This blog is devoted to the band The Really Good Pot Roast.
There is a ritual. The Sacred Ritual of the First Track. It’s when you finally break down and buy or build a new system, and you want to put it through it paces. So you record your first track; a song that you know would have blown out your old system. Something you should would have made the soundcard from your old computer jump right the hell out of your old computer and smack you before retiring for the evening with a cup of decaf chamomile and some easy listening.
This song started life as a tech demo for my new system. It is a ridiculous collection of things I wouldn’t have even tried on my old computer. Some details:
This song hits like a freight train and doesn’t let up. It’s a fun, fast, punk-ish, new wave, industrial track. It goes until it doesn’t.
Thanks to everyone who listened to the album. Hugs to those that downloaded it. BIG hugs to those that bought it. You’re all awesome.
If you’ve done none of those things: Clickypoo
I know you are but what am I?
New Thing, Coming… in 15 minutes.
I’ve spent months (in some cases, years) with these songs. Dozens of mixes, edits, tweaks. Hand offs between Rob and I on edits. Discussions. Arguments. Apologies.
Tonight, New Thing goes live.
Just going to listen to it one more time before anyone else can.
Forgive my selfish moment.
Down and Locked (Track from NEW THING - Coming May 15th)
I wrote this song during 50/90 2011. The 50/90 community offers songwriting tools to help nudge the muse into action. I used one called the Plot Spline that gives you a rough outline sentence to write towards. Here’s what I was given:
"write a song in first person ("i/we") in which the main character is addressing the listener. the story takes place in the present, and the scene is a moving vehicle."
And this is what I did.
More so, this song was my attempt at a TV on the Radio (David Sitek) / wall of sound feel. The mix was really difficult during 50/90, and when it come up for consideration for this album, I almost cut it. I couldn’t get it into shape the way I wanted.
Then I gave it to Rob to try mixing. And he freaking nailed it.
This is track 6 on New Thing.
I hope you enjoy it.
Mark Dabney - Designed Mistake (Track from NEW THING)
Designed Mistake was the first solo song I wrote this past FAWM, and it’s the reason I put this album together. Looking at a month of songwriting in the days before FAWM started, I wasn’t sure how I’d approach it, what style, what sound, what direction I wanted to go. Then February 1st, I wrote this.
Rob and I have had discussions about what tracks to post here as previews for the album. We originally crossed this one off the list because an early version had been posted here before. But this song solidified the direction I wanted to go for an album. It’s direction and sound is why NEW THING is happening.
I hope you enjoy it.
New Thing, coming May 15th
Mark Dabney - Distance (First Track from NEW THING)
We’re less than 2 weeks out from the release of New Thing, and tonight I’m thrilled to debut the first track off the album.
"Distance" started life during the 50/90 songwriting challenge in 2010. I was lucky enough to collaborate with EchoVoodoo, an awesome electronica and folk musician from Canada. He had a keyboard riff section he liked, and passed it off to me. I liked it so much, I wrote and recorded the rest of the song in an evening.
What’s here is a new mix and master by Rob. I really dig the work he did on this track to bring out the depth of sound.
I hope you enjoy it.
New Thing - Coming May 15th
Rob and I have known each other forever. Over the years, we’ve developed a report that allows us to vent our frustrations, often with horrifically graphic language, and sometimes directed at each other, if only to have a brief direction for our general ire. And then we move on with our lives.
Over the last few months, though, something has changed. Due to stresses in life and work, the calloused exterior has faded, and we’ve both felt the need to apologize to each other for almost everything. This has become evident during the final mixing process for New Thing. We’ve been passing emails and mixes back and forth, and offering critiques. But it seems like every time we offer a critique, we immediately back up and apologize. Seriously, it’s absurd. In a recent email, Rob hit it right on the head.
When the hell did the 2 guys who used to pull over so they could yell at each other on the way home from [Work] only to laugh about it on the drive home become 2 old men who write apology emails back and forth during legitimate discussions that involve nothing worthy of apology. I don’t know what’s wrong with the 2 of us, but we’ve been writing a lot of unnecessary apologies back and forth. I’m putting a stop to it. We both need to stop apologizing to each other about issues that don’t exist. The whole purpose of the mixing process is to exchange critique on minute imperfections in songs most people would think are just fine the way they are. There’s nothing dickish about it.Good critique:
- The mix is coming along. The guitars are still way too far in front at times. It also sounds like a MIDI track is dropping out during the chorus. You might need to freeze it. Also, you might want to TVT [Triple Vocal Track] the backing vox during the second verse.Bad critique:
- Did you do this mix before or after you filled your ears with quick dry cement? Seriously, did a hobo sneak into your room last night and stab you in both ears with an awl? I’ve heard 80’s punk with a cleaner mix than this. Wait! I know. You played the mix using shitty Windows speakers, recorded it using an old cassette player you had laying around, then re-recorded the audio off of the cassette using a microphone 100 feet away, then mixed that down to an MP3 and sent it to me. It’s a bit much for a gag mix, but I appreciate the effort. Email me the real mix and I’ll listen when my ears stop bleeding.Lets move on with our lives.
Trying to get some mixing done before I head out for the evening. I’ve discovered two things:
We’ll be posting a few songs here to the blog in the next 2 weeks leading up to the album release. I’m kinda excited.
I hope you enjoy.
New Thing will be 12 tracks long. As of today, I believe I’ve created about 80-90 mixes of these songs. That’s just what I’ve done. Rob undoubtedly has another dozen or two. With every release, we’ve learned a lot about what can, and should,be done when mixing and recording music. And even more about what we shouldn’t do.
I think this album is becoming our best mixed album. The sound Rob has gotten out of a couple of these songs has completely blown me away. For New Thing, we’ve employed a whole new suite of tools and techniques to bring a quality sound out of scrappy home recordings. I love our old material, but we’re getting better at the production side of things.
In short, icantplaythislive (my first solo album) is to New Thing what the NES is to the Xbox 360 or PS3.
I can’t wait for you to hear it.
Tracks in consideration for inclusion on New Thing: 13
Tracks Finished: 5
Tracks still in mix: 8
Tracks that may be cut: 1
Tracks I’m working on tonight: 1
New Thing Should be out in the next two weeks. Depending on how well this week is for mixing, maybe less.
I’ll be posting a couple tracks in the next few days.
It’s really coming along.
Back recording and mixing. Glad this work week is over, finally. The goal tonight is to clean up the mix on 3 tracks, and do vocal punch-ins on another. I seem to have difficulty exactly vocal tone and timbre after months between vocal sessions on some of these tracks. If I can’t figure out how to get where i was before, I’ll be rerecording entire lines.
FYI: If you want to see Rob’s head explode, ask him how many times I wanted to rerecord the vocals to ‘Closing Shop’ off Serious as a Heart Attack. The number is is greater than zero.
I’m really excited about this record. I think it’s coming along well, and I think the material makes sense together. I’ve been listening to the mixes this week, and they’re really sounding great. Rob sent me a mix of a track today, and I’m so stoked with the sound.
Looking forward to having this out in the world sometime in the next couple weeks.