Tuesday, February 27, 2018

'Scan Drum Jam

I've been preparing for a jam session this weekend with notable DC drummer Brian Moran (ShowPony) in anticipation of our recording session with him next weekend at Blight studios.

Working out songs with live drums is a special treat. It feels very much more organic than programming or even messing around with loops, and I also love how it's so very collaborative. We've worked out live drum parts for both Tashirojima and Challenger Deep, but on a much more limited scale.

When we were recording The Decider, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted it to be. We had an electronic drum part already worked out-- in fact, cleaning up the sonics on our garageband drum loops was the first thing our producer/engineer Drew Gingras worked on with us. We got about 75% done with that version of it. I recall the middle bridge sounding very much like the theme song from the Office. In the end, we felt we had totally missed the mark on the vibe and ended up just deleting the mess we made until we got into Sound of Music Studios. Drew's boss / the owner of the establishment had agreed to play session drums on a couple of our tracks. Fortunately we had enough time set aside to totally jam out The Decider with him-- interestingly, the process was very similar to what Jay and I had done in writing it years earlier. Just playing it over and over, furiously, sweatily until Miguel Rodriguez-Urbitztondo took us to where we needed to go.

When I first found out my childhood friend, Kevin Kinglsey, was now playing guitar and had written a few songs, I could not wait to hear what he had cooked up. Kevin was a regionally recognized saxophone player among high schoolers in Fairfax County (maybe even beyond?) so I was very curious to see what he would do an original composition. His stuff was crazy, packed with back-to-back guitar solos and unusual song structures. Writing lyrics at first seemed too daunting, so I stole them from a meme I found about bathroom graffiti. The result was interesting in that it didn't quite work but there was enough promise to warrant putting it on our next record. Enter J. B.  Gamble. Working again with Drew in Richmond, we had lined up two days of recording horns and, more importantly, drums. J.B. was a beast on drums, quickly knocking out all the pre-written stuff we'd given him to do. Then the time came to record Kevin's song, Every Word Rewritten. We set up Kevin on guitar, J. B. on drums, and, in a separate room, me on vocals. This time we picked apart the song structure, radically reworked the tempo/vibe, and, again, jammed it out until it felt right. It was surprisingly easy, but I think that can be attributed mainly to J.B.'s keen sense of knowing exactly what the song needed at key moments and delivering.

I am excited to work with Brian, having seen him perform several times. He seems like he would be an extremely good fit for us-- his drumming style is a bit more angular, almost like an Alan Myers (DEVO) type. And while working with Richmond gentlemen was cool, those guys were more session drummers, chosen by our engineer. We picked Brian!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hey Look at This

Scouring the dark corners of the Internet for 10+ year old Catscan! recordings, I came across this ol' thing. And wouldn't you know it, thanks to Google being the eternal behemoth that it is, not only was this blog still online, I still have access to it.

Here is an exclusive photo of some tofu (seasoned) that I over-smashed.

Not sure how much we'll use it, but good to know it's still around. Hey, maybe if we post a few thingies it will climb back up the ranks of Important Pages Still Used Online By The Band.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just released! My Bad 2010: Behind the Music

Both the music and narrative celebrating the first ten years of our band are now available at http://catscan.bandcamp.com!

We are going the 'In Rainbows' route of letting downloaders name their own price.

Stay tuned, 2012 will be the year our new album comes out. We aim to film a TV show pilot this spring as well as play a couple small shows. As usual, stick close to http://www.thecatscanwebsite.com for the most up to date details.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Catscan is Now On Bandcamp

Assemble for roll call! Bring your water bottles and grab your canoes.

You can already download a re-mastered version of our re-trospective. Name your own price (recommended amount: $1,000). More releases are coming this summer, including that one album Paul's been promising!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming April 2011

The first single from the upcoming Catscan! release, Prince of Hearts, will debut this Friday at 12PM!