Album Update 03-11-08

I added the lead slide and synth bass for “Berlin Floor Show” and a big Sigur Ros/Edge-style fill guitar on “Sleeping In Flame” tonight. The latter is buried in the already full mix, but it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the song. The former takes “BFS” into a slightly rougher, nastier territory, and finishes out the instrumentation, I think — maybe an extremely subtle string drone, but that’s about all I could add to it. “Sleeping In Flame” needs piano — piano bass for the choruses and a piano lead line for the bridge/solo near the end.

My favorite guitar solo of all time is Keith Richards on “Sympathy For The Devil”. I love the brutality of that guitar, coming in hard and fast and bright and sharp like a London street punk with a shiv. That’s not what the slide on “BFS” sounds like, but it was in my head. One day I’ll write a song with something that awesome in it.

Was listening to the Gutter Twins album at Starbucks around midnight. That album sounds like the album I started writing eight years ago, and it’s an album I’d be proud to have made if I were Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. (Not that Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan read my blog, but fuckin-A, boys, take a bow.) It has a unified feel that I’m afraid I’m not going to pull off with Travelogues; I think the production is going to be pretty different from track to track. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is what it is, as Daniel Lanois might say. I’m just going to let this album be what it wants to be, for better or worse.

I’ve still got a couple of hurdles before me. I think “The Big Darkness” — which you’ve never heard — is pretty much done, instrumentation-wise. It needs to be mixed a little tighter, but it’s essentially there. “Scarecrow” is being revamped from the version I put out here a while back, the one that’s on MySpace — it’s going to have real drums instead of a loop, and a little piano. “Not In This World” is easy — just me and an acoustic guitar, and it’ll be recorded last, when I’m doing vocals and mic tracks. “After The Ice Age” just needs background vocals and maybe a slightly tighter mix.

But “When You Get Here” is gonna be a bitch. I love that song so much, but I really don’t know what to do with it. I think simplicity is probably best, so I’m going to strip it down, give it a touch like “Such Great Heights”. (The original Postal Service version, I mean.) “Scatterlings + Refugees”, “Requiem For A Diplomat” and “Redwood City Station” are done, except for vocals. The instrumental tracks — “The Secret King Of Africa” and “Airport Tunnel” — are long done, with maybe just some small added touches.

“Entropy” is going to be a bitch. I’ve got two totally different versions of it — one that’s fast disco-punk and one that’s got more of an industrial feel to it. I’m thinking I’m going to probably use the disco-punk version, but I’m not sure yet.

Sigh. So much to do, so little time. I wanted to have this done by my 30th birthday, but unless I lock myself in a room for the next two weeks, that ain’t gonna happen.

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