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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly Update 1-17-10

Hello FP Fans!!!

Here's the latest:

1) 'Sycamore' is nearing completion as anticipated. How much longer you ask? Days perhaps. Not 100% sure. Still sorting out a couple trouble spots that didn't really appear until I began mixing everything down. And yes I am at the mixdown stage. (Yeessssss....) That being said, I am still doing some light editing as needed, but all actual tracking is completed and has been completed for over two weeks now. Vocals, guitars, bass, drums, phone rings, 'The Argument', and a bunch of other crazy things that got thrown into the pot. (In my world, there is such a fine and blurry line between editing and mixing. Hard to do one without the other.) Matt and Jake came over this past Thursday night to help me mix the drums and we have those drums pretty much where they need to be soundwise. At this point there are a couple of minor EQ issues to sort out on some of my clean guitar tracks where I played my Les Paul (which hereafter will be called "The '05") through my vintage Fender Super Reverb. I considered scrapping the original takes but decided that I can fix the issue in the mix since the performances themselves were fine. And that's that.

Umm....let's see....

1B) 'Sycamore' is turning out to be quite a long song, at least by modern pop radio standards. And to be perfectly honest folks, Jake, Matt and myself don't really give a flip how long a song is if it is good. (And neither should you.) And yes we could strip 'Sycamore' down to the basic song elements if we wanted to and yes 'Sycamore' would still stand on its own if we did that. But why thin out a recording and compromise what we are hearing in our heads? We aren't tethered to any record label contracts (yet) so we figure we will enjoy our artistic freedom. Nice. Fortunately for you, our prospective listeners, that means that there is a lot of interesting 'ear candy' going on that will engage you after many repeated listens. And one of the main goals we have in mind as a band is 'timeless originality'. Will our songs still resonate with people after ten or twenty years? Will people hear new details and hidden gems in the recording with each listen? Will people find themselves humming our songs and making the lyrics personal? That is what we are aiming for. Less attention to 'flavor of the month' trends and more focus on good song writing and solid production.

(And very soon you shall all be able to hear our debut recording and let us know if it was a hit or miss....)

2) On a more personal note, I have had many many distractions of late. Had Jury Duty for the first two weeks of January. Ughh. Only had to actually go in to the courthouse twice during those two weeks, but just knowing that each day held the potential of being stuck in a court case (or two or three court cases in a row) was a pain in the arse. Hard to make normal plans when you may have to go to be a juror (or else have a sheriff show up to haul your butt to jail for disregarding your summons)....well that just sucks in my book. Surely there is a better way? And since I am self-employed, that meager $10 a day for being a juror is kind of a moot point. Again, what a pain.

2B) Another distraction that hit once the holidays were done (since I am whining and complaining and venting here....bear with me folks....this too shall pass) was a leaky roof. We had been smelling a musty, smoky aroma in our front closet since around mid-October but could never figure out what was causing the stink. Well, one day my son Anderson noticed a lot of aggressively growing mold on the plaster walls that surrounded our house's chimney. Thus the reason for the smell was made manifest. Not sure how we missed it beforehand. Of course, as luck would have it (and not the kind of luck you would normally want), there were several inches of snow on our roof when Anderson made that discovery. So, we found mold, which in turn pointed to a leaky roof, a roof which could not be accessed until the snow melted (our roof is way too steep to get on when there is snow covering it). And so we had to wait for the snow to melt, which meant even more water damage, and of course more mold. Good times. So we clamored to clear out our closet in hopes of rescuing coats, board games, homeschool supplies, and a myriad of other odds and ins of minor interest (i.e. things we normally shove in a closet since we don't want our house to look cluttered when people stop by to visit). And so today I took the afternoon and patched the roof in several suspicious places (the snow was gone and the temperature was all the way up to a balmy 40*F) and then I gutted the damaged plaster walls in the closet and removed the mold. Such nastiness it was. And so now we just need to let the closet air out for a few days, and then (if the roof is no longer leaking), I'll rebuild the closet so we can shove our junk back into it. The Joys of Home Ownership.

2C) More personal trinkets of info here. Just finished reading "The Running Man" by Richard Bachman (an early-career alias for Stephen King) and I really enjoyed it. But it was a short novella and didn't last me very long. So then I picked up a copy of John Grisham's 'The Innocent Man' that someone gave me a while back. But alas is was just not my thing. At least not at this present time. Maybe it will hit the spot at a later date. Will hang on to it just in case. But at this point I have parked it and have moved on. So now I am reading 'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold and I am quite smitten. Granted the recent trailers for the new movie 'The Lovely Bones' was a good attention-getter for me, but what really got me hooked was the 1st chapter sample I downloaded for my iPhone's Kindle Reader App. So I bought the Kindle e-version of it. And six chapters later I find myself looking forward to laying in bed each night so that I can read more of it before falling asleep. It is simply hard to put down. Very well written with a very captivating storyline and strong character development. That is how all fiction books should be. If I were an author, this would be the sort of book I would want to pen. Highly recommended....

So that is all for now. As mentioned, the release of 'Sycamore' is imminent. And there are several songs in waiting. The fun is about to begin folks....

Until next time....

~ Todd

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