With a Little Help from Our Friends
I wanted to take a minute and thank Ryan Aylward from the local Chicago band and one of our sister acts Camera. If it were not for him and his generosity the progress for our upcoming record would be regressed to an unfixable state.
To stay on par with "Murphy's Law" (see previous post) our luck would have it that 1 week before we were supposed to be tracking for pre-production our record our computer crashed, taking a lot of our progress on developmental ideas with it. I was heading out the following day for New York and despite many attempts to get the computer fixed in time we lost 4 full days of our planned time for pre-production.
Upon my return to Chicago, our computer was still in the shop and attempts to track onto a 4 track cassette tape machine were just not feasible! Poor Vincent and Kevin tried to make it happen but it just wasn't working.
I put in a phone call to Ryan explaining to him the situation and without hesitation he lent Model Stranger his very own computer to get us through until ours was out of the shop. Thank you Ryan and thank you Camera for the contribution to this record!
Camera will soon be releasing some new music as well. You can now find them at their new website and hear some of their thoughts on their blog.
Strangers in the Night
This past week/weekend Model Stranger have been living out of their rehearsal spot, clocking in 18 hours on Saturday and 15 hours on Sunday. The chops are getting up and everything is progressing right on time! Since we are recording this upcoming record live we have made sure to devote adequate time to making sure we are as prepared and focused as we need to be to make a great record.
The fight against the dry climate and exhaustion was alleviated by Saturday night visit from Chris Balzer of Verona Red and a 1:30am Sunday morning visit by insomniac Coate (with beer and a camera in tow). Chris spent some time watching us work, sharing his thoughts and joined us for our break and dinner. We discussed everything from the recording process and booking to the Model Stranger Peenees Watch collection. Verona Red and Model Stranger will be working together in the very near future!
Coate came in late. He observed loudly, coached, snapped some shots, hazed Vince, gave his advice and in the end, tucked us in. It was a nice visit and a perfect end to a long day.
Sunday was spent verging ahead through Monday morning.
Finding the Right Title
As of late Model Stranger has been sharing and considering potential titles for our forthcoming record due for release in late April. The 'joking phase' is most necesarry in the creative process for me when working on titles and lyrics. Humoring myself allows me to "loosen the grip" a bit on what I am trying to convey. Parodying on two of my favorite records/record titles I have come to find these two never usuable adaptations as potential titles for the new Model Stranger record. Have a laugh then take a listen to these real records if you haven't already heard.
The vague and mysterious route. Titles like these never really give you a clue what the intention of the band is but make sense after the record is heard. i.e.. "Dark Side of The Moon" or "Sketches of Spain"...
"From a Warehouse in a Lonley Industrial Park"
Elliott Smith's last record was titled "From a Basement on a Hill". A simple and lovely title really. I am a loyal devotee to his entire body of work but out of all the records he put out, "From a Basement on a Hill" is still my favorite record title. The title is actually a lyric out of a track off of the record but does a great job representing the feeling behind the record. I couldn't say enough about this record.
Oh Elliott... If you haven't had a chance to learn of Elliott Smith's music you can hear clips and learn a lot more about his career at http://www.sweetadeline.net/
Next is the classic and rarely ever used "take me home to mother" approach. Throughout the '50s and early '60s (perhaps later) a lot of labels would title records like they were an experience with the band themselves. "A Night with ______" "Say Hello to _____", that sort of thing. The parody I keep laughing at is:
Meet Model Stranger
"Meet The Beatles" - The Beatles second release in the states (I believe it was released as "With the Beatles" in the UK. This record is a blast if you enjoy jumping on your bed or slow dancing with yourself while singing doo wop. "Please Mister Postman", "It Won't Be Long", "You've Really got a Hold on Me" are raw and fantastic performances. Then again, I am talking about the Beatles.
All kidding aside now - Here are a few of my favorite record titles (not favorite records necesarrily) that just sum up the attitude of the record so well.
I guess picking a title for a body of work could be really easy or really hard. I am certain it depends on the level of pretention that is associated with any given genre and where each artist is at in their career. For now the title of our upcoming record is undetermined.
In the end I believe that if a record is done well it will define the title itself anyways. I just spent my morning trying to pinpoint whether or not there was a rhyme or reason behind what makes a title great. I have come to find that a great title isn't always a fair representation of the music on its own but always means more with a fantastic body of music behind it. In the end great songs/records define even the simplest and most mediocre of titles and never is it the other way around.
Now let's hear from you. Any favorite record titles and/or the reason behind loving the title? Comment on this post at http://www.modelstranger.com/
Thanks for reading and sharing!