Thursday, July 30, 2009

Releasing the new EP

The record is done, mixed, just waiting for Krupa to send me the files so it can be posted on the website...

When Jeff got hurt in his motorcycle accident, we realized that the shows we had lined up were going to have to change. Either we had to cancel or fulfill our obligations as an acoustic duo of Brian & Nat. We've been down the road of temp players, and while we met some great people along the way, it's a hard road. So we took a chance and decided to make the acoustic duo format a viable version of Talking to Walls..

This EP is a culmination of those practices and a way for us to show ourselves that we could do this. Especially seeing as the title track from our last album, The Megan E.P., was an Irish punk rock song.

Years ago, before this band was capable of doing all the things it can do now, there was an earlier version of Talking to Walls. Some good friends of mine and I did some recording and put out a record and the song we were pushing was a hard rock tune called "Sleeping with the Enemy". All well and good, except for the fact that I was touring solo. Send a song out to radio stations and then not play the song live? That was a quick realization that the whole thing had to be a more complete package.

I have gone back and listened over the years to old show tapes from way back when I was starting out - before this band, and even in it's earliest inceptions - and I wince when I hear what I was doing. Every musician has those tapes. Recording "A Long Stilt Walk" live and acoustic in the studio is as much a step forward as it is a look back at how things all started - a song and a guitar. I'm so happy to have been able to do this - as raw as it is, it's a testament to growth. And I know that, as far as I'm concerned, my part of the growing would never have happened if it weren't for some people who have become very good friends of mine, who had the patience to let me do what I needed to do. And as proof positive that this is a BAND and not some overbearing Brian Kelly Project, I barely write half the songs anymore. And the ones I do I don't consider mine, especially with how much they change when I bring them in to the group.

I couldn't be happier about that fact.

-Brian Kelly
Bridgeport, July 30

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day Two of recording - and it's a wrap!

Today was a good day. I hung around the the house for a bit just kinda taking care of some things and an errand or two, and spent the rest of the day, when not mixing, hanging around on the patio reading a new-ish Bradbury novel and had some red wine left over from a party the other night. Can't let those things sit and go to waste!

For a quick little record this thing is taking a little longer than expected. We didn't cut as many songs as we would have liked, but we got a decent number of them. And we're giving it away for free, so people will still be getting their $0 worth, to quote a late 1990's Bob Whelan from Angry Salad. I've mixed about half the songs, so we're probably looking at another day of work to finish everything and put it out there.

We had some sound problems due to a battery yesterday, so between that and having to redo another song in order to have the new arrangement done properly, it took us most of the session today to catch up to where we were yesterday, ironically enough. And while we did things a few more times than we were planning, the end result is that Nat and I know the songs a lot better now before we go on the road.

Which was really half the purpose of this exercise anyway.

Ok, time to call it a night. Early mornings are killing me, and tomorrow is the warm-up show for the tour at SoNo Caffeine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Long Stilt Walk (but shorter than last summer)

Tonight marks the beginning of a new record. It's going to be a quick EP that Nat and I are recording live in the studio, essentially being done as we practice for the tour as an acoustic duo. Couple of passes at each song and done. This will be in stark contrast to the attempts at audio Olympics that we performed last summer.

Our man Kurt, who has directed music videos for us in the past, happened to be in town. As is usually the case, he hears one of our songs and starts throwing out arrangement ideas that are great and usually stick. He's sorta like the 5th band member who just has too many committments to stay for the long haul. He's told us that instead he lives vicariously through us. Actually, an old band of mine played with an old band of his back back back in the day. Since we're doing these live with no overdubs, Kurt also sat in for some backing vocals and handclaps to round things out.

Anyway tonight we made it through 5 songs. Might have to re-do one of them because a dying battery in Nat's guitar pickup made for some bad sounds and we didn't catch it until too late. What did we do?

We Were Not So Tall
New England
Fine Man
Song for Megan
Take Me Home

We're doing some songs from our upcoming record, some from our last album "The Megan E.P.", and who knows, maybe something from "Naked".

I'll try to post some video tomorrow.

See, this is how we're doing it live - with a baffle in between us so we can be just a couple of feet apart and get that live vibe, but still recording with proper isolation. We are scientists, gosh darn it!