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Posts Tagged ‘drums’

Taurean Beat – 1.8.2012 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, R.J. Hill, Dane Hill & Carissa Stolting]

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“Afraid of the Ghost”
“House of Satan”
“Blue”
“Contemplating the Harvest”
“Starve It Out and Never Go Hungry”
“She” (Green Day cover)
“Satan Reprise”
“Dislodged Mystery Trinket”

A new year had just begun, so it was time to get back on the Never Sorry train.  We wanted to return to live drums for our next phase.  On this day, the lovely Taurus, Carissa Stolting (Jackboots) stopped by to fill that role.

We’ve been eager to move forward with new material,  but decided to stick with mostly older songs since there was someone new in our midst and we had been rusty, ourselves.  (The holidays do that to you.)  In these cases, we sometimes let Carissa start with the beat and the other three of us would play the song around her.

There’s an impromptu Green Day cover, of all things, as well as some extensive but interesting improvisational jams.  One of these, “Satan Reprise,” is an instrumental re-imagining of “House of Satan.”  Much more upbeat, with traces of joy.

Arrison Kirby – vocals, guitar, keys
RJ. Hill –  vocals, omnichord, auxiliary percussion
Dane Hill – bass, vocals
Carissa Stolting – drums

Nobody Stands a Chance – 12.19.2010 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae, Dane Hill, Augustin Bralley & DJ Modifi]

Click to download the tracks:

“Creep” (Radiohead cover)
“Move Her Aside”
“House of Satan”
“Translucent Corpses”

The instrumental tracks border on uplifting, as we continue down the experimental path we carved out in the last session.  The two with lyrics run kind of dark.  I almost thought about calling this session Apocalypse Light but I didn’t want the word “light” to diminish the gravity of “House of Satan.”

Katie is not on this session, as she was still visiting Peru at the time.  However, we were able to rope in contributions from Augustin Brally and DJ Modifi.  We also tackled a new cover song, but you can read all about that stuff below…

“Creep” – Ah.  Radiohead’s classic breakout jam.  It worked pretty well when I recorded it with David Davis.  So we got to talking about it and decided to give it a try in this arrangement.  Dane played bass.  Megan played the omni.  I trashed out my guitar.  Rachel sang, of course.  The beats come to us courtesy of DJ Modifi.  He wasn’t at the session, but he was the composer of those beats.

“Move Her Aside” – This one is well paced.  Punk rock stoner rock or something.

“House of Satan” – A song about the devil having a heavy heart, spilling it to you in the wee hours of the morning, after a night of partying with him.  The lyrics were complete improvisation, yet I think it came out perfect, but for one line.  I won’t say which, but it will be changed on subsequent recordings, most likely.  For the most part, this song sits very heavy.  The creepy theremin is being played by Georgia inhabitant, Augustin Bralley.  He also does a wee bit of knob turning around some of the synth effects.  This sounds like the song you play as the city you are in is burning.

“Translucent Corpses” – This was the pretty much immediate follow up to “House of Satan.”  It really let’s the air back in, thankfully.  I like the idea of translucent corpses following the devil’s moments of…uh…darkness.  This song is like a spaceship out of all that mess.

Megan Driscoll –  flute, omnichord
Dane Hill – drums, bass
Rachel Jae – vocals, auxillary percussion, omnichord
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals
Augustin Bralley – theramin, effects
DJ Modifi – beat composition

We Are in Love – 11.28.2010 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae and Dane Hill]

Click to download the tracks:

“Free Day”
“Afraid of the Ghost (Hell)”
“Monkey Parade”
“People’s People”
“Tender” (Blur cover)
“Single Politician”
“Automobile” (NWA cover)
“Blue”
“Afraid of the Ghost (Heaven)”

This session was awesome.   Recording these things live, we have to have a certain degree of it set up and sounding right for the room before we even begin.  So I will be the first to admit that the vocals came out a little bit too quiet, and beyond repair…at least in my microphone.  Elsewise, everyone had their shit together and everything felt really full and booming.  This is the kind of spread that makes a person feel very lucky to be engaging creatively with these other persons.

We tackled two new cover songs in this session.  One by Blur and one by NWA.  I’ll spare you the details and give you the standard run down:

“Free Day” – Once again, our opening warm up jam works perfectly as the session opener.  Dane is rocking the mandolin on this one, Rachel took over omni duties.  Katie had not yet arrived.  I love how deep the beats are on this one, and how beautifully all the instrumentation builds around them.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – We had not done this one in a minute, but here are two new and very different versions.  The “hell” version is slow and moody.  It sounds familiar to me.  I initially want to compare it to Pink Floyd, but I don’t think that’s it.  The “heaven” version is a little crazier and certainly more fast.  I soaked out the beginning of this version with some pretty intensive electronic slamming.  Also, I’d like to note the perfect placement of Dane’s drumming choices on both versions.

“Monkey Parade” – This one gets better the more we do it.  I added keys to this one, trading off between them and guitar.

“People’s People” – We had not messed with this song in months.  Then suddenly, it pops up again.  I think it was Megan’s idea to take a current crack at it.  I gotta say…despite the inability to discern what the vocals are saying, this is possibly those most solidly formed, while still remaining upbeat, version of this we have done.

“Tender” – Alright!  A Blur cover!  The thing I love about this is that, when I introduced this song, I don’t think anyone else had heard the original before.  This recording is about the 6th take, at which point, they still hadn’t heard it.  So basically, that’s one more reason to love the people playing on this song.  And how about those vocals?  That’s Rachel on the mains, with Megan and I harmonizing as applicable.

“Single Politician” – Of all the ways we have tried this song, this is my favorite arrangement.  Dane and I actually fleshed this version out right before our show with Katie & The Bass Drums back in August.  This is just the first somewhat solid recording we have done of it.

“Automobile” – This is a cover of an NWA interpretation of a Parliament song.  Anyone that was in middle school when Niggaz4Life came out is likely familiar with this one.  It was the novelty “country song” from that album, chalked full of Easy-E and others spouting off embarrassing, gruff sexual yearns.  I thought it was important to keep all the dirt and smut in tact, though normally I don’t talk this way.

“Blue” – We did this version before Katie had arrived.  I must say, I completely adore this version for it’s minimalism.  And, damn, Rachel can belt this one out.

Katie Collins – omnichord, bass
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica, vocals
Dane Hill – drums, bass, mandolin
Rachel Jae – vocals, auxillary percussion
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals

Infinite Everything – 11.17.2010 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill]

Click to download the tracks:

“Coastal Horizon (No Harm)”
“Blue”
“World War 17”
“Let You Down”
“Coastal Horizon (Harm)”
“Gangsta Goodbye”

This short little session seems to carry some strange, hopeful emotion.  Texturally rich instrumentals and a couple heartfelt sing-songs.  Also, this collective has decided on a formal band name finally.  We are called: NEVER SORRY.

So this was the first session after Dane’s father passed away, which – coupled with Dane’s mighty guitar stylings – may be part and parcel for the musically emotive outpour.  And like I said, it seems strange and hopeful.  This, more than anything, seems to be a testament of Dane’s strong and wise character and I put these tones in his hands.

I mean, look.  Katie and I had a “depression session” because it was raining outside and everyone bailed on the session, otherwise.  But Dane’s dad dies and the follow up to that is this – songs we can feel relatively comfortable in, amidst all longing.  It makes the “depression” part seem so trivial.

Further evidence, indeed, that Dane Hill is the fucking man.  Also, I’d like to wish congratulations to he and Rachel on their recent engagement!  Best.  Couple.  Ever.

“Coastal Horizon” – Two versions found in this session.  The first has better dynamics, but the second has Megan playing harmonica.  Dane is emoting through the guitar on these.  I’m handling drums.  Omni for Katie and auxillary percussion for Rachel.

“Blue” – This song is so short and simple that we probably now have more recorded versions of it than any other song.  This seems to be a fairly paramount version.  I’m on the scratchy, dirty guitar.  Dane’s rocking the drums.  Katie on the omni and Megan on the flute.  Most notably here is that Rachel is singing.  I wrote this song and I’m really fond of the way her vocals take it from this simple little yearning and elevate it up to some sort of rock opera type deal.

“World War 17” – This was actually our warm up jam.  It’s somewhat foreboding, with tinges of fringe revelation.  I presume that by the time we actually reach a World War 17, it will be as cloak-and-daggery as this song tends to feel.  That is also presuming there are still people around by then.

“Let You Down” – A brief, mostly solo, performance of and by Dane.  I’m not certain, but I think this is a song he had written recently.  I tried to accompany him on drums.  I did okay, I guess…not perfect, but not distracting.  This was the only take with accompanying vocals.

“Gangsta Goodbye” – I’m pretty sure Megan is playing the synth trumpet on this one, with me on drums and everyone else on their old standards.  I know this one is kind of sloppy at times, but I think the overall vibe of it makes up for the looseness.

Katie Collins – omnichord
Megan Driscoll –  flute, harmonica
Dane Hill – guitar, drums, vocals
Rachel Jae – vocals, auxillary percussion
Arrison Kirby – drums, guitar

Improvisations on Lennon and Cyrus – 10.20.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Dane Hill & Megan Driscoll

Click to download the tracks:

photo by Annie Leibowitz

“Opening Bell”
“Give Peace a Chance (Seriously)”
“No Destination”
“Jumble Bumps”
“La Tee Dah (Give Peace a Chance)”
“Locked Doors in Mexico”
“Failed Fire”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Give Peace a Chance (Or Something)”
“Achey Breaky Heart”
“A Double K C”

This is, so far, has perhaps been my favorite session.  It’s loose and dirty, but flows quite merrily.  Definitely fun to play and, hopefully, listen to.  The use of the keys with the larger sound is new to this arrangement of players.  Instrument swapping also continues.  And everybody’s favorite…cover songs!  [kind of]

“Opening Bell” – One of our traditional, improvisational, come-from-nothing, random openers.  It begins with the beat and ends with Dane’s live drumming.  The latter is the better.  Pretty happy shit.

“Give Peace a Chance” (John Lennon cover) – Oh yes.  Three different versions.  Everybody knows the chorus, for sure,  but everybody’s talking bout…what?  So I just made up new verses.  It’s the giving peace a chance part that matters, after all.

“No Destination” – Dane on guitar.  Katie using the omni to add a really nice, easy going vibe – especially at the beginning.  I’m drumming.  I felt pretty on top of my shit with drums that night, too.

“Jumble Bumps” – This is probably my favorite song from the session.  I believe that I made very good choices with the keys and the guitar solo.  The only problem is that I did not necessarily do this at the same time.  There is one very particular aspect of this one that is like nails on a chalkboard to me…but it runs alongside the really really good aspects.  I’m not going to point out anything beyond that.  Hopefully your ears will hear it differently than mine.

“Locked Doors in Mexico” – This one is just Dane and I.  He on guitar.  Me on drums.  That dude is a great communicator, musically.  I love the last third, in particular, where we drop it low and bring it back.

“Failed Fire” – This is just Dane and I again.  It’s kinda like one of those “musical comedy” deals that tend to manifest themselves sometimes.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – I don’t know why I want to do this song so much.  I guess because it’s so simple to work within.  I still want something more ideal for the 1st half or so.  Tried it with some low organ sounds on this one.  I dunno…it’s okay.

“Achey Breaky Heart” (Billy Ray Cyrus cover) – Hence the Cyrus part of the session name.  Once again, this is another one of those songs where you totally know the chorus, but only get the general idea of the verses.  In this case, however, that circumstance may vary from person to person.  I know it’s kind of scary, but some people out there probably do know this song word for word, beginning to end.  We are simply not those people.

“A Double K C” – Me on drums.  Katie on the keys.  A little bit of night magic.

Katie Collins – omnichord, keys
Dane Hill – guitar, drums
Arrison Kirby – guitar, keys, drums
Megan Driscoll – tambourine

August Prep Session – 8.18.2010 – Arrison, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

Click to download the tracks:

“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“New Beginnings”
“Clap Hands Jam” (improv on Beck)
“Untitled as Yet (Down)
“Really Horrible Shit is Popular”
“Single Politician”
“Family Affairs”
“Untitled as Yet (Up)”
“Hymn”

This session was primarily practice for the Pilot Light show with Katie and the Bass Drums coming up on August 25th, as some – if not all – of the players in this session will be joining me that day.  This is also the first session recorded in which Rachel Jae and Dane Hill were present.   It was interwoven with a lot of surprise sounds coming to the forefront. Ideas too.   Some of those surprise sounds and ideas are as follows:

“Anemone” – As noted above, this is a cover of the Brian Jonestown Massacre song. The first or second time we got together under musical pretense, Katie gave me a mix CD with the original version as the starting track. I immediately loved it. It’s not too complicated of a song. So Katie, Megan and I picked it up really quick and then laid it down after Dane and Rachel had left for the night. The first take wasn’t too bad. This was the second and it’s slightly better.

“Clap Hands Jam” – This is just one of those goofy little segues that sometimes rise up when live recording. Dane and the girls had a good little percussion section going. I tried to enter with Beck’s “Clap Hands” but could not remember the order of the notes right off. So I bounced around between them, hence being but a “jam.” I did actually find the correct order, but only momentarily before we decided to send itg to its grave.

“Untitled as Yet” – Two versions here. The “down” version was actually recorded immediately following the “up” version. I reordered them and spaced them out in the track listing for the sake of flow. The down version incorporates no electronic beats, only minimalist percussion from Dane and Rachel – plus a little off kilter theremin from me. Also, notice that both versions contain “lyrics” now. We needed some way to signal when we wanted to do the key drop. Looking at each other and nodding is fine, but not always so interesting or reliable. Rachel suggested we all say “Make a wish” right before the drop. We all were in agreement, but then we did not know how to signal the wish, itself. We worked that one out too.

“Single Politician” – Dane is playing a full kit on this one and it sounds grand. We went through a few different alterations to get to this version. Mostly based around the drums, as Dane had two different modes for this song, both of which worked well. With two drum modes and two sections of the song so far, we decided to try a different mode for each section, but run them together. I think this is the best version of this song yet.

“Hymn” – If you are offended by this song, then you might want to consider downgrading your church. Perhaps to a model without an ATM machine.

Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele, words
Megan Driscoll – flute, omnichord, vocals
Rachel Jae – shakers, wood blocks, words
Dane Hill – drum kit, hand percussion, wood blocks, words
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals