The Parry Sound Project

The Vanishing of The Magic Shop

Feb
25

So last year HBO ran a series called Sonic Highways which was a documentary of the Foo Fighters making an album of the same name. The premise was they traveled around the US to some pretty iconic studios and recorded a song at each. The last studio featured was a New York studio called The Magic Shop, I won’t get into rehashing the whole episode, but the gist was they didn’t think they could stay around much longer because of the costs involved, especially given New York real estate prices. Well the owner Steve Rosenthal was correct and despite Dave Grohl stepping up to try and back the studio by buying the building, the buildings co-op ownership turned down their offer and as a result The Magic Shop is closing.

OK, so what’s that got to do with us? Sonic Highways was for me the start of PSP, watching that series (I can’t recommend it highly enough) re-ignited my desire to play music with people. That last little “with people” part is the important part of that sentence, and I’ll get to that in a bit but, part of the reason places like The Magic Shop are closing down these days is because no one goes to them anymore because it’s way cheaper and easier to do it on your own. I/we are totally guilty of that, we’re getting ready to record one of our songs and start the process of getting a few more to that point, but as part of that process I’ve started assembling my own studio instead of going to a place like The Magic Shop, and seeing that article today made me more than a little sad, and thinking that we should go to a place like that instead.

Tnat leads me back the “with people” part. Years ago I had a friend that owned a studio named Musty Music, it wasn’t iconic, it wasn’t around for decades, it didn’t host the music elite like The Magic Shop did, but it was amazing place to visit and hang out at. Why? People. People would go there to record and practice, and interact with each other, which led to learning and becoming better, it was it’s own little community. Today we lock ourselves in our home studios, some of us write, play, record and produce completely by ourselves, with no one else to hear, listen and offer input on the process, and I can’t help but think to myself is the music worse off for it? Sure it makes it easier for anybody/everybody to make music, but do we lose something in that process?

In another Dave Grohl documentary Sound City (another must watch) made about the closing of a studio with that name, Josh Homme said something about music that really stuck with me, I’ll paraphrase a bit here, but what he was saying was there was a magic that happens when people create music together, it often goes unsaid, you hear a piece someone is playing and something in your mind finds a place for you to fit into there, a conversation begins, not with words but with notes and movements. It can really be magic, I’ve been part of that feeling, it’s a high better than any drug because you feel connected to the people you are creating with in a way that seems pure, honest and beautiful. Places like The Magic Shop were a part of that process, because they captured that moment through the ears of an engineer and a producer, and in their capturing and translating of that moment, they added that special something to the art which was created.

So today, I’m reflecting on the closing of The Magic Shop, a place I only visited through the eyes of Dave Grohl and his series, and to be honest it makes me a little sad because in my mind, today there’s one place less in this world for musicians to get together and create magic.

The Countdown Begins

Feb
12

So four weeks from today our first real recording session as a band begins in the woods near Parry Sound, Ontario at the legendary Little Amsterdam Studios, (better known as Jeff’s cottage), but before that can begin we have to round up all the equipment, hook it all up, make sure it’s working well and that process began last night at our mixing/mastering studio Fine Audio Recording Technologies Sound (F.A.R.T Sound for short, better known as Rob’s house). I’m sure I’ll have lots more nonsense to say in the coming weeks, but for now a quick shot the setup right now.

The Countdown Begins

The Countdown Begins

Building A Song – Part Two

Feb
02

I told you I’d be back with a video! So a while back we started a series called “Building A Song“, basically what we wanted to do was track the process of writing and recording a song for ourselves and for anyone else that may be interested. I had written a riff, brought to the guys, then one practice Scott (the sexy beast singing and playing guitar in this video) suggested we revisit it, we did and then the process of fleshing it out began. For me it’s been a real learning process, Dan (the guy tucked away in the corner that plays the solo) and I had written a couple of songs back in our teenage years, but they were very basic and that was a long time ago. So in the first video we were in the starting to flesh it out stage, in this video we are starting to put together all the parts.

A couple of notes, there’s a whole lot of learning going on here, not just in terms of some of the guys learning the music but also in terms of the technology involved. We are learning how to do a multi-camera video shoot, we’re learning how to mix and record live audio (Dear JamHub you rule! We’ll talk about you in a separate video!), how to sync them both together and then a million and one different pieces that make up those processes, so, it’s sooooooo far off from perfect it’s not funny (ok it’s a little funny 😉 ), but that’s the point, we’re learning, and having a great time doing it. So let’s get to the video:

So where do we go from here? This is what I was referring too in my last post, the thing that has me really excited. Jeff (the sexy keyboard player in this video) has been kind enough to offer up his cottage for what we normally call boys weekend which involves video games, beer, videos game, beer, beer, ummm video games, well you get the picture. This time however we are basically putting a recording studio up there and recording this song (potentially one more and doing some good old fashioned jamming to see what else we can come up with).  The setup for that is going to be absolutely insane so I’m literally counting the (38) days till then. In terms of this site we plan on doing some really fun things with this, fun for us anyway, but we’ll try and keep it entertaining for whoever stumbles upon these posts and videos as well. We have some ideas in terms of gear talk videos, more in this series as well, and of course the whole recording process so for those of you with us, thanks for taking the time to check it out and feel free to throw out any input/suggestions you may have!! Until the next time!

-Rob (The Bald Avenger wearing the snazzy gray Parry Sound Project sweater from the video)

Psst… I got an update for you…

Feb
01

After what seems like an eternity, the six amigos were finally reunited last night for band practice. We spent some more time working on the song from out last post and of course catching up. I should have a video up some time over the next day or so, plus some news that for me (and I do believe the other fellas feel the same way) is really exciting, but that will be later. For now, here’s a pic from our practice space last night 🙂

Reunited... And it feels so good

Reunited… And it feels so good

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