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Friday, April 3, 2009

We start a little bit late because Brad is in the city buying some cables. I take advantage of the extra time to take my bike into the shop. My had tire popped on the INSIDE which makes me think it was a faulty tube and not a piece of glass or a thorn. After haggling with the bike shop guy I agree to pay for the service if they'll pay for the tube. Better than nothing.

Back at the studio Brad is running some cables across his yard, into ours, around our pool, and into our living room where the baby grand piano sits. Turns out he has a 100-ft. cable snake so he won't have to get his laptop involved afterall (see Studio Blog #5). He wants to try recording this piano in case it sounds good; that way we won't have to bother Jeannine who owns our house and has a bigger, nicer concert grand piano in the guest house where she lives and works. He tries out a few microphone combinations and placements; Mike records some parts for Everything and we go into the control room to listen. It still sounds a little... well, small. It IS a baby grand, afterall.

As Brad is rearranging some microphones, a video crew and some folks from our label show up to hang out and shoot a promo. We were under the impression that it would only be a few people but the video crew and the marketing reps who have hired them total about 10-15 people, plus three people from our label. We spend all afternoon doing some interviews and fake-playing our instruments for the cameras. When the crew clears out around 5 p.m. we are all too tired from interviewing/schmoozing to keep recording. Brad and I record a quick tamborine part for Everything and we call it a day.

Dan drops me off at the bike shop. They only charged me $11 for the labor and a roll of tube-protector tape. Dan tells me it will solve my tire popping problems. At this point I have nothing to lose.

Later in the evening we all watch The Truman Show. That's a great premise for a movie.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brad gets the go-ahead from Jeannine to record her concert grand piano. We run a bunch of cables across our yard, through the garden, and into the guest house at the far end of our property. This piano sounds amazing! We quickly get to work playing all the piano parts for this batch of songs.

The intro to Ground Beneath My Feet is just piano and vocals so Brad sets up a vocal mic in the control room. Nate sings the first verse while Mike plays piano in the other room. It sounds really great. My friend Abe drops by. I've known him since we were little kids; my mom and his mom have been best friends since they were sixteen. Now he lives in Malibu playing music all over the place. It's good to catch up with him.

Once the piano is done we pack up all the cables and Brad sets up the vocal mic back in the tracking room. After some last minute lyrical changes, Nate is ready to sing What Are You Waiting For. It's a breeze for him (since we've been performing the song for seven months). Brad comes up with a few cool changes for the last chorus. Nate's voice is in top form. We end around 6:45, leaving Brad some time to compile all of Nate's vocal takes before ending at 8 p.m.

Nate and I drive to a nearby taco stand that Abe told us about. Nate gets a burrito and I get some nachos (with white beans [???]). Later that evening one of our two managers (the one that lives in LA) comes over to discuss artwork direction. After some brainstorming most of the band scour looking for a particular breed of photos that are at least 100 years old, and therefore part of the public domain. Dan finds a nice shot of some teens diving off a tower somewhere in Washington state in 1909. Looks pretty cool. Could make an interesting album cover. We decide to sleep on it for a few days. Our manager leaves, we watch some Saturday Night Live (mainly for the musical guest, Phoenix). They're really tight. The drummer sounds really good but is a little annoying to watch, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Everyone sleeps in late. I go for an epic twenty-three mile bike ride. Brad had invited me to ride along with him and his friend but I was uninterested in both the length (thirty-six miles) and start time (6:45 a.m.) of the trip. After a shower and some lunch, I join Mike, David, and Nate on a trip to the beach in Malibu. We spend the afternoon in the sun and waves playing bocce ball and throwing a frisbee around. Dan stays home to write some songs with Molly Jensen, a musician friend of ours.

Later in the evening Dan and I take some time to track down a high-resolution scan of our first album's cover art. We're releasing a deluxe version with bonus tracks on iTunes (shameless plug). We all walk down to the frozen yogurt shop, come back to the house, and go over some last minute lyric changes for Make It Through and Everything so they're ready for Nate to sing in the morning.

Alter The Press!