Greetings my ever-patient subscribers. Whole bundle of news since last time... Feb 2008!
I wrote a newsletter in Feb 2010 and never sent it. Bad Endino. Boo.
"Nevermind" will be reissued in a deluxe 20-yr-anniversary package on Sept 20th. On that day, Seattle's Experience Music Project is sponsoring a concert, featuring a bunch of local bands covering the Nevermind album, one song per band, as a benefit for former Nirvana publicist Susie Tennant, who has cancer. Krist is participating. So are the Fastbacks. I will also be there, guesting on guitar with the band Valis playing "Come As You Are". Info at empsfm.org. (I think the show is sold out however.)
BTW, normally Seattle bands just do NOT cover Nirvana tunes. There's too much respect there, and no one wants to step into those shoes. Even after 20 years have passed, some of us are a little nervous about doing this show. I'm sure it'll be fine. ;-)
OK: I won't belabor the "Bleach" reissue business of a couple years ago, except to note that I finally got to mix the 1990 Portland live show that I knew Sub Pop had in their vaults. It's really good, and is part of the deluxe reissue. There was of course the usual cycle of news stories and interviews. And now with the "Nevermind" deluxe reissue, not to mention the PJ20 movie, plus the Andy Wood movie finally coming out on DVD, here it all comes again. Sometimes it feels to me like the movie "Groundhog Day," but when people travel all the way across the globe for an interview with me I can't bring myself to be a dick about it. I don't have an axe to grind, anyway, or any dirt to dish, and if they're getting the same interview I've been giving for 20 years, that's their problem. I just wish people paid attention to the other 375+ records I've made so far. But that's for this newsletter.
The Screaming Trees "Last Words: The Final Recordings" is out now on iTunes, and soon on CD. Story: in 1998/1999, the Trees had been dropped by Sony, so they began making some demos on their own, hoping to shop for a new deal. There were sessions with Toby Wright, Martin Feveyear, and Matt Bayles; drummer Barrett Martin produced. Guest guitarists included Josh Homme on one song, and Peter Buck on several more. They broke up in 2000 and the tapes collected dust until this year, when Barrett got all the scattered ex-members to agree to let us mix it all down and release it on Barrett's label! Check it out, it's a solid glorious Trees record, and Mark Lanegan sings like an angel. Info: http://screamingtrees.net/
MUSIC: My band Kandi Coded, whom I joined in 2007, made a record, out on the indy Volcom Entertainment in Feb 2010. It's called "Fell For The Gift" and I play lead guitar all over it and even sing lead on two songs. Lead vocals on the rest are by ace snowboard veteran (and Auburn, WA native) Jamie Lynn, hence the Volcom hookup. It's very old school loud, heavy Seattle rock; guaranteed to piss off the hipsters and college radio crowd, who've never forgiven me for grunge. Great fun. Best live band I've ever played with, hands down, especially in the going-off-the-rails and blowing-the-roof-off-the-joint department. We toured with ASG, with Valient Thorr, with Tweak Bird, and even did 5 west coast dates with the mighty Turbonegro, right before they replaced their singer Hank who was trying to sell us on Scientology the whole tour. (Seriously. Good luck pal!) Here's some links:
Strangely enough, Volcom said "CDs are dead. Let's do a nice vinyl version with a bonus CD inside it, and sell it for the same price." OK! It's a SWEET pressing, glass-clear vinyl with a full-color glossy inner sleeve with lyrics, and Jamie Lynn's art on the cover. Volcom's already sold out, so if you want it you'll have to buy it from me.
However, iTunes is here:
My other band, Slippage, came and went in this 3 year period, but not without making an album, "Tectonica," which you can hear for free at slippagemusic.com. I play drums and bass on the record. Alison Maryatt sings and plays guitar, Gary King plays lead guitar.
OTHER STUFF: There's too many to list, but here's SOME of my 2008-2011 productions and/or mixes: Black Tusk ("Set The Dial" out soon on Relapse), Crystal Antlers, Madam Trashy, Witchburn, Valient Thorr (2 records), Toxic Holocaust, Jeff Dahl, Boss Martians, Stag (featuring Steve Mack), Skeleton Witch, 3 Inches of Blood, Early Man, Kultur Shock (2 records), Flipper w/Krist Novoselic (2 records), Before Cars w/Chad Channing (a COOL pop record), VALIS w/Van Conner, All Time High, The Grannies (2 records), Joe Buck (2 records), The DTs, The Ganjas from Chile, Rajar from Brazil, Amaro Lima from Brazil (with Barrett Martin drumming and me on bass), Barrett Martin's own instrumental group ("Atlas", out now, plus another record in progress), plus sessions with the UK's Groundhogs and Tacoma's own, original Sonics! Both these last two bands (not to mention Flipper!) qualify as "legendary." Some highlights:
Witchburn: "This is how we slay our demons." Killer Seattle doomy riff-rock band, like Sabbath but with the best female rock singer you've ever heard, Jamie Nova, formerly of Hell's Belles. Also made Jamie's solo record "The Softer Side" which ain't so soft, and has some surprisingly Zep-ish moments.
Valient Thorr: Must see live to believe 'em. Capturing that energy in the studio was the key. DONE! Albums: "Immortalizer" (2008) and "Stranger" (2010).
Toxic Holocaust: "An Overdose of Death." Thrash metal rock'n'roll, like Venom with better songs, players and recording. And with Zeke's Donny Paycheck drumming, you'll get a speeding ticket if you listen in your car.
Jeff Dahl: "Back To Monkey City." Jeff recorded it and sent me ADAT tapes (!), and I mixed it (and played some tambourine!).
Boss Martians: "Pressure in the SODO." Highlight of this was mixing a track on which Iggy contributed a guest vocal. Though I didn't record it, it was pretty cool bringing up a fader and hearing fresh Iggy.
Skeleton Witch: "Breathing the Fire". Death/thrash band wanted a more organic sound, I obliged! The album cover has the highest "skull quotient" of my entire discography; nowhere to go but down from here.
3 Inches Of Blood: "Here Waits Thy Doom." Similar mission, a classic metal band with a whole encyclopedia of riffage, looking to make a more old-school organic sounding metal record. Done deal! A highlight for me: their cover of Zeke's "Daytona"!
Flipper: Two records came out, a live one and a studio one, and no one heard 'em! Still had a pretty cool time making these. Krist Novoselic played some pretty huge bass riffs. Check 'em out: "Love" and "Fight" on MVD Records. Most coherent things Flipper ever did.
Early Man: Another old-school metal band. Their long-delayed record "Death Potion" was unleashed in 2010. Didn't hear about it either? Those danged indy labels. I should just kill myself now.
VALIS: "Dark Matter" on Small Stone. Longtime psych band of Van Conner who played bass for Screaming Trees. Those with long memories may recall that I recorded his first side project band, "Solomon Grundy," in 1989, right after recording the Trees' "Buzz Factory". We have almost finished a newer Valis record, "Minds Through Space And Time".
Kultur Shock: "Integration" (2009) and "Ministry of Kultur" (2011). More amazing stuff by this gypsy/punk/metal/prog band, now featuring old friend Amy Denio!
The Grannies: "Hot Flashes" (2009) and "For Those About To Forget To Rock" (out soon). Beneath their Granny outfits is a gloriously unhinged SF-based punk band with some great songs and pretty funny lyrics, and they keep getting better. They take themselves seriously just exactly enough and no more.
Chad Channing's band "Before Cars" (2009): I discovered from working with ex-Nirvana drummer Chad over the years on various other projects he was in (The Methodists, East Of The Equator) that he actually wrote some really cool pop songs, and furthermore he can sing and play bass and guitar! I nagged him for over a decade to make a record himself, and he finally did it, borrowing two guys from another band he was in (Paundy) to back him up, and the band (and the CD we made) is called Before Cars. It's fun and catchy as hell. Girls like it.
The Groundhogs: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Groundhogs) This UK band started in 1963, got famous in the 70s (which is when I discovered them) and has continued on to this day in one form or another, always centered on singer/guitarist/songwriter Tony McPhee, incidentally one of the biggest influences on my guitar playing! I used to drive people from my dorm room in the late 70s with the albums "Split", "Hogwash" and "Thank Christ For The Bomb." (This was when Steely Dan, Genesis and Pink Floyd were big on campus. YAWN.) The last album of original studio material released under the Groundhogs name was in 1986 I think, called "Backs Against the Wall". I first met Tony when I was recording a Blue Cheer record in 1990 at a remote studio in Wales called Foel. We kept in touch over the years, and Tony started seeing my face on his TV as the BBC ran various "Seattle" documentaries. When Josh Homme covered a Groundhogs tune on one of his Desert Session CDs (the song "Eccentric Man") I made sure Tony got a copy! Finally, Tony asked me in 2009 if I'd be willing to help him make one last Groundhogs record. The catch: Right before I was going to go over there, Tony had a mild stroke and lost the ability to speak. A few months went by, with Tony improving and recovering slowly, and finally he decided we should go ahead with the sessions anyway, and the vocals would just have to be done "later". We did it... and the story is just too long for a newsletter, and deserves a lengthy article someday. Suffice it to say I had a wonderful time courtesy of Tony and his wife Joanna; old friend Dave Anderson ('Hogs bassist, ex-1972-Hawkwind and owner of Foel studio) was as amusing as ever; new drummer Carl Stokes (ex-Cancer, a band that is) brought ample horsepower; and we near-completed 9 songs. For three songs, I was able to transfer vocal tracks off Tony's demo versions, and synced 'em up; those 3 are mixed. One of those, "Dry Land" was released as a "digital single" last year, look for it. The other 6 tunes still await vocals.
The Sonics: One of THE original American garage rock bands, sometimes called the Godfathers of Punk Rock, they started in Tacoma WA in 1964 and made two great albums, "Here Are The Sonics" and "Sonics BOOM!" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sonics) Their songs "Psycho", "Strychnine", "The Witch" and "Boss Hoss" have been covered countless times. The original band (minus the drummer who has retired from playing) got back together a couple years ago and started playing a few shows, seeing if they could still do it, and gauging the response. Encouraged, they reached out to me through manager Buck Ormsby (of the Wailers, contemporaries of the Sonics) with the idea, again very tentative, of recording a few brand-new original tunes. They had a fresh new drummer in Ricky Lynn Johnson, but could they do it? They were fairly intimidated by their own history, and so was I... and they're all in their 60s now. There was no question of trying to recapture the teenage "sound" of those records from 1964, and the band had no interest in doing that. As I put it to them jokingly, "You guys are older and the recording gear's newer!" But... the mission was still "ROCK!" The band had retained their chops, particularly guitarist Larry Parypa. We finished 4 new songs, and the band released them as an EP, backed with 4 live tunes, hence the EP's title, "8". Check out the song "Cheap Shades"!
FUTURE NEWSLETTERS: This newsletter subscription model seems broken to me. I think all the action is now on the social networking sites. Rather than me pushing a huge email into your inboxes, I think it would be wiser for you to follow me on Facebook and especially Twitter. Then, if I write a new article, I can just upload it to my dot-com and tweet a tiny "Alert!" note out to everyone, including a weblink. Twitter is stupidly easy to use. Follow me there, cuz I'm kinda burning out on mailing list maintenance, dealing with bounced emails, spam filters, not-so-Hotmail, etc. Behold:
I also have an account at twitter/jackendino, but DON'T follow me there; that one is to protect me from imposters and cyber-squatters, and I only use it for FOLLOWING other tweets, not for sending any out. Stick to the shorter "endino" account.
When twitter eventually obsolesces and the next web-fad-du-jour comes along, I'll let you know where I'm at, probably via a post at my old-school dot-com.
For Facebook, I have a private account and a public page. You may come across the private one at facebook.com/jackendino, but if you try to friend me there I will probably ignore you; I'm trying to keep that one limited to people that I actually know in person. Instead, go to:
...and "like" it, if you are so inclined. There are plenty of studio photos (including Sonics AND Groundhogs pics!) plus live shots of my occasional band activities.
As for Myspace, it's hosed!
Awhile back I did manage to finish and post (at endino.com) an article on transferring audio off of old cassettes in the best possible way... it's slightly technical cuz it deals with head azimuth, tape speed variations, etc, but in a way that is hopefully easy for any geek to understand. The tape-trading community (if it still exists) will hopefully derive much benefit from it:
And finally... you should LOSE the "nwlink" email address I'm been sending from, because I don't think I will be using it anymore. I might use this mailing list again... but I might not. One-third of the addresses will bounce anyway as soon as I send this out!
Thanks and see you on twitter/facebook/bandcamp/soundcloud/whatever,