The Jerrys Return to WZRD on May 1

WZRD 40th Anniversary Logo

I’ll be returning to WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM (“The Wizard”) in less than three weeks to perform the music of The Jerrys. Please join me on Thursday, May 1, at 10 pm CST for what I hope will be a memorable evening of music. In the meantime, be sure to check out the videos from The Jerrys’ first appearance on WZRD.

10 Things To Do Before Mixing a Recording

10 Things Before Mixing

After reading Mike Senior’s Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio earlier this month, I created a checklist of ten things to do to prepare a recorded song for mixing. My process has always been a bit too haphazard, so I plan to use this checklist to ensure that I never miss an opportunity to make my music sound better.

  • Organize tracks
  • Divide timeline
  • Listen to tracks
  • Identify gems
  • Edit out silences
  • Do multing as needed
  • Adjust timing and tuning
  • Camouflage edits
  • Comp vocals, lead tracks
  • Arrange

As these can be tedious, time-consuming tasks, many top-tier engineers give them to assistants to perform, but that’s not an option for those of us in home studios. If you’re a home studio user, feel free to use this checklist to better prepare your recordings for mixing. For more, be sure to check out Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.

Fender CD60CE Dreadnought Guitar

Fender CD60CE

I have nothing but good things to say about my Fender CD60CE, which features a Fender FTE-3TN preamp with chromatic tuner, volume, bass, mid, and treble, 20-fret sonokeling (Indian rosewood) fingerboard, chrome hardware, and die-cast chrome tuners. I’ll probably never need another acoustic guitar.

Ugly Things Magazine

Ugly Things

Ugly Things is dedicated to “bringing you wild sounds from past dimensions, from times when rock ‘n ‘roll was young, daring, dangerous and vital,” and few if any fanzines are as informative when it comes to lost, unknown, and overlooked music of the 1960s and beyond. Now in its 30th year, Ugly Things is published twice annually, and each issue features up to 200 pages of in-depth features, exclusive interviews, rare photos, and more. Each issue is so packed that I sometimes forget it’s a magazine (it feels more like a book). If you’re into 1960s-influenced music like I am, be sure to check out the Ugly Things website, where you’ll find information on back issues and how to subscribe.

My Love in Her Attire

Pop Go The Jerrys (small)

“My Love in Her Attire,” from The Jerrys’ debut album, Pop Go The Jerrys, is based on a poem I came across while reading The Top 500 Poems. “My Love in Her Attire” was penned by an anonymous poet sometime between 1400 and 1600, and while it is an awesome poem as is, it needed a little work before it could be a Jerrys tune. Below is the original poem as it appears in the anthology, followed by the words to the song by The Jerrys.

My Love in Her Attire

My love in her attire doth show her wit,
It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,
For winter, spring, and summer,
No beauty she doth miss,
When all her robes are on;
But Beauty’s self she is,
When all her robes are gone.

My Love in Her Attire

My love in her attire does show her wit;
It does so become her, this is true.
For every season she has dressings fit.
For winter, spring, and summer too.

No beauty does she miss
When all her clothes are on,
But Beauty’s self she is
When all her clothes are gone.

My love in her black dress is such a hit;
It does so become her, what a view!
In every color she has dressings fit.
In red and green and purple too.

No beauty does she miss
When all her clothes are on,
But Beauty’s self she is
When all her clothes are gone.

Akai M-10 Reel-to-Reel Recorder

Akai Reel-to-Reel

My first multitrack recording machine was a used 1969 Akai M-10 reel-to-reel recorder that featured a built-in amplifier and auto-reverse capability. This machine was the only in Akai’s M-series (ca. 1960-1973) to have three motors, and it operated at tape speeds of 1-7/8, 3-¾, and 7-½ inches per second. Before the M-10, I had been using portable General Electric tape recorders to bounce tracks around, so this machine was a nice step up for me.

My Fave Shows of 2013

Of all the live music I’ve seen this year, two shows were so good that I’m sure they will be my fave shows of 2013 when the year comes to an end: Todd Rundgren and The Dandy Warhols. Rundgren had just begun his official State tour, while The Dandy Warhols celebrated the 13th anniversary of their album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, by playing the album in its entirety. Here are a couple of pics.

Todd Rundgren Park West 2013

Todd Rundgren, May 19, 2013, Park West, Chicago, IL

Dandys Vic 2013

The Dandy Warhols, June 8, 2013, Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL

More Chicago Music Summit

Chicago Music Summit Speaker 1

At “Music Partnerships on the Web: Workshop Hosted by YouTube,” a session at the Chicago Music Summit a few weeks ago, Zofia Bajkowska, Manager of Music Content Partnerships, called YouTube “the world’s biggest stage” and showed attendees how they could create their best content and engage their audience.

Chicago Music Summit Speaker 2

Fred Beteille, Product Manager at YouTube (previously at the Harry Fox Agency), showed the audience a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-launched YouTube Audio Library.