Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Killer Horns, Man!!!

Just reading up on the great Herbie Hancock in the studio, studying the contours of his amazing fro. No big deal.
A view of the gents from my perch
A little band photo action in front of the house of Slack's Ranch

So what have we been up to since last post? Well there have been a few journey's into the studio, the album is so close to being recorded in it's entirety that it hurts a little; but as they say, you can't start once you've started, it stings, so with that in mind we will finish this thing up pretty soon. That's not the end though, as many of you know, there is still mixing to be done, which will take at least a week to get done. The dates I predict are always wrong, but with that disclaimer, I'm going to say mid to late June for this puppy being in the bag, musically speaking. Art and distribution is quite another thing. That will most likely take another 7 years.

So while recording is almost wrapped up (studio activities pictured) there are other activities in our life. Some upcoming show, one being a fairly large one at Rickshaw Stop which should be a lot of fun. Hopefully I won't be incredibly sick this time around. One of the coolest venues we've played, so keep an eye out for posted details.

This last Friday we played at Slack's Ranch, which was great on so many levels. 1) Paul Slack is a badass for letting so many bands use his property for shows featuring such a diversity of musical styles. Cutting's Wharf may be one of the very few places you could get away with activities of such volume without a bunch of complaints (and subsequent shutting down from the police). The looks of the place are deceiving, and that is a glorious thing. 2) The turn out exceeded my expectations, having seen a good amount of sparsely attended local music events. Maybe I just haven't gone to the right shows. Thank you Napans/strangers/friends for coming and moving and sweating and singing and just being loose. 3) spontaneity is a glorious thing that can only be compared in this case to a tiny, unexpected miracle. The addition of horns at the last minute to a few of our songs was amazing and gave me the feeling of being part of something much bigger than 3 guys playing music together (both literally and "spiritually"). 4) it gave us reason to play Napa more often in the future.

Stay tuned for more album III (aka Tropical Goofballs) news, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out the mix I've compiled below and let me know what you think so that I can find reason to keep compulsively making these mixes and posting them. Adios till next time


1. Clapping Music (1972) - Steve Reich & Russ Hartenberger
2. New York Is Killing Me (featuring Nas) - Gil Scott-Heron
3. Bra - Cymande
4. Walking On Sunshine - Eddy Grant
5. Darkroom - Paul McCartney
6. Don't Bring Me Down - Eric Burdon & The Animals
7. You Are Here - John Lennon
8. Carmensita - Devendra Banhart
9. Death Cream - Sonny & the Sunsets
10. No Place Like the West Indies - Lord Invader

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guerilla Recording & BCG Mix #12

The long delayed BCG Mix #12, here it is for your listening pleasures:

1. Love Like A Sunset (Animal Collective Remix) - Phoenix
2. Overpowered By Funk - The Clash
3. Immune to Emotion - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
4. Up In This Club - Lil Wayne ft. Swizz Beatz
5. Breaker - Low
6. Medley: Nega Maluca / Billie Jean / Elearnor Rigby - Caetano Veloso
7. My Chrome f. Big Boi - Killer Mike
8. Good Feeling - Violent Femmes

We recorded today at our good friend Lucas Farmers house. Lucas, Rob and I (Pete) used to be in a band in high school and early on in college. Our name was Pirate Underground. Needles to say, our musical journeys', so to speak, go back quite a ways. Lucas has some nice equipment that we don't, so he was kind enough to let us bang out some repetitive percussion parts (made even more so when outside listeners are only hearing what we're playing and not the tracks that we're recording to) that even began to drive some of us band members crazy by the end. Lucas's roomate also made some homemade veggie pizza that was pretty bomb, so props to her for, instead of asking for compensation for the hell we put her through, decided to make food and share it with us.

We started things off by recording some scratch vocals (vocals that will given greater focus and attention later when re-recorded, but are laid down for reference) and then went on to percussion for the rest of the day. We put parts down on a bunch of tracks. Everything from tambourine to wine bottles was utilized. It's amazing how much life a lot of these songs received after we were finished today. It's at this point when you get really excited about the songs and they start to resemble what you have going on in your head. The days and weeks before this state can be a bit lame. Each time you listen to an unfinished track it's almost as if it's taunting you to write or record the missing parts.

Things went well though and in a couple weeks we'll be back with Jonah in Oakland to do a 4 day marathon stint in at Shipwreck Studios.

Finally, if you're not doing anything this sunday the 18th, we're playing at Tradewinds Bar in Cotati at 9pm. It's FREE I believe and it should be a pretty great time.

More pictures from the studio coming soon.