Our producer dropped in on us Friday evening and this happened…. 

Listen while you read to a live performance of “A Shitty Day” with drums, which will be one of the anchor tracks of our upcoming rock album, “Victory Speech”.

Friday 08 March 2013

After another wretched, sleep-deprived slog through the day job that day since I was up until some ungodly hour trying to figure out how to render the tracks we’d played for our new producer the previous evening into a form that I could send to him to begin working with them, Steven dropped in on us Friday evening while on his way down to San Diego since it was pissing down rain, further aggravating Friday evening L.A. traffic. He had a wireless card with him to install on the new Panache DAW.

Chi and I did a little rehearsing, playing through a variety of pieces that demonstrate other extremities of our stylistic range, and then sat down to dinner and wine. Things got ugly again when Chi started up with more insistent, obsessive looping, again about having to have a vocalist on this project, and this time inserting the stipulation that he was only willing to track ONE piece…for whatever-the-fuck reason. There wasn’t any, apparently. It was just a pretext to throw a big, hysterical control drama temper tantrum.

At one point he started yelling at our producer in Japanese, and things took an extra-surreal turn when Steven insisted that if Chi was going to yell at him in Japanese, he would have to hold his hand while doing it, to which Chi complied. I eventually went to bed since I was so desperately fatigued by that point that I just couldn’t bear to stay awake any longer, never mind suffer through another Chi-ism. This time he began haranguing Steven about the accordion player on Ry Cooder’s “Chicken Skin Music” album, which he seems to perceive as a paragon of musical excellence, and basically doing his usual thing, i.e., being an intolerably vituperative, condescending little prick. At least now I have one more eyewitness as to how Chi abruptly transforms from fun, witty, life-of-the-party guy to psychotic freakshow at the drop of a pin once his blood alcohol concentration reaches a certain magic tipping point.

Apparently the producer (now affectionately known as “the Chi Whisperer”) once again succeeded in bringing Chi back around and staying onside however tempting it must surely have been to beat the shit out of him, throw his odious ass overboard and scrap the whole thing.

Somewhat shockingly, the next morning Chi started telling me of his plans for developing the piece they had selected to record: A Shitty Day, and that he wanted to take his strat in for whatever adjustment(s) it would need to get it into a decent condition, and also asked me to find a way to get in touch with the one vocalist I was willing to work with on this. He also appeared to get it that it would make sense to have a strong instrumental version of the piece as well as one with vocals, if we ever actually manage to get a good vocalist on side.

SDM – BKSS online conversation later that morning:

SDM

“On my cellphone @ GDMs house. I would accuse Chi of being difficult, intransigent and deliberately obtuse, but that would imply he was open to being reasonable. This is going to be harder than I thought!“

BKSS

“Weary sigh…
Well, this morning Chi was excitedly telling me that you and he had selected the one piece we’d start with, and how he plans on developing it, that he wants to take his strat to Truetone Music to get overhauled today, and that he agrees that we should do both a strong instrumental version and a version with vox. Sounds like despite the shit shower, you succeeded in keeping him onside! Hats off to you, my brave friend!
Sorry I had to cut and run. I just couldn’t bear to sit through him going on about that fucking accordion! I have to put up with shit like that most nights during dinner. As I am certain you have already sussed out, with Chi, it’s all about making a big hysterical drama of everything and being right and winning the argument at all costs, however asinine and/or untenable the position he is taking….“

SDM

“I had to leave. I was close to hitting him. I knew if that happened I’d have failed you completely. Him too. So I leapfrogged to SD. Took over 4 hours with rest breaks. But we are still a team and we will proceed as planned while Chi got to win what was important to him.“

Even after all that, Steven did end up stopping by as planned later that evening (Sunday 09 March) and we did a bit more tinkering with the gear.

The post-visit BKSS-SDM online conversation:

SDM

“Great to see you last night. You seem to be in a much better head-space. Chi too appeared to be much more here and now and ready to get on with things. I was so excited to see him practising his electric guitar. It was very encouraging. He was very funny too. Some of the stuff that came out of his mouth was hysterical. So that’s a big yes on Camera’s on! Maybe then you could capture the memorable video WTF? moment of the week (or session) to post to the fiddlerchick blog.

Going through the tracks with headphones. First, I really like all the tunes. Second, I am going to love working with you on fleshing out the arrangements. Third, absolutely loving “Resistance”. Played that sukka several times.

Shifting gears. Working on lyrics now. I’ll try to get over to you tonight a first pass at “A Shitty Day” and something else (new) and maybe another dug-up thing from the past.“

BKSS

“Thank you Steven! “Resistance” is one of my favourites among our rock-ish repertoire!
Can’t keep my eyes open anymore, so I’m going to crash soon.
See you Wednesday!
Brenda“

 

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