Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Illustrious Career Of Nick Krill, Famous Musician and Mix Master of Our Album

PHOTO : Mr. Flom and Mr. Krill sing for pizza and beverages, State College, PA 2008, taken by G. Lohse

If you don't know, how it works in music is: you make an album in your house (hopefully you have some instruments and some songs and a tape deck with "REC" function) and then you get them to sound as good as possible and then you send it to Sony. But wait! What if it still sounds like junk after all that hard work? Well, what you do then is you get Nick Krill to take your album and work real hard on it for a while and then it will sound Just Terrific.

And if you're anything like me, then Nick Krill used to live upstairs from where you made your album. He doesn't live there anymore (we've turned his room into an aquarium), but when he did it was pretty great because he was able to mix the entirety of The Farthest Shore and I didn't have to go anywhere except up some stairs in order to tell him to turn up my guitar. And he really did do an amazing job; if you ever heard the original mixes that I did of these songs you would run out of the dance club screaming your head off.

So I asked Mr. Krill to talk about some of the projects he has worked on over the course of his career in Music. Of course, Nick is known the world over (and over) for being in The Spinto Band, but here we'll focus on his yeoman work as recordist, engineer, and mixer.
Thus below are the words of NK, discussing (in chronological order) his Adventures in Sound:

The Rude Staircase "Sookie Jump" - engineer
i helped engineer this album way back in college. i met the singer, lynn, through mutual friends and ended up helping with almost all of the overdubs and some of the basic tracking...all in a combination of studios ranging from college stairwells to the wonderful inner ear recording. it was a pretty great experience for a youngster because the band would give me instructions like, "i want this vocal to sound like a half inch tall person is singing it inside your ear canal."

Walker Lundee "40 Love" - co-producer, engineer
these guys are a really fun pop outfit that invited me to share an amazing warehouse space in philadelphia. the recording space also had a skate ramp in it, and between takes i learned how to ride a half-pipe....although i never made it more that about halfway up the dog-gone ramp.

The Teeth "You're My Lover Now" - mixing
rest in peace teeth. it was an honor to work with these fellas. all of this was mixed in the drummer jonas' spare bedroom. when i was done mixing we packed up the whole mini mobile studio into his roommates thirty year old VW beetle and drove it back to my house.

And the Moneynotes "new cornucopia" - mixing
one of scranton PA's finest. this was a lot of fun to mix because while the skeletons of the songs and nice old time rock n' roll tunes or odd sailor type chants and gypsy music, the songs had a great deal of odd ball sounds going every which way. it was also interesting, and sometimes challenging to mix as the style of recordings varied
from song to song. some were live on a four track, some were built up with overdubs, some were the whole band pounding away as a full group.

The Minor White "Old Theatrics" - producer, engineer, mixer
another great scranton group. these fellas are an amazing stew of the beatles, wilco, and television. seeing as the aesthetic of all these groups have all been an influence on my recording ears at one time or another it was really fun to make some recordings influenced by all three.

National Eye - "The Farthest Sewer" - mixing
hey rick, remember when you emailed this to me asking if i wanted to rent a room in your house: "You'd probably end up producing our next album just because you'd be there." dreams do come true. i was able to hear a lot of these songs while they were recorded and rehearsed as they seeped up through the floor boards and heating ducts. when i finally heard the full versions blare over my loudspeakers i was on cloud nine. kind of crazy....the music was played in the basement, recorded on the first floor, and mixed on the third floor.....good effort house.

And good efforts, all, to you, Nick. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
P.S. I only had to edit one thing in Nick's portion of this post: he called our album "The Fartest Shore." I have to admit, this is a problem with the title I never anticipated, but I expect this won't be the last time that happens.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Free Farthest Shore Streaming Album Player Is Here

And stream, stream, stream it does, like a mountain stream. Or like a mountain lion, if you prefer.

In other words, if you haven't found it within you to purchase the album by National Eye called The Farthest Shore -- if you're still uncertain that it will be the dynamondo-est listening experience you'll have this whole year (whale songs excepted), then you can dip your toes into it with this lovely thing which plays the whole album and shows you some neat pictures and looks deep down into your blouse -- all for the price of nothing!


Thanks and compliments are owed to Corey Watson for the layout and techwork. Cash and favors are owed to Jeff Love for the artwork.

Oh also: I'm excited to get back to blogging. I threw out my shoulder and my pencil last furlough and haven't had a chance to talk about a great many things. Needles to say, NE is firing on all (four thousand seven hundred fifty twelve) cylinders, recording and laughing, and much news is to come. See you then.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Lope

Here's the letter Rick included with the first version of the rough album he mailed to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Call Off The Revolution! Everything's Cool! Plus: Another Demo of a TFS Song from the NE Lab's Rubbish Bin

In the final days leading up to this presidential election that just happened, I received word from a reliable source that not only were the bad guys going to win, they were going to loot and pillage and spray shaving cream all over our stuff in a last-ditch power-grab, coup d'etat bonzo doo-da deal so ferociously ruthless that it would have taken nothing less than a Superman-style reverse-planet-spin to undo.

What I'm talking about is not merely an old man assuming the presidency, but a steely-eyed repudiation of liberty itself by forces hitherto unimagined in this nation. So I did what any sane person would do, I took to the mountains. Not to escape, mind you, but to regroup and fortify and launch the effort to reclaim freedom. And also to hike:

Well, you can imagine my relief when I stopped in the General Store at the foot of Mt. Foom (for supplies: eggs, milk, "fruit leather," paper towels) and saw a newspaper that said "GOOD PREVAILS" and so we excitedly packed our stuff and headed on back to the city.

Which is why posting has been light. Needless to say we're all thrilled to have found ourselves in this new age of hope and palpable relief, even if running around the woods with dogs and waterfalls is pretty nice. But it's time to ENGAGE, and the only place to do that is back at NEHQ in Philadelphia. Which is where this demo of Eva the Atom-Smasher was recorded way, way back.

Many of you know this song in the key of D (as it is on the album) but this one's in E flat. For you non-music scholars, that means I had a capo on the guitar for no discernible reason other than to make it slightly more difficult to play on most instruments.

Enjoy, and don't forget these fun demos for Several Beaches and Effortless Plane from past excursions into the Land of Lazy Low Fidelity.

(Rugged Mountain Man Picture credit: Gretchen Lohse)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tom Cruise Inspired By National Eye Song

This movie was inspired by the song "Abwehr" from National Eye's album "Roomful of Lions".