September 09, 2005

Nerdy Self-Obsessed Music Stuff

And now for something completely different. With my machine relatively paralyzed by creating backup of the tons and tons of GB worth of my musical history, I have little to do but yak all about it. Not really such a big deal, except that my dvd burner can only work up to 2x speed, which means almost all of the dvd-r stuff now available is out of my league. Now that I've found discs slow enough for the thing, I'm backing up all the Honey White and Mojo Wire stuff I can, often so I can toss the mounds of random CDs clogging the playroom.

One of the more interesting things I unearthed is the original backups for Honey White's debut CD, a 5-song demo/E.P. from 3 years ago. We recorded it at a home studio, digitally onto a Roland VS-2480, the hyper-evolved version of my own Roland VS-890 (which is what I use to record shows and rehearsals). Anyway, all the backup material can only be read by a VS-2480, so it's basically useless unless we find one lying around somewhere, which is doubtful. As a counter-example, the backup for this year's album (which you see on this blog) is readily accessible as it was done with Pro Tools. It's stored on an external drive here at my place, and Brian has a copy also. Not to mention the 500 copies we pressed of the actual release. So no, there probably won't be a 30-year remastered, rejiggered version of the "My Band Rocks!" E.P., which shouldn't really make anyone shed any tears.

Other more irritating revelations concern the lack of Mojo Wire backup material. I've found a few discs of mp3 backup, but not much else. This isn't necessarily bad, since the Mojo stuff was all mostly on cassette tapes, and we got the best of that before the tapes got themselves lost in our various moves around Isla Vista. Still, considering the amount of crap we have for Honey White after 3.5 years of existence, it's a shame that the Mojo Wire's 5 years are preserved so poorly. The world at large might not care, but I do. Guys in bands tend to have special places in their hearts for the first band they were ever in, no matter how much that band may have sucked.

The Mojo Wire didn't suck all the time, though. To say they did is kind of insulting, actually, since at the time we definitely didn't think so- it was too much fun to worry about what other people thought if they didn't like us. There were actually 3 different lineups in 5 years, and much of it was quite good considering the various circumstances under which the recording was done (such as near-total ignorance about recording techniques). Funny thing is, the first Mojo album was very bluesy-surfy, and much of the recording that we did for those songs was done so poorly that we actually got pretty close, without even knowing or trying, to what original blues or surf recordings sounded like back in the 50s/early 60s- the days before stereo, when one microphone was all there was to do the job. Tinny, weak-sounding stuff, but hey, very unique. When we dropped "Battery Acid Blues" in late 1997 in Isla Vista, it was totally different from anything being played there at the time (ska, punk, jam bands) and different from the wider music world at large. That goes double for the 3rd Mojo Wire album, which, because of when and how we made it, is still real special to me even though some of it is damn nigh unlistenable.

As you may have guessed I'm the archivist for all this band stuff. It's so valuable to me though, more than anything I've ever been paid to do, and that's including the graphic design work I've been doing in recent years. That's why the websites are up for the bands, still, even (and especially) the ones that aren't active anymore. Hell, Bryn and Adam have been jamming again down in OC, so really, whenever they play together the Mojo Wire ain't dead. I'm really glad the Honey White guys agree that this is still a great thing to do despite the physical distance between all of us- since getting together to play is hard to do these days, it's really a big deal when we rehearse, let alone play a show.

Don't know where I was going with all this but I thought in light of all the negativity I've been spouting recently I ought to mention the things that really make me feel happy to be alive. Playing bass guitar and writing lyrics for my bands over the last 10 years is definitely on that list.

Well, that and it gives me great opportunities to make a public fool of myself. It's only rock & roll after all.


  1. Anonymous9:57 PM

    What a great read on a lazy saturday night I spend alone in san diego, when I decide to see what's up on Keir's blog, while I rock out to the sounds I experienced on Nov. 16, 2002 .. (been around the world is playing, just so happens to happen while I read the 'sean is in africa' blog) ... what a great read keir. keep up the archiving, it is important to people besides you for sure! :) Keep it up.

  2. Anonymous9:58 PM

    this is tyler :)

  3. Anonymous9:58 PM

    and I forgot to say ... the websites are looking quite amazing. the mojo has never looked so fab!


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