Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Mixology Part 2

I spent a good part of yesterday listening to all the new songs, both through a stereo and on headphones. I created a second mix of all but one of the tracks (which is a very complicated piece of recording that actually needs to be melded together using five separate parts). I learned a long time ago that mixing was a process of making a set of mixes, listening to them, making notes about what could be improved, and then starting all over again, making notes about what could be improved, and then starting all over again, ad infinitum (or at least four or five times). It's important that I sit on a mix for a while and then come back to it with fresh ears. I almost always hear something that could be improved. I took that process to an almost ridiculous length with 2009's TOWARD THE ESCAPE during which time I probably made a dozen mixes or more of every single song, but I think I've realized that might have been going to a bit of an extreme.

I was particularly struck yesterday by the rather melancholy (and sometimes bitter) nature of the album, more so than previously. And I realized that the disconsolate feel of most of the songs in large part was probably due to the fact that my beloved border collie, Sadie, is in failing health and probably has very little time left in this life. She's the only living being who has witnessed the recording of almost every single song of mine (excepting the ones I did at George Nipe's place or the ones at Gary Bugg's studio) since 1999. Whether I recorded in the garage (where she'd lie or sit in the grass just outside the door) or the basement (where she'd perch herself on the stair landing right outside the basement door, or upstairs in the unused bedroom where I generally record now (where she'll lie on the floor a few feet away from me), she's always made it her business to watch whatever I record. To think that she won't be around one day makes me very very sad. I've lost four brilliant dogs in my life. It only gets harder to say goodbye to them with the passing of the years.

I actually did a wee bit of recording yesterday as well. Then that evening I went and watched my grandson garner four solid hits in aiding his farm league team achieve a perfect 12-0 season!