Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chrome Release Day & Pre-Orders!

.:: Chrome ::.

At last. Please mark your calendars, Tivos, TV trays, refrigerators, forearms, iPhones, and/or bicycles for August 25, 2009, official release day of Chrome.

Pre-order your copy today in the Goods Section.

From now until 8/25/09, you can get Chrome for $10.00 each, two copies for $15.00, or, if you order in increments of five or more, for just $8.00 each. Also, in my ongoing campaign to occupy the recently vacated Alaskan governorship, we're offering Chrome + Revenge of the Birds (1 CD + 1 book) together for $15.00. Your kids will be mesmerized by the mini-epic tale of Geolly Chester and his wily band of outer space bird-battling adventurers, and you, in turn, will have 11 new songs to dive into, surely a win-win situation.

If you are one of my Patron Saints -- by the way, it's still not too late to join the party -- you will receive your two signed copies, complete with your name in the liner notes, by/on August 11, 2009. Thank you!!

Side note: For those who prefer to purchase their music via download (as opposed to buying the physical copy), please allow me to make an artist's sales pitch: Chrome artwork/graphic design is going to be more than a little swell, thanks to the diligent, insightful and skilled artisanship of David Van Buskirk. Early on, I cast the overall album concept to David, and he ran to great lengths developing it, turning corners I didn't expect. The environmentally friendly (a.k.a, "digi pack") CD packaging further develops and illuminates the narrative of the songs themselves, precisely to which art and humanity should aspire -- tell stories to illuminate the greater Story. I'm eager for you to discover the themes in both the music and the accompanying art design, as they are complements to one another. This, I propose, is why you should purchase the physical representation of this album, not a mere download. Instantaneous digital downloads, though I purchase them myself from time to time, are cold, sterile, lifeless X's and O's, lacking a certain heart, gravitas, and are deficient in spirit. Merely my opinion. Either way, I do not yet know when the album will be available on iTunes or at other online distributors. Eventually it will make its way to these venues, but not right away.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mixing 101

This week began with the very detailed process known as mixing. This stage is slow, deliberate, and, for me at least, involves hours of sitting quietly and twiddling my thumbs while Ben (mixer) dials in a hi-hat, or a floor tom, or an electric guitar in terms of equalization (high, mid, low frequencies) and volume as each track courses through the song. Sometimes we want to hear a magnificent pedal steel part to shimmer and stand out at certain moments, so Ben automates the digital software to do so. Sometimes individual words need a little extra volume to cut through the music so it can be heard and understood. Mixing does that. On and on goes the list, and includes each and every instrument on each and every song. Generally speaking, it is customary for a song mix to take up all eight hours of a work day. The process is slow, laborious, and can be mind-numbingly boring if you have no idea what's actually taking place or if you've been listening to the recycled sound of a soloed kick drum for consecutive minutes at a time.

But this is also the phase where the body of a song ultimately takes on its final, curvaceous shape. The challenge for Ben, as I see it, is that he is already so wrapped up in the project that it might be difficult to approach the tracks with a new perspective. Having never heard the song or any of its recorded tracks before, a separate mixing engineer has the advantage of coming at the songs with fresh, unbiased ears. Clarity is a gift. That's not to say anything negative of Ben, or my doubting of his abilities in this department. If the money were in the budget, we would both prefer to hire someone to mix the album. But that is not in the cards, and I believe Ben will, in the end, knock it out of the park. Pray for Ben's clarity in this process, and for patience with his oft-crashing software. We've got a mastering (the final step, the icing on the cake) date on the books: 23 July 2009.

More on an official release date SOON! Cross my heart.