Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills


I've been mixing the ten songs I recorded for this E.P. off and on over the last five or six days. It has been lots of fun. As I've listened carefully to each song, I've on occasion realized that some of the tracks needed a re-recorded vocal line or perhaps an added keyboard, percussion, or guitar part and recording those little improvements has been enjoyable as well. Back in the late '80s and through most of the '90s, I felt some sort of strange compulsion to almost frantically issue song after song and album after album and oftentimes failed to really listen to a song's arrangement, though truth be told, I can't honestly say that there are many songs that I'd like to go back and re-record or "fix". They are what they are and I would be willing to bet a very large percentage of those who might still listen to BOK now and then prefer the "classic" material from 1983-1998 anyway. Nonetheless, I wrote and recorded songs extremely quickly back then, in a mad rush to get to the next song.

I find the hardest thing to overcome when I mix is not having a really decent way to monitor each song while I'm mixing. What I try to do is find a professionally recorded record I like (and one that is similar sonically to the album I'm piecing together) and use it as a guide of sorts. In addition to playing everything through a mediocre stereo system, I also listen to each track on two different sets of headphones (one "flat", the other with "enhanced" bass...the sort of headphones seemingly preferred by just about everyone under forty these days), and finally in my car's stereo. My hearing's not what it used to be (one of the tragedies of growing older) so that kind of plays into the process as well...and that's why using a guide comparison album is so important to me these days.

As far as "bonus" songs, I'm not sure if I'm going to even bother to go back and listen to the stuff I recorded before I really got going in the style that clicked. As always, some of the unreleased material might show up on a later release.

Someone recently contacted me about re-releasing the 2006 box set ADVENTURES OF AN INSPIRED AMATEUR. I've touched on this issue here at least once before, but let me reiterate my feelings. Re-releasing ADVENTURES would be a monumental undertaking. Right now, I'd have to say it's extremely doubtful that the box set will ever be re-issued. Sorry.