Sunday, October 29, 2006

the pleasantry lane retrospective


rolled out of bed one sunday morning in '95
and this tune was in my head
"hooked on muscle relaxers and mellow pills
i'm the tightly wound bastard from inclement hill..."
it ended up becoming "pleasantry lane"
a song about an uptight banker/accountant type
who dreams of an imaginary place called pleasantry lane
where he could go and finally unwind from all of life's nagging
a retreat of sorts
anyway
this song was the lead track on the last MF cd
"sugar pill"
sometime in '97 F and i bought a duplex together
in the old part of town
he owned one half
i owned the other
i rented my side to "wreckless eric" presswood
faris and cheryl lived on his side
they put a lot of work into their side
i did nothing to mine
i had no money
from the onset
we had our sights set on the two car garage out back
it was gonna be our music place
we'd never had one except in denton
and that was cheryl's dad place
they were just letting us borrow it
so within a month of buying the duplex we set out to renovate the garage
we had $5000 from a bud light endorsement
funny thing is
i've always disliked beer
so with our corporate dough
we had the garage doors pulled off and replaced with double sheet rocked walls
for extra soundproofing
we had this strange spray foam insulation blasted onto the ceilings
to deaden the acoustics in the room
we removed the low cross beams to open up the ceiling
making it nice and vaulted
but we had to use two long crutch-like beams to support the roof
they always kind of cramped the room
it was a big project
after our studio was ready we bought an 8 track minidisc recorder
sub-pro
but it was a start
we made the nourallah brothers cd on that thing
at some point i started calling the studio pleasantry lane
it felt like that place where we could go
to disappear from the world
and it was also a nod to abbey road
we ran that 8-track recorder into the ground
almost literally
after our break-up and breakdowns
2 years later
which i've documented on earlier entries
(see: nourallah brothers part 1-3)
we both decided to sell the duplex
one of the worst choices i ever made
good part was that we sold it to F's "friend"
amy k. and her friend brian m.
they owned the place for 3 years
until one day in '01
jayme and i were driving down my old street
for auld lang syne
and there was a for sale sign out front
i immediately phoned my brother
who was now living with amy
and told him i wanted to buy it back
i was an the end of my rope with music
playing in a small 10 by 10 room in last beat
paying $500 a month
it was horrible
and this was the BEST rehearsal compound in town
for me it was either get my own place to play music
or quit
so after a very melodramatic process of getting approved for the home loan
jayme and i re-bought the place from A and B for $60,000 more than
F and i had bought it for 3 years earlier
i will always feel like a moron for this but even at the new price
it was still a great move
i'll never forget how sad i was to go back in to the studio
before we bought it back
and see all the junk piled high
i pictured how it used to be
guitars instead of skiis
amps instead of cardboard boxes
this place was meant to be alive with music
not used as a dead dusty storage space

i bought a 16 track machine that polaroid was made on
still only one room
no isolation
really hard to deal with when you're recording
but in 2003 a few strokes of good fortune hit
i was able to quit my job at cd world to go on tour with rhett miller
my car was pelted with hail damage and our insurance policy
provided $5000 in compensation
we found out we were having a kid too
i took the 5k and instead of fixing my car
i put it toward the renovations necessary to turn pleasantry lane into a
"real" recording studio
had the wall unit taken out
installed central heat and air
took out the unsightly crutches holding up the roof
and had a new re-inforced beam put in
then we added a control room
giving us much needed separation
from loud drums and guitars in the tracking room
it cost us about $15,000 total to do it
we put 10 of it on jayme's amex 'cause we didn't have any money
it was a gamble
i never thought this recording studio would end up
yielding as much music as it has
its shocked me

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've created a place that's alive with music and a joy to visit. I'm proud to have created my first record within its walls.

KLK

2:49 PM  
Anonymous bucks burnett said...

Pleasantry Lane; until I can afford Abbey Road, it's my studio of choice.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Centuryhouse said...

Good story on the history. I remember going there with you a few years ago to help you move some heavy stuff, back when it was still full of junk.

You've done good with it, I hope to record there someday if money allows. Nice work!

dw

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lucky for me!

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lucky for me!

jd

1:14 PM  

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