Barn. Abandoned hotel. Log cabin. These are just a few locations outside the recording studio that bands have recorded their music. And now: record store.
Jared Cox and TJ Jordan of Revolver Records are the masterminds behind Recorded in a Record Store, a compilation album of local bands who did just that.
"The two of us own a fair amount of vintage mics and preamps," Cox explains. "We wanted to put our gear to use and record bands and artists that we both like. We both thought the idea of recording a band live inside of a record store was really cool."
Cox elaborated by saying that when choosing which bands to feature on the album, he and Jordan picked bands who had played at their store before, whether it be for First Fridays or album releases. And not just any bands, but bands that left an impression. And who are those lucky bands? Well, the first "Recorded in a Record Store," released this past Record Store Day, featured Playboy Manbaby, Cherie Cherie, and Petty Things.
After a substantial amount of interest and positive responses, Cox and Jordan decided to release a second record, this time with Andrew Jackson Jihad and ROAR. So a few Saturdays ago, ROAR filtered into Revolver Records and prepared to do a live, multi-track recording of their song "Hope," for the upcoming release of "Recorded in a Record Store," to be released November 28.
Owen Evans of ROAR had wanted to participate in 'Recorded in a Record Store" because Cox is "such a nice guy." Plus, many friends of the band had participated in previous albums and, as Evans remarks, "if our friends were jumping off bridges..." You get the idea.
Jordan initiates the recording by saying "Give me a beat!" Jef Wright responds with a standard 4/4 drum beat to gain levels. Aaron Burke used Radiohead's "Nude" bass line as a warm up tune, to which Wright responded quickly with its simple drum beat. Evan Bisbee played along with flute synthesizer tones on his keyboard to create an eclectic ambience in the room.
When the music starts, it's a grandiose psychedelic trip that spins you through ballsy up-tempo interludes with breaks of funky bits of drum-and-bass dancing and pieces of sensational baroque elegance. The song is every inch of dynamic from beginning to end, which never ceases to entertain you. The band really roars the ability to wear many musical hats in one song, with ever-changing time signatures, tempos, and overall moods throughout. Wright is electricity on a drum kit. Burke is punctuation in groove form. Bisbee is smooth sailing through a wave of psychedelia. And Evans is the infectious and addictive drug that you crave when you just can't get enough.
After one warmup and two perfectly recorded takes, the band started to fall apart during its third take. They couldn't get halfway through the song without one member messing up and busting out laughing.
Evans was then left alone in the store with the audio engineers to overdub vocals, while the rest of the band headed to FilmBar for a quick beer break. Evans sings each verse twice before moving onto the next verse, which range from quiet to loud with each break. The last verse which cries "That's what I call progress" is a four-part harmony exclamation from Evans, with each melody recorded twice for a total of eight voices.
When asked what the story behind the song was, Evans explained that it's "a pretty cliché matter." He hoped to have miraculously put some spin on the idea of swearing off love.
"You had it once, but now it's gone, and you'll never find it again, so fuck it and give up," Evans describes. "Then you think, 'If I've practiced cutting myself off from the possibility of feeling love, does that mean that I won't be able to feel or recognize it if I change my mind someday?' It's a hypothetical use-it-or-lose-it scenario."
Look for "Recorded in a Record Store" released on November 28. This album featuring ROAR and Andrew Jackson Jihad will be available only at Revolver Records.
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