Aztec Hearts Recording Update: Sad News, Metal Ballads and Meltdowns

DSC05562Saturday night might be alright for fightin’, but it’s been disastrous for recordin’. I’m thinking about self-imposing a new “No Saturday” policy. This is the second Saturday night in a row that I’ve gotten liquored up and managed to screw something so bad that it can’t be salvaged. Last night, I went ahead and erased “Freight Train of Heartbreak”. All of it. The whole thing. Even though the machine has not one but two idiot warnings: Are you sure you want to delete this song? Yes/No. Followed by this action cannot be undone. OK/Cancel.

The machine has been acting weird and I know the hard drive is getting close to full. In an effort to free up some disk space, I was going through and deleting the multiple takes and old stuff that was of no use. That’s how I spend my Saturday nights; when everybody else is rockin’ out on the town, I’m sitting in my room either writing or working on the record, and drinking red wine. In this case, I’d just done a Skype interview with Mike Watt, which was preceded by five hours of compiling my notes and watching videos. Problem was that I forgot to rename the song so it only had a number as a file name, c.g. Song 59, which looks a lot like Song 58 when you’re boozin’ it up, right? It was a stupid move caused by the original, even more stupid move: opening a second bottle of wine and deciding to fire up the console—which you’re goddamn right I know better. Not even for easy listening pleasure. No. No no no no no no no.

Anyway, I’ll just have to re-cut the track, not that big of a deal except it’s going to involve a tricky re-tuning maneuver, which is ALWAYS fun on a 12-string. [CAPS denote an exaggerated amount of sarcasm.] This shit happens to me all the time and that’s why if something has an Auto-Save function, I always have it running. Even so, nothing is completely fail-safe. I’ve even managed to lose massive amounts of Microsoft Word data, which is not an easy thing to do; but I’m a Pro with a capital P. Here’s a pat on the back, tryhard. Self-sabotage is what I do best. I’m not just my own worst enemy, I’m my only enemy. Ain’t nobody in the world beefing on me (that I know of).

It’s been sort of a weird week for recording anyway; other than tracking drums on Tuesday night, nothing got accomplished. Or, as described above, I kind of went backwards. Meanwhile, I had/have a bunch of articles to write for BSM, so that took up a lot of my time. From Tuesday to Friday, when I did have a chance to turn on the BR-1180, I basically tooled around with the drum EQ and thought about re-doing “Freight Train”, but didn’t have the gumption to pick up my axe. I had previously thought that I was done with guitar for the time-being; my headspace is occupied by drums.

Sober evaluation of what I’ve done so far is pretty hard to come by. That is one of the few things that I miss about being in a band—the immediate feedback. You can play the cut for “the boys” and they give it a thumb up or down. Also, if you’re lucky, the boys have more input than just an opinion; they have ideas to make the song better. This is one reason why I’m asking some of my friends to be a part of it. The other thing I miss from a band is encouragement. Whether they’re totally gung-ho or just show up and do their thing, the boys represent a certain type of responsibility. In a microcosmic sense, the band isn’t going anywhere unless you re-cut “Freight Train”.

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Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 81

Inspired by a new psychedelic lighting system in the studio, Bob and Ron waste no time getting in the groove. Episode 81 features lot of listener requests, plus special Bob and Ron selections from the depths of their collections, and every one is a joy to hear. As usual, Bob and Ron do what no other radio show can do, pushing the limits of programming … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 81

Tomorrow’s News Today

The international time line is a strange bit of life. As far as I’m concerned, it’s no o’clock everywhere in the world. The sun is either above the horizon or it isn’t. Anyway, here are today’s headlines yesterday: Bob and Ron continue to make radio history Check their latest episode from the Record Club Radio Archive New Aztec Hearts album in the works? Word on … Continue reading Tomorrow’s News Today

Trying to Save Some Face

Hi, hello, greetings. Temerity Smith-Flax here. On behalf of the Black Sunshine Media team, we are genuinely sorry to have jerked everybody’s chain about the release of Christian Adams’ The Lazy Bastard Guide to Mandarin, which we touted as November 7, 2012, and is now indefinite. The delay is and has been due to technical issues involving the formatting of the ebook with certain distribution … Continue reading Trying to Save Some Face

Noel Bancredi’s Kudos and Brickbats: Special John Lennon Birthday Edition

“What I’d really like to hear right now is Skylarking-era XTC covering Deep Purple’s Machine Head in its entirety, or vice versa. You got anything like that?”


To John Lennon, who would have been 72 today. There’s not much else to say about him. He’s gone. And in a couple of months on the eighth of December, we will remember him once again and listen to Plastic Ono Band one more brilliantly heartbreaking time.


Sir Paul McCartney has no shame. Never has, never will. He’ll never recover from “Ebony and Ivory” and “Say Say Say” but why why why does Sir Paul continue to disappoint even his most ardent supporters by doddering around like my dear old granddad during those years he was desperately clinging to his youth and trying to remain vital and relevant?

The Dream Team. From L to R: Usher, Ronald Isley, Sir Paul, Jon Bon Jovi.

Look, chap. We get it. Unparalleled musical genius and all that. You were the brains of the Beatles. You wrote “Yesterday,” which is the shittiest Beatle song of all, but for Chrissakes, man, the novelty has run its course. Are you not yet rich enough to satisfy your greed? Why can’t you just bugger off and paint watercolors in and of the Scottish countryside? Do it for us, all the people who saved up their allowances to buy The Beatles 1967-70, or flipped two-weeks worth of burgers to buy a nosebleed seat at McNichols Arena for the Wings Over America tour—and a t-shirt and the stupid program.


To every old school rock band that (a) HASN’T reunited for a 401K tour, (b) allowed a bunch of non-original members to carry on using your name even though the founding members are dead, or (c) HASN’T released an album since 1990.

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Noel Bancredi’s Kudos and Brickbats

Noel Bancredi here, and I’m quite chuffed to present my inaugural contribution to Black Sunshine Media and the debut of my on-going feature, Noel Bancredi’s Kudos and Brickbats, which as the title may suggest, might as well be called Noel Bancredi’s A Pat on the Back or a Punch in the Balls – were it not flat-out rejected by the Grand Sultanate and my good chum, Geoffrey Rommel Jr.

Alas, poor Yorick! Without further ado, let’s get to it.


Forty years old and still high as a kite.

To Black Sabbath on the 40th anniversary of the release of what is arguably their finest moment on vinyl, the incomparable Volume 4, and on a recursive loop here at BSM HQ.

Among Sabbath devotees, the album is often referred to as Snowblind (the actual original title) or The Cocaine Album, due to its obvious inferences. As bassist Geezer Butler told Guitar World in 2001: “Yeah, the cocaine had set in. We went out to L.A. and got into a totally different lifestyle. Half the budget went on the coke and the other half went to seeing how long we could stay in the studio… We rented a house in Bel-Air and the debauchery up there was just unbelievable.” In the same interview, drummer Bill Ward said: “Volume 4 is a great album, but listening to it now, I can see it as a turning point for me, where the alcohol and drugs stopped being fun.” In June 2000, Q Magazine placed Vol. 4 at number 60 in its list of The 100 Greatest British Albums Everand described the album as “the sound of drug-taking, beer-guzzling hooligans from Britain’s oft-pilloried cultural armpit let loose in L.A.”

Track list

  1. Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener
  2. Tomorrow’s Dream
  3. Changes
  4. FX (instrumental)
  5. Supernaut
  6. Snowblind
  7. Cornucopia
  8. Laguna Sunrise
  9. St. Vitus Dance
  10. Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes

Needless to say, no record collection is complete without Volume 4.

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