LA Take 2 – Day 9

This morning I got Bleu put on the car rental agreement so he can relax and drive. My driving has lost it’s London edge so I’m a bit sloooow.

Back at the studio it was fluting time… check out what I had to play… not easy, but I had SO much fun doing it. And Bleu was VERY complimentary about my playing and I know if I had sucked he would not have hidden it.

And here’s me doing my thing…

Once that was done it was chocolate time and I took a bit of a risk today and bought … wait for it… 100% Cocoa. Joe was REALLY excited and it did not disappoint… pretty good.

Some of Joe’s friend popped in for a visit. I have met so many nice people while I have been here… all them so relaxed and fun. And these folks were no exception.

Talking of Joe… after we devoured the best ever fish and potato tacos, Joe recorded some drums and piano on Floating Away… and did a very tasty job…

We spent a while watching the back of Bleu’s head while he did his thing with with all his bells and whistles. When he suggested adding banjolele I took no time in whipping it out… πŸ™‚

The photo I really wish I had gotten was when all three of us recorded some clapping… just to capture the pure joy/insanity on the guys’ faces. It was a kodak moment.

It got to 8:30 and we were starving so headed over to the Monday night food truck night and got there just in time. It was such a cool place. In the grounds of a church a whole bunch of gourmet food trucks turn up. I had the best burger followed by a red velvet truffle…. yum.

Then back to the studio to work some more on Anytime Soon. When we started this song a few days ago and Bleu was adding some really weird stuff I wasn’t sure, but listening fresh I LOVE it. He comes up with such interesting ideas that I could never think of. I’ve jumped down a musical rabbit hole and am loving it!

LA Take 2 – Day 7 – day off

Today was a day off but it started with renting a car which was way more complicated than it needed to be… and I was a bit scared of driving in LA. But it all got sorted and when I drove all my city driving skills came flooding back… and at least LA is on a grid… unlike the lovely London.

So i shopped and found my church and true calling…

I was strong enough to leave without purchasing but there is another week to go… ton ton ton.

This evening I put the word out on twitter for something fun to do, because there is an ASCAP Expo going on this weekend and I knew there would be some people around that I knew. My internet friend and vocal coach extrodinaire invited me to her private party. So bought a new little black dress and off I went.

It was a wonderful party where I met some really interesting people and it’s always so nice to meet people that you have connected with on social network sites and Cari Cole was no exception. In fact she was awesome and kept introducing people to me and really singing my praises. My ego feels pretty good right about now.

Looking forward to getting back to the music tomorrow πŸ™‚

LA Take 2 – Day 6 – Joe is back

Today we really got into Anytime Soon and and the was some really crazy stuff going on. I love watching Bleu work his magic and having Joe back really adds to that magic. I learned about Mellotron today… apparently they were the first sampler, using actual taped sounds of different instruments and when you held a note down the tape would run out, rewind and then continue. It makes everything sound cool. I love it!

I keep trying to get candid photos on Bleu but this is pretty much what Joe and I see everyday. He’s in the zone.

Keatly, my pigFactory publisher, stopped by today and we all headed down the road to have what Bleu says are ‘ literally the BEST fish tacos EVER’. As usual, he was right and here is me and Keatly about to enjoy them.

Back at the studio we had a stand-up bass player coming in and there is nothing quite like the sound of real stand-up bass… gorgeous! Thanks Nate Light!

Our final thing of the day was starting Floating Away and Bleu added some guitar… really nice to have someone else’s guitar on the album. This meant that Joe was in charge of the recording… you can almost see the terror on his face πŸ™‚

Joe’s in-laws were in town (whom I loved partly because they thought I was 18… I’ll live on that for weeks!) so we went out for chinese and I ordered the tangerine chicken because it’s what Sheldon always orders on The Big Bang Theory and I was curious as to what it tasted like. The guys bought the weirdest sharing drink… it had a weird name but can’t remember it now… but it came with very long straws and has a ridiculous amount of alcohol… hic.

LA Take 2 – Day 3 – BACON!

I know I’m getting away from the real reason I’m here… but when I found bacon chocolate I was ecstatic. I mean it’s chocolate…. AND bacon! Bacon chocolate!

Okay… back to the music.

Today we had the pleasure of having Kiara Perico come in today and record some viola parts for Breathe In Breathe Out and Bleu’s string arrangement really blew me away. Viola is such a cool instrument… so rich. I do need to apologize to Kiara though for writing a song in Db… or C#… either way, a lot of accidentals.

It was also nice to have another girl in the studio today… not that I don’t adore the boys, ’cause I do… but… you know πŸ™‚

After being fuelled by the bacon chocolate, Joe put down some sick drums… a-hem… I mean really good drums. I’m trying to acquire the lingo.. it doesn’t really sound right with my accent.

By 9pm it was time for food and I got to eat at yet another wonderful LA restaurant. I am going to fully take advantage of this not having to cook thing… with wine, of course πŸ™‚

LA Take 2 – Day 2 – Wind

No, not that kind of wind. Today we got the wind ensemble arrangements for a very new song called Little Room. One of the instruments is flute, which means I can put my long time skills to some use.. finally!

I also decided to chart this trip with chocolate. I know… it’s going to be a struggle, but I think I will get through it. Today’s recording is brought to you by Divine’s 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries. As you can see… it’s rather delicious.

So back to the wind. The arrangement is insane… and by insane, I mean insane. πŸ™‚ Bleu spent quite a while tweaking the arrangement while Joe and I spent time getting down the some serious work of taking silly photos. πŸ™‚

While Bleu continued to beaver away on the wind I had a little time to practise the tunes I will be playing at Room 5 next week – Wed 25th April and it turns out that also playing that night is a singer, Jess Furman, who Bleu’s manager, Stacey Peck, also represents. I love it when things like that happen.

After Bleu sorted out his wind (sorry, I can’t help it) Joe Seiders did his percussion thing and everyone was bobbing along to the song. It’s amazing what happens when all the parts are put together… and we haven’t even recorded the real wind instruments yet.

LA Take 2 – Day 1

While I am away I try to be vaguely healthy, mainly so I have plenty of energy to get everything done with a clear head. So starting the first day by having cold pizza for breakfast was probably not the way to go but laziness took over and it was there.

Guilt then took me to the local whole foods market where I picked up some healthy stuff to keep me on the right track… plus a little gourmet chocolate. πŸ™‚

After Mexican for lunch (ostrich tacos! See above) we got down to business and Bleu played me what he had been working on production-wise. Although I had now gotten used to my songs sounding different… it’s always a slight shock to hear a completely different treatment, but by the end of the song my ears had adjusted and I really love it.

One thing I have discovered about Bleu is that he bluntly honest, a quality I am very much used to at home with my husband. If I ask him if I look bad in certain clothes he is allowed to be honest It’s a quality I admire when done without malice. So when Bleu exclaims that he really likes a song or a lyric that I’ve written, I know he really means it and that means a lot to me.

We worked on a couple of songs today. I love watching a new song emerge out of my original recording. The process is fascinating and the feel can changed several times in an hour… especially when Joe starts hitting things.

After recording a bunch of harmonies and realizing it was well after 10pm it was time for wine… and fish and chips, fried in duck fat… yum!

LA Day 5 – Knockin’ the folk out of me…

It was a whopping 82 degees today and cake-pops were the first order of the day again. It could become a ‘thing’. Today we started work on another song and after Bleu added some magic somethings, Joe did his percussion wizardery. Although he has a strange way of playing the piano πŸ˜‰

There was talk of a man-boob track… which is exactly as you would imagine it to be…. hmmmm.

We had a lot of discussion about the genre of this new album today. My other music has been considered to be the in the general folky arena, albeit on the alternative/indie/pop side of folk. I felt like Dorothy today and realized we’re not in Kansas anymore. Joe delicately put it this way…

“We’re knocking the ‘folk’ out of you”


While at my interview at Indie 100 radio station this afternoon I tried to sum up the sound and the closest I could come up with was ‘Grungy, electronic with an organic, acoustic basis with a touch of Imogen Heap sound’. Talking of Indie 100, I had a fantastic time there and played a bunch of songs, including a brand new one from this album. They told me that I was the 3rd musician to send them music when they started up in 2008 and treated me like royalty! I think you can hear the show on Tuesday. Check their website for details.

Back to the studio and Joe hit a few more things, Bleu put down some bass and I added some vocals. Then we had 15 mins of hilarity while we stomped and clapped… there is video but it’s not suitable for children.

During today’s session I kept hearing exclamations of ‘This is so frikkin’ cool’ from the guys… and this make me happy. πŸ™‚