Leave Everyone Behind
Take It Where You Can Get It
Engaged in Labor
The Lull of Youngstown
Lines Were Drawn
Tiara vs. Miranda Sound
Anchor Cast Anchor
Relay Recordings Compilation
Engaged in Labor
Billy tracking some guitar for the new album.
We're continuing recording this weekend with Jon Chinn for the fourth album. This weekend we're with Jon at Central City Recording in Clintonville. It's a nice new facility with lots of great gear and a nice atmosphere. Their Vox AC-30 sounded nice on Billy's guitar, and it's kinda cool to be able to plug your flipping guitar head into the wall, and plug your cabinet into the wall on the other side. Simple and convenient, for isolation purposes. The Chandler preamps and Vintech 473 (Neve) preamps sounded nice on Billy's guitars and mine. I ran the Rhodes through my Epiphone Valve Junior (augmented by my pops with the Mercury transformer mod), which sounded nice. Sean's SVT3 bass amp kicked it reliably. And Dan's drums sounded nice in the drum room here at Capital City. Sorry -- gear is on the brain.
Yesterday we recorded a song called "Kaleidoscope". For the music nerds out there, it's in 5/4 meter at 203 BPM or so. For the non-nerds, it's a speedy little number with a really nice vocal cadence from Billy in the verse that smooths out the 5/4 meter in a really cool and deceptively simply way. I take the choruses, and try to execute a similar little rhythmic trick vocally. There are some complex things going on, but the overall presentation is really listenable. Or that's what we hope. :)
We're thinking it might be a good track for the last slot on the album.
Today is Sunday, and we're mixing at least a couple the first five songs we've recorded. Right now those songs are called:
- Quilt Therapy
- Under Hum and Violet Light
- Falling Man
- Shifting Sand
We're shooting for a June release at a show at Ravari Room here in Columbus. The album will be out courtesy of the mighty Robert Duffy (Donewaiting.com) on his Sunken Treasure record label.
Alright then. Thanks for reading. Go Obama.
I can't believe it's been a year since our last entry. Boy are we lazy. Anyhoo, we played a great show tonight. As usual, the Silversun Pickups brought it. It's quite amazing to think that 3/4 of Miranda Sound saw SSPU play to a mere eleven people on the patio of a restaurant in Austin, TX eighteen months ago. They've come a long way in a very short time... tonight they played to almost 3,000 people. Congrats to those guys/girl.
We had a blast. Thanks to everyone that we met today!
Happy Birthday Sean Sefcik...
The dad-to-be is officially 30. Sean is like the older brother that I never had. HE's a sweet, generous, clever and supportive friend. And he has a sick sense of humor. I can't think of someone who would make a better bandmate. More importantly, he's a great friend who has always stepped up when others refrained.
You're gonna be an amazing dad, Deaner.
Hey, our start time at McMenamy's tonight is 5:30:
McMenamy's (show will take place in their outdoor concert venue)
325 Youngstown Warren Rd.
Full food and beverage services provided by McMenamy's
August 5, 2006
Gates open at 3pm...Show starts at 4pm
$5 in advance $8 at the door
This show is ALL AGES!
Unfortunately, the van debacle left us with zero opportunity to explore Denver. I hadn't been there since I was very young, so I was pretty disappointed about that. It's a gorgeous city. The skyline is somewhat remniscent of Minneapolis, but it's surrounded by beautiful, inspiring mountains. Unbelievable. So, we sat in awe as we drove feverishly out of the city toward Omaha on Saturday morning (8.5 hours away).
When we got to Omaha, we discovered that the crowd was decidely in the mood for some serious, old school punk. Of course, that's not our bag. But we did our best to bring the rock hammer and I am pretty sure that we delivered. We sold a few CDs and had a blast drinking free Old Style.
Sean avoided a few rounds of Irish car bombs and bit the bullet as our designated driver. We hit Sonic for a plethora of oddball snacks (I had a corn dog and an ice cream cone) and headed toward Council Bluffs, Iowa, just across the river from Omaha. We were told that we'd find a hotel in Council Bluffs, which is also a casino gambling haven. We tried 5 or 6 hotels and found zero luck. It was too hot to sleep in the van, so Sean started the treck toward Columbus. The rest of us slept off the Old Style and woke up just in time to relieve Sean. We drove through the night and morning - we made it home to Columbus at 4:30, Sunday afternoon. I hit the gym, got dinner with Gerks, did some laundry, talked to some friends and decompressed... back to reality. Hopefully we'll post some highlights, recaps and pictures soon. We have tons of them.
Well, we drove 580 miles in 7.5 hours. It was madness. Unfortunately, we were a few hours behind and the crowd that was at Benders was cleared out a bit... since they expected the show to start at 9. We made a mad dash to load in, catch a few songs from Landlordland, throw back some Irish car bombs and play an inspired set. I think we played great. I was proud of our collective resiliency. But then again, we've had crazy shit like this happen many times.
Big thanks go to John from The Denver Post for all of the support. It was also great to see Jason and Theresa, Peter from Skyscraper and Matt from Indy.
We are in a huge rush, once again, to make load-in in Omaha. CRIMENY!
The O-Ring and new fuel pump have been attached to the gas tank. Mark is now attempting to reattach the gas tank...- Sean
We're still stranded in Lubbock. At Gene Messer Ford to be exact. The gas tank has been removed but the o-ring that attaches the fuel pump to the tank is in bad shape. Mark here at Messer Ford is a superstar. He is going above and beyond the call of duty to recondition the existing o-ring and reattach it to the tank. If all goes well, we'll be on the road by 2pm if not 3 at the latest.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Gerks and I are taking a cab to Ford to put pressure on the dealership to wrap this job up. Sean and Bell are gonna clean up the hotel and get our stuff outside for our guitar and amp pitstop. We are looking at a 1 PM departure and a 9 hour, frantic blast through North Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Wheels roll.- William James IV
...but we still may have a paddle.
So my ass starts vibrating and playing Death Cab's 'Title and Registration' (I got a fancy new ring tone for my fancy new phone). On the other end is Joe from the Ford Dealership.
Joe: Billy, I got real bad news.
Me: Fire it.
Joe: When we lowered the tank to change the fuel pump, the tank straps broke. We don't have the parts and we can't get them until Monday.
Me: Umm, uhhh, umm, shoot, well, umm, here, TALK TO DAN!
So I handed the phone to Gerken and he laid down the hammer and told Joe to "be real creative". Dan explained that the van has to be fixed by tomorrow. We have to be in Denver tomorrow night, or, at the very least, cancel the tour and be in Columbus by Monday. DAMNIT.
Joe called back and Ford is overnighting us the parts. So, we will be out of Lubbock by 2 PM at the earliest. We have a 9 hour drive to Denver, but we gain an hour for Mountian Time. Jesus. We are gonna haul ass to make it. But we shall. We've been in tighter spots (the next time you and me are having a beer, ask me about Oil City, Pennsylvania, the exploding van, the Jeep Liberty and the 104 MPH ride to NYC to make the show).
Anyhow, we need to thank Rafael, Noel, Jerry, Trevor, Maz, Sol, Angelica and all of our new friends from Lubbock. Rafael has been carting our asses all around Lubbock. And last night after the gig, they threw a keg party and we had a blast. Unfortunately, I locked myself out of the house at 3 AM and had to sleep in a Jeep. But I've slept in worse spots (gas station parking lots, laundry baskets, courthouse bushes, etc). Yeah, I'm a moron.
Allright, we are cozy in our sweet hotel and we are gonna grab some appetizers at Flingers or Chachkis.
The rest of the band has concluded that Gerks is the one we will eat if we are stranded in the mountains or ever in a spot that is worse than the one we are in RIGHT NOW. He is grain and veggie fed: Quite a meal.
He may elaborate on our situation.
Edible, I'm not so sure. My neck burns with a soreness right now that makes me almost certain I'm half gristle.
So here goes. After six and a half gorgeous hours blazing through central texas, taking in burnt rock buttes, wide open western skies, and colonies of cacti that look like dryland coral reefs, the van choked up. Lost acceleration, hiccuped, stuttered. We pull off the road, and it stalls out. We restart, three shotgun backfires, and another stall. Wait. Take off air filter cover, remove air filter, pound the crap out of it onto innocent bystanding telephone pole. Remove and dislodge debris for smooth air flow. Replace air filter. Start van. Drive to gas station, to the left, across Texas Rt. 87. Runs smooth, Billy says we're good from behine the wheel. His credibility is sky-high because he has been driving for seven hours. Van stalls forty feet from parking spot. We push it into the space. Hot sun. Heavy van with band gear inside. 100 degrees in the shade.
Call tow truck. We are 30 miles south of Lubbock, Texas.
A gleaming yellow F-650 tow truck arrives, and starts stringing up our black 1992 E-150 conversion van to itself. Driver is nice. Born and raised in Lubbock. Works 7 days a week. First day off all month is tomorrow. His family is in town for the weekend.
Sean and I ride with Bubba (seriously) to the local Ford dealership. Billy and Dan Bell wait for a ride from Rafael, the drummer for Icarus Fixed, with whom we hope to play later in the day. Outdoor show. We'd been excited for it early on.
Get to dealership. Fill out after hours service card, fey pleas for expediency, thrift, and mercy coming out of the pen without much thought from me. Unload half our gear -- enough to play a show -- and wait for a ride from another rescuer, Noel, the guitar player from aforementioned band. Thank god for these guys.
Get to gig, play show, load gear and bodies in an assortment of four different cars (our van is broken, silly), and go to afterhours party. Keg. Feels like 1997. Red plastic Solo cups filled with beer. Music. Tired. Go to sleep.
I awake with a nice good morning phone call from someone I'm happy to speak with. (My kittens at home, are playful and happy. Well that's good.)
Then I call the shop.
"Are you sitting down?"
"Are your feet up?"
"Well, not quite, but go ahead anyway."
Fuel pump, filter, lines all shot. Something else. Total is $1752 and change.
We say do it fast and order some pizzas for breakfast.
Finding hotel near the dealership. Waiting all day, night, next morning. Hopefully the van will be done by noon tomorrow so we can make load-in in Denver by 9pm.
It all sounds sad, but it's real fun. There's a nice sense of reckless abandon with shit like this. We will figure it out, get the van fixed, roll on, rock more, smile again.
Holy crapcakes. Houston was good to la Miranda cruiseship.
We played in Lafayette, LA the night before at a handsome little bistro/rock club/hookah bar/awesome tavern called ARTMOSPHERE. Word. We met Brittany (who picked fresh mint leaves out of the Artmosphere garden to flavor our pre-show Mojitos), Claire (who is a kickass, liberal, environmentalist sweetheart who took us to a SWEET local tavern where Bell was disappointed to find that Crawfish is out of season) and J from Direwood (who played a great set of low key, smart, pop songs remniscent of, in my crappy opinion, Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket).
So, on our way out of Lafayette, I threw a kink in our travel plans when I threw a goddamn temper tantrum. I snapped my phone in half and smashed it on the band floor. Luckily, we found a Cingular store in Houston and I resolved my issues (phone, not anger management). We made it to load-in, though, and then met up with our friends Dave (from CBUS!) and Lanky (a cool Houston via Jersey songwriter) for Margaritas and Tex Mex goodness.
David Cobb, from Donewaiting.com, put together a killer show. It started early at 6:30 with The Dimes, The Sitka Sound, us and Tody Castillo. All three bands were great. Seriously. Especially the Dimes. We played a pretty inspired set. The crowd seemed to love it and we sold a bunch of cds and tee's.
Some friend of Donewaiting, whose name I failed to acquire, handed me $20 for a shirt. And I was like, "here's $10 change" and he was like, "take those ten bucks and kick Austin's ass!" We shall oblige, new friend.
I had one other great conversation:
Me: Man, everyone in Houston is so damn nice!
Awesome Houston Dude: I could throw a chair at you, so it feels like you are drinking on High Street. Columbus is crazy.
Anyhow, thanks again to David Cobb. He is such a generous, awesome guy.
We wrapped the night up drinking beers at an old blues tavern. I don't remember much after that, except for when Bell and I got two rice crispy treats for the price of one at the hotel vending machine. That was MAGICAL.
Here are some photos from my camera:
I love our Indianapolis friends.
Since our Nashville show is cancelled, we are hanging in Indy a bit longer. The other boys are eating Cajun/Creole food at a great place called Yatz. I stayed back to shoot the shit with Jason and Stan from Loretta, and Jason's son Aidan. Stan is making some crazy guac and bean dip and we are going to eat like kings and then head south.
We're still going to crash in Nashville tonight. We're considering just showing up at a randome club and asking to play. Or, we might just drink our pee pees off and parade around Nashville thrist stores and bar-b-ques. Who knows. Nevertheless, it's gonna be a long, hot drive to Louisiana tomorrow. But the club and the peeps seem cool. It should be a good show.
Last night was a lot of fun. We had friends from all over (Bloomington, Chicago, Terra Haute, Weasnerville) come in for the show. We played a long ass set, too, including the Silo cover. Word! Loretta had a few technical difficulties that frustrated them, but I really like the new stuff. They are finding their new voice.
I have a spring in my step. I'll tell you why when I get home.
Back to the good company.
Effing work. I would much rather not be here today. This morning I:
- made some strong coffee,
- paid three bills so as not to be late while we're cowboying it up out west,
- pined over my recently-expired kitten as I wrote the check to pay for her cremation,
- neatly arranged cat food and things for my fabulous cat-sitter and good friend Lisa F.,
- battonned down the hatches to DGBPBP (dangerkenbillypeakebachelorpad),
- updated the iPod with the 79 eMusic additions I added last night before they expired while we're cowboying it up out west,
- pondered the realistic likelihood of being able to go running regularly while we're away,
- added the Talking Heads greatest hits (thanks Lisa) and a couple Minus the Bear albums to the iPod,
- cleaned (some),
- mailed a package with a cellular phone, a key, and a note in list form,
- got an everything bagel from Cup O' Joe Clintonville,
- came to work.
Ready for Indy tonight. Should be a good-ass start to the week.
It's the night before tour, and as usual I'm still up. I actually just finished buiding this tour diary so you can follow us around the sweaty southwest.
We leave in approximately fifteen hours and here's what I still need to do:
- Go to work tomorrow
- Meet my cousin for lunch
- Find all of the lenses for my camera
- Restring a bass
We're still hoping that something miraculously materializes for the Nashville show, but somehow I doubt that'll happen. Oh well, now we can take our time driving to Lafayette, LA.
Take care ya'll.