Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Nature of Things - the fourth Francis Friday album

click HERE to get to Francis Friday's "The Nature of Things" bandcamp page!

The Nature of Things is a good companion album to Culture & Consequence. It's a very well rounded collection of material, with all sorts of themes and styles explored during its making. I took my time on the recordings and learned a lot about my craft as a result. There's a lot of collaboration on it which is something I missed in the previous 2 releases.

The whole thing was recorded from about December of last year until about a week ago. Probably the longest I've ever taken on a single album. It wasn't non-stop work, sort of in spurts, but I think that was a good thing. I recorded the usual way.....I play all the instruments in my home studio....which is pretty basic. The photo below shows the space I work in. I record the basic tracks, like guitar, piano, vocals and drums on my vintage cassette 8-track. I've been working with cassette recorders like this for pretty much my whole life. It's not superior recording, but it does have a waning style to it and it's nostalgic and comfortable to me. I then dump it onto pro-tools and do the overdubs and mixing digitally. It's a nice balance of analog texture and feel with digital accuracy and control.

The cover art came from Rebecca Posner, an a
rtist I discovered at the Greenpoint Open Studios this past weekend. She was part of a group show at one of the old factories by the East River and her work really spoke to me. I was delighted when she let me use one of her pieces for my album cover!

Divided in the Rain was a fun one to do because it was an older song that I transformed into a country ballad duet. I'd been doing a few shows with my friend Rachel Mason and she was kind enough to collaborate with me on the recording. We did the session in just a couple hours and that was all it took.....I really love the way our voices work together! To add the final touch of country, I found a guy on the craigslist musicians community to play the sweet sounding pedal steel guitar. I didn't even meet him, it was all done through email and file transferring. Great work though (he also appears on the song Memphis Summer Dream).

Another fun one was the 3-part h
armony of myself with good friends and long-time collaborators, Rob Markoff and Jonathan Cole. While on my tour down south, I was touched by the pure soul of gospel groups, especially The Swan Silvertones. The song Therapeutic Confessions is basically a gospel song but replacing the idea of god with the practice of psycho-analysis. Pretty fun!

my gospel group...

I really think this is my best album ever and I hope you do too!!! Also, if you haven't done so already, be sure to check out my Culture & Consequence album I put out last year. It was a pre-cursor to this one.

The entire album is available for free. Download the zip file below.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bring To Light

Bring to Light was New York City's first Nuit Blanche festival, which apparently happens annually all over the world. Don't know much about Nuit Blanche or its history but some friends of mine and I went to the installation and loved it. The performances and installations took place in the industrial section of Greenpoint's East River waterfont. Old, half-abandoned buildings came to life with projections and amplified sound. It was great to see such an exciting scene right in my own neighborhood! It was tied in with the Greenpoint Open Studios weekend so the whole neighborhood was buzzing. Pencil Factory was packed that night.

These are videos I took that night of some of the projections on the buildings. I added my own soundtrack since the live audio was quite noisy.

I hope things like this happen more often in Greenpoint. The neighborhood has been steadily gaining momentum in creativity and business. I'm happy to be a part of the process.