Welcome to our blug

LP #2 Begins 

I decided to document this shit.  It took about 5 years plus to record the last record, with varying line ups and personel.  This time I'm doing the opposite.  There's a consistent band now, songs all worked out before going into the studio, and we're recording right where we practice, in my home.  This record will be the most organic thing I've recorded with a band. And instead of 5 years, this one will be mostly done in 5 days. 

So I decided to cement the memory here, as it happens. A live blug.  Enjoy.  - Brian

 

Day .5 - Friday

Paul and I set shit up. We bring his rig over. He finds a small desk up the street, on the street, sand bugs and organizms, we think, for his puter.  We sit out back and put off setting up, but make it fun, listen to Bob Lind’s “Since there were Circles” and early I See Hawks in LA.  Paul asks, "who plays bass on this record (the Bob record). It turns out to be the same bass player who played on the first Hawks record. The world suddenly gets real small. We set up. It looks good. He’s gotta go.  I decide to stay in and make popcorn and watch movies with my cat.  

 

Day 1 - Saturday

4:30 AM.  I have no idea why I’m awake. But I do that. This morning, I squander a few hours away watching “Parenthood” (the series), taking breaks, and enjoying the 4am dark with my old copy of the Cluster 71 record.  As I watch, I see an episode featuring the band, Happy Hollows.  It suddenly occurs to me, the first ever time I tried one of my own songs with a band was with them. We were at their rehearsal space, learning a Wall of Voodoo cover we were gonna record (Stan Ridgeway's practice space was next to theirs). I taught them a song I later recorded (but never released) called, The Nuclear Age. One of the first things I wrote with a band in mind (that wasn't The Movies).  I'd completely forgotten about this until this morning. Neato. 

Then I eat something, feed my cat Ron and decide to turn my keyboards on and start warming up for today -- our first recording session together as a band.  During one quiet part, I hear this … what sounded like a consistent but quiet thumping. A signal from my effect pedals or something. It wasn’t the delay pedal. It wasn't the other delay pedal. It wasn’t the chorus. It was none of it. It’s driving me nuts. We’re about to record and my little archaic ‘system’ decides to go haywire. This isn’t  happening. I check and mess with all the chords and cables, I turn my keyboard off and on.  Nothing stops it.  I turn everything but the amp off. It’s still there! I turn the amp off.  It doesn’t go away.  Now it’s getting weird. This is some Poltergeist shit. Then I realize that my stereo speaker, right next to my amp, is letting me know that my Cluster record has completed Side 1. The needle is bouncing up against the center record label on the record.  

This is off to a really good start. It's good I'm not a recording engineer. I should get some sleep. 

 

 

LP. Done / CA Wildfires Benefit 12/11  

THE LP

Strange Parade was originally a recording project, which evolved into a band. I started recording songs at Comp.ny with fellow Radar Brother at the time, Be Hussey. This was done at his studio (my favorite in the area), Comp.ny. Be and I laid down the first songs for the LP and a few more with various players in the mix. In 2013, I formed a live band and played a couple shows but this lineup was put on the back burner when Radar Brothers got busy touring to support our album "Eight" (Merge Records). Then I took a job in San Francisco for a couple years. 

When I returned to LA, I came back with a pile of new songs and two new studio recordings from the quite awesome El Studio (in SF) old friend and guitar/bass/engineering wiz, Phil Manley (Trans Am, Life Coach, Terri Gross, Fehral Ohms).

Back in LA, I jumped into recording with Radars front man (and OG Strange Parade member) Jim Putnam engineering, co-producing and playing some drums, guitar and his legendary whistle (on the song Chess With Becky). Jim's whistle stands up to anything Zamfir or the dude from Aqualung ever recorded -- but sans flute. We laid down 3 songs and then the LP was wrapped up right where it started, at Comp.ny in Burbank. Here I recorded the last two songs with crew from the 2013 live lineup. Mixing (and some bassing) was done by another Radar Bro, Ethan Walter.

The LP is all done and soon will go to mastering. We think it's really, really, really good. But we're also in the band. If we didn't think that, it would be kind of stupid. 

____________________________________________________________________

 

CA WILDFIRES BENEFIT at The Hi Hat (LA)

On December 11th, Strange Parade put together a small but fun benefit show for victims of the California wildfires at The Hi Hat in Highland Park (LA). The show featured 5 local bands who pulled together to field donations for the cause. The show featured The Mad Walls (solo), Brandon Graham (Dream Phases, Blank Tapes) and his 3-piece band, Mooncult and Miguel Mendez Quote/Unquote, a new band featuring members of the legendary LA band, Dios. 

The show was the band's first time out with the new lineup. Considering all the other benefit shows that night, Christmas shows/parties, Fleetwood Mac and Kurt Vile concerts, etc., etc., it was a good night and we successfully raised a little dough for a good cause.  100% of the donations went to the CDP California Wildfires fund, directly helping folks and families devastated by the fires.

Thank you for reading our first blug entry.  We like blugging.  See ya soon. 

Peace,

BC