13 February 2006

noises from the basement...volume one

so the first project done completely in my home studio is now finished, duplicated, and will soon be available for purchase.

i've been busy working on the poco album - with the objective of having something mixable to give to them when i saw them this past week, which i accomplished. i finished a rough mix of "childs' claim to fame" and gave it to them over a week ago...and so last night, when we played together in phoenixville, they called me up on stage to do the song with them. so i'm assuming that they must've liked it....

anyway, i've been considering this idea - ever since i started this blog, really - of recording some things specifically for the purpose of discussing them here...in terms of how they were recorded, what i did to get specific sounds, things of that nature...and calling it noises from the basement, but it didn't seem like reason enough to actually release something. but as i started thinking about it, i remembered how iain matthews and his series of live alone albums...which are essentially solo acoustic albums that he recorded himself and released as fan club-type deals. and then there are my friends in simon apple who release demos, live tracks, and rarities and such...and i thought, there's a cool way to do this.

so i thought, ok - if i'm going to release stuff that i recorded in the home studio, i'm going to do it warts-and-all, and have them be what they are - demos, unreleased stuff, live tracks - things that would have never seen the light of day otherwise. the only reason for releasing something that had already been on an "official" release would be if the version were drastically different than what was on the album. i wouldn't let myself get completely caught up in making them "perfect"...because if that's the motivation, then the songs belong on an "official" album. these are supposed to be things recorded on a lark, for fun, or songs that made it to the recording stage but wouldn't see the light of day on an official release.

also, i didn't want to create the impression that i was throwing these out into the world to cash in on them...so to that end, i've decided to donate part of what i take in from the sales of these discs to charity...the first benefactor to be the grace oughton cancer foundation.

so...to this end, i'm releasing noises from the basement, volume one through my new label partner, it's about music, within the next week or so. it contains ten songs - three originals that have never been released among covers of songs by artists from shane nicholson to pure prairie league. there are studio tracks interspersed with live tracks, interspersed with demos that predate our mutual angels. on each track on the album, every instrument you hear is played by yours truly - every single one. all vocals as well. that will not be a hard and fast rule moving forward, but it's entirely likely to be the case in almost every instance that isn't a live, full band situation.

i would like to take a minute to talk about it's about music and the job they've done in making this disc available.

i conceived this project as it currently stands roughly two weeks ago. not even that, really. i'd say the middle of the week before last. i called dean sciarra, the president of the label, about their cd-on-demand service and how it worked, and what their turnaround times were - all the usual initial questions. i had already spoken with dean at length about the poco project, and he's shown a great deal of interest in that particular release...and he was more than willing to help with this project, as well. in fact, he went well above and beyond the call of duty to get this project not only ready for release, but ready for release in record time.

how fast?

this fast - he received the artwork on tuesday, the master recording on thursday, and the finished, shrink-wrapped CD's were available for sale at the colonial theatre show on friday night.

i'm not sure i can even speak to what a huge difference that is in the ordeal that i went through with the artwork design and packaging process on mutual angels alone...

i'm looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with dean sciarra and company in the future...there'll be another noises from the basement volume coming up at years' end, as well as the poco tribute album this spring...and the first album of all-original music in nine years this fall.

and you can probably look forward to lots of rants about what a pain in the ass home recording is in this particular space as i dig deeper into these projects....true to the spirit of this particular journal, there'll be a track by track dissection of the first volume of noises in the not too distant future.


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