Archive for the 'Taping' Category

Explosions in the Sky – Crocodile Cafe

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Over the past three years I’ve gone to about six concerts and I didn’t record any of those. Showed up late, had some beers, left early sometimes; a stark contrast to my previous habits of showing up to venues when the doors open, watching every band, and staying for the second encore when I didn’t even care about the first one.

This new-found behavior also made me realize that it’s fairly easy to record a concert and not have to do all that other stuff. You can even show up right before the headliner and skip all of the openers who may or may not be interesting. These days my evenings are precious and, to quote my friend Dan,

“When you’re over 30, it has to be more than ‘OK’. When you’re 18 it’s enough to just see live music but these days that’s not enough to get me out of the house.

Now, I’m only 28 but that seems like a reasonable claim if I’ve ever heard one.

This is the first time I’ve taped at the new Crocodile Cafe. I’ve been to a show there and had a good idea of the layout, and just as I suspected would be the case, there aren’t a whole lot of spots to set up a full taping rig at the Croc. There is a railing-enclosed walkway that buffers the soundboard from the crowd which could be a good spot if you have a monopod, but it’s also fairly off-center.

Ultimately, I set up directly to the left of the bar which was good because it’s in the middle of the venue and it’s not a throughway to any exits. Drawbacks include the wall directly behind the mic stand and the increased possibility of people standing around and talking (since it’s in the back).

The recording turned out pretty well considering I just set it up and forgot about it until the show was over. A few missteps here and there from the band but really solid performances of The Birth and Death of the Day and The Only Moment We Were Alone. Surprisingly, they have added an additional touring member to the band who fills in on both bass and guitar. I’ll have to listen to my other recordings and see if they sound is any fuller with the additional player.

Explosions in the Sky – 2011-09-07 Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA
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MP3 Sample: eits2011-09-07.sample.mp3

KEXP’s Song of the Day for Mondays

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Hello readers. The summer is almost over and I will be living in Eugene, Oregon in the fall. This means that I’ll be back in a city with a hospitable taping environment and venues that host bands that are not Uncle Wilson’s Bluegrass Experience. Expect some uploads from me around late September.

Secondly, in addition to filming in studio performances, I am now working for KEXP as a contributing writer to the Song of the Day feature. If you’re interested in reading my entries, make sure to read the write-ups on Mondays.

Here are some entries I’ve already written:

  • Rubik – No Escape (2009-08-10)
  • Yppah – Sunflower Sunkissed (2009-08-03)
  • So Many Dynamos – New Bones (2009-07-27)
  • El Ten Eleven – 2009-04-17

    Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

    In April, El Ten Eleven swung through Seattle and played KEXP and The Sunset Tavern. The weather at the time was nice. So nice, in fact, that I was able to ride my bike to KEXP to help film the in studio performance at the station.

    It was a nice preview of what was to come later that evening in Ballard. I remember at the time thinking that it was unfortunate that all I could hear was the guitar parts and the live drums. Any of the triggered effects and electronic drums were just implied hits on plastic. Then I thought about how that is a fairly interesting way to take in a song by one of your favorite bands.

    It was ten hours later that they came on at the bar. You.May.Die.In.The.Desert was there again but I missed their set trying to meet up with a videographer connection. My equipment was running and I had my camera ready at the front. Tim gave me a Panasonic unit that someone let him borrow for the tour. It shot in 4:3 but I wasn’t about to turn down a free angle. I let it sit on the drummer and taped it down to the ground. Dan showed up and filmed the other side of the stage with his camera.

    The band played and came back for their encore that they seemed genuinely gracious about. I think they like Seattle and I know Seattle loves them. Town is full of design and layout nerds. I could be one of them but I’m too afraid to say it. I’m not afraid to say that the recording came out ok and it still sucks to tape the Sunset.

    I don’t know if this is something they want people to know but there are stem files of their songs available for remixes. You could probably Sam Spade your way to the directory if you use your head.

    MP3 Sample: ete2009-04-17sample.mp3


    El Ten Eleven – KEXP In-Studio Performance

    Monday, July 13th, 2009

    I don’t have the source files of the recordings or anything but here is the El Ten Eleven in-studio performance I helped film at KEXP back in April. I filmed near the drummer with a Canon AH-X1 and Jim Beckman filmed the other angle with a Canon HV-30. Kevin Suggs is in the booth. Kristian and Tim are on the interesting parts of these videos.

    VIDEO: Lifesavas & Grayskul – 2009-04-04 Nectar Lounge

    Saturday, April 25th, 2009

    Throwing this up real quick.

    Lifesavas @ Nectar Lounge
    SD FLV (371 MB): Lifesavas 2009-04-04 Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA

    Grayskul @ Nectar Lounge
    SD FLV (168 MB): Grayskul 2009-04-04 Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA

    VIDEO: Lifesavas – 2009-04-04

    Friday, April 10th, 2009

    Here is a preview of the Lifesavas show at Nectar Lounge last friday.

    Wolves in the Throne Room 2009-03-31

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

    It’s been about four years since I’ve seen Wolves in the Throne Room and in that time they’ve gone all over the world playing shows, gained new members and removed old ones, recorded two more albums, and generally developed their sound into a a really tight, focused, dark, brutal, face shattering experience.

    Fog machines, candelabras, guitars that look like weapons, vocals that sound like demons, drums that feel like war. That’s what it is. It’s full of powerful riffs and seriously wicked vocals. And people were into it. Like crazy. The place was packed for their set and people wanted more than the thirty minutes of power to which they were treated but that’s all they received. No introduction and no farewell from the band. Just closing feedback and nothing more.

    I sorta felt bad for Pelican having to follow them. But not bad enough that I would stay and watch because I’ve already seen and taped them twice and I wasn’t really looking forward to a three-peat of that experience. I could hear their set from the green room and it sounded like the same stuff I heard the last times I’d seen them so there isn’t really any regret there.

    And I also learned a great trick from WITTR’s drummer for returning a damaged rental car without issue in the south: leave the radio on a Christian station.

    Wolves in the Throne Room – 2009-03-31 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
    FLAC Download:
    MP3 Download:

    Video coming at some point

    In honor of the Crocodile Cafe re-opening

    Friday, March 27th, 2009

    I know it’s sort of late (at least in Internet Time) but to celebrate the re-opening of the iconic Crocodile Cafe I give you Wolf Eyes live at The Croc in 2003.

    I did not film this. Actually, this was before I even owned (or had access to) any equipment for recording shows. My friend Craig Mueller filmed this using a Canon XL-1 with a shotgun mic mounted on it. It looks great and sounds great. I guess it might look and sound awful if you’re not into noise music but maybe I kinda don’t care and you should man up and grow a pair.

    SD MP4 (276 MB): we2003-03-23.mp4

    More content updates, DVD covers

    Monday, March 9th, 2009

    Soon I’ll be uploading video performances from Partman Parthorse and El Ten Eleven along with an audio recording of Sleepy Eyes of Death at The Sunset Tavern from Saturday evening. I might post video of that show but it depends on what the band thinks of the footage. Maybe I’ll post a few choice songs if any real gems come out of it.

    I’ve been busy updating my older content in order to make it more accessible to the mass public. That includes rendering streaming FLV versions of past live videos which takes a ridiculous amount of time given my limited resources. Bearing that in mind, stick with me as I trudge along.

    The sets that I have updated so far are:

    Explosions in the Sky 2007-05-06 Neumo’s

    65daysofstatic 2007-08-06 El Corazon
    This is a Process… 2008-03-19 The Comet Tavern
    This Will Destroy You – 2006-08-04/05 – Camp Nowhere, The Paradox

    Upcoming (old) content includes: The Fall of Troy, Tera Melos, Caspian, You.May.Die.In.The.Desert, The Books, and The Tyde.

    Keeping in the spirit of updating older content, I’ve created some DVD covers for some past shows. Here is a cover for the El Ten Eleven show at The Sunset Tavern last summer:

    El Ten Eleven @ The Sunset Tavern

    And here is a cover for the two shows I filmed of This Will Destroy you way back in the summer of 2006:

    This Will Destroy You @ The Paradox, Camp Nowhere

    The torrents for the This Will Destroy You DVDs are long since dead but the updated posts I linked earlier have DVD quality MP4 files that are available for download. If nothing else, you can print off the DVD cover and burn those MP4s to a data disc. Or, if you’re feeling productive you could transcode the MP4 to DVD. Basically what I’m saying is: I don’t publish DVDs anymore.

    Sleepy Eyes of Death, Bronze Fawn – 2009-02-07

    Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

    There’s a guy wearing a pair of air traffic controller headphones and he’s got to be at least sixty. Next to him a lady in her early fifties is grinding up against a young man who should appear to be but isn’t at all out of his element. A fifteen year-old drinking Pabst. Some guy peeing in the bathroom sink. It smells like paint and cigarettes. What is this.

    Oh. It’s an art space show.

    These kinds of shows are my favorite sort. There’s no security and no heat. The start time of the show is fluid and sometimes bands start playing that aren’t even on the bill that doesn’t really exist. It’s everyone’s favorite party and usually the sound is pretty good because there’s no way a co-op art warehouse has the funds or a space big enough to own a decent PA or mic kit. This way all you’re hearing are the band as they would sound on-stage at a proper venue. You know, if that stage were shoved into the room venue’s bathroom.

    The Holy Mountain is such a place. Once named The Booty Cave and now drawing it’s namesake from the most nonsensically obtuse movie I’ve ever seen, The Holy Mountain is such a space where people live, work, play, and puke.

    Both Sleepy Eyes of Death and Bronze Fawn are bands that have members who some might consider auxiliary or who? In the case of Bronze Fawn, it is Dan. At most shows he’s right up front near the stage where you can peer over your nose at his frantic yet controlled button pushing. Almost always when a band uses live projection it’s a looped DVD but since two of the members are Adobe employees who are heavily into video I can understand the inclusion of a live VJ for their set.

    Unfortunately for Bronze Fawn, the use of any sort of plain white wall was not to be had. Every wall: covered in painting, sculpture, and creation. I thought to myself “Their video projection could look sort of cool on this wall.” as I looked at a pentagram painted on the wall. My mind is immediately sent back to the images in the film that haunt me still.

    It was then I realized that the venue shares with the film not only name but visual effect as well. The surfaces of the room all shimmer and stare with sculpted masks and crossed grid pattens. The video projection over the pentagram was not as cool as I had hoped. The band really needs to invest in some sort of backdrop for these situations.

    Bronze Fawn – Live @ The Holy Mountain

    On the completely different end of the spectrum, Sleepy Eyes of Death were not affected one bit by their surroundings and made it clear during their performance that it didn’t matter where they were. With a complete fog and lights show to accompany their performance, there were times when you couldn’t see but a few feet around the band as the fog billowed up from around their feet. Behind the fog the lights shone up from the floor giving the air around the band texture and color. Dramatic shoots of amber and neon blue silhouette each member along with the tone and pace of the song. Enough to make you wonder “Is there some old man in a beanie working this Lazer Lightshow I’m trippin’ on?”

    And, in fact, there is. He sits at the side of the stage with his light mixing board and an itchy finger on the fog release. When the crescendo hits so does the lightning storm of strobe and moonbeams straight from the ether. If you pay attention closely in the video you can spy him hunched over at his station. You can see him making the show that much better for you. Unsung.

    With so many bands hiking the instrumental route anymore, it’s refreshing that a band like Bronze Fawn is engaging not only with their melodies but also with a visual show to make their performance stand out from the rest. That the visual show is handled on the fly makes it that much more engaging. Likewise, Sleepy Eyes of Death remain one of the most exciting and head rush inducing performers in their genre. While bands like The Depreciation Guild and Anamanaguchi are experimenting in 8-bit sounds washed over with guitars, it seems that Sleepy Eyes of Death are attacking the mixture with so much more presence and urgency.

    Sleepy Eyes of Death – Live @ The Holy Mountain

    Bronze Fawn – 2009-02-07 The Holy Mountain – Seattle, WA

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    Sample: bf2009-02-07sample.mp3

    SD FLV (344 MB): bf2009-02-07.flv
    HD MP4 (1.66 GB): bf2009-02-07.mp4

    Sleepy Eyes of Death – 2009-02-07 The Holy Mountain – Seattle, WA

    Download FLAC:
    Download MP3:
    MP3 Sample: seod2009-02-07sample.mp3

    SD FLV (331 MB): seod2009-02-07.flv
    HD MP4 (1.38 GB): seod2009-02-07.mp4