Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Latest on The Distant Fairs Recordings

This last Wednesday, September 27th, I sped up to Fresno for yet another lead vocal session at Royal Dutch. Aaron and I cranked out vox for three more songs. Here's a tantalizing snapshot of each:

"Ada" - about a 19th Century female mathematician and daughter of a famous romantic poet. The Dalloways spin her into a tragic figure. Also creatively rhymes "Ada" with "Lay-tah."

"Suffragette Chrysler" - about a militant young girl who drives really fast, refuses to ever get married, takes pills, and submerses herself deeply into zodiac and trance.

"Didn't Have the Time" - pretty much the sexiest groove we've ever recorded.

So what's the tally so far? Bass, drums, and lead vox for ten songs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

In Studio and a Devious Honey Bear

Today I drove to Fresno solo for another lead vocal session at Royal Dutch Company. We powered through two songs--"Mice in the Pantry" and "Up Tonight."

I found my own in the isolation booth today. Maybe it was the ginger tea. Or maybe it was the pull of Vodka I took to loosen up.

After a break at The Chicken Pie Shop in the Tower District (where I encountered a devious looking honey bear), we returned to crank out two more songs: "Station Girl" and "Let's Climb the Staircase." Add that to the previous three, and we've got seven solid lead vocal tracks.

We're developing lots of harmony ideas in the midst of these lead vocal sessions and are looking forward to laying the rest of the vox down.. The Distant Fairs is slowly but surely shaping up!

More soon.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dalloways in Studio with Marlon Brando

Cortnie and I drove to Fresno this morning for a frigid Friday studio session at Royal Dutch Company--Aaron's Fresno studio. The room is housed in a solid slab of a building. Burgundy paint covers some walls, gray carpet covers the rest, black ceilings press down from above--it feels like the sound lab it is. Posters of Marlon Brando as the godfather and Marilyn Monroe as a floosy keep us company.

We built what Cortnie called a carnival booth--a square corner of the room draped with tacked up blankets and comforters--in order to isolate the vocals. Then we went to work. I sipped orange ginger tea with honey as I sang in order to keep those vocal cords loose.

For this recording, the band scored a top of the line Neumann mic from the 1970's--the creme de la creme of pro studio mics, and coupled it with a Nieve preamp for an incredibly warm and distinctive sound. I could tell you more specs, but then I'd have to kill you.

In total, we finished lead vocals for three songs--"Me and Thomas Hardy," "Trona," and "Kenny Filthy"--before my voice tired and we had to quit for the day.

So the new album continues to develop. We've already got drums and bass done for fifteen tracks, and soon the lead and backing vocals we're currently working on will be added to the mix.

Stay tuned for more developments.