Wednesday Nov 28 – Another three songs started.
First thing I have to go by McCabe’s Guitar Shop to pick up Fred’s J-45 and Les Paul which have been set up for the session at McCabe’s (yes, the same place I played recently. I’m staying right across the street.). Matthew picks me up there and we head into Bad Robot.
We iisten to Diminished Ex from last night and it’s all good. Just re-recording the bass is left to do. It takes a little while to figure out the part but it’s done in an hour or so. But with our late(r) start it’s almost lunch time.
We decide to try to at least learn the next song before we eat – it’s called Blue Like Mars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_Like_Mars.jpg. I warn F and M that it may be slightly goth. Having heard the song F corrects me and tells me its more like a Nada Surf song… He has some drum ideas I hadn’t expected and I like them. I decide to use the beat as the intro to the song. We run through the various progressions are half learned then lunch (in house – excellent Rome style pasta and salad).
I expect Blue Like Mars to start quietly and then get loud and pretty much stay that way but I like F’s drum idea so it has turned out quite differently… this was the idea of these sessions – we’d go where our ideas took us and having the lyrics finished I’d be confident enough in the songs themselves to be able to go with the flow. It only takes a few passes and we have a drum track. I re-record the guitar and the bass is almost prefect. A few minutes of re-recording and it’s done. I have an idea for a lead guitar part, Ronson-ish which I record as a reference and also and idea for a semi spoken lyric behind the sung one which seems to work. The reference is recorded. I will revisit these ideas later.
Note – Bad Robot owner JJ drops by in the middle of recording this and puts on headphones and listens. He tells me later that the song is still in his head…
It’s Late is a big song, i think. It seems to me to be from a classic mould and it strikes me as something we might have, at one point, called (maybe) radio friendly… It’s important that I have songs like these if I’m to be heard. Since I wrote it I’ve been excited about it in the same way i was excited about No Blue Skies, or So You’d Like To Save The World (OK, maybe I was wrong both times..). I play the song and Fred suggests what he thinks is a Mick Fleetwood vibe – no hi-hat, no cymbals, just brushes on the snare. It seems to fit. An hour later it’s recorded. There is a little extra time needed to get the bass part dead right, but I’m happy. We make a rough mix and move on.
Not much time left but to stay on schedule we need to at least get one more song started. I choose I Can’t Leave You Like This – it’s a slow one, almost a dirge. Following my guitar rhythm F finds a cool beat but a better one is found when M suggests he straightens out the part and leaves the syncopation to the vocal and the fills. This immediately gives us more of a Neil Young / T.Rex feel and 10 minutes later we have a take recorded. i think it’s great. We’ll check it in the morning – it’s dinner time.