Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Icing On The Cake

so I got an awesome present for my birthday. a new 120GB iPod!

I had a 30GB one but I had completely filled it up. I've really gotten into listening to new music recently. I figured out how to create a playlist to not sync my entire library but I still didn't have enough room. I had to cut out all the jazz, the blues, and Elvis, Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.

So now I've got all this room to download more music. I spent a few hours today looking at my fave vinyl and seeing if there was anything that I didn't already have on my iPod. I found a few things like Jesus and Mary Chain and The JB's. A couple of things didn't seem to exist on ILL, CD or on the iTunes store. It looks like I'll have to digitize "Seconds Out" by Genesis.

The other thing that wasn't available anywhere was one of my fave obscure LPs of all time. "Exposure" by Robert Fripp. It was his last "solo" album before he put the Adrian Belew version of King Crimson together.

I put it on to check out and I had totally forgotten about the amazing sample at the very beginning of the album. No background music. Pure vocals so it's a great sample. I always thought it had the potential to be just as memorable as the classic "this is the first song..."

You put the needle in the wax and you hear:

"Uh... can I play you, umm, some of the new things I've been doing, which I think could be commercial."

as soon as I heard it I realized it was perfect. I had to have as a sample at the beginning of "The Hate Song". What a perfect way to start out my project!

so I did it. I digitized the entire LP and then opened up "The Hate Song", created a new track, and recorded the sample. It took a little while to figure out how to shift the entire song a few seconds to the right the squeeze the sample into the beginning but I figured it out. and it sounds awesome! the icing on the cake...

I went ahead and burned it to a CD to create an MP3 file and went ahead and uploaded it to the new pudgenoise.com site. I checked it out and it sounds awesome. I'm completely happy with it now! I'm so happy with it that I'm going to just leave it up at this point. Hopefully my web hosting company won't take it down before I get a chance to send out an email to all my friends and have them check it out. I don't think that'll happen though...

the website is done for the most part. it works. it functions. I would like it to be better and I'll be working on the CSS coding. but I could send out the email tomorrow and I would be happy. I'm ready to go for the 1st!


So something hit me today while working on the "liner" notes on the web page.

my pal Spoon doesn't actually play on "The Hate Song". It's all me. weird...

part of me thinks that I should have him over to sing a vocal track or add some percussion or something. but I also really like it the way it is. This wasn't intentional. but it looks like the first song really is going to be a "solo" track.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Today is my birthday! Usually I make an effort to take a personal day and not go to work on my birthday. For some strange reason I didn't think about that so I have to go to work tonight. Not a big deal... I need the money.

But I've been having a fun/nice day in the meantime. I think "The Hate Song" is ready to go. I spent most of the morning working on it. Redid the vocal intro thing and then I redid the vocal tracks as well. I had one note that was off in the original recording. I ended up recording two takes of the vocal track and using them both. I think it sounds really nice to have both of them going at once. It supposed to be a trick that the Beatles used a lot.

Then I spent a bunch of time trying to add some beats to the thing. Tried a few different things and had something that was starting to sound really good. But then I decided to try it once again with no extra percussion sounds, just the samples, and muted the stuff I had done out. I liked it better that way. There really is no need for extra percussion/drums. It sounds great the way it is in my humble opinion. More "clean" as well without the extra stuff.

So now I'm off to mix it down, burn a CD, convert it to an MP3, and try to load it up to the web site. March 1st should be no problem.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I figured it out!

turned out I just needed to set up the FTP setup in Dreamweaver instead of using the FTP setup in their web browser to get past the size limit. I uploaded the MP3 and it worked! sweet!

I'm going to bed now. :-p


gotta go to bed soon... but it's been an interesting night.

I mixed down the "single" version of "The Hate Song (ELO)". It took me about two hours. Going through each track and putting in the fade ins and fade outs. Cutting out the stuff at the end. (that's a topic for another post)

I listened to it three times in a row and I love it.

burned it to a CD. imported it back into the computer but this time as a MP3 file. when I tried to upload it to the hosting place I got an error message.

"The file exceeded the file size limit of 500kb and was not uploaded."


I checked the size of the MP3 file and it's 5.3MB so yeah... it's way past the limit. but I don't remember seeing anything about a "limit" on file sizes when I signed up at this place. and I'm supposed to have 512MB with the plan that I bought so I thought I was fine. So I'm pissed.

I went through all the FAQ's on the site and the info on the plans and I don't see shit about a limit on uploading size. This could really throw a monkey wrench into my plans and I only have a week to go. I can get everything up but the song itself?! fuck...

sorry for the language but I'm upset.

I sent off an email to the customer service folks at the hosting company. I'll see what they have to say. I'm sort of upset that they don't have a phone number listed. My question to them was if they had a number I could call. We'll see if they respond. I sent a message to them about a week ago and never heard back.

keeping focused...

I can already see how hard it might be during this "project" to stay focused.

For instance, I've become totally obsessed with a group recently. The LCD Soundsystem. I only discovered them about a month ago but they've quickly become one of my favorite groups. I particularly love the lyrics to "Losing My Edge". I can totally identify with a lot of it. One of the first things that hit me when I heard it was that I would love to do a cover version of it. With my own life experiences put into the lyrics.

and check this out... I was hanging with Spoon today and was talking to him about "Losing My Edge". I ended up singing a bunch of the lyrics to him and he could totally identify as well. He said to me, "dude, you should totally do a cover of it but change the words to reflect your own life."! so of course I have to do this...

but I also need to do a bunch of coding and writing and mixing just in the next week to get the first "Pudge Song Of The Month" up. so already a bit of a conflict.

but I think it's a good thing to stay focused. and now I have a very cool idea in the can as well. so it's all good!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting nervous...

So what have I done here?! I must admit I'm starting to get a little nervous about this whole thing.

What if everyone hates my first song? What if I get a cease and desist letter? The song is based on a sample from ELO. What if they pull my hosting account because of it?

and will I even be able to pull this off? I've pretty much got the web pages in place but they need a lot of work still. I also need to work on the song itself. I listened to it the other day and I thought it rocked. I'm wondering if I need to work on it more though? I at least wanted to mix it down a little better. Create a "single" version that is shorter than the version I have now.

Throwing a monkey wrench into all of my plans is the fact that I have a job interview on Thursday. I couldn't be more happy and thrilled! But if I get a job it will definitely impact this project and make it harder. When I came up with this idea I assumed I'd still be working only part time for the next few months at least. So we'll see what happens. I would LOVE to get a full time job so while this project is very important to me my career comes first.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here we go...

My name is Ted E. Gray and I have a band called Pudge. Right now the band is pretty much just me and my friend Mark on drums/percussion.

I used to be in a band called DragKing. I still think DragKing was a great band but we made one big mistake. When we first started we released several 7" singles. Singles were "hot" back then. We made a bit of a splash and our singles sold well and got critical recognition. Then we decided to record our full length CD.

We had a big advantage over a lot of bands in that we had our own recording equipment and home studio. This was good and bad. We saved a lot of money but we also had to learn to do everything ourselves and it took time. We ended up taking over two years to finish the CD. By the time we released it our fans had moved on and forgotten about us.

Several years ago we had a DragKing reunion and a bunch of us got together. I had been thinking about it and I told the rest of the band that I thought we made a big mistake by taking so long to release the CD. What we should have done, I told them, was to keep on recording 7" singles. Just concentrate on a couple songs at a time. Then over time we would have released enough songs to put out a full length CD comp with all the singles on it. That way we would have kept up interest and kept on putting stuff out every few months instead of waiting for over two years.


After I left DragKing I was in a couple of other bands. But for the past five or six years I've been pretty much working on a bunch of songs on my own. Formed my own "solo" band I call Pudge. With modern technology I also have a home studio in my basement. It hit me recently that I'm falling into the same sort of rut that hit DragKing. I've been working on my CD for years now. A bunch of the songs are pretty much done and some need a lot of work. But it might take me years to finish the whole thing to my satisfaction.

Then recently I read an interview of Sufjan Stevens. He was talking about the death of the CD. About how with the web it doesn't really matter anymore. Songs can be as short or as long as you would like. Since people download songs, and rarely buy or listen to entire CDs anymore, why should artists even bother putting out CDs anymore?

Thinking about all this stuff (and perhaps having recently watching Julie & Julia helped) I came up with an idea.

The Pudge Song of The Month web site.

First, get my shit together with web hosting and set up a site for my band. Also take control of the DragKing web site and get that hosted in a good place.

Then, instead of working on the entire CD focus on one song at a time. Release one song a month on the web. Send out a mass email to every single Facebook friend I have to promote it.

I can do this. It seems a very realistic project. One song a month. Most of them are already done anyway. I just need to clean up some tracks and really work on mixing them nicely.

I've already set up the web hosting and started a basic web site. My goal is to put up the first song on March 1st. wow...