Tag Archives: James Beaudreau

Your Love To The Battle (The video!!)

My friend and fellow singer songwriter, Kelli King, recently asked if she could play with my song, ‘Your Love to The Battle’, in video. I was flattered and surprised that she felt moved to do such a thing. In a day or less she had the skeleton (ha ha, you’ll see) of the whole video finished!! It goes to show you that you have to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re moved to make something, do it. Of course the edits and credits that followed took a number of days however that initial creative urge of hers was so instantaneous it was alarming. I am proud to present Kelli Kings video for ‘Your Love To The Battle’ from my album, ‘At The Start / At Long Last’ produced by my friend James Beaudreau.
Kelli will be playing her songs with Liz Taub as part of the production of the play, “She Calls Me Firefly” by Teresa Lotz, April 15th – May 3rd. http://www.shecallsmefirefly.com/
The Philip Lynch Band is playing Thursday April 9th @ 11PM Silvana 300 West 116th Street Taylor Rich’s Birthday, c’mon out!!

Roll the clip yo!!

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LIVE Tracks!!

Happy new year all!! Here are a couple of live tracks from The Philip Lynch Band gig at Piano’s Showroom, 154 Ludlow Street, December 23rd 2014. James put together a great mix from the board and a couple of room mics. Wolf (the sound guy) did a great job with the set up and recording and we love how we sound in this room. If you play Piano’s and Wolf is your sound guy, take care of him, he wants things to sound the best they can. For the first time the monitor in front of me was actually a helpful reference without being a nuisance. James Beaudreau (lead guitar), Ben Kraus (bass) and Rich Drouin (drums) these guys don’t mess around. Check it out yo!! The songs are, ‘Breathing’ which is on the LP, At The Start / At Long Last available here: http://www.workbenchrecordings.com/store/philip-lynch-at-the-start-at-long-last-lp
The other track is ‘Budge’ which didn’t make it onto the album….but here it is live!!

And if you dig that we’re playing next on January 21st 2015 @ Cakeshop 152 Ludlow Street 10PM $8 cover

Collaboration

Good day to you all! So, I’ve always prided myself on a certain level of independence in many facets of existence. However, recently, I’ve come out of my shell a little bit to look around and what I’ve found is (simply) progress. Writing and performing my songs solo for 14 years I think I’ve improved a bit but the progress feels glacial. When James Beaudreau and I finished recording, “At The Start/At Long Last”, we had to pull a band together to support the songs and the album release (Tuesday, November 18th @ Cakeshop 152 Ludlow Street NYC). Ben Kraus (bass) friend and co-worker, listened to my songs and liked them enough to learn them. We played duo gigs at No Malice Palace, The Way Station, Piano’s (upstairs), An Beal Bocht and a couple of office Christmas parties. The first Christmas party involved me giving up my shoelaces for a banjo strap for Ben and my tie to secure a mic to a stand (necessity being the mother of invention and all). Ben also plays with a jazz trio, Hive, check them here, http://www.lukeschwartz.com/blognews/hive-live-at-botanica-red-hook-brooklyn-tonight. James and I have been friends for 17 years or so but have only worked on music together for the album of my songs. You all should check out….lately it feels like pulling teeth to get anyone to listen to anything new. As though people only trust commercially backed music….this is a great mistake. If you are reading this, I implore you, listen to this track, Pacifico by James Beaudreau, one of my absolute favorites of his and tell me it’s not a beautiful, full composition, I dare ya!!http://vimeo.com/musicstore/track/33427/pacifico-by-james-beaudreau If you think that’s something, you should hear his rock playing. Anyways we needed a drummer and James contacted his friend from Highschool, Rich Drouin, to pitch in. Playing with a drummer has been mind-blowing for me. As a solo player I play with rhythm and at certain tempos but backbeats, various flourishes and other intense, deep incantations I’m still trying to comprehend. Rich’s main band is Iridesense check them out here!! http://www.iridesense.com/
In the few months The Philip Lynch Band has been together we’ve improved very quickly. It has been alarming to me especially as my own songwriting’s improvement has taken so long.

So I went running a couple of weekends ago and running, for me, is a meditative thing….i.e. I’m physically doing something but my brain is running through lyric ideas, things to do etc etc when a woman zipped by me and I thought, hm I wonder if I can keep pace? I did and caught up before she turned off and asked her pace. It took an outer influence to shake me out of my routine.

I’ve been to Italy on two separate occasions now and I love the country, the language, the art, the food and wine and have started taking an Italian class. To hear others trying to learn the language, sometimes encountering the same struggles I encounter, sometimes pronouncing words or phases beautifully or mispronouncing altogether made me realize an important fact, it takes failure to succeed (sounds like a dumb aphorism or commercial eh?). How would I know what I’m trying to learn without falling flat on my face? This is why the best clowns have beauty and grace…they represent feeling foolish for the betterment of us all. It takes courage to fall.

Til next time have great listens!! xo -p

And The Title of The Philip Lynch Album Is…

Is the suspense killing you? When I was a kid and I did well in a race, I would come home and play all bummed out as though I had lost when I’d won to build suspense but my mother always saw through the act…probably an early indication I shouldn’t have tried acting hahahahahaha Anyway the title of the James Beaudreau produced Philip Lynch album is, ” At The Start At Long Last”. Strange title you might say but it’s not without it’s significance. When I moved to my neighborhood in uppermost Manhattan 15 years ago (sheesh that’s a long time) etched into the tiles of my subway station walls were those words, “At The Start…At Long Last..” (they have since been filled in with mosaic mirrored tiles). I had just moved from Weehawken, New Jersey after a girlfriend headed out to West Hollywood, CA and this was to be a new chapter. Strange and stark how our lives can change in a moment. James and I have been working on this album off and on for about 8 years. First album, “At The Start…” completed, “At Long Last…” I dig the ellipses because they speak of more to come. Whether or not we use them, a forward slash /, or nothing is still a little bit of a grey area (if you have a strong opinion either way, let me know, state your case heh). So there you have it dear reader, At The Start At Long Last

I hope you all have an excellent weekend! Catch you next time! -p

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Strange Weather (Mastering!!)

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This is the control booth of the studio, Strange Weather in Williamsburg (for booking information please contact them at: booking@strangeweatherbrooklyn.com, 347-422-6419) where Alex DeTurk (Mastering) James Beaudreau (Producer) and I worked on the album this past Sunday. The room stirs the imagination. I’ve always loved the cosmos whether in fact or fantasy and this control room was like being in a special sound spaceship. My lay-person understanding of mastering is that the audio engineer sets levels of the tracks to sound equal with each other, adjusts the space between tracks, addresses sequencing, fade-ins and outs and sweetens the overall sound. After 8 years of working on the album this was it. The studio is amazing, clean, outfitted with modern equipment, vintage equipment, and beautiful wood floors. When I initially stepped into the performance space (see below) on impulse I clapped once with force and the sound was incredible, very controlled…no echo but a response from the sides of the room and nothing from above. Fascinating. It’s run by Marc Alan Goodman and Daniel Schlett.

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This is the Studer we ran the digital files through.

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The listening and decision-making was intense. Alex worked quickly and accurately, he has innate musical instincts as does James. The key to making something really great is to find people who are better than you to work with! These gentlemen elevated the songs beautifully.

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It sounds great and we can’t wait for you all to hear it!!!

Lo Presento Il Produttore!

James Beaudreau is a New York City guitarist & composer. Since ’06 he has released 3 albums of experimental music on Workbench Recordings. From ’98 to ’03 James was with The Billy Nayer Show, a band described as “like co-productions of Kurt Weill and Neil Young” by The Village Voice. His albums have been reviewed in WIRE, AMG (by Eugene Chadbourne) & other publications. Not only an accomplished musician and a great friend but now Producer.

James when did we meet? 1997?

I think that’s about right.

Did working on your albums inform production decisions of the pfl project and how?

Hm, I don’t think so… except for that fact that the more I’ve worked on recording the more able I’ve been able to attempt creative stuff. The Java St Bagatelles album was recorded on cassettes and mindiscs — I got Pro Tools only at the end of that process — in late 2005 maybe — so I haven’t been at it that long. Music and recording studios, yes. But recording beyond the 4-track cassette model, not long. I’m actually not naturally technically minded… that is, I don’t geek out on gear or recording technique or mic placement like every good engineer I know does. It frazzles my brain a little. I do really love the recording process though — what to me feels like the ‘creative’ part of it — though that’s not to say that for other people mic placement isn’t a very creative art. My own first three albums were experimental in many ways, including the way they were recorded. For your stuff, I really wanted to hear things a certain way. Over the course of the years we’ve been working on this, it has always been important to me to present the songs in the best light possible. But over time, as my “technique” and abilities have increased, I’ve also been raising my standards. And although many of the earlier tunes are still some of my favorites, I think your writing has gone up a few notches too… so it’s been a long process of both of us raising the bar as we’ve gone along. The bar is at a good height now — meaning, we’ve got the tunes, and I THINK I am able to present them in a way that will do them some justice.

Are there particular producers you’ve taken cues from? Which contemporary producer intrigues you and which old school producer fascinates you?

Since I was a kid, the album sleeve text that meant the most to me — the magical seal of approval — was ‘PRODUCED BY JIMMY PAGE.’ In my own attempts to produce music, I don’t pretend to emulate the SOUNDS of those old recordings. As I said, I don’t have the gear, the space, the technique or the patience to approach that. But in terms of the way that music is mixed, and the arrangements and orchestration; and the chaotic elements (ambient noise, count-offs, weird tape effects, choppy edits) sitting alongside pristine craft… all that is magic to me.

It’s a hard question to answer in any kind of depth because when looking at record producers over time it’s clear that there are different kinds of producers, and that the role has changed over time, too. Before the classic rock era, producers were more like line producers in the film industry. Getting things organized, booked, done on time and on budget. Then by the 70s they became more like movie editors; getting their hands dirty, cutting film, cutting tape, mixing the music, recording it, even. Then, in the 80s and 90s, they’re more like movie directors or producers; responsible for an overarching vision or concept, but further distanced from the hands-on approach of the 60s and 70s, and also from the practical parts of the job, which now belong to the “Executive Producer”.

There are still those auteur types of music producers out there, but in today’s music business the role is more like the 60s / 70s model. I have favorites from each type, and they occupy my thinking for lots of different reasons. When I think of ‘producers’ the first names that come to mind, aside from Jimmy Page, are Teo Macero (Miles Davis) and Holger Czukay (of Can, though he technically wasn’t listed as the producer on their records).

In terms of current guys… I think more about mix engineers that I like rather than producers for the most part. It’s funny though, the names that come to mind all have a “thing” they do. Like a very particular sound, — a specific SOUND more than a sensibility. A strong thumbprint. So there are mix engineers I like as a fan, but I can’t think about their work in the same way I think about the older guys. It’s still a kind of inspiration, but you can’t get up too close to it without falling into their “thing.”

Here’s another two-parter, do you think people care about production nowadays and do you think they even know what “production” is? What is production to you?

People definitely care about production, but they don’t know it. In terms of what production IS to me… the way I think about it is that the producer is responsible for presenting the music in the best possible light. It can mean a lot of different things, and a lot depends on resources. You use all the tools at your disposal to pull it off. It helps, I think, if you can have an overall vision in mind, some kind of sense of where the music could go.

Have you enjoyed working on this pfl project?

Yeah man, I’ve enjoyed it a ton! It’s also pushed me to the absolute limits of my ability, especially lately as we’ve been approaching the finish line. We both want to do everything we possibly can to get this stuff right.

Is pfl difficult to work with?

Not at all, except that it was a challenge to get the rare Moroccan incense, brass whale oil-burning lamps, tapestries, oxygen tanks and the troupe of contortionists necessary to get a “keeper” vocal take.

hahahahaha What do you hope happens with Workbench Recordings and the 3 albums of your own you’ve written, recorded, and produced?

I’d like to do something more with the Workbench Recordings site — it’s been just sitting there for a while. Don’t have the time or the idea yet though. In terms of my three albums — I hope people listen to them.

Do you plan to jump back into your material after the pfl project?

I do, but I don’t know what precisely yet. It’s nice not knowing; I’m collecting ideas.

Would you produce other artists and would it be dependent upon liking their material?

I would — I enjoy the process. It would probably only work if I had some kind of connection to the music. Though I will entertain all inquiries 🙂

I’ve been enjoying the A/B listens (cousins) on your tumblr, have you been using particular A/B listen touchstones on the pfl project?

That’s totally just letting my obsessive music brain goof off!

and lastly, which came first the chicken or the egg?

If you want it to be any good, either way I’d recommend butter or olive oil first.

My thanks to James, he’s been as intuitive, tireless and careful on this project as he is on his own excellent recordings, highly recommended listens!

Have a great week humans and thanks for checking in! -p

http://jamesbeaudreau.bandcamp.com
http://www.workbenchrecordings.com
https://twitter.com/jamesbeaudreau