Thursday, January 31st
8:00pm / doors at 6:30pm
Advance general admission: $20
At the door: $25
Table of 4 reserved seats: $100
A note from LLOYD COLE:
About a year ago, after almost a decade in self-imposed exile as a would-be folksinger, I developed an itch I wasn’t expecting. It seemed that there were aspects to my old life in rock and roll that I missed. Tour buses and product managers, certainly not. But the interacting with musicians, the camaraderie and the joy of hearing one’s music enhanced and elevated by the aesthetic of others, absolutely. Damn.
I never wanted to make records alone, but somehow I ended up spending much of the 2000’s in a studio with just a bunch of equipment and a computer, or touring with a suitcase and two guitars. Two things made me realise that I needed to rejoin the fray, at least for a little while I had written some songs which demanded a beat, and I was having great fun with my new acoustic trio – The Small Ensemble. Why not make a rock(ing) record, or whatever it is that 49-year-olds make when they try to do that?
Money, for one. I couldn’t afford to just not tour for six months and spend $65,000. And I certainly wasn’t about to go looking for a major record deal… Fortunately, I’d been working the last few years with Tapete Records in Hamburg on a couple of projects and I felt that our relationship was good. I like them and trust them. I’m not interested in doing business with folk I don’t like any more. My friends at XIII Bis in France were also interested. Tapete said they could front some of the budget. For the rest I followed the example of my old Negative pal Jill Sobule and I asked my fans for money. 1000 very forward thinking, not to mention trusting folk paid $45 for a deluxe edition of an album which wasn’t even recorded.
I emailed my ideal band – I was making a record, in a studio, old school with tape. Interested? NB. The money is not much, and not negotiable. All said yes. I had a studio band:
Drums, Percussion – Fred Maher (Scritti Politti, Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet, my first two solo records)
Bass, Vocals – Rainy Orteca (Joan as Policewoman, Anthony and the Johnsons, Brilliantine)
Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals – Mark Schwaber (The Small Ensemble, Spouse, Hospital)
Guitars, Banjo – Matt Cullen (The Small Ensemble, The Sighs, Ware River Club)
Keyboards – Blair Cowan (The Commotions, Paul Quinn, Alisdair Robertson)
Pedal Steel – Bob Hoffnar (Hem, Crash Test Dummies, my Bad Vibes album)
Piano, Violin, Guitar, Vocals – Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman, Anthony and the Johnsons, Dambuilders)
Vocals – Kendall Meade (Mascott, Grammercy Arms)
Production and Vocals – Dave Derby (Dambuilders, The Negatives, Grammercy Arms, Brilliantine)
Mixing – Mick Glossop
Dave Bates, my man at Fontana way back when, kindly agreed to A&R the record.
I played acoustic guitar, banjo and sang.
Down to business: Fred, Rainy, Mark, Dave and I began rehearsals in Williamsburg, NY on March 1st. The next week basic tracks were recorded in Manhattan’s The Magic Shop, engineered by Geoff Sanoff. Overdubs were done mostly close to my home in W. Massachusetts at Slaughterhouse Studios, engineered by Mark Alan Miller. The final recording session (excepting the one vocal recorded during mixing) was April 3rd.
About a month before rehearsals commenced I had about 15 song ideas for the record of which only seven or eight were actually finished or close enough not to worry about. We narrowed it down to twelve to record. I then entered a state of song writing frenzy which, frankly, undermined my enjoyment of the sessions. We had a deadline. The songs must be completed or I’m screwed. Not to mention Tapete, and the 1000 investors.
Well, we made it. The final lyric was written and then recorded at Mick Glossop’s Magazine Studio in West London on April 22nd, leaving us two days to mix the song and fine tune the rest. Amazingly, there was time for a beer (only one) at the end of the final day.
You will need to ask me for details of the recordings, or go to my Studio Journal http://www.lloydcole.com/weblog/index.php?cat=30, there is far more than you need there.
The whole experience was, for me, rewarding, perplexing, fabulously enjoyable and heinously stressful. Singing with a rock and roll band in the studio I felt exactly as I did in 1987 or 1995, and then I would see my reflection in the glass of the gobo and wonder who this old guy was… I’m happy we got these songs finished, because I’m not sure I’ll make another record like this again. Having said that, I’m never going back to that room with the computer…
~ Lloyd Cole, June 2010, Massachusetts, USA