Reel Time with Mike Gordon
Photo by Julia Mordaunt
Mike Gordon has spent much of 2010 ensconced in his home studio up in the trees behind his Vermont home. For his forthcoming release, expected this fall, he is once again working with longtime collaborator Jared Slomoff (although these days he’s sharing him with Phish keyboardist Page McConnell who has tapped Slomoff to assist with his next studio effort). Much of the music on the as-yet-untitled disc is drawn from a series of live recordings that the bassist created with a variety of drummers, although other musicians have contributed as well, including members of Gordon groups: Phish (McConnell), Ramble Dove (Marie Claire), and his current band (Scott Murawski and Tom Cleary).
The Inside In album was kind of dreamy and the Green Sparrow was supposed to be a very awake experience. This one is sort of in the middle where it’s not quite dreamy but it’s also not pointedly awake. It’s supposed to be maybe more Alpha state – where you’re kind of half-awake and half-asleep, sort of playing with that.
A lot of songs on this album began as bass and drum jams. Jared and I catalogued them and then I went back and worked with them using Pro Tools. There were jams with Russell Baptiste, Zach Velmer, Doug Belote, Joe Russo, Bill Kreutzmann and one with Ken Lovelett who is playing some really bizarre percussion instruments. There’s one with me and Fish and this guy Nick Cassarino, who’s a great young guitar player. There’s also one with Page and Fish, the meteor jam [named after celestial fireworks that took place during the session]. This is when Trey was living in Saratoga [Fall 2007] and he was playing with Rock Band drum loops, writing some songs or playing with ideas, so we decided to record some for him. We wanted to show him how we felt about him, so went in one night and recorded 43 loops for his 43rd birthday I’m not sure if he’s used them but I’ve started to.
My favorite parts are when I get disoriented – when I feel like it’s sort of danceable but I lose where the One is. It’s sort of like – imagine you’re on a swing set and the rhythm is very understandable, where you’re in front, and then you slow down, and then you swing back. Let’s say someone unhinged it from the top and starting whipping it around in the air and suddenly you don’t know where you are – you don’t have a grounding point. I really like that feeling of disorientation.
A great way to tell whether something feels right if you’ve overdubbed it, let’s say a guitar solo or whatever it is, is to listen back and don’t listen to that thing. So if I want to know whether the guitar solo sounds right and let’s say there’s a bass line going on, I’ll play it back and I’ll only listen to the bass – not to judge the bass, but to see how I like the guitar solo. The reason is that as soon as you focus on something – focus is probably the most important human skill – but as soon as you focus on something like that, it’s almost hard to see it objectively.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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