Before I'd settled on the idea that I wanted to be a "graphic designer", Peter Saville's work made a striking impression on me and cemented an idea of perfect design deep in my brain. Saville's style references both the antique and the ultra-modern. Sometimes his work is grounded here on Earth, and other times it reaches deep into the infinite expanse of outer-galactic space. Whatever methods he employs, he always seems to manage to encapsulate and complement the particular concept he's designing around.
While Saville has taken on many projects in his career, the realm that I've had the opportunity to enjoy the most has been his work with Factory Records artists, particularly Joy Division and New Order. His knack for conceptual reinforcement adds a very power dimension to the music. It's so much more than packaging. Saville's ability to create a convincing, and undeniable kinship between his visuals and the sound of music is second to none.
I've heard him dismissed by people calling him dreary, unoriginal and unimaginative, or even artsy for the sake of being artsy. When I hear things like that, it's all too easy for me think, "they just don't get it."
In My Mailbox Clean Plate Records has been sending out Mind Eraser LPs. I got mine today. It's heavy.
To Be Delivered • Arkitip Magazine just reached into my wallet and took $75. Check out their new issue featuring Peter Saville. I'll be patiently awaiting the day it arrives.
• Masshysteri - Vår Del Av Stan. I'm really anticpating this little Swedish gem. Feral Ward hasn't posted ordering information about the USA release, so I went straight to Ny Våg Records for the Euro press.
• Speaking of Feral Ward, I picked up a bunch of stuff from them the other day. That will be an exciting mail day.
Tonight, I'm poring over the demo tracks that my band recorded at our last practice. We're gearing up to put in some solid rehearsal time in anticipation of our upcoming recording dates in December, so I'm refining my guitar harmonies and overdubs, making production notes and finalizing my lyrics and vocal patterns. I live for this kind of preparation!
Spending time in the studio always gives you the chance to nail down the songs you've written and push them to their full potential. The experience is rewarding and exciting, but this time it feels different; my usual eagerness is amplified tenfold. I've become unsually attached to the songs we've written and feel a bit of responsibility to ensure that they're perfectly represented and preserved on tape.
However, all the excitement of recording is tempered by a bittersweet feeling of uncertainty. A strange phenomenon seems to occur time and time again, where every recording session feels like it's bound to be my last. I suppose it's hard for one to imagine anything being more perfect than the project they're presently working on. Time always proves me wrong, but the feeling is still unshakable.
This post could go on all night long, so I'll close with a list of all the recording sessions that I can recall off the top of my head. I might have forgotten a few, but this is certainly the majority of my studio experiences.
My Bands 03/2002 - Never Again, Demo - 5 tracks 09/2002 - The Mourning Dawn, Demo - 4 tracks 04/2003 - These Days, Demo - 7 tracks 08/2003 - These Days, Death Sentence, 4 tracks (scrapped) 11/2003 - These Days, Death Sentence, 5 tracks 02/2004 - These Days, Demo/Spiderghost compilation, 3 tracks 05/2004 - The Mourning Dawn, 1931-1981 - 13 tracks 10/2004 - These Days, s/t - 12 tracks 12/2004 - Ceremony, Demo - 6 tracks 01/2005 - These Days, s/t Mixing ??/2005 - Your Kids, Demo (scrapped) - 4 tracks ??/2005 - Acoustic demos, home recordings ??/2006 - Acoustic demos, home recordings 03/2007 - These Days, Chained to the Lake - 10 tracks 04/2007 - Skin Like Iron, Demo - 9 tracks 06/2007 - Skin Like Iron, Conquest - 5 tracks 07/2007 - Skin Like Iron, Wisdom demos - 5 tracks 08/2007 - Skin Like Iron, Wisdom & Conquest II - 9 tracks 01/2008 - Skin Like Iron, 10" - 9 tracks 03/2008 - Skin Like Iron, Quake City 7" - 2 tracks 09/2008 - Skin Like Iron, 7" demos - 4 tracks Other Bands ??/2004 - Vocals on Lifelong Tragedy, Destined For Anything ??/2004 - Vocals on Days to Streaks, Demo (I later joined this band) ??/2005 - Vocals on At Risk, s/t ??/2006 - Vocals on Trash Talk, Walking Disease ??/2007 - Vocals on Ramparts, Demo
Looking back at where I started at the age of 20, and looking ahead a few weeks to where I'll be on my 27th birthday, it's amazing how much has occurred in such a short period of time. Here's to hoping that I'm able to continue dredging my creative wells for some time to come.
30 years ago, yesterday, most of the followers of Jim Jones' People's Temple perished in a mass suicide. The grisly, yet fascinating demonstration of Jones' control over his followers illustrates the power of man and mind. How does one identify, penetrate and exploit the needs of his disaffected followers? How is one so injured mentally that they seek out and submit to such control?
Once this control is established, anything is possible. The malleability of someone enthralled by a demigod such as Jones is easy to understand. Fear, abuse and deceit can ensure compliance, but how is that door even opened? I certainly don't have an answer... merely curiosity.
No, they're not saying "we've got the tall tees", apparently. I hear that Masshysteri will be coming to our shores in April. Very exciting.
Also exciting: A record that I recently refused to pay $35 for on eBay was offered to me by its seller for $5. Apparently whoever outbid me by $30 didn't intend to actually pay that kind of money. I know there's some Vivian Girls hype going on right now (hey, that's what caught my interest), but come on... oh well, I guess I came up pretty good on this one.