24
Dec 2016
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 6 Comments

Out of the Closet

intro

On a bike ride one day after school in the late nineties, I came across a binder of CDs that had fallen out of someone’s car. Inside there were albums by Pearl Jam, Blind Melon, Candlebox, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden, among others—the music that would form the soundtrack to my high school years, and which I still love. I was profoundly awestricken, then, to find myself standing in the very recording booth in a Seattle recording studio where all of those iconic records were recorded. In the very place where Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, and so many others had belted out the soundtrack to my life, I now stood completely adulterating the image of this sacred place with ill-executed accents of Latin Americans, Asians, Turks, and Sheena.

Today we’re proud to unleash the product of several months of this vocal adulteration: two brand new, sparkly, chock-full-of-bad-accents-and-imitations audiobooks! Get ‘em everywhere audiobooks are sold, like right here:

Drive Nacho Drive on Amazon

927 Days of Summer on Amazon

and on Audible or at the iTunes store.

They’re both free, by the way, if you sign up for an Audible account (do that through one of the Amazon links, above).

If you want a sneak peak, or just want to hear how strange I sound in person, there’s a complementary clip to whet your earbuds on each book’s Amazon page.

Our road to this really started in my mother’s closet two years ago. You may recall that I locked myself in there for thirty-some-odd hours to record the audio for Drive Nacho Drive. Later when I began editing the audio I quickly decided that audio engineering was not my bag of chips, and promptly gave up. When last January 1st rolled around and I found myself in need of a new year’s resolution, I resolved to complete our audiobooks this year—and to do so we were going to need professional help.

Enter Nick Biscardi—friend of friend, musician, and professional audiobook producer. Bingo! He mentioned that we would be recording at London Bridge Studio, hidden away in a nondescript brick building several miles north of downtown Seattle.

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Inside we were met by a painting of Eddie Vedder, a wall-o’-junk left by recording artists over the years, and several walls plastered with gold, silver, and platinum records that had been recorded there. As I made my way around the studio it occurred to me that a huge selection of the music that I grew up with was recorded right here in this little brick building—a musical Shangri La! Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Blind Melon, Candlebox, Local H, Death Cab for Cutie. I made my way around the room reading the records on the wall; 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, Melissa Etheridge, even Macklemore. I sat in front of the legendary Neve mixing board—the original from 1973 still in use today—and felt very lucky.

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When it came time to record Chapter 31 of Drive Nacho Drive, the section subtitled Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town—a tip of the hat to the Pearl Jam song with the same name (and which was recorded right here)—I had the feeling that I was committing some kind of ironic blasphemy. Having been unable to get in touch with and convince Eddie Vedder to play the voice of himself in my story, I found myself imitating Mr. Vedder here in the very studio where he recorded the song which I had ripped off for my subtitle. As I feebly attempted to get my voice to sound like smooth molasses, I sensed I might be stricken by lightning at any moment.

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The recording and subsequent re-takes for both books spanned the better part of six months, and in that time Remy grew up in the studio. While Sheena and I took turns at the mic, Remy played with the guitars on the guitar rack, shook and several times attempted to swallow the egg shaker, played tambourine, and built up his balance clasping the leg of the magazine rack containing a stack of Playboys. Between sets we all moseyed between the studio and the Mexican dive next door for horchata and enchiladas.

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Now here we are, barely in before the ball drops in Times Square, new year’s resolution complete. I hope that, after enduring hours and hours of my infuriating impersonations of Sheena and foreign accents, Sheena’s sweet recollections of cultures and cuisines, and my toenail-curling singing in Spanish, that our voices may become seared in your mind and one day remind you of the good old days, just like past products of this studio did for me.


6 Comments

  1. Charles Jackson

    So this isn’t a ‘coming out’ story? Oh, OK. Congrats on the recording! Love the ‘baby in a box’ photo. Miss you guys!

    Comment by Charles Jackson on December 24, 2016 at 8:51 pm

  2. Sue

    Thank you for sharing such a great bit of your life. Love little Remy! You both are looking amazing and I want to that you for all your writing in Drive Nacho Drive! LOVED it!
    Merry Christmas from our home to yours and wish you all a very Happy New Year!!! Look forward to see what you come up with in 2017!
    hugz and Christmas wishes
    Sue
    Victoria, BC

    Comment by Sue on December 24, 2016 at 8:53 pm

  3. Brad

    Thanks guys! Merry Christmas to you, too.

    Comment by Brad on December 25, 2016 at 1:51 am

  4. Mr Rashid Keki Mukadam

    Wish you and your loved ones a merry christmass and a happy new year.Also I look forward to you buying a more simple travelling van

    Comment by Mr Rashid Keki Mukadam on December 26, 2016 at 2:11 pm

  5. Mom

    Even though I could pick your voice out of a screaming crowd of thousands (mothers can do that), I am looking forward to listening to your audio versions of your books. Nothing better that hearing the auditory inflections only the author himself/herself can portray as intended in the book! Got my earbuds on and ready to emerge myself into your Drive Nacho Drive world!

    Comment by Mom on January 3, 2017 at 5:24 pm

  6. Fred and Elisabeth Smits

    Wishing you a Happy and Safe 2017. It is great to see you are settled with your family. We have been following you from the beginning of your great adventures on Facebook. We bought and read both of your books.
    We are from New Zealand and are now on the road for 2,5 years with an 1957 220s Mercedes and a tent trailer. Still loving it.
    Will see if we can download your audio version.
    Greetings and keep going. You can read about us
    http://Www.facebook.com/Classicstrider.
    Greetings Fred and Elisabeth.

    Comment by Fred and Elisabeth Smits on January 10, 2017 at 2:07 am

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