Friday, 11/27/09

by musicclipoftheday

This take?

Or that?

Move the voice forward?

Back?

Make the guitar brighter?

Darker?

Enough bass?

Too much?

Enough room sound?

Mixing a record, as I learned when I worked at Alligator Records (back in the 1970s), involves a seemingly countless number of decisions. After a few hours, everyone starts to get a little punch-drunk. By the end of the night, for instance, this track had morphed—in the warped warble of engineer Freddie Breitberg (AKA, in his personal mythology, Eddie B. Flick)—into “Serve Me Rice For Supper.”

Jimmy Johnson, “Serves Me Right To Suffer” (Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 1, Alligator Records, 1977 [Grammy Nominee])

**********

lagniappe

reading table

The ’net’s filled with enough dreck for a thousand lifetimes; but then, as happened the other day (after hearing about it on the radio), you come across something that’s simply stunning—like the new, complete collection of the letters of Vincent van Gogh.

. . . Van Gogh’s letters are the best written by any artist . . . Their mixture of humble detail and heroic aspiration is quite simply life-affirming.—Andrew Motion, The Guardian (11/21/09)