Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow problem is no problem.

What is the motto associated with the U.S. Postal Service? "Neither snow nor rain..." or something to that effect... But I know the gist is that the mail gets delivered regardless of the weather. I was reminded of this on my way to the studio in the middle of a blizzard the other Sunday...I had to get there, regardless of the swirling white insanity engulfing my car. But I am getting ahead of myself. The good news is that the weekend before last was another productive weekend for the DoTV record-in-progress...but no thanks go to the weather. Saturday was OK weather-wise and the band got the last of the basic tracks for three songs.

I also got to finalize some guitar parts...which was a relief to get through. Sometimes it is hard to get out of your own head when it comes to recording, and just play. So much self-analysis and self-criticism seem to come to the surface when your music is under a microscope. My solution has been to wait 24 hours before passing judgment on guitar sounds that I make. Nothing is ever good enough at the time. But after awhile, the dust settles and I start to see the method in the madness...things seem better. I start to hear things I like and it might even sound...(gulp)...good...

A blizzard was forecast for Sunday, but I figured we would play it by ear (no pun intended). We were fortunate to have scheduled Stephen Konrads to come in and lay down some keyboard parts for a few tunes. But getting to the studio was quite the challenge. My car becomes a glorified Go-Kart in the snow. It handles like a toy. And so I slip slided my way on a prayer to Brighton... Stephen managed to make it, too. And WOW can this guy play. He played some Wurlitzer and some Hammond sounds on Ben Riley, I'll See You, and The Jailer. He was really easy to work with, he came prepared, and he was adamant about doing it until it was right. You should check out his music if you get a chance. His new band, Sleepy Very Sleepy, is incredible.

So then the snow stopped mid-afternoon, and we were elated. We took the rest of the time to add some noises here and there. Stephen was also a help here too...we were in a similar mindset when it came to sonic texture and ambient adventures. Fun with Sound 101.

Next month should see some of the final touches to the (as-yet) untitled debut from Dogs On Television. There are some vocal parts left to do, and a few odds and ends to address. Will 2010 be the year of the dog? We will have to wait and see...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dogs...in the studio.

A new recording project has begun! OK, perhaps a little background is in order. About a year ago, I decided to put together a band...along the lines of a garage-rock, blues-infused, occasionally noisy kinda thing. At the time, I was heavily into working on my solo record "Seven Years Now" and needed an outlet for raucous, visceral explosions of face-melting bliss. You could say that I had all the yin I could handle and was out shopping for a mad dose of yang. Thankfully, I had the good fortune to befriend drummer Brian Arnold and bass player Sam Sanders. And thus was born Dogs On Television. In this pic, Brian is on the left and that is Sam on the right:

I already had a bunch of songs ready to be rocked...in particular, the songs "Start A Fire" and "The Jailer" left over from my old band were clamoring for attention. And I knew down the line their pleadings would turn to dreams of being recorded. I dug the idea of writing for DoTV and song after song came along. Some hung out, and seemed to work...others seemed to come and then go.

Anyway, this past weekend DoTV began the recording of a full-length record at Taylor Barefoot Studios in Brighton, MA. After two 10-hour sessions, the Dogs had barked up a storm. We were...dog tired...

Seriously though, it's going great. We are fortunate to have as engineer and co-producer, Shane O'Connor. He definitely has a knack for going after the right sound. Plus, anyone who breaks out a theremin is after my own heart! Spooky electronics aside, we are finding all the sounds we need at this studio.

It's a little early to say when this will be done, but it is a much simpler project than "Seven Years Now." So my guess is a CD will be available by Spring 2010. But don't quote me on that. Much work to do! Stay tuned Dog-lovers, I will post more soon.

P.S. A super big thank you to Fallon O'Brien for snapping all the photos!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Videos posted from the CD Release Show!

Some videos from the CD Release Show have been posted on You Tube. See below for the first song from the evening... The rest are viewable here: http://www.youtube.com/jahoulah

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Album for sale online!

"Seven Years Now" is now available online at CD Baby:

You can purchase it in CD or mp3 format. Please feel free to leave a review or comment on the album at CD Baby. Or, you can leave comments here, on MySpace, Facebook, etc. I welcome your thoughts and reactions!

(flier from the release show featuring original artwork by Dan Blakeslee:)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

not exactly solo...

I keep referring to this record as a "solo record." All that means is that it has my name on it. In fact, it is anything but a solo effort. Many exceptionally talented local musicians lent their time, ideas, and manifold skills to make the music possible. I want to say that I am totally humbled by all the awesome contributions made by the following people:

Tom Eaton: Producer, accordion, melodica
Mike Null: Producer, guitar, back up vocals
Tom Bianchi: Upright and electric bass
Paul Schultheis: pump organ, Hammond, Wurlitzer, and all keyboards
Andy Plaisted: drums
Jake Armerding: fiddle
Kevin Barry: lap steel guitar
Kristen Cifelli: backing vocals
John Curtis: banjo, national guitar, mandolin
Kristen Miller: cello
Sara Colb: backing vocals
Daniella Colb: backing vocals
Dan Blakeslee: backing vocals
Scott Aruda: trumpet
John Aruda: saxophone
Jeff Galindo: trombone
Paul Ahlstrand: saxophone

You should follow the links and check out their music!

Dan Blakeslee, Mike Null, Tom Bianchi, and Kristen Miller will be performing at the CD Release Show in Somerville! It is going to be a lot of fun. Come check it out!

Seven Years Now CD RELEASE!!!!
Sunday, January 25, 2009, 8PM
The Burren
247 Elm St., Davis Square
Somerville, MA