Northern Thorns

Dance Rock | Seattle

Author: adamkozie (page 2 of 7)

Barboza 8/6

Poster for the new show:

Northern Thorns, Stella Crest, Brandon Krebs at Barboza August 6th 2017 8pm $8, 21+

Northern Thorns at Barboza Poster

Northern Thorns Stella Crest Brandon Krebs at Barboza August 6 Show Poster

New Show on the Calendar, Recording Updates Etc.

August 6th at Barboza, with Brandon Krebs and Stella Crest. It should be a great night playing with good friends and other supportive friends in the crowd.

Northern Thorns at Barboza

In other news, work continues on the full-length, with Bob Cheek at ExEx. It’s a fun way to make a record, passing the files back and forth in WAV format between ProTools and Logic. Lalo Bello came in and laid down some congas for a rumba-ish song that may end up as the final track. Now I get to edit them and give them back to Bob. Fun!

And we’re re-amping guitars. It’s great hearing them come alive and picking out pedals. A selection of what we’ve been using:

More on that soon! We hope to finish the re-amping this afternoon in fact.

Full Length In the Works!

Long time no bloggin’. It’s been a busy time, and no shows really either except one in mid-April. That’s because I’m making a record!

For the past couple months I’ve been doing pre-production for a full-length Northern Thorns release; finishing some new songs, re-tracking vocals and guitars and replacing some of the MIDI percussion and bass sounds with real instruments. I’ve been working with my existing Logic Pro X demo files, and the idea is basically to just upgrade them until they sound pro, instrument by instrument. It’s been a lot of fun, and it was also kind of stressful trying to get as much done as possible (structurally at least) before doing the drum tracking.

I finally did the drums at ExEx with my good friend Bob Cheek last weekend, and I’m really thrilled with how they came out. ExEx is a great overdubbing studio but they don’t have any kind of live room with a high ceiling, just a treated room that used to be an old bank vault a century ago. But it was perfect. I wanted an old school kind of 70’s drum sound anyway and it fit the bill. I mixed and matched a bunch of drums I own to get the sounds I was envisioning, and we did 11 songs over a 4-day period.

11 songs tracked

11 songs tracked

Usually I’m in the studio recording someone else’s record, and if I have a little flub or a weird drum fill, or if I just play something that’s not composed to my satisfaction, we move on anyway half the time because it’s expensive to be in the studio. Not this time. I’ve never dug so deeply into drum performances and I think the end result will be great because of this.

Bob and I went back and fixed every fill and groove until they were just what I was hearing in my head for the song. Because that was what I did with the MIDI drums originally after all, composing drum fills at my leisure. And my mental conception of this music is very precise at this point, especially since most of these songs have kicked around in my head for months or years.

Ian came in on Sunday and laid down some trumpet for a rumba song I’ve been putting the finishing touches on. Jared had played a guitar solo on said song a few weeks prior, which I had fun editing together from 20+ takes.

Ian playing trumpet on a new song

Ian playing trumpet on a new song

Next, I fix all the punch points in the bass and guitar tracks (finally learned how to crossfade effectively), and we re-amp those. We did just a single song to make sure it would work well.


Re-amping through the resident Orange bass amp

Re-amping through the resident Orange bass amp

Bonfire Video Up Now

Jared Borkowski, playing his first show with NT, was prescient and organized enough to throw his cell phone out in the crowd and record the latest Vermillion show on January 22. Thanks Jared! And Thanks also to Amy Billharz for the projections at this show.

I finally got around to chopping up his footage into individual songs and posting it to YouTube. Here’s Weight:

More to come shortly, I’ll probably post the whole 8-song set on my channel.

Kiam Collection Is Now Complete!

Orchestre Kiam Super Hits Vol. 1 Front Cover

Kiam Super Hits

I finally found the last two Kiam songs that I hadn’t heard! This LP popped up as an auction on eBay a couple weeks ago and I jumped on it. I have been looking to collect all the Kiam songs on vinyl, which I assume will be a years-long project. This is the third of the four Kiam LPs that I have now (they have a lot of 45s as well).

However, I was also missing two songs from my digital collection of Kiam songs, and in fact had never heard them at all. Yule and Namaraley are on this record, and I now have the whole Kiam discography in some form or another.

I listened to them for the first time yesterday. It’s a collector-grade piece of vinyl, very clean jacket and record, and it plays perfectly (this means I’ll have better versions of Mbale, Makonda and Azangai too, as soon as I get around to ripping them). I paid an awful lot for it, more than I ever expected I would. There were other bidders but in the end I was willing to spend whatever it took, and I scared them off when they weren’t able to outbid me.

As for the unheard songs? I see why no one bothered to put them online as of yet, they’re comparatively pretty weak. But they have their moments, and I’ve satisfied my completist desire for the whole catalog.

Also of great interest was the rear jacket, which has some great biographical info on it including a mantion of Lita Bembo playing in the group at one time. I had no idea about that.

Orchestre Kiam Super Hits Vol. 1 Back Cover

Kiam Super Hits

The text on the rear jacket (complete with spelling and syntax errors):

Orchestre Kiam is not a new name in the music world as when most of us hear the name of this group we are reminded of their Top Single such as MEMI, KAMIKI, YANGA YANGA –  to name but a few. This group was formed only three years ago but as a result of their efforts they have managed to get themselves a good place in the Top list of best players of Zaire in 1976 and so they were sent to Lagos Nigeria during the Black African Festival.

The name KIAM in it’s long form means KIAMUANGANA so when you hear this you know undoubtedly that Kiamuangana Mateta – the Pop star is involved in one way or the other. I should say he advises them in the musical field and arranges orchestration. It is his own band but he doesn’t play with them. The group is composed of very special members whose functions apart from playing istruments are known for their compositions – people like Kanza Rayon, Muzola Ngunga, Bamueniki [Mwana-Moni  Afinda]  Lita Bembo, Nkodia via Nkodia to name but a few.

This is KIAM’S first LP in their super Hits series and includes the latest and newest hit “MBALE” by mfui Mwane as well as “AZANGAI” by Shgungu. 

Join us and keep up to date with orch. Kiam.

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