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Posts Tagged ‘el studio’

Dire Con by Dire Con

Dire Con
Dire Con

“Miss Patty”
“Empty Room”
“Wasted Youth”

Written and performed by Hamilton Ellis and Dire Con
Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Arrison Kirby

Hamilton Ellis – vocals, guitar
Adam May – guitar
Patrick Fulwood – bass
James Flores – drums

Artwork by James Flores

Recorded at El Studio, Knoxville, TN.

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urgency by COP


“You’ve Gotta Go”
“Botched Operation”
“Formal Misgivings”
“Money Games”
“Filthy South”

Produced, mixed and mastered by Arrison Kirby
Composed by COP

Arrison Kirby – electronics, guitar, beats
Wesley Wyrick – electronics
SK – drums

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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

Creation and Deconstruction – 9.1.2010 & 9.8.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

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original artwork by Antony Gormley

“Bristol (Bare Bones)”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“New Beginnings”
“Bristol (Katie and the Drums)”
“Anemone” (Brian Jonestown Massacre cover)
“Untitled as Yet”
“Bristol (Katie and the Bass)”
“Katie’s Waltz”

This is actually an accumulation of material from two sessions, each with it’s own unique processes for evolving the material.  Of course, that could really be said of any series of sessions involving the same material with the same people.  Here, however, the session from 9.1.2010 had us fleshing out a newly written song, and trying new arrangements on older songs.  The later session, from 9.8.2010, revolved around a thick underbelly of “organized improvisation.”  Several of these tracks contain vocal direction as we worked them out on the spot.

“Bristol (Bare Bones)” – I introduced this song acoustically in my office at first.  This is the first time it was played in the studio.  I like the minimalism of this version and kind of hate that I cut it off before finishing the song.  The interplay between ukulele (Katie), bass (Dane) and guitar (me) is particularly nice in the first verse.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – This was one of those sudden improv deals.  The entire track consists of three chords, borrowed from the bridge of a song I wrote called “Sarabeth.”  It was Katie’s idea to “jam” on this, I believe.  The lyrics are freestyled right out of my head and not entirely on key…also a bit loud.

“New Beginnings” – Anyone who has ever seen me play live a few times is familiar with this song.  Dane played bass on this version.  His idea.  Worked out well.  I kiss the tips of my fingers, in fact.  As to the abrupt ending of this track, it came at the precise moment that a glass of beer totally flew off a speaker.  We chalked it up to vibration.  Though I have set plenty of bottles and glasses there in the past with no problem.

“Bristol (Katie and the Drums)” – We had an early inclination on this song to try Dane on the bass with Katie on drums.  You know…just to see.  We let her begin the drumming and we filled in around her.  It totally worked until we got to the arena-rocky, time changed chorus that didn’t happen.

“903” – This was another improvisational tangent.  I don’t know why everything is all “devil and hell” but I think it works for the overall themes that emerge in these sessions.  Anyway.  Dane called out the time.  9:03pm.  When he said it twice and there was a quality to the way he said it that made it sound like it came out of a rap song.  Thus I suggested we do a rap song.  We picked a single key and went with it.  The “rap” is completely free-styled.

“Anemone” – This was recorded on the earlier, more focused session.  Yes.  The Brian Jonestown Massacre cover returns.  This one is much fuller than the previous one, with Dane playing bass (check out the badass slide shit toward the end) and a good grainy underbelly to the guitar.  Not to toot my own horn, but I handle my improvy little guitar solo bridge thingie pretty well, too.

“Untitled as Yet” – Despite it’s missteps, this may be my favorite version of this song so far.  Dane’s deep, concussive drumming juxtaposed with the reverb-soaked club beats is of particular bounce.  I also am fond of the second half where I find myself able to channel my inner Jeff Tweedy (or was it Neil Young?) on guitar.

“Bristol (Katie and the Bass)” – It’s not perfect but, so far, it’s the best recorded version we have of the newest written song.  This one has Dane back on the drums and Katie playing bass.  On the omnichord is Rachel Jae.

“Katie’s Waltz” – This was initially “just fuckin’ around” while I got the levels kind of correct.  But how could anyone resist the call of a waltz?

“Feedback” – If the beer flying off the speaker was not a supernatural experience then maybe this was.  There was a small but not unbearable microphone feedback going on.  We all joined in, harmonizing with it.  As we moved around the feedback stopped, but we all kept yowling or whatever.  When we all ceased. there was a new feedback, louder than before.  It was none of the microphones.  Then we realized it was the guitar, which none of us had been standing anywhere near.  So either the guitar string struck itself or the vibration of our voices caused the guitar to vibrate with us.  I’m not certain but it feels magicalish.

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