June 11, 2009 7:46 AM

This is one of the first songs I wrote about 4 years ago. An earlier recording is posted here.

posted by InfidelZombie (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Ok. You have a really interesting voice. You're not making enough of it. Don't take this as a sexist comment (it isn't), but it has an androgenous quality that's really, really good. I was struggling to make out whether it was male of female. That's fantastic!! So - you need to exploit that. Get the vocal a lot more prominent in the mix. I suspect that you might be a drummer originally? The drums are good but (a) too busy and (b) too upfront in the mix. Simplify them and pull them back. Lesson #1 - only other musos are impressed by technique and flash - the public don't give a fuck about that. Use a broader stereo image - get the guitars panned wide to make space for the vocal. Keep the backing track simple...and powerful. Think very calculatedly and carefully about dynamics (light and shade) - you can paint a whole world in a second by dropping a snare beat out in the right place. Go for it. I think you're on to something here, but you need some production advice. Which I suppose is what I'm giving you - hope you're not offended......
posted by MajorDundee at 3:10 PM on June 12, 2009

No offense at all-- I figure people don't give advice about things that they don't like, so it's always a compliment when someone does.

This is a recording of my band Red On Strike-- our singer is female, and I play guitar and do backup vocals. We had two guitars when we did this track, but we're a four piece now. The songs on our myspace were done in the garage a few months ago, while this is a studio recording from a couple years ago.

It's interesting that you thought there was only one voice on here-- Yvonne and I have similar voices, and I tend to sing the same note as her when we sing together. A good friend of mine was telling me after our last show that he'd really like to hear some harmonies on some of our songs, and this just reinforces for me that we need to work on that.

I also think it's interesting that you thought I started as a drummer-- I've never played them, though every once in a while I'll sit down behind a set and try. It's probably more that I grew up with hardcore punk and tend to write pretty driving stuff; mix that with a tendency to be busy lyrically and the melodies can often get rushed, without enough room for Yvonne to really sing. It's something we're working on, because I agree with you that she's got a really cool voice that we're not using to its full potential.

I have to differ with you a bit on the drums-- when our previous drummer quit (he's on the original version linked in the post) I asked Mike to join the band because I like his too busy style. I've gotten the advice to try and reign him in pretty often, and we have to some extent over the last couple years, but it's so damn much fun to play with him I just can't do it. The public would probably be happier if he was more Charlie Watts than Keith Moon, but since I didn't start doing this until I was almost 40 I don't worry about that too much. :)

That said, I do appreciate the production advice. None of us were ever very happy with how this turned out, which I attribute partly to the fact that we tried to do 11 songs in 12 hours of studio time (insane) and partly to the fact that the studio hadn't worked with rock acts before. But a friend of ours has put a garage studio together, and he'd like to record us. So it looks like we'll get the chance to record more often in the near future, and in a way that will let us do some iterations on tracks-- I'll be looking to you and the other folks here at MeFi Music for whatever advice I can get.
posted by InfidelZombie at 4:12 PM on June 12, 2009

Phew - I was worried about this after I posted it (too many beers - not a great idea!!). From the depths of my hangover, I know what you mean about your drummer and the rush you get from that but I think you need to think about the difference between a live, balls-out show and the recording studio. Sure you can let rip live, but maybe just a little more controlled in the studio.....? I think there's perhaps a bit of a lesson to be learned by way of your reference to Moony. In their heyday The Who live were a total fucking monster - best live band ever (check out "Live At Leeds" if you've never had the pleasure - I actually know someone who was at that gig (lucky bastard!)). In the studio.......hmmm not so hot. Sure, the quality of Townsend's songs carried them a long way but many of the actual records are a bit dull, a bit flat and just not all that great as records. Now whether that was because they couldn't reign Moony in in the studio, I don't know.....but I do wonder whether that might have been part of the problem.

Anyway - glad you weren't offended. I'd love to have a go at a remix of this track by the way, but I think the logistics would be insurmountable.
posted by MajorDundee at 9:23 AM on June 13, 2009

I asked the guy who recorded this for a DVD with the individual tracks but he never gave me one, so none of the tracks from that session will ever get a good remix. That's OK, we're a better band now with a couple more years working together. Just did what was maybe our best show ever last night, including a cover of Long Live Rock-- you gotta love The Who.
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:07 PM on June 13, 2009

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