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Category Archives: Recording

guitarist wanted, The Majo, etc.

hi! how are you? sorry i have been so out of touch. i lost contact with my soul recently but i think we have been reunited. i just ate a bag of gummi bears and man were they delicious. we have had some really great shows lately. Dayton at W.O. Wrights was a blast. i felt really good about our performance. now the kind-of bad news–

we are looking for a guitarist! please help us track down the right person. I guess you know what we need already. an experienced player who can bring some new energy to July For Kings. if you are interested or know someone who might be, contact me joe hedges at joe hedges .com with a link to a sample of playing. T Miller’s last shows will be:

Fri Aug 1st 2008
Froggy Blues
Monroe, OH

Sat Aug 2nd 2008
The Lodge Bar
Columbus, OH

Fri Aug 8th 2008
HiFi
Lakewood, OH

Fri Aug 15th 2008
The Mad Frog
Cincinnati, OH

pleeease consider coming out to one of them. i am sure T would really appreciate a warm send-off. he is leaving for personal reasons. that’s what i’m calling it. that means the obvious thing–work, school, family etc. naturally we are sad to see him go, but it’s just time for him to move on and i support him completely.

last night i played at the southgate house with my sister Amy.
friday we will stop by the open mic downtown cincinnati at fountain square for two songs around 9pm. together we are The Majo. www.myspace.com/themajomusic. we don’t have music up on the page yet, but we are playing about ten songs out. four or five are recorded, they just need to be mixed. we are talking about releasing an EP this fall, although we may just put a few songs on myspace and wait to release music until we have a full length. that has taken up a lot of my time lately. on saturday Amy and i are leaveing for a two week trip across the country, making two stops in phoenix and los angeles to do shows. we also plan on sleeping at the grand canyon, seeing the ocean, possibly going to joshua tree or the sequoias. we thought this would be a good thing to do for inspiration for the record. we need some happier songs so we must create happier experiences. although we have little budget so we will play accordian and guitar at rest stops for gas money. as always you can support our insanity at http://joehedges.com/help. eventually i will change this website to reflect more of my projects more equally, july for kings, my solo stuff, and now the majo, as well as webdesign, art, photography, et cetera. maybe i am unfocused. i prefer manic.

so the next month is going to be pretty much non-stop. i hope to see you on the road!
peace

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"Say It Now" available online

“Say It Now” is available online at crocsbattleofthebands.com. You can listen to the song for free as much as you like. All we are asking is that if you listen to the song, you also cast a vote for us. If you listen to the song every day, even better! You can vote for us once a day whether you listen or not. if you think launching the song on this website is just a ploy to get you to go there and vote for us, you are absolutely right.

We were selected by the University of Cincinnati (along with two other area bands) to participate in this online competition. The winning band opens for One Republic and Fabolus at UC on April 26th and gets a mention in SPIN magazine. We could really use an opportunity like this to win over some fresh ears and jump start the new JFK album cycle.

i know from the last few years that when you guys put your mind to online voting, you pretty much kick ass. pretty much kick more ass than any other group of fans (#1 in Q102’s Cincinnati Choice Awards for best singer, a couple #1’s for JFK in the Alternative Addiction charts, etc.) i also know that nobody wants to be voting for stuff all the time and there are a ton of band contests out there. so we’ve gotta choose our battles! and i think we should win this one. what do you think?

A word about say it now–as you will hear it kind of straddles some ground between curvature and jfk. many of the songs on the record are more straightforward nostalgia-esque and many of them sound nothing like either record. this just happens to be one of our favorite songs, and the one that was mixed first. so enjoy, tell your friends, and please vote! thanks so much.

www.julyforkings.net < - new website slowly coming together www.myspace.com/julyforkings

www.crocsbattleofthebands.com
www.nextstepcampustour.com

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Lexington Demos

i am sick. i had hoped to be recording vocals for the JFK record this week. but since i cannot sing or play very well i have been burning, folding and labeling CD-R’s all day. i think i have a sharpie headache. i have decided to release a selection of my acoustic demos as a limited signed and numbered release called Lexington Demos. it is a collection of 11 songs i recorded in my apartment in 2004 and 2005 around the time i was writing for curvature. these are my favorites that were never recorded properly, and two songs that were re-recorded, Float Away (JFK’s Nostalgia) and Futureflies (Curvature).

talked about the possibility of this with some people on the message boards a while back and it’s just been stirring in my brain until today. i was going to do internet only but a few people said they would really like an actual disc. so… a limited version is a compromise. i think now is a good time to do this, while i still enjoy listening to them and they kind of fit in with the lyrical and melodic aesthetic of curvature, even though they are at the other end of the spectrum sonically–they are very low-fi/indie sounding. it is weird to be releasing this now as i’m in such a different place psychologically and with my writing, but with the amount of solo acoustic shows i’ve been doing, i think releasing some music that’s really intimate like this makes sense. and it is taking us longer than i had anticipated to finish the new july for kings record. if you’re as anxious for its completion as i am, maybe this will help tide you over. consider this the melancholy calm before the coming storm of jfk pop rock.

Joe Hedges
Lexington Demos

1. Africa
2. Float Away
3. Cemetery Sun
4. Crying Tree
5. Messenger
6. Christmas Day
7. Red Ink Letters
8. Sleeping Through
9. Futureflies
10. Wrong Day
11. Walk Carefully

a limited amount of these will be available at CDbaby.com soon, followed by itunes and other digital distributors. when the CD’s are gone they’re gone; at that point it will be an internet only release. i’ll let you know when the page at cdbaby is live!

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close

Dan McQuinn making a face which indicates that this fill was hard to pull off

Frank Charlton driving a rental car

Dan McQuinn from JFK close-up

Joe Hedges close-up

Frank Charlton and Dan McQuinn of July For Kings enter a subway sandwich shop

Frank Charlton's Shoe

Headphones

Joe Hedges recording or sleeping

Mac Book Pro

Pro Tools LE

objects on a red table

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stretch out

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

well we are finishing the drums now. he is leaving in a couple hours. today we have cut “tarantula”, “100 pianos” and we’re about to do “blue”. this is ballad day or something. i am finished with nearly all my guitars. i may have to re-cut some acoustics for blue (they’re hissy) and i need to re-cut a few parts for six hour drive. so drums and my guitars are about wrapped up. but there is still a whole lot left to do. this record is taking forever. maybe, i am turning into a perfectionist. so far i have completely re-cut three songs from the ground up because i changed my mind about the tempos. maybe it is just that self-producing, i keep doing things wrong and then it takes me longer to realize what kind of mistakes i am making. that’s some of it. then there’s the idea that if i think something is wrong and i’m working by myself, i can just re-cut it. i don’t have to feel like i am annoying somebody with a million requests or being overly meticulous.

working with frank has been great. he’s really done a fantastic job getting tones and making suggestions. it is a nice relief from me sitting down here alone so much. he and dan have really gotten along well and the three of us have had a lot of fun. even if we may be a little crazy with our attention to detail, this is the most laid back album i’ve ever done in terms of vibe around the studio. there are no contracts, no money exchanging hands, no deadlines, nothing hanging overhead. we’re just having fun and i think it’s going to sound like it.

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

also it will be our most musical album yet. dan’s parts range from thrash metal to bossa nova. it has really been cool to have him experiment with so many different feels and sounds. we were talking yesterday–he has always had the ability to play all sorts of things really well, we’ve just never done an album that really allows him to stretch out in this way.

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

we have fifteen tracks recorded. we’re either going to release all fifteen, cut some, or keep going and make a double-album. that’s just sort of a joke but who knows. we have enough songs for it…

tonight i’ve gotta finish a painting.

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Frank Charlton

is here at my house for a week to record dan mcquinn playing drums in my basement.
Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

a short history of Frank: i first met Frank when he was in the seventh grade at a Latin convention in Massachusetts. i think i had just graduated high school. TJ Miller and i were writing and performing songs together and coffee houses and talent shows; Frank was learning to play the guitar and developing an interest in recording. we had stars in our eyes.

Frank became good friends with my sister Amy, and we kind of kept in touch through her. a couple years later Ken Lewis, our first producer, recruited Frank to assist engineer on our SWIM album for MCA Records. he spent a lot of time helping out and hanging out at the band house and some time up in the Massachusettes studio Longview Farms. a trip back in time: (wavy wavy wavines, chime sounds)

this was back in the old days when you needed to go to a studio to record music.
frank guitars

frank presses joe hedges' guitar pedals
as frank recalled i did not have enough feet to switch all the pedals for different sections of the song we were tracking.

T and Frank play monopoly
frank says “ken had to reassure my mom that i wouldn’t drink beer.” look mom no beer!

he has since graduated from Berkley School of music and currently lives in L.A. making a living doing “anything anybody will pay me for” [laughs]
“mainly I am a producer and sound-alike session singer.” he will be singing a few tracks for the next guitar hero game. he is a lot like me–he has his hands in all sorts of other creative projects from photography to video editing etc.

it is very fitting that the kind and talented Frank Charlton is here doing some recording for this July For Kings record. i am grateful. we have a lot of history.

cut to the present.

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

dan is playing a cheap Yamaha keyboard waiting for Frank to figure out some computer things. we have all the drums mic’ed, cables strewn everywhere, a rack of hardware, a space heater on. we’re getting ready to track Roses.
we just figured out the theme to “Rugrats”

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

Frank Charlton Recording Dan McQuinn of July For Kings

more soon.

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conclusion

it was in the 60’s today but felt amazing in the sun. i sat on the studio roof for a while by myself just taking in the view and the warmth. it is just so peaceful and cool up there. you can see all of hollywood, beverly hills and downtown LA in the distance.

Studio Roof

Studio Roof

Studio Roof

tomorrow i get on a plane in the afternoon. i have a layover in texas. i hope i make it home.

tonight i am going to sit in the jacuzzi with some friends. it should be a fitting way to end a great week of music making. i feel all warm and fuzzy.

i hope you have a great holiday with lots of love and music and peace

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drumz, photos

here are some photos from the sessions so far:

producer/mixer/engineer Andrew Ellis
this is my new friend and producer, Andy Ellis, at Brian Paturalski’s place.

Brian Paturalski studio

Brian Paturalski Grammy for speakerboxx
Brian’s dusty Grammy.

producer/mixer/engineer Andy Ellis
Andy at his studio.

producer/mixer/engineer Andy Ellis plays keyboard
real analog synth!

TV and lamp in Andy Ellis's studio

Hollywood Blvd
this is the sweet view from the roof of the studio, right down hollywood boulevard. if only the weather was so sweet.

view from the roof of the studio

clear lake audio los angeles
here at clear lake we recorded drums with Mike Miley. these two pictures were taken by my friend Laura.

clear lake audio los angeles
how many dudes does it take to record a song? my friend Patrick O Connor, the assistant, myself (with holiday kenny loggins beard), Andy, and my friend and sort-of manager Craig Barron who carefully and graciously orchestrated this whole trip.

as of a few days ago i was not totally unboard with andy’s vision for the drums. he sent me a demo made with samples and i just didn’t get it. it didn’t seem to really groove and was kind of awkward. but i went back and listened to some stuff he had me reference, and some other things that he had done and i just decided i’m gonna go with this and hope for the best. he has much more experience than me in producing and recording drums and i can’t find anything he’s worked on that sounds awkward or bad. it still wasn’t working for me as of tuesday as we were playing with samples and sounds at Brian’s studio. i was truly getting worried and he had agreed to let me play around with other ideas on wednesday before heading to clear lake. but on wednesday when i showed up at Andy’s place it sounded fucking awesome. finally the whole picture was clear for me. it’s all about the way it is mixed, delay’s, accessory percussion, et cetera that makes the whole thing work. so when we showed up to work with Miley I was confident that what we were doing was the right thing, as weird as it is.

miley on drumz

the parts are just insanely strange and unconventional although andy keeps denying this (think stewart copeland from the police meets Tool, over a nice pop song). the whole experience has been very good for me; in the last few years i’ve really started to change how i see pop music, that it can and should be intensely musical and smart as well as accessible.

Miley said “This is the first time I’ve been able to use my afro-cuban background in a pop song”. he is classically trained and toured with an orchestra in China for a little whle. the flip side of that, is that he comes from the bonham school of rock drumming and has eyes that get little crazy like a bonham-esque drummer’s eyes should.

ns10 speaker and Mike Miley on drums

mike miley on drums

while waiting for the technical stuff to get working we wallowed in our frustration with major labels over pizza in the studio lounge. Andy Miley and i have all been signed and dropped at least once. it’s like the thing to do out here. wallowing is the other thing to do, and that’s easy right now with the “state of the music industry”. Miley shared some hilarious road stories with me from touring with Bird and Veruca Salt. he is a facinating dude.

well today is my last full day out here. we are going to be working on some background vocals and maybe an extra guitar part or two.

JFK reunion is fast approaching! this friday night.

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hover around the light

so i’m sitting on the couch in andy ellis’s studio on hollywood boulevard right now listening to him comp and fix some vocals i recorded at home. if i knew andy would be putting my demo vocals into a master i would have been more conscious of my pitch and timing. but then the vibe probably wouldn’t be right, and we probably wouldn’t be using them. so who knows.

i wrote the whole song in about ten minutes, and recorded it in an hour. we both kind of fell in love with the demo, so everything we are doing out here is basically just trying to retain the mood of the demo while giving it more of a pop sheen and cohesiveness. so far so good. i hate it when a song gets lost in the translation. that will not happen with this song. i am very excited and confident about it so far.

yesterday because of the rain there was a power outage. so instead of working here, brian paturalski was kind enough to let us use his studio. there, we recorded acoustic guitars, electric guitar, and re-recorded all my demo keyboards with midi. brian won a grammy for engineering and mixing the outkast speakerboxx record. he is also the person who autotunes all of hillary duff’s vocals. he’s a nice guy and a friend of andy’s. he liked my song and that made me feel good.

tonight we are going to yet another studio, clear lake audio, to record drums. i have basically differed to andy and my drummer dan mcquinn for drum ideas. the three of us have been sending files around via the internet for a few weeks. i think today andy pretty much locked down exactly what are are going to do. tonight we’ll be using mike miley, the drummer from that show last call with carson daily, as dan couldn’t make the trip out here on such short notice. miley has played with santana, ricky martin, kelly clarkson, et cetera so if he sucks i’ll be really surprised.

* * *

yesterday i was walking the dog, birdie, through winding roads of the hills. it was overcast. the tops of the letters HOLLYWOOD were enveloped in fog or a cloud. then birdie starting sniffing a few extra sniffs. as we rounded a bend in the road we came upon a coyote standing in a driveway. it was wild looking, wet muddy hair in spikes, bleeding on its front left leg. i thought “oh shit.” and imagined the coyote attacking the dog and or me, the three of us entagled in a bloody leash, the dog fatally wounded, me losing a finger, and so on. instead, my eyes met his and we just stood there gazes locked for a minute. we were definitely interested in each other but i did not attempt to call him or approach him and he didn’t say anything to me either. birdie grunted. it wasn’t even a bark, just a grunt. the coyote’s leg looked pretty badly wounded but there wasn’t anything i could do. so i pulled on the leash and we went on our way. when we passed back through, there was no sign of the coyote.

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stop bitching

i am listening to the rain
music from my laptop
a king sized bed
at least 700 thread count sheets

a while back i did a website for some friends of a friend, the screenwriters who wrote the screenplay for a very successful film starring arnold schwarzenegger and some other successful movies starring other successful actors. this week i will be staying in their house and walking their dog through a rich neighborhood in hollywood. my friend craig and i are house-sitting while i’m out here working in the studio. this house is incredible. it makes me want to be rich. a lot of rich people are painfully boring and conservative. these people however are extremely eccentric and interesting and fun. they have an entire room of their house decorated with masks from all over the world. maybe making a lot of money does not turn you evil afterall. it could just be that it is easier to make a lot of money if you are already evil. occasionally, good creative people squeak through. the whole house is so artistic and strange and nice. it’s an archeology expedition gone mad meets abstract art meets so co stucco. at some point i am hoping to sit in the jacuzzi in the rain as john the owner suggested. it is always raining when i am in la.

as you’re waiting on an airplane while others are boarding, there is that moment when your eyes meet the eyes of the person who will sit by you. it’s not an important moment necessarily but it’s not unimportant either, depending on the length of the flight and the size of your body and the smell of their clothes and the loudness of their snoring and their propensity for leaning to the left in their sleep and bobbing their head et cetera. today was a good day for flying, particularly on Delta flight 756 from cincinnati to la, particularly if you were me sitting in the second to last row. i sat with two pretty brunette women in their early twenties, natasha and irina, originally from germany and russia respectively, both having lived in the states for ten years or so. both artistic (one a drummer the other an artist), friendly, et cetera. it was just a very pleasant four and a half hours of near non-stop conversation between three strangers. i sat by the window legs squashed as usual. the sunset was frozen in time as we flew west. i am sure for this god will have me flanked by two sleeping stinking fat men for every flight i board from now until i die.

i had one day in town in cincinnati yesterday. we rehearsed for the JFK reunion show. this show is going to be very very good. lots of surprises and blasts from the past.

before that i spent the weekend in washington DC with two of my sisters amy and maddie and my best friend thom. we enjoyed several bottles of wine and talked and played the new edition of the cranium board game. as well as saw the sights of DC. it was fantastic.

at one point i found myself on a street outside a metro station between a new age hippie woman from an artist collective/non-profit and a homeless man, arguing over my money.
homelss man “hey you’re a buckey i’m a buckeye! i’m from ohio too”
hippie woman to homeless man “he was just about to make a donation!”
as they argued for territory i dug around in my pocket. i gave the homeless man four quarters, and the hippie woman one dollar as i took a bumper sticker from her which read: “STOP BITCHING START A REVOLUTION”
i am not sure why i gave the bill to the hippie woman and the quarters to the homeless dude. honestly, i think i just thought “well he’s probably used to getting quarters”. if she really believed in her message of peace she should have been happy with me giving money to the homeless but she clearly was not. so much of activism and idealism is about promoting and touting your message, even as the needy and socially estranged are overlooked. last night i put the bumper sticker on my guitar case. i considered that by displaying this sticker i am merely bitching. perhaps bitching CAN start a revolution? oh the irony is unending.

DC museums are free! i love free museums. friday we went to the air and space museum and walked through skylab. saw the charred bottom of Gemini V or VI or something and thought about re-entry. saturday we went to the arboretum to see trees, and then the hirshhorn museum and saw works by morris louis. morris louis was a color field painter working in the 50’s. i started to get into rothko, another color field painter, a couple years ago after someone bought me a postcard set. then i saw simon schama’s power of art on rothko and decided i like color field painting. i like abstract painting in general but i especially like works that are large and have a sense of spacial depth and really kind of envelope you the way these do. maybe someday when i have a larger studio and can afford to spill large amounts of paint on huge canvases, i will make some.

speaking of art, i put up a couple of my sketches at my myspace page in a photo album. nothing fancy. just some things i did for school this semester mostly from my anatomy drawing class. myspace.com/joehedges
. i could draw skeletons and naked people all day.

i pretty much killed my exams. it feels good to be finished with the semester. i will have a couple weeks to focus on music and work, starting tomorrow working in the studio with Andy.

now i’m going to sleep like a baby in this rain, jet lagged on 700 thread count sheets.

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