September 2007

Home Recording Is Great Fun

September 24, 2007

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It really is. You set up your limited collection of Royer mics (purchased for a song before Mr. Royer became the toast of Recording Engineer and Musician Magazine), fire up your just adequate PreSonus preamp, and capture your magic sounds on your four year old Korg D1600 digital work station, which fits in a suitcase. It’s all you need, folks.
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Gone are the heady days of our record deal with now defunct Sovereign, when we cut in leisurely style at Paul DuGre’s studio and even got paid. We’re on our own for this new CD. Now Paul L and Shawn are setting up cables and squinting at meters and cussing and scratching heads in their home studios. But that’s all right. Today we’re in Paul L’s living room.

Paul L and Victoria returned to Angelino Heights last year after seven years of wandering in Silverlake and Los Feliz. It’s good to be back, in a cozy upper level of a 1928 fourplex, owned by a craft and handiwork-loving young couple who live in the 1883 wood frame behind the fourplex. We’re all cozy as can be. Especially today, when mysterious dark clouds have swept in, obliterating the blazing heat we’ve had for weeks. This is all very good. Wind rattles the windows.3 paul m sings.jpg

We cut two versions of our new waltz Never Alive, two acoustic guitars and electric bass live, 3 takes. Next, the two Pauls sing background vocals to alt country rocker Yolo County Airport, staring each other down across twin Royer large diaphragm condensor mics. Rob’s at the D1600, yeaing and naying. 4 paul at mic.jpg

Rob and Paul M take alternate stabs at acoustic guitar tracks for the song. This song is rocking pretty hard, if we do say so ourselves. Rick Shea, our good pal and aux Hawk, lays down authoritative acoustic guitar and stony 70’s style lead lines on three tracks. It’s all starting to sound like a record on the radio.rick.jpg

We toast our late afternoon work with Trader Joe’s label 18 year old Bowmore single malt scotch. It’s quite good. Warm like the wood floors and brotherhood. Guitar players depart, Paul L cleans up the chaos, the studio is now a home.It feels like full on fall, blustery winds keep a rattling, and Paul charges out into the gray black clouds and setting sun to soak up the cool and the brooding. A wander into the hills. Adios, summer.

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They

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say

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a

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big

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rain

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is coming.

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In L.A.?

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September?

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Memory says

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no.

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But clouds

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say

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yes.

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Griffith Park, Fire Aftermath

September 24, 2007

We snuck into forbidden Griffith Park the other evening to view the fire damage to our most trekked east side trail. In the SoCal spirit of “whatever,” you’re stopped by a stern guard at the Commonwealth entrance. He tells you that you can enter on Hillhurst. We wander the semi-posh neighborhood streets and find the main road past the Greek Theater, find the west trail entrance. It’s barricaded, but we follow some joggers up a side path and are soon on the main trail. Alas:

1.jpgCan you find the bear? This is not photoshopped:

2.jpgThe jimson weed is thriving. There must be a cosmic evolutionary reason that the most powerful hallucinogen in North America doesn’t even notice a wildfire:

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We exit the sad trail and walk out the Commonwealth exit, wave to the forbidding guard. You can walk out, but you can’t walk in. The cosmic whatever.

The Other 9/11

September 12, 2007

As our good friend Randall pointed out, we can’t overlook
the other important 9/11 anniversaries. For example, the
Hawks first CD came out on 9/11/01, in a bit of unfortunate
timing. Pinochet’s CIA-backed coup against Salvador Allende took place on Septembet 11th, 1973. Kennedy assassination buffs will remember that back in 1959 Lee Harvey Oswald was discharged from the Marine Corp on 9/11. And let’s not forget:

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Snapshots From Global Warming

September 11, 2007

It’s a Monday afternoon in Woodland Hills, temperature a dry 102 F, and a Mini Cooper is parked on Ventura Boulevard, gleaming in the sun. Inside a young woman is napping, cooled by her air conditioning as her car idles. .

West On 46

September 4, 2007

It’s the Friday kicking off Labor Day weekend and time to abandon this clearly godforsaken SoCal desert. Yes, fellow and feline Angelinos, we are living in a desert. Deserts have dry brown hills, very little rain, and occasional thunderheads swelling in empty blue skies. This year we easily qualify. By the way, a brand new […]

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