TAPKAE Odds and Ends

Good enough to appear but not voluminous enough to get its own page.

Definition Of Dope (2002)

  • Me: Guitars, Mixing
  • DOD: Everything Else

This is a one shot deal. Everything was done in a day primarily by my buddy Mike Bedard, drummer extrordinaire. He wrote the track for an MC friend of his, who came in and delivered this fun little ditty in a few takes. Mike played drums and keyboards, and the bass player who was in Jennifer Lopez's band that year came in and played bass. I put down the two guitars. The mix you hear is actually done about year and a half after the thing was recorded; I had some new Pro Tools plugins to mess with and was gleefully remixing some things.

Doug Robinson/VS Planet Badfinger Tribute (2003)

  • Me: Drums, Percussion
  • Doug Robinson: Piano, Bass, Percussion
  • Some Dude Online: Vocals

Here is something a little out of character for me. Exactly 20 years after I was beginning to learn my first rock beats, it comes full circle. I played drums on a track for a Badfinger tribute CD for an online Roland VS recorder group I used to haunt. My then buddy and mentor figure Doug Robinson had me over to do studio work several times in the summer before and after I quit music in July. One day, he suggested we play some Badfinger tune, and that I play guitar on it. Two things happened: First I felt way inadequate to play guitar, then we found the song actually didn’t have guitar on it at all! I suggested I play drums on it. We cut it in about three rehearsals with Doug on piano and me on his funky and vibey old jazzy sounding kit that just got the Ringo feel happening in me. We recorded drums and piano in one room and in one take, with some seemingly random fixes punched in to put some more specific drum fills in (clearly audible if you listen for it, but mostly masked even to me who thought we should do it all over, but Doug persisted in leaving it sort of a hasty job with such human flaws so readily apparent). Then we did the percussion in one pass and he did bass. He sent that much work to another VS Planet buddy who did the huge multitracked vocals. Doug got the tracks back to his place and mixed them, with a little contribution from me in the form of the warbly effect on his grand piano to simulate the Lennonesque detuned honky tonk piano tone on the original.

Mike Keneally Calls Me for the Tour (1996)

  • Mike Keneally: phone call

I never got a call or page from an 818 area code before, so I jush shrugged it off when I got such a page while leaving a Wal Mart store with Robin and Matt. I didn't think anything of it until I got back home later to put my new phone in. I was pretty flabbergasted. It was Mike Keneally calling from North Hollywood! I had just one occasion earlier in the year when I hung out with him in a capacity different than just being a drooling fanboy. Bob Tedde of Rockola and I went out for Denny's after his show at Winston's. I had met him as early as 1993, and seen shows, and even had small chatter outside of some local shows. But on the outside of that, I had been working for Rockola for about a year and more, and had done a delivery route for a tape supply shop that Keneally's engineer Jeff Forrest used. Both knew I was a pretty big MK fan, so when Mike himself had to ask for any last minute help to do his tour, he must have turned to everyone. Maybe he just remembered the Winston's show and that I'd make myself useful for cheap.

The rest is probably history, but after the call I had just a few days to prepare to go for five weeks. I quit my job at Pizza Hut without any way to know that I could come back (eventually I did). Mike offered me $25/day but he originally did the math wrong for the total period and paid me the greater share anyway. Even on those flimsy terms, I left Pizza Hut gleefully. Not because I was getting paid more or anything. Mike's offer was just a little better than the terms at PH would have been, but it was a bit leap for me because Ph was the first job I had once out of the comfort of my childhood home. By the time MK called, I was barely at PH for five or six weeks, happy to finally be making some income that allowed me to have my first apartment (shared with two others) and to get out of the two month stay at Robin's, who was fast becoming my ex-girlfriend that season. Doing his tour was just the distance that helped me separate from her finally after over half a year of trying.

Birthday Card to Shelby/A Million Nights in Africa (1999)

  • Me: Voices, percussion, collage (for interlude parts); drums, bass, guitars
  • Mike Keneally: Sampled music backdrops

In September 1999, Mike Keneally's album Nonkertompf was brand new and I was imbibing heavily. A couple tracks from that were done at Hog Heaven earlier in the spring, and one day Todd and I were invited to come by Doubletime Studio to see Mike do some more magic, jumping from one instrument to another (and even to a squeeky drum throne—he made music with anything). Todd and I had also gone to the Baked Potato in Hollywood several times that summer to see Beer For Dolphins, so it was definitely the year of Keneally. 

That bunch of experience, coupled with new guitar and amp gear just before this was recorded, was the spark that led me to record what became Receiving. My fickle friend Shelby was in Africa for a year by this time, and I think her absence was also cause for a lot of studio dedication. This is the most obvious example of that. I recorded the music to a track that was named (but not mentioned in the spoken parts) A Million Nights in Africa just days before. It did evoke that longing I had and sort of a kind of romance with the exotic. So I recorded this bit as the introduction to a compilation TAPE of things I wanted to share with her. Keneally's music was blatantly ripped off (I have recently sent him a copy of this) and used to create a more playful mood that in turn sparked some silliness of my own, with a few key in-jokes (burrito, couch, and San Diego Reader being things she said she'd miss about being around at Hog Heaven during summer 1998). This was the most exuberant display of me openly saying I loved her, but I sort of had to mask it with goofiness. Other letters during her Africa period (over two years in the Peace Corps) did have me signing it, but this was a rare time I commited to it with my voice.

The music going by the Shelby-inspired title was later retitled when things fell apart between us. By then it appeared on Receiving with less guitar, some shimmering keyboards, and a new title that helped me redefine things. It was renamed Threads, something inspired by seeing three generations of the women of my mom's family huddled around the gravesite of a fourth, that of my grandmother. Unfortunately, that all collapsed too, so I don't know what the hell I should call this bit of music!