creativity in the 21st century + behind the scenes

In this post:

  • OK Go Does It Again
  • Behind the scenes of our latest recording
  • Feb 18th @ Dry River Pizza

OK Go Does It Again

OK Go wowed us a few years ago with their all-in-one-shot low-fi strangely choreographed videos. Well, they’ve topped themselves with something decidedly higher-tech and still amazing:

It’s easy when you’re older (ie than 22) to lament that kids aren’t as creative or whatever as in our day. And in many ways it’s true. In previous generations, people had to make do with much less and with fewer references (preexisting material) for inspiration. But now that so much great stuff has already been done people wonder if it’s possible to make anything new anymore. Well this video and the band OK Go, among others, are evidence that creativity is still alive and well in the 21st century – just morphing into FAR different media and mixtures and hybrids than any of us thought possible.

Behind the scenes

Jamie is finishing up final mixes for three tracks we laid down at the end of March. And I thought you’d like a peek behind the curtain so to speak. I mentioned before that we were really influenced by a recent acoustic show we did (The Wooden Ball). We happened to have some acoustic friendly songs we hadn’t recorded yet and – since we record at home – we scheduled a Friday night to lay down basic tracks live.┬áSo “basic tracks live” in recording lingo means the rhythm section (drums and bass) and main instruments (in our case guitar and keyboards) are recorded at the same time, just like any other time we play music, but without vocals. Vocals and any other sounds are recorded later, also known as overdubbing.

This time around, Jamie was also the engineer and experimented with the simplest recording set up we’ve used yet: five microphones for everything including drums and room sound! He used some basic microphones from Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and Beyer with zero plugins – we were playing in a large concrete room with 30 foot ceilings and long theatre-style curtains so the sound was naturally great. On top of that, with Jamie’s setup we didn’t need headphones, so it really felt like we were playing a live show. Headphones are cool because you technically hear things in more detail – but they’re also a bit isolating so this method seemed to capture a better overall vibe. So the only weird thing is getting through the song without the normal vocal cues (though we looked at each other and the person who usually sang would usually mouth the lyrics, which helped.)

We did three songs and usually used the first or second take so all in all it just took a few hours from set up to Miller time! The following weekends were spent on overdubs. We’ve listened back over and over and over again – especially Jamie! There’s still some sonic stuff to take care of inhouse (Jamie also does the mastering) but we’ll be posting these in the digital realm soon. Here are some pics of us that first night. Of course there’s none of me because I was the one taking the pics and absolutely forgot. But rest assured I was there!

February 18th @ Dry River Pizza

After all the studio work, we’re back in the saddle. This Saturday, we’re heading to the Eastside of town and doing two sets at Dry River Pizza. They got great beers on tap, impressive thin-crust pizza and even some yummy coffee in a cool cozy atmosphere. So if you live east of Downtown, you can save some gas and still go out and see some original rock n roll on a Saturday night.

Saturday, Feb 18th

Dry River Pizza

Kolb south of Speedway

8:30 to 11:30pm

No cover!

So stay tuned we’ll be giving you some new stuff to check out soon!

Love and rock,