10th-Mar-2009 01:45 pm – Recording and the pursuit of happiness.

Last Friday the Ska Kings headed into the studio with what seemed at the time to be a dubious task. Recording rhythm, horns and vox all in 2 and 1/3 days. Could we do it? At the very least the goal was to get Ryan and Cruzer on tape(disk) as they would be unavailable due to G-Dub’s war. I’m happy to say that not only did we get them tracked, we got everyone tracked. All that’s left at this point is adding some aux percussion and mixing/leveling by committee.

Perhaps needless to mention is how exhausted I am from tracking this last album. I wasn’t there every waking minute, but to put things in a loose perspective, consider this:
– Listen to your favorite 11 tracks that you know by heart; that is, beat, lyrics, solos, horn lines, guitar part
– Listen to each one approximately 9 or 10 times in the span of an hour paying attention to a different part each time
– Now perform 3-4 takes of each song playing each note as flawlessly as possible
– Do this perfectly with 2-3 other people all playing perfectly, if one messes up it might mean another take
– Sit for 3-4 hours listening to the other people doing the same songs
– Sing a few of the songs(perfectly and in tune) lead part
– Sing backup on the same or other songs
– Arrive early the next morning to do the same thing
– Repeat as necessary

Now, I’m not whining by any means. It’s absolute joy when a song comes together and is exciting while you are recording it. It’s your chance, you see, to make a mark on the world. However, not only will your friends/peers/family listen to it and tell you it was “good”, YOU have to listen to it over and over. YOU have to be happy enough with it to not hate it in 3-4 months, because after that you definitely will.

I am happy with my performance. Happy, not excited or blazingly proud. And I think that’s just going to be how it is with me.  Which, at the end of the day, isn’t a horrible thing. It’s the thing that keeps me practicing, trying, keep on keepin on.  Sounds lame, but Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Bill of Rights “the pursuit of happiness” for just such a purpose. Wow… ok that’s good with all that.

Cocktails Before Funerals*
The Secondhand Ska Kings

1 – 400 Miles
2 – Ruder Than You
3 – Not That Kind
4 – Immediacy
5 – Good Dog
6 – Make Trouble
7 – Cheap Trixx
8 – The Ballad of Texahoma
9 – Over
10 – Chinese Newspaper
11 – Rebound

* Working Title

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