Wednesday, March 22, 2006

hi all

it's an early evening here at the studio. audrey finished, went on her way and now evan hisey is in wrapping up. he kind of got caught in the middle of some craziness we were feeling after coming back to dallas from minnesota, guess we needed a few days he only recorded about a day. we ended up using and keeping most everything he did at that time so was a day well spent. so anyway, he's in working on a few songs he didn't get to do back then. next week tim will cut some lead vocals, yes we did the album, including choir, to scratch vocals..and we're keeping a bit of them. our first poly album, the beginning stages is all scratch lead vocals by the way. we had little time and just kept them. plus they just felt good. but don't worry, we're not slacking on this album, don't get the wrong idea! um

one day we will actually mix this thing and get it out there! i figured up the days we've spent thus far recording and it's somewhere around 36 days..not bad for players coming in, learning song by song, performing and moving on. it's kind of the path this album was destined for....most songs written soon before recording, i think there were about 20 songs/ideas and we settled on thirteen (the fourteenth being a ten minute piano duet between mike garson and tim which may or may not appear on the fragile army..if anything, snippets of it)
saving it for another time!

john kackletap is hanging in there with us...he's still alive at least..see how things evolve, our king congleton is now kackletap.

more later.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Fragile Army

took a break from the ole has been going and more recordings have been happening..bryan wakeland and teasley are doing tag team on the percussion and bw is done. fine job too. brian teasley is in alabama somewhere adding his performances... he's supposed to be videotaping so that the session of the fragile army will be complete. can't help but wonder what that footage will look like! :)

the horns came in last four days and from what i can tell are quite amazing! they got done quick. louis, logan, mike (st.claire) and matt are out of here. upon listening, i'm realizing that this album is so realized per group/session, everything has such a strong point of view and solid attitude... it's the only part of the session i've missed thus far and what a bummer. but at least it gives me that extra nice opportunity to be suprised by the music's a weird thing how ya lose and gain perspective over and over again when creating..was tough tho, like leaving my children

audrey is in now (flute), actually started last night..incredible as usual. one of the most creative people i know, hands down. ya never have to talk much with her, she just nails it. a little direction here and there but she's best when ya let her just explore. like right now she is doing some studio trickery and bringing her new "spider" sound to life...her and timmy d make a great team. he adores her playing.

will have to get some photos off the video camera..i don't have digital camera around! ok, write back soon. just think, in a few weeks our album will be done. look out.


Monday, March 13, 2006

The Fragile Army

we ate fish today and it nearly put us to sleep.

audrey came up for a bit to listen in...she comes in tomorrow for a few hours. bryan wakeland and tim are laying some stuff down and we're almost done with six songs today. we'll get the next seven tomorrow. cp was here earlier too. he wanted to stay but duty called. his dj spot over at the cavern, they can't survive without him!

we'll be recording some teeth tomorrow too.

forgot about the best term i've discovered on this album when i mentioned last ones...carmony. anyone know what that is?!

exhausted and out of the girl scout cookies are killing us.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Fragile Army

sunday afternoon/well, early evening, about 5:56pm. this is early. ricky just finished final harp part on song 13.

cp just unloaded some percussion. about to carry out harp and ricky is headed to dfw for his return back to the city of angels. sara, rick and daniel out of here too. great bunch and def did some fantastic stuff.

we'll start in the morning with song 1, start building again.

good night.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Fragile Army

taking alittle break here in the studio while sara is telling tim he looks like drew barrymore, interesting, never heard that one before..and john is looking for a picture of john cameron mitchell cuz rick told him he looks like him..and then he preceeds to talk about how tim told him to watch the onion field cuz he thinks john looks so much like james wood...damn sounds confusing..daniel is sitting to my right observing in a calm state

ricky to my left keeping us entertained with random internet info..came handy to me yesterday cuz i needed to know how 54 centimeters would translate to inches..brain alittle dull, right..we then used his size 12 shoes on the ground to get the demensions i needed...a mental picture of my new light fixture i was about to purchase on ebay, a first for me

words we've learned in the studio thus far inspired by mr.congleton (aka kackle tap) that are amongst the faves.....flavor crystal, cape flap, turtle poke, tuck and patty...and yes, these are real terms that we take seriously.

4 songs to go.

julie d

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Fragile Army

thurs night in dallas, tx (march 9), we have daniel (primarily violin), rick (viola/upright bass), ricky (harp) and sara (cello) performing strings now..since tues actually..they are moving fast i might add..and sounding oh so incredible, really! refreshing to hear our string section as a full body and sonically captured in a slightly dif way than ever before, creative juices flowing..have about 8 done so we're ahead of schedule, good too cuz tim still has to do final vocals and we're looking forward to adding flute, etc. for this session

we're at maximedia and they gave us a killer deal..thank goodness! it's been a pleasure so far and we're feeling the rush but trying to hold back the intensity of that excitement til the album is DONE. we're hoping to start mixing after march 23rd...

in the meantime, let your ears enjoy whatever it is they're hearing now cuz we want you to give us 100% of your time when the fragile army arrives :)

julie deeeeee

Monday, March 06, 2006

here are the pics i promised. don't know how to add captions so i'll just enumerate them.

1) tim checking out the piano in studio B. the A side had a nicer control room, but the live room in our side was out of this world.

2) tim and the ladies getting warmed up before the first song.

3) john and tim talking over a song with mark, our newly found tapper.

4) mark doing his magic.

5) me hanging with pip in what little downtime we had. he's named after the sound he makes; his meow is barely a squeak. he helped me deal with being away from the furry tractor back home.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Fragile Army

sat night in control room doing a quick listen down to all the work we've done this past week, we just finished final choir vocals, thirteen songs!'s a good feeling when ya keep thinking "oh this is my fave" and then here comes the next song and ya think the same thing!
we done good i believe.

will get about 5 hours of sleep tonight and head to big d...we're meeting the kids at the skating rink and everyone will go back to reality..tim, john and myself will be back int he studio in dallas two days from now, march 7..we'll begin strings

whew, in the zone


Friday, March 03, 2006

tim's cutting a vocal track with some lyrics he wrote just this morning, so i thought it would be a good time to write, although i didn't know that julie had already done so just an hour ago.

anyhow, only a couple more songs to go. things have been going great. you guys are really in for a treat. the girls have done an amazing job. it's been a completely different scene this time around. a polyphonic trip usually involves a lot of testosterone, the ladies usually being outnumbered. it's a nice change. wait—i swear as i'm sitting here praising the girls and their civility, four of them just chimed an obscenely foul movie quote. i take it all back. except for what they've done with the music. the choir has never had enough time in the studio to actually experiment, so they've really pulled out all the stops. expect a lot of backstreet boys harmonies. you think i jest.

i do. kind of.

also, i just have to tell you how awesome the guys at electrical studio are. if you didn't already know, this is steve albini's studio, and if you possess even the smallest amount of musical knowledge, you know a lot of magic has happened here. steve's been wrapped up in studio A with a couple of different bands while we've been here, so we haven't seen much of him, but he seems a stand-up fellow indeed. and he loves cats—'nuff said. chad and greg have been great, and john is a damn funny man. a jerk, but a damn funny man. just joshin', john. but it really is sad that we're gonna leave here after tomorrow. between pachyderm and electrical, we've been working in some pretty inspiring—not to mention historical (in the world of music)—environments.

before i sign off, i just want to say that i forgot my camera adaptor this trip, so i won't be able to post any pics until i get back in a couple days. stay tuned!

march 3

mark, our new friend we found in chicago is performing his tap dance for us right now in the studio, tracking to our danciest tune..i called him this morning, basically told him the idea and then he came to bless us..turns out he was a poly fan which is nice cuz it made it nice and easy, no big deal and no complaints even tho it was last minute..look for him anytime we visit chicago, he'll be there, dancing his way to your heart...amazing!

we had two songs we weren't sure if we'd get to cuz tim hadn't written lyrics but this morning, feeling inspired by the cold air of chicago, he made the mark..."championship" is a key word, another great song lyrically..hoping to do later tonight

jenny esping leaving in morning so we'll miss her terribly...hopefully she'll only miss one song...we're almost done..the girls are talking baout going to a country karoke tonight for her going away party...hhmm, sounds fun but not sure if it's a good idea..everyone's already pretty far out there mentally...COFFEE.DANGEROUS.

i hear tim talking to mark (dancer) about chitty chitty bang bang..better go


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Greetings from sunny and windy Chicago....choir finally getting some major time in the studio, for really the first time ever, and, wow, has it been rewarding. So far we've got 5 songs down (pretty good for three and a half days): Round, We Crawl, Beautiful Feeling, Never Forget (10 Times Before), The Fragile Army, and working on Younger Yesterday as we speak/type.

So let me tell you who's here and what's happening (hey, hey, hey). It's all the ladies in the club, Jennifer Jobe (really sort of the leader of our motley crew, in the sense that she has such a strong and amazing voice and can sing anything while we're working on parts), Jessica Jordan (who is kind of the glue that sticks us all together with her gentle nature and solid ability to round out all the high parts), Julie Doyle (well, where do you start, she's the one that makes all of this craziness that is the polyphonic happen- we wouldn't be here, Chicago or even a band, without her - and don't get me started about her ear, simply unbelievable), Kelly Repka (the little girl who's grown up into a beautiful woman throughout this project and consistently delivers vocally & comically whenever needed), Potsy Wilson (our mysterious dark horse who has rounded out this choir with her beautiful voice and extreme talent to come up with awesome harmonies), Annie Clark (our guitarist and "second engineer," who we've kidnapped for her talent to cut and paste her handsome voice in with the best of them), Jenny Esping (our secret weapon, who used to sing with us before she became a little mama, and has not only an alarmingly delicate voice but also a wonderfully creative spirit), and me (awkward describing myself but I suppose I am the Linda McCartney of the choir - not the best singer but can hit Tim's melody just fine - and hopefully am contributing with my shiny personality - btw, I also can order a mean sushi to-go order without breaking a sweat!). Dude-wise we have the "Kackletaps": Tim (our fearless leader, who has written some of the most important and moving lyrics I've ever heard…just you wait), John (the mad scientist behind the board who's led us to this amazing studio), and Evan (our keyboard player, who has such a great vocal range and a head full of so many ideas he might explode that we couldn't leave him behind).

The songs are unbelievable & wildly passionate. I can't wait for people to hear them. We're trying to get two songs done a day but the first day was a little shaky as most of us stayed up too late and danced too long the night before. The last two days have been super-productive (except for the pizza comas). We've been fueled by ridiculous amounts of coffee and therefore have been brainstorming and experimenting like crazy - executing parts that don't even sound like a choir. Well that's all for now - Roy Orbison in the house and I'm needing some more java joe.

Jennie K.
The Fragile Army

first off, thanks for the happy birthday wishes. had a nice, quiet time and greeted the next morning with much optimism and delight. it's nice to get a year older. and also, chris penn had his 35th yesterday, feb 28th! he was working at store so we sent over a singing telegram..lots of balloons, cookies and champagne..a gorilla in a tutu. we later called from studio and sang happy birthday..

so tonight, sitting in control room of electrical listening down to a song called wings of love..figuring out choir parts..we're in good spirits and moving right along..not ahead of schedule like we hoped (wanted to run around city for a couple of hours at least one day whilst here) but that's alright..usual schedule is to meet in hotel lobby 10:30am, go to studio, start at 11am and get home around 11pm each night..long days but when everyone's learning new songs and creating parts spontaneously, it takes time...

not sure if i mentioned but first night here we met our old friend phil and his girl lindsay..must say it was a blast! turned out thai place they suggested was right next door to our hotel so the whole night was easy going and one thing led to the one point we were across the street in a dance club and most of the choir were dancing endlessly up on a stage there, guess deep down everyone misses being on the road..hence, performing!:)again, it was the polyphonic party, when ya have alot of people, you make the place your's. anyway, went back to hotel and listened to alot of abba..also watched phil's new video he shot, performed in, etc...pretty stellar..if any white dude could be sleezy, sexy, soulful and classy all at once, phil karnats is your man.

lunch..had sushi today. yum.

we have a few days left here and will head home to big d on sunday..on 7th song now.

we will then begin on strings, horns and audrey..yippee