All Writing and Photography © Alex Livingstone/Owner's Closet

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shushy, you're cut!

This past weekend we got Rick back in the studio to record three songs.  The fates of these songs were in the hands of several of the drummers we've used yet they ended up landing in Rick's lap.  And rightly so.  "Welcome Home," "Impossible To Turn Away" and "Over Before It Started" are all a little different from most of the songs we've recorded.  One thing commonality between them is that they we all written many years ago, possibly when I lived on Haskell St. in '01 or'02.  I know that I wrote "Over Before It Started" on the piano that's on Channing's back porch.  I'm sure that I wrote "Welcome Home" alone watching "Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia" on a stormy night on Haskell St.  At some point during the movie, the storm knocked our power out and that's when I wrote it.  I finished watching the movie after the lyrics were finished.  I had always been fond of this tune and I've always wanted it to see the light of day.  
"Over" and "Impossible" are both exercises in varying song form, both in a vague GBV sorta-way.  Of the three recorded that Sunday, these two turned out the best.  In going over "Over," Rick settled into a drum beat that did not include the snare...a first for the record!  I look forward to getting some French Horn and cello on this track.  Still trying to come up with a piano part though.  I forgot the one I wrote on Chan's porch so long ago.
"Impossible" was easy to track because I had given Rick a detailed demo of the song I had recorded with Jim in 2007.  He pretty much copied what I played on the demo yet he added skill, confidence, coordination, finesse and a steady tempo.  Brilliant!
"Welcome Home" turned out to be a pain in the ass and after having tried it with GC years ago, I should have let it go.  But it was that pesky fondness that kept me coming back.  We started the session by recording toms for the verses.  It wasn't until I played the toms and showed Rick what I heard that he was on board with the part.  Then we recorded big room ride crashes.  Once those underdubs were made we set up a normal kit to get the chorus parts.  No slight on Rick because he's an amazing drummer, but I wasn't feeling it.  And then a few days later when we recorded guitar for the song, I was even more underwhelmed.  That night at home (Wednesday), I decided to axe it from the record.  Fuck it.  Aside from having an accordian player create an amazing mood on the verses, I don't care about it anymore.  Letting it go, y'all.  That night I also decided to 86 "No Big Rivalry," a song for which we've yet to record a note and for which there wasn't going to be a drum track anyway.  
After cutting those two tracks from the lineup, we're left with 14 songs.  That's classic Beatles style and it will be approximatly 38 minutes long which is a great length.  Plus, Jim says 14 is his favorite number.  My favorite number is 7 and there will be 7 songs per side if I'm ever blessed with a vinyl release.  At least it's gonna be sequenced with that in mind.    

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