Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cover of Possum Dixon's "In Buildings"

Quite a few years ago I lived in an absolute shit hole apartment in Minot ND that my friends referred to as 'Melrose Place'.  One sweltering July Saturday afternoon I escaped to this great new and used Record store that happened to be located right next to a liquor store for some one stop shopping.  It was also air conditioned so I spent an hour or so malingering through the rows of CD's.  Suddenly, like a screaming messiah, some pounding drums, a piano crash and with an upright bass kicked in and the clerk cranked it up..."but you nerve me."  I was hooked by the chorus, mesmerized by the second song (In Buildings) and purchasing the Cd by the fourth song.  The clerk and I listened to the whole CD since it was the only copy the store had (he wanted to hear the rest of it and I wanted to enjoy the air conditioning).  We listened and talked about how awesome it was.  Quick stop at the liquor store for a flat of beer and I probably terrorized my good neighbors at Melrose Place for the rest of the night with Possum Dixon cranked to, not 10, all the way to 11.
The Possum Dixon story is quite sad and tragic but man they released some amazing albums through all the chaos.  Released in 1993, I always thought of "In Buildings." as the love song for the underemployed disillusioned youth of the 1990's, which was me.  Twenty-three years later years later I covered it.  I am not longer underemployed but some days I still feel disillusioned...

The guitar and bass came together real easy.  I initially used a latin beat drum program and labored over a lot of synths.  By the final mix, I dumped the synths and the drum programs and added some rockier drum loops.

The video is made up of random photos taken during a day trip across Highway 13 in Saskatchewan, also known as 'Ghost Town Trail' because there are 32 Ghost Towns that stretch across it.  Some of the remnants of these towns are in the video.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pint Collective: Dear Mr. Fantasy Cover

The cover band I played in that covered songs by bands who covered other bands songs has played its last song.  When our bass player, Chris, told us he took work elsewhere and was moving we managed to get together one more time.  Fast forward 1 /12 years and Scott (drums) and I recently started a new version of the Pints with a friend who plays guitar.  I switched to bass and we had a practice.  Our first practice was on about the same day that Scott accepted a new career opportunity far far away from our little town.  I took Scott for lunch today and we said our farewells.  I have a new cover song ready to go but tonight I am feeling a little sentimental so am posting a video of the last time Scott, Chris and I played together.  It was pretty much the same way we started: In Scott's basement with a few cold brews.

"Dear Mr. Fantasy" was our cover version of Big Sugar's cover version of the Traffic song.  We closed all of our live shows with this one so it was only fitting that we closed out the Pints with this song as well.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Cover of Low's Plastic Cup

In December of 2015 I stumbled across a concert (Low Live on KEXP) and was mesmerized by the sparseness of their sound.  The concert can be viewed here: Low Live KEXP

'Plastic Cup' stuck with me and my acoustic set-list needed a couple of more songs.  I figured it out on acoustic, rehearsed it a few times and, since I was on holidays, recorded a cover version.

I thought about turning it into a wall of sound ala the Psychedelic Furs circa 'Forever Now' but decided what I liked best about it was its sparseness and gentle rolling melody.  I kept it fairly true to form using just one one electric guitar, one bass and a drum program resembling Beck's 'Beer Can.'  I was going to add harmony vocals but decided not to except in the 'ooo's' in the bridge.  The lead vocal was my scratch vocal but I decided to keep it.  Normally I pull back on vocals since my range is a little better than zilch but this seemed to work and I was in tune so why not?  I also sped up the tempo a little bit so its like Low after four or five coffees.

The song is mixed but not mastered.  I found that any compression took the edge of off my jangling guitar and added reverb took away rather than enhanced the song so I left it as the dry mix.
Three months later, as I write this, I could have enhanced the volume a little as it is a tad quieter than most other videos on You Tube.  I kept the video minimalist in the spirit of the song. It actually took longer to upload it (6 plus hours) then it did to record and mix the song and make the video.

As I write this, it has been wildly unpopular ( 2 views in three months) so check it out.  Only you can get it to three.