Click to download the tracks:
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
Click to download the tracks:
The sky is overcast in Knoxville today. Much the same as on October 27th, when we recorded this one. It was a Wednesday, our standard meeting of the minds. Raining outside. Solemn and subdued. All of this increasingly so, as everyone except Katie and I decided to take the night off.
So it’s called the Depression Session based on the premise that we should be sad that everyone canceled on us. The reality, however, is that Katie and I, working as a duo, pulled through just fine…even merrily at times. In fact, we stretched ourselves further than we might have with everyone else there.
But it’s a good session name. It still fits the tone of the day and the tone of the recordings.
“Crap Out” – This was how the session began, with the idea in mind to play in minor key and improvise lyrics about everyone canceling and how it made us feel. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to maneuver through that kind of lyrical mindset without eventually veering into the ridiculous. Then again, it is perhaps refreshing to hear the ridiculous within the opening track of something called Depression Session. Especially if you’re listening because you’re depressed.
“Fighters” – This is the only song from this session that we used beats on. Katie was rockin’ the mandolin while I did triple duty with beats, keys and banjo. Actually, that’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds. It’s all about timing. It’s not like I’m busting out some crazy solos or anything. The end result is kind of fun.
“Blue” – I’m not sure how finished this song is, but it was definitely finished enough to use for this session. I figured if we were calling it the Depression Session, we would need a truly sad core to it. I think this one fits. I’m doing vocals and guitar. Katie’s playing the keys.
“Seeking the Sun” – These two little banjo / mandolin tunes sound more hopeful than depressing. That’s why they are called “Seeking the Sun.” Ideally, though, there’s always a little hope in depression, right? Yeah. So we got some trace amounts.
“Liquid Courage” – This is Katie’s chord progression completely and I love it. Again, I am improvising lyrics about heartbreak and again, I am unable to do so without eventually touching on the ridiculous. The devil. I always talk about the devil. It was such a nice little song until I did here. I still stand by most of my cadence decisions, though. Anyway. Katie on ukulele…me on guitar.
“Getting Out of the House” – We quickly sketched out and rehearsed this little instrumental for the end of the session. I’m playing banjo and she’s on the keys. I am in love with E minor played on banjo. Find it here and melt.
Katie Collins – ukulele, mandolin, keys
Arrison Kirby – guitar, banjo, keys, beats, vocals
Click to download the tracks:
I’ve been working on this project, playing music with Katie Collins and Megan Driscoll. I’m glad to announce that Rachel Jae and Dane Hill are also involved and likely someone else soon, as well. However, our weekly assembly from August 3rd knocked us momentarily back to just we three for the night, as Dane and Rachel were out of town, filming a movie. We worked on only a handful of things, including the performance of a new song, completed only the night before. Keep in mind that these recordings are rough. Levels are not perfect. You can read descriptions of the surviving takes below.
“Family Affairs” – This is one I have been playing live for a while now. I’ve never been that great at nailing the chorus, vocally, and I did a piss poor job here. Plus my mic volume was too high and I was trying something different on the guitar than what I usually did at that part in the song. Each distracting. If you can suffer that, it’s all worth it for the gritty breakdown at the end.
“Single Politician” – This is a song I started several months ago and finished the night before this session. The girls picked it up really fast and the beat was just a straight and constant punch stolen from something else. Nothing fancy. Just a fun song. I posted these two different versions (of about eight) because they each have opposite strengths and weaknesses. On the first one, the vocals are better, but the lyrics have some mistakes and the omnichord and flute are not as present as they should be. On the second one, the vocals are a tad too loud and not always so tonal, but lyrically correct. The omnichord and flute are crisper. Take your pick.
“Untitled as Yet” – Another take of our new collaborative classic. This version is a bit grittier and clunky at times.
Recorded on August 4th, 2010
Katie Collins – omnichord, ukulele
Megan Driscoll – flute, omnichord, vocals
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals