Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Punch


Let me begin by saying, we had fun. It was fun. I am proud, I am happy. I happy with this band, happy to be in this band. It was like Christmas today.

Secondly, I am glad to be a part of the long tradition of these albums, the shows, and the inspiration for it all, JM.

I was nervous leaving the house, trepidatious. The "morning meet" didn't happen, Pete had to double back for Dave's trumpet, and Dave wasn't answering his phone. I thought he was going to be a no-show.

We all managed to get to the studio. Steve and Dave quickly set up, jovial ribbings ensued, and eventually we were ready to lay down the first tracks.

We cut part I of the song essentially live. Justin played drums, Kyle on synth strings with my Roland, and Pete and me on synth bells using the microKorg. Playing to a click track, we practiced it once, then cut it in one take.

Kyle and Justin cut the drums and rhythm guitar tracks for part II in about two takes. Justin was ON today.

Things were rolling fast, the vibe was good, all were happy. Laughing was abound.

Justin laid down a drum overdub for part I, then Kyle ripped through guitar overdubs, and Pete one-taked his lead ditty (probably the most Christmassy sounding element to the song).

At this point the next band started to arrive. By Surprise were in high spirits and encouraging and an atmosphere of community was building. Brian and J were in and out and Nicole and Jane even showed up.

All of sudden we were ready for singing and Kyle was in the booth for his vocals on part I. Per usual, he was quick, and he was on.

I was up for vocals for part II. I went into the booth, sang the song for the first time with music, it was recorded, everyone gave a thumbs up, I was done. One take, didn't even hear them played back. I am still a bit unsure about them, but everyone insisted they were fine.

We did a series of gang vocals! They're all over the song: Part backing kyle, and part II for the oh's. For our New Year's Countdown Interlude we had all of the EP, the boys from By Surprise, and Steve and Jane.

All that was left was the finishing touches. Dave, who hadn't heard anything from the song until that day, played a sweet trumpet line for part I. I'm talking some sweet Christmas hot-tub jazz trumpet... Then Justin and I rang some sleigh bells and then I ended it with a little tambourine. Done.

We had finished it within our two hour allotted slot. I hope that pleases Dave and Steve, who have a long day of recording in front of them.

We went to the diner, ate, talked silly, and went our ways until the Arbor Records Christmas show. The will remain a surprise for us until then, as we never heard it all pieced together and played back. We never even recorded a full demo of it. It's weird, but exciting to wait to hear how they mix it.

I also hope the song stands up to the impressive list of bands that have proved themselves in previous years.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


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