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THE LATEST FROM THE RANCHO

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

APPROACHING MARS. aliens ? digital dna has been spending some time with us up at the rancho, recording a soundtrack for a film called 'jailbait.' the beautiful floyd-esque sounds were captured by john x, with scott reeder and rancho partner dean chamberlain sitting in...digital d is thinking of making joshua tree his home. he'll make a great addition to our neighborhod. summer has been exceptionally merciful, weatherwise, with thunderstorms giving the desert a nice, refreshing tint of green across its floor, like an early spring... lots of puffy white clouds helping to keep the temperatures down. (how i learned to stop worrying and love global warming)...we did have about an hourlong sympathy blackout the same day the east coast went dark...a good time to light some candles and breathe in the aroma of the wet creosote...the power returned earlier than in other parts of town, to the rancho, so once again, the rancho became the gathering spot for those of us, such as debbie and tony, still in the dark at home, or in the case of michael and myself, unable to cross the river that was our road. i had a dream the other morning that i had to jump over the river in my car. a driving and flying dream in one. all jungian interpretations are welcome. tony and i have been having fun with the new pro-tools set-up. we created a somewhat otherwordly-sounding piece called 'power struggle' in the wake of the blackouts. in quiet moments, i reflect on what it means to keep the rancho going 'the way fred wanted it.' while the upkeep and upgrading of the studio is always important, i think it has more to do with being sure that the place is a shelter from the storm, where there's always a fresh pot of rancho coffee (not 'coffeetea', as fred would call the inferior type, but the rich, dark roasted stuff that you can't see through when it's being poured.) as dave pointed out recently, when he was recording his old friend david yandell from his memphis days, the 'rancho sound is the happy, smiling faces of the people working there.' chris goss stopped by the other day. desert sessions 9 & 10 (!) is set for release at the end of september, on island records. the disc features the tiny and mighty pj harvey - including songs she co-wrote with goss and with dave. (when does that new rancho-recorded mark lanegan album come out?) many thanks to josh homme for bringing that project to the rancho - and for sending his friends sparta (dreamworks) to us. we've heard from hugh harris in london recently. hugh was the first to record at the rancho back in the summer of '93. he tells the story of fred drake and his colaboration on 'running home.' it tells the story of the anassazi chief, sunbear, who returned from battle to find his village empty. another of their collaborations was 'house of the moon,' which described that first summer perfectly. that makes me think of tonya jaynes, the drummer in the 'bright colored clothes,' immortalized in the lyrics. where is she? last time i saw her was with her husband brian, a few weeks before fred drake passed on. as she was an early and integral part of the rancho with whom i've lost contact, helping with the move from hollywood in her station wagon, i hope she'll get in touch sometime soon. the studio is getting booked up through to the end of the year but there are still some dates available. so give us a call or send us an email if you have a project that would benefit from the 'happy, smiling.' wow. it's raining again. i hope it clears up before 5:56 tomorrow morning, when mars will be the closest to earth it's been in 60,000+ years, a great time to put on that first earthlings? album...


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