Saturday, March 29, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Takeshi, Michio and Enju from the Boris camp came to the show. It was cool seeing them. I just wish they were on the bill as well.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Japan! It is permitted to smoke in bars and restaurants but apparently not on the street. These signs appear up and down one of the main streets in Nagoya. Weird.
Ate breakfast at McDonalds this morning. Quite different from New York. Comfortable armchairs and a baseball game on the TV. I sat there for 45 minutes, can't last 45 seconds at Mickey D anywhere else.
Dinosaur played at Club Quattro in Nagoya last night. It's a real good club. The sound system has lots of juice. The band was great as always. All the gear is rented here and it's good quality stuff, unlike some other places. Japan is just a cool.
Two shows in Tokyo, Wednesday and Thursday. J is a big star here. Kids stop him continually on the street and ask for autographs. Rock on dude.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Just arrived in Osaka for the Dinosaur Jr week long Japanese tour. Flew over with J,took us 26 hours door to hotel. I slept for most of the flight which was a miracle. Japan rules. Had a production meeting with the Japanese crew. The stage manager is Sasha, an old school dude who knew what I meant when I said Dino sets up like Grand Funk Railroad. He had full specs for all the clubs we are playing. I don't remember getting that before. Hoping that Boris will come the the Tokyo shows.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This is Murph, drummer for Dinosaur Jr. A truly unique and great drummer. He thinks we are all descendants of space aliens and has a theory to back it up. He may be right, I don't know. I do know that Dunkin' Donuts coffee is now better than Starbucks coffee. For a fever vision of what Murph might have become had he not met J and Lou, go to :
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Patch bay at Mercury Lounge. Hard to see I know but my camera sucks. I wish every club had this rack. It's just really good. Midas pre amps, Drawmer gates and comps, 4 DBX 160x, Focusrite stereo comp. I worked there last night, filling in for Kevin the regular guy. It's a pleasure working there as is working at any of the Bowery Presents venues. They are a sound engineers dream. Lots of thought and care goes into the PA and the rooms. No wonder they get all the good shows in New York.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The one and only Fast Eddie from Motorhead and Fastway. This was taken last summer at a concert in Hyde Park. Eddie had gotten Fastway back together for a few shows. He was the only original member but hey that's all you need. They sounded great.
After the Fastway set J Mascis and I were walking around and ended up by Eddie's dressing room. J is a big fan. We asked his manager if he would mind talking to us. Eddie came out, seemed a bit oblivious and asked if we were there to see Aerosmith, also on the bill that day. I blurted out "No Fast Eddie we're here to see you"(we were there, I guess, because we got in free, didn't know Fastway was playing). Well, sometimes flattery will get you somewhere. Eddie brightened up and we had a great chat. He and J talked about guitars and pedals and amps. I gossiped with him about Dave, the original Fastway singer who I know from his current band Flogging Molly. It was a nice moment. Fast Eddie rules!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I just watched No Country For Old Men which was filmed partly in Marfa , Texas. I was in Marfa last fall with Boris. The local movie house is pictured above. I don't have anything new and interesting to talk about so I'll tell you about Marfa.
Marfa is located in west Texas, near the Mexican border. As far as I could tell the two biggest organizations in town are the Border Patrol and the Donald Judd art facility. I hate to call it a gallery or museum, it's located on an old WW2 army base, and it is big. Marfa is not your usual wind blown small town. It is full of galleries, artists and their support troops, New York City on the Rio Grande.There are also some kind of unexplained lights that that show up in the sky at night. If you are really interested in how it got this way, google Donald Judd.
Anyway, Boris had a show booked there. Some arts group (very nice folks) arranged it. They do the occasional concert, mostly stuff like Terry Allen, art country. We pulled up to the venue and it's this real old, cool building, kinda like a garage. They told us to back the trailer right on up to the stage. I'm starting to like this. We loaded right on to the stage, set up, sound checked, cool. One of the promoters casually says " I hope the roof doesn't cave in,we've never had a band as loud as you guys here before". There was an awful lot of dust floating down us. I'm liking this better all the time.
Show time comes and there's about 150 people in the place . A bunch of hipsters show up and I ask the house engineer what's up with that. He says they are all trust fund refugees from New York, LA and Austin. Going country for a while. Jeez, Williamsburg on the Rio Grande.
Boris starts and within 5 minutes all the circuit breakers blow, every amp down and the air is filled with dust. We get the power back up and 10 minutes later, gone again. This goes on all night. Annoying, but the crowd doesn't seem to mind much. They are drinking lots of beer.
The crowd is pretty mixed, artists,hipsters a few cowboys, some town kids and about 10 guys down front going crazy. These guys are slamming like it was an Agnostic Front show. They get rougher as the show goes on. Towards the end a fight breaks out that looks pretty bad. This woman who writes grant proposals for the organization that booked the show breaks it up. She was awesome, kickin' butt in high heels.
Show ends and were standing around the stage talking and find out that during the fight a kid got half his ear bit off. Somebody just happened to look down at that moment and...saw the piece of ear. Nasty looking, dirty and covered in beer. We put it in on ice and someone took it to the kids hotel.
Well, we backed the trailer up to the stage loaded out and went back to the hotel. Cops and paramedics are there dealing with the kid who got bit. After they left, this guy comes over with his head all bandaged and tells us he's the one missing the ear. The hospital is like three hours away so he's not going to bother to try to get it fixed. Then he takes off his jacket and asks the band to sign it. He's on and on about how he love Boris and drove 12 hours from Dallas to see them and he doesn't give a damn about his ear. Gotta love him and Marfa. The weirdest show on the tour. The roof held.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
You are looking at David Scheid, Dinosaur Jr tour manager (well, last year he was). He just lived through a 5.2 earthquake in Japan. That must be big, his hotel was swaying. David is on tour with Broken Social Scene who are from Canada. I wonder if he's getting paid in Canadian dollars. They are worth more than the US dollar. He could make a bundle on the foreign exchange market if he is. Dave lives in LA so eventually he will need greenbacks. Probably no time for high finance on the tour though. The band is like 16 people or maybe even more. Probably takes an hour and a half just to give out the per diems every day. If he's handing out weak US dollars it probably takes two.
Here's a picture from another interesting mix position. That's J Mascis' feet you're looking at. The gig was in Aspen, outside at the bottom of a hill. The sound rental company didn't really want to put FOH in front of the house. Too cold or something. That's ok, I can mix from the side of the stage. Then J put up his Twin Reverb stack and all I could see was his feet (sometimes) and a bit of Murph, the drummer. Now, I pull down J's vocal mic when he is not singing. So, I watch him to make sure the vocal is back up when he starts singing again. I was just going to leave the mic up for the whole show but I realized I could just watch his feet as he moved off and on the mic and know what to do when. Actually,I realized I had heard the songs so many times I didn't really need to see anything, my fingers remembered. Nice!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Something I meant to mention. After the Knitting Factory show we left our gear in the club overnight. Went to get it the next afternoon and as we are loading the trailer this kid comes up and asks us what band we are with. We tell him. He's excited and says he's listening to the new album, Smile, at that very moment. We look at him and say dude, it's is not out yet. He gives us a sort of uh oh look. We assure him it's ok and we're glad he likes the album. Kinda weird. The band wasn't mad but I could tell that they were a little disheartened. They had just spent a week giving interviews and playing showcase gigs to generate interest in the release. They were spending their own money to do this and hoped that they would break even on this promo tour. Their label, Southern Lord, is not some huge conglomerate. They are a great independent label that does well by working with cool edgy bands who have a good following and they need to sell cd's to stay in business. The owners are musicians themselves.
So, to the kid who we talked to, go out and buy Smile. It's not gonna be that expensive, $12 maybe. Buy the cd or vinyl, it's gonna sound a lot better than that crappy mp3 you are listening to now. And it will help out the band.
Just finished the New York leg of the Boris tour. Show was Tuesday night at Knitting Factory. Tomas, the tour manager and I spent many hours assembling the gear from various places in New York. Most of it is kept in a loft in Sunset Park Brooklyn. We have to bring it from the elevator through the tire shop pictured above. The guys who run the shop are very cool, they helped us load in and out.
The show at the knit went well, way sold out. I've never really liked mixing at Knitting Factory, never satisfied in the past. This gig was good though, easy to mix. The house engineer, Jason, is always very helpful and he knows that room like nobody else.
Next round is Dinosaur Jr in Japan. I'm looking forward to that! Boris is trying to get on the shows as opening band. I hope they do, that would be a great bill. I wish Larry Palm, Gods guitar tech , was coming with us.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Just got back to New York. Spent Friday and Saturday in Bergen, Norway. That's Atsuo Boris drummer rocking out.
Boris did a gig at an arts festival there, which was good. It was in a dance theatre (other pic) They brought in a nice PA and a good crew. The FOH position was about 6 feet in front of the band, first row (it was a seated show), at the insistance of the opening band engineer. The band was set up on the stage floor. Not really the optimum spot to mix but I gotta say it was interesting. I don't think I have ever been that close to a band I was mixing. I could really follow what the band was doing. I could see where on the guitars their hands were. Boris were playing a bunch of new songs and I was really able to get a good feeling for them, just by being able to see everything they did up close. Kind of hard on the ears though.
We used a backline provided by Nomads of Prague. Boris' tour manager also works for them.
The gear was top notch. Tomas is one of the best tour managers I've worked with. A very cool guy and very good at what he does.
Norway seems a very melancholy place, rainy and grey but very pretty, I think. Must appeal to the Irishman in me.
Boris is playing Knitting Factory here in New York on Tuesday. Can't wait, they are a blast to mix.