Monday, February 28, 2005

Live at Budokan

Listening to one of the records that first made me want to rock: Live at Budokan by Cheap Trick. I forgive you for "The Flame," though I was too young to realize just how bad it was. But man, as soon as I had Live at Budokan to compare that to, or rather, the fury of thousands of screaming Japanese girls, my life changed and faux-hairband ballads were cast to the depths of nostalgia forever. We're all alright!

Went to the hollows of foliated kudzu that is North Carolina this weekend to see my mom and dad. After church Sunday morning, who should walk by but a lost interest from college. She and I worked everything out, but nevertheless, the abyss of post-collegiate relocation swallowed up what could have been left of a friendship. The thing is, I didn't recognize her immediately, and therefore, didn't have a chance to say hi in the midst of the throng exiting mass. She walked past, and into some Cusackian morning swimmingly alive in my head. Was she married? Did she have kids? She looked happy. Then again, she always looked happy.

In honor of this event, I, Matt of MFA, present:

My All Time Top 5 records when I was approx. 9:
Beach Boys "Concert"
Bob Seger "Like A Rock"
The Highwaymen "The Highwaymen"
Duran Duran "Seven and the Ragged Tiger"
Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms"

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Please point your browsers to justification for the existence of the internet.

We here at MFA would like to thank the internet. We love you.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

New Agey Nonsense

There are few things I enjoy more than the feeling of interconnectedness amongst people. You know, finishing sentences, long cerebral discussions (sadly, as I grow older, these get fewer and fewer), and little existential proof that we are not just amoeba floating through some kind of time tracked void of lightness.

I was thinking earlier of being down in Richmond a few years ago. Patrick used to live just outside the reaches of urbania, in a place called Powhatan. My brother and I would go down periodically to visit and to escape our awkward adult lives in DC. We were driving back from a climbing gym where Pat worked, Dan climbed, and I contemplated getting exercise, on a very sunny late autumn afternoon. The trees were mostly stripped bare of any last jagged sandpaper leaves, yet strangely the fading sun was quite warm, zipping about in my old VW through once lush Virginia backwater.

Listening to a mixtape a friend had made the previous year, we came about "New Paths To Helicon Pt. 2" by Mogwai pulling out of a gas station and turned it way up. Just as the droney mellow part gave way to the ethereal noisebath that is the second part, we passed into a portion of road lined with trees. The strobing effect of the sun through the trees coupled with the ambient wail that is New Paths to Helicon nearly tore my scalp off with goosebumps, adrenaline and near epileptic sunlight.

I said something like "holy crap!" to Dan, he responded with an exasperated "I know…"

It was a moment that justified my love of music, needing no explanation other than cutting down to the tendrils to a place where there is nothing left but sound and light.

Reading: "Steven King: On Writing"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

In Your Ear

Matt gets all the fun. Bloggin’ all the time. Hey there, It’s me, Jim. Who? Very funny. Yes… I know I haven’t been around lately. No, it’s not you. Um, come on, that’s not fair. Of course I didn’t forget about you. Ok, fine be that way, if you must.

I’ve been a busy bee with lots of different band stuff going on at once.

MFA will be in Inner Ear soon to finish up the studio portion of our record. I love working with Matt and Nick in this setting so I’m looking forward to recording more. This will be the 3rd time in there with Matt and 4th time working with Nick. I think the idea this time is we are going to take a day off of the grind to get into the studio. I love this idea. I don’t think I’ve ever been there during the day, during the week.

Lavajet is back to playing out again! Feb 23 at DC9. Looks like we may have some new tunes. I’m really liking the new songs, some of them have a totally different feel from what

people are used to with LavaJet. Oh, and it’s Paul’s coming out party. I almost forgot that we haven’t played out with him yet.

My seasonal side project, Potato Famine, has been asked to play in a battle of the bands in NYC at the Knitting Factory. It’s been a dream of mine to play at this place. I really dig the vibe they have there. 3 floors with music on each floor. How can you go wrong! Everyone should come with me for this one.

The Actor and The Waitress

After a night of much needed catch-up sleep, this morning I disembarked the bus for the blue line at Pentagon. Has anyone else encountered the menacing Pentagon police there? It's quite strange to be commuting half-awake past men who are hyper-alert carrying large machine guns. I'm not up on my weaponry, but there was probably enough firepower in those cartridges to lay waste to every single human on that bus in about 5 seconds. Walking past, I smiled meagerly and looked one of these policemen right in the eye.

After playing the sleep depravation game, I am glad to be back in the world of clarity. Watched 3 episodes of Project Greenlight last night and, surprise, surprise, am now inspired to rewrite an old song in need of less venom, about an actor who is writing a screenplay. No, I will not call the song Garden State.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Opening Flower and Happy Bird

This week has been back to business as normal. By that, I mean imagining album and EP titles and seeing if they stick. We've come a long way since first laying down tracks on our EP, and we are just about done mixing now. It always amazes me to hear how a recording progresses. To hear where Mark would add a little reverb or EQ a portion of the recording, and how better just a little work makes it sound.

Our strategy was to lay down some live drums and guitar, and then overdub everything else. The songs were 90% written when they came in, it just took learning them and ultimately a little re-writing. In the end, most songs don't total more than 8 tracks. In a burst of simplicity, we ended up cutting keyboard parts out– figuring that less is more. And since we aren't doing an ELO record, what is the point of one… more… synth…?

So there you have it. Our first foray into modern recorded history: "Opening Flower and Happy Bird" EP is done! We will be working on the packaging and tweaking the final mix throughout the weekend. Look forward to some shows to promote this succulent record! We also have some surprises up our collective sleeve, stay tuned!