It's all a matter of perspective.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Upcoming Fox TV shows:
  1. The Littlest Groom. 12 female dwarfs compete for the love of a hunk; well make that a chunk of burning 4 foot 5 inch love. Just when you have accepted this premise, a group of normal sized babes are brought in to compete against the little ladies.
  2. When Animals Attract. A National Geographic show about mating rituals among animals. It should include plenty of doggystyle.
  3. Celebrity Spelling Bee. Nothing else needs to be said about this one.

Honestly, you can not parody this. Fox’s New Development team is a load of freaking geniuses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

For anyone who cares, and I know that John Barber does, here is the board tape from last Thursday’s show at Juanita’s. First a few notes, or reasons why this sounds so crappy:

This was our first gig in front of a live audience. We were playing in the Arkansas Times’ Musicians Showcase, and were the third act of four that performed that night. We arrived while the first band was playing and stood outside on the sidewalk while until they finished and loaded out. When they were out of the way, we moved all of our gear into a closet next to the stage while the second act was setting up. When the second act was done, we waited patiently for them to break down, and then had fifteen minutes to set up and start playing. We got no sound check, or even time to tune our guitars. The first time I tried my mic was the first time I sang a note on Chevy Nova. I had nothing in my monitor at all. Because of this, my background vocals occasionally sound like I am doing a Linda McCartney impression.

Now for a word about the curious genera of Rock and Roll board tapes. When you play in a small club like Juanita’s, you are in a small room, maybe 1000 square feet. You have a loud ass drum set, moderately loud guitar amps, Dan’s holy thunder bass amp, a fairly quiet sax, and very quiet voices. All of these things go into a 12,000 watt PA to be mixed to equal levels in the room. Obviously, the things that are the loudest on stage are going to be at the lowest levels in the mix – the things that are quietest on stage become the loudest in the mix. If you have a good sound man, and Juanita’s has the best, then all of this sounds perfectly balanced in the room.

When you get a board tape, you get the levels as set on the board. The stage volume is not a factor, since you are not in the room and can not hear the actual guitar amps and drums. Therefore you get very little drums, a little more guitar (Luke’s guitar is louder than mine on the tape because I had mine turned up louder on stage), a lot of sax, and an uncomfortable amount of vocals. There is no singer in the world whose voice will stand up to the scrutiny of a board tape without some gaffes. (An exception to this is Mark Currey, who always sounds pitch perfect and soulful on even the most horrible mixes.) Luke weathers this very well, but you should listen to it while cutting him some slack.

With all of this in mind, go and enjoy. Tell me what you think.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Matt Labash is in New Hampshire this week.
Up at the campus's Dominic Hill, John Kerry prepares to march down to the debate with a firefighter's union and their bagpiping corps, who are playing something that sounds like Dean funeral music. For a moment, Kerry's bus, the "Real Deal Express," almost grinds its candidate into the pavement as it hurtles down the hill. A line of Deaniacs obstruct the way, causing Kerry and company to knock into the back of their bagpipers, who are getting their kilts flipped up and worse. The Deaniacs then burst through the line, and the Kerry supporters start pushing back. The whole thing plays like a battle scene from "Braveheart," or it would've if "Braveheart" had featured a man dressed like a giant penis getting hip-checked into a snow-bank.

The debate itself, as has now been well-documented, is boring beyond description. In the light of Dean's meltdown, all the frontrunners seem intent on being their campaign-brochure selves, only less so. After sustaining a sore throat and a week of nightmare press, Howard Dean appears to be sucking back his own words even as he says them, causing Joshua Green of the Atlantic Monthly, sitting next to me in the press room, to comment, "It sounds like a guy trying to hold in a bong hit."