Monday, March 24

Getting some play

The superbly curated Musical Justice internet radio station has begun playing a few songs from Kinda Like Fireworks. Check it out! Because life's too short for music that sucks.

Jesse Kates *

Friday, March 21

Help Wanted

There's a whole lot involved in running a band. From booking, to designing posters, to hanging posters, to writing press releases, to procuring merch, to writing songs, to rehearsing, to booking, to performing, to writing blog posts, to mailing newsletters, to booking, etc.

If anyone out there has a fascination with any of this stuff, and if you'd enjoy helping us out and being a part of our story, please drop me a line. There's more than enough work to go around. :) And glory - that, too! We can get you into our shows for free, and maybe buy you a few beers (or soda, if that's what you prefer.)

Jesse Kates *

Monday, March 17

Teaser songs!

In preparation for our new album's release (Kinda Like Fireworks), we've put up two new songs on myspace!

The first, Flirting with disaster, you can also download here (right click, save as).

The second, My girl, is up for play only on myspace.


Jesse Kates *

Sunday, March 16

Stone in love

Wow. Fun evening! Just got back from seeing Stone in Love (Journey tribute band) knock the roof off of the Record Bar. They sold the place out! I was only able to enter because Mr. Chuckles Whittingtoppolis of NNHM was kind enough to guestlist me. I felt pretty hip (certainly much hipper than I am) bypassing the line of people waiting to pay (and being told they couldn't enter until others left.) Obviously, the show was a smashing success. I can't wait for the next one! I had a nice talk with Andrew Sallee and Chris Tolle, too. I am going to make it a goal to get out to more shows. It's just too much fun not to, and every time I go I meet somebody interesting.

And all of this of course is only possible because of my super awesome wife, who willingly postponed her sleep in morning so I could go out to the show. I'll get her back tomorrow night, but nevertheless... all of this music stuff would be more or less impossible with a child and a less supportive wife. Salut the Stephanie!

The earlier part of the evening was also fun - a game night with some coworkers and their spouses (spice?). We played cranium and I tried to sell them T-Shirts like the pseudo-Amway man I am. :) Tobias was in rare form when Lauriann and Jimmy arrived. He tried to do pretty much anything he could think of that would be "bad" in an effort to get attention. Hurling toys, crushing the cat, flinging laundry from the bin, taking books from the shelf, scaling the table, etc... It all worked out, of course. He's really a very good kid. I'd just say "hey buddy, pick up that toy you just threw." He'd spin around a few times, I'd repeat myself, but he'd eventually do it. Each and every time. Salut the Tobias! :)

And now, to bed!

Jesse Kates *

Friday, March 14

Album art - check

Finished 'er up today. 6 Panel digipak. Undeniably sweet.

Also, the album release date is set. We'll set 'er free on Friday, May 9th, at the Brick!

Jesse Kates *

Monday, March 10

bah, humbug

I'm never very truthful, or at least very detailed, in this thing. I'm too keenly aware that my real name is attached to it, and that people who I work with, etc., may read it. And in fact I know some of them do.

But let me just say that today was a frustrating day, and that in general I'm a little bit adrift. It happens I guess. The themes are: responsibility and conflict.

I find several areas of my life in conflict. All important, all valuable. Some seemingly impossibly at odds.

I find myself increasingly responsible, and I've always felt responsible. I crave irresponsibility. I don't think I'm really capable of being that way though. I never have been. Sometimes I wish I was.

It all started pretty young for me. I was cooking my younger brother lunch at the age of 8 or 9, if I remember. Letting us in the door and watching him after school while my mom kept working. I started helping her clean houses at 13 or 14. Nothing inspires ambition like cleaning the houses of the wealthy.

I'm sure there are stories of much greater responsibility, etc., people who have gone through much more than I have. But I just get tired sometimes. I was in such a big hurry to do so many big things... and now I find myself thinking "what was the rush?" Here I am. All done. Now what?

I know I live a great life. I just wish I could find a way to shake it up a bit, without hurting anyone or messing anything up.

Jesse Kates *

Friday, March 7

Stupid Cray

me: so would you be willing to give me a yay/nay on the champ sometime next week?
i will dump it in another fashion if you don't want it
chuck: yes, by next week I can tell ya
me: rocks
chuck: say, by friday
gives me a week to assess
11:48 AM me: perfecto
chuck: send it through the Cray and see what comes out on the other side
me: i would expect:
a very complicated conclusion
chuck: yes, very
11:50 AM Error: Malformed binary. Your binary code must be divisible by 8.
me: stupid Cray

Jesse Kates *

Wednesday, March 5

Photos from Electrical Audio

I've put some up on our Flickr page. Enjoy!

Jesse Kates *

Tuesday, March 4

electrical audio recording diary day 2-4

ok, so I've been a little slack with the updates, but with good reason! we're done! three days early!

after four ten hour days of non-stop action, i'm sitting in a hotel in des moines with four guitars, a bass, some snacks and two reels of two inch twenty-four track tape. the half-inch master reels are being shipped to john golden.

now, despite the fact that I am in possession of one of the greatest acts of rock of our time, all was not pudding and crumpets (though celebratory martinis and tarts await me at home, thanks to the lovely ladies in my life). we hit the high stress point on saturday after a grueling day of tracking. daniel's arms were shot and I was losing perspective despite our rapid progress. we turned the tide by moving to a hotel rather than sleep another night on electrical's futons. on sunday everyone was better rested and we completed our final band take - flirting with disaster. then I sang the remaining three tunes (i finished seven on saturday) and we began mixing.

this morning we mixed the rest of the album, sequenced it and high tailed it to des moines, cutting tomorrow's drive time in half.

we listened to a reference cd in the car and I must say this album is very, very good. it's incredibly live and energetic. we really ripped the takes. tracking live, as a band, was clearly the right approach. these songs just ooze gusto and passion. i'm pumped to hear the mastered version.

be that as it may, it's three am and this rock star is pooped. more soon!

Jesse Kates *