A little more than to weeks ago, just as I finished mastering Bike’s new A Wind I Can Lean Into, my main ProTools interface broke (this is a box that we plug microphones, instruments, and speakers in to – the midpoint between a guitar and the computer). After two weeks at the repair shop, I called to check up on it, and they told me they can’t fix it. I’ve got another shop to try, but it will still take a while, and in the meantime I’ve been writing a bit but unable to do any studio work.

But! I discovered a simple, old tape recorder in the church basement and started to get ideas. I borrowed an old tube power supply for my nice mic. I plugged it all together yesterday… and got lo-fi, tube-driven, beautiful roughness.

Also! Nick asked me to dog- and house-sit for several days next weekend while he’s travelling for work. Meaning a quiet, empty house – nobody walking around upstairs, no one for me to worry if they can hear me playing songs through the walls.

Result! is that I’m planning to record Tonight The Lone Wolf Rides Alone next weekend. I’ve been thinking about it for maybe a year, but just didn’t find the opportunity until now. It’s to be a solo-acoustic album of echoes songs and covers. Sort of like what you might hear me play, if you came over to my house and we were just hanging out after dinner or something. I have a tracklist in my head…

BUT IF YOU HAVE REQUESTS; ECHOES SONGS, OR COVERS YOU KNOW I KNOW, POST A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW!!!111 I’ll add them to the list of songs, and they could make the record OR maybe be posted just here to the MFR [blog], OR if they’re really bad but you love that song anyway, I could just email it to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111111


  1. More gear details… these paragraphs from an email I wrote to Cory Alan yesterday.

    “I got new books and movies from the library this afternoon, so I’m going to fire up either “the incredibles” or “beyond the sea” in a minute here… but I got the ghetto recording gear working. It’s my good mic, plugged into a borrowed old tube power supply I found in a church closet, into my rack compressor (just to lower the gain, not actually compress anything), into the old school-issue tape recorder. It’s rough, but really warm.

    “It’s crazy working with analog equipment; it responds so differently. I might get hooked (except I don’t have the money to). Tubes convert sound into electricity by letting the wave spray free electrons through the tube – when you play/sing something loud that fills up all of the electron-receptors in the tube, that’s how you get the natural distortion/compression combo – there physically isn’t any way the tube can handle more electrons. It takes a second for them to pass through, so more can follow. You can hear that working on the tape when you play it back, it’s nice.

    “But really really rough on this tape recorder. I’m going to try it next with my little minidisc recorder, which is digital – if the good part of the sound is coming from the power supply as I suspect, and not the tape recorder, that setup should allow for all of the nice sound but cut some of the roughness and noise. A sweet little rig, if it works.”

    The MD recorder revealed that the good AND bad parts of the sound are coming from the tape (which is, cassette) recorder. If I had a mixer here I would split the signal, and use both, then decide during mastering whether to use the digital or analog recording. I may still try to do that with borrowed equipment. -h

  2. hey howie. how about #41, the picture song (sorry, still don’t remember the actual title… hymn for our….), and…. i can’t think of anything else. sounds like fun though. justin and i do this when we just practice to start a song. some albums that i’ve heard that were recorded in analong sound great! can’t wait to hear it all


  3. jake – good thoughts, both. #41 is on my list, and now “The Picture Song” is too (let’s keep that title for the acoustic version, I like it).

    I’ll have to look over the h&s catalog and see if I should add anything, I hadn’t really thought of that. -h

  4. Mable! Mable! MAAABBLLLEEE!!!

    And maybe “Creep” by Radiohead or something by They Might Be Giants. Or “Cloud 9”.

    (I better stop, because I could just keep reaching back into the old h&s shows to find songs I really want to hear….)

  5. Oh, and Coldplay’s “In My Place.”

    (See, I told you this would happen. Ok, now I’m really done.)

  6. JT – were you at that Knickerbocker’s show, where I played “In My Place” without a mic or being plugged in? I think we were opening for Blacklight Sunshine.

    Anyway, I’ll add it and Mable to the list – those are both songs I play, though they may not vibe with the thrust of the record, one or both will show up on the [blog]. I don’t really do “Creep” or any TMBG (though we did “Birdhouse” once, upon a time) so those are ranging pretty far out there.

    And I haven’t lost track of the makeup track from the BL/R-OCK party. -h

  7. Yeah, I was at that Knickerbocker’s show. That was the night of the Columbia tragedy. Despite a feeling of somewhat not wanting to be there, it was one of the best shows I’ve been to, and I ended up being very glad I went. I went with Jake and someone else, and we were listening ot Goldfinger on the way there/back, espousing on how much we liked “Wayne Gretzky.”

  8. UPDATE; I spent some time figuring out the legal requirements for recording and posting cover songs.

    The deal is, I pay a flat rate per copy created. So the fact that we’re giving our music away doesn’t mean anything here; we pay the same as if we were selling you CDs.

    SO; releasing cover songs is going to be a pain, more because of the paperwork than the money. I will talk to Cory Alan, the JV All*stars, and Blacklight Sunshine, to see if I can strike back room deals with them. But there are two more songs by national bands, which have gone unmentioned here, that I was planning on doing and are pretty important to me. Plus the requests.

    I will record everything still, and see what comes of it. If it goes well, I may go ahead with two or more covers to be released, but this new information tips the scales against the non-Lincoln tracks. When the session is over and I’ve had a chance to listen, I’ll write more on this specific topic.

    Until then, if there are echoes/h&s/MFR tracks you want to hear done solo, let me know –


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