Archive: June 20, 2012
Here is your interesting fact for the day: In Portland June is frequently referred to as Juneuary. The characteristics of this oddity of a month require that one should keep a fall to winter jacket in their car at all time as at any moment the 80 degree sunshine could turn into a 50 degree rainfall. It’s nice for my voice. The humidity does very kind things to it. But, well, the days of sunless sky are becoming noticeable. I have come to correlate feeling groggy and tired with cloudy weather and I am starting to wish for two straight weeks of sunny, even hot and dry, weather. I think maybe it’s time to visit Fresno. I find solace in it being so close. However, my mother, who I am endlessly proud of, is on tour in England right now. She is off singing with her choir in York. Congratulations Mommy!
By now most of you know that the new album is going to be called “I Am Warm Young Blood” and that it should be in your hands any month now. We’re just doing some post production and then I have to record “Muevete” and possibly a couple of instrumental tracks for the finishing touches on the album. But all that is left are things I am doing solo most likely. The band in Nashville has done a bang-up job at recording and re-recording and filling in empty holes. If you noticed the artwork on the splash page for this website http://www.katjonesmusic.com – then you have seen the album cover, completed by David Landry (Who is one of my favorite artists of all time and one of my closest friends. I am very blessed.), and he has done the most wonderful job. I am so proud of everyone that has contributed to this project. Thanks to Dani K. Johnson for the website and thank you to my band in Nashville for working so hard and kicking so much ass and to my band in Portland who are busting their butts to get the songs down in time for a July-September blitzkrieg of playing and promotion in preparation for the album release (by the way, we are still auditioning bass players and drummers if you’d like to be considered).
As it just so happens, I am in the studio right now, with Peter Rodocker (Yellow Room Recording in Portland, OR). The band with the help of engineer Bobby Spangler (an absolute sound genius) did most of the work for the album in a Victorian mansion in Nashville. As we talked about using this mansion (I was house sitting there at the time) for recording it seemed like we might be getting what would only be an archive of the fact that Andrew Collins, Tim Denbo, Jacob Thornton and I had been playing together for two years and working on these songs. By the time we were done we knew we had the new album on our hands. Thanks go out to Patrick and Holly Murphy as well, who let us use their wonderful home as an instrument. You can hear the hundred years of wood in every note on the album.
Today we not only work on cello for the song that is presently known as “Molasses” but myself, Jessica, and Tyson (from my band in Portland, keys and guitar) recorded some background vocals for Bullets and Bruises. I actually really like producing and working with people to get the desired effect for the album. It’s fun to grab singers’ faces and stomachs to attempt a clearer vocal tone.
Last weekend was the anniversary of my father’s death. It falls right after my mother’s birthday and before Father’s Day every year. So one can imagine that things can be a little intense around that time. I have a yearly tradition which has developed of going on an adventure to celebrate my father every anniversary. It usually comprises of me grabbing my dog, Daisy and jumping in my car. I frequently decide what direction I am going in and then just start driving. This time I was trying to choose between going to Skamania and crossing the Bridge of the Gods for dinner and a walk through a sort of mid-western town, going to Cannon Beach (which has not happened since I’ve moved here, strangely enough) or going to Mt. Saint Helens. I chose the most apocalyptic option and left for Mt. Saint Helens.
The trip amounted to about 5 hours total in driving with an hour or so actually staring hard at the charred mouth of the volcano and marveling at the stratus of ashes mixed with snow on the mountain. But it was well worth it. I realized the moment that I drove into Lava Canyon that I had made the right decision. I spent the hour of time studying the mossy marsh under my feet, the strange bugs hovering over the ashes mixing in the water of a small stream, and the young trees, some of them smaller than Daisy struggling to stay alive.
I realized on this trip that I frequently end up doing something pretty mind blowing on these trips. One year I marveled in a cave over how the tears in the limestone over my head actually sealed themselves. That trauma of earthquakes within the heart of the mountain having a tendency of healing over time. Another year I was nearly struck by lightening as I watched an electrical storm move across the water into Paducah, KY. I screamed and laughed simultaneously as the hair on my arms stood on end and the back of my neck grew warm and electrified right before a lightening bolt tore over my head and struck the tree next to me.
And then there was Mt. Saint Helens. I imagined myself one of the few that was left of humanity. Daisy and I somehow surviving a great disaster. We now on a treck to find the others in the world. Learning how to forage for food and make shelter. Hoping for some kind of contact eventually. The moss was the color of photographs left in the sun and the river bed was filled with grey, sparkling ash. I sat on a rock that had not been around 30 years previous and meditated on how warm the lava rock had grown in the sun. I picked up 3 pieces of lava to take home from my journey. I noticed that the rock I was sitting on matched my dress perfectly. Then Tyson, Jessica, and I went out for chocolate and wine. It was a great day.
It is a few hours later. I have left the recording studio after a long day at the “office” and went to practice with my guitar player Chris Cesarez (who happens to be a fellow Fresnan by co-incidence). We walked the dog in the brief glimmer of sunshine and talked about how much we miss the sunlight and heat of Fresno. It was a quick trip to his house. Now I’m drinking tea at my favorite tea house and about to wind up for the evening.
Welcome to the new website everyone. I anticipate big announcements about the future over the coming months. I am glad you’re along for the ride.