Welcome or Welcome Back!

This is a blog created/kept unkempt by the band A Relative Term to express the process of recording their next full length album. They will poke each other in the eyes, whack each other's noses, butt heads repeatedly, and run in circles on the floor for your enjoyment.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mostly Dead

But not all dead. And by that I mean mostly done, but not all done. It's getting there.

In the meantime we're keeping ourselves busy with a couple of shows- one which was this past Thursday with Vox Humana and Applennium. I took some video of these guys under a haze of low light and Genesee mind control so it may not be my best work- but at least you get to see the bands in action. This is Vox Humana:

I haven't edited the Applennium footage yet but I'll post it by the end of the week for sure. Back to the headphones for me...

Sunday, January 22, 2012


About a project completely unrelated to music, I said to my friend Paul "it's good, I think it'll come to a nice apex" and for a moment I became concerned that maybe it shouldn't be an apex but more of step in an ever continuing improvement towards a constantly increasing standard of quality.

And then I remembered. No, it shouldn't.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't Let Her Down

Don’t Let Her Down:

Yes, that’s an important thought. Just don’t do it man, don’t let her down.

What does it have to do with this?

Well, it’s a lesson I suppose. 

The phrase, for me, is inexorably linked with a song of the same name written by our fearless leader and first brought to me years ago in a dank basement or a dank old warehouse space to add a little bit of low end.

I was not immediately captivated by the tune but at some point it really became one of my favorite songs.  You can hear the version that I fell in love with here

You can ask anyone who has paid attention to me and find out that there are times when one certain song will grab hold and I will carry it with me like it’s embedded in my DNA.  This is certainly one of them and I’m sure that I may have foisted it upon a few of you over the years.  I recall mosaic-film flashback snapshots of my life, mostly shot in black in white, of me singing loudly along with the fearless (or fearful) ponytail as the drums came crashing in to what turns, in that moment, from a dirge to a triumph.  It is still exhilarating to hear these years later. 

That’s the magic of songs, to push and pull you into their world and together you create a space of our own.  The space is unique but in more cases that not I am not only eager to share that space, I am insistent.  This is one of those cases.  And, my point dear reader is that not only can you hear the original recording of this song but you can also hear it live, in person and in color on Thursday January 26 at the venerable Mohawk Place small stage (47 E Mohawk Place, Buffalo NY) where much of this Buffalo madness of songs, bands and music began for me.

I tried, sporadically, for years to get Mark to add this tune to our set lists to no avail.  I tried bribery (Baked goods) , deception (Everyone wants to hear it!), filibustering (Gerd Muller was arguably the best goal scorer in World Cup history.  He had this incredible burst of speed that he seemed able to turn on at any time…) , threats (I’ll cut that damn ponytail!), general strikes (I won’t play another note until we play ‘ Don’t Let Her Down), before finally giving up and considering the song lost to time and history.

I had glimpses of success in my campaign for the song’s greatness.  At some point (around 2008 it seems) Mark added it to the myspace page (the link you just heard and if you didn’t click it yet and listen… do it!) but would not relent to it’s live performance.  He’d say that he didn’t remember it or that he just didn’t want to, both clearly shortcomings of his.  But then a funny thing happened…

Well, it wasn’t all that funny, I guess.  We were rehearsing a potential set for the upcoming show and it turns out the only thing missing from my campaign to play this song live was: timing. 

As we were discussing which tunes to play (can’t play the new ones, those are still classified by the powers that be) so we were throwing out the names of older tunes and I tossed in ‘Don’t Let Her Down’ expecting the same reaction I always get which is some kind of mix of nervous laughter and utter disdain for my opinion.  But, to my surprise, there was neither.  In fact, Mark began to play the chords for the tune and just noodle around it a little, proving once and for all that he DOES remember the song! 

We played through it a couple of times and it sounded great. Now, it’s our set closer for January 26.  The show starts at 8 pm- We are on first!

I post this here for two reasons:

 I love this song even after literally hundreds of listens.

 If I tell the blogosphere that it’s in the set we can’t back out and close with some Thin Lizzy cover.

So, enjoy at your leisure and please come down to the show on the 26th.  Also performing will be the recently Paul Morin-infused Vox Humana and Applennium.


Friday, January 13, 2012


Definition of GROSS

a archaic : immediately obvious(1) : glaringly noticeable usually because of inexcusable badness or objectionableness <a gross error> (2) : out-and-oututter <a gross injustice>c : visible without the aid of a microscope
a : bigbulkyespecially : excessively fatb : growing or spreading with excessive luxuriance
a : of, relating to, or dealing with general aspects or broad distinctionsb : consisting of an overall total exclusive of deductions<gross income> — compare net
: made up of material or perceptible elements
archaic : not fastidious in taste : undiscriminating
a : coarse in nature or behavior : unrefinedb : gravely deficient in civility or decency : crudely vulgar<merely gross, a scatological rather than a pornographic impropriety — Aldous Huxley>c : inspiring disgust or distaste <that sandwich looks gross>
7: deficient in knowledge : ignorantuntutored
— gross·ly adverb
— gross·ness noun

  Van Halen

Monday, January 9, 2012

Magic? You just pissed on a gypsy in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Recording on top of recordings.  My computer allows me to use somewhere around 28 tracks of audio before it starts turning tracks off. This is me hemming and hawing about having to mix down 20 some odd tracks so that I can add more and still hear it all. It doesn't make me happy.
And what instrument is so important that I need to mix things down just to add it?
You guessed it.
You know, it doesn't get a whole lot of credit as an instrument- even in the recording process-it's a kind of an "add on at the end" thing but I feel like it's one of the few instruments you can't fake. It forces you to move. You can't half ass it and have anything sound anywhere near good. You have to get into it, which is why my hand is now red and the recording session turned into more of a workout than anything else.

And in the end, the tambourine gets put low in the mix.
If nothing else, a lesson in the importance of process even in the smallest of sounds.