Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Days

If you haven't heard already...I'm pretty ecstatic. The news that i received the State Arts Board Grant hasn't fully settled in OR worn off yet. My days of late have been filled with alot of preparation for the upcoming year. I'll be trying to get some recording in so I'll feel ready for the real thing in another month or two. At this point, I've been running through many of the songs that i think will be on the album through my small studio set up at home.

Having done a good bit of recording in the past couple of years, I've been finding it fun to run through songs at my own pace and add backing tracks as they present themselves. I spent about four hours on a guitar solo on Sunday. I don't know how regular studio musicians do it. I've probably tried to record the guitar part for Four O' Clock Flu literally 400 times. Granted alot of those i hadn't gotten past the first verse, but it is still a VERY frustrating process at times. i hope future albums don't take quite as long to record, but i suppose that if its done right, the time input doesn't matter.

It's spring break this week, which means I'm doing some recording now and I've been prepping some 'cases' for the EP Release on May 13th! They are starting to look pretty cool. I've got the old map folded as a cd holder and that will be placed inside a nicely wrapped brown paper, tied up with a bow. Next step is a little bit of artwork for the cd itself and then it'll be off to kinkos. I've pretty much got my songs lined up for the release. They need some production changes here and there, but for the most part good to go except for a track here or there.

On other notes, our days are going to be getting alot brighter with the return of sunshine (warm sunshine) in Minnesota. That'll mean that I'll be outside working on the Buick alittle more. Transmission fluid leak there 8/ But I picked up a Haynes Manual and with the help of a couple of friends, we should be able to take care of the issue, i hope. Rumor also has it that we're going to put in a chicken coop in the backyard. Amanda picked up a book so we'll see what comes of that.

I've got a couple of other exciting summer projects coming up. I've got a weeklong class for teens that I'm offering with a couple of other musician friends at Leonardo's Basement. The class is entitled, "You are the Recording Artist." We'll be heading to a studio and then making one of our own at the basement, recording and making an album of sorts. It'll be a weeklong whirlwind, but well worth the fun. I'm also hoping to be teaching an Urban Arts Academy class this summer.. which might include making cigar box guitars... That's still up in the air though.

A final note on buying guitars. two years ago, i bought one that has made me pretty happy. I'm realizing though that not everything is perfect with it. It's an Art and Lutherie guitar that i got for a modest price (definitely a step up from my original Epiphone). I had been noticing some tuning and tone issues though and figured it was weather related. I took it in to Hoffman guitars (where they will adjust the neck of the guitar for free, but will often find some other work that needs to be done). My trip was not an exception. Turns out the neck was a bit of the problem, but the bridge on my guitar was slightly out of place, if it is adjusted back about a quarter inch or so, it would solve the problem. $150, but an investment well worth the money. I didn't figure on having many issues with my guitar and i guess I've been pretty happy with it, same goes for my car, but stuff just requires maintenance and care and sometimes we're never quite satisfied. It takes a cool cucumber to just 'be'..

I find it very similar to my recording troubles and insecurities. There's always something somewhere that needs done or fixing or some sort of fine adjustment, but there are times when you have to let it go and move on. This may be the case with Four o' Clock Flu.. besides..I've been driving Amanda crazy if she's around when I'm playing the song. Perhaps the other silver lining is, that if the recording is good enough..we might use it for the album.. if not..i can always do it again in the coming year.. ehh or maybe it won't make the album. :)

Hope you're all well out there. Some up and coming gigs in May, the 13th being the big gig!

Enjoy your spring!!!