The Summer of My Extreme Content

My promise, to myself of course, was to update this blog more often than the sporadic, shall I say “frequency”, than I have in posts past. I have seen that approach fail in grandiose fashion, sadly again for my own unfulfilled self-promise. I’ll just have to learn to not trust myself and maybe I’ll learn my lesson.

In any case, here’s what’s been going on:
My dear friends Totem are back in recorded action after eight long years! This is an intense listen, so be prepared!
Suzanne McNeil has finished her CD, beautifully mixed by Duckey Carlisle, and is preparing for a fall release. Great songs, great playing, great mixes – a recipe for success!
Beginning the mixing forThe Brightest Lights‘ debut full length CD! I love this band and hope you all check them out!
Vary Lumar have started tracking their next release, this time a ten song CD. Those of you familiar with 37′ know how good this band is, and this will be their best effort thus far! They really are coming in to their own as one of the best bands in the Northeast.
Sarah Blacker has also started recording her next CD, which has started off amazingly well! Members of Session Americana came in, along with Tom Bianchi to Q Division on Tuesday and, with the engineering skills of Roni Pillischer and Sean Cahalin added to the mix, we got an incredible version of Sarah’s song “Cowboy”! More goodness to come on this one!
I was privileged to mix a song for Abbie Barrett in July, and it’s a beautiful song. Hopefully I get the honor of working with her again in the future.

That’s all for now. Be sure to find me on Facebook, Twitter and all other relevant social media. Until next time, hopefully before 2012!

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Out Like a Mother F-in’ Lion!

Man, what a month so far! First, the 37′ Live! Hard Rock show was a success despite nature doing its best to keep people inside. Thanks to Mia Boostrom, The Dejas, Vary Lumar, Bone Dry System., The Montgomerys, along with the Hard Rock Cafe and Rawkstars, Inc. for an amazing night! Also, thanks to Heather and the incredible staff, who were tireless and went above and beyond accommodating. Our next show there is already booked for October 16th, so put it in your calendars now!

Which leads to last week’s trip to South by Southwest in Austin, TX. My first trip to SxSW has left me yearning for more! Great performances by Frightened Rabbit, the Boxer Rebellion, Minus the Bear, Girls Guns & Glory, Paper Raincoat, Quasi, Bad Veins, Billy Bragg, Mike Mills with Wayne Kramer(!), Man Man…too many great acts to mention! I’m now left wondering and exploring how to get a 37′ showcase at SxSW 2011! Any ideas people?

That’s all for now. Off to finish work with the Brightest Lights, Suzanne McNeil, Dave Foley, Rachel Zamstein, and, of course, Sarah Blacker! Talk to you all again soon!

Posted in Life, Music |

In Like a Mother F-in’ Lion!

To all of you wonderful people making it through this long winter, don’t fear – Spring is beginning! This will be the first week of Spring Training, the temperatures are creeping into “Do I wear a light jacket today?” range, and there are bird sightings in the Boston area! If that doesn’t loosen your britches a little, how about this?

The next 37′ Live! event is a mere 12 days away! Don’t wait, get your tickets here! For more info, you can go here or here.
The Dejas are featured in this month’s Glide Magazine. It’s a nice article and they prominently mention 37′! Read the article here!
De Osos has been mixing their debut full length CD, filled with loud guitars and reckless abandon. I love this CD and hope you do too!
the Brightest Lights have begun tracking for their debut full length. Bass and drums are done, now on to track Matt Johnson’s guitars!
Suzanne McNeil has been tracking for her next release, with the help of some of my favorites, Tim Mahoney on guitar and Jason Nute and Dave Leitch of Bone Dry System. Can’t wait to start tracking vocals!
Pete Montgomery‘s children’s CD, The Bugs, has gone into the very capable hands and ears of Mark Donahue for mastering.
That’s all now folks! Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks and months, and come out to the show on Saturday March 13th! Oh, and Happy Spring!

Posted in Life, Music, Uncategorized |

The Year In Review: aka 2009: The Year of Busy

What a year! Things gained, things lost, things remembered, things forgotten. Now that that cheese is out of the way, let’s talk.

I’m not sure where the time went this year, but a lot of things happened. I missed out on traveling this year, but managed to play up and down the East Coast with a few great people and players and have been reminded that I’ll continue to learn and grow as long as I continue to breathe. I couldn’t be more pumped for 2010! Many great things ahead; hopefully a year of great discovery, self and otherwise. Here’s a quick recap from the last couple of months:

Played about a dozen great shows with Girls Guns & Glory but I’m glad J-Maxx is back in action! With Mike Calabrese on drums, this band is going to do great things in 2010, beginning with their new CD on Lonesome Day Records.

37′ Productions artists The Dejas song, “Blanket Song” is in the opening credits of “Beautiful Life”…with Mischa Barton from The OC/ produced by Ashton Kutcher. Its the number one viewed video on youtube today:):) Check it outon YouTube.
Also, Vary Lumar has released their EP Plasticolor Coma and had a very successful CD Release on December 12th! You should all check them out ASAP!
Sarah Blacker has been playing regularly and has a January Southern tour booked, so get out there and see her!
Currently mixing Jo Henley, and very excited about it! With Ray Paczkowski, Tony Markellis and Russ Lawton (all of The Trey Anastasio Band as the rhythm section this record’s gonna be awesome!
More news in 2010. Until then, have a great Holiday season!

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It’s been quite the month everyone! Another 37′ Live! show went off and was a smashing success. Thanks to Bone Dry System, Totem, Petrina Foley and Seventh Room for making the night a great one. We’re looking to do another one in early autumn, around September or October, and it could very well be another CD release party (more on that as the date approaches).

Just a little news: Tim Mahoney’s as-yet-untitled 7-song EP is now finished. Jason Nute and Dave Leitch of BDS played wonderfully on this one. This is a very cool guitar driven pop record, so check it out!

Vary Lumar was in last week starting their first in a series of 4 5-song EP’s to be released over a 16 month span. This is a slight departure musically for them, although I prefer to think of it as a natural growth. I seriously love this band! Keep your ears open. You can check out photos from the week, as well as from other thing 37′,here.

That’s all for now. Thank you all, I’ve been great!


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End of an Era/Kitchen Confidential

I have thought many times of posting in the past month. In the midst of the twelve hour days, the deadlines both real and self-imposed, the metamorphosis of relationships and the reconciliatory nature of working with artists in a decidedly capitalistic world, I invariably found myself with something more pressing to do.

I now find myself nearing the end of a very long and consistent run of work. Thanks to the Dejas, Sarah Blacker, Mith Niles and Lannen Fall for the majority of this creative spurt. I’m looking forward to the success of this music and people’s reaction to all of it. 

Having said that, there is another impetus for my posting. I was recently informed by Jeff Lipton that Potluck Con, the offspring of TapeOpCon, will not continue this year. My reaction was akin to that of someone who had just been told they’d been laid off from their job.It was incredulous to me.

I attended my first “Con” in 2004. I had just moved back to Boston from Los Angeles a few months earlier and was worn and weary of rejuvenating my career in my new old city. After working in a city where everyone appeared to be involved in some form of media or have one job in entertainment or another, how could I find a similar community in a city that I have loved but has eared a reputation   for being territorial, to put it mildly. The industry is tough everywhere, but there have been too many producers/engineers in Boston with whom the words “adversarial” and “curmudgeonly” have been apropos. It was Memorial Weekend five years ago, through a prompting of Travis, an L.A. friend and colleague, that brought me to New Orleans for a “meeting of the recording geeks”.

What I’d discovered was this: There were many out there like me, working with a passion for creating and finding others who were like-minded. I was part of a subculture! There are people throughout the world with whom I shared language and this larger sense of being, this continuum of a trade that many have plied before us, and hopefully many will after. I knew that I would gravitate to this event every year for the same inspirational energy.

Anthony Bourdain has written and spoken about this phenomena many times in relation to cooking, and I think the corollaries are very similar: the shared avoidance of a “normal” workspace or schedule, the vocational languages of both, the reverence with which we hold the true greats of our chosen professions, the fraternal nature of our get-togethers. The lives of chefs and the lives of recording engineers are parallels at the least, kindred souls at best. I’m proud to be part of my subculture, and very thankful to all of you who share in it with me. 

Thanks to Craig Schumacher, Larry Crane, Hillary Johnson, John  Bagliapucci, Nancy Hess, Matt Boudreau, Mark Ruebel, Mike Caffrey, Jeff Lipton, Steve Massey, Ross Hogarth, Mary Podio, Pete and Melissa Weiss, Stewart Cararas, Darron Burke, John Vanderslice, Ken Kukubo, Tim Shea and Kathleen Higgins-Shea, Brian Charles, Jeff Lipton, Maria Rice, Jessica Thompson, Dan Workman, Sasha Zand, Mark Allen Miller, JJ and Christel Golden, Andy Hong, Mike Wells, and anyone else I’m sure I’m forgetting. I hope to see all of you again and share in the continuum.

Posted in Life, Music, Uncategorized |

Back From the Dead

I apologize to everyone who reads this for not updating in what seems like forever. Here’s the scoop:
The Dejas are currently recording their new full length and things are moving along at quite the pace. Look for a release in early spring.
Mith Niles has finished his monstrous 16 song CD. Keep your ears open for it. A lot of great musicians on two coasts performed on this one.
Chrissy Cerretani‘s EP is close to finished and, I have to say, she’s putting forth a strong effort, especially for a first effort.
I’m mixing a song for the new Montgomerys CD on Naked Ear. I was also the fortunate soul who got to play bass on the CD, so Check it out when you can.
Lannen Fall is scheduled to come in and track a new EP this month.
Petrina Foley: The M.I.A. Sessions will be finished this month, I promise. Look for it at Music Is Art and look for more artists there soon!<br>I promise, promise, promise to update more often. Hope the holidays see you all well.

Posted in Music |

Editing Hell

Has anyone out there gone through the pain and tedium of audio editing? If not, don’t. Just stop, put down the mouse or trackball and back away while you still have a level head and a calm disposition. It sucks. To add to this huge pain in my posterior is the software upgrade of a certain variety that has doubled my workload and frustrated the hell out of me. Luckily, my computer has survived. The same cannot be said of my temper.

That being said, I have finished two of my favorite CD’s EVER. Petrina Foley’s “Proper Goodbye” has five incredible songs that my colleague Brad McCarthy and I feel privileged to be a part of. The other is Bone Dry System’s “Bardo”, which has six songs that I believe is the band’s strongest effort to date. The incomparable Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering put the finishing touches to both of these, and all of you can hear them perform live at Church (69 Kilmarnock St. Boston) on Saturday, October 18th. You can purchase tickets at or 37′ Live!’s myspace page.
In the meanwhile, I’ll be back in editing hell.

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Through Tragedy We Find Solace in Being Awesome

I’m starting to believe in Karma. Not that I was a staunch non-believer in Karma, but I’ve had a two-week obstacle course of physical and mental challenges that are all now resolving themselves and proving to me that a combination of confidence in, along with a willingness to be malleable in, your convictions allows for some great results.

This all started with a car accident last Monday. My car was totaled, which leaves me driving a renter and shopping for another car; not my favorite way to spend my time. Next, my competitive nature and my insecurity reared their ugly heads on a project I’m sharing with a good friend and very capable colleague, followed by YET ANOTHER project where my hubris and diffidence took an entirely different form. All of this stressed me out to the point where it was affecting those around me. 

Flash forward to yesterday. My very close friend Gabe has found a couple of extremely good deals on cars, to the point where I won’t have a payment. HUGE load off my mind. As for the projects, there were two resolutions: 

On the collaborative project I have decided to let go and not remain as possessive. My ideas aren’t the only valid ones, and I don’t need to claim superiority. This could be the best work I’ve ever done and a big part of that is the group of people involved, so why stop that now?

As for the other project, I received two premature e-mails that I felt contradicted each other. At first I was annoyed, then sad, then angry. I disagreed with a few of their points very strongly and felt the point of reference was wrong. All week I struggled with how to get my point across without lashing out; this is their work more than mine and, although my job is to bring their artistic vision about in the best way possible, the best not necessarily being my idea of best. With that in mind we got together, I heard everyone’s opinions, we listened to some things, I played them what I had revised and explained to them why I approached certain things the way I did, we spent another hour per song revising and, voilå! We have achieved success (for now)! Communication, flexibility and subjugation of ego can be powerful tools in achieving success. No, I didn’t read that on a fortune cookie.

Posted in Life, Music, Uncategorized |

This Week in Baseball

I’ve got a full plate this week so I’m keeping this brief.

Interesting week for the most part, if by interesting you mean holed up in a room with no windows trying to extricate another tenth of a decibel out of a mix. There are some irons in the fire, but it’s too soon to go into detail on anything.

The strangest item of the week was not recognizing an ex-girlfriend from ten years ago because she, and I put this modestly, let herself go. I’d like to say I feel bad about that. I’d like to, but I’m genetically incapable. Karma is indeed cruel.

More news next week. In the meantime, check out this story about Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. McLaughlin out!

Posted in Life, Music, Uncategorized |