Tsunamis, earth quakes, Mike Starr, and we make music

March 13, 2011

I’m stitting in the back of the control room while Perry sits at the console, making the sounds get bigger and bigger. Last week we had determined the type of soundscape we were aiming for for this album, so now it’s the implementation stage of those concepts. Right now we hear the kick drum “thump, thump, thu-thump” soloed and getting more in your face at each replay.

At this moment I am physically warm and that feels good. (the place has been fridig..) Plus, I had a shower yesterday after establishing a personal record of consecutive days without a shower (10). Tonight we ate home made shepperds’s pie. Clean, full stomached, Caffeined-up (by Coffee Klatch Home Espresso thanks to Ozzy’s and Melanie’s care package) and we even had a bite of Rocky Road ice cream. No one can complain.

I am pretty much done with major personal recording efforts at this point, I re-sang two of the songs, re-recorded guitars on the first half of another song to tighten things up, fixed a couple of little spots here and there and now the ball is in Perry’s hands. I am kind of a pair of spare ears as he does most of the creating. So I make sure he is fed, rested, hydrated, caffeinated so he can work comfortably.

Yesterday was an errands day. Went for the shower, laundromat, groceries then out for a burger at Black Eyed Pea restaurant. We were going to go to the Blue Moon which is not a corporate looking outfit, but they were closed.

A usually safe bet in unknown food territories... and it was.

The laundromat was an experience… a new building but we walked in and it was a mess. One machine had leaked all over the floor and no one had cleaned it up. The water sitting there, a wet cigarette butt, muddy tracks from the carts tracked in and out of water puddles. Out of 24 machines 18 were out of order.

a row of "out of order" washers

the greeting at the door : No open beer...

There was a leaky ceiling, broken floor tiles from too many floodings, the dryers had their interface broken down. One girl who was doing her laundry told us : don’t use this one, it does not spin… Thanks so much! that would have made for a LONG drying cycle. We got to learn that she had four kids, two were twin boys she had when she turned 18 and for whom her dad was so happy because he only had daughters… She told us that her dad gave her sons shotguns for their first birthday.
“I thought he should have been mad at me for having twins at 18… but no…” she said.

Adjacent to the laundromat was a convenience store with gas tanks. I walked in to get some change and a large display case containing all manners of bongs sported the sign “for tobacco use ONLY”. Sure. It all reeked of “don’t give a sh#$” and I was glad when we got out and away from there.

I can't quite imagine someone complaining about wrinkled shirts in the dryer... just can't

Since last night I’ve been dazed by what has happened in Japan. For a moment it made me wonder why I was doing what I am doing when such destruction and mayhem on such a scale is the fate of my fellow human beings. I scoured the internet and watched one video after another trying to acknowledge this harsh reality. I could not quite absorb the enormity of the events. I think about going there and help. Could I make a difference? My heart, my soul reaches out to Japan, to all of its people. The scope of this is of such a magnitude…

And here we are, mixing rock and roll.

So I went out for a walk in the Tennessee countryside. To get somewhat grounded as everything feels incredibly unreal. The birds are chirping, daffodils blooming, a brook rushing in a carved path courses under the road and races ahead between the rolling hills singing its own song.

You can smell the wild onions already, a rooster crows in the distance and cows eat the fresh, tender spring grass… The sun is mid-way in the horizon and the golden hue colors everything of hope and goodwill. One could just be blissfully ignorant and go on about the days, planning the summer garden, waiting for the leaves to bloom… It seems all so unreal. I got to look around and see that it’s not all about to fall apart, be destroyed by some cataclysm.

Nope. Not right now… Not yet anyways.

I must live fully. Make every moment a good one. Love my fellow men and women as this is all we have.

On a smaller scale, there was another sad event last Friday when Mike Starr, original bass player from Alice In Chains died of some drug overdose. A lot of you know AIC is MY favorite band… My heart goes to all his family and friends. Again, life so precious…

Last night, when we came back from all our errands, we were riding back towards the studio on the freeway in the dark when suddenly the pick up truck ahead of us made a strange move to the right… slowed down. It seemed erratic. I was sitting in the back, passenger on the bike. My reflexes would have been to shoot to the left, to get away from the truck… a mere moment later, right there in the middle of the lane a Queen size pillow top mattress was laying on the road.

Perry had slowed and pulled to the right so we safely missed it. But I could not help but construct in my mind the different scenarios available. From being right behind whoever carried that thing without tying it down properly and seeing it coming toward me, to imagining a car plowing into that and being behind that car… or a bike hitting the obstacle at 70 MPH.

But we are here to tell the tale and in some ways there is nothing to tell but someone lost their mattress on the road last night.

So things are good.

We are getting ahead, tomorrow someone is coming to see the studio (the property is for sale) and that is an incentive to get to gettin’ her done swiftly. There is the possibility that we might have to finish mixing somewhere else. If you have a suggestion of a place Perry could work out of in California, let me know. It might be in the future.

I am not going to worry. I’m just going to carry on. All I know for sure is that this album will rock. And maybe rock is what we will need when the world comes crashing down.



Power on


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