Archive for February, 2011

 

It wasn’t the same without him

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

We enjoyed a short but productive studio night last night, which you can read about here.

We were, however, one man short. K-Billy had to travel down to Cincinnati for the evening. Despite not being able to make it, he apparently spent some of the evening visualizing that he was actually here.

Salud

Salud!

Here’s to you KB.

Studio night: February 9, 2011

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
bass tracking

It's bass-tastic

Mike, Beamer and I convened this evening to try to finish some of the remaining tracking for the upcoming third DD69 album. We focused on replacing the bass part for an old song called “Another (Funky) Day” that is a candidate for the record.

We hadn’t reviewed the tracks for this song in a while, mainly because we had almost forgotten about it. But in transferring files and such from old hard drives, we rediscovered it and decided we really wanted to finish it.

Cool. Just a couple minor clean-ups and… oh crap. The bass part as recorded was out of control distorted, and not on purpose. Trying to get that track to fit with the other guitars, drum tracks and vocals was just about impossible. Man, we must have had way too much idea juice when we put that track down.

So we tackled the part. It’s been about ten years since we started on this tune (it was one of the batch of tunes that was supposed to go on “Funk Out With Your Junk Out“), so Mike had to knock the rust off. But after a few takes we got a great sounding track.

Now it’s down to some cleaning up and mixing. Onward!

69: BJ

Monday, February 7th, 2011
69-BJ

It stands for "Beacon-Journal"

Captured this one a long time ago, but had to resurrect it. I was playing a gig in Akron, adjacent to the Akron Beacon-Journal building. As you can see, on top of the building is a rotating tower with the temperature on two sides and “BJ” on two sides. Who thought that was a good idea?

Anyway, it was a cool evening, and I happened to notice that the temperature hit 69 degrees. Good thing I had my camera.

Designing wigs (part 2)

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

After being inspired by a “lowbrow art” sticker we found (which came from a cereal box long, long ago), we wanted to have the album art for “Wigs & Liquor” reflect that vibe. I wanted to have a devil girl on the cover, and I thought it would be cool if she was sitting in some kind of dressing room, maybe at a make-up table with a mirror. And there could be booze bottles and wigs all over the place.

Wigs first sketch

Yes, it's on graph paper

Initially I thought it made sense to have the devil girl facing the mirror. I did some quick sketches and thumbnails to see if it would fly. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version.

I liked the idea of seeing her face in the mirror, but it seemed a little weird to have the cover dominated mostly by her back. I guess it still would have worked, but for some reason it wasn’t working for me. Maybe it was the spine

The other elements, though, seemed cool: the makeup table with the lighted mirror, wigs hanging around, and a bunch of bottles on the table top.

Knowing what I wanted to change, I assembled a quick and dirty photo collage to get a feel for the idea and try out some colors and textures (that’s the image we posted a while ago). For a rough idea it turned out pretty well. So well, in fact, that at one point Mike wanted to just use that image.

Wigs & Liquor rough idea

The photo collage

The rough idea, especially as a photo collage, wasn’t capturing that lowbrow vibe that I wanted. The colors were all wrong, and in my mind it had to be more of an illustration. Anybody can slap a cover together in Photoshop (CD memes, anyone?), but it takes some effort to actually create a drawing by hand.

A lot of effort. Maybe too much effort.

To be concluded…

Designing wigs (part 1)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Wigs & Liquor

The wigs... and the liquor

We’ve had a number of people ask us about the inspiration for (and design process of) the packaging for Wigs & Liquor. Since we had a good time putting it together, we thought we’d share how it happened.

While we were working on the music (you know, the important part) we occasionally threw around some ideas for album covers. They came out of nowhere/everywhere like lots of brainstormed ideas will. Lots of funny turns of phrase, and plenty of idea juice lubing up the old art gears.

We decided to call the album Wigs & Liquor based on the experience of a friend. Essentially their story boiled down to, “You know you’re in a rough neighborhood when you see the wig store right next to the liquor store“. This experience inspired the song of the same name, and eventually we were digging on it for the title.

While all this was going on, we were all looking for artistic inspiration. A chance discovery of an old, freaky “monster” hot rod sticker (a cereal box prize, we think) got us thinking about that feel, which eventually led to finding the art of Coop.

His work is plain awesome, and to us it was stylistically a great representation of our music. It would have been great to get Coop to do the art for our record! Except for two things:

1. We can’t afford that kind of coolness.

(and)

2. We couldn’t even ask. And if we felt that way, we probably needed to refer back to #1.

Meh. What to do?

Well, we would have to take that inspiration and do it ourselves.

To be continued…