Northern Thorns

Dance Rock | Seattle

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

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

Here’s what the Kraken Bar stage looks like…

This could be interesting trying to fit a 6-pc band up there.

 

kraken-stage

Help Haiti Benefit Show

For posterity…

Tonight is a benefit show for UNICEF/Haitian Hurricane Matthew victims at Chop Suey. I’ve been working on a show with Barry Sebastian for quite some time and this is what everyone came up with, then Tenderfoot had the great idea of turning it into a benefit show. Looking forward to this!

Help Haiti banner

Help Haiti banner

11.6.16 – Kraken Bar

Kraken Bar 11.6.16

Gentleman Surfer with Northern Thorns and Thank You, Kraken Bar 11.6.16

This, right here

This is why my turntable has to have a cover on it.

Gio on the turntable

Gio on the turntable

New Shows, New Stuff

Back from our honeymoon in Venice and Croatia (Croatia wins) and I somehow managed to work on some booking on my phone while I was overseas. So stay tuned for Northern Thorns shows on:

> October 26th at Vermillion, playing a fundraiser for our buddy Markeith Wiley.

> November 6th at Kraken with The Gentleman Surfer, a Norcal band I haven’t seen since a house party in Sacramento like 9 years ago.

> Possibly something else in early November…


 

Orchestre Kiam Nina Lola Editions Veve Front Cover

In other news, I returned home to some items I had ordered. After I realized a couple months back my existing turntable had a problem I couldn’t fix with the left side audio, I ordered a new one on eBay. It’s an 80’s Sanyo that I’m so far very happy with. I’ll soon start digitizing my vinyl collection and putting the rare ones online. The timing is good because I also just received a Kiam 7″ with another obscure song I’ve never been able to hear before. It’s called Lola, the B-side of the Nina single from 1974, very early in their career. It’s classic, cavacha era with great Kiam guitar riffs. I’m looking forward to putting it on YouTube with Zavy, the other song I have that is nowhere online currently, and adding to the fan canon.

And finally I received a copy of Editions Veve, their first LP from the same year. I had this digitally already, but I’m trying to obtain their whole catalog on vinyl and this is a step in the right direction.

Now the vexing ones from that task are going to be Super Hits Vol’s I and II. I’ve never seen one for sale, I think they’re probably very rare and valuable. I’m just missing a few songs now…

Orchestre Kiam Nina Lola Editions Veve Back Cover

 

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