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Posts Tagged ‘minimal’

Pilot Light Rehearsal – 10.19.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, R.J. Hill & Dane Hill]

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photo by Maurita Roman

“Starve it Out and Never Go Hungry”
“Cute Little Echo”
“The Finger Wag”
“Michael in the War”
“House of Satan”
“Dayman” (Charlie Day)

So this is our rehearsal session from our show on October 20th, at the Pilot Light in Knoxville, Tennsee, with Kishi Bashi.  This was recorded the evening before the show.  Obviously, we took a more minimal approach this time, slimming down to a trio for this recording.  As usual, that’s not quite how it went at the show, with the last minute addition of Megan Driscoll.  Kishi Bashi also joined us for the finale cover of “Dayman,” as made popular by the FX program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as an impromptu improvisational session at the end of the end.

On the recording, as during the live performance, “Dayman” bares a triumphant intro segment.  During the live set, we performed with a casket laid out in front of the stage.  At this point, the casket was opened, releasing helium filled balloons and light beams.  A happy end to an otherwise rather dark set.

Dane Hill – bass, vocals
Rachel Jae – omnichord, vocals
Arrison Kirby – keys, beats, vocals


Consolation Prize – 7.13.2011 – Never Sorry [Arrison Kirby, R.J. Hill & Dane Hill]

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“The Suffer Dance”

I think Consolation Prize is a fitting name for this session in so many ways.  To be a consolation prize, one must serve as a remnant of something that never was.  Consolation prizes, by name, are there to soften the blow when you ruin your chances of winning.  So here is a tender, melancholy set to help cope with losing.

This is Never Sorry with no Katie or Megan.  The funerary softness celebrates that (surely temporary) loss for sure.  The set also came on the heels of a dumb break up I had and there is plenty of therapy, musical and otherwise, being passed down from the Hills to me.  “Don’t” would be the most evident of this, with Dane making up the lyrics as we went.

The beat oriented songs act as bookstands around the soft inside of the session.  “Moments” was written precisely about that aforementioned break up.  The vocals are iffy at times as I try to sort through them, but whatever.  Some cathartic life force runs through this session all the same, as we dive deeper into this fresh minimalism.

Dane Hill – bass, glockenspiel, vocals
Rachel Jae – auxillary percussion, vocals
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, programming, keys, vocals

Dueling Standards – 12.26.2010 – Arrison Kirby & Katie Collins

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“Cute Little Echo”
“Afraid of the Ghost”

This is another string based session with just Katie and I.  Neither of the songs are anything new, but here we’ve performed them in completely different arrangements than before.  This is also the first posted session in which Katie’s vocal contributions are heard, minimal as they may be.

We only worked out to songs, obviously.  There was, literally, no other material from this session.  It was not so difficult to reimagine these tracks for a stripped down banjo and ukulele set up.  The reason it’s so short is because we used the bulk of our time to film a video for “Cute Little Echo” (which is actually the inferior of these two tracks, I believe).

You may or may not ever see this video as I may or may not ever edit it into completion.  We actually put in some tired overtime in re-shooting what was to be the final scene.  Unfortunately (and Katie will only learn of this as she reads it here), the re-shot scene did not actually take.  When I dumped it on my computer, it was only a few seconds long, as if the “record” button was tapped twice by accident.  By the time I realized this, Katie was gone and all the costuming, lights and fog had also been removed for the evening.  So we’ll see.

And who knows?  I may be able to work with the remaining footage anyway.  I’m just not going to bank on it, and I have yet to try.  But for now, you have these two concise and bluegrassy reworkings.

Katie Collins – ukulele, vocals
Arrison Kirby – banjo, beats, vocals

“Creep” (Radiohead cover) – David Davis & Arrison Kirby

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photo by McKenzie Michaels

“Creep” (Radiohead cover) – David Davis & Arrison Kirby

David Davis (the red cloud, Mar) has been hanging out around the studio recently.  We haven’t really pushed a session yet, though we did end up shitting out this cover of the Radiohead standard.   We did use the session set up to record it.  Unfortunately, so much usual pre mixing was neglected because of the spontaneity of this track.  The iffy result is a few vocal lines mixed a bit too quietly.  (We can’t fix it because it’s mic’d with the omni.)  It’s especially evident at the beginning, but the projection increases into form by the end of the song.  All in all, it’s a tolerable flaw.

David is singing and playing guitar.  I’m accompanying on Katie’s omni.  It was my first time actually joining in on a full song with the omnichord.

David Davis – vocals, guitar
Arrison Kirby – omnichord

Mostly Lowish – 9.29.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

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photo by McKenzie Michaels

“Rub and Slip”
“Family Affairs”
“Sweet Times”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Asleep in my Head”

This session was without our beloved Katie, but we pulled through quite minimally.

“Rub and Slip” – We introduced the keys to the set up and opened with this reggae bi-product type jam.  I played those keys low to a slowed down version of the beat Obadiah used to use for the song “Same.”  Dane handled the bass good and dubby.  I think Rachel is hitting the drums.  This song leaves as abruptly as it begins.

“Bristol” – I replaced the electric guitar with acoustic to strip down this one.  Dane on the bass.  Megan and I singing of course.  Rachel is laying back on the snare.

“Family Affairs” – We did a better minimal version of this one in an earlier session which is pretty much lost.  This one isn’t all bad, though…just a few hiccups here and there.  Same set up as on “Bristol.”

“Squeen” – Another random looper pedal moment.  I almost silenced it, but Dane told me to leave it on.  He proceeded to build it up and over.  I joined in on keys as well.

“Sweet Times” – This was Dane’s progression.  He’s playing the acoustic guitar.  I’m playing the piano.  I’m a bit choppy at times (and bendy), but the little dancehall interplay around the minute twenty mark is worth the wait.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – First recorded version of this song with keys.  I was a bit uncomfortable playing the keys while singing on this one.  Hence, my voice awkwardly dips out several times.  Overall, though, this is a fun little version.  Megan’s flute mixing with the feedback reminds me of some of Roxy Music’s more experimental moments.  The beat was actually constructed by myself and David Dalton together.  We used it in the Flashmob song, “Tanya Tucker.”

“Asleep in my Head” – This is Megan and I doing a sensitive little flute and piano jam influenced by Carlo Gesualdo.

“Fucking” – I guess this is comedy kind of?

“Sucking” – This one isn’t funny at all.

Megan Driscoll – vocals, flute, tambourine
Dane Hill – bass, guitars
Rachel Jae – axillary percussion, drums
Arrison Kirby – guitars, keys, beats, vocals

There’s Something in My Eye Socket – 9.29.2010 – Arrison Kirby, Katie Collins, Megan Driscoll, Rachel Jae & Dane Hill

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“Champagne Fishing Hole”
“Wrong Way Down a One Way Channel Backwards”
“New Beginnings”
“Afraid of the Ghost”
“Dane’s Domain”
“Monkey Parade”
“Leonard Skeonard”

There is a nice kind of edginess on this session.  A good mix of experimentation, improvisation, and expansion.  We additionally did a little more instrument swapping than we had prior.  Plus we did not use any electronic beats in this session.  Of course, there is a likely tolerable level of “offness” here and there, but few and far between all the juicy rewards.

“Champagne Fishing Hole” – This was how the session opened…with Megan rapping over Dane’s drums and Katie’s omnichord volume flushing.  I was still playing with shit in the control room, so I didn’t get in on it straight away.  This is completely to the track’s credit.

“Wrong Way Down a One Way Channel Backwards” – I had accidentally set off my looper pedal.  Then I just went with it.

“New Beginnings” – This is a pleasant little, beatless version.  Katie opposed my guitar with ukulele and Rachel took over the omnichord.  Dane played bass.

“Afraid of the Ghost” – This was one of the improvised songs from the last session.  I transcribed it over to a chord sheet and changed a few lines from the lyrics.  Two in particular, which really made no sense.  It’s a simple song, but I’ve come to really like it, all in all.

“Waiting” – This is Dane’s song all the way.  He wrote it, is singing it, and playing guitar.  He recorded a really great countryish version of it, which you can listen to on his Myspace page.

“Bristol” – This is totally the best version of this we have done.  We knew we had it more complete the moment we took it at that new pace.

“Dane’s Domain” – Dane started this badass bassline up and, though I noodle sloppy at times, I could not resist joining in. The girls handled light percussion in the back.  I think we should build on this.

“Monkey Parade” – This is the variation of “Katie’s Waltz” that we have currently arrived at.  This one is a lot more passionate and unrestrained.

“Leonard Skeonard” – I’m guiding the drums on this one.  Though I fumble them at the end, I still think this is a nice closing track.  Dane is playing a soaring mess of guitar solos over Katie’s always otherworldly omnichord.

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