a rubber tree, mixing metaphors and mastering as loud as the imagination itself !

So, right now, I'm going over to Studio B to check it out, see what we're looking at here. I do not have media onhand - only a leftover DASH tape, and I don't need to tell you, I do NOT wanna record to DASH. OK, maybe not that emphatically, but I just... It's important for me and Chris, I think, especially, to go to analog, to jack right into the Studer machine, to tape-compress, nuhnuh nuh. THEN, dump to proFoo's - so I'm buying a roll of Quantegy 499 and a firewire drive... and that's a lot of lettuce for fixed-income seniors like me... *grumble* *spit* *chew*

Yes, the analog tape I was prepared to use has grown legs, gotten up, and walked away from Oak Ridge - yes, ha ha HA, it WAS the radiation, ha ha, you funny sumbitch. Here's the funny part: The Emtec (nee BASF) open reel tapes come in blue boxes, whereas the older BASF (labeled as "BASF by EMTEC") came in grey boxes... well, hell, maybe when I was tearing up the whole 2nd bedroom at the house my eye glossed right over it when I was thinking "grey box, grey box,..." I get scared of losing my mind when I lose my shit. But I don't lose my shit even when I lose my shit. I just can't LOSE it, man, I'm too cool. I don't lose my cool, no, I never lose my cool. I spent an hour and a half drawing up a complete recording plan yesterday, then exited the screen the wrong way, just hit the hit the wroooong button, FFFFWHHHIP, all gone. I cussed out loud but Jesus forgave me. I gotta go right now. Someone is videotaping me on their spaceship.


Salve, medicate ! - Cato

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