Minx & the Mountebank
We recorded this album in the first half of 2005 in the basement of our old house at 6130 SE Division St. In Portland, Oregon. We moved to Portland in the late summer of 2004 and in the process, lost Jared Rodriguez and Christopher Casner who played rhythm electric and acoustic guitars for us. In the winter of 2004/2005, we were ardently looking for a second guitar player so we could begin performing live again but once we started practicing, we realized that we could do just fine as a three piece (which we did in the early days before adding Jared and later, Chris). So began working on new and old songs and figuring out what would work. This album began as I started to record live takes of our practices with a new 32 mixer and a few new mics I charged to the plastic...yep, I'm still paying it all off! We were very amazed with the sound quality that we were getting, the drums sounded huge in that concrete basement! So I set up an isolation booth in the extra room down there so we could track the drums while playing live. Whoever was singing be it myself or Dusty, would go into the isolation room. We would track the drums onto 7 of the 8 available tracks and put the ruff vocals, guitar and bass onto the eighth for reference. From there, we would usually get the bass and acoustic guitar(s) down and add electric guitars, piano and organ on top of that with the vocals coming last. We were originally going to put these songs online and burn them to CDRs to give away for promotion, but as the recording progressed we convinced ourselves to make an album out of them. The first plan was to finish it over summer and put it out in the fall of 2005 but then we decided to put together a tour and we just had to have the album for that, right? So when we weren't recording, I started working on the artwork and arranging for a pressing through Disc Makers. I started booking the tour with July 23rd being the first date. This show was going to be our CD release show in Portland and we were going to get on the road heading southbound the following day. In order to get our CDs in time I had to have the master mailed no later than July 5th. June came and went so quickly. With time beckoning at the door, the 4th of July 2004 is a day I will never forget. After a long night of mixing, I awoke around 3:45 am for a 4:30 shift. That part, I don't remember, but I got home sometime shortly after noon and proceeded directly downstairs and back into the chair, still warm from hours before. I worked from then until 7 am the next morning perfecting the final mixes and going back and forth from the studio to my van to listen them. I gathered the graphics, master and forms and headed to the a postal store to send it off! They arrived the day before the show! In the haste of finishing this album there are some interesting things to listen for. The noticeable pauses before the verses start in 'Sometimes the Sun Goes Down' were supposed to have a background vocal part singing 'I guess sometimes the sun goes down' which you can hear in earlier live versions; I didn't realize the part wasn't there until the album was already being made! Also on the song 'Come Up and See the Miracle' listen closely after the line 'Your blood runs cold when you swallow the pill.' There is a sound in the background that is distinctly someone barfing, but we don't know who? It is possible it is a coincidental sound from mixed phasing of instruments...or perhaps one of us did that in our sleep. Anyhow, enjoy!