hello there. many things abound as of late... most important of which is our new EP.
FINALLY!!!! after years of writing, working and recording, we have a new album set and done for you guys. It will appear in 3 separate releases.
1) Last Quarter of the 20th Century Blues (EP): 5 songs to give you a taste of the full-length album (3 of which will not appear on the full-length). RELEASE DATE: November 17, 2009.
2) asleep.asleep. (LP): long-awaited (by us more than anyone else possibly) new full-length album. 12 songs of quite possibly some of the most daring and craziest stuff we've done. we likes. RELEASE DATE: March 2010
3) Vinyl/Download/DVD: to keep things interesting, we'll be releasing a new record of an as yet undetermined number of songs... completely new ones!! this release, which will be made available on vinyl and for download only, will be paired with a DVD of live performance footage, studio outtakes, and a couple videos to go along with songs from the full-length "asleep.asleep." record. RELEASE DATE: approx. June 2010.
The first release, Last Quarter of the 20th Century Blues (EP), is already available for download on CDBaby. It will be up on Amazon mp3, iTunes and Rhapsody in the coming days. Snag it from CD Baby here: CDBaby.
we'll be heading off this evening for our showcase at CMJ 2009 tomorrow in the good 'ol NYC. we'll be up there all week, so feel free to come to the showcase or catch up with us else where around the festival. our showcase will be held:
Thursday, October 22, 2009 @ Local 269 (269 E Houston Street, Manhattan) 7pm
we've had several write-ups/interviews done in the past weeks. if you haven't noticed them and are at all interested, they are below.
1) District of Sound wrote a review of the band vis-a-vis our recent show at the Black Cat in DC. 'twas a big-band occassion (nine-pieces... full of strings, horns, projections, etc.). Read it by clicking here: District of Sound.
2) The fine folk at the Vinyl District reached 1,000 posts! As their 1,000th post, they featured 6 of the DC bands playing at CMJ this year... including us. True to the tone and focus of TVD, Patrick gave a synopsis of where Bellflur picks up their vinyl and why. Read it by clicking here: the Vinyl District.
3) Carlos just did an interview with UK-based website, Strangeglue, regarding all facets of bellflur... origins, influence, our CMJ stint, past, present, future... Read it by clicking here: Strangeglue.
All for now. We'll get back to you with more after CMJ. If you're in New York, we hope to see you there.
thanks to all who came out to the show at RNR Hotel on Saturday. Things went off well and it was good to see and talk to many of you new faces!! Many thanks to Gaslight Society, Sweet Interference, and Five Four as well for joining us that evening!
there were some photos taken by an as yet unidentified individual, and we came across them by chance on flickr. here's a couple:
we'll be outbound this week for a show in Brooklyn at the Trash Bar (YAY!! tatter tots) on Saturday, August 15th, and then at the Khyber in Philadelphia (YAY! cheese steaks) on Wednesday, August 19th!
come on in New York and Philly... the water is splendid...
bellflur has been mighty busy. mighty busy indeed!!
you'll be happy to know that the new album has completed mixing... done at the bastille with eamonn aiken and nick anderson at the helm! truly, truly great moments and sounds coming out of the mixing room. its nice to know there are folks out there who think and obssess about sound and gear as much as we do!
the EP and LP will be mastered by roger siebel at SAE Mastering (death cab, tortoise, cat power, pavement, pinback). incredibly excited and privileged to have his efforts and experience be the final piece to this marathon of a record!
so keep your eyes peeled and ear to the floor on all release dates and release shows!
a week or two ago, i had myself a birthday! blissful moments abound! we had a show on thursday the 9th at IOTA and the 10th (my b-day) at piano's in NYC. both shows were fantastic and much fun and random shots were had. thanks to everyone for the b-day shout outs and for attending the shows. glad to see we didn't let you down.
specifically, the IOTA show was a big-band-bellflur event: suits, ties, animal masks, strings, trumpets, the big piano, etc. many thanks are due to susan, barry and nick for sitting in with us and playing their asses off! many thanks also to jess and patrick of vox pop for opening the evening and getting on stage with us for some singing!! and to our boys, the moderate... kings amongst men you are!!
at the moment, we're working furiously to finish off some ideas for our new "BELLFLURITO" sets. essentially, if you've seen us live, you know we have alot of gear and tons of sounds smacking you in the pelvis-area from all directions. 'flurito is a smaller, simpler bellflur. less stuff... stripped back... same songs... revised ever so slightly. the first performance of Bellflurito will be this Friday, July 24th at Solly's on U Street. you should come by and check it out... we'll be in close quarters, so all the better to stare you in the eyes and touch eyelashes as we try to croon you into a melodious, love frenzy... not that we're advocating orgies on the premises or anything like that... no...
otherwise, we have a handful of shows in august as we're getting ready for... well... i can't give it away yet. ;) i'll tell you when you're older (to steal a line)...
July 24: Solly's, Washington, DC (Bellflurito Set) August 8: Rock N' Roll Hotel, Washington, DC (w/ Five Four, Sweet Interference and Gaslight Society) August 12: Asylum, Washington, DC (Bellflurito Set) August 15: The Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NYC August 19: The Kyhber, Philadelphia, PA (w/ Glass Empires)
So Bellflur is done tracking the upcoming album, now it's time for mixing and mastering! WOO HOO!!!! Here are some pics of the wrap up overdubs.
This is what all overdub sessions need! Snoop Dogg and Dr.Dre stopped by for a little bit, look out for that Bellflur/Snoop mash up....no not really....No but really.....No not really, it was pretty sweet.
Nothing like a creepy mannequin head watching you while your trying to use the bathroom....."Do I need any help? No thanks mannequin head, I think I got it from here.
The new Inner Ear mascot! This kick ass jack-a-lope was caught by Tom"Bad ass Bassplayer/Synthplayer" Longobardi. Thanks Tom!
Sweet Dinosaur!!!!!! This is a portrait of EA's pet. He is a super cool Rock N Roll Dinosaur YA HEARD.
Best place EVER to drink beer while watching Sonic Youth's "The Year Punk Broke" in between recording sessions...And a little bit of MarioKart is nice too!
Carlos putting some of the final synths on the record. ROCK!!!!!
Thanks to all the additional musicians who helped make this an awesome album!
Emily and Susan from Exit Clov
Dan and Fatty from Deleted Scenes
Brad from Cobra Collective
May from Pree
Damn it I know I'm forgetting someone.....oh well I'll remember on the next blog
never have i felt so over (or first) to the moon about finishing anything in my life as i do this new record. just last week, we went into eamonn's new studio, the bastille, (housed over there at inner ear studios) to do the last bit of vocals, and one or two choice synth overdubs. we were joined by some close friends, em and susan (exit clov) and dan (deleted scenes), all of whom lent their vocals to a song or two and by the end of our three half-day sessions, this beast of an album, and tracking thereof, was laid to rest .
we started this shindig with eamonn (not knowing what he was getting himself into at the time) back in October 2007. we tracked three songs: brief physics, shooting an elephant, and insect politics (then called insect politician). insect got scrapped and thrown away for about a year. elephant made it through as did brief physics. flash forward to april 2009! the tracking of this thing is complete, what with 15 songs in total ready and available at our disposal. and we likes it. we feel as though all the revisions, reworkings, debates, collapses and restructurings of the songs has paid off. in total, we've had 13 people (including ourselves) perform and track on thsis record! strings. choral ensembles. horns. stylophones. marching drums. mellotrons. lord knows how many guitars and pedals. at the moment, i think we're basking more in the fact that we've finished it, rather than the fact that we likes it. but we hopes you will likes it too!
we have obvious next stages... mixing, mastering, production. we've got all of this tentatively lined-up, so hopefully, we'll get this thing done and out there without letting another year and a half go by. ;) and there are plans, plans, plans. in the meantime, we've got a lot of shows lined-up (and many more getting scheduled) for the rest of the spring and into the summer and fall... so keep a look-out... you'll find a short listing to your right!
Thx to all who came out last night and supported all the bands it was really appreciated! Thx to Seamonsters, Bottles/Cans and Cobra Collective! We had a great time. We are playing in the DC area again next month so stay tuned!
its seems an update is in order. so many things afoot. so many foot athings.
first, we had the grand opportunity to open for efterklang at DC9 last night. efterklang is from denmark. efterklang is amazing. efterklang is comprised of incredibly hospitable, sincere (tall) people. you should listen to them if you haven't: www.myspace.com/efterklang. if you were at the show, then you know! and if you were at the show, then thank you very much for coming. hopefully we'll have some pictures from the splendid occasion up soon.
but the show was great and we were very lucky and pleased to have emily and susan (exit clov), elizabeth (meredith bragg), and brad (cobra collective) to come on stage and play almost the entire set with us. i'm not gonna be so audacious to say that bellflur is good... but the point is that these fine folks add something mighty fine and special to our sets, so many thanks again.
bellflur has officially moved its location from a mansion to a warehouse. its a great spot and will be stellar once its done (meaning that carlos and tom and working feverishly to finish constructing some rooms and a bathroom). there will be more than just mere rehearsals going on at the warehouse (i.e., intimate shows with many a DC band) once its complete, so keep your ears open for word of that once it gets swingin'.
you may have noticed the myspace page has undergone several updates and changes. as well as managed Last.fm page, and a reverbnation page. we're gonna be a bit more proactive on that end.
shows are being booked may - july at the moment (some are getting posted as we speak... or as i type rather).
the album. ahhhhh... the album. while the actual recording of the album is complete, our dear friend and compatriate, eamonn aiken (who engineered the album), has officially moved his studio, the bastille, into the confines of innear ear studios in arlington, va. anybody and everybody in dc who is interested in acheiving some amazing sounding recordings should look him up pronto. but anyways, he's been busy wiring his studio together over there, so once he's done, we're on to mixing... then mastering... then distribution... then touring... then retiring... haha! never! bellflur will never retire... i envision us as 82 year olds on a front porch somewhere trying to wire some crazy shit into our acoustic guitars and banjos because we've lost the strength to carry all of our equipment!
lots of more things to come from the bellflur front, including new videos and snipets of the forthcoming album. grab a chair and plant yourself in front of this page, sporadically hitting the refresh button for more updates later.
or in the meantime... go see deleted scenes at the black cat this weekend. dear friends. colleagues. incredible performers.
i, carlos, wanted to write and invite anyone interested in hearing some good music with lots of musicians to dc9, www.dcnine.com , next thursday as we are playing a show with some friends who help us inflate our group from 4 meager members to an astonishing 8!!!!!!! how can we possibly fit that many people onto the dc9 stage with all the equipment we have??? it will cost you a small entrance fee, a mere pittance, to come watch in real life/full color/surround sound/spectravision/digi-resolute-megapixel mayhem.
thsi show is going to be so much fun that my cat, p-kitty, wants to make the long trek out to dc to see it, and he hears this shit all the time. ALL the time. that is quite a compliment for a group to receive from a cat.
he doesnt like to be roused from his naps and he is almost always napping.
so come on out and catch all the boring regulars, myself, hunter, patrick and tom and the newbies, brad, susan, elisabeth and eamonn, who isnt a newbie at all actually, help us seem like we are brand new and exciting. we will be playing brand new and exciting new tyme songs. wearing new fashions. and undoubtedly be smelling factory floor new and fresh.
dont be stupid. come on out.
i didnt even mention the second best part. we are playin with efterklang, from fucking denmark. that is where legos come from. and lars von trier. so two out of the the two thinks denmark has given the world are baddass. they obviously subsrive to teh quality over wuantity theory espoused for some time now.
my cat just curled up on the keyboard while i am typing this. he wants the show to be such a success he is even helping with this posting.
the end of day number 8 at the studio has come to an end and it has been fun
we were joined in the studio today by susan and emily, from the band exitclov, and may from Pree. they were all wonderful to work with and were good sports with my unimagined teaching techniques though i strive to be likened to a Apollo Creed /Rocky type of an image, in the coaching sense of the word. a fantastic team. Rocky has a statue and doesn't exist. quite a compliment. to all involved.
los didnt finish this blog.. shame shame.. i post it anyway! ha!
we had another productive day. It started around noon. we immediately turned our attention to "the rhythms of waking and sleeping." We had to finish laying down a bass guitar track and a rhodes part. Los went for the Rhodes part on the Suitcase MarkII.. after tracking it we tried using the Nord Electro on the MarkI setting. The MarkI had a little more bite which let it cut through a bit more..
from there we had to lay down the bass track. This is a bass line that Eamonn plays. It comes in at the end in support of the Novation BassStation line that I play. It sounds great.. Eamonn tracked it using Joe Lally's (of fugazi's) first Ernie ball musicman bass! This bass is the old 80's model and has its share of road rash. the action was terrible but the MM active bass was just the tone we were looking for..
Los had to dip out to pick up his mom from the Airport. so it was just Eamonn and I for a while. We decided to tackle some parts in "Last quarter of the 20th century blues."
Last night we layed down a Drum track from reason, los played the rickenbacker bass (ricky-bobby), I played an old Gibson parlor acoustic. It has a nice dark tone, unlike most acoustics I've played. after those tracks were set we broke for the night..
so from that I added another acoustic track using a Gibson j-45. this one was unreal. (thanks to nick for lending us his baby) a nice bright yet full tone. the 2 acoustics complemented each other perfectly.
the bridge needed some synth lines and the end needed some electric guitar. these parts were not written but we had some ideas floating around. I broke out my trusty BassStation, few octaves up, dialed up 2 new patches and layed down 2 contrapuntal lines. Eamonn plugged his sweeeeeeet honeyburst 60's gibson es330 into one of his preamps and layed down a tastey groove at the end.
we then decided to take a break and watch "over the top" only the best movie ever! i wont even get into this movie because it will easily triple this blog post.. all i will say is.. your life is not complete till you see this movie..
los and hatrick arrived shortly after and we paused the movie and went back to work. eamonn found an awesome synth plug in for protools 8. we messed with that for a while. Eamonn found the mario kart synth.. its amazing.. patrick found a nice high pitched filterey synth for the bridge and los layed down a styleophone part as well.. chock full o' synthy goodness.
hatrick also added and touched up some bell parts for some other tunes.
we broke for dinner, went to Guapos!!!!! mmm
LOS HAD AN APPLETINI! (please comment with your joke of choice)
so after we were all on the verge of vomiting from overindulgence, we went back to work..
are now all done.. EXCEPT violins (susan and emily of exit clov) cello (elizabeth olsen of meredith bragg) horns(brad of cobra collective and fatty of deleted scenes) vocals (may of pree, dave of sunchild, andy of play w/ me, and all)
onto the vocals. Los and I had a great talk with Don Zientara of inner ear... He is a super cool guy that has recorded basically everyone.. advice from him is something you will probably listen to.
Los and I layed down all the vocals for "Bright Lights." I like to warm up my voice/prepare by singing rediculous songs, yelling or making weird noises. so im betting sneeky eamonn got sommadat.. for your sake , i hope not.
well into the sessions to complete this beast of a record. hunter and i have finished up all of our parts (drums, samples, the "R2D2" drums, glockenspiel, percussion, guitars, mellotron). as such, he and i are falling back into the normal (incredibly frustrating) life of work during the day while making our appearances at the studio in the evening times.
carlos, tom and eamonn are still at it strong though... even in spite of making consistent stops at the now venerable institution that is weenie beenie (mmm... bacon egg and cheese on toast... it'll get you movin' in the mornin'... and the afternoon... and as the essential last minute run to grab more of that addictive grease prior to this particular institution's closing time of 6pm). i'm not sure how one can remain "strong" eating such things with such frequency... but some things are better left untouched and unsolved. those three cats are simply beyond explanation.
so let's see:
i don't think any of us had any expectation to be as far along as we are. basically, every track for the 7 songs we walked in to record from scratch (as well as every track for the 6 previous songs we had recorded in session #2 back in the 'ol 2008) are done. this is highly uncharacteristic of bellflur. i suppose this is a tip of the hat to the pre-production and rehearsals. so we find ourselves with 5 additional days to record strings, horns, and vocals... and some extra time to screw around with things (which lord knows where that will go).
the stunner so far for me (while they all are sounding mighty fine) is we can build you. quite possibly because this was the one tune we didn't quite know how the end result would pan out. one of those walking the line songs where the recording has an equal chance of success or failure. but damn, its sounding great. hunter came in at the last minute with some incredible drum/synth samples. tom's bass line. carlos' doubling the piano with the acoustic guitar... its his own guided tour to pleasure town for all future listeners of this song (apologies, we were watching anchorman last night). AND... we had "our" cellist elizabeth come out to work through some ideas and did an impromptu recording at the outro of we can build you and, my my... it sounds like a cello (much to eamonn's relief)... and it sounds absolutely incredible.
** and by "our" cellist, i mean a person of considerable cello-ing skill who was kind enough to come record some cello on this here record of ours **
tom was able to record his long awaited quiqa (i don't even know how to spell that damn word) part on ghost ships. i still haven't heard it, but my understanding is that it somehow works well. i'm sure he'll get into it in more detail on his next posting (which should be sometime very soon and include pictures).
we're currently weighing the debate of sample clearance for two samples used in two separate songs. i'll not say which ones at the moment. perhaps that's a new blog survey... to clear or not to clear a sample? i feel i've said too much on this subject.
hunter and i did lots of percussion overdubs last night on rhythms of waking and sleeping... to include eamonn bringing down an old marching drum from the loft of inner ear studios. also a few drum overdubs on activate yourcancelled check and ghost ships.
mellotron stuff on ghost ships and we can build you. lovely rhodes piano and dual guitar single note picking on fits and stops and starts.
i myself got to have some fun at the bridge of the new and improved version of insect politician. reverse reverb using what turns out to be a completely useless reverb pedal (hardwire stereo reverb) on any other setting in the pedal's sound portfolio... along with some teaspoon. ahh... the teaspoon. yes. the teaspoon is an effect pedal... and it saves my ass when i'm on the verge of fucking up a take.
anyways, things are moving along splendidly. i'll be redoing a glockenspiel part this evening, reamping a guitar part through a kaoss pad. but other than that, i believe carlos and tom are heavy into vocals today, with guest musicians later in the week. one or two special guest vocals on a couple of songs... possibly saturday the 7th!! the exit clovers (susan and emily) as well as elizabeth cello are slated to come do group string sessions on friday... assuredly an event that we will document on video as they are all better musicians than we :)
so until the next posting... take care. sleep well. keep your cute hat on.
So after what felt like years.. the day finally came. the final recording sessions at Inner Ear Recording Studios. Ill be honest, Ive never been there and knew a little about it.. which i think made the experience all the greater..
where to start...
the day started just like other random bellflur outings. A car full of gear. stairs. heavy items. pick up. put down. push. slide. you get the point..
as soon as our gear was situated i had to start exploring. First thing.. Very cool space, awesome vibe. Then the cd's, records, and posters caught my eye.. the list of musicians that have recorded there, to me, is extremely interesting and inspiring. A ton of the albums were created there were albums that i grew up listening to.. so that hit home to me.. It must be how super religious people feel when they go to a shrine or church..
we got set up and decided to tackle the song "fits and stops and starts." This one is pretty straight forward.. clean bass/los axe/ hatrick axe/acoustic-n-electronic drums/rhodes. tracked it no click, all live w/out vocals. nailed it after running through it a few times..
today while i was supposed to be getting ready for the studio this week i started playing a song by the band sparklehorse and ended up making a little video.
the song is called "sad and beautiful world"
if i havent made you sick of their stuff yet you should listen to them. there arent many bands i listen to as much as sparklehorse. except maybe they might be giants. or the mars volta. and i am getting back into my pink floyd obsession again. however i find that each time i get back into pink floyd i get more and more fixed on a smaller portion of their catalogue. now i am not going any further than meddle, with maybe a hint of dark side. but then i tack on the final cut as well.
oh yeah, check out a band called mum if you have not already. they are from iceland. they are special. they have lots of toys.
have a good night and remember to vote in our bacon vote. we need to have answers!!!!!
1- get in guiness book of world records 2- join the MLE (major league eating) 3- join a curling league 3- get a 67 mustang gt500e 4- go to iceland 5- tour japan/europe 6- skydive (and live) 7- learn how to weld 8- build a motorcycle 9- invent/patent something 10- enter the national rock/ paper/ scissor contest. 11- beat the 77oz steak challenge 12- see the pyramids 13- go into outer space 14-motorcycle tour of sicily - http://www.cimt.it/sicily.htm
i am taking advice, contributions, convo, and donations for my new endeavors.