Friday, November 30, 2007

I’m sitting here wondering, "Would a matchbox

hold my clothes?"

Well the answer is a resounding NO. With my shit now spread all over the country, well, sigh...

These are some pictures from my phone. I was in Nashville last night, following my nose and quite unexpectedly found myself in front of great songwriters at the Bluebird Cafe, then Josh Williams and friends at the Station Inn. Here is what I see right this moment:

But when I took this picture with my phone, I found these other cool pics in there. Here's me and my brother at Walmart (unstaged):

And while in Owensboro a few weeks ago, I saw the coolest 10 speed. I can't imagine how this bicycle came to be branded, bought or sold. I figure it is promotional. But that I took these with a Sony Walkman phone...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Walkin' Through The Days, part 2

Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/17/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/17/07

Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/17/07

Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/17/07

Owensboro, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/19/07

Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/23/07
We trekked out to the property in Sebree, KY for some brush clearing.
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Otis has fun.
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Sebree, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/07
Exiting the Natcher Parkway, Monday, 11/26. No ticket; the daytime running lights, when not killing my battery in parking lots, trick me into thinking my headlights are on in the early evening.
Owensboro, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/26/07
Scoping out Franklin, KY.
Franklin, Simpson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/29/07
Franklin, Simpson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/29/07
Franklin, Simpson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/29/07

Monday, November 19, 2007

Takin' it easy

Watching documentaries, sitting in front of a fire. Have I ever spent this much time alone?


Oh, they were Cracking The Code, The Expanding Universe (kinda sucked), Cosmos, episode 1, and Unfolding Universe. All copied from Netflix in the last few weeks in Nevada.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Walkin' Through The Days

I settled into living in a travel trailer off of KY1078, near the Audubon Parkway. These shots are from around the property.
Circling hawk of three, Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/1/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/1/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/1/07
Sunset, November 1st.
Zion, Henderson County, Andrew D. Barron ©11/1/07
It frosted last night. This morning, Friday, November 2nd, marks my 8th week away from Reno.
Frost near Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/2/07
Andrew and Otis, Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/2/07
It is the seeming contraction that we must be fully committed, but we must also be aware at the same time that we might possibly be wrong. This dialectic relationship between conviction and doubt is characteristic of the highest types of courage.
Rollo May, The Courage To Create.
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/2/07
I went out for some adventures in Evansville, IN, 11/2/07. Out the window.
Evansville, Vanderburgh County, IN, Andrew D. Barron ©11/2/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/2/07
11/8/07. I am here to:
1) write and record a demo album of original songs
2) defeat perfectionism in music
3) experience something different by immersion in a foreign, but deliberately chosen culture
4) distract myself from the longing and ache I feel since I crashed into her
5) get away from the downer vibe of honky tonk performance for losers
Another week's gone by.
Andrew and Otis, Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/9/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/11/07
The barn studio and album project. I wrote a blog.The 'console'.
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/5/07
The hot seat. With these 3 mics, I aim to get acoustic guitar tone like Tom Petty's Wildflowers, or Don't Fade On Me.
Bass and Telecaster tones came easy with close-micing on the speakers. Mandolin is acceptable through a single AT c535eb.
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/11/07
This is my 'clothes on the line' strategy to keep the songs in constant growth until finished. They face the stage, directly behind the desk.
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/11/07
I met you in the mall one night
I was walking through Sears
Said "Nice screwdriver set, mama,"
Can I buy you a beer?'

I ain't got no money, but I sure got a lot to say

Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/11/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/14/07
Zion, Henderson County, KY, Andrew D. Barron ©11/15/07

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Barn studio, end of week 1

Photographs for those short on time.

It is raining today and the building is metal. So I’m in technical pause, and also awaiting the arrival of 3 additional preamps, due early next week. Each day there are new challenges and pleasant surprises. I've formalized a new system for my creative efforts, something like:
good – good enough – not good enough – bad

“There are no rules,” Verlon Thompson said yesterday. It was nice to get that phone call from my friend and professional songwriter. He was in Texas to play a show with Guy Clark and we talked about what/why/how I'm up to and he appreciated and really supported my idea to land not in Nashville, but near enough. It was affirming on a lot of levels.

Right now, I’m filled with a sense of urgency and purpose because this place happened to me, and I want to get as much done has as I can. I only have about a month, and yet I can't rush nothin'. This barn is a perfect prototype for the ‘space’ I envisioned. In many ways better. Whatever actual productivity happens here, I’ve learned parts of the software, parts of the of troublesome technical aspects, all the while being completely immersed in this effort to write, play, and record these songs. I have new friends next door and a measurable appreciation for this new and different lifestyle. That is to say the life of the songwriter is not the life of a Ph.D. paleoseismologist, nor the life of a bass playing, honky tonk weekend warrior.

Before this week, I hadn't overdubbed over my own rhythm tracks. I have never set up a Pro Tools recording studio. This gear has been accumulated mostly over the last ten years, more in the last three years. I always aimed to be here. My songwriting epiphany accompanied the purchase of my guitar was outlined in an email to my uncle Randy. I grew up with a record he made with his band in 1980, Farside Station. Randy plays bass: From 10/12/98

Been trying to write songs and I bought a Tascam 4-track, a portastudio 424. It's a cassette rig, but works great. I've got some Shure 57s and a 58 for microphones. As I started to record, it struck me that I was putting down cover songs and I'd rather try to put down originals. When I looked at my sorry collection of originals, it occurred to me that I should learn a lot more about songwriting. So, that's what I've been up to lately. Still, the muse has not been forthcoming.

It’s been a long strange trip!

I learned so much from Jake at Audible Alchemy recording the Hellbound Glory album in June, 2006. Jake trusts his ears more than all else. If it sounds good, it's good. Making that record was one of the best times I’ve had and that feeling is, in large part, responsible for my current trajectory.

I've had a digital music library since about 2002. Nowadays, I'm using lossless FLAC compression and a player called Foobar2000. For these songs I am writing, I am listing my references that come up, or that I wish to inject. Then I listen to them. I believe the room needs some time to get used to these sounds, but given enough volume and exposure, the wood planks of the stage and walls will settle into these frequencies. Or not; it’s a nice idea.

So besides the obvious big picture pleasant surprises of this whole project, here are some of my favorite little ones today:

My home stereo is working great as digital monitoring equipment, an unplanned piece of the puzzle. I'm listening to my tracks in an entirely digital environment; if it began to sound harsh or ‘digital’, I would already know.

Mark has a Fender tube bass amp, just like the one I own (in Reno), that needs to be rebuilt. Get this: it works to feed the subwoofer out of my stereo to pump my reference music through the very amp, cabinet and room I’m creating in. It's the little things.

My current technical challenge is latency of the sound card. I can get by without monitoring with everything but vocals. Actually, it’s an interrelated problem with my ‘lite’ version of ProTools and my soundcards. I may buy a much better sound card tomorrow; it’s ridiculous to fuss this much over a $300 problem.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today is warm, beard is gray, life is good

It is 1:29pm, my FedEx package containing new thermals and down booties just arrived. Back to the studio, now that I have downloaded Winamp so I can convert voice recordings at 8bit 8kHZ files to 16/44.1. Seems like it would be easier.

My friends Mark and Mike have gone to play a show in Tennessee, and I aim to track 4-6 songs this weekend. I'm not grumpy; it's that the sun is bright.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pleased to be compelling you to buy this book

Dear Everyone,

Please go to your nearest book retailer and buy this book. If you feel inclined, use it to guide your new music purchases. And send it to me after you are done.

Thank you,
Andrew D. Barron

I have always loved Señor McGuire's work, since I first noticed his repeated photo credits on my favorite albums. He has a great website, too. Check out Ringo Star talk about it here. A long term exhibit in the Bluebird Café really affected me during my visits there. The Bluebird is a famous Nashville venue to see America's songwriters. I fondly recall the night at the Bluebird when I heard Alex Call sing 867-5309 (Jenny Jenny) back in 2001 or so. And Kevin Welch sing "Life Down Here On Earth", a track used aboard a Space Shuttle mission at some point. Would be nice to verify the mission, but what can you do. There's a story there I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The studio is set up

I finally have some bearings and I am going to start recording tracks. Even though some of the songs aren't complete lyrically, they are musically. I hope to finish the backing tracks for these 10 songs this week. But no promises. :)

Here's some pictures I took, including some of a nice day I had around Evansville, IN. Didn't realize how close I am to that much larger city now. I'll probably be going there a bunch.

Get ready people, I should be back in California from 12/16 through 1/6 or so. I hope to get a bunch of nice visiting and maybe I'll even get some of these lyrics finished. I may return to this place in Kentucky, or make my way to Florida. We will see.

Right now I wish I had internet access in the studio so I could figure out how to XY mic, but really, without nice preamps (and I am) it doesn't matter anyway.

I can't get over the kindness of strangers, and the likemindedness of people I have met since I became a musician. Makes me feel good to know these kinds of folks, so thanks.

Friday, November 2, 2007

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