Last night I had a dream where I was on stage playing bass for The Vaguely Symbolic, only we were just kind of making up songs instead of playing a pre-planned set. The bass kept making strange noises. Eric asked me, “What’s up with that bass?” I told him that I had no idea but when I looked it it, the instrument looked like a Salvador Dali painting. It was all melting and I literally had to stretch the neck straight to play it. Strange & surreal.
This weekend saw a flurry of activity on the musical front. The weather was amazing as I drove Braden Hardwood up to Salisbury to record some choice backing parts for “South Hill Road.” It went like butter and only took 45 minutes or so. It’s so easy to take for granted just how smooth the setup is at The Realm. Eddie really has his studio finely tuned. Everything always goes so smoothly and sounds great. He has some fantastic instruments and mics and it is always evident on recordings produced there. We also got to listen to the final version of, “False Judas,” for the first time. As my buddy Dave Watson might say, I was GOBSmacked. Eddie had added a ton of finer touches to the song and backing vocals that floored me. I loved everything about it.
Brad’s parts on, “South Hill Road,” were the final touch on that tune as well and it was sounding so much cooler than I ever expected. Eddie had added a harmonica part that just gave it so much flavor and made it sadder somehow. So very cool. Obviously asking Eddie to produce was a positive move for the album. I say, album, but right now it’s just two songs. I hope it becomes an album with the same style throughout.
I got back to the store around 3 and Eric Cook came over to supervise a design of a live album cover for The Vaguley Symbolic. It’s always fun doing graphics projects for any of his bands. He has a quirky sense of humor as is evident by all of his lyrics. I have long been and remain a fan of his music. This last show I witnessed was easily the best I’ve seen from him. Those guys are really hitting their stride right now and it was great to see and hear.
I expect some very cool recordings from those guys in the future and perhaps we can make yet another music video for them. Anyways the graphics turned out great. What do you think?
Hey, speaking of videos, pre-production has started on a new music video proejct I’ve understaken. It’s for Braden Harwood’s song, “Getting Out,” which is a southern blues rock tune. We’ve settled on a concept and I’ve started scripting and storyboarding. I hope to shoot the first pieces of it in the coming weeks.
Braden is recording Terry and I for the new, “Two Spies” album. We began that process on Sunday. The preliminary results are promising. Terry and I are booked up pretty solid for the next few months, so this may take some time, but I hope to have something to share on that front very soon at the forthcoming Two Spies shows, of which there are now 5 booked. Check those out on the Two Spies fan page.
You know I cannot help but to feel that as easy as it’s been to book the 2-man acoustical format, that I should have switched to this long ago. I cannot remember a time when, “Absolute Zero” had shows booked, let alone paying gigs. It’s like club owners are scared of loud rock n roll and instantly trust in acoustic folk Americana. In a few cases we were booked sight unseen or unheard rather. We did have a recommendation but still that is surprising to me considering all the years of grinding against the trend to try to book my rock band.
In any case I remain thankful for the school of rock that was Absolute Zero. The collaboration of Two Spies and the whole experience of this performance team has been so positive. It’s literally everything that AZ was not. I’m glad to be working with someone that values my input and keeps me on my toes by constantly contributing new songs as well. He’s never no showed on me or shown up drunk or otherwise not ready to work. Our practices have been amazing and almost as much fun as the shows themselves.
Moving on. After the graphics project for E.C., Nancee and I went out to Badin Inn to check out Braden’s set out there. He’s added some new toys in like a looper pedal, so he really sounded like a one man band on The Cure’s, “I Will Always Love You.” Brad is really about the most polished solo act around these days. After we left the restaurant we walked into the Hotel lobby and took a self guided tour. That place is really interesting. I’d love to shoot something out there some time.