Monday, November 27, 2006

Martin Guitars and Girl Vocals

The band's been busily at work. At Bird in Box Studio, Cortnie and I have been laying down her backing vocal tracks. We built a vox booth in our office closet using blankets, clothes, towels, yoga mats, and whatever other dampening devices we could find to deaden the acoustics of the space. We draped a thick down comforter over the doorway of the closet and presto, a do-it-yourself vocal booth.

We've managed to survive tense moments and a few fights (with the help of good food and lots of breaks) in order to produce some truly fine cute girl backing tracks. So far, we've got C's vox down on "Something's Going On" (aka "Mice in the Pantry"), "Me and Thomas Hardy" (aka "MATH"), "Trona," "Nightbird," and "Love Your Regardless." I've also written and hummed out some more horn ideas for "MATH."

Today with Aaron at Royal Dutch Company in Fresno, I layed down acoustic guitar tracks. We scored Roger Wall's beautiful Martin guitar and put fresh strings on it for a brilliant tone. Aaron set me up in the vocal booth--I sat on a drummer's stool and propped up my feet on an old amp head and started in. We used a skinny condensor mic to produce a very nice and bright sound. A bright tone in the highs with less mids and low ends was preferable to something more full-bodied in some of the songs so that the acoustic guitar would find its own pocket seperate from the thick bass tones we've got going on. After some experimentation with different condensor mics and placements, we ended up with what seemed perfect for the tunes.

We managed to track the acoustic for two songs, "Me and Thomas Hardy" and "Something's Going On" before another band down the hall started rocking all of Studio 9 with excessive volume. It's impossible to track an acoustic instrument when the BOOM BOOM BOOM of a techno band is seeping through the walls. But that's two songs down. We'll pick up the recording again on Friday.

So The Distant Fairs continues growing and developing. More soon.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Silver Fox Vibe

The Silver Fox - hands down, this place has the has the best vibe in Bakersfield. Case in point - our November 2 show with The Fast Computers.

There's something about the atmosphere of that little room that makes people dance with strangers and possibly wear sombreros - unlike other downtown joints where folks seem to exude that kind of slick-haired Social D. self awareness that seems to stifle the good vibrations.

Our friends The Fast Computers - pretty much the best electro dance band ever - started off the night. A hightlight of this band is the encredibly bubbly Jen Fox on drums, whose energetic straight ahead playing melds perfectly with the drum sequencing backgrounds. Peter Dean (vocals/keys/synth) and John Laney (bass/vocals) are some of the coolest chaps ever. The band brought very hip tour CD's encased in old school floppy disc cases, and, as was so fitting for a band of this name, took email list information on - a fast computer. Cortnie and I swapped CD's and and T's - their designs were cool and retro modern.

During TFC's set, people went nuts on the dance floor. Meanwhile, lots of Bakersield talent and voices began to appear. Local novelist and literary encourager N. L. Belardes made an appearance in Day of the Dead skeleton face paint (see mention of the show and more pics on his Paperback Writer Blog), and Matilda Kay (the One Bakersfield Woman's Blog to Mankind writer) showed up as well. Matt Munos (of Mento Buru and Bakotopia) also showed up with a grip of his crew in frightening Day of Dead garb. JR of Ill Press and Valley Scribe, Mystic Red, and Vecar manager Bobby Paramo showed up as well as one or two members of Liars and Thieves. Our friends Danyale and Sarah from The Mommies were the most enthusiastic and actually sported hella cute homemade Dalloways T-shirts - a first for any fan.

The Dalloways set up, and after some technical glitches, we played through a set of mostly new tunes, including a new disco tune called "Didn't Have the Time." Filling in on guitar was the talented James Ratliff of Norfolk and Indians fame, and on drums, the svelte J.T. Hughes of Serus Victoria.

Thanks to Mike and Terry and The Silver Fox for hosting this gig and putting together the friendliest venue in town!

Tuesday, November 8, 2006 Post Script: Check out Matilda Kay's mysterious pics and review of the show entitled "It's Never Too Late for The Dalloways".