The weekend began with a jumpstart breakfast of bagels and chai tea provided by Bagel Rising, the world's most exquisite bagel shop located in Allston. I once put my time in the very same shop, on the other side of the counter, and their tofu cream cheese shall do you no wrong.
Andrew Schneider had to put up with us for yet another weekend in New Alliance - today would be specifically used for live-tracking a brand new song from the Scofield file of buzzed-out rock drones, and a version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused" (finally!). We spent the entire week rehearsing mainly those two songs over and over again, so the tracking went fairly quickly. We did 3 takes of the new song, and two takes of "Dazed And Confused", fixed a few mistakes, and then called it a night.
Everyone did so well that I decided to give out Christmas presents a little early: Caleb got an old worn out VHS copy of Metallica's "Cliff Em' All", Adam got a teach-yourself-to-play-blues-harmonica instructional kit, and J.R. got the biggest cowbell that I could find. Happiness filled the room, then someone farted and killed the mood. We then left for the Middle East to see Scissorfight annihilate an entire room of sweaty, drunk people.
The next day we fought through mild hang-overs with some early morning Thai food and other drive-thru nastiness. We completed most of the tracking for "Dazed And Confused" and the new song, which basically means me and Adam wanking on some sloppy out-of-key guitar solos that would probably make Jimmy Page vomit up half of his rib cage in disgust. Then some Wurlitzer, some moroccas, some surf-rock baritone guitar, and Adam's fresh little cha-cha ditty was just about complete. Vocals, ahh-ahh's, ooh-ooh's, mmm hmm's, get wicked, zzzzz... it was about 5 in the morning when we finally called it a night.
We just can't stop! Even during our beloved vacation time, we somehow manage to wander inside a recording studio. Much warmth and respect to Mr. Andrew Schneider - the fellow we worked with for the "Tides Of Tomorrow" recording - for putting up with us once again for another bout in front of the mixing board.
This time it's all being done at New Alliance. We began by breaking out the old 2" tapes containing the demos we did at God City about a year and a half ago. Andrew courageously took the wheel in remixing two more songs from that session: "Harmless, Armless" aka "Minus World" (free lives go out to all the video gaming nerds out there who catch the exact reference that this song title is making) and an early version of "Breath Of Water" that clocks in at eight minutes long, complete with samples of demonic sea otters and enough drum fills to turn J.R.'s arms into over-cooked spaghetti. As you'll hear, this is only part of the reason we decided to chop it up into the version that appears on "Antenna". Afterwards, we began some work on a few other pieces that will end up in various places.
First and foremost, our rendition of the song "Cave-In" from Codeine's first LP "Frigid Stars". It was almost eight years ago that I was flipping through my cassettes one evening, looking for some inspiration to help me give a title to my "new" band. "Cave-In" was simple, easy to remember, and would be difficult to misspell (or so I thought). Please do yourselves a favor and start with a copy of Codeine's "The White Birch" album on Sub Pop Records. Hear the most patient band ever to exist playing songs clocking in at about 30 beats-per-minute without the use of a metronome. Stunning.
Second, a new song titled "Down The Drain" that is more or less another tip-of-the-shimmering-white-light-white-noise-hat to Mr. Kevin Shields.
Third, a composition by Adam tentatively titled "Gentle Giant" that is, at this writing, far too early in its fetal stages to determine it's final sonic destiny.
The big news here rests mainly in the fact that it was both me and Adam's first time ever playing through a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet. Now it's just another thing I've added to my "want list" of extravagent and hard-to-find music gear. Hah.