Light on.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Usual Rubbish

Okay, commence recording. The light is on, folks. No, not THAT light! That’s the freaking microwave! That just means your burrito is cooked. I mean the production light. Jesus.

Oh, hi. Yeah … we’re working on some more music, but it’s not obvious what exactly we’re working on. Is it an album? An EP? A single? Some throwaway tunes for the podcast? Anyone’s guess. All I know is that the light goes on and I start playing. When it goes out, I stop. Sometimes it flickers on and off, and that makes my job a bit harder. I see that and I drop in a lot of eighth-note rests – it can sound kind of funky if you close your eyes (and your ears, too).

We’ve made something of a habit of recording over the decades. Given that we’re not a performing band at this point, at least not in the conventional sense, recordings pretty much amount to our “performances”. But recording has been a bit of an obsession over the years, from Matt’s reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, to 4-track cassette, to recording in various studios, to acquiring an 8-track Tascam DA-88 deck, then a 16/24-track Roland VS2480 workstation, and now a Cubase system. Hey … we’re archivists. Why fight it?

Is the light on?¬†As part of our THIS IS BIG GREEN February podcast, I included a couple of old numbers drawn from demos. One of those was digitized straight from a standard audio cassette, simply because we never owned the original media it was on – a 2500-ft reel of half-inch audio tape from 1986, probably now nothing more than cinders. The 1981 recording (Silent as a Stone) was taken from a reel-to-reel stereo dub – you can hear the tape (or my playback machine) failing at the end. That song came from a session where we recorded four songs, including one of mine and one of Matt’s. The 1986 version of “Slipping and Sliding” was recorded on an 8-track reel-to-reel machine as part of a 4-song demo; that I only have an audio cassette of.

So here we are again, toiling away on audio artifacts that someone will happen upon years from now and scratch their heads over. Which is pretty much how we find listeners. It’s a process that works on geological time, basically, like making feldspar. (Hmmmm … good idea for an album title. Feldspar … )

Inside February (again)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Usual Rubbish

Jesus, Marvin. When I told you to release the podcast, I didn’t mean put it on the end of a stick and hold it over your head. I meant “release it” in a more modern, technical sense. Are you sure you’re a robot? Oh, okay. That’s news to you. Whoops.

Well, it appears that Marvin (my personal robot assistant) has learned where his last name came from. Red letter day for him, at least. Me? I have to walk you through a podcast you probably haven’t heard because my mechanical friend thinks the act of dropping an episode is something akin to playing lacrosse. No matter – push on!

Here’s what we have in this month’s THIS IS BIG GREEN podcast:

Ned Trek 36: Grope in the Fold – This installment of our now long-running Ned Trek series (a parody mashup of classic Star Trek, Mr. Ed, and that thing they call the Republican party) commandeers a second-season (1967) script entitled “Wolf in the Fold”. Action includes some first-rate screaming, a gripping courtroom scene, and numerous instances of Mr. Ned telling Perle to shut up. Simply can’t be missed.

Marvin blew it, man.Put The Phone Down – Matt and I sit down for our usual rangy discussion of whatever floats into either of our tiny brains. This month’s random topics include a recap of the Ned Trek episode you just heard; a brief riff on a local meat market and its longstanding sausage-based slogan; Matt’s recollection of a backstage fight between actors playing Buffalo Bill and Jesus Christ in a locally-produced musical back in 1978 or so; Our thoughts on the unusual, perhaps singular, playing style of our late friend and one-time guitarist Tim Walsh; Some news of beavers and sweet potatoes …. and so on.

Song: Two Lines – A Ned Trek / Sulu song from a couple of years ago; one of my personal favorites. Sulu sings of the anguish of only having two lines in any given episode. Chorus features common two-line speeches from Sulu’s role in classic Star Trek.

Song: Silent as a Stone – Deep archive pick. This song long predates our Big Green moniker, but it’s still us. Recorded in the long departed Music Workshop studio in Utica, NY (producer: Bill Scranton) back in 1981, this very weird little number features some of that insane Tim Walsh guitar work Matt and talked about. Head scratcher, but that’s how we sounded in 1981.

Song: It Should’ve Been Me – Closer on our 2013 album Cowboy Scat: Songs in the Key of Rick. Just because.

Song: Don’t Tell Rick – A song we produced after Cowboy Scat. It’s basically a plea to our audience of five not to tell Rick Perry about the album; particularly about the lyric in “It Should’ve Been Me” about playing with his dong. Still working on the video.

Song: Slipping and Sliding – Our cover of a Little Richard number. (Don’t tell Rick!) This is another deep archive pick, from our very first recording as Big Green – a demo tracked at Ned Danison’s brother’s garage studio back in 1986 or so. One of the songs we did in those days.

Peace out.

THIS IS BIG GREEN: February 2018

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Podcast

Big Green vaults forward into the new year a month late with a new episode of Ned Trek, plus five Big Green songs, some verbal exchanges between brothers, and more sloppy impromptu performances. Avaunt!

This is Big Green – February 2018. Features: 1) Ned Trek 36: Grope in the Fold; 2) Put the phone down: Talk of dramatic courtroom drama; 3) Home of Wedding and big party Kielbasa; 4) Song: Two Lines, by Big Green; 5) Backstage fisticuffs with BJCB; 6) Tim Walsh’s guitar style; 7) Song: Silent as a Stone, by Big Green; 8) Song: It Should’ve Been Me, by Big Green; 9) Song: Don’t Tell Rick, by Big Green; 10) News from the farm; 11) Song: Slipping and Sliding, performed by Big Green; 12) Time to go.