Tape Transfer Tuesdays: My First Sony

May 9th, 2012 by jim

This song was a “Secret Song” on the first Ottomen CD (remember those?) It was recorded on the machine pictured below. You can record onto the tape and play drums at the same time. Dave played guitar and sang. I drummed with my fingers. – Jim

My First Sony

Tape Transfer Tuesdays #5: Unamplified Guitar Song

May 3rd, 2011 by jim

From the same tape as last week, Recorded on September 26, 1996. Most of the time Dave and I were recording in my apartment, but this one was recorded in Dave’s dorm room. We discovered that his electric guitar sounded kinda cool with a microphone put near the strings while it was unplugged. His roommate Shawn Kausler is playing his bongo, and you can hear our friend Tim McCoy say “What!?” at the end of the track. And you may have the same reaction. Again this is a song dave made up as he went along. Although the 4 tracks were recorded separately: guitar, guitar, bongos, vocals.

Click to listen! > Unamplified Guitar Song < Right-click or control-click to download!

Tape Transfer Tuesdays #4: Dave’s Alternative Song

April 26th, 2011 by jim

This is another golden oldie from that very early recording session in 1996. This stuff is the primordial ooze of my learning to use a 4 track. And Dave made up these words as he went along. So, yeah, it’s a bit raw. There’s a better sounding version of this song that we recorded later with adjusted lyrics but it’s fun to hear dave’s brain making up stuff. As many of you who have witnessed that feat at an Ottomen show can attest.

Click to listen! > Dave’s Alternative Song (Sky Lark) < Right-click or control-click to download!


Tape Transfer Tuesdays #3: Froggy, Go Back to Germany

April 19th, 2011 by jim

This is a very weird one. My apologies for any embarrassment it causes Dave. It really only makes sense when you realize it is a parody of a strange song on a Korean rock compilation CD Dave had in college. The line “Go back to germany” and the song structure are from that song. The rest of the song was in Korean, and Dave has made up new lyrics here.

This was recorded on Sept 20, 1996. I had just gotten the machine over the summer, and this may be the earliest 4 track recording I made of Dave – although we recorded some stuff to a cheap memo recorder the previous year. This is before we were called The Ottomen. We toyed with names like The James and the Giant Peaches and The Alexander the Grapes. But nothing was sticking at that point.

But here it is. Strange as it is. Cleaned up so sparkly, that maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe it was better all muffled with lo-fi tape hiss.

Click here to play, or right-click or control-click to download: Froggy Go Back to Germany

Tape Transfer Tuesdays #2: Gremlins Theme

April 12th, 2011 by jim

This track is from the same tape as last week. I do have some older tapes but these are from around January of 2007. I mostly recorded this by myself over Christmas break from college but had Dave  add some backup vocals in Kansas City.  Theres another version somewhere where my friend Skyler Childers sang backup. I gotta find that. I think he helped me write the lyrics. Obviously the tune is ripped off from the movie. The kids at the end are my nephews. Tristan is playing keyboard. Kody and Kekoa are requesting programed sounds on the keyboard (Not the Beatles song The One after 909, as George Garcia told me he imagined.) Adam Brown from John and Jim’s Band is on drums.

Click here to Play The Gremlins Theme – (right-click or control-click to download)

One more note. The keyboard at the end and playing the bass line in the song is this one. A yamaha pss-380. It’s actually been on sorta permanent loan from my friend George Biggs. I once told him I’d give him 50 bucks for it. But I keep neglecting to pay him. So I cant say it’s really mine.

Tape Transfer Tuesdays #1: Polished floors at the Store

April 5th, 2011 by jim

Here’s a new thing I’m going to do. I have all these old 4 track cassettes and with modern technology I can mix them better than ever before.

The first Ottomen CD “Adventures at the Store” was recorded on a Fostex XR-7 in 2007. Those tracks were mixed down to a cassette tape which was then transferred to a CD. The Fostex XR-7 had built in noise reduction, and although it was decent for the time period, it basically cut out a percentage of high range that is usually associated with tape hiss.  With modern digital technology I can track by track remove noise with this program called “soundsoap” which analyzes the noise and cuts it out without effecting the rest of the sound. It’s still not perfect but it’s much much better than what we had back in the day.

As I archive these old cassettes I will try, on a weekly basis to post mp3s of the remixed tracks. These will probably end up being mastered professionally at some point and released as the remastered album. But there are a lot of weird outtakes on these tapes that I’ll probably post too.

So here is today’s tape transfer: Polished Floors at the Store. That title differentiated it from a song I also wrote a called At the Store. That song didnt make it on the cd cuz it kinda sucked. Dave is much better at this songwriting thing than I am. That is a Han Solo Blaster Pistol in there making the shooting sounds.

Polished Floors at the Store: Click here to play (right-click or control-click to download)