Saturday, September 26, 2009

Busy Boy

Been busy making music..... 1st off, I did a lot of work on "I fell in love with Regina Spektor" mixing the full blown horn version, tearing it all down again, re-singing the vocal, scrapping that, going back to the original sparse demo... My head was spinning and my wife was ready to leave me so I had to leave it for a while. I started messing with "Beautiful" and I think I have something good going on, FINALLY. I haven't heard it anywhere where it sounds bad so I think I'm on to something. You be the judge. With some mastering it should sound sweet. The line up on this is Dave Ramie on drums, Carl Brooks on BG vocals, Erik Lawrence on sax, Steve Bernstein on trumpet, Chip Larison on slide guitar and myself on bass, acoustic, and vocals. I am in fine company! BTW I went down and saw Erik play @ The Old Fashion in Nyack for his usual Tuesday night trio gig and I was blown away. He had Shawn Pelton on 'magic' drums and Rene Hart on stand up bass. Shawn is the drummer for the SNL band and has played with many great artists, including Johnny Cash, Sheryl Crow and one of my favs Regina Spektor, doing all of the drums on her "Begin to Hope" record. It was an incredible night of raw, funky, thoughtful music and if you are in Nyack on a Tuesday night you'd be a fool to miss this gig....

I also had the Saffire girls in here this week. They laid down all of the basic tracks for their new smash hit "Give me a Break" and managed to eat all of my double stuffed Halloween Oreos and a bag of marshmallows in the process. I'm telling you, you better keep an eye on these chickees......

I'm also laying down guitar tracks for my friend Chris Thomas' album. He's out on the West Coast and we send everything back and forth through the internet, a true digital collaboration. I'd rather be in Cali but this will have to do. Chris and I go way back to Marion St. and 4th Ave. in Nyack where we learned how to compose and record together. His mom Judy Thomas, long time music teacher in Upper Nyack school, bought him a 4 track reel to reel and we recorded hundreds of songs and comedy skits together. We got lost in that basement for hours and it kind of laid the ground work for my musical life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Infusion Blues

Ah, Infusion Blues...... It brings me back to the days of pre-transplant when I was getting all kinds of chemicals pumped into my failing body by way of infusion. They had to kill off all of these antibodies that had developed as a result of this enormous pump (see XRAY above) in my gut that was doing the job of my heart at the time. I was getting chemo (cytoxin) and it made me feel like total crap. You just had to sit there and take the punishment and hope for a better day, hence the lyric "so pathetic but always hopeful, how long days are, out my window the sun keeps shining on......"

This was essentially a solo track except for Christian Celaya sharing the bass guitar duties with me. He laid down a track and after he left I re-did the 2nd verse and following chorus to make it a little more lyrical... The song is very dense musically, filled with a ton of effected textures like Mellotron Strings through a wah wah and verb, a backwards Casio keyboard playing Bach, electronic drum fills through panned echo etc. At the heart of the song though is a nice acoustic guitar part done in some strange open G tuning. Listening to the guitar tracks soloed you can actually here my heart pump chugging along, something I couldn't suppress if I wanted to! I also did a lot of harmony vocals on this and snagged a bit of "Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz, hope I don't get sued!! Influences on this? Beatles, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Oz (not the doctor) Columbia Presbyterian Hospital NYC!

Now to decide: do I have room on this record for this??

Friday, September 4, 2009


I mentioned Saffire a few posts ago... the all girl band who I recorded here at the house. Here is their last performance at Lincoln Center (no less!) I think we're gonna record this one in a few weeks. These kids are going places! Oh, did I mention that their ages are 11, 11, 14 and 14. Here's a link to their website...