Classic & Current Contemporary Non-Schlock-Rock Metropolitan Music
Dynamico (Mar. 2007) - Mitch Easter
OK so there's no commentary here yet. I have been so busy playing this record on Deaconlight at ErrorFM.com I haven't had time to do an essay. I have been so slack at updating Deaconlight lately it seems I'll do almost anything - even laundry - to keep from cleaning up this messy Web site.
Tonight I'm going the Cat's Cradle for the Dynamico CD release party. Mitch is on the bill with Don Dixon and the Jump Rabbits. Kinda cool since R.E.M. just got inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week and Michael Stipe thanked both Mitch and Don in his acceptance speech.
And now that I have started typing, I really ought to say something. I can always come back and do a real essay later.
Thomas Ivey from WQFS did a great review about Dynamico that I posted in the blog on Mitch's MySpace page. You can check that out if you want to read a Dynamico review.
I don't write real record reviews. If I'm going to take the time to write about anything it is going to be something I like so there's no objectivity from me. Hence, no review in the true sense. Dynamico is a great record. Maybe I am pre-biased because I have known Mitch and been a fan of his music since 1980. And a fan of so many other artists's music he's touched in one way or another.
The first I heard that he was finally working on a new record was back in the summer of 2005. At the time I was considering putting some of my vinyl on eBay. I was struggling with whether this was a fair thing for the artists who created the music - me getting the sole profit from the selling their music.
I had already put one of my R.E.M. "Radio Free Europe" singles on eBay but thanks to a technical glitch, the sale was aborted. All the while I felt kinda sick while the auction was going on so I was relieved that one didn't go through.
So I was looking at my two copies of The Cosmopolitans - "(How to Keep Your) Husband Happy/Wild Moose Party/Dancin' Lesson" 7-inch 45s. Was it really fair for me to have two when there might be another fan who would love to have one? Would it be such a bad thing if I sold one of these rare pieces of vinyl to a complete stranger for a nice little profit?
Since Mitch had produced both the R.E.M. and Cosmopolitan records I decided to see if he could give me some perspective about this from the artist point of view. I sent him an e-mail with my agonizing question. Not surprisingly, Mitch didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. He's such an unassuming, unpompous, easy-going person. I felt like I had been granted permission to proceed with cashing in on my little valuable discs guilt-free.
I then configured a page here on Deaconlight.com with info about my Cosmopolitans records. I wanted to have several weeks to publicize their sale before I actually did the deed. But after about a week, I knew it was hopeless. My conscience wouldn't let me go through with it. Especially considering a lot of my rare stuff was GIVEN to me because the artists knew I would play their stuff on the radio.
During this time Mitch and I were swapping e-mail I asked if I could bring my daughters Avalon and Annecy, then ten and seven, over to see his recording studio, The Fidelitorium. Avalon was taking electric guitar lessons at the time and Annecy was taking drum lessons. So they were very curious to see a real recording studio.
We entered The Fidelitorium from a patio into a lounge-type area with places to sit, a kitchen/bar, and other neato stuff. I think the sofa was real "naugahide"! There was something very mod and retro at the same time about the atmosphere there. There was a copy of a book written by Julian Cope sitting on a table that Mitch said was a great read. I said I'd like to borrow it sometime, but still have yet to. I have been a Julian Cope fan since The Teardrop Explodes put out their first record. For awhile Avalon was pen pals with Cope's younger daughter, who is sixth months older than Avalon and has the same name. (For some reason, Julian's Avalon stopped writing to my Avalon after 9/11.)
There is no way to adequately describe the atmosphere in the actual studio area. The control room is quite large and the recording room has a high ceiling and even an upstairs loft-type room. (I wonder if it is those stairs we here at the begining and end of the song "Glazed" on Dynamico?) Although the walls looked like soft foam, Mitch explained they were actually cinderblocks created in some custom sonic design he came up with to make the sound just right. All-in-all, just an amazing place.
There was a drum set - I think it was clear - sitting in the recording room. Mitch explained he had just bought it after looking for that particular type set for awhile, and that he had been laying down drum tracks for a new record he was working on. Now I'm curious as to which song he was working on that day.
When I asked about the record, he said he had been working on songs for it for a long time and wasn't really sure when it would be finished.
-- Sorry to leave with another half-finished essay but I gotta get going to the Cat's Cradle for Mitch's performance. It's supposed to start in about an hour.
Mitch Easter - Dynamico Original Album Tracks