Courtney Jones Preview meets The Hunger Games

I’m rounding the corner, and keeping the finish line in sight for Courtney Jones’ new release. It’s a project that I’m really excited about for a number of reasons.

Courtney and I wrote and recorded the entire project from scratch, and we did it right here at the Pie and Tart Shoppe. When we started out, Courtney brought a handful of great songs that she’d written. After we’d penned about two dozen new songs, we decided that our new work was what the album should contain. That was the beginning of Plan B.

After tracking the album, Courtney was out of action with vocal issues, & that was the beginning of Plan C.

Now, a year after we tracked the basics with the awesome Butch Norton, and Jon Ossman, the album is almost done. Whew.

Here’s an a capella preview, The Path. My amazing wife (and sometimes stealth co-producer), Landry, edited Courtney’s song to a movie trailer for The Hunger Games. Enjoy:

Spencer Livingston Occupies The Alternates

Another 2011 project of note was Spiders and Webs, the 6 song EP with my neighbors and up and coming locals, The Alternates.

My personal favorite on the EP is The Modern Way:

The Alternates – The Modern Way

Shortly after Spiders and Webs was released, lead singer Spencer Livingston and I started working on a solo project that should be released this summer.

We also threw together Spencer’s ode to The Street, Occupy Wall Street:

Fellow band mate Jake Craven edited the video.

I’ll have updates as Spencer’s new project progresses at The Pie & Tart Shoppe.

Bollywood on the East Side

Last Summer I got a fairly random call from Mickey J Meyer. Mickey was traveling from South India to Los Angeles, and wondered if I could set up a session to record Bass and Drums for the soundtrack of Life Is Beautiful, a movie he was scoring.

I was able to put together the killer rhythm section: John Wicks of Fitz and The Tantrums on Drums, and producer/bass player Paul Bryan on Bass. We tracked at The Hobby Shop in Highland Park.

Mickey ended up sending me one of the songs from the movie to mix “It’s Your Love”, which was my first experience mixing a Bollywood style session.

Life Is Beautiful is in Tamil (language) and should be released later in 2012. Mickey Meyer is a super talented composer/songwriter/musician. I’m proud to have him as a friend.

Prisencolinensinainciusol Aw Rite!

Prisencolinensinainciusol Aw Rite!

In 1972 Italian Superstar, Adriano Celentano recorded a song that was meant to sound like Rap Music of the day. His interpretation of James Brown, I guess. He titled the song Prisencolinensiainciusol, which in any language means absolutely NOTHING!

The song was designed to sound as if it were in English, but in fact, the lyrics were total gibberish.

How do I know all this, you might ask? Well, about a year ago, violinist, singer, songwriter Sophie Serafino told me that she’d like to cover the song. Would I be interested in producing a version of Prisencolinensiainciusol? Of course I would.

Check out the chorus:

I yi smy sezlay
Any els so ko-ool peezo
In de col men say wan
Preez En Colin In Sin Ine Cue Zol

Awl Rite!!

I mean, you can’t write this stuff. Right?

Seriously, I had a blast. We recorded Sophie’s violin and vocals via Skype connection. She was in Sydney, Australia. The venerable Simon Cohen engineered from his studio down under. I did the rest of the track in the box here. I kept the project in the box to match the flavor of the original.

You can find Sophie’s Prisencolinensiainciusol on Spotify, as well as all the usual spots.

Awl rite.

Daphne Willis in the house!

The first time I met Daphne Willis was at her Luxury Wafers session early last year. We planned to “do some writing” the next time she was in town. In L.A. we say things like “let’s do some writing”. Evidently, if you’re from Chicago, you mean it!

Now, after three visits, lots of curry, and a concentrated hang at The Pie and Tart Shoppe, we’ve got a pile of songs we love. Daphne is headed back here in late July, and we’ll be recording an EP for her label, Vanguard Records.

Stay tuned.

The Alternates release Ep

I just wanted to congratulate The Alternates on their Spiders and Webs EP release. This project has been a blast for me, and if you haven’t heard any of the tracks, I’d highly recommend checking them out. You will be able to say “I was a fan before they blew up”. It can be so messy when a band blows up. You know?

On an only slightly more serious note, the Spiders and Webs EP was tracked at Kingsize Soundlabs with Mike Post engineering. We did overdubs and vocals here at the Pie and Tart Shoppe, and mixed here, too. The venerable Mark Chalecki mastered at Little Red Book on the Eastside.

You can stream The Modern Way on my Audio page, or stream the entire EP HERE. Check out The Alternates at: