|Hey, it's been over a year, and, boy, what a
year. New job (same company), new place
(Oakland)...I'm hoping to stabilize somewhat
in the next, I dunno, decade or so. I'm
planning to add some entertaining new
things to the site in the next few weeks,
months, whatever, so keep checking back.
I'm still bashing away in The Gentlemen's
Club, which consists of myself, Chris Best
on vocals, and an assortment of rhythm
machines, for all of you new to the site. We
make one hell of a racket, and I suggest you
check us out if you find yourself in or around
San Francisco, or Oakland, for that matter.
We've been recording entirely new backing
tracks for most of our old songs and
cranking out new ones like there's no
tomorrow and it's all popping up on the
Gents' site as we sit here, so be sure to
check it out.
And now the geeky stuff:
Okay, I didn't call this thing Me and my Crap
for nothing. Here's some stuff I felt like
On most of the mp3s I'm playing some combination
of the following: TV Yellow set neck guitar I made
with a nice sturdy mahogany neck and a super-light
luann mahogany body. Basic Gibson-style
electronics, ebony fingerboard. Here's a picture of
Dishtop version of above with a bitchin' flame top
from a piece of maple I scored at a garage sale, for
crying out loud. P-90 neck, minibucker bridge.
Late model Made in Mexico Tele with Duncan ¼
pounder at the bridge and (occasionally) a
body-mounted E-drop/B string bender.
50-watt Marshall/Soldano kinda thing with 6L6s
and Hammond transformers.
50 watt Hellbeast with KT88s, output transformer
from an otherwise smoked Orange Graphic80.
Christ, whatta grind.
Matchless Chieftan clone built on an old silverface
Bassman chassis, Hammond O/T, KT88s.
18 watt 2xEL84 high-gain head through a no name
8" speaker in a cheesy SS combo.
The Gent's Club stuff was recorded with CAD
condensers & SM57s using Nuendo on a PIII 1Ghz
with 1 gig of RAM running Win2k. I'm using a
Creative Live soundcard with a little Behringer
mixer. The Sandy Duncan's Eye song and the stuff
with Scott & me was tracked onto a Sharp minidisk
with the CADs and the Behringer, then tampered
with in Nuendo, Sound Forge and Cubase SX. No
instruments were added to the SDE stuff.
Just keeping it real. You know, for the kids.
Yeah, I keep busy.
|Me And My Crap
Here are a few more projects I've worked on since the last update. In August, Michael Trigilio hired me to
create a video display for an exhibit he had coming up. Here's what I came up with (click to enlarge):
In November, Michael's brother Joe hired me to build a "Cloud" guitar like Prince's
for Michael's birthday/Christmas present:
Here are some amps and a mic preamp I've built in the last year or so...
|Building the Bobcat
|Feel the excitement as I document, in English and with
actual photographs, the making of the Bobcat, warts
(not to mention chips, divots and ghastly
miscalculations) and all!!
|You can hear this thing on all the new Gent's Club material, and also of the stuff I did with Campbell
last June, when she was but a pup.
|The Gentlemen's Club
|The web site. Check it out...
|Sandy Duncan's Eye
This is my other band, Sandy Duncan's Eye, playing at a garden party/art opening
thrown by our friend Claire Johnston in August 2002. She also sang a couple of
tunes with us. I'll be posting more later.
|Campbell and me
Speaking of S.D.E., here's some stuff I recorded with Campbell Emory around June
of '04 in Seattle. Goddamn, I need to update more often. These work pretty well as
a two-parter, but I've had to split them up as Yahoo gives me endless Gigabytes of
storage, but only if I use it up 5megs at a time. Go figure. (Part 1) (Part 2)
This is almost kind of like S.D.E. in that we used an old voice mail from Roberto as
When we did this, the woman who works at the rehearsal studio where we
recorded stuck her head in and started to tell us we had to move to another room,
but was so impressed by the "high end gear" we had set up that she just left,
mid-sentence. Gobsmacked, she was.
|One Armed Man
This is my buddy Scott Schuer and myself jamming in Ann Arbor, MI in February
'02. We're calling it One Armed Man. We played in various bands in Detroit
(L-Seven, The Linkletters) and hadn't played together in a really long time. Years,
actually. Anyway, These were improvised in Scott's living room while his wife
Maeve shouted encouragement from the bedroom, despite her head swelling up
to the size of a Sparklett's bottle due to having her wisdom teeth extracted
earlier that day. Some people are just cool. I added bass and more guitars back
|The Truth is Not Always Nice
Here's The Blind, my second band. This is really, really old, from the summer of
1980. Holy shit. The Blind was Dave Davis singing and playing guitar and
sometimes bass and synth, and writing the lion's share of the tunes, me on
guitar and synth and sometimes bass, Mike "M. Shpeen" Smith on drums, Kyle
Cunningham on bass (followed, at some point, by some guy from Milwaukee
whose name I honestly can't remember and maybe even another guy from
Toronto. Nice guys, though. I'm sure one of the other guys will email me to
remind me about the guy from Des Moines who played oboe or whatever the
hell, and I'll be happy to update at that point). Anyway, we were a hell of a thing
to witness, by all accounts, and probably should have gotten our asses to one of
the coasts, as the Detroit punk scene at the time was more about playing sped
up, slightly more distorted variations of the Mitch Ryder catalogue than the kind
of freaked out shit we were putting out. Plus, we had all the diplomatic skill of
John Bolton on PCP. Dave Davis, by the way, in addition to being our maximum
leader and all-around godlike genius, is also an accomplished sculptor,
creating, at one point, "The Flight of the Beetle" entirely out of Mickey's malt
liquor pull-off caps. Stunning.
I Can't Be Domesticated
These two are our more, uh, lysergic side, recorded the same summer. I'd love
to find the 4 track masters of this stuff. We had one of the first Portastudios, a
couple SM58s, a drive-in speaker for the kick drum mic (well, it kinda looked
like a kick drum mic...) and egg cartons and foam rubber (the most advanced
acoustical treatment known to man, as far as we were concerned) rendering
the room dead as a doornail, which we were convinced was how "the pros" did
it. We rented fourteen rooms over a bar and party store on Jefferson Avenue,
about a mile east of downtown Detroit. $350.00 a month. Talk about running
amuck; this was the new funhouse...One night, after a Robert Fripp show, for
which we had jammed the doors of perception wide open, if you catch my drift,
me and my friends returned to the pad for the customary after party. This was a
couple of days before the 1980 G.O.P. convention was due to start (a big feather
in the city's cap, sure to return Detroit to its former glory. Sure seems to have
worked like a charm...), and we spotted a guy in a suit and dark glasses on
Jefferson avenue, looking around and occasionally speaking into his lapel. At
three in the morning. We decided to make him feel at home with gleeful shouts
of "welcome G.O.P!!." and "Secret Service Rules!!", at which he disappeared.
The next morning, Davis was having a cup of coffee and watching his
doberman, Cleopatra, run around on the roof of the adjacent building, when
another guy in a suit and dark glasses stuck his head out of the skylight, looked
around and went back down when Cleo started growling at him. A couple hours
later, the landlord showed up, screaming that we were running a whorehouse
and dope den and that we had to get the hell out right away, which, being naive
19-20 year-olds, we did. We really should've fought it, in retrospect, but what the
hell. I guess the moral of the story is DON'T FUCK WITH THE SECRET SERVICE!
Postscript: Just today I read that one of our roommates from the Jefferson crib
made some art that made the Secret Service really want to talk to him. Way to
|The Complaint Project
|Mark Rutherford Studios
|Get Your War On