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Sunday June 5, 2005

 

 


Nothing much to tell today. It was a relaxer to try and recover from the last week. For some reason I found myself digging pretty heavily into Jimmy Page's '80s group The Firm. I forgot how good some of that stuff was.

Other than that, a nice relaxing early evening walk and some TV, nothing to tell, I'm happy to say.

Oh - and if there's a ton of typos this week, my apologies, I'm going it with no time at all and just rushing through as quickly as possible. Things are crazy again!


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Saturday June 4, 2005

The Darlings go from the rehearsal room to the stage at Nuci's!

 

 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROBBIE!

Today's my nephew Robbie's 12th birthday. He's gotta be the sweetest, most sensitive kid I've ever known. My wish is for him to have the best summer ever. He deserves it.

The rest of my day is focused on the latest show. I'm a little reticent because (again) we haven't had time to rehearse due to the album. Wanna see what happened?

Click here for all the show details.

 


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Friday June 3, 2005
 

 

 

 

 


Okay, this sucks. I went back to DARC, touched up "Into My View" and "I'll Be Fine", grabbed the reels, went back to City Mastering and began mastering those. I still thought they sounded too bright (and somehow the stereo image got reversed) but I thought I must just be going Phil Spector-crazy and trying to be overly perfect. "Everyone else says they sound great. Every one else says it's "bright and shiny", not "bright and harsh." I should shut up and trust them.

So I tried that tactic. Guess what it got me.

Depressed.

Frank came in and the tail-end of mastering and listened back (after I'd been convinced that it was all sunshine and roses and the problems were in my head). After he listened, he just looked up at Jeff, Tom and me and said, "so when it goes to the final discs that harshness will be smoothed out somehow, right?" All I could do was throw my hands up. I KNEW IT! Then I got it in my car on the way home and almost threw it out the window. Jeff did a great job on the music and the best that could be done with what he had. I just believe that the analog compression, combined with mastering compression, combined with the compression on the vocals when they were recorded has created this sibilant monster. There's only a couple of songs up to my standards right now and it really pains me to say that. Especially since I KNOW that the performances are all there and perfect, the sounds are all there and perfect and that the problems are strictly due to transferral and technical issues. And I just spent $75/hour to find this out. I don't know what to do. I need some time to think. I love this record too much to not put Band-Aids where it's cut and bleeding. This is a great record. Somehow with all of the dumping back and forth, it's become the equivalent of taking the most tasty, sweet birthday cake and pouring an entire shaker full of salt over the top before serving it. That won't do.

 


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Thursday June 2, 2005

 


 


Still more catching up, reviewing the album for potential changes and the like. It was an incredibly dull but somewhat restful day today. Maybe I'm starting to get a little energy back.

 

 

 


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Wednesday June 1, 2005

 

 

Today I got an offer for this Friday and Saturday that I would've cleared at least 2k from. I had to turn it down for the band. Retna called and asked if I'd go photograph the Ying Yang Twins video shoot (with a bunch of strippers) for Entertainment Weekly. Man, I hated turning it down but I've got to go back in for more mastering on Friday and we have a show Saturday. I just have to believe the sacrifice is worth it because only a couple of months after making more money than I've ever made in my life (from photography), I'm now making almost nothing and spending what I have made hand over fist on this album. Thank God Tom's helping pay for it or who knows where it would stand.

Also, one of my favorite bands is playing Atlanta tonight. The Futureheads are kicking off their first American tour as a buzz band and I'm just too tired to even go. Pathetic's what it is. To console myself, I've got the new Pollstar cover for today's issue. I haven't had a magazine cover in nearly two years. Guess who the shot's off...The Futureheads of course. It's both gratifying and a tease 'cause I really would've love to seen 'em tonight (and gotten my cover signed would've made it even better). It is a fairly unique shot. It's them doing an instore at Criminal Records in Atlanta last November. You can read more about it here.

As it is, I'm wading in ketchup.

I did get Concert Shots updated (although nowhere near up to date). I'm still months behind but Garbage, Billy Idol and Elvis Costello were added. Check it out.

 

 


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Tuesday May 31, 2005

 

 

 


Okay, today was the the day to finalize the album with the process they all call mastering. I went into City Mastering with Jeff Capurso (it's all part of Chase Park Transduction Studios where Drive-By Truckers do everything). I was convinced that we should take the Pro-Tools masters and dump them to half-inch analog tape to "warm the mixes up" and make them a little more classic sounding. Personally, I would've preffered to work with the actual tracks. But we paid for them to be dumped, I picked up the reels and headed to City Mastering. Jeff was great. He was brutally honest, which I love, and he also seemed to be genuinely excited by the project. He'd actually listened to it a couple of times before coming in so he got huge bonus points just for that. When we started working with the tape, we instantly had issues. Things sounded overly compressed (probably put onto tape too hot), the stereo image was reduced significantly and the extra compression made the sibilance pretty bad. We managed to get through all of them except "Into My View" and "I'll Be Fine" which were completely unacceptable on the 1/2 inch. We did try to master from the 2-track digital masters, but again - it just wasn't good enough. I loved the way the music wound up sounding on most of the tracks. The depth of sound was really brought out and the analog transition did make the music sound more natural. I'm not happy with the vocals now. Knowing that we'd have to go back into DARC for touchups on "Into My View" and "I'll Be Fine" dampened my enthusiasm completely. I'm just burned out. We were supposed to be DONE today. I'm tired. There's no point in trying to sequence tonight. Fingers crossed for Friday.

 

 


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Monday May 30, 2005

 

 


Today was as relaxing as a travelling day can get. And it was Memorial Day. I hope you had a good one. I started out by going to my Grandmother's, of course. What, are you surprised? I hung around there for awhile talking about our respective weekends. Then I caught up with Amanda's family for a bit before we made our visit to the cemetary.

Flags on vets' graves is a simple thing. I never knew how much comfort could be derived from that simple act until the first time I saw one appear on my Dad's. It's kind of funny as he really hated his time in the military. But it's good to know it's appreciated. I know he'd be proud of the recognition, too. So thanks whoever did that.

On the way out of town, we dashed by LHOP again. I really wanted to see my friends Shawn and Lori on this trip and considered trying to hook up for lunch but we were so pressed for time that we just had to get out on the highway. We're going to try to get back into town by (at least) the 4th of July. We hope to get together then (pool party, anyone?).

Amanda and I got home and (for once) had a nice relaxing evening on the couch. I need a vacation as even this weekend was totally hectic. And tomorrow, I've got to try and master this album!

 

Click here for the gory details of the final C'mon, Accept Your Joy recording sessions...and have a cupcake while you're there.


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