At Home He's a Tourist


So I'm going out to Emandee Studio to meet Dina and Matt to record some new songs. Matt is starting to do some recordings at Emandee so we're going to record some Prewar songs so Matt can get aquainted with the workings of the studio. So we're supposed to chill out together, take our time, work out some new songs in a new studio for us. Of course I stayed up all night the night before to churn out a bunch of new Prewar songs. I have a few melodies with only slight variations between them and about 10 sets of lyrics to mix and match. I tried to write fun lyrics for partying and stressed out lyrics for coming down and I'm really trying to get everything uptempo. Speaking of stressed out, I am totally stressed out. I was up all night crunching lyrics and rewriting them all day and I'm all hopped up on caffeine and really grouchy. I'll be lucky if I don't ruin the session. It's a long walk from the train so I'm trying to keep it together till I get to Emandee where Dina and Matt will cheer me up. So I get there and Matt is inside, there's no buzzer so I call and he comes outside. He tells me Mark is going to come by to show us around the studio. There's a heavy metal band outside, they use the space for practice. Mark comes in and shows us the studio. It's an awesome studio. There' a front room with glass where someone could record from, a really big room in the middle with a drum kit where you could fit a whole band in and record, and a third room which is the control room with all the boards and speakers. After Mark leaves Dina gets there and we set up. I sat down on the couch and started to fine tune the lyrics in my notebook. I'm really grumpy and it's no surprise because this is the worst way for me to write, I'm a good woodshed writer, write a song, perform it, rewrite it, perform it, and so on and so on... I know a lot of people just write songs and that's that, it's good form the get go but from experience I really benefit through editing. I can look back at the songs for Sad Song, Love, and Fashion and the ones I wrote without extensive editing through performance really suck, some are o.k., but the songs I wrote for Love and Fashion were so terrible we never recorded most of them. At least I have this in my mind and I'm really trying to pare everything down so there's no wasted words, more like Lowdown, but I"m even trying to pare them down even further, I like to be able to listen to our songs down the road and hear when we don't add anything that seems unnecessary . So I think they'll be pretty good. It's been cool playing a lot with Matt and Dina, it leaves a good sound in my head so I have a good idea how to focus the writing acutely. So Matt needs some time to set things up and test things out so I see this shelf with tons of effects peddles so I start looking at and testing the different distortion pedals. My distortion pedal is amazing, I always use the same kind, MXR distortion +, it sounds great. However the distortion part of mine isn't really working, the volume works but not the fuzz. I've been really cheap and lazy not to get a new one, they literally last 10 years or so, I don't know how long other pedals last but it seems like the MXR last a long time. It's a good thing I brought a screwdriver because the pedals don't have batteries so I had to unscrew my MXR to use the battery. So we start recording and it's sounds great except I'm being really bossy and complaining a lot. I'm still rewriting lyrics and deciding what instruments we'll play, who will sing and what the tempos should be. I was getting frustrated because whenever I asked Matt and Dina for their ideas they were chill about it and said whatever I thought was best. It was getting me angry because I didn't know what was best and I needed a few words to rhyme into the songs. I hope Matt didn't save the tapes because I was cursing and screaming whenever things didn't go right. It was cool in a way because I ended up making a lot of good decisions that if I didn't get upset and stress over it, it would have come out a lot worse if I said let me just chill out and go with the flow. The studio has two great paintings, one of an amplifier that I thought was a photograph until I realized two hours in that it was a painting. The other painting was outlined figures of a third world family and the kids in the family are smoking cigarettes, creepy, like paintings in the room when Owen Wilson jumps out of the window during the Royal Tennenbaums. So we were done and we were hungry so we were looking for a place to eat. We went to a really good, authentic Mexican diner and bakery, Grand Morelos, the food was great and we at a big meal. Even though we were stuffed we took out a bag of pastries and ate ate them as we walked to the train. Delicious.