Tuesday, January 31, 2006

feeling extra inspired and excited tonight..was a long day and we got off to a late start as far as tracking something new cuz we couldn't make up our minds this morning about a tempo thing in a song tentatively titled beautiful feeling..got it worked out eventually and were stoked and moved on

now for the rest of the evening, tim and i were kind of dreading the two songs we would go on to do cuz they already felt so old but agreed they were the only two we'd previously performed with the group and should at least give them a shot since they'd become faves of some of the members (was that a run on sentence?!)..i probably wouldn't share this news if the tracks hadn't turned out great (or unless we def decided to ditch) but finally, decent recordings and a new approach= the songs came out suprisingly well....it was so rewarding to have such doubt on a song and then have it turn around and take on a completely new life in the studio, art happening spontaneously..i'll give ya a hint, while it was never a fave of mine, it was ironically one of the best, immediate lyrics tim has ever written in my opinion and so i encouraged him to give it a shot.."you will make it right, you were misunderstood" "now you know, you're beautiful, you always wondered"...one has to hear the delivery to appreciate such simple words..john (producer if ya haven't caught that yet) was a believer in the track and had mentioned he was hearing a ziggy stardust approach, drop all the electric guitars and go acoustic for one, slow stuff down..little did he know when he first told us that back in dallas we would end up with the one and only mike garson playing piano on the album..so tonight, it happened, the track known to most of you as "younger yesterday" became a top contender for the album..forget what ya knew about this song and start over...when annie and the boys first started messing with the new "feel" tim looked miserable, so stuck on the old melody and approach he couldn't get past it..it was hard cuz i knew he wanted me to agree and i just couldn't, i could imagine this catchy pop tune rediscovered and could hear a very vulnerable tim that vocally was so moving to us all...so i ran up to the house and asked mike to come on out and observe and be ready to jump in, after all , who better than him to bring the idea of a ziggy stardust tune to life..within minutes it started to happen, a magical experience...did a couple of takes while things were fresh and got it! tonight, converted!

we have ten in the bag and a few to go..cool too cuz they're all ones we really like collectively..so now we're getting into the home stretch of phase one and it feels good. in a couple of days we'll get started with the guitars and keys.

anyone seen aristocrats? it's on in the backgroud and i'm getting pretty distracted..if you've seen it, you know why :)


p.s. if i have typos, please forgive..too tired to proofread! waiting for annie to tell me if proofread is one or two words..pretty sick, we all sit (during breaks or end of night) only a few feet from each other and we instant message ach other..seriously, even at breakfast we find ourselves sitting at the same table and im'ing...crazy!

Monday, January 30, 2006

hi. got picked up last night at 10pm from the minneapolis airport by annie and evan...we made our way back to pachyderm and the snow was outrageous..we couldn't see signs for miles but we got home..evan done good..although once at studio he had to get out and move trash cans cuz they were in the way of his sharp turn he needed at the wheel to get in driveway...annie and i felt nervous, the 15 passenger van sliding a bit and a huge ditch in front of us..evan thought about eating mcdonalds on the way in cuz he's burned out on the food at house but he passed..thank god cuz i nearly fell for some disgusting french fries

anyway, got in and guys were finalizing working title "we can fly" drum take...it was exciting. i heard a bit of the percy faith influence in there tim has always wished for which was nice..

so today...started a track called beautiful feeling..again, just a working title..you're truly in the infant stages of an album with us...this seems to be a fave amongst most here..and i agree, it's a good one. just has that something extra about it...

evan and i went into town and filled up on groceries..i noticed when i got here last night the kitchen was dirty and the sink was overflowing with dirty dishes, hhmmmm..clean now tho..also they told me it was the most unproductive day on sat...any coincidence a girl leaves for the weekend and productivity slows down? :)

looking forward to some sleep tonight..looks like tomorrow we'll try for two tracks, younger yesterday and round, the only two we've ever performed as a group...not sure if they'll make it or not but we're gonna try..

just told bryan we should crank the seven tunes we have basic tracks for..although they are rough and untouched, at least they feel like songs...very rewarding for now! bryan wakeland and julie doyle in one place with a stereo and songs we like, TROUBLE...it equals LOUD..not always a good idea


Sunday, January 29, 2006

12:22pm sunday in dallas tx where it's quite sunny and warm outside...just got off the phone with tim (in minnesota where he says it snowed some more and it's cloudy) and it sounds as if they were up very late last night catching up...mark finished more bass tracks and tim overdubbed some piano stuff on top of mike's to make for some interesting honkey tonk sonics on a song or two :)..it's pretty cool watching them work together in the piano room..mike sits at a 9ft. piano while tim sits at his keyboard hammering away at the keys..

mark is instant messaging me right now..says they all went out last night except john, tim and mike...and he woke up with one of the songs (working title "justify")in his head..seems really excited about the rhythm section too..bryan wakeland, kicking ass i might add!

looks like they're starting another song today, basic tracks...our session/phase one ends feb.10 so we gotta get alot done!

by the way, look for a couple of poly songs in a film coming out this spring called LUCKY 13...we covered the r.e.m. song shiny happy people..yes, yes we know...how perfect to have polyphonic sing about shiny, happy people! the original idea was to really strip it down and do an acoustic version at a much slower tempo but...in the end, we stayed true to the track although it only features tim, mark, bryan, audrey, annie and jennifer from the band...the other song is from the beginning stages, have a day..featuring mark, tim and jennifer only...it's beautiful..i don't think there will be a soundtrack so we'll make sure to get these tunes out once movie is released for your listening pleasure


Friday, January 27, 2006

wrapping up for the day/evening... we offcially have six songs tracked now..that means drums, bass and most piano with a scratch vocal..we'll be catching up piano tomorrow and starting guitars on those songs...thus giving mark and bryan a break, a day off

ryan, evan and bryan just left for "town"...we're in the middle of nowhere..the lucky place tonight is called brewster's...pool tables, bright lights but a decent jukebox...oh and cheap drinks...annie and i thought about going but decided to stay home and get a good nights sleep..i am headed to dallas tomorrow for the weekend to see the kids..found out this evening our daughter was chosen amongst the top six kids at school to participate in an art exhibit, exciting...

mike is turning in early..he had a late one last night catching up some piano once tuner left...he started about 1am this morning, then got up about 9am and started making what he called an "avantgarson" dish..this means he gathered odds and ends of food here in the place and made something worth eating for all of us..i must say it was hearty and was a relief to eat food with substance at lunch time rather than another sandwich..he then tracked most of the day with others..

still no trout to be caught and eaten..tim working on it


Thursday, January 26, 2006

it's thursday night and ryan is at it again, more jalepenos except this time he is making double the amount..tim just made a fire and we're watching history channel on tv..hitler for god's sake

had a 9ft. yamaha piano delivered today..well, mike did.. we all agreed it was the most rock and roll thing we've ever experienced..studio piano wasn't sounding so hot so he made a call and got a piano delivered the next day for free...then later as he was playing it we saw a price tag for 146k, wow. not that anyone's buying it

we worked out a new arrangement today for a song called " we crawl"...it's def the most mellow song on album thus far..was a simple song and became quite complex in the studio..funny how that happens..always the simple ones that come back and haunt you

we have about 16 songs but are only looking to put about 10 on the record but who knows...depends how they come along

john congleton has been such a pleasure to work with...and i heard his new paper chase album the other day, amazing. excited for him to put it out..strange and beautiful

tim and bryan went trout fishing earlier during a break outside the house here but no luck..maybe tomorrow...tim says he was looking for inspiration..he doesn't have the majority of the lyrics written yet so the narrative is up in the air, out in space, the unknown...i've always known him to have strong bursts at inconvenient times so we'll see what happens under pressure..truth is he has written most of the album in the last couple of months except for two so the material is quite fresh and alittle challenging for all just in terms of "learning" it..the majority won't be recognised by anyone and even most of the band hasn't heard a lick..a different journey this time around

can't continue to write because i'm incredibly distracted by what's on tv....fahrenheit 911 (michael moore) and i believe one more moment of bush could cause me to vomit


p.s. encouraging the others to write some stuff down too..along with pictures. i'm not usually one for sharing in the writing department, bare with me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

got too tired coming down from several games of boggle late last night and didn't write..i won't mention the big winner..anyway, ryan just brought me some stuff jalepenos he made..WOW! he's got something addicting in them..hot as they are, i could eat twenty..i don't think any of us ever new ryan was so domesticated...he not only cleans well on the buses, he cooks and prepares incredible dishes of food...i can hear everyone upstairs right now bursting out with joy on the tasty presentation..go ryan

he and annie have been practicing (some might like to say "jamming") here in the house for hours a day...it's exciting to see them work together since annie came into band..their sound is becoming a true force..they've yet to lay anything down yet cuz we're still working on drums, bass and piano...so they've done a good job at killing down time with beautiful sounds..the studio manager told me this morning how much he's enjoying working to the ambient sounds of our guitar players, makes his job worthwhile

anyway, i've been documenting the process since dallas preproduction for all the fans who have always wondered how it all works...and will continue thru out process, one day we'll finally share...the ingredients that exist in the making of this album are as interesting as ever..it's a shame we didn't capture the beginning stages record, quite an amazing thing looking back

together we're heavy was pretty dull as far as the process goes so ya didn't miss much...basically we had five weeks off from touring the uk and had to make the album fast and get back on the road..we did it in dallas and it was almost like punching in the ole time clock...trying to do a traditional schedule when you're making art is for the birds...i am amazed we captured what we did with such little inspiration..i love that album though and feel it definitely represents where we were as a young band trying to conquer the world with our energy and vision...and in more ways than one

on a final note, things are going well here..we have no actual titles for songs, just working titles or i'd let ya in on them..but, we have gotten basic tracks for three now and working on fourth one...tim just yelled down for me to come listen to a drum take on the third one so we can move on...be back soon

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hi. We have our first drum take this evening and finally on our way to create the Fragile Army album. Bryan was quite inspired and got things happening quick with the help of Mark, Tim and Mike. We have a special guest playing piano on this album, Mike Garson. We met him on the Bowie tour. He's been with David Bowie since the Ziggy Stardust album. Although we got here yesterday, today's the first day of actual tracking. Mike is mind blowing in the true sense. Plays the piano in such an other wordly way. Anyway, we're feeling good and excited to be here.
All had dinner together tonight..some great burgers for some and veggie burgers for others. Tim cooked on the grill outside. I think it was below freezing so we were appreciative.
We're closing the evening down with a game of Boggle, a band fave while listening to Billie Holiday. It's nice. And Evan Hisey is winning the game, as usual. Good night.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

To whom it may concern

I sit on my couch tonight in Dallas whilst Tim DeLaughter, Julie Doyle, John Congleton, Mark Pirro, Bryan Wakeland, Evan Hisey, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Annie Clark are nestled up in Cannon Falls, MN at Pachyderm. You can check out the studio at the following link: www.pachydermstudio.com Looks to be a neat place. Those guys have been busting their ass doing pre-production for 3+ weeks getting these songs tighter than a frog's ass. I am super excited that they got to get out of DFW to get into another bubble other than the triplex. The triplex is our studio/rehearsal space. Mark equating it to the musical equivalent of digging ditches. It will pay off. They have a guest coming in tomorrow but I will let Julie fill you in on that. Look for this to be the place to get day to day updates, photos, and movies we hope. We just decided to get this going so bear with us as we get it set up. I am sure that Julie will be the main updater but look for thoughts and reflections from all involved. Oh yeah big ups to Billy Doyle aka Bubba for getting the gear to the studio on time. He made a straight shot from Dallas to the studio. The man is a driving machine. No thanks to American for delaying Tim's suitcase but that is how it goes when you fly that often. Stuff is bound to malfunction. Let's wish these guys well and wait patiently for the songs that I am sure will get stuck in our craniums.


Ps. Check out the current issue of Under The Radar as Tim shines some more light on the new record.