National Ransom - November 2010

Pretty self-explanatory
chickendinna
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby chickendinna » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:48 am

I agree that NR takes multiple listens before it grabs hold. It reminds me of Spike even though I'm not a fan of that album. There's a hodge podge /kitchen sink approach with the style of music in that some of the songs could have been written in the 1930's or 1940's. Elvis puts out material that I admire more than I love sometimes.I'm still not sure which category NR falls into. Stop being so clever Elvis.

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby jardine » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:58 am

"Stop being so clever Elvis."

Maybe, but what I don't want him to stop is being smart, and full of a deep knowledge of music, and having really good ears and wonderful taste, and able to articulate and open up, in his work and in interviews, living fields of music I'd not quite experienced before or forgotten about. This may be why NR is the first e.c. cd in a while that i have loved as much as admired. It is as if his ability has caught up to his curiosity again. i find him to be much more "present" in NR than on Spike. Spike (with some excepts) seems more "clever" than NR.

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Poor Deportee » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:41 pm

jardine wrote:"Stop being so clever Elvis."

Maybe, but what I don't want him to stop is being smart, and full of a deep knowledge of music, and having really good ears and wonderful taste, and able to articulate and open up, in his work and in interviews, living fields of music I'd not quite experienced before or forgotten about. This may be why NR is the first e.c. cd in a while that i have loved as much as admired. It is as if his ability has caught up to his curiosity again. i find him to be much more "present" in NR than on Spike. Spike (with some excepts) seems more "clever" than NR.


I actually like Spike because I have a thing for wildly eclectic albums. But as for NR, apart from the really terrible title track and a small number of other duds, it's self-evidently the best thing he's done in years. I am baffled by folks who can't see the power of these songs. I could understand people not digging SPSC or TDM or what have you, but this? Those with ears to hear, let them hear!!
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby docinwestchester » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:13 am

Overall, I really enjoy listening to NR. I kind of agree that the title song is only so-so at best. Something about the production makes it sound half-dead. On the other hand, this version on Letterman is so spirited, I love it. The band is in perfect sync. Just watch EC after they're done as Letterman wraps things up. He's dancing on stage, laughing, clearly feeling good about things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-V4QluBTUE

Once again, a live/alternate version of a song that improves on the studio version and gives you a chance to appreciate the song itself.

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Ypsilanti » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:12 am

docinwestchester wrote:Overall, I really enjoy listening to NR. I kind of agree that the title song is only so-so at best. Something about the production makes it sound half-dead. On the other hand, this version on Letterman is so spirited, I love it. The band is in perfect sync. Just watch EC after they're done as Letterman wraps things up. He's dancing on stage, laughing, clearly feeling good about things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-V4QluBTUE

Once again, a live/alternate version of a song that improves on the studio version and gives you a chance to appreciate the song itself.


For me, it's better than so-so, but you're right--it really comes to life in the Letterman performance (is that the very first performance of it, btw?). And Pete's back there, singing his lungs out--always love to see that. You can really tell these guys love playing together. The Sugarcanes live are so much better than any recording--like about a billion times better. And yet, I was not a fan of the previous live versions I had heard of "Stations of the Cross", "Five Small Words" and "You Hung The Moon". All of these, I think, are better on the album. "Stations" really gets fleshed out by EC's falsetto background vocals. "Five" is vastly improved by all that sexy, dirty guitar. And "Moon" is like a whole different song with the horns and strings and Elvis' incredibly beautiful singing. The solo guitar version I heard months and months ago was like a sad little thing, by comparison.
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Jeremy Dylan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:21 am

Ypsilanti wrote:
docinwestchester wrote:Overall, I really enjoy listening to NR. I kind of agree that the title song is only so-so at best. Something about the production makes it sound half-dead. On the other hand, this version on Letterman is so spirited, I love it. The band is in perfect sync. Just watch EC after they're done as Letterman wraps things up. He's dancing on stage, laughing, clearly feeling good about things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-V4QluBTUE

Once again, a live/alternate version of a song that improves on the studio version and gives you a chance to appreciate the song itself.


For me, it's better than so-so, but you're right--it really comes to life in the Letterman performance (is that the very first performance of it, btw?). And Pete's back there, singing his lungs out--always love to see that. You can really tell these guys love playing together. The Sugarcanes live are so much better than any recording--like about a billion times better. And yet, I was not a fan of the previous live versions I had heard of "Stations of the Cross", "Five Small Words" and "You Hung The Moon". All of these, I think, are better on the album. "Stations" really gets fleshed out by EC's falsetto background vocals. "Five" is vastly improved by all that sexy, dirty guitar. And "Moon" is like a whole different song with the horns and strings and Elvis' incredibly beautiful singing. The solo guitar version I heard months and months ago was like a sad little thing, by comparison.

It's not the first performance - I think they played it Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and possibly the Speaking Clock Revue shows. But it's a bloody good one, even if Jim is mixed slightly too low. Stuart Duncan really gives Ribot a run for his money!

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:54 pm

The new album enters the Campus Radio Chart at #35: http://www.chartattack.com/charts/campu ... 2010-12-28
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby jardine » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:54 pm

and now it is gone from that chart

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Mikeh » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:35 am

I have a vinyl copy of the NR album WITHOUT the sleeve. So, just 2 LPs in paper sleeves. FREE to a good home, all I ask is that you pay the postage. Anybody interested send me a personal message and we will take it from there.

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Mikeh » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:15 am

My offer of the NR vinyl has now been taken!

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby History History » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:21 pm

National Ransom is one of top ten albums of 2010 in Record Collector Magazine. Also, Spectacle gets a mention in music dvds of the year. :)

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:30 pm

"National Ransom" cracked the top fifty picks of listener picks at WFUV for 2010 coming in at #34. Nice to see it get some marginal recognition. Equally nice to see the love given to Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs", Ray LaMontagne's "God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise", Broken Bells' "Broken Bells", Raul Malo's "Saints and Sinners" and Los Lobos's "Tin Can Trust".

WFUV.org
› Music ›
Best of 2010 Poll
Music:
Best of 2010 Poll
Our annual listener list of the year's outstanding music.
The Top 50

Thanks to all the folks who sent us their favorite albums of the year! Also: Here's a list of 2010 releases, and a smattering of 2010 Staff Picks.

The 2010 WFUV Listener Poll

1. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
2. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
3. Alejandro Escovedo, Street Songs of Love
4. The National, High Violet
5. Ray LaMontagne, God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise
6. The Black Keys, Brothers
7. Bruce Springsteen, The Promise
8. Robert Plant, Band of Joy
9. Broken Bells, Broken Bells
10. Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone
11. Elton John/ Leon Russell, The Union
12. Josh Ritter, So Runs the World Away
13. Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Sound of Sunshine
14. Los Lobos, Tin Can Trust
15. Vampire Weekend, Contra
16. Amy Correia, You Go Your Way
17. Citizen Cope, The Rainwater EP
18. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, I Learned the Hard Way
19. Raul Malo, Sinners and Saints
20. Patty Griffin, Downtown Church
21. Fistful of Mercy, As I Call You Down
22. The Gaslight Anthem, The Gaslight Anthem
23. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mojo
24. John Lennon, Double Fantasy Stripped Down
25. Spoon, Transference
26. Bettye LaVette, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
27. Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues
28. Natalie Merchant, Leave Your Sleep
29. Jack Johnson, To the Sea
30. The New Pornographers, Together
31. LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening
32. Belle and Sebastian, Write About Love
33. Maura Kennedy, Parade of Echoes
34. Elvis Costello, National Ransom
35. The Hold Steady, Heaven is Whenever
36. Richard Thompson, Dream Attic
37. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Sea
38. Lissie, Catching a Tiger
39. Pete Yorn, Pete Yorn
40. MGMT, Congratulations
41. David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love
42. Guster, Easy Wonderful
43. Jakob Dylan, Women + Country
44. Neil Young, Le Noise
45. Crowded House, Intriguer
46. Indigo Girls, Staring Down the Brilliant Dream
47. Martin Sexton, Sugarcoating
48. Black Dub, Black Dub
49. John Hiatt, The Open Road
50. The Secret Sisters, The Secret Sisters

Though sadly enough, amongst the various DJs and staff it receives no mention as one of their favorites for 2010- other than a relatively bland mention for a memorable song- "You Hung the Moon" and one staff member John Platt. This from a station that at least made a reasonable effort to promote the album and featured him as a guest on air. See for yourself the staff picks:

http://www.wfuv.org/music/best/bestof10_staff
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:59 pm

David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim? Where did that come from? Wot, no Joanna Newsom?
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:24 pm

Otis, not surprising not to see Joanna on the list. This radio station rarely plays her. The David Bryne/Fat Boy Slim effort was actually quite sly and fun.

Here is the Byrne/Fatboy Slim piece:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myumIEAg3CU
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby nord » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:05 pm

Image
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:58 am

Nice.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:34 am

Nord you are a loon and quite possibly a fetishist, but I do love your photodocumentaries. Good job the speed dial was on zero for the car shot!
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:28 pm

New to me

http://www.emusician.com/artists/1333/e ... ques/43818

Image

Costello and crew pause for a pic. Top row (left to right)—Chris Breakfield, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Kyle Ford, Garth Fundis, and Mike Piersante. Bottom row (left to right)—Paul Ackling, Milo Lewis, Jason Wormer, and Jim Lauderdale.



Elvis Costello: Americana Influences, Timeless Techniques

BY KEN MICALLEF
December 1, 2010

Running a wide gamut from 1930s-styled New Orleans torch songs to bluegrass blowouts to rousing rock and roll, Elvis Costello teams up with producer T Bone Burnett to capture a lively groove and natural sound on National Ransom.

By Ken Micallef



“My first album [My Aim Is True] was made in 24 hours,” says Elvis Costello. “This Year’s Model was made in 11 days. I think Armed Forces was all of three weeks. I thought we had gone into the world of the depraved and the ever-profligate in taking six weeks to make Imperial Bedroom. But after a while, you think, ‘What is it you want to hear?’ You want to hear the songs brought to life as vividly as possible.”

Costello’s National Ransom, produced by T Bone Burnett with his team of recording engineer Mike Piersante and mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen, was recorded in a brisk 11-day session. A wonderfully natural and rich-sounding recording, National Ransom reflects not only Costello’s increasingly Americana-influenced music, but Burnett’s golden (er, make that Platinum) studio techniques. As heard on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand, the O Brother,Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and Elton John & Leon Russell’s The Union, Burnett’s production style is the result of incredibly high standards based in a common-sense approach. Recorded direct to a Studer A827 24-track two-inch, National Ransom is as live-sounding as a hootenanny and twice as enjoyable.

Like the rest of Burnett’s production catalog (Los Lobos, Sam Phillips, Roy Orbison, The Wallflowers, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, John Mellencamp), Costello’s National Ransom is a study in sonic purity. Every inflection of Costello’s rangy voice is fleshed out; the band is as tactile as the hair on your arm; Pete Thomas’ drums have never sounded so warm, so soulful, so richly real. It’s as if a veil has been lifted between the recording studio and the listener, between the musicians and your ears. After 15 years with his crack production team, transparency has become Burnett’s trademark.

“I can’t call it my music,” Burnett says, “but I can say for certain that we treat recorded music as an art form. We don’t treat it as a pop media event. Marshall McLuhan said that a new medium surrounds an old medium and turns the first medium into an art form, as television did with the movies. The Internet has done that with television. Television is in a golden age at the moment, these incredible dramas like The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men. Recorded music to me is very much an art form like that, the act of recording and the way it’s released and perceived. It’s all changed; we’re no longer in the mass age. We’re now in an age when people have to find niches.”

It’s Better, It’s Burnett
Burnett readily claims that his records simply sound better than the dreck that commonly fills the airwaves, iTunes, and the Internet. “These records sound better than most of the records being made these days,” Burnett says. “So many records are highly compressed, over-compressed; they’re all made in a computer. Rather than putting a mic up in front of a guitar, something is patched into a machine. The kind of work we are doing is not mass-production. We’re doing very custom productions.”

In many ways, Burnett is radically altering practices that have been common in recording studios for 30 years. Burnett, Piersante, and Lurssen only process in analog; they work solely in high-res digital mastering formats, and their musicians never play loud. “We’ve been minimizing attack and maximizing tone and overtone for the past 15 years,” Burnett says. “For 30 years, the trend in recording was to maximize attack and minimize all the overtones because they’re wild and they can create havoc in the sound. We use all that havoc. We love overtones.

“For years, the bass drum, for example, would sound like somebody hitting his knuckle on a wall; it was all midrange attack,” he elaborates. That was especially true because drummers would hit the drums really hard and leave the beater on the bass drum so all you would get was the attack. We do the opposite; we try to barely touch the drum; then the resonance is as loud as the attack—louder, hopefully. If you play the drums softly, you capture the tone and the overtone, and the overtones set up other overtone structures and different rhythms and different melodies get set up within the song. There are counter melodies that take place that are completely unpredictable. That’s the stuff I love the most.”

Recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium and LA’s The Village and mixed by Mike Piersante (assisted by Kyle Ford) at Burnett’s Electromagnetic Studios in Brentwood, National Ransom spans a lush range of Costellostyled Americana: bluegrass balladeering in “That’s Not the Part of Him You’re Leaving,” full-tilt boogie in “National Ransom,” New Orleans wit, wonder, and serious Costello finger-picking in “A Slow Drag with Josephine” (which is being pressed into vinyl for 78 rpm release).

Recording one or two takes was the norm, as was cutting Costello’s vocals live with his guitar, with supporting musicians arranged in a close-knit circle. Drummer Pete Thomas was isolated in a booth; background vocals were recorded in an adjacent room immediately after the initial take by Jason Wormer. Everything was recorded direct to a Studer A827 24-track, using consoles (Neve VRP 48-channel, Neve 88R) only to monitor tracking.

“We don’t do any cutting around of parts of songs and replacing them, or any of that stuff,” Costello says. “That just isn’t the kind of music we’re making. This is a natural recording in that sense. You don’t want to be a Luddite and not use the advances in technology, but you’ve got to keep them serving the music. When you’ve got musicians of this quality and you’re combining them in the combinations that we are, you know that they are going to play something you want to hear. There is no mystery to it; you just perform the song.

“Seventy-five percent of this record is first or second takes, and 95 percent of the singing is in the room with the band,” Costello continues. “But we don’t make any great proclamation of it being a ‘live in the studio’ recording, because as you hear, there is no lack of nuance or refinement in the sound.”

Strategic Miking with Vintage Ribbons
Musicians recording instruments and vocals live in close proximity can create an engineer’s worst nightmare. But Piersante already had a plan in operation, having engineered Costello’s 2009 album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. “You have the obvious ‘Let’s put Elvis in a booth so we have a discrete vocal,’” he explains, “but it didn’t seem the way to capture the band and Elvis and get the immediacy and the interplay that would happen if they were all live together in the room. So I set them up in a circle and used mostly a lot of RCA ribbon mics [RCA 77-DX, RCA-74 Jr. Velocity, RCA 44-BX, RCA MI-6203 Varacoustic into Neve 1073s and 1081s]. It worked out very well, so I just continued with the same setup for this record.”

The National Ransom band combined The Imposters and The Sugarcanes: guitarists Mark Ribot and Buddy Miller, lap steel player Jerry Douglas, pianist/organist Steve Nieve, violinist Stuart Duncan, accordionist/ pianist Jeff Taylor, trumpeter Darrell Leonard, mandolinist Mike Compton, bassists Steve Crouch and Davey Faragher, and drummer Pete Thomas. Guest singers included Vince Gill and Leon Russell. With this crowded session circle, wasn’t bleed and leakage a problem?

“You can’t avoid leakage,” Piersante replies. “The spill and bleed you get into the other microphones is a big part of a live recording. It becomes your ambience. When you have a whole bunch of guys and a whole bunch of microphones, that can also get you in trouble. You have to be careful. But it’s all about two words: ribbon mics. You use a figure-eight pattern, and if you’re aiming the mic at guy number one, then the guy to his right and left are sitting at the null points of that microphone. You get the bleed from across the circle but the guy next door is limited in his leakage by the nature of the ribbon mic.”

Piersante placed his RCA ribbons within a foot of each musician, depending on the instrument and the song. He generally approaches placement like orchestral spot miking, using a pair of Neumann KM 84s for room mics in a spaced stereo-pair configuration.

“The front wall of Studio A at Sound Emporium is nicely wood slatted,” he reports. “I miked the room from the front wall so the guys who were close to that wall were within five feet of those room mics, but the mics were up high, pointing down, so the people at the back side of the circle were 15 to 20 feet away from the mics.

Another ancient ribbon was used for Costello’s guitar, which was tracked simultaneously with his vocal during the band performance. “The old RCA MI- 6203 Varacoustic ribbon mic has become my favorite since we used it on Ralph Stanley,” Piersante recalls. “I try to aim it at the section of the guitar I want to record, and turn the side of it toward the singer’s mouth so it rejects as much vocal as possible. Elvis is really good about getting in a good spot and not moving around; he is a consummate professional.”

But when recording Costello’s rangy vocals, Piersante used a Wes Dooley AEA R 44 ribbon mic. “Dooley built his own ribbon mics based on the old RCA 44 Bing Crosby radio mic; it is very true to the RCA design,” he says. “Using a vintage ribbon mic on an artist like Elvis, you’re going out on a limb. We’re capturing performances, and God forbid I miss a performance because of a broken mic; that take could be the one.”

‘Hi-Fi Lo-Fi’ Approach
So is the sound of National Ransom simply the result of all those beautiful, vintage ribbon microphones? “To a degree, it is the sound of these old ribbon mics,” says Piersante, “but it’s also a lot about what I don’t do. I’ll try to leave things; I’ll get a sound and I’m not afraid to put some EQ or compression on it, but if you’ve got a great musician and a great instrument in a great room, that’s 80 percent of your battle toward getting good sounds.

“I call our sound a hi-fi lo-fi sound,” he adds. “We capture everything very hi-fi and we’re very careful with the way we treat it and the kind of gear we’ll run it through. But we don’t try to make everything completely clean and sparkling. We like the character of the noise of the ribbon mics and the bed of stuff that might be lurking below the track.”

Costello’s long time tub-thumper, Pete Thomas is renowned for his storming sound, massive groove and centered time feel. But his drums have never sounded this good. (Thomas played on a ’40s Gretsch kit, which contributed significantly to his unique tone.) Yet unlike the other drummers Burnett favors, you can’t call Pete Thomas a “quiet” drummer.

“Pete hit the drums in a nice way that we could get a lot of tone out of them,” Piersante says. “I probably used five mics on his drum kit, including the room mics—a Neumann 47 FET for his kick drum, and an SM57 on his snare. Overheads were an old Gefell-era Neumann tube mic from the ’50s, a CMV 563; it has whatever that Neumann reality factor is from the ’40s or ’50s, but also a very natural and uncolored sound that doesn’t hype or cut out any of the frequency areas. I used a Neumann U67 on his floor tom, and a Coles 4038 for a close room mic in his drum booth. A couple compressors and Neve preamps straight to tape.”

Piersante used an “old Telefunken version of a U 67” when recording guitarist Mark Ribot, and occasionally an SM57 “for a crunchy rock sound.” He placed the 67 on an isolation block, back about 8 to 12 inches, depending on Ribot’s volume.

An integral member of Costello’s band since the ’70s, pianist Steve Nieve was recorded in mono with a vintage Neumann U67, run through an original Universal Audio UA 175 Limiter. “[The limiter] has somewhat of a Fairchild quality, so that one mono mic was run through there with a decent amount of compression applied to get that dreamy piano sound,” says Piersante. “We miked the piano pretty much above the hammers, a foot or two off-axis to pick up the whole soundboard, then gave it a good amount of squish with the 175. And we added another RCA 77 ribbon to the low end of the piano, as well.”

A Million Ways to Greatness
National Ransom sounds beautiful, golden, practically a time capsule of tested studio techniques. How can the home-studio enthusiast possibly hope to match the sound of 1940s RCA ribbon mics and Neumann tube mics mixed down through a Bushnell-modified API console from 1968 to an Ampex ATR 102 1/4-inch tape machine?

“The most important thing is to get a really great set of speakers,” Burnett advises. “Those become your eyes and ears. If you’re shooting something and you can’t see it clearly, then you don’t know what you’re doing. The same applies with recording; being able to hear what you’re doing is the crucial thing. So get a great set of transducers like the ATC [SCM 150s] or the Westlake Audio monitors Mike uses at Electromagnetic [Westlake BBSM 10s and BBSM 4s]. If you’re using acoustic instruments—if you’re not just plugging a box into another box, but you’re using a guitar or violin—take a lot of time in miking. Even an SM 57 is a great microphone. And how good the instrument itself sounds will determine a lot. The most important thing is the great instrument, then the great speakers. But even beyond that, if somebody is playing and they sound great, it doesn’t really matter how it sounds. You can record it through anything and if the song is moving, and the singer is singing it beautifully, it’s great. It can sound a million different ways and still be great.”

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:25 pm

I've never thought of National Ransom as sonic purity.
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby cwr » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:30 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rfhfppo9YY

Man, as much as I loved EC's book, I would love to read his 2016 thoughts and memories and current evaluations of all his records, especially the post ATUB ones which were never reissued with liner notes. Looking at this EPK video for National Ransom after reading that article makes me want to know more about what prompted EC to suddenly write a double album and why he thinks it somehow failed to set the world on fire, or even match the sales of the record that came before it.

We know he thinks highly of NR, because even though he's made a couple of collaborative albums since then, he has spoken many times about how he sort of felt comfortable with NR being the final "Elvis Costello" album.

(I think we all secretly think/hope he'll make another regular album of "Elvis Costello" songs at some point, but who knows what will happen? He doesn't seem to be in any hurry to return to making records...)

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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:53 am

Really enjoyed that article and YouTube link. A recording mic fetishist's dream article! As an amateur drummer I was fascinated by the details from T-Bone of playing the kick drum softly, beater bouncing off the drum head for resonance - these are issues I've been thinking about a lot and finding that getting that approach right at lower volumes is pretty demanding (for me, at least), but also thinking that didn't chime with Pete's style, a point addressed later in the article, so I'm assuming T-Bone refers to that as his standard approach to recording, and not what he was maybe getting Pete to do.

Especially interesting for me was the use of a '40s Gretsch kit, and getting a clear view of it in the video clip. That really makes sense in terms of the sound of the drumming. I'd assumed he was playing his standard DW that he always tours with (very much the creme de la creme of modern drum kit, state of the art makes) and it was the ay that T-Bone recorded it that gave t a certain retro sound, but as commented on, the instruments used have a huge bearing.

Really makes me want to sit down and listen again more closely. My response to NR has been a bit mixed - some brilliant stuff, but too much all in all, very possibly two different albums that wanted to be made.

There's something lovely about seeing and learning about the recording set-up.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

stricttime81
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Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby stricttime81 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:19 pm

Speaking of this, I was astounded to hear "National Ransom" playing over the PA at Walmart on Long Island today... So random.
AKA: Mike the Lawyer

johnfoyle
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Location: Dublin , Ireland

Re: National Ransom - New Album Due Nov. 2

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:12 pm

Image

Just listen through this in full for the first time in ages, really enjoying it . I'd played it way too much for a while and had got a bit blasé about it. I'd forgotten how most of it is so quiet. I keep boring people about it but the awareness of having to flip the disc every twenty minutes or so really focuses attention. I swear I was hearing riffs and notes I just don't remember hearing before .


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