Tuesday

As you may recall, we've been working in the studio the last few weeks getting started on the third full-length Liza & the WonderWheels record. I have a vision for this album of working quickly and fluidly - and it jives with the title which Yes we have, and No I don't like to tell until closer to release. We're taking advantage of the precision and obsession a modern pro tools studio allows, but mostly trying to catch the lightening with energetic takes and a lot of fun in the sessions. Things were going pretty well: I know the nine songs that will make up the album, and we've got very good basic tracks for four of them. One is all but finished until final mixing, and we were getting our momentum of working on recording, finding that space of concentration + wildness = rock. Now, come to think of it, I've had about 95% of all my recording experiences, and both our first two records were done at Wombat Studios on Dean Street in Brooklyn. I don't feel stuck there, but definitely comfortable, and there's no better $ to ear quality ratio in all of NYC than with our friend the Wombat as engineer. As an owner-operated studio it's a small organization - sometimes we can't get the exact time or day we might want - but we're always able to make it work, and I know what the system there is capable of and that is goodness, yes indeed. So yeah, things were going pretty well... until the unfortunate Wombat bike accident. That's right, poor ole Womat managed to wrap his bike around a pole, in the middle of the Manhattan bridge, no less, and now poor Wombat is broken! Broken, but not beyond repair, thankfully, although he has to have surgery on Friday to mend his broken collar-bone, so he's home and achy and if you want to cheer him up you can send him a get-well-soon message via here. So imagine my surprise when I received a call from him last Friday - a mere six days post accident - saying that if we didn't mind coming in for just a few hours that he'd rather work on the 11th as we planned and take his mind off being broken and sprained and contused. We had the honor of being his first session back at work, and we took it pretty easy: laying down my rhythm guitar part on "After Last Night" and getting started on some of Ian's guitar on that song. I'm really happy with the feel on this song. I'm playing more of an acoustic-strummy guitar part than you might expect, but I think it's going to work in the end. Now I have to flash-freeze on the project, but just until after Thanksgiving. Then we've got lots of time reserved to dig into vocals and guitars and the rest of the songs for the album, and hopefully Wombat will be all better soon! No chronicle of recent fun recording experiences would be complete without mentioning the "In This Life" sessions with Plastic Beef. They started out weird: embellishing a song that I wasn't feeling at first. Then we discovered a Grace Slick-ish counterpoint part for the choruses, and by the second evening working on the song we were in full-blown sillies, cracking up as we added what turned out to be an extremely cool backing part for around minute seven of the song: us four marching feet and chanting "The People, The People." A socialist prog-ballad!

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