First day in the studio, working on new material, with Blair since 1991!
This is not ideal.
Other studios were not available, and for some reason, 6 or 7 weeks ago, I thought I would be fine recording up here in my attic. I know now that this was a rotten idea – I ‘m way out of practice recording into Logic AND my brain should be in PRODUCTION mode, not ENGINEER… Whatever, here we are…
Good news – after 15 years of using Hammond organs and various digital versions, sometime just before I left NYC I saw a second hand, rather beat up Korg CX3 (as used by LC and the Commotions on Rattlesnakes) for sale and I bought it. It has been in my basement ever since (OK maybe Amanda played it on etc) waiting for Blair to come.
Well, here he is. We plug the Korg into the Trident S100 and we get started. First song – The Flipside. Even though there are just 5 of us on this track, and none of us are paying much, we’re overlapping, so there isn’t much space for the organ to add melody… still it needs something to connect the guitars and the organ does it. We go for a fairly fat, warm tone, and then run the track until BC finds some room to add harmonic content. Eventually he provides two key lines – going to the D7 and underneath the Flipside vocal melody.
We then shift to more of a Farfisa sound for the middle (Bo Diddley beat) section. We try B following the melody that MC is playing but it sounds forced, so we rest there.
In the last verse BC finds a melody to play underneath ‘melancholy feeling’ but my singing at this point is so behind the beat that it is impossible to play with so we move it to the next verse where it seems to work well. That’s pretty much it for that song. I don’t see many more overdubs.
Onto – Why In The World? Somehow I’d had the idea in may head that the organ would hold this song together the way that it did in ‘I’m Gone’. Why? What are the similarities? I don’t know… There is a LOT going on in this song – counter melodies all over the shop – so finding a space for the organ takes time. BC was talking about a Certain General track which he played on and I produced (baby are you rich?) and he commented on how the part was cyclical and seemed to pay little attention to the arrangement.. this song needs something like that but it needs to be more subtle – it must not fight the song, must move with it, while feeling like it isn’t doing.
Fun job, eh? Witch doctor is nothing…
Thankfully BC is on great form and finds just the part.But, to get the part working with the track takes a little while, still, we get there.
It’s taken most of the day to get these two tunes recorded, and really we should go to dinner now, but no – we thing we should get three songs in a day done… So we look at The New Yorkers (That’s Alright).
What does this song need? I don’t know. It has rejected almost all overdub ideas. It wants to be basic, simple, and absolutely not Steely Daany…
BC finds a repeating electric piano line which might work, I’m not sure. I have him record the idea to review in the AM. He also as has an “across chord change’ flourish which I think might be what need (writing this 2 days later, I still don’t know for sure) so we record that, too. By now it is way too late to be constructively critical, so we go to the bar…
To be continued.