Here I am, picking up five copies of our test pressing from MRP earlier in the week. (Also had the opportunity to catch up with Catrina Maria, which is always a pleasure.) I’m pointing to a line on the sticker that says, “For Your Approval.” As I mentioned elsewhere, that’s a much better title than we came up with. A much better title than up with we came? Stupid preposition …
And here we see the secret message in the runout groove, inspired by a line in one of our songs – and Mr. Bond’s enthusiasm for said line.
Finally, here I am (not pictured) with Back to the Light’s J.D. Reager (not pictured) at the Memphis Listening Lab, blasting our test pressing. Good news, bad news: it sounds great and we are good to go for completing our order; unfortunately it’s not likely to happen until the end of July.
It probably doesn’t seem like it, but much has been happening the last month or so. A new album requires a lot of behind-the-scenes hard work by a lot of talented people.
After a few rounds of notes, engineer Matt Ciani finished his killer mixes on March 1, and then producer J.D. Reager sent those to Jacob Church for mastering. Masters came back March 7 sounding amazing, so we set the wheels in motion for vinyl production at Memphis Record Pressing.
Vinyl masters were handed off last Friday to Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl to cut lacquers. Next up, a test pressing!
I should also mention that I’ve been working with graphic designer Ronnie Lewis for cover art. He tells me we’ll have something to look at later this week. I’m excited!
We’re mixing now, which is the fine-tuning part of recording an album. How loud should the drums be, where in the mix should background vocals be panned, how many songs should include the count off? We don’t know either!
As promised, we were back at rhythm guitars and solos yesterday. And Stan’s Donuts. Left-to-right, it’s little old me; swell guy, engineer, and Frogg (sic) Mountain owner John Forbes; guitarist extraordinaire Kram Nika; and our lovely and talented producer J.D. Reager. We got a metric crap-ton of work done this trip, and I completely forgot how much I like Chicago.
Also, if you’ve ever stayed at the Aloft Hotel downtown and spent an inordinate amount of time wondering who that guitarist is sharing the stage in the giant photo of Mick and Keef (as you approach the elevators), I’ve done the legwork for you. Meaning I’ve asked Facebook friends way more knowledgeable than I.
Cheapskates owner Ron Hale talks about all the young whippersnappers who used to frequent his shop. Among them, a teen-aged Subteen Mark Akin. Chris McCoy, the director of Antenna, originally posted this at Live From Memphis, which is now deceased. I re-post it here for your pleasure.
While we were making Antenna, we discovered that we have many more stories to tell than we can fit into one movie. So we decided to make short films of some of the best of the stories to share with the world. We call these Antenna Singles.
In this single, we talk to Ron Hale about Cheapskates, his shop where skateboarding and punk rock have come together for 27 years. Cheapskates is where many Memphis musicians discovered punk, and it’s still around today.