Randomness 6.0

When a close group of friends all bust out in song and dance to The Mars Volta on a jukebox, you know it’s a good time. That really happened.

According to Blabbermouth.net, the Deftones are putting out an album of cover songs on vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day on April 16.

Between the turnout for Friday’s Denied and Underexposed art gallery event and yesterday’s packed parking lot for the River Region Rollergirls roller derby event,  it seems like Montgomery is developing a more eclectic taste for things to do. It’s nice that people are starting to support local events and try new things.

I now have a 45-adapter for my record player and finally got a chance to listen to Mogwai’s “Rano Pano” single (B-side “Hasenheide”) and the Daikaiju split 7″ with Abstract Artimus.  Both very good.

And I was able to try a Big Al’s IPA and an O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye over the weekend. Both of those are good.

No, I did not watch the Oscars.

Good news and bad news

First, the good news:

Last night I attended something that seemed different for Montgomery. The Denied and Underexposed Art Initiative had a showing last night, and while Montgomery has had art galleries and showings in the past, I don’t know if they have ever been on this large of a scale.

Montgomery, for a long time, has had a reputation for people complaining about having nothing to do and then not showing up for things that did happen. So I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout last night.

Some of my friends had some great, eye-catching pieces in there, and the event really showcased the great talent that Montgomery has.

Maybe things are turning around for the better. With the downtown redevelopment, the great artists and musicians working together instead of competing, I’m very optimistic about what could happen here.

Now for the bad news:

In late January, Hail the Titans played a venue in Ocean Springs called The Squeaky Lizard. We had a great time. Watch this video of us talking about the venue the very next day:

Well, one of the neighbors close to the venue is now complaining about the noise. The thing is, they are doing everything they can to accommodate this neighbor.

Before opening, they made sure the property was zoned for commercial and approved for live music by the city’s planning commission.

After the complaints started, they installed interior walls, added insulation, filled in air gaps in the building, sound-proofed the back doors and even started shows earlier to make sure any louder noises were before curfew hours.

According to a recent post by the venue owners, they even purchased a decibel meter which showed idling cars on the main road were louder at 100 feet away than the noise from the venue at 10 feet.

It’s a shame that when someone tries to bring good things to their community – in this case, a safe venue to showcase original music – someone tries to shut it down.

So you, even though you may not live anywhere near Ocean Springs, Miss., can help by signing this petition to help save original music in that Gulf Coast town:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/squeaky-lizard/

Please take a moment to sign it and send it to some friends that care about original music and positive community enhancement.

[Update]: Tomorrow, there is a roller derby event in Montgomery. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. at Looney’s on McGehee Rd. There will be skaters from the Auburn, Birmingham and Montgomery teams in a “mixed scrimmage.” Check out all the details on the Facebook event.

Random things that catch my attention

I use forms of the word “random” a lot. For the record, “a lot” is two words. Fact.

Yesterday, I got an email from Project Reason announcing their 2011 Video Contest winners. No, I did not submit anything, but last year’s videos were thought-provoking so I was interested to see this year’s winning entries.

The first place video is called “The New Tithe.” See it here:

And in a place that would probably be considered completely opposite of religion and philosophy, here is a website called “Anti Duckface” with the tagline “because no really, you look stupid.” The website gets a score of two enthusiastic fist bumps, or something like that.

I forgot…

As I began to type this, I realized that I forgot to send some notes to Wes.

See, last night we had a Hail the Titans band meeting (with coffee) to begin discussing album details – song titles, theme, artwork – all the various intricacies that go into releasing an album. The “planning stages,” if you will.

I was supposed to email some notes to Wes, and this was supposed to happen last night. So, Wes, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. Or “my bad.” I’ll get on that.

Once we get an album title and track listing, we’ll post it on our Facebook page (and I’ll probably be posting it here as well.) In the meantime, you can see more behind-the-scenes videos of our recording sessions and some live performance footage on our YouTube page.

I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited about the new City and Colour album coming out in June. It was announced yesterday, and the album art for “Little Hell” has been posted:

If you don’t know City and Colour, it’s the solo project of Alexisonfire front man Dallas Green (hence a city and a [King’s English spelling of] colour). His songwriting and his voice are both great, so be sure to check out his earlier stuff.

I remember purchasing his “Bring Me Your Love” album around the same time as Thrice’s “Beggars” album and having those rotate back and forth for weeks.

I have not posted much political stuff recently, but here is an interesting (and scary) editorial about what’s going on in Wisconsin: The War Against the Republic: The Battle of Madison.

National Margarita Day…

So yesterday was National Margarita Day apparently, and I had authentic Mexican food and a margarita.

I also think that if you have “National Margarita Day,” then the following day should be a “National Come Into Work Late Day” or something like that. Yes, it’s somewhat of a long name for a half-holiday, but it could still work.

Not that I overdid it last night or anything. No, really, I didn’t. Not even playing. Great… now you don’t believe me even though I’m telling… typing… the truth.

Moving on… the margarita was good. Terrapin’s “Wake and Bake” coffee oatmeal stout and Bar Harbor Cadillac Mountain stout are both good as well.

Ooh, also, I listened to the super-secret-mythological unmixed Hail the Titans album music yesterday to make editing/mixing notes.

…and more noise…

Yesterday was day 14 of the Hail the Titans recording sessions with Headless Dinosaur Recording. In the middle of song “Three,” there is a section of noise, just like live, except we got to mess around with a lot of stuff in the studio.

Adding to the first and second instrument posts, we can now add an alto saxophone and a whamola… or as we like to call it, the “Wes-ola.”

Here is a photo of the Wes-ola:

We ran the Wes-ola through my pedal board and into an Ampeg Jet II 1×12 combo amp. It can make some very cool sounds to say the least.

We began the recording last night with four simultaneous tracks – Adam on the Korg MS2000, Wes on the Ensoniq ESQ1, Trey on the Micro Korg, and I had a light theremin and a flashlight/laser pointer. Then came the Wes-ola, alto sax, and some random percussion. It’s a lot going on, and as of right now, song “three” has tied song “seven” at 46 recorded tracks. So again, Chris has a big mixing job ahead of him.

Coffee time.

Recording update

The time is currently 4:53 a.m.

The Hail the Titans album is almost done. At least the recording part of it. We should be finished by tonight. Then comes mixing and mastering.

On Jan. 28, I posted a preliminary instrument list, and now we have a couple more instruments to add: acoustic guitar and cell phones.

I’m rather sleepy since it’s now 5 a.m. More updates to come later. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Radiohead’s ‘Lotus Flower’ video, here you go. Enjoy. Happy Presidents Day.

Quick randomness

It’s currently Sunday night, just before the President’s Day holiday. Three fourths of Hail the Titans is here for day 13 of recording. Wes could not make it tonight, so we plan on him finishing his parts tomorrow.

Yesterday, we found out that Wes can cook. Yes, it’s true. If you thought Wes was just a really good bassist, you just learned something. He can throw down on a bass and in the kitchen.

If you didn’t know, Rogue Mocha Porter is a good beer. It is.

Also, Miss Pint Bottle Photography almost broke her thumb trying to save the bassist from The Raygun Administration (James, who helped engineer the Marsellus “Our Name in Lights” album… there’s some trivia for you) from stepping on a beer bottle. See, the bottle fell onto the stage as he was backing up, and apparently she tried to move the bottle out of the way. At that point, he unintentionally stepped on her hand (instead of the bottle), and to use her words, what followed was a “face plant.”

I did not witness these events first-hand, but I have seen the blue and purple shading on her thumb.

OK… recording time…

Post rock.

A lot of [really good] music these days seems to fall into this “post rock” category. Bands such as Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Pelican generally would fall into this category, it seems. I assume that means Hail the Titans might be classified here as well.

Deep Elm Records has been known to carry a lot of good stuff over the years, starting out as an emo label (when “emo” meant Sunny Day Real Estate instead of fashion and guys in girl jeans), then they began carrying more indie rock type stuff. But recently, they have been putting out a nice array of the “post rock” category.

In fact, to get a sampling of their post rock roster, they have released a sampler called “Postrockology” for free (and legal) download. It includes songs by Athletics, Moonlit Sailor, Moving Mountains, The Appleseed Cast, Dorena, The Cast Before the Break, Last Lungs, Goonies Never Say Die, I Am Sonic Rain, and Race Car Riot. It’s good stuff, and free, so you should check it out.

Also, speaking of post rock, the band Unwed Sailor is playing in Birmingham, Ala. at Bottletree tonight.

And if you haven’t heard, and you probably have so this will be redundant, Radiohead’s new album, which was set for digital release tomorrow, came out this morning. Check out TheKingOfLimbs.com to get it.

“History is made, not repeated”

The title of this post is from an Idlewild song called “I want a warning” from their “Warnings/Promises” album.

I’ve been on an Idlewild kick the past few days. (For the record, it’s not the movie soundtrack with Outkast; it’s a really good Scottish rock band.) Mainly, it’s been the above-referenced album and “The Remote Part” (a masterpiece, in my opinion.)

In other news, I was able to try a Sprecher IPA at El Rey Burrito Lounge in Montgomery last night. It was on tap, and the only IPA I see listed on their website is the “IPA2” (2 as in squared, not as in sequel), so I assume that’s the one. It was good. If you have no idea what I’m writing about, it’s a beer. A good beer.

And in absolutely terrible beer-related news, Free the Hops just posted that Olde Town Brewery in Huntsville is closing down. This is sad news as they had one of the most unique (and tasty) Pale Ales that I have ever tried. It almost had a sweet finish, which is not normal for a Pale Ale. This is sad news, very sad news indeed.