Saturday, February 9, 2008

prairie sun

Prairie Sun is a farmyard. Four barns--three converted into tracking/control rooms--and an office. Then you have some ramshackle practice spaces inside old chicken coups, a couple giant reverb plates in an old shed-ish room that they also use for old 2-inch tape archives, and two quaint little houses for people on vacation... like me. I guess this isn't really vacation; this is my second week here mixing the new record with K-IV. We spend every day in a control room in Studio B, and he works his magic on the console, which sounds great. Everything here sounds great. The rooms have an out-of-town vibe, even though we're not really that far from San Francisco.

Getting back to a description of the place: our house is white and cute, with a few outlets that work and an ant problem. I wonder if I am a problem for the ants. I mean, to them I'm just some giant dude who showed up one night and started sleeping in their bed. I guess I wouldn't be down with that, were the situation reversed.

Last week, I drove to Medford, from Portland, and picked up K-IV in the Prius. From there, we tiptoed over the pass (closed just last week due to blizzard snow-- wtf?!) and then down through Napa valley till we got to our creative spot. K-IV is a badass creative spot, himself. Besides acting as nice-guy number 1, I love watching him mix, and he's got a great sensibility for the songs, and for life, in general. We're basically holed up here till the record is fully mixed. Other local characters include Mooka, the eccentric owner of P.S., and Adam and Rich, who run around all day fixing broken gear, setting up echo chambers and microphones worth more than my life, and--in general--being awesome.
This place has been here for over 20 years, and you can tell. Sure, the gear is great, the people know there stuff, blah blah blah. But what you don't get at home is this unique, secluded vibe; I understand why Tom Waits comes here and drinks till late down the road at Red's Recovery Room. It's sleeping in a farmhouse and walking up to three roosters outside your window at 6am. Making a record was never so much fun!
Dear Portland,
It's bright and sunny here. I've been eating outside every day. There is a toasty white bench sitting in a field. There are lots of bright stars at night. Last night K-IV and I saw a flying saucer, but it could have been the crescent moon. Can't wait to see you again, but could you warm up the place a bit? ...I've become accustomed to this climate.

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