So, last Friday (4/2), Chris and Karen took me out to dinner before we had rehearsal. Chris said to me, “Okay, your birthday present is done.” Chris and Karen had been very tight lipped about my birthday present for the last couple months. When we got back to the house, Chris told me the story:
In December, he asked the guys from No Bird Sing to remix a track of mine as a birthday present. They agreed and picked “Wolves in Milwaukee” to start working on. Tor sent Graham the raw tracks of the song from Los Angeles. Graham stripped away all of instruments except the vocal take. He proceeded to lay down drums and auxiliary wizardry. Casey (O’Brien) was on the bass, Bobby was on guitar, and Joe spit out some of the coolest lyrics over the top of it all.
Back to Friday evening… After relaying this story, Chris plugged his phone into our speakers and we listened to the track. My jaw was on the floor. It was beautiful, it was creepy, it was way too much to process, and most of all it was like the coolest thing I’d ever heard. In conjunction with the surprise birthday party that Brenda coordinated, I really wanted to know when all of my friends graduated from spy school in order to keep amazing secrets from me.
Graham is going to put this track on his upcoming solo album titled “Live Drums.” You can stream the aforementioned track at http://grahamobrien.bandcamp.com/. You can also stream a wonderful track featuring Kristoff Krane (that will also be on the album). Thanks to Lindsay Kimball and Dave Campbell, The Current is going to premier the “Wolves in Milwaukee” remix on the 89.3 Local Show on Sunday evening (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/local_show/), so be sure to tune in.
After all this and that and everything else… I have no idea what to get Chris for his birthday next year… Jesus Christ, what an act to follow.
Thanks to everyone who came out to The Wapsipinicon release show last night. That was a lot of fun. Aside from and on top of that, my weekend has been a heavy one. I’m reminded of tennis courts in 1994 with Justin Henningsen. For some reason, Justin and I played tennis at 3 o’clock in the morning fairly regularly. We found a way to turn the court lights on by flipping a few switches at the park breaker. We weren’t very good at the game, we were loaded up on sleep-over-soda, and we mostly talked about girls as the ball volleyed from side to side. We marveled at how much of a mess our girlfriends were. However, we didn’t realize how much of a mess we were. We are always a mess and a moving target. Write songs about it, first person v.s. third person, go!
Holy hell!!! Okay, we just confirmed a show at the Kitty Cat for Friday, April 16th. The bill includes ‘CLAPS’ and a new band called ‘And the Professors.’ This band includes Holly Munoz (Aviette), Adam Levy (Honeydogs), Trent Norton (Honeydogs), Devon Gray (Heiruspecs), and Joey Van Phillips (Mystery Palace). I’m not sure how these five people decided to form this band (I have an idea that it was Holly’s momentum), but I’m glad they did, and I can’t wait to hear them live. Joey Van Phillips!!! That dude tore Milwaukee a new sky last time we were there together.
Also, I don’t know what sort of wizards were hired to work in the Fender plant in Fullerton CA in 1964, but I cannot get enough of the black-front-plate pre-CBS circuitry (note: I think it’s unfortunate that Fender decided to describe this model as ‘blackface’). For all the tone hunters out there, check your local stores for vintage head/cab stuff… they are likely more affordable than the combo amps of the same year, and they sound twice as good. Encore (24th & Lyndale) has a variety of fantastic heads in the back of the shop, and Willie’s has some blonde bassman’s and bandmaster’s that should be snatched up.
The release show on 1/29 was a great distraction from the darkness. In case you didn’t make it, the Kitty Cat sold out by 11pm. The night was a little quiet as far as the sound-system was concerned, but it was enjoyable. Caroline and Jesse broke some hearts. Karen, Chris, Ben, and I broke some banks. Bobby, Joe, and Graham fixed all of it and then set it to a rhyming scheme.
I went to a reading/Q&A last night at Magers & Quinn. Wells Tower mentioned that he is neurotic about avoiding reviews of his work. Man… I am neurotic about the exact opposite. I scour the horizon for anything that anyone writes about me. I devour it, and then I post it on facebook as many times as it will let me. I shove it down throats for weeks. If you write it, I’ll read the sh*t out of it. I’m probably the only person that reads most of that stuff anyway. I liked Wells Tower, but I thought he came off as a little arrogant and unrealistic with his “I hate the internet, new york, and reading reviews” thing. If he were 22, I could forgive him, but he’s not.
I’m ready for another tone. I don’t even know what that means yet, but I think I will soon. A new color, a new shade, a new tint, a new note… something.
Okay, first of all, Haiti is a mess. It needs help. Our MD friend Teresa has been running a clinic up in the mountains of Haiti for nearly six years. Her blog is here: http://tinhaiti.blogspot.com/. I don’t agree with her position on spreading the gospel, but I do agree with her position on humanity. If you have some extra resources, please think about trying to find ways to get those resources to Haiti.
Secondly, I’m having a CD release show this coming Friday (as though any of the people that read this blog don’t already know). It’s at the Kitty Cat Klub. You should come. I’m very excited to have Chris Salter, Karen Salter, and Ben Rengstorf all playing with me. If you haven’t heard the album yet, Tor Johnson did a fantastic job on drums, percussion, microphone placement, mixing, mastering, and general amazingness. If you haven’t seen the album yet, Travis Welk did a fantastic job on the design. Travis also tracked bass on Crocodile.
Here are some nice press clips that have been posted so far:
Adam Svec “Rarefaction” in it’s entirety… If you listen, you have to promise to come to the Kitty Cat on 1/29/10.
I know it’s been a while since Jim Anchower and I rapped at ya, so I thought it was high time for a new blog entry.
1) Midterms are done taking my milk money and tugging on my underwear.
2) Tor is mailing the master copy of the new record this week. He has done a fantastic job with the mixing and mastering. You are going to love it.
3) The release party is set for January 29th (if I didn’t already say this… though I may have) at the Kitty Cat Klub. Joining the team for the night will be No Bird Sing and Caroline Smith And The Good Night Sleeps. No Bird Sing is a marvelous trio of young men mixing genres, melting hearts, and blowing minds. They just released an album in September that you should run out and get. Caroline Smith And The Good Night Sleeps are universe-renowned backyard folk-pop players with a taste for rhythm and blues.
4) Halloween was amazing and terrible all at the same time. My friends and I ran the “Monster Dash Half Marathon” in the morning. Then, we went to Lyle’s. Then, I took a nap. Then, we went to a party. Then, I went to sleep. Then, I woke up… As I was rising from my bed this morning, I thought to myself “hm… if the price of fun is feeling like a man with steel-towed boots snuck into your room and kicked you all over during the night, i’m not sure fun is for me anymore.”
Hey… So, I’m trying to start a new “music” facebook page. I don’t know if it’s really going to fly, because I haven’t even been keeping up with the myspace page. My new record is coming out 1/29/10. Tor has done an amazing job with the mixes so far. Travis and I are currently working on the cover art. I recently purchased a 1964 point-to-point hand-wired fender princeton amplifier. It sounds like Jesus loving a child.
Well, well, well… the weather is starting to get beautiful here at the north pole… the nights are perfect for sleeping, the days are veering away from “beach” and towards “some-sort-of-long-sleeve-shirt,” and I just purchased some highlighters. You know what that means! Schoolz in! for! the school year!
Tor sent some rough mixes from the city of angels to my computer last week, and they are sounding mighty fine. The way the room mics captured the natural bounce and glow of the Colfax Attic is very apparent. I am really excited to start flushing out these songs in a live setting with Chris, Karen, and Ben. We are having a party at the Colfax House on Sep. 6 to raise money for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, the Dominican orphanage where Ben volunteered/resided for the summer. Musical guests will include: The Wapsipinicon, myself (w/ Chris, Karen, and Ben), and Coach Said Not To. It’s going to be a fantastic night. On Sep. 13, Chris and I will be playing a benefit for adults with disabilities at MOA sponsored by Midwest Special Services.
Also, make sure you check out the No Bird Sing release party at the Triple Rock in a couple weeks (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=110638381308&ref=ts). Those guys are amazing.