REBECCA GATES

(The Spinanes)

Likes:
Bobbi Gentry Mississippi Delta
Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson
John Spencer Blues Explosion Orange
Rolling Stones Between the Buttons
TLC Crazy, Sexy, Cool

Do you want to explain what makes these records sound right?

No. If you blend these all together you might get the sound of our Spinanes album [Strand]!

Any records you don't like the sound of?

I hate Jeff Lynne; as a producer, not a person.

 

BARBARA MANNING

(Solo, 28th Day, Glands of External Secretion, Original Artists)

This first thing that I thought of is a Red Krayola [Mayo Thompson's past and present combo] album, Parable of Arable, that's one of my ultimate favorite albums in the world. There's an incredible mixture of absolute haphazard production mixed with infinite, thought out, production. It all blends in together, there's no stopping, there's no track listing on the CD, on the vinyl there's no grooves. It was a giant influence on my album, Nowhere. I admit it, completely, that I was very influenced by that album for my record. I'm amazed how the album blends together, but I can tell when the tape deck is rolling and nobody is paying attention to it and other times when somebody's being very careful about how they're bringing along the song or the way the vocals are really tinny in one spot and real full in another. I think that's a piece of genius but I can't stand the production of this one Chills album. 

Brave Words?

Yeah, I think it's absolutely horrible, I think it ruined the songs. I've always thought I would love to go back and remix the album.

Did you know Martin Phillips [the Chills' leader] was talking about doing that?

No!

I read in an interview where he lamented the production and he thought it was in the mix, also.

That's weird, because when Brave Words was first out the Chills came to San Francisco and they stayed at my house. I was talking to Martin and I said, "You know, I really can't stand the production on this album." And he was like, "That's Mayo Thompson who you're talking about." I didn't really know Mayo's significance until I looked at all my Fall albums and then I started to discover Red Krayola on my own, so at that point, Mayo Thompson was just a name to me, I didn't understand that I was putting down this great man. I thought they had just gotten some shitty producer who did a really terrible job on it and Martin really defended it. 

They were talking about remixing it and calling it Braver Words, he was serious about that.

Yeah, I think people shouldn't be afraid of reissuing and adapting or improving songs that have already been recorded. There seems to be a taboo with that where something's been done, don't mess with it. Sometimes it's messed up, like remastering the Led Zeppelin and they fuck it up. As long as you're the artist, you're in charge and you know how it should sound and it's you're vision anyway. I think Martin was really star-struck with Mayo and he let Mayo go ahead and take away all the beautiful chimey-ness of it. That album is so flat and the songs aren't. It's so trebly it makes me on edge rather than making the songs dynamic. There's a really good example, Mayo Thompson the good side and Mayo Thompson the bad side!

Did you have any other examples?

Let's take another New Zealand example. I think Hey Spinner by Able Tasmans is just a perfect album. It's all the way through, so beautifully done, well produced, the songs are in the right order, and that's a really big important thing, too. Every album should be like you're opening up the gate and you're letting your friends in and they're floating in and they're going down the corridor and are looking in each room as a song. They should feel the atmosphere of the record first, like they're encompassed in the record. 

 

HUGH SWARTS 

(Thinking Fellers Union Local 282)

A band called the Apples In Stereo, they're from Denver. It's called Fun Trick...

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