Thursday, August 14, 2008

September 1st Protest March and an Update on Rise of the Wretched!

Well, first things first:
MARCH ON THE RNC with Junkyard Empire!

As many of you already know, there is going to be a giant march on the RNC on September 1st, starting at the Capital steps and ending up at the Excel Energy Center, the place where all the fascists will be enjoying their orgy of tyranny, corruption and "free market" capitalistic hegemony.

We are - as a band - going to join the march with all our brothers and sitsters who believe in speaking truth to power and doing our duty as citizens, which is to question authority at all times, making sure our basic human and otherwise rights are not being snatched up from under our noses. This has unfortunately been the case since about the mid-1980s. Well, really since the industrialization, but nothing compares to the last twenty or so years. Point is, we want you to come and march with us in solidarity.

This march is going to be so big that it will have "contingents", which is what all the big marches had in the 1960s as well. This means that certain groups, who are advocating on behalf of particular issues, or want to voice opposition to a particular policy or whatnot, join the protest as a group. Junkyard Empire will be joining the "poor people's contingent".

The Poor People's Contingent will gather on the West side of the Capitol Mall...Look for the yellow balloons!

Here is a link where you can find all the information you need, including downloadable flyers and so on:

Update on Rise of the Wretched, our new EP:

As many of you probably already know, we originally had our EP mixed at Fur Seal Studio by Joe Johnson, the same guy who recorded and mixed the RECLAIM FREEDOM album. We were pretty happy with the mixes, but due to time and money constraints, there were some details that we would have liked to pay more attention to, as well as put some time into the production of the overall sound of the EP. Eneter Brian Susco: Brian is a veteran mixing engineer from LA who just happens to be hanging out for a while here in Minneapolis with Jaime Paul Lamb, the wonderful organist and band leader of Northern Cargo, a kick ass free improvisation ensemble that I (Christopher) play with frequently. When I met Brian, it was in Neil Wadhawan's (fantastic drummer from the band Samosa and Northern Cargo) basement, where we were to record some tracks for the upcoming full length debut. I knew Brian was fantastic from the care and creative energy he displayed when placing mics and tracking. The sound that this guy got from a six piece fully improvised ensemble in the basement of an Uptown house is utterly fantastic! So at the time I told him that we were working on an EP, and that the goal of the EP was to get people interested in possibly wanting to really back Junkyard Empire for a full length album; to put us in a situation in which we could take our time and record a fantastic full length CD without the added stress of a tiny little budget and only a few days of recording time. I said we'd love to work with him when we are ready to do a full length album. His response, after listening to some of our other material (from Reclaim Freedom) was, "who do you have mixing the EP? Because I'd love to mix it." At that point it was kind of already decided that we were going to go to Joe at Fur Seal, because we all knew him, etc. and Brian was really new to everyone. He then offered to mix a track for free, just so we could see what he can do. I wish I would have given him a track then.

What we ended up doing was having Joe mix the EP, for a killer price mind you, and we were pretty happy with it, but like I said, there were still a number of things we wish we could have spent some more dedicated time on. Here's what happened: Brian still wanted to mix one track, just so that we were aware of what his skills are, and also because I think he really just liked the music and thought he could do it a little more justice. So, I gave Brian the track Progression, which is one of our new ones. It was the track we were all the least happy with, and at the same time was one of the most challenging tracks to mix overall. He gave me a CD of the newly mixed track a day later and it simply BLEW MY MIND. It then blew the mind of the rest of the guys too, even though it still needed a little more work.

In the end, we decided that he is just too talented not mix the rest of the album. So, Brian is hard at work mixing the rest of the three tracks. From what we have heard so far, this little 4-song EP is going to be absolutely world class. The sound takes us from a jazzy hip-hop group that doesn't stand a chance at breaking through to the commercial world - as fucked up as it is - to actually maybe getting some real air play. That's how good it sounds. To say that we are excited is the understatement of the year.

Lesson learned: Before you pay to have someone mix your CD, give a track to a few different engineers to have them do a bit of an audition. Then, pay the going rate to the one who realizes the sound the best. In our case, we are paying a little more than we wanted, because we didn't give Brian the audition when he first asked for it. However, now we really know what to look for in an engineer. Brian Susco will most likely be tracking and mixing our next full length album, even if we get label support. And when you hear the final product, you will know why.


No comments: