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Date: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 at 23:07
Headline: Clarity, Phase Four: Hhhall Alone
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Greetings & Salutations!

Last week it was all about the blizzarding. Today was a perfect picture of Spring, with sunny skies and temperatures upwards of 70 degrees. Tonight, the wind is picking trees and buildings up off the ground and tossing them about in a frighteningly casual manner. It's like someone, somewhere, decided that folks who live in this part of the world really don't need "seasons" as such anymore, threw a switch, and now everything's askew and cockeyed. (And redundant.) Bizarre.

So I've decided that the SoN site has become too static and needs more content, more action, more...stuff in general. I've already started changing the "featured downloads" more often, digging into the archives to find stuff that's a little more unusual than just throwing a track from an album up there. This week it has been a smokin' performance of Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam" from 2002, and the original piano/drums demo for Join The Club. The latter was recently unearthed during another round of "Let's rid Thom's World Of All Analog Media." Although the lyrics to that song have some warm & fuzzy sentimental value to me, I almost like the stark instrumental version better, rough as it is in places. Add a little guitar (to help ya move yer feet) and it would be just right.

I'm also trying to do this blogging thing more often, but I find that the semi-formal context and tone that we set up here in the beginning has become subliminally constricting over time; I feel required to write a real essay of some sort, with a beginning, middle, and end in order to post anything. Just jotting down my thoughts for the day seems...unseemly. Maybe it's the way this section of the site is separated from the home page, maybe it's the lack of scrolling entries, maybe it's all in my head (as most things tend to be) but I'm trying to get past it, branch out, loosen up, and act more like a regular blogger. Or something. We'll see how that goes.

And once again, I've wandered quite far afield of my point, which was ostensibly to discuss the latest goings-on with the recording of the new album.

Today, Matt and I finished up a big chunk of probably the most interesting (he said, euphamistically) song in this collection: a moody, existential, quasi-techno/latin/flamenco thing called "Solitary World." I think it's shaping up to be the "Stolen" of this album, in terms of the love-it-or-hate-it factor. Today, we recorded our "tag team" lead vocals, and I dubbed a final bass line over my scratch pass, which was played to click track back in November. In search of a different tone, we settled on Matt's 5-string Yamaha, which marked the first time I have ever played such an instrument -- though Matt was quick to point out that since I never used the bottom string, that stat should technically have an asterisk next to it. Fair enough. The song just needs a tweak or two (and a ton of backing vocals) and should be good to go.

We're behind schedule, of course, but after two years of pushing to get this damnable record to exist in the first place, taking a little extra time to get some things right doesn't seem like such a big deal. Well...usually. I'm trying to get a Zen place about it (Zen...trying...is that a contradiction in terms?) and fortunately succeeding more often than not. We have aout 15% of the tracking left to do, mostly vocals and sound effects, with little bits and pieces of instrumental work along the way -- a cymbal here, a guitar fill there, the sort of ornamentation that you ponder vaguely when writing then forget all about when recording the meat of the song. I've been listening to the rough mixes of the new songs in their current "official" running order as I've been writing this entry...sounds like it just might work. Loose spots need to be tightened, empty spaces need to be filled, but we're definitely in the home stretch.

We also got a chance to run through some more originals for the 4/21 show with the rest of the band today, and polish up a couple of rusty Floyd numbers for the 3/28 show. The originals are starting to come together, and I think we've got a solid set list put together now. Hopefully, having picked out the most aggressive songs in our catalogue, we can hang with the likes of Kat V & the Maidens and walk away from their audience with some shred of credbility. Can it be done? Dunno, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Bye for now

TB