Monday, July 16, 2007


Big Orange is a studio space I started with the dudes in Sound Team. It was a dream many years in the making. This is the first part of the story.
Listen to this while reading:
Early Dreams
I worked on a Tascam 4track for most of my high school life, copying songs by Roy Orbison, the Beatles, the Butthole Surfers, Stealer's Wheel, etc, as well as writing a number of my own. Songs included: "Cross Dressing Cheerleader," "Testes," "Prometheus' Lament," "Shake that Ass," and others.

While others played sports, met girls, got drunk, lived "normal" lives being led around by their hormones, I slaved away on my 4track, learning through trial and error and composing many many silly, badly recorded songs.

This continued into college. I released a number of tapes to friends, slaving over 4track operas nobody would ever hear. Not even my friends to whom I had given the tapes. It felt martyr-ish, in a way, but I didn't want to be an "art martyr" -- I wanted to be heard, to be understood, to be enjoyed. And key to that vision, for me was a real studio, a place to experiment and refine the experiments and create masterworks. To ditch the silliness, just a little bit.

Sound Team rented a room at Musiclab for about two years, I think. The place smelled terrible, probably still does. I remember taking my dog in there one time and he took a shit in the middle of the hallway and I just left it there, just to see how long it would stay. I think it was there over 24 hours. What I'm saying: Musiclab = not the place to make your grand artistic statement.

Home wasn't an much an option anymore; I had tired of living-room recording. Sessions would start enthusiastically but after a short time, my roommate Maverick and I would be slumped in the couch, listening to Nick Drake and wondering what had become of our lives.

I needed a place where ideas could germinate. A real studio.



c l i f f said...

i lost it in a fit of laughter when i read the bit about townes, if it was townes who took the shit in the hallway...that's awesome. ha ha ha i can picture the scene in my mind, crystal clear.. cb

Doctor said...

Don't blame Cliff House -- blame Nick Flake. He could bring the International Space Station down in the dumps. Speaking of dumps, Townes's was indeed vile, though appropriate to the locale.