Recording Journals: The Making of the No Schedule Man CD

Recording Journal Volume 13: “In The Ballpark”

By September 22, 2009No Comments

The last couple of sessions have been spent mostly on two songs: “Bagley Avenue” and “No Schedule Man.” One was already “in the ballpark.”

The other was a train wreck.

First, inside the ballpark.

Though I was initially pleased with Bagley, in the time since, it hadn’t felt completely right to me. I got the thought last week that perhaps the piano could start the song with some “block” chords rather than the arpeggio guitar part. In my mind, it sounded good, so I suggested it to KG. At the suggestion, we had as close to what I’d call an argument as we’ve ever had, and even at that it wasn’t much of a disagreement. He just didn’t feel the song needed a change. I wasn’t completely sure either, but I felt we needed to at least give it a try.

The results were inconclusive. We ended up putting the piano chords in along with the original guitar part. Tinkering for the sake of tinkering? We’ll let it sit for a week or two and see how we feel about it then.

The next time we were together, we spent the whole time on “No Schedule Man.” I tried to like what we’d done with it weeks ago, but it just wasn’t working for me. KG’s thought was to turn it into a bit of a shuffle but the percussion didn’t feel right and the bass line felt too flowery for what is really just a simple, straight-ahead, jangly song. Instead, it was a train wreck of a song. Once again, we came as close to arguing as we ever have. I was adamant that we ditch what we had. KG resisted at first. Then I made matters worse by imploring that we needed to “dumb it down” more.

We talked about the bass line. I felt a “walking” bass line was too distracting and that, if there was bass in the song at all, it should be a “dum-dum-dum-dum-dum” AC/DC or ZZ Top-type line. Kev didn’t seem sold on that. So, we played the song together. And then we played it again. And again. And then again, until I was sick of the damn thing. But in the process, I think we found the song again.

I re-cut the ghost for the guitar and KG took several takes to put a piano part on that he liked. At the end of it all, we felt a lot better about the progress of the song. In fact, KG left the session thinking that we should leave the song with just guitar, piano and voice; just the way we perform it live. And maybe we will. You never know.

In between, Kev finished a hilarious song (“I Won’t Sell Our Love on Ebay”) that is part of a promotion the FM 96 radio morning show. Chris “Taz” George (morning show co-host) wrote the lyrics to the song and Kev put the music together. The results are hilarious. They’re going to unveil it on the air Friday morning, and Kev and my pal Jeff (one of my partners with CPT) are going to be on hand. Should be fun. Perhaps we’ll post the song somewhere soon. If we do, I’ll let you know.

Aside from that, KG and I had fun joking about the evil “Descendo” (a story I may tell when we hit the road to promote the CD … if we ever finish it) and watching YouTube comedy videos from Rodney Dangerfield, Steve Martin and Ron White. We also split our sides laughing at a couple of classic videos of horrible bands doing horrific versions of “The Final Countdown” and “Iron Man,” respectively. Good laughs though.

Otherwise, I’m biting my nails while the Tigers try not to completely choke away a 7-game division lead; I’m enjoying the fact that my boys seem to be into “Star Wars” now; I had a total blast with my family last weekend at the local Fair; and I can’t quite get into my latest book, the James Patterson novel “Pop Goes the Weasel.” I’ve had a good run with Patterson and his Alex Cross novel, but after I slog through this one, I think it’s time for something different.

At the moment, it’s Tigers 5, Indians 2. All is right with the world.

For the moment.

– Kevin

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