Thursday, April 17, 2008

private monk nourallah

i feel like i'm in rock'n'roll boot camp
without the push-ups and hysterical drill Sargent
i wake up around 9am
work on this here blog
get ready
go to billy's
spend the whole day recording
go back to lisa and lee's
hang out a bit
go to bed
wake up
work on the blog
then do it all over again
maybe it's less like boot camp
and more like being in a music monastery?
or convent?
just call me private monk nourallah

tuesday the 15
3 days left of recording round one
i walk over around 12:30
it's another perfect day
when i got there we talk awhile
mainly about music
where this weird business we're in is headed
no one buying cds anymore
just downloading
and there's a lot of stealing going on
downloading songs we put our lives into
for free
taking for granted the struggle and countless hours of effort
(not to mention money invested in gear)
that went into making that one little song
they pluck off of the net
for free
what's it take to shell out just 99 cents for a song?
or 9.99 to download the entire record on i-tunes? today...

so we talk about that
and some other stuff
then he says
"so whatdaya got today?"
i'm feeling like doing one with rambunctious drums
i'm thinking "it's not enough"
he's not feeling it today so he mentions
this finger picked bossanova one called
"the man who learned to love"
i'm down with that
so i get out my old guild spanish guitar
and start playing it
he says he loves this one
it's like a "flower that just opens up at the end"
we both agree it's worth recording
he puts a korby c-12 on the guitar
i cut it to a click because the weird rhythm has to be locked
in to something
after 3 takes we do 3 takes of vocals
billy says it's so nice he doesn't want to start throwing things
on it just because we can
i mention i'd love to use the optigan on this one for a beat box
billy realizes he's hungry
so he makes something to eat while i fiddle around
with my guitar
"play something about 'the quitter'?"
i play it
i can tell billy's not sure about something
"i like it but...i don't know...does it fit in with the rest?"
we agree to file it under "maybe"
"how about 'be here now'?"
i play it and he instantly digs this one
"we gotta do it - it's good!"
we talk about the lyrics on the chorus
and how i need to finish them
we agree to come back to it once i've done that
then i play "do you remember?"
"'s ok...i don't know - you lost me on the bridge"
i agree - i had my doubts about this one
although something in it is compelling
i then play an old one called "constellation"
"pretty good - put it 'maybe'"
i start to play "we're all gonna go" then chicken out
i sing the bridge instead because i love it
he says "that's gorgeous - that should be a chorus"
i say "ok, how 'bout you take it and see what you can do with it?"
we go over all of the songs
"western hills" "saint georges" "the quitter"
and "easy" all filed under "maybe..."
then something compels me to play a song i wrote last May
called "don't mind me"
i hadn't been considering it for this record
only because i didn't think it fit with the rest
maybe too pretty?
maybe too much like something off of "snowing..."?
by the time i hit the second chorus
billy had just about leaped off of the couch
"this one is solid gold - DONE!"
so we immediately start working on it
he seems really excited about it
i do 3 acoustic takes trying to get the right tempo
going from 146 bests per minute down to 140
by the way
billy is really good at finding the right speed
for the vocal
i've been impressed with his intuition there
i sing it at 140 and it feels really good
billy seems really happy and even more excited by this song
even though he's beginning to not feel very good
he gets out a nashville string acoustic
and puts down an absolutely gorgeous lead part
i'm sold now
i'm glad i pulled this one out of the dusty song closet
we wrap it up around 7:30
another super productive
and fun day

this has been by far the most fun i've ever had
making a record


Blogger Daniel said...

If that's the monastic life, I'm ready to tonsure!

...also from a clinical perspective, drill sergeants aren't really hysterical. some other people are, but not drill sergeants...

6:55 AM  

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