Cory wrote this to me, and suggested it would be OK if I posted it here. It’s eminently worth mentioning that since receiving the below, he also said he’s been listening to a bunch of Monk, which I endorse.
I will try to turn him on to Mingus, I promise.
For me, 2017 was the year of jazz. I’m embracing my participation in this near-universal cliché. The jazz phase is inevitable for so many of us, like the Led Zeppelin phase, or the trying-real-hard-to-care-about-Leonard-Cohen phase. I knew almost nothing about jazz before I dove in, which has made it even more pronounced. I’m glad I waited until 35 to do all this, because if I’d have done it in my 20s, I’d have been insufferable. No one wants to hear anyone else talk about jazz. I know that from being on the other end of the conversation many times.
So far, my favorite record is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. It’s the kind of record where, when you hear it for the first time, you feel like you’re the only person to know it. It feels like a secret. It’s moody, it’s dark, it’s heartbreaking. Of course, everyone’s already in the loop except me. Howie’s got a cat named after him. But I’d rather be a little late to the party than sleep through the whole thing, I guess, especially when there are trumpets!
Favorite group/artist: David Brubeck Quartet. They do everything that I really love about jazz. It’s mostly beautiful, often jarring, atmospheric, and experimental without being up inside their own butts. If I’m feeling sentimental, Vince Guaraldi Trio is also great. It’s amazing to me that his music was used for children’s programming (“Peanuts”), even though it’s clearly made specifically for heroin addicts to have something to listen to.
A few pedal repairs, listening to a bunch of Doomtree records, Sleep show tonight…
Somehow I still feel like I’m getting nowhere. <shrug emoji> <grimace emoji>
What’s your musical weekend been like?
The day itself was last Thursday, but I haven’t done much more than flip it on and noodle around until today.
This is an Akai AX-60, a six-voice analog synthesizer built in the mid- to late-80s. My first purpose in getting it was for pads for Night Mode and other stuff, but of course it will make all kinds of great bass, lead, key, string, and brass sounds.
I’m already in love with the arpeggiator; it has a mode that arpeggiates the notes in the order they’re played so it’s very musical and responsive. I feel like I could base an entire record around just that.
There’s a song for the new h&s record that I’d planned to layer a Micron sound and a digital B3-type sound for, but I’m starting to wonder if it would be better to write a pseudo-B3 patch on the Akai for it. Worth a shot, at least.
Some time this weekend I’m going to go through the manual and figure out saving presets, splits, and the rest of the deeper features that may not have a single-function hardware control.
<arpeggiates off into infinity>
A ton of outstanding Nebraska artists* put this album together in memory of Shaun McCabe, who recently died from complications stemming from Cystic Fibrosis.
* Including our own Cory Kibler, Manny Coon, and The Golden Age, and friends in Ideal Cleaners/Halfwit, Her Flyaway Manner/Brendan McGinn, The Machete Archive, Good With Guns, and The Killigans
Mr. Furious Records is proud to share this work in Shaun’s honor. Please listen and support if you can.
3 March 2018, Saturday – Dark Satellites at minibar, Kansas City MO, with The Show Is The Rainbow and AKAFDM. $5, 21+, doors at 9 show at 10.
(THE SHOW IS THE RAINBOW!!!!)
8 March 2018, Thursday – Dark Satellites at Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS, with Hyperbor and Hidden Planets. $3, show at 10.
23 April 2018, Monday – Dark Satellites at minibar, Kansas City MO, with Americas (Chico CA) and Antiphony (Santa Rosa, CA)
3 March 2018, Saturday – Dark Satellites at minibar, Kansas City MO, with The Show Is The Rainbow
8 March 2018, Thursday – Dark Satellites at Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS, with Hyperbor and Hidden Planets
In other words, a synthesizer and an iPad in a bedroom.
The signal path is: Korg MS-20 mini main out > various pedals > MS-20 External Signal Processor > iPad headphone jack breakout box I built > HarmonicDog MultiTrack DAW running on an iPad mini.
I’m going to make at least a couple Night Mode albums with this rig, and recorded a track for one earlier this afternoon.
GarageBand highpasses and compresses any signal coming in through the headphone jack, even on its “Clean” setting, so it wasn’t suitable for me for serious recording. The HarmonicDog app does nicely, once “Measurement Mode” is turned off in the iPad Settings app.
The breakout box + iPad make a decent field/remote recording rig as well, because the box can accept 1/4″ mono, mic, 1/8″ stereo, and 1/8″ mono cables. I could take a guitar, a decent dynamic mic (like my EV RE320), and the iPad to a cabin in the woods and make my “Nebraska,” no problem. Even a basic full band record, with some combination of minimalist mic techniques and/or pre-mixing before the breakout box, would be possible.
It will be a lot of fun to be able to pause whatever massive recording or soldering project I have going and make a synth song on a whim.
Drew and I reamped all the Mars Lights bass tracks Friday night.Sounded pretty huge.
We were short on good mics for bass cabs when we were doing the main tracks, so we recorded a DI bass signal. Friday we ran that signal back out from ProTools through the bass gear.
Not everything in the picture was on. Signal chain was ProTools > Empress Compressor > Falcon Heavy > LS-2 (signal split) > two amps: Music Man 65 and Traynor Bass Master.
I also got a vocal track down – first one since before Thanksgiving, when I got sick – so massive progress on the double LP this week. \m/
My bass rig is now back at home for recording h&s tracks.
27 Jan 2018, Saturday – Dark Satellites at minibar, Kansas City MO, with In’ Ere and Shoebox Money. Doors at 9, show at 9 (yes, allegedly), 21+, $5