Line Out Music & the City at Night

In the Studio

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's October 24th, 2013 And You're in a Rad Garage Band - The Mickey Finn

Posted by on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

This ain't EXACTLY proper garage, the term for a jam of this MAGNITUDE is the '60s term invented in the '80s: freakbeat. Th term "freakbeat" was invented by collector/complier/label owner Phil Smee to describe beat music as it evolved away from 12 bar R&B into what would be psychedelic and progressive. The Mickey Finn's "Garden Of My Mind" is a prime example of this evolution.

Originally known as Mickey Finn and The Blue Men this group formed out of East London R&B band the Strangers... after developing a taste for ska. The band became The Mickey Finn in 1965. In all they had six 45s, eventually splitting up in 1971. There is an American Mickey Finn, they're a terrible novelty group.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Today's Music News: Today's Disease News, Danny Brown Thinks Cereal's Overrated, New Albums from Riff Raff and David Lynch

Posted by on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Jonathan Poneman Diagnosed with Parkinson's: The Sub Pop cofounder went public with his diagnosis this morning, explaining how grappling with the disease has given him a new perspective on his life. Many well wishes to Poneman and those close to him.

And Sharon Jones is Undergoing "Immediate Surgery" for Cancer: Canceling her tour and postponing release of her latest album. Luckily, the stage-one cancer on her bile duct (whoa! I didn't know that was a thing) is "operable and curable." Good luck to you in surgery, Ms. Jones!

Soulja Boy Takes on The Bachelorette: And makes a pretty amazing music video after recruiting the show's stars to be extras. Inane!

David Lynch to Release Second Album: Because people went crazy for Crazy Clown Time, apparently. Definitely curious to hear his collaboration with Lykke Li.

Everything That's Right with Music Today: Skrillex and Riff Raff have an album coming out together, Riff told MTV Australia.

Danny Brown Has the Best Laugh in the World: Check out Detroit rapper Danny Brown explain why he thinks cereal's overrated. Agreed! I don't eat soggy things either.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Line Out Will Return at 11 am

Posted by on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Cause we're recording some shit. See the new issue in the meantime!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Witch, Please

Posted by on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM


I snapped this pic during Witch Gardens' recording session yesterday. They laid down three new tracks with Aaron Schroeder (Thunder Buffalo, Battle Stations). All were sounding aces.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Here's the Lonely Forest, Hard at Work in the Studio With Chris Walla

Posted by on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM

In just a few weeks, the Lonely Forest will release their very anticipated new album Arrows. It will be their first full-length release for Trans, the major label imprint that Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie) basically created just so he could work with the band. (Read more about that here.)

Now the world is watching as a small but very talented Anancortes-based band takes a huge step into brand new major label waters. It's a lot of pressure! Surely they don't want to let anyone (including themselves!) down. Surely, while recording, they used every second of studio time going over every single track, making sure every guitar strum, every harmony, every drumbeat, was absofuckinglutely perfect.

In fact, here's a quick video of the band, hard at work in the studio with Mr. Walla:

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Clearly this was recorded after the boys had already snapped.

Maybe bring some fresh gum for Tony when the Lonely Forest play the Vera Project this Thursday night. The Oregon Donor and the Violins are also on the bill. It starts at 7:30 pm and costs $10. Buy tickets here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In the Studio with Hausu

Posted by on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Up and coming Portland band Hausu have been in town this week, recording material at state-of-the-art studio/venue space the Ballard Mine. I asked them if they wouldn't mind filming a little something for the Line Out crowd, just a glimpse behind the scenes of their recording process. This super-brief clip ain't much, but considering I dropped this request on them out of nowhere, it's pretty understandable.

In the video, they're laying down a guitar overdub for a track, and you can hear band founder Ben Funkhouser (ex Herr Jazz) tossing out suggestions for mixing the drums. Also, this gives you a moment to ogle the Mine's mouth-watering setup.

Thanks to Hausu's Alex Maguire for filming + editing this.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Watch Brian Eno Improvise in His Studio

Posted by on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 1:37 PM

You know you want to catch a glimpse of Brian Eno jamming in his studio with guitarist Leo Abrahams and keyboardist Jon Hopkins (here and here). Why? Because you're an obsessive fanboy/girl/hermaphrodite. And who can blame you, even in 2010? Small Craft on a Milk Sea is a solid, non-laurel-resting album from a man in his 60s—a pretty rare achievement. Eno still strives to create music not derivative of his past work, in new methods, with new people. Respect.

More such sessions—dubbed Seven Sessions on a Milk Sea—will be uploaded here in the near future.

Here's my short review of Small Craft on a Milk Sea.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Portland's YU Building Is On Its Way

Posted by on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM has a teenie-tiny piece on Portland's YU Building (the "YU" is for "Yale Union Laundry"), which is on its way to becoming a gigantic, dope-ass art space. I guess the building is still owned by an LLC, but the plan is to turn over ownership of the massive, multi-story warehouse to the YU pro-arts non-prof. Last night they held their first public event.

Portlands YU Building. Across from Sassys and the Holocene, on 10th Ave
  • Portland's YU Building. Across from Sassy's and the Holocene, on 10th Ave

I recently had the opportunity to tour the whole building and get the spiel on plans for renovations (concert spaces, gallery spaces, etc.) from the man Adam Forkner/White Rainbow himself. That building is on a Wayne Manor/batcave level, for real. All kinds of crazy rooms and weird surprises—like a couple of enormous vintage printing presses, an upstairs ballet studio (where Parenthetical Girls were hanging, or rehearsing, or something), the Marriage Records warehouse and offices, and of course the tricked-out Marriage recording studio in the basement.

All of the plans for the building sounded fly, so here's to that. Cheers. Hopefully there's more good news on that front soon.

As for White Rainbow, keep your eyes peeled to Line Out for an interview in the next few days with him and like-minded jammer Stag Hare, about their just-released collabo record White Stag.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brian May, Astrophysicist on The 'Stomp-Stomp-Clap' Section of 'We Will Rock You'

Posted by on Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 1:46 PM

We've all heard this song a million-and-a-half times, but it's sort of interesting to know how it was done, if you're a nerd. Sorry for getting it stuck in your head (again), just go listen to something else right after.

"I had this idea that, if we did it enough times and we didn't use any reverb or anything, that I could build a sound that would work. We were very lucky — we were working in an old, disused church in North London, and it already had a nice sound. And there were some old boards lying around, but they just seemed ideal to stamp on. So we piled them up and started stamping. And they sounded great anyway. But being a physicist, I said, 'Suppose there were 1,000 people doing this; what would be happening?' And I thought, 'Well, you would be hearing them stamping. You would also be hearing a little bit of an effect, which is due to the distance that they are from you.' So I put lots of individual repeats on them. Not an echo but a single repeat at various distances. And the distances were all prime numbers. Now, much later on, people designed a machine to do this. But that's what we did. When we recorded each track, we put a delay of a certain length on it. And none of the delays were harmonically related. So there's no echo on it whatsoever, but the clapped sound — they spread around the stereo, but they also kind of spread from a distance from you — so you just feel like you're in the middle of a large number of people stamping and clapping."

Read more on this rocker-nerd here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Is Sidechain Compression the new Autotune?

Posted by on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Feels like we’re all on the tail end of this big autotune kick, no? What was once merely a tool used for subtle (and sometimes less subtle) studio trickery at some point became the favored flourish of major hip-hop artists and sincere folkies alike. It’s been inescapable for years now—sometimes the autotune use was self-aware (more often, however, it wasn’t), and there was a surplus of hi-larious autotuned web junk.

Subtract the mainstream FM-dial oversaturation, and you have the same exact circumstances which surround the recent explosion of sidechain compression in blogworld buzz acts. Sidechain compression, in layman’s terms, is a method by which parts of a given song are ducked around a drum hit, effectively warping the sound, creating a “sucking,” washy quality. Sidechaining is all over Toro Y Moi’s stuff, not to mention the majority of so-called chillwave acts, from Neon Indian to Teen Daze. I’ve been detecting more and more of it lately, and—as with autotune—there’s no shortage of ballsy artists willing to take the effect about as far as they can, sidechaining their tracks until they’re nothing but a big, washy pulse.

So: is sidechain compression the new autotune?


Friday, April 9, 2010

Riot Grrrl, Where Are You Now?: Corin Tucker to Release Solo Album

Posted by on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM


The most ubiquitous criticism lobbed at the Riot Grrrl bands of the early 90s was, "they can't play." This usually came from dudes who felt threatened and maybe a wee bit resentful that a handful of brash young ladies with less experience and less technical chops were creating such a media firestorm.

What these dudes were conveniently forgetting is that you don't necessarily have to be a brilliant musician to create brilliant music. That is to say, technical mastery is often just masturbation, whereas distilling a feeling— capturing a gen(d)erational shift, creating a historical moment— is the real fucking deal.

Of all the riot grrrl-era bands, Sleater-Kinney proved to have the most staying power. Actually, scratch that and replace with: simple endurance. Arguably the most critically lauded, they were inarguably, with seven full-length albums to their credit, the most prolific and the most varied in their output.

Corin Tucker's trademark wail defined the project in many ways. Never more appropriate than when the trio covered Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," her full-throated vibrato soared while Carrie Brownstein's was grounded; she made vocal demands while Carrie's vocals mused.

Since Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus in 2006, Corin has been living in Portland and raising her two kids. Fans hoping for new material have largely given up holding their breath. But as Kill Rock Stars just announced this week, Corin is set to release her first solo album in October 2010.

Has having kids influenced her songwriting? "It's definitely more of a middle-aged mom record," she says.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best Produced of '09: Tarot Sport

Posted by on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 10:33 AM


Fuck ButtonsTarot Sport needed to be an impressive album. Their debut Street Horrrsing established a fresh-sounding formula based around elegantly constructed noise jams, but to simply re-hash these doomy, screamo-tinged drone-outs would have been a creative misfire.

So out went Street Horrrsing producer (and Mogwai guitarist) John Cummings, and in came accomplished UK DJ Andrew Weatherall. Weatherall—a former music journalist—has slowly aggregated an insanely solid dancefloor resume, with remix work for The Orb, Björk, New Order, and My Bloody Valentine. He’s also produced records for artists ranging from Beth Orton (really!) to Primal Scream, as well as recording music in Bocca Juniors, Two Lone Swordsmen, and The Sabres of Paradise.

More after the jump.

Continue reading »

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Best Produced of '09: Bromst

Posted by on Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 11:38 AM


Dan Deacon’s Bromst is one of those albums that absolutely knocked me on my ass this year. Sure, a couple of the tracks sound a little too samey, but the overall vibe of the record is so unexpectedly…mature? Not to mention the meticulousness of the arrangements. Bromst’s electronic and acoustic (or, if you want to get all PCC philosophical about it: “organic” and “inorganic”) elements cascade over one another in a psychedelic flurry, and the movements of the compositions are sly and unpredictable. It’s practically a symphony.

Right around the time that I was obsessing over Bromst’s production, Pitchfork released a four-part documentary on the making of the record. It’s highly-recommended viewing, if only to check out the unbelievable digs where Deacon assembled his opus: Snow Ghost studios. Located in scenic Whitefish, Montana, Snow Ghost appears to be part homey cabin and part state-of-the-art recording studio, with every room wired to record.

Clips and more after the jump.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Produced of '09: Two Suns

Posted by on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 6:15 PM

It’s hard to know how to divvy up the props for the astounding quality of this year’s Bat for Lashes record. Two Suns marks the second collaboration between chic siren Natasha Khan and producer David Kosten. The disparity between Two Suns and Khan’s acclaimed debut Fur and Gold is pretty hard to ignore—while both rely heavily on the strength of Khan’s writing (and heavenly voice), Two Suns is much more beat-driven; less baroque pop, and more dancefloor exorcism. "Daniel," Two Suns’ hit single, has garnered countless Kate Bush comparisons. Rightly so.

More after the jump.

Continue reading »

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Produced of '09: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Posted by on Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM


All the year-end ranking and list-making tends to generate a lot of hard, geeky thought about the work of certain bands and artists, but the producers and engineers are almost always left out of the equation. Who says they’re not the reason that some of the best albums of the year were some of the best albums of the year?

I’d like to explore some of 2009’s finest records with a focus on their production, starting with the largely-agreed-upon musical high point: Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Stay tuned for the others.

Prior to Merriweather’s leak release, there was a lot of speculation as to how producer Ben Allen would interpret Animal Collective’s new material. Songs like “My Girls” had been widely available as mp3 rips of live sets, so the fans were coming at the album with their own preconceived notions of how the tracks should sound and be arranged.

Here’s Animal Collective performing an early version of “My Girls” back in 2007:

Hardcore music geekery after the jump.

Continue reading »

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dig It: The Finger

Posted by on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Watch Tim Exile—who plays at Decibel Festival Sun. Sept. 27, 10 pm, at Neumos—demonstrate the many amazing uses for Native Instruments' The Finger.

ht: Andrew Luck

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can You Make That Sound Stop, Please?

Posted by on Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 12:15 PM


Tonight the Faint are playing at the TK with Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. There's a not entirely unkind preview of the show in this week's Up & Comings. Originally, I had planned to run an interview with the Faint's frontman Todd Fink, only the interview didn't really go so well. Fink had just woken up on a day off from touring, and he was speaking to me via cell phone from a bridge in Shrieveport, La. (A side note: phone interviews always, always suck, the stilted, subtlety-killing awkwardness of a phone conversation multiplied by the awkwardness of interrogating a stranger.) Anyway, mayne Fink was groggy, maybe my questions were asinine, maybe both, buthis responses were terse and reserved ("I don't's hard to talk about") in a way that I will now assume is typical of Omahans. Suffice to say, it was not going so well.

And then something happened that made it--for me at least--even worse. I realized I recognized Fink's voice from somewhere. Not his singing voice, of course--I was familiar with that from the Faint's albums and from seeing them live--but his speaking voice. It was familiar; I felt like maybe I'd interviewed him before or something. And then I placed it: I recognized Fink's speaking voice from the Bright Eyes song "An Attempt to Tip the Scales" on Fevers & Mirrors, which includes a fake radio station interview in which Fink pretends to be Conor Oberst being interviewed by an absurdly incompetent radio station DJ. That interview is hilariously, intentionally bad--the radio station DJ's questions are somehow both kind of dim and uncomfortably over-involved (attempting to ascribe themes and meanings to the record, for instance), and Fink's dodgy, insane answers as Oberst perfectly sent-up the heartthrob's reputation as a melodramatic emo crybaby. (This was also the moment I fell somewhat in love with Bright Eyes, knowing that he was happy to laugh at his own schtick.)

As soon as the recognition hit me, I started worrying that the real interview I was still conducting was going just as badly as that fake interview, only, you know, for real. I wondered if it was reminding Fink of that interview, too. Obviously, the bad band interview is common enough that it was worth parodying on that record; maybe he's had tons of interviews that bad. Things went downhill from there.

Anyway, I wanted to give the show a little extra shine, because the Faint's two best albums, Blank Wave Arcade and Danse Macabre kill, and they're still an enjoyable live act--but my interview? Fail.

Monday, October 27, 2008

John Squire's Art

Posted by on Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM

The ex-Stone Roses guitarist paints.

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