Category Archives: Producing

lists

Ambrosia has knocked honey crisp out of the running. Honey crisp held first place for a long time. I admit my bias was Pink Lady but it was never more amusing than the name, you have to be objective.
 
When I record someone doing various takes I list my reactions. Once on a session with Danny Lanois, noticed he did that after each take. Thought to myself that is a fairly low tech method for such an entitled big shot. Ok, I can use a pen and paper too. A list ensues, best takes, mediocre takes. But if I do not write down what was what, I won’t necessarily distinguish, in the future, what was best vs. what was imperfect.
 
Am I saving myself work by making these lists? Or should I listen as a blank slate, make notes and then compare with my fresh notes from the original session? A potential student sent me a sample of her music, a song which has the same melody for the verses and the chorus. Not sure if she is inexperienced or exceptional.
 
Alternate universes. One where songs have no changeable melodies. One where Mr. Spock uses logic for evil. One where Trump’s son marries a Palestinian woman and she becomes his advisor. One where if Al Franken resigns, Trump does too.

earth wants this

Hard to believe how long it is taking to find a willing guitarist to play something funky on a demo for the young student who works at McDonalds. The first one bailed the day of the session, the second one bailed 2 days before their session, the third one is always too busy, that is probably their way of saying they do not want to participate in the 30 minutes I seek, the 4th one, also former student, doesn’t return my emails. This is so contrary to how life usually has gone for me. Could be the new norm. Heavens to Betsy. Come in Betsy, Betsy come in… can you play funky, a wee bit, for the demo? You would be doing something meaningful and we will show allegiance to you if anything financially flattering transpires ever. It is December. People are selling people as slaves in Libya and no doubt elsewhere. There has always been unspeakable pain in the world. The Earth that made everything, and planted each life with a mechanical plan, like to bark, to bloom, to chase, to fly, to buzz, to sting, to bite, made much humankind to act selfishly and unconcerned about damage done outside their immediate gratification. Also wired up some to yell about fucked up shit.

little big

Little person starts to cry confronted with my impatience. Isn’t possible for her to understand that the dance class starts at a certain time. She can’t tell time and she loves the dance class. Was ready to go moments ago but then the dust. Busy now exploring pieces of dust. What is my problem these are amazing pieces of dust. She was even trying to collect them on tape and make me a gift. Ungrateful grown up. Can’t say anything to reassure her, now wailing at higher decibels. It is me that has to change not her.
 
The first time I recorded Mary Margaret O’Hara I hit record, she sang, I liked some parts but not every part, she came into the control room and I explained my opinions about what was good and what wasn’t, then I played it back to prove my point but had an unexpected surprise, heard more in playback than I recalled during recording. Felt awkward but stuck to my initial feedback, after all I’m in charge and I’m going to prove how smart I am. Mary Margaret isn’t someone I ever saw be frustrated or angry. She went back genially to the microphone and we repeated the same experience (a few more times). The fact is after each playback, what I felt so certain about kept proving incorrect. Decided to shut up and collect her improvisations and study it over time. Make decisions later. Stop disrupting her instincts since they’re more unique than I can process; was me that needed to change.