Sunday, September 07, 2008

In the trenches

Jack, Jon and I were back it again yesterday. As Hanna cleared out and made for a beautiful day outside we were in the there knockin’ heads and screaming our lungs out. This is it. The final vocals, leads and backgrounds are what are really gonna make this record fun. There’s a LOT of sing-a-long type songs on this one so they gotta be right, so that hopefully to make the peeps wanna sing-a-long even more. We started with “Indy 500”, one of my favorites lyrically (and the one that goes from “hick-rock” to Beatles in no time flat). I was a bit rough at first but it takes a while to get warmed up, plus I had to get the lyrics at the ready in my head. This one is a lot like auctioneer-speak, so if I miss a line it blows the whole thing up for me, then I gotta stop and start over, and I did a lot of that for a while. Once I was singing and the words “pootie mytes” came outta my mouth. Huh!? That ain’t in the song! Its tough getting lines to roll off your tongue when you’ve never sang it live before and that’s really where you hone those skills. I had another swig of aloe juice and just blazed through it about three times and we decided we had enough there to pick and choose the best performances from and move on, a line from this take a line from that. And while it’s still ME and my dumbass voice, we were all pretty happy with what we ended up with. Next, with my voice sufficiently warmed up, I felt ready to take on the beast, “Is we or ain’t we”. This one is a screamer, a la Roger Daultry and as you know that ain’t usually my thang, but it’s what this song required. Again, I felt good and belted though it a good 5 times. I had to get pretty aggressive with it so when Will and his friend showed up at the door I kinda yelled at’m, “Get in here, and shut the door!” I was on GO, and a little annoyed at the stoppage of progress. I was REALLY happy with the results of this one at playback, especially considering the daunting task I knew it could be for my limited abilities. All of that took a while so we paused for the cause and opened a bottle or two of wine. Jack had some background stuff to do, mostly replacing or doubling my high parts and then we worked on one that literally took our breath away. The bridge repeats itself at the end of “Had me at get lost” among other amazing goings-on (thanks to Jonathan’s diligence and brilliance, you’ll hear later) so Jack and I had to get in the tiny booth together and sing it 4 times over at a pretty decent pace, perfectly. Here, you try, 4 times with high melody…
When I’m with you I see stars
Cuts and bruises, scrapes and scars
Nose is swollen twice its size
Busted lips and two black eyes

It was all good fun though, and the song seemed perfectly aligned when we were done. Before Jon had “cut and pasted” the part from the earlier bridge and it was good but not perfect. There was a collective “ahhh” as we listened back. “Lost your Number” is the hit in most of our view, (well, let’s call it the FIRST hit!) and like “Had me..” something about the beat was a bit askew. There was loop bed so everything should fit, right? Well, not necessarily, when I played drums to it something about the feel changed. So maybe the drummer just sucks! We took out the loops and it was still a little shaky so I grabbed my Guild Songbird (a thin bodied acoustic) and started tapping along on the top like a tambla (I did this also on my second record on that awful song, “One Good Heart”). This seemed to help and gave it a really cool “What Going On” kinda feel. By that point in the day, engineer Jonathan had turned into a pumpkin and we called it quits…till Monday night. More updates and more Rock History coming your way!

No comments: