sleeping rays of jupiter

Sleeping Rays of JupiterRehearsals continue, different venue this time.

I’ve got simultaneous Sleep-ins action going on right now, working with Stefan and Josh to record the new record, and rehearsing with Mike Johnson and James Butler to prep for some shows coming up this Summer. We’ll be playing songs by the Sleep-ins, the raydons, Jupiterboy, Jimmy the Wigwam, kingsizemidget, and lonesomerobot.

I took some time away from playing and it some ways it shows, but in other ways it’s just like picking up from where I left off. Playing live shows is the best practice, though.

You probably weren’t wondering what I’m up to, but anyway

jupiterboyWhen it comes to music, I’ve had some fun and then I’ve had some fun. It’s a little hard to believe that the unbelievably loud rock band Jupiterboy — the first band that I ever did anything that could be called “touring” — is a twenty-year-old entity. Or yea, more even. The band played its first gigs in 1995, but we didn’t produce any recorded material until 1996. So that recording, which was called Live for a Day, will get a twentieth anniversary release. [I still have to master it. I should have mastered it by now.]

The cool thing is, there’s bonus material! In 2001, we had a reboot of sorts when I was living in a middle-of-nowhere town, Wheatland, Ind., with my friend and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. I’d kept in touch with Jupiterboy drummer Greg Mensching and lead guitarist James Butler and we decided to have a go at it with Mike on bass. We had some great jams but it ultimately fell apart, mostly due to indecision on whether to focus on the existing material or move forward with new material. I mean, the new material is good:

But hey like I said, I’ve had some fun. I lived in the middle of nowhere and made a racket in another old house in Indiana that doesn’t exist anymore (same thing happened where we recorded Homecoming Pageant & Parade in Bloomington. Weird, right?). Anyway, there’s about 35-40 minutes of some really good sloppy rock practically no one has ever heard that will finally reverberate in literally dozens of homes later this year.

it also must be said…sleep-ins is DONE

i mean that in a good way (the album is done, not the band). a bit of an incentive to finish as several tracks are now in rotation on wnyz in new york city. so the release date has moved up and we’re all talking about some live shows now. stefan is in london. josh is in sydney. mike is in indianapolis. that will be fun to work out. anyway, this one is coming out on ingot rock soon (this month? it’s completely my decision and i haven’t decided…). we’re going to time it to conicide with a promotional campaign on wnyz, and that isn’t quite ready yet. so hurry up and wait, here come the sleep-ins!

(of course you may listen to most of the tracks at the sleep-ins website)!

i was a teenage raydon

back in the old days we recorded without computers. yeah, imagine that. we used little machines called 4-tracks that needed cassette tapes (again w/ teh analog). this mode of recording was easy to set up and sounded pretty good (especially the drums, when they were recorded right & in tune) — not really ever “pro” quality, but then what we did actually sounded better without the gloss…most of the time.

the problem with analog recording is it takes longer to mix because you actually have to wait until the tape forwards or rewinds, and it takes a lot longer to edit because that usually involves splicing the tape and/or having another tape machine. in reality, editing wasn’t even a viable option; you were much better off trying to get your takes as close to perfect as you could because there was no way you were taking a razor blade to your master.

well, after many years of 4-trackin’ i ended up with a bunch of tapes. and (wouldn’t you know it) it’s been a long while since i’ve actually owned a machine that will play them. so…hmm, what to do?

ah yes, that’s right, i borrowed heath’s machine. a long time ago. he asks me about it sometimes.

as it turns out, what i’m doing does serve his interests, because he’s on quite a few of the tapes. last night i began the process of recording all of those tapes onto my computer, track by track. there are over 30 tapes so as you can imagine it’s taking a while. between each recorded segment i have to recheck all the levels because pretty much everything was done at different times with different equipment. going through a single 45 minute tape can end up taking 2 hours or more. it’s a labor of love.

maxell_xlii90i started with tape 1 but realized i might have to prioritize things a bit and moved right into the raydons sessions, which i’ve been meaning to do for months. i actually discovered a few gems in there amongst the usual suspects (alternate version of so happy today, and a raucous version of a splinters song featuring fernando the mystery bass player). the best discoveries will end up on some sort of raydons release through ingot rock, i reckon. about a year ago i was holding out hope that the “new” raydons could overcome the logistics and finally get some tunes down, but i think regardless of that outcome, this stuff needs to get out there. i’m guessing it will, sometime this year.

which reminds me – heath called a few days ago and said he might be visiting. i wonder if he wants his 4-track back?