Tag Archives: recording

Rooting for the kindie home team at the Grammys

Justin RobertsTomorrow is the big award day for those that are members of  The Recording Academy.  The Grammy Awards.  While many will watch the main event on TV some of us are more interested in the pre-telecast show when the best Children’s artist category is awarded.  If you happen to be attending the Grammy’s make sure you attend the pre-telecast which is available for viewing on the internet at grammy.com.  The pre-show has a free buffet and beverages available. You get to mingle with fellow artists and choose to sit anywhere you want (first come, first served) with the majority of awards  handed out at this time (I got to meet Tenacious D).  The night telecast offers no food and the best dressed people you have ever seen are in long lines for McDonald’s.  But I digress… I shall be rooting for my kindie colleague/nemesis/fellow songwriter and Chicagoan Justin Roberts.  He put out an exceptional CD (Recess) this year and has been doing so for a long while.  Plus his drummer and my friend Gerald Dowd would be getting one as well for his excellent percussion work on the CD.  In my family the word drummer has been replaced with Dowd.  My son refers to all drummers as “The Dowd”.  So when we jam at home he’ll point to his mom and say “you can be the Dowd.”   I shouldn’t forget the excellent work his producer and guitarist Liam Davis has done making the recorded music sound so good.  Jacqueline Schimmel (Bass) and Dave Winer (Trumpet/ Sneakers) round out the band.  I wish all of you a great time and best of luck.  We here in my house will be hoping for a win for the Dowd!

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Mixed and Mastered!!!

My temporary waterfront property!

My temporary waterfront property!

After such an incredulous week with Boston bombing and the Texas explosion not to mention a flooded Chicago, it’s nice to get some good news and spread it around.  We haven’t cured cancer or found the solution to world peace but rather the Poochamungas have finished our second CD.  We have recorded, tracked, overdubbed, added, subtracted, pondered, changed, mixed and finally mastered our upcoming album BLOCK PARTY!   It will be released in August.  Still a few things to do like Band Photos, Album Art, PR, booking gigs, liner notes, etc, etc, etc.  In other words lots of work to do.  Now it’s one step at a time and trying to put our best foot forward.  I think your going to like the results.  I’ll keep you posted here

Happy Easter and recording next Sunday!!!

The bunny eared Pooch

The bunny eared Pooch!

A very Happy Easter to all the Poochamungas fans.  Hope you’re enjoying a beautiful Sunday as we are right now.  All the sunless lousy weather days make you appreciate days like today.  We spent the morning riding bikes and playing guitars out in front of the house.  I hope to get a walk in while my son naps.  If you missed an earlier post I have a fitness bet with Jeff Bogle at Out With The Kids (Kindie Rock Fitness Challenge) so I have to stay after it.  You can read about it here or follow on twitter at #alittleless fat.   I suggest you go enjoy the weather and I promise to do the same.  Fitness walk here I come.

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Next Sunday we hope to complete the Poochamungas Next CD Block Party!  We’re  headed back to Kingisize to add some instruments, vocals and final mixing and mastering.  If you’ve visited our Reverbnation page some of the new songs have been posted and we gave away some free downloads as well.  We shall be posting some more new songs  in the future as well.  We have pushed the release date to July so we can properly promote the CD this time. Photos, PR and other stuff to do before the release.  Lots to do, Lots to do!

Upcoming gig, scheduling and the CD

The Poochamungas take to the stage in little over a week at the St. Helen Carnival.  Sunday, August 26th at noon we take to the stage in our usual fashion and will we playing new material as well.   We’re looking to have a really good time.  Come on out if you can and follow this St. Helen Carnival Link for tickets and more info.

It was once said that trying to run a band is like herding cats.  It’s a good analogy. Since we play in the band mostly for fun it’s not the first commitment of the band members.  It’s usually in this order… Family (including kid schedules), Job, Health, Home and then Band.  So it can get crazy time to time but you just have to persevere and work through it.  We did just have a nice rehearsal getting ready for the upcoming gig and I even managed a couple of photos.

So we also managed to make it back to Kingsize Sound Labs and record some vocals.  At this point we need to add one more full song and overdubs and vocals to  thealready recorded songs.  It’s really sounding good!  If your interested in a sneak peek send an email to poochamungas@yahoo.com and I’ll send you a rough copy of My favorite summer day.  It’s a song about block parties and we’ll be performing it at the upcoming St. Helen Carnival.  Be sure to stop by the stage and say hi!

Songwriting class, gigs and all that

So after a quiet month of June with just one recording session and a couple of rehearsals we head into July and the 12 days of busy.  July 8 we have a recording session at Kingsize Sound Labs with the band (Yay!).  Then on the 10th I head over to the Skokie Library to teach songwriting to kids with the goal to produce a song the band will play at our July 20th gig at the Library.  This is going to be a lot of fun!

 Now the weekend in between all that we head out on Saturday, July 14th to Frankfort for Chillin’ & Grillin’ for a Cure.   The event is to raise money to battle cystic fibrosis which is a horrible disease that affects about 70k children and adults worldwide (30k here in the US). We will play two sets.  One at 3:30pm and the other at 6pm.  Each will be around 30 minutes give or take a few.  They’ll also have a rib cooking contest, basket raffles, games and other activities. Come on out if you can and click on Chillin and Grillin.   It’ll take you to the Eat. Pray Dean website for more information.  Come on out and support a great cause!

Then on Sunday,  July 15th we play local at the Island in the City  Festival in Norridge, Il.  This is 3 blocks from my house and they have a carnival, games, great food and music.  We go on at 4pm.  It’s gonna be a lot of fun playing the big stage at the festival.

We also a have a gig coming in August at the St Helen’s Carnival and more recording (CD release in the fall?) yet to come.  So keep an eye on the Poochamungas and hope to see you back here soon.

Recording realities and patience

What I want is an unlimited budget and a plethora of available time.  Spending day after day in the studio writing songs, working out demos and ordering pizza and beer at all hours. 

 "Hammering out the Block Party"

  Like a behind the music episode.  Well my reality is a wife, two kids and a full-time job.  This is a reality for members of my band as well.  My budget is limited as well so studio time has to be efficient.  There has to be a plan.  Scheduling is probably the hardest thing to do.  So about twice a month we get together the necessary pieces and go to work.  So March is upon us and back to the studio we return.  We have 8 songs right now in different stages of finished.  Block Party Day is the closest along with Games We Played and Little King

So we are progressing as we overdub in Mid-March and maybe lay down a few new tunes around the end of March.  I think we’ll have 12 songs when all is said and done on the yet to be named album. 

So goods things are on the horizon it just takes a little patience to get to the finish line.

Re-mixes, overdubs and album themes.

So the song Imagination Train on our first CD is one of my favorite songs but the final mix we put out  never felt quite right.  Now it being one of the first songs I ever recorded I really had no idea what I was looking for in a recording.  The fact that I had put something down on a CD was amazing in itself but as time went on and I have listened to it a few thousand times I began to feel the song was cluttered and a bit muddled.   I love when we play it live but the recording lacked my ability to  really hear it and make it more.  Well we remixed it and added another vocalist and WOW!  I am loving it again.  Anna Fermin sang the vocal track and is absolutely brilliant.  (She starts a series of shows at Fitzgerald’s Tuesday,  February 14 at 8pm. Go check it out!  She is a wonderful talent and super nice to boot!)  Plus John Abbey did the remix stripping it down and rebuilding it and this Sunday we’re gonna put the final touches on it with Alton.  And then were gonna give it to you the reader… FREE.  As soon as we are done we’ll let you know the details right here in this blog.

So not only are we doing final overdubs to Imagination Train we’re gonna work a few other tunes as well this Sunday.  We have a song called My Favorite Summer Day also referred to as Block Party Day and Around the World up for attention. Plus a Bo Diddly beat inspired Places You Go.   We’ll be laying vocals and drums and keys, maybe guitar and whatever else we think of while we’re there.  One step closer to  completed songs takes us closer to a completed CD.   The new stuff is sounding really great!

So the album/CD theme is something new to me.  The first CD I just put together a bunch a songs that I had written and liked and put them on the CD.  This time there is a definite family/childhood theme present.  It  may have a lot to do with the huge amount of time I spend with my kids and the wealth of material they provide.  My thanks to Sue Demel for pointing this out to me during one of my singer/songwriter sessions at the OTS.  She does good work.

Thanks for reading and see you again in the next few weeks!  Stay tuned for the re-release of Imagination Train!