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Mike Randle


“A lot going on”
July 21, 2003

Well, it’s nearing the end of July and, this time last year, I was on holiday in York, resting up from the 25 shows (in 35 days!) we’d done touring the UK, Scandinavia and Europe and getting ready for Roskilde. Now that we’ve finished this recent UK/Spain swing and the LIVE CD has been released, we’ll probably do some So. Cal. shows before we play the Cantebury Fayre on August 24. Daddyo is in Minneapolis for a week attending his sister’s wedding but when he gets back we’ll start working on new stuff as well as looking at some old catalog tunes and tossing some stuff out of the regular set. When I spoke with Rusty on Saturday he told me he’s playing drums at a bar once a week in a band fronted by SAM JONES. Sam Jones is the Director/ Film Maker who made that brilliant documentary about WILCO, “I am trying to break your heart.”

Speaking of the movie, I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of music but curious how the business REALLY works. Imagine a band like WILCO, a band that is one of the most respected, artistic and revered in the music business getting DROPPED by Warner Brothers 24 hours AFTER they delivered “Yankee Foxtrot Hotel” to the label. It’s also a sad movie, as you witness singer, Jeff Tweedy, and guitarist, Jay Bennet, bump heads one too many times until Tweedy finally kicks Jay OUT OF THE GROUP. It’s all right there, caught on film. No acting. No planning. You see the silly arguments about drum mixing and all the lame things bands endure in semi-democracies.

Also on the agenda is my solo record which (obviously) I am going to record around the LOVE schedule. But I don’t anticipate any of the problems or bumps I’ve experienced in the past (or like I saw in the Wilco movie) because I’ve made up my mind to have things go just the way I like and that’s that. Sometimes you gotta do it like that. And I like to do odd things. Like, I am recording all the drums on my record in MONO. Yep. One mic on the bass drum and 1 condenser mic for ambience about 7 feet away. Then I’ll pan them HARD LEFT in the mix. I like to do this and pan, say, a piano HARD RIGHT to counter balance the drums. I also try to keep same-like frequencies opposite in the mix ( you know, banjo RIGHT, tamborine LEFT, but not on the same side) like all my favorite records I grew up listening to. The most important this is that it’s a pleasurable listening experience for you and I and the songs are good enough for you and I and the performances are magical. Not as difficult as it sounds. The important thing is to go with what you feel. I am not one to sit and discuss the merits of a C minor 7; either it works or it doesn’t.

all the best,

Mike Randle


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