The Rev. Tony Pierce gave me quite a tongue-lashing Monday about writing in my blog every day. So if this gets boring, just blame him.
Tonight I went to my first recording studio. It's called The Village and it's in West L.A. on Santa Monica Blvd. It has a very '70s L.A. feel to it--you could totally imagine Fleetwood Mac in there at four in the morning on coke, obsessing over mixing of backup harmonies and getting punchy and having a complete laughing jag that lasts for ten minutes, and then every time somebody looks at the other for the next hour they start laughing again.
I don't know; I've never recorded an album but I imagine that's what would happen.
This studio had 72 tracks, it seemed to me. It was basically like my four-track--after falling in a vat of nuclear waste. At first the board looked frightfully complicated but then I just realized that it was the same set of buttons repeated 72 times. I felt right at home there. It's a place for people who don't mind being inside for days on end bringing into fruition something in their head. And that's me, Jack.
The mixer/engineer's name was Jim Scott. He was tall and tan with gray hair and he seemed like someone who had lived a lot. He had completely decorated the studios he was using with Indian fabrics and flea-market tapestries, some really funny (gratuitous unicorns); Christmas lights; candles, and champa incense.
I ate some Starburst and Corn Nuts and listened to a new record end-to-end, tripping out on the harmonies. There were notes taped all over a door about the record--I can't imagine the detail-work that must go into recording an album with 72 tracks, holy fuck.
They had a shower and everything you need there. There were even little glowing stars in the ceiling. It must be ridiculously expensive. I wonder what it's like to have that much money, where you can camp out at a swanky studio for three months just to mix your record. I mean, when you're that rich, where do you draw the line? Do you go for the gold-plated pepperoni on your pizza, just because you can?
Anyway, budget and technology bear little relation to the quality of an album, far as I can tell.
Beth Orton last night was very good, but her band bummed me out and the venue (House of Blues) was all wrong. She is real, and the House of Blues is Disneyland. Her band was too polished and there were no electric guitars. I wanted to hear her with a T. Rex "Electric Warrior"-style arrangement: Electric guitar, acoustic, bongos, a raw voice--she could keep the cello and violin, which were good. I just felt the arrangements were not doing justice to the humanity of her voice and her songs.
After the show, my new friend Debbie and I walked down the Strip to a certain hotel to stalk Badly Drawn Boy, who's staying there. He didn't turn up but we sat on the pool patio and looked at the moon, hanging amber over the city with a big, full face of mercy.
The moon is my boyfriend.
Now I must go to my transport capsule because I have a date with the moon in about ten minutes.