Saturday, January 29, 2005

No Words--Just Pictures

I'm going to be petulant. I'm not in the mood to write, but I want to post. So no words, just pictures.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Brian, Jeff, Hollister Fracus at Sound Arts

We finished mixing Hollister Fracus last night about 3am at Sound Arts Studio (press the title for a link). Brian TOTALLY hooked us up on the mixes! The work was intense, but so was the fellowshippin': We went out to eat at Pappy's (?,... I hope I have that right), and I had some awesome chicken tenders and a wonder thing called a 'scorpion tail' which is shrimp batter fried over a jalapeno. But I digress,....

I had such a good time working with Jim, Aerik, and Mike. Jim's dedication to making his vocals sound world class was really inspiring. Mike (gtr) had wonderful suggestions for the mix presentation, and Aerik provides more support than any manager I've ever worked with. The love was definitly in the room.

Brian Baker, and Sound Arts owner/guru, Jeff Wells, were supurb hosts. The band has a great relationship with the studio, and I can certainly understand why. The room and gear worked great, the vibe was very friendly and relaxed, and Brian Baker proved to be an incredible captain of the ship during tracking and mixing. Brian's skills are way mad and way deep. I learned a lot. I really cannot wait to work together again, and Brian and Jeff are going to have to come over and hang at SugarHill with us.

Logan hasn't listened to the mixes yet, but I know she's going to love them!

Back in, follow this link: Eileen Faxas on GarageBand!!!!, to go see how her song Vivelo is being featured in the 'what's hot' section of the Latin category. Eileen is coming on strong, and it is exciting to see how her music is getting positive peer reviews on GB!!!! Look out Miami! Here she comes.

Time for me to go work with Joyce Pierce, but first an interesting aside: In my previous post, I included several screen shots of my editing for Hollister Fracus' mixes. A sharp-eyed engineer noticed that one of the shots was of a pitch-correction software. He left Aerik an email questioning the wisdom of showing that sort of editing (like we should be ashamed for pitch-correcting vocals, or instruments). Point well taken.

My response is this: 1) Good Eye!, and 2) Let it be known that Jim can sing his f**kin ass off!!!! I'm just going for perfection-- and I'll punch in, re-edit, DO ANYTHING to make a CD sound awesome. Even the hottest supermodel uses makeup in front of the camera. Consider me Jim's,.... well don't do that,... but you get my point.



Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Getting Ready to Mix Tomorrow

I had Grammy business yesterday--specifically being on a NARAS Grammys in the Schools program at the local High School for the Performing (and Visual) Arts. We had a NARAS members' mixer last night where I got to hang, eat, drink, and meet people in the biz. I actually had a very good time.

Today, I've been working on Hollister Fracus tracks--editing before we mix tomorrow. I just finished a song call 'Power'. It is SO heavy,... While working, I suddenly realized that there was a funny thing about this editing session: Here I am doing some very good and VERY heavy music while wearing a portable EKG monitor (called a Holter moniter). Man, I hope the cardiologist that reads the output of this thing doesn't think I'm having a heart attack.

Check out how wired up I am:

Here's me monitor, mates:

I get to take this thing off before we mix (thank God). Once more song and I'm all set.

It also occurs to me that you should know that heart-wise I'm all good. Just following up on an episode of 'atrial fibrillation' earlier in the year.

OH YEAH!!!! I can't sign off without mentioning that Eileen Faxas has (had?) the Track of the Day for her song 'Vivelo' on (Latin Category? -- sorry I'm sketchy on this), and The Southern Backtones, in what must be some sort of record, now has the Modern Rock Track of the Week on Garageband for their song 'Forever'.

Hell yes, I love you Garageband!!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

In the fkN ZONE

We finished singing at Sound Arts yesterday, and I drove away. Happy! (The guys got a good laugh because I had robin shit all over my car from a migratory party the birds had in my yard.) Anyway, I spent all this afternoon editing 'Void' and I am mucho happy. Logan heard what we did and said that it passed her test. (WHEW)

Void was the hardest of the songs to edit, so I started there to get myself good and ready for the final two on Wednesday. We mix on Thursday, and I want it to be uber-perfect for Jim, Brian, and the band.

The screen shots are added just to give you the vibe of my day. Lot's of audio/visual interface.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hollister Fracus at Sound Arts Studio

Today we started recording vocals at Sound Arts Studios in Houston with Brian Baker. (Click on the title for a link). He really hooked us up with great sound, killer engineering, and wonder service. This was my first time to work at Sound Arts (owned by Jeff Wells), and I was impressed even though I had high expectations.

Brian's engineering chops kept me from trying the grab the console and play engineer (which is saying a lot). He kept the session moving smoothly and chimed in with suggestions at just the right moment. His sound is super rich, and he has great ears.

As for Jim, he sang his ass off and kept his focus with me riding him hard. Mike (guitarist of 'Fracus), and Brian kept adding great ideas and the end result was some superior vocal tracks. I will do a bit of editing, and we mix next week.

At one point, I asked Brian if he had a small keyboard that I could use to feed Jim some tones in the headphones. Next thing I know, Brian has a frickin PITCH PIPE in his mouth, 'blowing' us all away with the references we needed. Talk about doing whatever it takes!!!!!

We finish up tomorrow, and I'm sort of sorry it's going to be over so soon. I'll write more after the mixes I'm sure.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Hollister Fracus Pre Production

I went out to Jim Finley's (vox: Hollister Fracus) studio this weekend to work on vocal melodies before our sessions at Sound Arts Studios here in Houston.

By the second day, Jim and I were on the same page resulting in some outstanding vocal ideas. I took a picture while we were working, and we look like we know what we are doing.

The challenge for me in this project is to remain totally respectful to the excellent work the band, and their engineer, Brian, have done already. If this goes as planned, we will 'get in and get out' with great precision.

(off to traffic court,..... DOH!)

Saturday, January 08, 2005


I'll have much, much more to say about this later, but absorb this tid bit before I go back to my Hollister Fracus prepro: I saw 'the other Dan Workman's' new band last night, Uncle Mojo, (click on post title for their site).

Here are both Dan Workmans:

Uncle Mojo had only about 20 people at the club to see them--and got a standing ovation at the end of their set. They are the finest Texas Blues/Rock/Funk band I have ever seen. Killer musicianship, with an Exxon tanker full of love, heart, and great fun. I am going to record these guys no matter what. You read it hear first.

My pics turned out sort of crummy, but this one shows the energy. Goddamn, I'm proud of my namesake!

Back to work. The memory of this show will never leave me. I'll come back later and post more details here, so don't miss it.


Friday, January 07, 2005


Tomorrow I start work producing vocals for Houston's hard rock legends, Hollister Fracus. Logan has been SO helpful (and sort of funny-cute at the same time). She is a real metal girl, ok? I mean, a real headbanger. So when she found out I was interested in HF, she was all like, overly helpful in one way, and her usual, hyper competent, over-achieving self at the same time.

She offered to make me a sampler of reference material before I wandered into a heavier landscape than she has previously seen me work in. The compilation is awesome and I've been listening to some new material. It has helped me get my edge on for working with Jim tomorrow. I'm pumped!!!!

Tonight, I'm going to see 'the other Dan Workman' play with his new band, Uncle Mojo. I really like the name. In fact, I need to wrap up here so I can get over there.

More Sarah Sharp news: Sarah was honored today to be included in a retrospective of 2004's best records. Check out the article in the Austin Chronicle. Scroll down the third list -- and she's number 5! Here's some screen shots of the page:

Pretty cool stuff.

Oh yeah! Lunch! I had a super cool lunch with Heather Wagner of Music World/Sanctuary this afternoon. Yeah, we had some PopStar stuff to discuss, but we got that out of the way post haste and got down to some serious fellowshippin! Heather is one cool chick, and I am always happy to spend time with her.

Ok, time to go see Uncle Mojo.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Joyce Pierce in Mix Magazine Online

Click on the title of this post and you can see that the trade magazines are starting to talk about Joyce Pierce's new album. I went to Joyce's home yesterday to hear a new song, "Stay Awhile". I hope that we end up putting it on the record. That would make the number of songs, twelve.... a very 'big number' New Testament-wise.

I just got through playing Casio SK1 on John Evans' new CD. He's down the hall in SugarHill's Studio B working with my favorite engineer, Steve Christensen.

Speaking of favorite engineers, my partner and mentor, Andy Bradley and I just finished mixing an updated version of the 1960's classic psychedelic rock song, 'Hot Smoke and Sassafras", originally by The Bubble Puppy. The song was a favorite of mine when I was, well, smaller, and I jumped at the chance to work on the song with Andy, Kenny Cordray, and Ralz Mathias.
As soon as it is mastered, I'll post it on the site. This is, btw, for the 65th anniversary tribute CD that SugarHill is compiling.

I'm on the run, but I wanted to post.


Monday, January 03, 2005

The Southern Backtones' ASCAP AUDIO PORTRAIT

The Southern Backtones are the featured artist on ASCAP's Audio Portrait for the month of January, 2005. What a cool way to kick off the year! Many of you will remember that Sarah Sharp was featured earlier in 2004, so all this attention to 'my' artists is uber-flattering. Hank did the interview here in the DWM office, and I goofed and lost the audio file for the second half of the interview forcing Hank to 'be spontaneous' all over again. He sounded great & didn't bitch about my faux pau to boot.

This just in: The Quantegy company closed it's American (audio) Tape producing plant on 1/2/2005. Sad news.