Category Archives: The-Dailies

The Dailies Tracking Week

Hey howdy.  

So, Erica and I are taking the week, having shipped off our kids, and are trying to finish up the vocals on this record.  I’ve been sorta live-blogging all day, and I’m about to upload a little of the fruit of our labor.  

Here’s a link!  www.thedailiesmusic.com

P.S.  Oh and comment you stingy lurkers!  :)

Cheers!

Mike’s Science Project

So… I love that Bobby put up his link.  I think everyone should just regularly link everyone else to all the cool, creative stuff they’re doing.  I love that.  

Over at our site, I posted a little summin’ summin.  I think some of you would enjoy reading it / hearing it.  

As usual, I will force you to go over there, but I have a purpose in this.  Back in the day, (February) if you googled “The Dailies,” you’d find us on like… oh… the 12th page.  In the Googleverse, this is the same as death.  

But now… we fluctuate between #3 and #5, just behind the wikipedia page for “Dailies” and just in front of some chick from NYC who shoots some moderately disturbing erotic pictures.  

So, off we go to manipulate The Googleverse!  This one’s cool.  Go check it out.  There’s a cool story about Mike and how he’s smart and cool and stuff, and there’s even audio!  

6 Things I Love About Overdubs

The bass and drums are all tracked, 80% of the primary keyboard and guitar parts are in place, now we’re getting to the fun stuff. Overdubs. Corey and I will get to go back into the songs and layer in the secondary parts, small fills, and ear candy jangles. Here’s why I love this part of the process:

  1. You’re playing to songs, not just to charts. By the time the bass and drums are locked, there’s already a full song there. You’re building on a foundation that already feels great.
  2. It’s highly creative. Innovative ideas is the point – you get to come up with, try, abandon, and recycle ideas very quickly, with instant feedback.
  3. We get to play against each other. Corey and I have enough time spent playing together that we have a sense of what the other person will do with a certain section of music. We play our parts, but we also get to play gaps into the arrangement where we know the other person will drop in something amazing.
  4. 1929 Steinway Piano, Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer, Dirty 76 Suitcase Rhodes, Clean 88 Suitcase Rhodes – this is an old school record. I love playing these keyboards.
  5. On some tunes, it’s the bed tracks, bass and drums, that deliver the song (on this record, “Feel Good”), but often, it’s the perfect overdub part that just makes you lean back and go “Aaahh” (Check out Corey’s guitar chime on “A Sovereign Nation Sleep Beside Me”).
  6. You get to do science experiments – setup instruments in odd ways, amp and mic them awkwardly, play them in unconventional ways, hoping to get a spark of something amazing and creative. Chad gave me 20 minutes to chase down a rabbit trail on “Kiss Us Goodbye” that ended up being a fantastic science experiment. It involved palm-muted and plucked piano strings, slammed lids, tapped harmonics, getting overtones to speak across a group of held sostenuto pedal notes. The end result barely sounds like a piano, but it is awesome.

45 minutes of freedom

Today I am breaking the silence. I find myself at 4:15 in the afternoon with forty-five minutes until my first student arrives.  The voice inside my head is asking, “what do you want to do with the  next 45 minutes?”  This is a question which circumstances very rarely allow to even come to the forefront of my brain.  I won’t go into the reasons why that is…I will just say…mother of two children by day and wannabe rock-star by night. Look out Hannah Montana!  I looked over at the empty desk where Chad is usually parked in front of the computer.  I sat down.  I logged in.  And a brilliant idea occurred to me.  I should blog!  That may sound silly for most of you seeing as blogging is as much a part of your daily routine as drinking coffee in various forms is a part of mine.  Anyhoo…here I am.

What to blog about….the first thought that came to my mind was to share about a moment I had this week while preparing for the recording process.  So, here goes.  Many of you may not know this, but Chad and I have intentionally set up a process in our household with the express purpose of giving him time to write songs.  It goes like this…I wake up on Monday morning and plan some insane activity/day-trip for the kids, thereby getting the house completely empty for Chad to create his art.  Some of these activities have included Disneyland trips, trips via Amtrak to Santa Barbara. trips to the Getty, trips to the beach, etc.  It has been affectionately named, “Monday Fun-day.”  Well, since all of these trips involve me, by myself, with two children under the age of 5, at the end of Monday Fun-day, I am completely wiped out.  Chad is equally exhausted from the “pulling-from-the-void” that is the songwriting process.  So…we put the kiddos to bed, Chad plays me what he is working on, I make dinner, and we park it on the couch to check our brains at the door of some form of entertainment, be it TV, a movie…you get the drift.  I tell you all of this to get to my point, I promise!

So two days ago it becomes apparent to me that, during the upcoming recording session, I am going to have to sing the band  through one of the songs that Chad has written for my voice.  The song is entitled “The Tide” and it is a song that was born awhile back during a much needed, night away at the Hotel Del Coronado.  We came up with the music of the song together, but Chad had written the lyrics on his own in the weeks that followed. Keep in mind, I have been listening to these tunes over and over on my ipod, but, as we all know, listening is quite different from singing.  So…he lays into the piano part, gives me the intro and I start singing it for the first time.  I barely made it halfway through the first chorus before I started weeping.  Puzzled, Chad looked up from the piano.  All I could say in that moment was, “It’s so beautiful.”  The lyrics, the melody, the way he seemed to get inside my head, connecting with my soul and writing a song that I could communicate to an audience…not to mention that fact that he wrote a song specifically for me to sing. I was so overwhelmed.  

I am sharing this because I want to express to my appreciation.  I want to give props where props are due.  Many times I would come home from “Monday Fun-day” and listen to Chad’s “work for the day”, and I would treat it as less than it really deserved to be treated.  These songs are special.  You’ll know what I mean the minute one of them manages to pierce the shell of the mundane and hit right at the core of the soul.

Well..my 45 minutes is up.  Happy blogging!

dailies new book

We’re looking for a publisher for our new book: How to Strongly Disagree With Musical Decisions Made By Your Friend, Who Is Also The Producer, And the Artist, And the Songwriter, and Still All Be Cool With Each Other, Like Grown Adults

Catchy!

Childlike Giddiness Vs. Adult Professionalism

Giddiness

It’s funny how the experience changes after one time through it and two years time inbetween. The rush of terror and giddiness hasn’t hit me like it did last time. The hyper surreal nature of the studio environment, the competence of Chris, the engineer, the sounds coming at me don’t sound like the heavens opening up like they did last time.

This is what our band sounds like. My ears are tuned into it this time. Part of me misses that sense of wide-eyed wonder that I think we all had last time, but another part of me is reveling in the fact that it’s not there. The fact that it doesn’t feel like some glorious, new, otherworldly experience means that our experiences had all collectively grown richer, and more complex, in the last 24 months. We feel like it’s wholly appropriate that we’re there, doing what we’re doing.

Adding Dana (our bass player) has been a massive part of this transition, for me. Last time, in addition to the rush of the studio, I also had the rush of being a total noob swimming with the big sharks. After a take, I’d poke my head up and ask… “How was it?” Now, I just apply my ears to that task, without having to split my attention.

In one way, it makes me feel less connected to the creative experience, instead spending the majority of my time coaching and criticizing the performances of players whose abilities far exceed my own.

On the other hand, I realized that my mind is a musical instrument. As Erica and I have worked on and shaped these songs, our own creativity and musicianship has been exercised long before a single 1 or 0 hits the hard drive in Pro Tools.

I find this reality somehow less “sexy” then having the guitar in my hand or the keys under my fingers, because I think in reality, I’m far more competent at writing and producing then I am at actually playing. It was the fact that we threw ourselves SO far outside our safety zone last time that produced those wondrous feelings. I can tell you with utmost certainty, however, that I’ll trade childlike giddiness for professional achievement of any day of any week.

The product from yesterday FAR outstrips what we accomplished the first day of last week. The sounds are tighter, fatter, simpler, and better. This is going to be a superior recording, one that we are excited to share with anyone who will listen.

Infectious

Wedding videography pays the bills. Impatient brides and reluctant grooms. Tired ideas and cheesy music. But the opportunity to shoot The Dailies during their sophomore stint in the studio, is re-lighting some creative fires that I thought were long extinguished. Watching the band work, I see there’s no need (or time) to use full sentences. They revert to a language only known to musicians and engineers. It’s like the songs won’t wait for an explanation – they’re coming out, and you best be quick to capture them. 

The creativity is infectious, and the method is courageous. 

new fav

Groceries Schmoceries...buy art instead!

This is my new favorite piece. It’s from the show I just had. It’s called “Hymn.” Whoever guesses the hymn to which I’m referring wins the chance to buy a piece that didn’t sell at the show. Only 87 entries per person please.

The Grown-Up Blues

 

Sing it with me now… ready?

Daah do daht dooh da dah — Woke up this mo’nin’
Daah do daht dooh da dah — ‘Bout 9am
Daah do daht dooh da dah — My girl made a smoothie
Daah do daht dooh da dah — Thought about goin’ to the gym

Daah do do da dah (to the V) — My printer needed ink
Daah do do do dat (to the IV) — I wish I knew why
Dah do dat da dat (the walkup) — So instead we decided to run to Best Buy

I got the grown-up blues…
I got the grown-up blues…
I think I forgot how to party
I got the grown-up blues

This morning, Erica looked at me other and said.. while jogging.. “Look at us, we’re actually running our errands. We’re the worst rock stars, ever.”

I give it 3 days without kids for us to find our mojo in the wee hours. :)