Day 3 in the Recording Studio

posted December 11, 2009

We record at Sackamusic in Conway, MA. This studio belongs to my brother-in-law, Katryna’s husband Dave Chalfant. He is amazing, and unlike Katryna and me, not at all ADD. He has the ability to sit still and concentrate for hours at a time. His attention is exquisite. When I am meditating, or just generally trying to calm down, it is he I evoke.

Conway is beautiful, as you can see from the pictures of the snowfall I took in the last post. It is quiet, and at night, one can see a billion stars if it isn’t cloudy. This evening, I drove away when Venus or maybe Jupiter was out, and the last quarter of the moon. I have missed the moon since becoming a parent; I find myself indoors when it is visible.

Today we just had two hours to work. We recorded my guitar for “More than Enough” and a scratch vocal. Then we explored “Can I Love You Too Much” in terms of an arrangement. And we listened to Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.” This is my current favorite song, suggested to me on Facebook by my cousin’s wife Courtney Nields. I am blown away. Also, apparently this band existed for the exact amount of time as the five piece incarnation of the Nields: roughly the decade of the 90s. NMH broke up in 1998. What do you know about them? l visited their website and it was like visiting a ghost town. Anyway, Dave and Katryna liked the song as much as I did, and I hope it will inform our entire recording. (Though we will abstain from the use of the theramin.) Tomorrow, maybe there will be drums.

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  1. jen says to tell you that she LOVES neutral milk hotel. and that she has the chords for “in the aeroplane over the sea” if you want to add them to the singalong book.

  2. Amanda Palmer and the theatre folks at Lexington High School did a piece called “The Needle That Sings in Her Heart” centered around and inspired by the In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album. It was a stunning piece of theatre, written by the kids on the cast and crew along with Amanda and Lexington High drama teacher Steve Bogart. The show takes you inside Anne Frank’s world as she travels to a circus-like place to escape the horrors of Bergen-Belsen. Pictures and a bit of info here, if you care to look:

    So glad you’ve discovered this group and this album….it’s one of the best ever made, in my opinion.

  3. Eric loves NMH. He has the best taste in music. There was apparently a musical written based on in the aeroplane over the sea, incorporating all the music. It was put on by the Lexington High School and we went to see it last spring!

  4. My first boyfriend got me into Neutral Milk Hotel many years ago and ‘In the Aeroplane Over The Sea’ is my favorite album. The ‘King of Carrot Flowers’ – all parts and ‘two headed boy’ are my favorite. I think they have amazing lyrics! I would also recommend the groups ‘Bright Eyes’, ‘Catpower’ and ‘Old Crow Medicine Show’ if you’re looking for other people to check out. You know what, I just need to make you a mix CD! Strangely enough the soundtrack to the show ‘The L Word’ is really good. A friend of mine burned it for me a few years ago and there is so much good music on there

  5. Wow, I would never have predicted that you’d be into Neutral Milk Hotel. I guess it just goes to show that music is broader than we think!

    “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is definitely the more accessible album—it’s apparently inspired in part by the story of Anne Frank (or at least the broader Jewish experience in WWII). On that album, my faves are the title track and the amazing “Holland, 1945.”

    On “On Avery Island” I particularly enjoy “Song Against Sex,” “Where You’ll Find Me Now,” and “Naomi.”

    I’m now trying to imagine you and Katryna putting out an album of indie rock covers, and I’m loving the idea. 🙂

  6. I was a late discover of Neutral Milk Hotel as well. I just happened one day while I was listening to the radio a few years back. I’d heard them before, but I’d never HEARD them before. I immediately went and traded in a certain Wilco live album that annoyed the crap out of me right out of the gate and bought “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” and then spent like two months listening to it over and over.

    -Chris B.

    p.s. loving the Guild in the studio photos.

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