18 November 2010

day 492- Pledge Phase I goes LIVE:
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http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/drugstoreanatomy
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video
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13 November 2010

day 491- Pledge Preview
The RocketGirl rec deal was a much needed diesel injection. The label will be paying for the studio (25 days), and release of the album. How brilliant is that?
But we still need to raise a little extra cash to cover some of our expenses, so I'll be setting up a Pledge fund, as a fun way for fans to get involved in the project and be part of the adventure.
Not planning on any ridiculous expenditure, and here are some of the things we'd be using the fund for:
  • extra rehearsals.
  • sesh players: mariachi on 1 track + strings on 1 track (only!).
  • zones 1-6 travelcard for all - (studio is miles away from central London and quite expensive to get to)+mike's flight from LA.
  • a few days off work we might need to take during the rec session.
  • food and drinks: there are no shoppes on the island, but would be great to strike some deal w/ a couple of take-away places in nearby Hampton, so we can get a pizza or something delivered to the nearest bridge each night - (surreal, or as Yuuki said: poetic).
So, as you can see, no Prada boots on the list, just a few things to make sure everyone's reasonably well-looked after, we can all relax, have a good time and make a pretty record.
And here's a preview of some of the things you'll be able to get hold of on our Pledge fund:
(gonna be fun...)
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Phone Agony Aunt Monteiro
Heartbroken? Wanna find out if your dirty little partner has been cheating on you? Is your sex life as exciting as daytime telly? Miss M, our residnt agony-aunt will dish out made-up advice over the phone and sort out your luv-life in no time at all. Call me!.
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Phone-a-philosophical question
Just don't know what to do with yourself? Troubled by life's tricky moral dilemas? Our resident philosopher, Mike Chylinski, will take your call and tell you exactly what to do. Easy-peasy.
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Play with me! Signed Kazoo
All you can possibly want for xmas. A signed Kazoo. You'll be able to play along to all your fave Drugstore tunes. Almost as good as joining the band, if not better!
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- U-can-ring-my-Bell
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Wanna impress your work colleagues? Make the girlfriend red-jealous? Get Monteiro to call you and sing your favourite song over the phone. Ring-myBell!.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Subscribe to the secret Black-blog
The stories that were too craze to tell, the angry diatribes, the putrid gossip, straight from the foaming mouth of Miss M. Limited to only 20 vip subscribers, and not even band will have access.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Set of 6 pics from the studio
Taken by the band themselves, hopefully when sober, 1 pic a week, over 6 weeks, sent straight to your inbox with a personal messg from everyone.
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ICA tee . Get hold of this classy and supercool tee, designed by miss m for the ICA gig last may. Not many left.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Anatomy Demos - homemade 6-song cd
Signed, limited CD (15 only) featuring 6 of the best Anatomy demos. Homemade artwork and straight out of the cave's mini-pressing plant.
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Set of 6 postcards from the studio
Cool, one-off postcards capturing the mood of the sessions, what we've been up to and the latest gossip. 1 postcard per week, over period of 6 weeks.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Handmade Aquamarine dolls
A labour of love, limited edition (15 only) of the little siren who likes to live alone by the sea. Sequined fishtail, fake hair, but magic powers of pretty persuassion dead real.
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. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Monteiro album Diary
Booklet-diary with thoughts, pics, crazy-moods, found stuff, junkets from the studio. Only two will be made and each one will have its own dirty little secret.
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A day at the studio for 2
You and a best mate can spend a day at the recording studio, take pics, hang out and inspect the chaotic, wine stenched world of Drugstore at close quarters.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- An afternoon at the Cave
Visit Monteiro's Cave. Play songs, inspect the pathetic shoe cupboard, tea and cakes in Kew Gardens. Go home with a bag of unique Drugstore goodies + a free hug.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Choose the album Ghost-track That's right, YOU can choose a song, any song, we will record a cover and the little gem will appear as the album secret ghost-track. Priceless.
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugstore Hang the DJ set
Classic retro grooves, while band loses dignity on the dancefloor. yeah, baby.
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Acoustic gig at the Cave for 3
You and a couple of friends can come to the cave in Kew Gardens, have a few drinks and enjoy an intimate and smoky, candle-lit acoustic set of Drugstore faves.
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Acoustic gig in YOUR PAD
1 hour acoustic set of your fave Drugstore songs in your kitchen, bathtub or cellar.
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Details of how to get involved and access our Pledge fund will be published next week. x
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12 November 2010

day 489- Return of the MaC
Had drummin' epiphany while watching that 'Anvil' documentary the other day.
Right at that moment the two old friends are standing together in the middle of Tokyo, in wonderment, happy to be alive after all the years of shared struggles, joys and heartaches.
Took a long breath, a very deep shot of brandy and decided to call Mike Chylinski, in LA.
I don't think there is a drummer left in London that we haven't auditioned and then politely sent away, and I just about had enough of wrong shirts and deadbeats. For as really nice and efficient all of them were, none could quite replace the very long and unmistakable shadow left behind by El Gran Gorilla, Mike.
And how could they? The man's got a degree in philosophy, for chrissakes, impeccable taste in everything, the intellect of a giant, and a heart as soft and big as his own shadow. And that's even before he even hit a drum. And when he does, it's always right, perfectly drugstore.
We just gotta hope that miss M and the Titan Americano will avoid clashing cymbals, and make the most of the beautiful album path that lies ahead.
Mike's coming back, and another great mini chapter is about to begin.
All hail.
ps1 - it really is m.a.c - mike alexander chylinski, how cool is that?
ps2 - i'm setting up a Pledge £ fan-fund, we're gonna need it...
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5 November 2010

day 482- Finding a studio and the battle of Analogue x Digital
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A decade ago if you'd asked me what makes a 'good studio', I'd probably have said: a Neve desk.
Then, no cool band worth their indiesalt would have considered making an album on anything less but the old Neve Master, and recording on a digital SSL would have been akin to supersonic suicide.
How things have changed. These days the snobby distinction between digital and analogue has blurred, and I confess, I no longer have any retro hang-ups.
The record company would argue that a good studio is one that delivers the album on time and on budget. Fair do's.
But from experience, having had the opportunity to record at a variety of different places, and under very different budgets, the best studios are the ones where the band feels at home, has a decent live room and good vibe, and above all, a sympathetic engineer who understands what you're trying to achieve.
As studio time draws nearer, a few fans have contacted me, expressing their concern that we might end up over-producing ourselves, that the album needs to capture the same 'intimate, warm feeling' of my homemade demos - and so forth. I agree.
But let's kill the debate between digital and analogue once and for all: those 'warm, fuzzy, intimate demos' have all been recorded d.i.g.i.t.a.l.l.y:
from my Roland Vs-16 digital station, via dodgy-sellotaped lead into the PC, into a pirated copy of FruityLoops, edited on freebie Audacity, then, finally compressed and converted into an MP3 on a torrented copy of Media-Converter-Pro - ufff... some journey.
The reason why it still manages to sound warm and intimate, it's to do with the performance, the way it was delivered, with feeling.
For me, that's where it's at, and whether or not it was recorded on a retrodesk it's totally irrelevant, really.
I've spent the last month researching studios, and the thing I was dreading the most was to end up at a place, in the middle of trendy Hoxton square, where they churn out indie bands all day long, with a grumpy engineer, who can't wait for your session to end, so they can get down and mix their own music.
I desperately wanted to find somewhere a bit special, which is quite a challenge when you're restricted by a small budget.
But, seek and you shall find - and out of pure chance, I came across this great little studio, set on an island on the Thames - right at the edge of west London, where the boundary between city and countryside fades, and all our daily worries can be safely left behind.
It's a non-commercial studio, run by a very cool guy, who's engineered, produced and worked with some very big names (he joked that he only works with 'tall people'...), like Paul McCartney/The Cure/Depeche etc - and it has a decent mix of both digital and analogue gear.
I love the fact that it's totally out of the way, there's absolutely nothing on the island, except for a few beautifully derelict boathouses, and getting there every day is gonna be a mini-adventure in itself.
We're gonna have to make the effort - I believe it will be worth it.
The studio is booked.
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4 November 2010

day 481- Anvil, the documentary
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As requested by some drugsters, I've uploaded the mini-masterpiece, that is: 'The story of Anvil' ----------------------------------------------------------------------

3 November 2010

day 480- England nil x 10 Brazil
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A short entry to celebrate the victory of Dilma Rousseff, candidate for the Workers Party (PT), now elected: 1st President and guerreira do Brasil.
Lula, the ex-factory worker, union leader, mistrusted and snubbed by the elite, has proved that it is possible to combine economic growth with a social agenda: during his 2 presidential terms, through a number of programs, over 20 million people has been lifted out of poverty.
What a record.
You could mention the party-politics, the odd corruption scandal, which, let's face it, no political party in Latin America, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, is ever immune from, but no discord can overshadow the indisputable fact that the standard of living for the majority of its people has increased dramatically.
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At the same time, while we read heart-warming tales of social and economic development in Brazil, it is very disheartening to see the British Conservative government doing precisely the opposite, as they, under the guise of 'deficit busters', shamelessly dismantle its social welfare program and drag Britain back into darkness.
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This nomad budget champagne socialist is very proud that, alas, it is not the 1st World who is setting the standard and example, but south of the Tropics, a vast and chaotic nation of scantily-clad amazons and barefooted kids kicking ball on the sand, are showing the rest of the world how to do it.
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