Saturday, July 30, 2011
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is accepted behavior and almost pre-requisite in the business of performing music and presenting it as well but on some nights you can step backwards instead of forwards and I am so glad that I am not speaking from my experience or any of my bandmates.
Our regular sound engineer Sean could not make this show so we hired an outside freelancer from Craigslist who was serious enough to come see the band last month and tonight he got his audition (albeit he was payed for his services) and at first I thought he seemed to know what he was doing (he used terms like XLR cable, Guitar & Electricity) and I was impressed at the fact that he mic'ed the resonant head of the Snare Drum as opposed to the batter keeping that pesky microphone clip out of harm's way, He even had me plug in the mini-XLR so I was able to put my Qualified "Recording Engineer" skills to work.
By the second set something was rotten in Pepperland (Beatles reference) as a feedback hum overtook the stage monitors of which I initially wrote off as Gain/Fader problems but they persisted throughout our set to no avail, the band sounded good on the dancefloor but onstage things were getting fuzzy. Turns out both of our sound crew had a bit too much to drink and at one point had to be nudged awake by Rob to ask for hotter (in level) vocals. I am told that throughout the second set there were proud exclamations of "Dont Worry, I Do This ALL THE TIME!!!" which makes you kind of wonder, there was also vomiting into dixie cups which I happily missed. As a band this gig separated the men from the boys as White Wedding played non-stop, un-phased and very well too without a hitch,... at least not from our end.
The engineer's assistant was a very nice guy who volunteered to take photos of us so I lent him my Lumix camera and he got a few good shots as seen here.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The Most Delicious Guinness Stout On The Planet.
Tonight was 4/6ths of the core band as Nancy could not make the show due to a family loss and Paul was on guitar duties but there was some interesting people in the audience that finally started dancing by the second and third sets. This was the night that a woman walked up to Paul, saw a little hole in his jeans and ripped it making a bigger hole, what strange behavior to show your appreciation.
Taking Dave's lead I decided that I Also Had To Have the Chicken Quesadilla from the menu. A Decent if not Large sized dish of a quartered Quesadilla over a most flavorful and respectable salad flanked by portions of Pico de Gallo (mmm Cilantro), Guacamole with a hint of Lemon and Sour Cream. Take a closer look at that Salad, There was All Kinds Of Stuff in there.
Friday, July 22, 2011
On one of the absolute Hottest days of the year as New York was going through a Heatwave (110 in the shade & I Dont Know What To Write Anymore!!!!) Our fifth performance at B.B. King.s Blues Club in Times Square was tighter than ever for the segue's and the band played dare I say nearly flawlessly. Premiered tonight was the Freddie Mercury costume that we had not seen until "onstage" during proceedings.
In my experience B.B. King's Blues Club in Times Square remain the most efficiently run juke joint on the planet (at least on the east coast) from the hospitality standpoint as there are no real questions of policy and the entertainment is treated cordially, assuredly and politely. On a Sonic level the stage monitors and house mix bar none.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
What Can I Say About Claudio's!!!
Sea, Sun, Fun, Sunburn, Good Gig for us.
At this fishy appearance we performed on the far end of the dock so there was water directly below (planks protecting me from the drink of course) and the ocean breeze as a constant on all sides. I set up the Kit Drums in the shade but as the afternoon waned the sun moved in the sky and so did the sunburn, I came out fine but cannot speak for Paul who welcomed it.
The Constant Ocean Breeze can make you actually want to KILL SOMEONE at times without the use of a "scrunchie" or hair pin!!!
Fish & Chips @ Claudio's ($14.95) decent cole slaw.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
The band had a Great time once again playing the Bunion in Bay Ridge and this time on a Friday night to showcase the possibility of future Live Music to the new owner (who was a No Show). Being in the same borough as my apartment I was on my own getting my "home practice kit" to the gig and I thank Chris for getting me there, getting back via car service was not as horrible as I thought it would be. As you can see below it is a bit of a stripped down setup especially the cymbals but my PDP Bass Drum sounded Incredible, too bad it moved all night long being subject to the physical act of being struck combined with a slippery wood floor and no tension (Rubber Mat PLEASE) holding it back in place. Never Again!!!
Our friend and fan Steve christened my Bass Drum "The Topless Creeper" on account of having no rack tom mounted atop and due to my lack of rubber soled mat the Bass Drum "Creep" that me and my bandmates dealt with throughout the evening.
And I thought that was long behind me.
More Like TOO FAR in front of me.
Culinary Lesson # 1 - There is No Cuisine in certain instances.
Autographing a few White Wedding t-shirts.
Towards the end of our show a patron of the bar filmed us which is not unusual but this person recognized me and questioned Nancy to which he got an affirmative answer all mid-song mind you and approached me to say "Your Dream Came True" which puzzled me at first. Turns out it was my childhood friend Angelo (he was in KISSAMANIA with me) who just happened to be there and all of this was captured on his Iphone which you can see just here below this sentence.
It was a great moment that happened by chance and to me chance doesn't just happen.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The band reconvened to HesDeadJimStudios and recorded six tracks for upcoming release and we are very pleased with the results. Thomas has yet to record finalized Guitar/Keyboard tracks so there is more to come.
Stand - Out track of the day had to be "Bad Things" since the tune is only three days old to us keeping the arrangement super loose and down to instinct and feel, committed to hard drive by take two and I had a chance to overdub an "atmospheric" cymbal/mallets track for "spooky" mood.
Thomas and myself had never even heard Joe's song for his father-in-law "Gentle Bill" and next thing we knew the rhythm track was recorded and we were in the isolation booth double tracking the "barroom singalong" chorus (as seen in the photo above).
"Let The Sun Go On" has been in the repertoire of late but Thomas had envisioned a "Double Drummer" sound for the recording
requiring me to record myself over the existing Drum Track and mimic "ME" the best I can, off I went into my headphone world and had a Blast that I really only could share with myself as it happened. On Playback the sound of two Drum Kits & sets of Hi-Hats just out of sync by a millisecond (well, in my case probably a Hundrasecond) sounds very Classic Spector/Visconti/George Martin to my ears and I cannot wait to hear final mix on this one.
Tom had sent us an MP3 track via email that we were also three days new to and that was "Arent You Glad" which is indeed a Bouncy Song, we used the Ukulele Track (take 15) as our guide/root track.
"I'll Never Lie To You" has been a favorite to play for me the last two months or so and it was great to finally commit to a definitive recording.
We did record Loretta Lynn's "Have Mercy On Me Baby" and ironically this was the song that took us the most takes to capture but wound up being a "Live" number which did not adapt as well to the "studio version" as the other tunes did, I do look forward to playing this live though.
Joe and Thomas sound Musically astute and assured as ever on these recordings as we continue to grow as bandmates and musicians.
Joe's Snack Of Choice under the microscope.
Pork Rinds Of Course.
What Do You Mean The Triangle Is NOT A Real Instrument ?
Please Disregard the Sheet Music on that stand, No Sheet Music was used on these recordings.
Listening to Playback.
I used the Liberty Devitto Damping Method (L.D.D.M.) with great results and remembered to retrieve my wallet at session's end as well. and thanks Joe for reminding me too.
- Spike G.
Friday, July 8, 2011
One,Two,Three O' Clock!!!
Four O' Clock ROLL!!!
This started as a thought a week ago while having some Lavash Pizza that Jamie baked and I noticed the greatness of the Bread once again.
The Thin Middle Eastern Bread Lavash complimented the Sauce and Cheese of the Pizza well and being Tex Mex minded I immediately envisioned Refried Beans, Cheese, Ground Beef, Salsa and Sour Cream complimenting this "biblical times" simple bread.
On my way out I tuned into DJ Shaz's "Mud Edition" program on RADIO BACKTRACK mentioning the forthcoming Mexican Swiss Roll to my ELO friend and he wished me luck on the air giving best wishes to any and all of my dinner guest's!!!. Fortunately only Jamie and myself were in danger of food poisoning..... or worse.
In these progressive and spiritual warlike times a vast majority of humankind "bake" their meats as opposed to Char-Broiling or Frying due to health concerns. I decided to Egg, Bread & Fry (in Corn Oil) some Chicken Cutlets up for the "MEAT" portion of my Mexican Swiss Roll. Could the "Frying" actually hurt ???, Could the "Breading" actually hurt ???, NO!!!!!
Be sure to brush Refried Beans along the entire oval of the Lavash Bread as this will be the Roll's moisture base and "paste" as it were, place less Beans and not much else towards the "Top" of the roll you will be making Because You Will Be Rolling Up, Gravity comes into place here.
Place the Lavash Bread facedown on a non metallic surface and begin layering the ingredients starting here.
Salsa (lengthwise 2/3 down the bread) (see photo)
Chicken (or meat/vegetable of choice)
Jalapeno's (drained/sliced thin)
(more Cheddar Cheese)
(The Lavash was a bit much too Porous, Flour Tortilla's will be tried for the sophomore run)
Gingerly Roll into U.F.O. or Cigar Shape.
Drape & Douse smartly in Salsa to avoid Tortilla crispiness. Add Cheese and Chili Powder during last 2 minutes of baking.
ROLL OVEN BEETHOVEN !!!
I'm new at this "presentation" thing.
That's a portion of Ronzoni Medium Shells combined with a jar of Ragu Cheese Sauce behind the Roll.
To The Chef Goes The BACONNAISE!!!
(a gift from Jaimiennaise)