Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today in the Mouse

See? I signed up for the Music Career Masters newsletter so you don't have to. Here's what you learn:
Basically you
  • get a band, 
  • actually get the band to sound like something,
  • and make sure the band looks like something.
Actually, "looking like something" sounds like a good piece of advice. I better get right back on the horse about getting that psychedelic jacket and some riding boots, hadn't I?

Rough Magic Studios is a recording studio in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Their rehearsal rate is only $25/hour. And they do have a Hammond and a Fender Rhodes. The only downside is that every page on their website has music playing on it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

T-Mouse Edana

You can just see (upside down) the signed "T-Mouse" between the transformer and the turret board of my Celtic Edana.
Ooh! It's getting tested!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our Songs

Mouseverture
Lyrics: Lou thinks this should be all instrumental, with a soaring guitar part where the vocals should go. I'm thinking of going 30/30/30 with Hammond solo, guitar solo, and vocals
Notes: we're going to shorten the monsterous song by 8 bars here, 8 bars there, to make it nice and tight. It'll still clock in at over 10 minutes. But probably less than 20. Unless my guitar solo rules so much that we simply MUST have the song be longer.

Jabberwocky
Ethan has selected a take (which needs to be cleaned up).
Vocals: I want to triple-check my pronunciation of the lyrics because it would be really embarrassing to screw that up.
Solo: We're going to make that a B4 solo. Arie's gonna be all up in that.

Thing in A (Ice Maiden)
There's only one take, so we know which take we'll use.
Vocals: apparently there is a growing consensus that the vocals should be more "rock". Actually, I'll need further notes on that because I don't really understand how to make the verse melody more rockin' seeing as it's kind of soft instrumentally. Perhaps I should ask WWLZD (What Would Led Zeppelin Do)? Although there's simply no way I can sing like Robert Plant. So yeah, I'm going to do another mix of that tune with the direction the vocals are going in now and expect to get some notes back (or better: specific suggestions.)
Solo: keyboards or guitar? I feel electric piano but I'm open to other notions.

Arabesque
There's only one take.
There will be no vocals.
This song is the closest to "finished" so far.
It needs a dancer with a fan.

New Thing (Mercury)
We did only one take of this.
Vocals: I'm going to have to ask for advice on this. Right now I'm just singing "Oh Mercury" in the chorus. If anyone has any better ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Solo: the loudest rock guitar solo you have ever heard. Slow and lugubrious analog delay with soaring notes which will reduce you to tears. I assure you. I will have a follow spot on me as I play it live. You will be fooled into thinking I can play guitar because I will play very few notes but they will each sound really really loud.

One Last Drink
Thing in E
Ethan has very specific notes on which takes to use. Basically the take from our first session with the last take of One Last Drink from the second session cut together with the second-to-last take from the second session of One Last Drink will make the bulk of this song. That's a tad tricky because the two sessions had different track assignments so we'll see how that works out. It might be cool.
I have a fantasy, however, that the Thing in E might get edited into One Last Drink, you know -- just to make it more complicated. That's because the "B" section which Lou came up with in the Thing in E is essentially similar to the "C" section of One Last Drink (although in a different key). So it might cut together. Or it might be a big mess.

I feel a Hammond solo is what's needed in One Last Drink (and indeed, that was what we had on the Prague Spring version of the song.)
The issue with the Thing in E is that it otherwise sounds like a  beer commercial. It's the only thing which doesn't really sound like a Tyrannosaurus Mouse song to me.
It's possible we may simply drop the Thing in E from the album. But again, I'm open to suggestions.

Tyrannosaurus Mouse.

You're not still talking about a psychedelic jacket are you?

Oh Lordy, you are.

Mood Fabrics is where all the Project Runway people shop.
My sister found this fabric at Discount Fabrics. It's cool but it's a tad brighter than what I really want.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Detailed Notes

And impossibly big files.

Yes, these image files are freakin' huge. But that's what makes them legible (click to embiggen).

This is what's great about having a real band. I didn't do any of this work! This is all Ethan Rosenblatt's notes. All I have to do is incorporate these notes.

I'm waaaaay to close to the music to have any clue at all what's good or not. I have zero distance. So now I know what takes to use for which songs and what to do when I get there.

And yes, there are 7 pages of notes on our basic tracks.






Boots and Swatches



The Chippewa Boots 27908 (which doesn't have a steel toe) looks pretty cool. And it's less than $200. I'm gonna have to try them.
And the other two pictures are of a swatch of groovy velvet fabric which is being made into a psychedelic jacket.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amp Coming Along

I'm very capable of being embarrassingly gushy about my band. It's so awesome to play with guys who've "got your back".
Ethan gave me fantastic notes and I'm working on them right now. That will put us into great shape as far as doing the vocals. I'll add some guitar parts, some keyboard parts will change, and then we go and mix! Hooray!
Mr. Fitzpatrick is wiring away on my new Celtic Edana JTM45 clone. Can you feel it rocking?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Panzai

Panzai has some sweet jackets. This JN 800 design is very very close to what I want. I want a cutaway in a psychedelic fabric. I may want epaulets. I can't have buttons on the front because it'll scratch my guitar.

We'll find out how that goes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mixing away

I use Samplitude. And this week I had a computer crash (really just a computer which couldn't take it anymore, I'm sure the machine is still good for email) and when I went to use my other machine I found I didn't have Samplitude Pro 11 on it. I had versions 8, 9, and 10. But not the most recent version. More than that, I couldn't find the disk to version 11.
Now, I have the little dongle-key to activate the program. All I have to do is pull it out of the USB port on the one computer and put it on another. But I'd misplaced the software itself (and the full "Pro" version isn't downloadable.)

But the good folks at Magix got me out a duplicate copy of version 11 in just a few days.

To celebrate, I made this quick mix of Tyrannosaurus Mouse's Arabesque.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cherrywood Cabinet

This is the beautiful cherrywood cabinet of my Celtic Edina amp.
Front and back. 

Ooh. Pretty!
Soon: knobs, faceplates, and rock and roll! ;-)

My Celtic Edana

It's being built even as we speak. Scott over at Celtic Amps is putting together a JTM45 clone with Heyboer transformers (yes, there's a Mercury Magnetics box in the picture, just pay no attention) and a cherry cabinet. The power tubes will be KT66.
This picture shows the chassis already drilled out with the board populated and the wiring run through.
Ooh. It's all very exciting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Music from other places

AeroIsla. It's like minimalism in conflict with modernism. The themes present themselves as possibilities just out of reach. As though they dare you to do something with them.
Exquisitely mixed. If the Beatles were from South America, this is what they would have sounded like.
This is my friend Sebastian Lipszyc. He lives and works out of Buenos Ares. If you know Sebastian you like him. He's that kind of dude.
He's more than a guitarist. More than an artist. Plus, of course, he's devilishly handsome.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Final Countdown to Nirvana

Armageddon. Indeed.



The mashup of Europe's Final Coundown with Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit is exactly as awesome as you'd think it would be.

Via Waxaudio. (Check out the Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin mashup.)