This live album is the result of meeting two neighbors - Eric Kalver and Chris Baseford.
Eric is a percussionist and composer who graduated from Berklee College of Music. Chris is a producer who has worked with everyone from Tommy Lee and Steven Tyler to Cee Lo Green and Jonny Lang. The internet brought us Aaron Bishop. He plays bass for Tyrone Wells, Jason Reeves, Ernie Halter and many more. Eric, Aaron and I had one rehearsal before the show. Chris offered to mix the record. He and his wife were at the show and brought even more of our neighbors.
Since making the last Live EP, Genghis Cohen has upgraded their sound system. They now have multi-track recording. I brought a firewire drive to the show and left with individual .wav files of each channel and the stereo main bus. Thank you J.T.
Like the year before, I advertised the show as a "Live CD Taping." Charlie Wolf and Sam Green helped me with every detail of the night. They made it happen.
"Crystal Chandelier" is a song that I wrote with Taylor Negron for our stage show "The Mayan Countdown." He was also at the show, and drew a picture during the performance that became the album art.
"Winter's Warmer" is an old song to me. It was written by Martin Nelson, who I went to high school with. We used to host a weekly show in Spokane at the now-gone Leonardo's Coffee. At the end of this song we each have a singing part. (There is a live version of the two of us performing it on a now out-of-print CD we did together.) After moving away, I started singing "Winter's Warmer" by myself. A couple of years ago at the Viper Room lounge I asked the audience join in and sing his part. It worked. Martin, people love your song.
When mixing this album, Chris and I had trouble bringing out the audience voices in "Winter's Warmer" and "Robot Heart." Honestly, we kicked around the idea of overdubbing some extra audience members, something that I've heard done on many big-name "live" releases. I'm really glad we didn't. I'm not hiding the fact that this was a small show in a small room. You hear the actual audience on this record, not a digitally populated fan-base.
Thank you Bob Leggett for having me back at Genghis. Thank you Chelle Stipe for taking pictures.
I hope you enjoy this live recording. It captures one night of my life at a Southwestern Chinese Cuisine Acoustic Room in Los Angeles.