Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

We're all just waking up from our day-off rest at the Kraska family home. Nick's pop was kind enough to grill us some meat and veggies, let us drink his beer and do some laundry. We've hosed off all of the funk and grease of the last few days and are rarin' to go for the next leg of this here tour.

The shows have been pretty wicked awesome for the most part, we have zero complaints. Big ups to the good people at Grimey's Records and our boys Apollo Up in Nashville, The Labiators and Travis the poster-maker in Asheville, our homies Bald Eagle and Nardy the poster-maker in Columbia, J. Hall and his hyper-smart baby in Kansas City and Billy and Shea and Elizabeth and Luna and the Math and Science Highschool in Hot Springs.

My awesome camera that my wife gave me before we left is now a paperweight (due to know fault of my own) and awaits repair once I get back to Ohio. So no more pictures, which happens to be bullshit.

Tonight, D.C, and I've got a couple of things to say to the President, so I hope he shows up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ames, Iowa

We're just getting up to steam on this here tour, had the day off yesterday after a pretty fun show in Minneapolis and one in Dubuque the day before. I love having the record on vinyl, but those things are wicked heavy. We took in a little culture yesterday at the Walker art museum, saw our friend from Pachyderm, Jim, and drove halfway to Omaha, which is where our show is tonight. The stupid rock and roll behaviour has been kept to a minimum, which is good for our health, but leaves us a bit short on entertaining stories. Here are a couple of the several pictures that I have taken so far.....FLICKR

Friday, October 14, 2005

records in, covers done

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

don't drink pop (soda) (coke)

i just got back from the dentist getting half of part one of my major hostile cavity takeover plan. it sucked. i now have some stupid temporary inlays, and i will get real teeth when we get back from tour. so, i get to only chew on one side of my mouth until then. i attribute my recent spike in cavity's to the free pop (soda) (coke) machine at my work.

i say pop or soda (pop is michigan, where i grew up and seemingly the rest of the midwest inclusing illinois, soda is wisconsin where i went to college, and coke is what patti and other wackos in florida say - there is absolutely no logical reason you should refer to a sprite as a coke, then ask for a sprite. we argue about this often in the van.) check out where you stand on the debate.

i also redesigned the web site. it is here. purevolume has us featured on thier home page now so lots of people are listening to our pretty songs.

the van is in the shop right now getting a new transmission line and fan belt, along with whatever else our friendly mechanic chums at norm's auto clinic on lincoln recommended. rachel and patti apparantly did a thorough cleaning over the weekend so hopefully no more garbage for at least the first day of tour. patti and rachel can sure nest like crazy in those back seats. kimball and i just listen to bad southern rap in the front.

Friday, October 07, 2005

To love, honor and rock, as long as we both shall live.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Vinyl en-Route

our records shipped yesterday, you can track the progress here. we just have to, uh - make our custom covers now. as of right now they have just left lewisberry, pa. i have no idea where lewisberry, pa is.

here are some awesome photos andrew ballantyne took at our texas ballroom release show.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Press

Patti and I did an interview with Bob Mehr of the Chicago Reader for his column The Meter. They took some fancy pictures of the four of us, and my big-ass head is on the front of section three.

Chicago's Newcity called us one of the city's ten bands on the verge. Big ups to our pals Bang! Bang! and Patti's other outfit, The Dials, for also being "on the verge". We're all on the verge of something.

Nick and my interview with Mike Gibson is up and running on the 75 Minutes site. We sound like nerds and talk about the internet alot.

Maximum Rock N Roll gave us a nice review. I'm paraphrasing but I believe it was something like "a great release from a band I dig or something. I mention it because Maximum Rock N Roll sort of intimidates me, so I'm glad that they were nice.

We're getting our pictures taken again tonight for UR Magazine, whom Rachel had a talk with, and Shea has been working like crazy getting us a bunch of press for the upcoming tour.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In Stores Today!

Can you believe it? Time Attack in stores today!! It's been quite the journey. You can get it at your favorite local record store or Liam and I talked to Mike at last night, it was also pretty cool. Through the magic of COMPUTERS he was able to record our conversations over internet phone from different parts of the country (NY, Ohio, Chicago) and he will the ASSEMBLE them into a hopefully cool interview. Podcasts are pretty cool. At first I couldn't really figure them out, but it's turned out to be pretty easy. The wave of the future they say.

It was my birthday yesterday. I had a good day.

vinyl update

we got test pressings back the day of the listening party, and ultimately approved them, so they are being pressed as we speak. i guess i haven't talked much about this, so here's the basic deal of how it went down:

we had trevor slightly modify the cd mastered version (trim the end of devil, add a little to the end of the record) and then send the files to masterdisk. meanwhile i designed the labels following the classic sound org design and sent it off to masterdisk as well.

quick caveat about sound org (since mike was asking) it started originally as a vehicle to put out the ng kindheit 7" (my old no-wave/experimental band) in 1998. the name originally came from tim miller, the kindheit guitar player and had sort of a double meaning at the time - sound (read: solid, togther, secure) org (organization) and sound (sonic) org - which we thought was cool. since then it's been releases of something i've been a part of, this being SORG-005. also, as part of a label identity, all of the LP or CD labels follow the same design, something labels used to do in the 60s. i was inspired by old London, and RCA record labels - and keep that consistant across releases. since kimball and i met up in 2000, it's mostly been the two of us "running the label". there are boxes upon boxes of old releases laying about my house - it's not a very profitable operation!

back to time attack. andy vandette (blues explosion, beastie boys, david bowie, bruce dickinson and kid rock among tons of others) took trevors files and made a laquer. the laquer is basically a very fragile record. the music is played through the neumann cutting lathe, and the stylus vibrates cutting a path in the laquer much like your needle will at home. except the laquer is very fragile. once this laquer is cut, it is sent to the pressing plant to be plated - where they make an inverse mold of the laquer - this is a large metal stamper. once they have that mold, the stamper presses into the hot vinyl wax making a resulting record. that's the uber quick explanation of it all.

so the pressing plant makes a short run of 5 copies called test pressings - that they send to us to approve or reject before doing the whole run. these have simple white labels with the matrix number hand written on them (SORG-005) but otherise are just like the record will be in weight and playabilit. we got the pressings last week, listened to them and they sound great. so now they're being pressed at the plant (33 1/3 - the pressing is outsourced by masterdisk)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


A huge thank you to everyone that made it out to our listening party last night. A much huger thanks to Chuck and Neil at Club Foot for their hospitality and an even huger (hugest? hugiant) thanks to DJ John Benetti and DJ SCRVNR for their work on the ones and twos.

Record release shows Friday and Saturday.

w/Russian Circles, Hanalei, Maps And Atlases, Karma With A K
The Texas Ballroom

w/The Life During Wartime DJ's
Hideout Chicago

Nick turns 21 on Monday, so someone should buy him his first drink. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KRASKA

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Reviews/Articles

1. Pick up the new issue of Venus Magazine for an interview with us. The article doesn't mention that I SCHOOLED EVERYBODY IN SCRABBLE.

2. If you're in Chicago, you can pick up the first issue of THE MACHINE. If you're everywhere else, you can look at this PDF on page 25 for a story about us.

3. A review of Time Attack from Exclaim! magazine

4. A review of Time Attack from Slug Magazine

5 Some monkeys ride dogs to the record store so that they can buy Time Attack. It's true. I talked to the monkey.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New MP3

Our friends over at Life During Wartime have added a new MP3 from Time Attack to their website. It's probably one of the best 10 songs ever written.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tour Outline,New TShirt

We're just putting the finishing touches on tour plans for October and November, you can watch the progress here. If you live somewheres we're not playing, and you want us to come to your town, drop us a line, and we'll see what we can do.....

Our buddy Nate, the fine, fine artist of our Sharkacopter shirts has outdone himself (once again) with his new design. Behold the zombie meerkats. Hopefully, we'll have those bad boys in time for our record release shows.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


It's been a long summer, but we're finally playing a rock show back in our swelteringly hot, stinky home.

Please join us this FRIDAY, AUGUST 12 at the Subterranean! We will be joined by Minneapolis' STNNNG and the super swell Modey Lemon. It's gonna be THE GREATEST SHOW EVER

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Going where the water tastes like cheese

We're heading out with our friends Bang! Bang! on Thursday for a wicked good long weekend to the Dairy State. On Thursday the 4th, we'll be playing with The Box Social at the Onopa Brewery in Milwaukee (that's the town that made that one beer famous! Or something!); at the Rock Island Cafe with Catacombs Of Rome in beautiful Neenah on Friday the 5th, and on Saturday the 6th, I'll be doing my best not to fall off of the incredibly high stage at The Slipper Club (again!) in Madison, where we will be joined by The Hat Party.

I'm so ready to play some goddamn shows that my teeth are chattering. LET THE WHISKEY FLOW.

New review of Time Attack at Baby Sue

Monday, July 11, 2005

First Review of Time Attack

The first review of the record comes to us from Fiona, age 9, of Hot Springs, AR:

""It makes me wanna do my dancing. Of course, I always wanna dance. I like dancing to it, and if I like dancing to it, it's good for dancing . . . for me anyway. Some people like dancing to Beethoven, I guess--I like dancing to this."

Track #10: "This is like spy music."

Track #9: "This is disaster music. Like when somebody's having a great big party, and they make a big mess."

Fiona freewrite: "Spies dancing reapeating [sic] a big house and a small town piano what else can I do? Time attacks wish lists devils' cars screaming microphones corners sounds motorcicles [sic] Scooby doo 2 Jungle and/or rainforest people".

So, obviously, it's a really good record.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Promo CDs In

We met up with Neil from Rollo Tomasi/THICK and he delivered 4 promo copies of TIME ATTACK to us. We held it like giddy schoolchildren, it was awesome. They will be sent out to magazines and stuff shortly. Awesome awesome awesome.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

cds shipped, supposedly

we have yet to see them, but we got word that they were shipped from the pressing plant, ironworks digital yesterday, so in theory we should have them in our hands soon. but that doesn't help you does it, since the record wont come out till way later. sorry.

we're also making all kinds of plans for fall and touring. lets just say, every time we come up with a plan, a new, slightly better one comes up - so we'll leave it at that in case an even better one comes up tommorow, at which point we'll tell you about it then.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And now, we wait

The record is done, the artwork is done, everything is at 'the plant'. In theory, the whole process will be done in a couple/three weeks, and we will have real live copies, wrapped in cellophane in our hands.

Release date: Sept. 27th.

What happens now? The Publicity Machine gets rolling. We sit patiently and wait for Patti and Nick to come home. Possibly, we drink an entire bottle of maple syrup. It's possible we've (I've) already had several.

I'm gonna go crazy with the waiting.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

taking over the world

i just got off the phone with patti - she has safely arrived in berlin and she'll be back at the end of july. the phones ring funny when you dial over there. one of the first things she says to me increduously was, "there's a starbucks on the corner here. they're taking over the world."


know who's super talented? jef at polishbroadcast that's who. he's turned out some wicked amazing designs, and is putting the final touches on as we speak and then sending off to the pressing plant.

he did a bunch which were basically exactly what we asked him to do, and then he did one that he said he did basically that just felt like our music - which was way better than all of our ideas. it's super cool having someone take your little pieces and having them shape it into something complete, cool and visually great.

we're still behind the gun to get everyhing off to the plant. patti and i also went and had calbee from snapcult take a few studio photos - liam and rachel will go in when they get back and through the magik of "technology" it will appear that all of us are in the same room at the same time. so far they look real awesome. patti has a new foxy haircut and looks pretty hot. i apparantly look pretty good too if you believe patti. it was cool to hang with calbee and nicole, since they took some photos of us after our very first show, and we hadn't spoken since. it was a wierd time warp catching up on what both parties have been up to in the last 2 or so years.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

From The Road

I'm currently in Monroe, Louisiana, on an travel/off day of the Zincs/Monade tour. In several ways, it's a world apart from a NB tour.....we're traveling on a tour bus, and playing support for a band that features one of the founding members of a highly influential band (Stereolab) that has toured with Sonic Youth and REM (needless to say, this sort of pedigree brings out some pretty creepy superfans)....I like the not having to drive, and the waking up in the town we're going to be playing with enough time to wander around and relax before the show, but I'm missing playing my own songs, and it is a pretty crazy switch to go from being one of the lead/front people of one band to being a substitute in a support role. I'm having fun though, and these French people are swell.

I am excited to hear the final master of the record, and anxious to see some of Jef's artwork for it. I'm doing what I can to find a computer (atleast one without a French keyboard) in each town so that I can check the progress. This computer hunt has now gotten me lost two days in a row. I'M AN EXPLORER

Even listening to my unmastered copy, I've got to say that I have never been so proud of a record before.


go learn something. if you're too lazy to read, sit back and watch.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

pretty pictures

here are some pictures from mixing and overdubbing at studio greg studios ii.

cool guy on the gtr.

every song from the demo playing simulataneously slaved to the 24 tk.

calibrating the 2 track.

me spinning around like a tape machine about ready to pass out but the picture looks like im sitting still.

doesn't liam look good with a bag over his head? (dont try at home)

ehaustion mixing at 5am.

final mix checklist

nerd alert

rachel's posts sure are a lot more exciting to read huh? i know there are recording nerds reading this too, so i will keep up the nerd details.

oh shit, the mix started on tape (did i mention - 1/4" quantegy GP9 (i used my older stock from 2k3 instead of a recent 2k5 batch, lame i know), standard 520 nWb/m fluxivity, no NR, NAB EQ, 15ips, standard tones, 1k,10k,100hz,50hz @ 0db vu. the interim computer work was through a motu 828mkii at 96k, 24bit using digital performer. i love the top end on the record. clear and open without being brittle. overheads sound so good.

mastering started on the atr, then i *believe* the lavry a/d converter, to the requisite limiter, to the avalon eq, to the chandler/neve limiter to the system 6000 eq. slight boost at upper mids for snare/vocal/gtr, hair on top for air, some slight notches in low end on the system 6000. all of that through the monster dunlavy speakers. ask the guy doing your bedroom mastering if he uses $8000 speakers to make critical decisions on.

but at this point being done - i want to emphasize how great it is to work with super experienced professionals throughout the process. the record sounds soooo good in my opinion, and i dont think that's an accident. we didnt cut corners on the things that matter. we chose an awesome live room at pachyderm, (who provided us amazing assistants in jim and adam, who were clearly trained in the old school of studio professionalism) with an awesome engineer who we have a great repoire with (greg) and also went back with trev, another awesomely seasoned veteran who's super down to earth in the way only a canadian living in milwaukee could be. everyone involved is super respected in thier fields. bonus info - trevor worked on nine inch nails - broken. and has new age mastering grammys. fortunately - our record doesnt sound like yanni. if you're making a record, work with people who you're on the same page as and can understand where you're coming from - who have benefitted from experience. between greg and trevor, those guys have literally hundreds and hundreds of credits to thier names - and just cuz you buy an mbox at guitar center, doesnt mean you can make a great sounding record.

i had beers with greg last night, and some things he noted that he was real happy with are the bathroom guitar (so good) and the shure beta 52 on bass gtr. it's not clicky like a d112, but has super good low end. he also thought it could have been the neve console that it went though..but that was a pleasant suprise. i feel like i've learned so much in making this record, and thank those guys for teaching me a shit ton of stuff along the way so i can help other bands make great records too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We did it!

Friends, music for the record is done. Last night, Nick, Patti and I drove up to Milwaukee's Mastermind Productions to master (duh!) with the lovely and amazing Trevor Sadler, who also makes a mean latte. We returned to Camp New Black at 3:45 am with three reference copies and our new CD.

Mastering is now my favorite part of the recording process. As opposed to mixing, in which you listen to a bit, make a few small adjustments, listen to a bit, make a few small adjustments, and listen to a bit more (ad naseum)*, mastering crunches the process down to just a few hours. Trevor's ears are amazing, just like Dog Ear Norman's! And he makes everything look easy. But it's not, so don't think you can just master your own stuff on your home computer, you idiots. Get it done professionally!

Anyhow, we worked out the last few details and made the final decisions, staying in touch with Liam through the magic of the wireless community to provide updates and obtain approval on song titles. We decided to name the Intro Mere Cats and its sister ending Meerkats Stand Tall. We left the intro on Red Bandit intact on the Red Bandit track (moving it to a hidden track wasn't an option thanks to modern technology, according to Trevor, assuming we wanted it to actually play on everybody's DVD players. We went with the Toaster version with the BIG BASS, which I think will make Liam very happy and sounds fucking rad; de-muddified the low end of Nothing Scares Us, which made me happy; and added a record sample to the end of Devil in My Car that Nick picked up from a symphonic recording.

In an amazing twist of events, I stayed awake through this entire process and drove us home to Chicago. Kraska was wrecked, after staying up till 6am Monday morning tossing and turning. I'm giddy now, but I think it's more from excitement than lack of sleep. It's a real attitude adjuster to take one for the team when you have a record to show for it, rather than four or five more days of torture ahead of you.

So what now? Thick Records pays Mastermind and gets the master version of everything so they can send it off to get burned. Our awesome designer, Jef, has a few sleepless nights to finish the jacket. We hustle to get Jef content with thank yous, credits, song titles and all that crap. And then we all sit back and relax for a couple of months and wait for this shit to hit! Wow.

* note: By "you" I mean Greg, Nick and Liam, of course. Patti and I are generally passed out on the sofa for this portion of the process.

Monday, May 23, 2005

last minute panics, fuck our neighborhood

the reference cds are awesome, but we found a small glitch in one track so normo and i scrambled to make sure our asses are covered for mastering tonight. he's holed up mixing the shit out of milemarker's new record right now. basically since pachyderm, our two bands have been playing time share with him. they'd do a few days, we'd do a few days, and so on. it's been a strange "ships passing in the night thing" - we've been milemarker fans for a while, so it's a cool coincidence. anyway, so i went to electrical to pick up a backup digital copy of one of the songs in case the reel version has the glitch on it. (long story - basically some tracks were mixed straight to tape, and others went to hi-res digital, the ones with more complicated changes and wierd shit which were then assembled and dumped back to tape for archival/consistant sound). on the way out at 12:30 last night i noticed some fuckers shot our van window out - looks like a pellet gun or something - but nevertheless, fuck our neighborhood. thank you to milemarker for suggesting a good, cheap place to get the glass fixed - apparantly their van has also seen it's share of chicago mishaps.

liam's out of town now, so it's all up to rachel, patti and i to head up to milwaukee tonight and get this mastered. so, so close to being done. sort of. at least the audio portion of the cd.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

stab me in the eye we're done! sorta..

we worked till about 5am last night mixing the shit out of the remaining songs and holy halalujah we're done. unless we find something wrong, but i'm gonna say we're done. it is both awesome and crappy to be done with the recording part, on one hand we've been working so long on it, it's nice to have some closure and a full on completed version there instead of "works in progress" - but i'm sad to bid greg an adieu for now, we were pretty seriously in record mode there. there will be more though, we're going to go back at sometime in the next few months to finish up the outtakes and b-sides, so it's not REALLY over i guess.

is it too lame to say you love your own record before it's even done done? cuz i do. hearing some of that stuff back is like, 'holy shit, is that really my band? cuz that's fucking awesome!'

we are all very sleep deprived and crazy right now. so the recording/mixing was done spread over 11 days (2 days demos - though one album track is partly from a demo session) working btw 8-14 hr days. something like that.

i want to be a haberdasher when i grow up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

what we do when in the studio, but not actually working

enough of the on-topic stuff, right? greg has tivo and we've been watching a lot of aqua teen, south park (you don;t need a link) and sealab. greg & liam have been nerding out on clone wars too and about the upcoming star wars movie. liam has been nicknamed "lord palpatine" or "lord palatine" (non chicagoans may not get the reference, palatine is a chicago suburb) depending on the mood. the girls are generally repulsed by the star wars, i'm indifferent about the clone wars, but am kinda looking forward to the actual movie. but, i'm also not making plans to see it on opening day (cough cough liam and greg). there's also some backstory here, when episode 1 came out, my old, old band ng kindheit was recording with greg and he was all about star wars and talking about it constantly. during mixing of the last new black record we bought him a jar-jar binks costume mask that hangs in the studio still - he is a total star wars nerd. oh no, we's a gonna die?!

also, the wiffle ball field in the walgreens loading bay has treated us well. last night's discovery is that we can have night games - the lighting is pretty good there. i fucked everything up last night though. normo was on the mound doing his maddux (he's got a hell of a slider - and a pretty deep arsenal of pitches all around actually, but he's a bit of a loose cannon, not a lot of discipline - i've had to charge the mound a few times on him.) kimball was in deep center/left/right field, and greg pitched a fastball that i popped up onto the top of the pharmacy so we have no ball now. greg's talking of stealing one from electrical today. the best part is we're using a real aluminum bat, so you can really get a full swing in on that fucker. it's also pretty fun to yell "NORRRRRRRRRRR-MAN!!! NORRRRRRRRRRR-MAN!!!" and "KIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM-BALL!!! KIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM-BALL!!!" and "KRASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS-KA!! KRASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS-KA!!". go ahead and try it out now - it's just like you're playing wiffle ball with us now! the girls don't seem to interested in wiffle ball, they usually lay on the couch and watch tv while we play stick.

also - i think we've eaten from piezano's on 47th about 4 times now. yesterday was lunch at apache grill on archer/damen. i still think piezano's has the best pizza in chicago - though the people who work there seem brain damaged. we've also eaten at huck fin's donuts, and the archview. it's been the world tour of archer diners.

we also went to mckinley park and liam hit me in the back of the head with a superball and i wanted to kick his ass - but we made up since it was an accident. greg caught a dead catfish in the algae overflowing pond - although actually it was sleeping so we left it to nap.

these are the important things about recording right?

stealing bandwidth

What you got in that suitcase?

What's in the suitcase?

This? Nothin.

Seriously, what's in there?

Oh......a monkey in a sumo diaper.

Seriously? Let me take a look

Nope. Sorry


No Way.

....We've got two songs left to mix, although we're probably about halfway through one of them. The record is looking to have this track sequence:

Intro (I'm calling this intro Merekats)
Time Attack
Nothing Scares Us
Devil In My Car
Big Haus
Der Spook
Red Bandit
Mere Cats

....everything is finished, with the exception of Red Bandit and Der Spook (which will be a whole different mixing experience than the rest of the songs, as we've decided to use the demo version instead of the Pachyderm one. It's a good choice.) Everyone has agreed, without actually voicing it, that Khalil! needs to be remixed as well. Honestly, the mix we've got is a bit conservative in comparison with the rest of the songs, and if it's going to lead off the record, it had better kick ass.

Right before we left tonight, Greg took the ending of Red Bandit and cut it up and recorded it backwards. That'll probably intro the song now. DON'T TELL ANYONE, but Norman's using the computer for some of this stuff. DIGITAL AND ANALOGUE RECORDING, TOGETHER. Truly frightening.

We worked until six this morning, and my sleep schedule is dicked up. Tommorrow, this part of the record will be finished.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mixing it up.

I'm here at work while everybody else is at Studio Greg Studios doing all the work. We started mixing in earnest yesterday after breakfast at Huck Finn's family restaurant and donut shop, and if I weren't about to drop under my desk and pass out from exhasution, I think I'd be jumping up and down I'm so excited.

Mixing, for the most part, is drawn out and tedious work, especially for Greg, who has to listen to everything AND make it sound right. On analog. But it's also the most rewarding part of recording. Because once you're finished, you actually have a real live song. Except for the mastering part, but that doesn't happen until next week.

We started with my dramatic grand piano intro, then did Khalil, then Nothing Scares Us, and finally Devil in my Car. Nick drove me home at 3am so I could get up and get to work this morning, and I left the team with a list of songs I promised to trust them with completely. I'm pretty sure they finished Seventeen after Nick got back.

Just got a call from Patti an hour ago, who had to relay the bad news that I needed to redo my vocals for Time Attack cuz they were out of tune (the hazards of writing parts for yourself that you can't really sing. Oops). So I passed the task onto Patti. I'd rather have them done and done well sooner than later. I'm off work at 5:30 promptly, and will take the Orange Line back to SGS for dinner and more mixing.

We're supposed to be finished up by tomorrow night. Holy cow.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


fuckinay, greg's had some pretty aweomse idears so far. as of now we've got the intro mixed, and khalil (2 versions - v2 is probably the keeper with a more defined bass drum). just getting the mix of nothing scares us up and it sounds raaaad.

Rock Show VS The Awesome Jam

It's pretty ugly out today. Thank goodness. Ugly is the perfect sort of weather to spend a day in the basement of StudioGregStudioIII.

We retracked the vocals on a couple of songs yesterday, including the finally finished 'Red Bandit'. After giving everything a listen, we played some wiffleball. Greg and Nick were amazed/horrified at how bad I am, despite my switch hitting skills.

Lastly, before heading out to our show, we fired up the 2 track and began mixing the piano intro to the record. Greg had an idea to add even more noise to the scareyness by mixing 5 or 6 of the songs from the demo together on his computer and adding that in sparingly. It sounds neat. And creepy.

A big thanks to everybody who came out to the Hideout last night, especially The Like Young, The LDW DJ's, and Meat (I love my tie). It was a fun show, I love playing at the hideout (everyone there is so nice!), and it was a fitting way to begin our 'summer break'.

Today: We get into mixing this fucker.

Friday, May 13, 2005

uk release / art update / more recording

shooting for a sept 5, 2005 uk release, which means basically everything has to be done by may 31 - that's just the way it works, crazy huh? seems so far away. jef said something about sculptures - it is clear he is already thinking of things far cooler and greater than we could imagine. that's why you work with professionals in thier field eh? (though he's an awesome musician too under the name spies televiv) it's awesome watching someone else go through thier creative process, especially when it's somewhat tied to your creative process.

tommorow it's back to the studio to do some keyboard overdubs and more vocals. then at night to our last show for a while at the hideout.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

tentative street date/ new thick comp

september 20, 2005 is hereby known as the day time attacked.


now we just have to like, actually finish the damn thing.

details for the "mean it man" thick comp that seventeen is on are here. for extracurricular points, i also play on the live hanalei song "Chamomile" - and this is the first time i've heard the title. i've always known it as "newer fast one".

while we're talking extracurricular, go see liam on tour with the zincs in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

vocals - day 1

back at home, not at looking forward to the day job tommorow. should be up in about 4.5 hrs. vocals at studio greg studios. got a lot done, not all - but a lot. i'm sure liam will write more - but nerd details are that most of liams tracks are through a beyer m88 to sony 3036 pre to dbx 160x compressor at about 3:1 and patti is to at 4033 to hardy pre to dbx 163 to tape. if track space allows an at 4051 room mic track delayed at 20ms though hardy pre. i did some overdubs into a sm 58 to a combo amp miced with a gefell um70. compressed w/valley dynamite. patti also doubled her part in seventeen using this setup.

this is silly, i'm going to bed. we didnt bring a camera, sorry - no photos.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Artwork, vocals, sequence

Last night we got together with Jef to talk about the cover art for Time Attack. It was an incredibly different conversation than the when we met up with him to talk about the first record, in that everyone was so much more comfortable knocking around ideas; it was so much easier for us all to talk about it. In my opinion, it would be just fine if that was the end of it. Whatever Jef comes up with will be perfect, as was the first record's art.

We have plans to do some third-shift vocal recording with Greg, after his regular session at Electrical, tonight. I've loaded the rough mixes of the songs I sing into my computer and have been practicing actually making the words reasonably clear. I've got a whole lot of words that I'm trying to fit into little places.....

Team New Black is going back and forth on the track sequence, but it should be finalized soon.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Baby Ghosts

A million thanks to all of the moms and dads and young people that came out to help us take our pictures today. What did we learn? We learned that just being incredibly talented, attractive, well-read and overly sea-worthy does not mean that one can have any sort of control over 15 three year olds. Live and learn.

Kraska and I just had a talk about the sequencing (or track order) for the record. I like it. I REALLY LIKE IT.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Same Room

one thing that was different about this recording from past recordings we've done is that we were all in the same physical room together. in the past, we've tracked basics as a band playing all at the same time, but everyone had been in thier own rooms with thier amps and i was kinda isolated in the big drum room. what we did here this time was acoustically isolate each instrument in its own room, but run cables out to the main live room so that we were all standing close to each other just like at a show or at practice, but still able to achieve isolation if someone wanted to go back in and punch in a part or something. except me. i had to play everything right all the way through all the time. but these two photos show you the room layout from behind the kit. liam was like 4 ft away, then rachel like 10 ft, and patti 15 ft - just like at our practice space. everyone's amp was in another room, but we could hear them all over our own custom headphone mix. so for example if i wanted tons of bass and no scratch vocals, i could hear that while playing, but if rachel wanted tons of gtr and scratch vocals, she could hear that and control that independently of anything greg was doing in the control room. the joys of the furman headphone system.

Monday, April 25, 2005


just to get all out of order on everything, one of the demo tracks was sent to resident mastering svengali and hotrod car tinkerer trevor sadler @ mastermind for inclusion on an upcoming thick comp. initially we planned an album track to go on it, but time - she doesn't allow it. once we finish this record, trevor will once again do mastering duties at his milwaukee bat cave of audio.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


....Or your neices and nephews, or your neighbors kids.....It doesn't matter. We're shooting some 'publicity photos' next weekend (SATURDAY APRIL 30TH), and we need some small children to dress as ghosts. We're hoping for two dozen. The plan is thus: we'll meet up at Humboldt Park around 11:00 AM, dress those kids up, shoot some pictures, and eat some pizza or hotdogs or some other kid friendly food. It'll be a hoot. A REAL HOOT.

So, if you know any kids somewhere between 3-7 years old (they have to be smaller than us, and some of us are pretty small), please drop us a line at and let us know you're interested. The photos may be used in print ads, or in press releases or in the liner of our record. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My Commentary On Some Of These Pictures

So, I really hate being home. I hate going to work, I hate cleaning my apartment, I hate making my own coffee, I hate not just working on music 24 hours a day (although, truthfully, we didn't work for 24 hours a day, but we were atleast thinking about it).....

This was the updated solution to my buzzing bass problem. Instead of clipping the thing to the skin on my leg (which hurt like all get out), Greg clipped it to a spoon, and taped the spoon to my leg. So, I had a spoon taped to my leg for a couple of hours...

The Savage Amp was in the bathroom, and it sounded like hell. It's the main guitar sound on a couple of songs, was used for a few guitar overdubs, and was used on the keyboards in place of the busted B12 Organs that Rachel had planned on using

This is the guitar the Nick got all Jim O'Rourke on with his drumsticks. For another song, I did the same thing with Rachel's knitting needles. She made Patti a scarf and a little kerchief for somebody's rat dog.

This is a picture of Nirvana at Pachyderm

This is New Black at Pachyderm. The log is Francis Bean

Nick and I in the sauna after our first day of tracking. Saunas are awesome.

This is Jim, who was the second engineer for our record.

This is Adam, who was the assistant. Adam's alter ego is building bass enclosures for cars, and is a world record holder for building the loudest car-stereo system. He is currently building a speaker box out of steel and concrete that he hopes will reach 180db (which is louder than a jet engine). His dream is to build a stereo that will be loud enough to emit the 'brown sound', which is a noise so loud that it makes people lose control of their bladder and bowels. That is an awesome goal.

Rachel and Patti doing what they do best.

Greg chasing a wild turkey. He didn't catch it, but he tried his damndest.

The axe murderer strikes again.

More Pictures

Jim took these - check em out here.

Pretty Pictures - Round 1

jim from pachyderm was nice enough to send us these pics he took, you can start to see how awesome the place is.

greg at work

liam beeing grounded. this requires an explanation. liams bass was giving off a buzz when he wasnt physically touching the strings - which was a problem in quiet sections or when he wasnt playing. greg's genius solution was to electrically connect liam to his bass providing a constant ground. he clipped a wire to the bridge of his bass, and the other to a chunk of skin on his leg - outcome: perfectly silent bass - and reportedly a quite painful liam. suffer for the art dude.

ax murderer leaves his warning sign for us.

console labeling. top is tape returns, bottom is channel inputs.

pro tools: not turned on. greg inspecting some shit.

sitting on the couch

rachels keyboards

patti's regular setup

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


i rounded up some info on some of more esoteric mics used on the basic tracking - high nerd factor here in this post. overheads & piano, mono room & many overdubs, drum ambient room and overdum room. one song used these mics for ambient mics, with the m-9 omni capsule.

How slick is this cross post?

I also left my half-finished copy of Daughter's Keeper in the nightstand of the master bedroom, with a note for whoever happens to visit Pachyderm studios next (and can figure out how to open that thing), which you can read about here.

Crap We Left...

cell phone charger (mine), toothbrush (unknown owner) and dead bear cub. it's gonna take a little longer to get the photos up, they're all on greg's laptop right now, so i gotta get with him to make that happen - be patient.

the drive home was tedious and it is both good and bad to be back home. i give it a day till im back to city stress level. once back in the city driving down sacramento like 4 different people ran in front of the van nearly getting ran down, and some jackass casually rode his bike through a red light nearly getting ran over by the car next to us on chicago ave. being removed from the city sure makes it seem insane once you're thrust back in it. one of the best things about recording was i didn't leave the pachyderm compound once in the 4 days we were there. the only people i saw or talked to were directly involved in making the record - so it was very good and focused.

after unloading our gear at our practice space we went down to the skylark and had dinner and some beers with normo. it was a nice post-game review type of meeting, reflecting on what we did, and where we're going for the next phase of the record. greg seems really excited about it all which is cool - he was like a kid in a candy store all weekend.

in the end we only used 3 of 6 reels. my head hurts from hearing our songs so much, i need a break - so this is cool to have a breather.

other quick additional notes i remembered - ua 2610 was used on gtr. d112 was close mic on bathroom gtr, and 57 room and hvac duct. bathroom gtr used the tube tech stereo compressor. marching snare used 451 and tlm 170s. piano used km-54s and tlm 170s. fet 47 was used on a lot of other various overdubs, as were the 170s.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

That's it.

Fifteen songs tracked. We'll drive home tomorrow and do vocals and mixing in a couple of weeks. Everything sounds great, and we're all beat.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Fire Up the Grill - Take 2

we're hitting the tail end of our stay here at pachyderm, and just finished a monstrous intro that has grand piano, orchestral bass drum and snare drum, suspended cymbal and 3 guitar amps feeding back (at both real speed and half speed). sly stalone better watch it because this shit is over the top. uge as they say. too big to put the H in.

anyway, i just lit the grill for our last meal here. patti's doubling some parts over at the studio, then i think we're gonna try and put vocals on a couple numbers - then put together some rough mixes. we also made drum samples for stv slv to remix from - so takers can get the "pachyderm drum sound" library. it will be hot: coming to a computer near you.

today was essentially unnecessary overdub/fuckaround day which has been great. i've also done my share of jim o'rourke impresonating (circa his experimental guitar days) playing tabletop guitar with drumsticks and pick. liam did a similar take on another song that was recorded backwards - which will freak out all the stoners.

when i woke up mysteriously all my dirty clothes were gone (including my pants) so most of the day i've been wearing a silly pair of xxxxl red soccer shorts that make me look like an idiot. the laundry was actually in the dryer - so now that it's clean, you'll be happy to know i have clean jeans on.

i hear the crew coming back now. patti says "we did a cool thing to 17"

Recording Almost Finished

Taking a little break on our last day while the Pachyderm dudes disassemble the drum mics to set up the piano for our final bit of recording. I've still got a little hope that we're going to get to vocals today, but I'm not counting on it. We've finshed all of the overdubs and tracking for all of our real songs, and come up with some pretty awesome stuff. Nick and I did some really crazy noise overdubs for 'Devel In My Car' and a pretty overdub for 'Red Bandit' that we played with markers and knitting needles. Greg did some backwards recording, and those two songs are pretty dang trippy sounding, which is awesome, as trippy is what we are going for.....

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Time for a Swim

well, so far we've reviewed all our work so far, and everything's a keeper save for unhappy birthday. we tracked red banded (formerly nick was right) and y.l.g.e.t.e.t. both on first takes - so i've been pretty much watching everyone else work. i explored the property and walked down by the creek and dam (but i missed the bear cub) and now i'm gonna hop in the pool while patti redoes her parts on devil. then we get new guitar tones for the last 2 songs and im back to work.

let me reiteriate how awesome this is - even if the pool is not heated.

Carpet On My Tongue

We might've won the battle last night, but it's apparent that the whiskey is winning the war. I feel like tenderized ass this morning. The casualty count is unknown as of yet. With the exception of Rachel and Adam the Assistant, everybody else is still in bed.

Wildlife Update: We have seen a wild turkey, a crane and a DEAD BEAR CUB. The bear is in the river, down by the dam. Its questionable how long it has been there, so I'm on the lookout for a mama bear. If she comes around, I'm gonna do some bear boxing.

Charles Bronson Update: Deathwish 3 is pretty fucking amazing.

Actual Record Recording Update: As Rachel mentioned, the basic basics for eleven songs are 'in the can'. I'm going to be reasonable realistic and suggest that the recording of those cover songs weren't maybe 'up to par' (hopefully, you can all keep up with my 'industry speak'). The plan for this fine day (and it really is beautiful outside) is to give what we tracked yesterday a listen, punch in some fixes, and then map out what's going to happen to the five songs we have left, along with a piano intro part. I'm confident that we can get through all of that today, which will mean that we can spend all day tommorrow totally destroying everything we've done with completely unneccessary overdubs. That is my favorite part of recording. In theory, we may put some vocals on tape tommorrow as well.

The camera we brought with us is now filled up. Hopefully, Kraska will FTP those bad boys up, and we'll have some pretty pictures to show you.

I'm going swimming.

I Think I'm in Heaven

This place is awesome. Really awesome. I tried to post yesterday and the computer ate it - hopefully this one will make it. Suprisingly, I made it as number 3 to arise (I'm always the crabby late riser) this morning and my pre-emptive heavy water chugging before sleep prevented the whaskey (technical industry term for whiskey) and beers from getting the best of me.

The other clowns have covered a lot of the goings on. Technical wise, lemme see what I can pull off memory right now what I think's going on recording wise.

THE TEUTONIC DRUM MIC'ING SETUP (all mic manufacturers are german or austrian)
bass drum in: sennheiser 421
bass drum out: akg d112
snare: akg 451
rack top: akg 451
rack bottom: sennheiser 421
floor top: akg 451
floor bottom: akg 414 buls
overhead left: neumann km-54
overhead right: neumann km-54
mono kit: neumann fet 47 (compressed through tube tech compressor)
room left: neumann tlm170 (17ms delay to tape, tc m3000 delay)
room right: neumann tlm 170

default channels to neve 8068 console

sm57 > manley compressor
shure beta 52 > manley

oktava ml52
akg 414
sm57 room

dx7: sennheiser 421
sequential: DI

everthing's going to the studer 827 24tk.

i know there's more and i think i have some of that wrong, but that's the gist of it for now.

we just ate breakfast and actually have to do some work today. we got a ton done yesterday so that's awesome. jim and adam here at pachyderm are taking great care of us. i took a sauna the other night and went swimming in the frigid pool and it was awesome - that's in my plans for tonight again i think. once we get over to the studio i'll transfer the photos to greg's computer and i'll see about getting them online. greg's doing a kick ass job. and yes, after dinner last night patti and i were messing around and did some pj harvey covers that greg secretly taped a few seconds of that are really awesome. also, everyone's done theier best to do high school band interpretatinos of songs from in utero. liam and i did a shockingly awful version of all apologies.

i need some coffee.

Eleven down. Kind of.

After lunch, we went back in and tracked Nothing Scares Us and (Mind Of A Girl, Body Of A) Spaceship. Patti added some insanely rocking overdubs that prompted producer Greg E. Normo to announce "Patti's a good guitar player." Which is a real nice compliment when you consider E. Normo's power of understatement.Meanwhile, Nick heated up the grill and we all took a dinner break of hambuger for the real men and chicken breasts for the screaming pussies. I had one of each. Oops.

When the sun went down, we went back in and did Toaster, which sounded totally trippy and Devil in My Car, which consisted of six minutes of Nick playing mind-numbingly awesome drums while the rest of us stumbled along behind him. That's OK, because it's most important that Nick's take is right, followed by Liam then Patti and finally me. Which is because the band brings in a studio musician to overdub my parts while I'm sleeping anyhow (Yes, that was deadpan and yes, I said six minutes. This will not be the radio hit unless seventies rock makes a comeback NOW).

Everybody was drained afterwards, so we brought out the whiskey and recorded our covers: Jane Weidlin's (the Go Go's) Automatic and The Smith's Unhappy Birthday. We think Automatic was a keeper, but Unhappy Birthday might need a little re-record--by that time, E. Normo had grounded an alligator clamp to Liam's leg to keep his bass from buzzing, the Whiskey was having its effect on our playing, we'd applied autotune to the scratch vocals and everybody was laughing their asses off.

Before we went back up to our pimpin rockstar pad, we decided that we'd take a listen to everything this morning and decide what we want to try again from yesterday. Unhappy Birthday will probably need another try, and Nick is still not sold on his drumming in Der Spook.

And here's an interesting end note. We all sat around the TV watching The Surreal Life when we got back, which was featuring Jane Weidlin (whoa!), who was crying because another washed up and forgettable musician was calling her washed up. Well Jane, you made an indelible impression on the rock scene around the world, and we love your songwriting best out of all the Go Go's stuff. If washed up means that my favorite band in Chicago is recording your song 20 years after you wrote it, then you must not be as washed up and irrelevant as you feel (although appearing on The Surreal Life is probably not helping that impression).


addendum It has come to my attention that I got Jane's last name complete wrong. Let me just say, Jane, that this is testament to the fact that I am hopelessly out of touch, not that you are hopelessly out of date. Everybody knows it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Five down.

It's 4:47, and Patti has just put on her fancy wristband. Liam's pants are down below his ass, and yes, we have done basics on five songs: Time Attack, Big House, Khalil!, Mere Cats and Der Spook.

We just stopped for a turkey and ham sandwich break, and sent Adam, our trusty studio assistant, on a beer run.

We're heading back in about 30 seconds. I think we are going to try to do Nick Wuz Right (now Red Bandit) and then Nothing Scares us. We're waiting till it gets dark to hit Toaster and Devil in My Car.

I'd feel like a rockstar if I weren't on my third pair of Hanes Her Ways (white with blue flowers) and scared shitless to play Devil.


Take Fives eaten: Five

Friday, April 15, 2005

Drum tones, check.

I'm on my second pair of Hanes Her Ways and my second pair of socks. Same jeans and shirt as last night. Showered but didn't wash my hair.

It's now evening, and Team New Black has finally finished getting drum tones, by which I mean that Liam, Patti and I have gone shopping and made breakfast, Patti has watched two movies, I've taken an afternoon nap, and Greg and Nick have finished drum tones. Betcha didn't know they could take so long, did you? Yeah, neither did I. But apparently, drum tones are one of the most important aspects of a good album (or so Nick would have us all believe).

After a short break, we just sent the team back to the studio to get bass tones. In about a half-hour, Patti will head down to do guitar tones, and I'll be the last one in for keyboard sounds. In case I didn't make this clear, Pachyderm is two buildings: a guest house and the studio.

Update: Holy shit! Greg just paged us through some kind of phone intercom, and we are supposed to head down in 10 minutes. I kinda feel like a rockstar, if you want to know the truth.

This means that we can start tracking in about an hour. OK now, I'll talk to ya'll soon.

xox - rachel

Number of Take Fives New Black has consumed: 2

At The Pachyderm

We got to the studio at around 2:30 this morning, after a pretty okay show at the 7th Street in Minneapolis. This place is a little beyond amazing.....The house has enough bedrooms for everyone, a swimming pool and a sauna. It's this old F.L.W. style house out in the middle of nowhere. There's a little creek running behind the house. It's totally beautiful in a sort of were-gonna-get-hacked-up-by-a-mass-murderer type of way.

Greg and Nick are setting up drums and microphones and changing drum heads and all sorts of other techie-nerd shit (I'm sure that Nick will give you all of the boring details)....everybody is so ready to make this record happen, super nervous excited.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


We're taking off in about an hour, and I'm all packed up and ready to go....My fears last night that I may be coming down with a bit of a cold were confirmed this morning, which is about a million different colours of awesome. Hurrah!

A couple of predictions:
1. Rachel and Patti will both be asleep by 11:00 every night. In some cases, they'll probably pass out closer to 6:00. Sloth is the new punk.

2. During one of their 'naps' Greg, Nick and I will commit something to tape that will ellicit a response similiar to one Rachel put forth at the recording of our first record: "Maybe when you guys sober up you'll realize what a bad idea this is".

A list of songs to be recorded:
1. Khalil!
2. Valentine
3. Time Attack
4. Der Spook
5. Merekats
6. Seventeen
7. (Mind Of A Girl, Body Of A) Spaceship
8. Big House
9. Nothing Scares Us
10. When You Sleep Tonight, Your Toaster Will Rise Up And Kill You (completely a tenative title at this point)
11. UNTITILED (although we've been calling it 'Nick Was Right', as a sort of ironic joke. Nick is never right.)
12. Devil In My Car
13. Fonzie Cool
14. You Look Good Enough To Eat Tonight
15. Automatic (Go-Go's Cover)
16. Unhappy Birthday (Smith's Cover)

That's a whole lotta songs! Can we do it, or will we waste all of our time at the pool? Holy Crap! Holy Holy Holy Crap! I'm one excited turd.....

Come out and watch us play tonight at Seventh Street with The Bitter Tears

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Last-minute shopping

So what does every good keyboard player pick up at the superstore the night before she goes on the road?

1) a four-pack of Hanes Her Way, hipster style (note: it was this or wash)
2) a six-pack of socks (why do they sell more socks per package than underwear, i wonder?)
3) Chex mix
4) gummy bears
5) granola bars
6 - 10) yarn, needles and scissors for a new knitting project (hey! i'm gonna be spending a lot of time on my ass)

Tape's Here

luckily it showed up. it appears to be in good shape, but we wont really know till it goes up on the machine. i'm slightly concerned about sticky shed syndrome, but this is a later formulation that they seem to have worked out the kinks by and we should be fine. awesome.

Crap I Need to Do Today After Work, Before Practice

- buy new heads/sticks
- pull extra snare stand from 2nd kit's hardware
- buy a slurpee and take 5

Where's Our Tape?

we're narrowly squeezing in on a roadblock with tape. some more background, a lot of people make records on computers these days, we're still all on tape. we have a lot of reasons, maybe we'll talk about them later, but it's how we do things. this is a little complicated because the last remaining analog tape manufacturer closed it's doors for restructuring in january, and since then tape's seen a classic supply and demand price jump. the plant is now on very limited production, so supply is scarce. most people selling new old stock tape on ebay or whatever for a lot more than what you would have paid a year or so ago. so what do we do? like the good hippies we are (just kidding, we're no stinking hippies) we recycle. or we buy used. since it's cheaper (and available) we're able to buy more reels to allow multiple takes of songs. we've ordered 6 reels of 3M 996 tape - which is the predecessor to quantegy GP9. this may all be totally boring, but they are high output tape, sometimes referred to as +9 tape (long of the short, back in the 50's/60's - your zero reference point was at 185 nWb/m a measure of fluxivity of the tape, sort of a saturation point. as tapes and machines got more evolved they could put more information on the tape, or had more headroom. your loudest parts could be louder than before, so the tape hiss is reduced in comparison, and there's more dynamic range. before i bore you any more, there's tons of info on this stuff here and here if you're into that sort of thing).

at any rate, we need tape to make the record. studio time has been booked for months and we can't just move it. we've ordered the tape, but it is not yet here. we leave tommorow. fedex had the shipment scheduled to arrive yesterday, but it did not. after about an hour of phone calls with fedex and instigating a "case" - we finally track down the packages of our reels at the wheeling sort office. the driver apparantly gave up delivering our packages - and at some point in champaign they lost the mailing labels. great. you can see the tracking results of our fiasco.

bill from tape tape is a wierd dude. he sounds exactly the "the dude" in the big lebowski on the phone. when i placed the order he sounded like he couldnt find the pencil and was scrambling to keep everything together. when i told him about our time crunch he said, "for an extra 10 bucks i can get in the van and drive through downtown LA traffic to get your package to fedex today" which i took him up on. at the end of our call he says with much enthusiasm (imagine "the dude" when he's talking about the nihlists, and say it in a stoner/surfer voice) "let's keep analog alive man!"

The Ultimate Recording Experience

T minus 24 hours till we leave for recording. Of course I am perusing the Pachyderm website rather than working while at the day job, and while doing so, I discovered the equipment list, then sent the following email to Camp New Black:

Pachyderm has a Bosendorfer piano?!!??? Never in my life have I played on one of those. Whoa.


p.s. They also have lesley speakers for their Hammond. As if I should be surprised...

Getting Started - Backstory

some background for first time readers: new black is a rock band in chicago. we've already got a record out on thick records and have played a bunch of shows in both the U.S. and europe. the first record has been out for about a year now, and we're about to go back into the studio for our second record in a couple days. this blog will keep you up to date (or bored) with events as they happen leading up to the release of the record.

to fill you in on the last few months, we've been writing new songs and playing them out at shows to get tighter in preparation for this. we're going to be recording with our long time friend greg norman - the same guy who recorded our first record. we'll be tracking this record at the gorgeous and famous pachyderm studio, outside of minneapolis. our last record was done at the equally awesome electrical audio - which greg calls regular home - but we wanted to get out of town and hole ourselves up in a foreign location without distractions for this record. both places are world class studios.

we've already gone into greg's home studio to demo a majority of the songs we'll be recording for the record. for the first record, we demo'd the songs before going into the studio as well, but i (nick) recorded them last time at our practice space. this time we wanted greg to demo them because:

a) we'd have the tracks on 2" for future use
b) so i didn't have to worry about recording junk, and could focus on playing
c) so greg would have more time to come up with brilliant ideas for the actual record and be more familiar with the songs.