They May Be No Tomorrow For Some, Save For The Honourable Few

Good Day, Good Mackronauts,

I’ve just sat and listened to the first true rough mix of Love’s Labours Lost & Found Suite. It has to be said that, while it needs a lot of work, it’s not bad. I don’t know if I should be calling it Prog Rock the way I’ve chosen to, but it certainly sounds good all blended together. Better than it ought to, really, considering it’s not exactly the most sophisticated blending; I’ve just overlapped the tails with the heads of following songs. The thing is, it doesn’t seem to need more than that.

The narrative isn’t obvious, because the theme is more obvious than the fact that there is a narrative thread that runs through the whole thing. I suspect that, as concepts go, it would get a B- at best, because it’s not a particularly elevated or cerebral concept. Telling the chronological love history of the Etcetera band doesn’t exactly qualify as heavy listening material. But it’s there, and I couldn’t deny that the narrative thread was demanding to be presented, so, I connected the dots and came up with what I’ve got.

Now I get to finish the last two tracks and then go back and try to fix all of the obvious mistakes, of which I could probably write a whole chapter about. I’m both excited and worried about these last two tracks, because they’re heavily keyboard-laden, and if I’ve learned anything from recording this album, it’s that my keyboard skills have atrophied considerably. I had to fight every step of the way to get No One In The World recorded, and that song is fairly straightforward, despite borrowing bits from Coda to pull it together.

On My Mind is very much in need of rerecording, both because the original vocals I recorded need redoing (muffed lines, distorted ending), and because the sound quality of the 4-track mixdown just can’t be boosted safely without generating a crap load of artifact noise. And sadly, the same goes for On The Furthest Shores, which is a shame, because it sounds so cool to my ears, musically, that I don’t want to dick with it at all. If I could process the sound enough to make it sound as clean as the rest of the album without any rerecording, I’d do it, simply because, even though it’s a jam and has some flabby bits in it, it’s got about a zillion good ideas in it, and I love them all, but I’m not at all sure I can reproduce them all in time. I just want the piece on the album so much.

Sadly, I have no choice but to remake it; Dave’s bass playing was all over the place because I didn’t leave him enough room to work his way smoothly into the jam, so he sort of made a lot of noise trying to squeeze in there. He was probably trying to remind me to back off of his space, but I was a little busy laying down what I suspected was going to be a really good bit. Throughout most of our history as a band, I was generally a pretty sensitive collaborator, but there were times when I just ‘heard’ something and had to follow it, even if it meant carving out chunks of space usually reserved for other band members. Gary got squeezed out enough times, but Dave was used to being the only bass range instrumentalist, so pieces like On The Furthest Shore couldn’t have been as much fun for him as they were for me.

Well, the album is coming to an end, both on WinAmp and in real life. With a little bit of luck and a good, hard push, I might still meet the deadline, though I somehow doubt it, even if I make my fixes surgical, punching in and out and fixing bum notes without rerecording whole parts. I suspect I may still have to push back my release date, but I’m trying not to think about that. I need to stay focussed on the deadline to get results. I’ll only reset the release date if and when it becomes clear that I can’t make it sound right in the time remaining.

Today’s the 25th, which gives me 12 days to work, and I may have to go do yard work this weekend, as well. This is going to be a tight one, folks.

Guess I’d better go start working. Thanks for reading.


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