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Showing posts from February, 2007

Spin It On

Hey Soul Mates, I finally picked up the latest copy of Spin magazine. It has a feature about Robbie Rist (musical savant/voice over artist and actor) that focuses on the LA pop scene. We were told by our fans back in August that Spin had been in attendance at our IPO show in LA. Spin had interviewed several of our rabid backers. But after reading the article, I understand why we wouldn't have made the cut and I'm thankful for it. Spin basically tears the Los Angeles a new one, but little of it is unbiased reportage. It paints a dreary picture of the IPO crowd: aging, all-male, geeked out, playing an antiquated style of music. Not us. In some cases, that could be said. At least those artists have IPO to support their desire to play, but what it says about our fair town is more accurate. In Los Angeles , it is difficult for original music to find fans and vice- versa . There are exceptions of course, but for the most part non-hip-hop and non- emo shows are poorly attend

Week One Is Done: Album Sessions Day 5

Hey Soul Mates, last night we completed our first week of recording. It felt good to walk out of the studio with our preliminary material. We wrapped up the evening with Bryan laying down guitar parts on Roosevelt's Revue . The other track we spent time on was Sucka . Which is so slamming it hurts. I had nice talks with Adam & Doug today about our progress and everyone feels that the album will be a real showcase. We're sure you, our fans will groove with it. We are due back in about 2 weeks to continue working on the guitar parts and a few bass fixes. Then vocals and keyboards, piano, clavinet... In the meantime, we have our work cut out for ourselves. Lots of listening to do. Refining parts, deciding on arrangements. I spent much of the day singing along to the tracks. That's very cool for me. Usually, when we've recorded, the vocals were cut within hours of the backing or the backing wasn't available to me. Not a lot of time to rehearse, polish and make choi

Short + Sweet: Album Sessions Day 4

Good Morning, Soul Mates. Short, because I'd like to get to bed before 2 a.m. this morning. Sweet, because that's what we do. The sessions were once again productive. This time I was the lone band member in attendance. Steve was working his magic on the boards, mixing drums and bass. The cuts we concentrated on were Everyone's Ingenue and Everything My Heart Desires . We'll get an earlier start tomorrow afternoon for a full 8 hour session (I might get there a little early to stroll to the ocean). Our focus will be Roosevelt's Revue and Sucka . After tomorrow, our sessions go on hiatus while Steve records other clients and Adam's band hits the road. I know Doug mentioned that he'd catch up with the Chaos Band at Old Ironsides in Sacto . But we will refine parts and work with our tracking thus far. I'm particularly excited for working out vocal arrangements. As advertised: that's it. I'll check in again soon. Love, Power, Peace

Bass-O-Matic '76: Album Sessions Day 3

Hey Soul Mates, It's early morning in the city. Got home from the Lincoln Lounge at exactly 2. Snacking on sponge cake from Chinatown. More forward progress in the studio tonight. When Bryan and I arrived, Steve and Adam had been at work for an hour mixing drums and finding places for me to redo (aka overdub) bass parts. Steve was particularly articulate explaining to me what kind of performances the tracks needed. And the fact that he said "more (like) Cameo, than the Time" told me this cat knows his funk. I put it down on Fall Out and U Had The $ . In fact, with an assist from the production squidod , I found a whole new way to play my bass riff on $ . Eye-opening and tighter, thus funkier. Plus, a little peer pressure goes a long way, as Chaos Band bassist Teresa Cowles again was in the house. Can't sound shabby with her around. She bags on me as it is for always playing with a pick. But even she was shakin ' her booty to the groove. We also selected the m

Picture This: Album Sessions Day 2

RHS at the Lincoln Lounge. Tuff. On a break during today's session. All right, Soul Mates! The rhythm tracks are nearly done on our new LP. We managed to get all of the drums finished today and after a productive session, Doug headed back up north. Our all day marathon saw us work out all of the numbers for the album. We started with Fall Out which is simply a jam. We cut it a bit faster than anticipated, but it moves like a locomotive. Done Lost My Mind , plus our two newest songs, Roosevelt's Revue and I Can't Cry For You rounded us out. Time for photographs. Please bear in mind these are from my camera and are not the HQ pics you are accustomed to seeing of us. Even so, it will give you an idea of our surroundings. And you can see that we are alive and well. The band. Not as tired as we appear. Adam's production notes for our LP. We were pretty loose this afternoon and that helped. Plus the Mr. T talking key chain kept everyone in check! "Grrrrrrr.

Album Sessions Day 1

Gung Hay Fat Choy , Soul Mates, or something like it. It's Chinese New Year's. An auspicious weekend to be in the studio. We are done for the evening. Doug and I have been chilling watching Justin Timberlake do his thing on an SNL repeat. D*** in a Box is still hilarious. And JT and his band tore up My Love . Our day was long and productive. It was our first day of new recording sessions. We haven't been in the studio since Wales last June. Rush Hour Soul was in full-effect at the Lincoln Lounge in Venice Beach. Got down there about 11 a.m. Nice to be by the ocean. We tracked drums for 6 songs this afternoon and evening. The numbers we cut today were Everything My Heart Desires, Fall Out, Down By Love, U Had The $, Everyone's Ingenue and Sucka . The sounds captured by our production team of Steve Refling and Adam Marsland are slamming. The drums are hitting hard and the bass is deep. I've got the blister on my thumb to prove it. There will be some serio

Let The Buzz Begin For 2008

Hey Soul Mates, it's the eve of Valentine's Day. What do you have planned? I've got the day off. So there will be the visit to the dentists. You may remember I chipped a front tooth at our last show. That will be on the agenda. Then it'll be off to see the new Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore flick Music & Lyrics . I'm actually jazzed to see it. ABC's Martin Fry was the technical advisor for Mr. Grant's pop performances. Sounds perfect. And in fact, Hugh can sing. That's him on the soundtrack doing a credible Martin Fry imitation. As for my claims clairvoyance for next year? Well I've got a few early calls on new albums released on my birthday (that's auspicious). I've just heard the new discs from Fall Out Boy and Katharine McPhee . I'd like to say that the FOB record Infinity On High will be a disc to reckon with. Keeping up with the newer pop/rock groups can be daunting, so I'd let this recent generation slip past my sonar. But no

Being There [Grammy Recap]

Hey Soul Mates, Check out your boy. Yes, I did look that damn suave at the Grammys last night. Look, the tickets very clearly said "black tie." What could be less rock and roll than black tie? Not wearing "black tie." Frankly, the hipsters and the club girls just looked silly. Maybe I'm getting sartorially conservative, but you must be clean for the Grammys. We arrived early in the afternoon. A beautifully mild afternoon in downtown L.A. and not a sign of the predicted rain. I wanted to experience the whole nine, so we got there in time for the "Pre-telecast" ceremony. This is where 97 of the 108 gramophone statuettes are awarded. It was much more entertaining and endearing than the actual broadcast. The winners were genuinely moved, were not limited in their speech time and came in all stripes. Now, very few of the acts I voted for won. But the day did start off with a bang as OK Go won best short form video for the treadmill hopping video for H

Grammy Morning

Hey Soul Mates, this time next year, Rush Hour Soul will be giddy with anticipation. Up for several awards, including Record of the Year and Best Urban/Alternative performance. Trust me. 2008 for Rush Hour Soul at the Grammy Awards. I've just about figured out my bow tie. Photos will be forthcoming. Think I'm not gonna document this?! Too bad we can't take cameras into Staples. But c'est la vie. Anyway, I've got lots of primping to do. It rained last night. Hopefully, the atmosphere has that weather out of its system for the day. I've been listening to the nominated artists this morning for inspiration and a reminder of for whom I've voted. How's that for grammar? First it was Christina Aguilera, now Gnarls Barkley's spinning. The show should be amazing: The Police, Earth Wind & Fire, Smokey Robinson and Lionel Richie! And of course, I'm looking forward to the newer acts. All right. Gotta get clean! Watch for me on the red carpet. Love, P

It's My Birthday, Too, Yeah

Hey Soul Mates, thanks to everyone who sent along Birthday greetings via phone, postal service, e-cards and comments on MySpace. Your sentiments are warming to the heart. The past year was quite tremendous personally. I only hope that I'm able to entertain more of you in the coming 12 months. My iPod turns a year-old today. Although it took about a month to figure it out and load it for bear. One cool feature of iTunes is that it features a play counter, so I can tell what I've been listening to and how many times. It's no surprise that Rush Hour Soul should be at the top. A rehearsal recording of Roosevelt's Revue had a whopping 67 spins. Two versions of A Talent For Loving combined for 50. They were trailed in the pop category by Raspberry Beret, Beat It and Crazy respectively. By virtue of their large catalogs on my iPod (called the Soul Source), Prince, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Dylan have dozens of plays. But the LP that got the most plays was a devotion

Miami Rain

Hey Soul Mates, you, probably like me, slogged through the Super Bowl. At least Prince showed up. We were wondering if he'd even take the stage and risk electrocution or slipping on that bum hip in the Florida torrent. Thankfully, Mr. Nelson appeared in Dolphin colors no less to rock the house with a mix of his most indelible songs ( Purple Rain, Let's Go Crazy ) and a choice covers (CCR, Dylan, Foos). He looked great, sounded fantastic with a little help from the FAMU marching band. As usual, the game didn't live up to any of the hype. Bryan and I were in the car on the way back from a production meeting when the game started. So we heard Marv Albert's booming call of the opening kickoff which was returned for a touchdown by the Bears' sensational rookie, Devin Hester. The TV announcers were dull, the fans looked unhappy in the rain. It was easy to ignore the bad commercials too. I was disappointed that the rumoured Beatles/iPod ad didn't appear. Oh well. Mayb

My Motto

Hey Soul Mates, yesterday was the 105th Birthday of the great American poet Langston Hughes . I thought I would pause and celebrate him. Now, just last month, my buddy Robert asked me if I had a favorite poem. Apparently, I had walked in on a conversation about some lame verse and more than a little nonsense. Without hesitating, I said: Motto by Langston Hughes (copyright 1957). I play it cool And dig all jive. That's the reason I stay alive. My Motto, As I live and learn, is: Dig And Be Dug In Return. It's the only poem I've ever bothered to memorize. I first came across it about 10 years ago. It is the UrbanAmerican version of the Golden Rule, but it's got a little more verve, huh? I love the way it rolls; it is eternally hip and true. My Dad knows quite a few of Hughes' poems by heart, too. We were flying to New York together in 2002 and we traded recitations. Although, it was a little one-sided as you can imagine. I've got time to catch up, though! So,