Friday, February 29

electrical audio recording diary - day 1

wow. we began the day by meeting pat at a greasy spoon a few blocks from the studio. then we arrived at electrical. it was surreal suddenly finding myself standing in rooms that i've looked at in photos for years. i've wanted to record here since the whitford days.

greg norman is super efficient and extremely skilled. the sounds we're getting are excellent and all of the rehearsing has more than paid off.

track wise we knocked out complete takes of at least six songs. possibly seven. we hit many of them on the first or second take! as of now we're ahead of schedule, which could save me thousands of dollars. but we will stay as long as is needed (up to seven days) to get the job done right.

tomorrow we start by grocery shopping and then resume the rock at ten am.
I also just had te odd experience of setting in a room watching family guy with steve albini, todd trainer and bob weston of shellac fame. I sort of wanted to talk to them and tried a bit but didn't really have anything worthwhile to say on the topics at hand. conversation was sparse anyway as steve was engrossed on his laptop. anyway, it was certainly cool to share some space with such talented peeps. bob and steve have recorded some of my favorite albums. and obviously shellac is a great band. I really admire this whole operation. greg was telling me that he helped dig the foundation for the studio walls! how amazing to have built the place where you work, and to work in a field you're passionate about, in the manner you believe in.

anyway, I should sleep and this thumb typing stuff sucks. goodnight!

Jesse Kates *

Thursday, February 28

viva chicago

well, here I am in a little comfortable hotel room in chicago, right next to o'hare! i'm writing this from a semi awkward thumb keyboard device thingy that I got from work. it actually works fairly well.
tomorrow we hit the studio around eleven. daniel and I drove up this morning and pat arrives by air tomorrow like the rock star he is.

tonight daniel and I ate at a random turkish place. the food and the belly dancer were both yummy. :)

the ride up was more or less uneventful save for the six whole cloves of garlic I ate as part of a delicious thai dish in st louis and the subsequent suffering of daniel as he rode in close proximity to me for the remaining five hours to chicago. what can I say? daniel's a trooper. and I likes the garlic.

more tomorrow when the rock begins fo reals.

Jesse Kates *

Saturday, February 23

Ah the Chicago

Coming up in four days... we drive up to Electrical Audio to record album 2. I'm nervous, of course. This is a big deal! I've been working towards this session for almost two years. I think we're ready. I hope nothing major goes wrong, though something unavoidably will.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Record Bar show. It was a blast and I enjoyed wearing my new stage suit. And thanks to the kind peeps at the Roasterie on Thursday night. I had a great time - my first acoustic show without a PA or amplification of any kind. It was fun to just sing and let my voice carry itself.

There's not much else to say, though there's a lot going on in the land of the Jesse. I can't really talk about it here, though.

I googled myself today, which is always a little... lame. And by jove, I'm easy to find on this here internets. For the record, if Mr. Robbie Simkins (aka Pepe) stumbles upon this page, wtf? Let's get in touch. It's been way too long.

Jesse Kates *

Sunday, February 17

This Wednesday Feb 20!

People Noise (ex-VHS or Beta)
The Noise FM
The Sexy Accident
Record Bar (map)

This is our pre-recording send-off show. We leave for Chicago shortly after this gig. Please come out to support us!

We're going to be playing our new album (the one we're about to record) in its entirety. For now, listen to a demo version of Stall

Jesse Kates *

Thursday, February 14

The morality of Whitford

Adam Perry, former Whitford drummer and general musical genious, asserted today that he acquired his sense of morality from our short-lived instrumental band. As a result of that statement, I assume that these are his beliefs -

- Song titles should be long and should reference nerdy movies
- A bass is better with eight strings on it
- For an audience, suffering is a valid musical experience
- Saxophone should be used in every song, unless your sax player is feeling pissy
- All public performances should occur in spaces that are 1. cold, 2. unfit for human occupancy or 3. covered with mirrors.
- No show should ever be attended by more than six people, some of whom will be drunk and will sing along to your instrumental tunes
- When somebody says "I made this for you" and hands you a wad of garbage, you should accept it

Jesse Kates *

Wednesday, February 13

nobody knows who you are meme

My most excellent wife found a clip of the spider man theme from The Electric Company!

And here I was slightly concerned that perhaps I had misremembered the lyrics. But no! I have the memory of an iron giant.

She also had the brilliant idea of making this a meme. The rules are simple. Write a theme song for somebody you know. The song must be formatted as follows:


And of course, sung to the tune of the spider man theme as referenced above.

So for example, my song, as penned by Stephanie, is "Jesse Kates. Did you check the mail? Jesse Kates. Gots a left-handed guitar!"

Go forth, meme!

Jesse Kates *

Tuesday, February 12

nobody knows who you are

me: do you remember the electric company?
it was probably before your time

Brigid: the electric company?
not sure
like in monopoly? haha

me: it was a TV show on PBS
sort of like a sesame street for older kids
but anyway
it had a spider man segment, pretty weak... but all my life i've remembered the theme song to it
which was very short, and went "spider man, where are you coming from, spider man, nobody knows who you are"
i find it interesting that, given the task of writing a theme song, the writer chose to use his limited lyrics space in two ways 1. a question, which of course is never answered and 2. a basic statement of fact: "nobody knows who you are"
no mention of spider strength, web shooting, spider sense, etc... just ... "nobody knows who you are."
seems like a hell of a wasted opportunity to me
so anyway, i decided that people need theme songs, and that each theme song must be limited to two disclosures. for example, yours might be "briiigid. you work at adknowledge. briiiigid. you like to eat bakalava."
baklava, even
and that would be your theme song.
do you like it?

Brigid: hahaha
you didn't ask a question
oh just 2 facts
not a question and a fact

me: well it could go either way
like "briiiigid. what will you wear today? briiiiigid. you like to eat baklava."
i actually like your rules better than mine though. from now on, the question is a must.

Jesse Kates *

Thursday, February 7

My best friend's girl

Ric Ocasek looks like Mark Hamblin. :)

Jesse Kates *

Monday, February 4

weekend update


I just figured I'd write something since it's been a while. We are busy busy busy here at Sexy Accident central. Rehearsing as much as we can, recording demo versions of songs to send up to Greg @ Electrical, burning promo CDs for our Record Bar show (February 20th, 10pm!), putting up flyers, etc., being retardedly envious of more successful local bands (maybe that's just me?) :)

I think I've finalized the track order for the new album. It's a fun thing, sequencing an album. When I do it, I think about three issues. 1. the flow from song to song 2. the overall thematic effect and 3. general expectations of certain track numbers.

For instance, you don't want to hit people in a row with all of your most energetic songs, but you do want your #1 to really punch and your #2 to pull them through to #3, which tends to be the single, though the single sometimes hides at #4. If #4 is not the single, it seems to tend to be a difficult song - an intentional break in the flow to get your attention. And if you break the flow, #5 needs to bring it right back again. Basically, you have to hold everyone's attention from song to song while still trying to have the album make some sort of thematic sense - like a logical progression of the overall story or, at minimum, of the emotional tone.

So here's the track order with my thoughts -

1. Baby it's not cheating - the perfect opening song. It hooks you right away while rapidly introducing the band one person/instrument at a time. Plus, it's about cheating.

2. Stall - rolling and poppy. You've hit the freeway. A song of artistic angst in a relationship gone bad.

3. My girl - the single - catchy as hell and very happy! Contentedness in love.

4. Gardener, Gibbet, Misery - the sudden twist - sparse and brooding. melancholy. little did he know that he would mess up everything by opening his mouth.

5. Flirting with Disaster - rocky and turbulent, secret lust!

6. Hey you - accelerating coming out of the curves. A song of (self)righteous indignation during a sring-along.

7. Morning drive - Full speed ahead. Let's go to New York.

8. Lonely days - An oasis of calm. Sympathy and sadness for a friend choosing a difficult path.

9. Dancing with my friends - Enough of that, time to party. A tounge-in-cheek tale of middle school rejection.

10. Skies - We end with a tale of new hope. A three minute romance set in Kansas City's best rotating restaurant.

Hope you've all been well. Back to work!

Jesse Kates *