Happy 2013! Of course, the change of year always gets me reflecting on the past and coming years – accomplishments and goals. Luckily, 2012 was a busy year full of interesting/engaging projects and work-travels here and abroad.
On the recording end of things: Houndstooth came in early in the year and we overdubbed and mixed about half an album worth of songs. Sex Life laid down some drum tracks for their upcoming double record. Scout Niblett put down a record’s worth of material, some of which has been released on a new single “No More Nasty Scrubs”, on Drag City, engineered by me, mixed by Brandon Eggleston. The rest of which should be coming out as an LP early this year.
Blue Cranes added some horns and strings to their great new record, “Swim”, also out sometime early this year. More on the jazz note: Battle Hymns and Gardens, Reed and Joe from Blue Cranes other band (with stellar drummer and renaissance man Tim Duroche), came in and tracked an album of excellent free-ish jazz songs, also awaiting mix and release.
The Bay-area bizarro noise-rock group Zdrastvootie (name, I found out, an intentionally mispronounced Russian word for hello – Здравствуйте) had me down to Oakland track a record at Eli Crews’ New, Improved Recording, which was my first travel recording experience. And I had the opportunity to record some all-vocal music from Portland acapella trio Bergerette, who sing medieval songs in French, another first.
Nucular Aminals came by in summertime and we recorded and mixed a new full-length, “Start From an End.”
The year closed with the release of a very special, personal record from Portland musician Peter Rainbeau, recorded in a cabin on Mt. Hood with friends and family, and brought to me for final mixing in the summer.
In the live realm, there was plenty of touring going on: early in the year I was able to catch a little sunshine down in California and across the South to Austin for SXSW with Matthew Dear and his brand new band. We stopped by the Moog factory in Asheville, NC, and spent a week in Austin eating breakfast tacos (oh, and doing a bunch of shows). This was followed shorty thereafter by a short little jaunt down the West coast with Bachelorette, as she opened for the Magnetic Fields. Later spring brought me to Europe with Matthew Dear again – France, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, with a final show at Berghain in Berlin.
I was fortunate enough to be able to camp and work at Pickathon this summer, one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. My friends Nalin Silva (Revolver Studios) and Si Abrams (live sound mixer extraordinaire) were in charge of the live webcast mixes from the imfamous Galaxy Barn stage. One of the most impressive things about the festival for me is their commitment to sustainability – no bottled water, no throw-away plates and silverware. It was the first festival I’ve been to that had almost no trash on the ground.
Then in the fall, with the release of Matthew Dear’s new record, “Beams,” we hit the road again: headlining a Ghostly International showcase at Decibel Festival in Seattle, playing between The Coup and Public Enemy at San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival, and doing the big, long U.S./Canada tour circle. We closed out the touring with two weeks in northern Europe (including a smashing show at London’s Fabric, Le Guess Who? Festival in Holland and a show in Moscow, which I’d never been to before).