Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Studio Seclusion

I took the week off teaching to focus on the album for a while and to get some much-needed work done. We have gotten into a pretty nice rhythm over here. He works, I listen; I work, he listens; and so on. As I type, Tony is combing through backups making sure all is tidy for final mixes.

When we both need a break we have a game of chess. Palate cleanser for the brain.

The main focus right now is backup vocals. Once those are in place, Tony and I take turns applying further tweaks to the overall mix. It's like building an onion one layer at a time.

"The Arc," "Follow My Lead," and "Chicago" are likely to be the next songs you hear. Stay tuned for the first week of January.

Happy New Year and Thanks for the love and support!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, folks. It's Christmas Eve and I hope everyone is feeling warm and merry in this, our darkest time of year.

Our gift to you, as we feverishly work to finish our album, is this track: "Winter Wonderland / This Christmas," performed by Anthony and Jody. The groove is classic Christmas. I grew up listening to Christmas carols performed on acoustic guitar, courtesy of my dad and his exceptional music taste. Anthony and Jody capture that spirit perfectly in my humble opinion. Pure X-mas.

The track is available to download and listen to at your leisure on our bandcamp page, where you can also listen to our preview tracks and works-in-progress. Please enjoy it this year and for many to come. If you like the video, please click the thumbs-up and share it with your friends if you feel so inclined. 'Tis the season for sharing, after all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video and Update!

Hey friends, its Jody!

The Live Debate is still hard at work putting the finishing touches on the rest of the album. If you havent gotten the chance to check out the 3 song demo on our previous post, take a listen now and tell us what you think (Click me to hear music). We plan to have the next 3 songs finished within the week and we will share them with you as soon as they are done. Here is a live video for "3 Strangers" that we recently shot and we hope that you will enjoy it.

Also if you live near Chicago you should check out The Nutcracker at The Chopin Theatre, this is Matthews second year playing piano in this production. The show runs until Christmas Eve!

Have a safe and Happy Turkey-day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Three-Song Preview

Hello Blog, family, and friends! Nice to see you again. We missed you guys. Don't worry. We come bearing the gift of new music to listen to:

Sorry we've been so distant lately, dear Blog. There has been a lot going on. Since we last spoke, our vocalist Anthony moved here to Chicago, we've tracked drums with our dear friend Jonah David, tracked piano at the loveliest and most welcoming little church on the Northside, tracked a big ol' pile of vocals in Tony Berg's living room, and did all this while holding down reasonably challenging day jobs.

When I haven't been working on the album, I've been teaching like crazy. Need piano lessons?

Jody, when he isn't busy being the Buddha of this band, has been putting in hours helping set up the new and improved Bass Club Chicago in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Anthony has been acting his ass off - he's been an extra in the late "Playboy Club," and is starring as Frank in a new production of "The Rocky Horror Show" which opened LAST NIGHT at the Underground Lounge. Go. See. Him.

Tony has been learning to sail on Lake Michigan, growing huge amounts of jalapenos and okra, and has been working like a fiend on our album. Even more than he used to since we're beginning the mix process.

Since we're getting to the end of this thing, we thought it was about time we let you guys get a taste of it. These three songs are among the "early finishers" on the album, which is to say, they're the closest to being done. All of the songs are nearly finished now, but these few tunes have been there the longest. The next time you'll be hearing these songs they'll have another layer of gloss or two before the final album release, and you'll likely be able to download them and show them off to your friends in the schoolyard.

We're proud of these tunes. They're the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of really talented people. We're lucky and thankful for every member of The Live Debate Orchestra and the many folks who helped these songs come to life. As many of you know, this album has been a lengthy project, but we're pleased to say that we're rounding the home stretch. Stay tuned!

As always, reach out and say hello to us...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Strings, Brass & Drums

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday break. As I am typing, I am dealing with my annual battle with the common cold. Not to worry, I am already stocked up on Mucinex.

Since the last time we posted, Matthew and I have finished all of our string and brass recordings for the album. This was a big hurdle for us and thanks to help of some great friends, the sessions turned out amazing. Tony continues to be a huge help in and out of the studio, he has become another member of the band. Tony not only works wonders behind the board but hes has also been integral in facilitating these sessions. Tony "make it happen" Berg must have a magical beard or something because I'm not sure where we would be without him.

For our string recordings we were eager to work with our old friend and violin shredder Carlos Villarreal. Matthew and Carlos are old high school friends who have worked together on various projects throughout the years and whom I met a little over a year ago when Carlos brought his quartet to play with James Mitchell. Carlos was quick to jump on board and he brought with him another great violinist Emily Norton and viola virtuoso Eddie Nicholson. Now all we needed was a cello player to round out our quartet. At first we had a little trouble pinning down a cellist but Trevor Kazarian stepped up and blew us all away. The string sessions have been some of my favorite so far. Within 5 minutes of playing together Matthew and I both knew we had picked the right quartet and we were lucky to have them. Standing next to them while they are performing is something that is hard to describe, it provokes emotion that is not easy to put into words. The sessions exceeded everyone's expectations and we can't wait to share them with everyone. I am excited for the day we get to perform these songs on stage together.

Shortly after our strings were finished we started our brass recordings. We were able to track all our horns at our home studio, which made it way easier to schedule everything. We invited back Justin Amolsch to finish french horn on the rest of the album. Justin is always a pleasure to work with and if you haven't heard him play with Mucca Pazza yet, do yourself the favor and click the link. We made a few new friends with trombonist Jack Beshoar (Black Umbrella Bridgade), trumpeter Joshua Jern and Tuba player Matthew "Wally" Wallrath. Both Jack and Josh are local musicians with tons of stage experience but Wally is a old friend of Tonys who was in town for the holidays from Orcas Island. All these guys were not only stellar musicians but all just great people to hang out with. I was amazed the first time I heard the horns layered over the strings, they complemented each other so well. Everyone was a blast to work with I must also give a special thank you to Mike Pryzgoda for giving us such awesome performer recommendations.


We are excited with everything we have tracked so far and thankful for the new friends we have made the process. Our songs are blossoming into a record! We recently started tracking in drum parts and have a few more sessions coming up in the next couple weeks. Our goal is to have everything tracked in by Feb 1. and then starts the mixing and mastering phase...yay. . .I promise to share some new music real soon as well as some more vids. In the meantime, we post updates with pics and stuff regularly on our facebook page.

Matthew most certainly would want me to recommend The Dirty Projectors (Bitte Orca) is a pretty awesome record.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friends, Family, and Recording!

Hi everyone,

Its been pretty hectic for The Live Debate in the last few weeks. First, we welcomed Tony Berg to The Live Debate family and he has already been a tremendous help in the studio as well as providing us with some great home cooked dishes (Risotto was killer). Tony brings great vibes and many years of recording experience that have allowed us captured some beautiful strings and brass for the album. We were only able to accomplish this with the help of another dear friend of ours, Tristan James who graciously offered up his personal studio to do some of our big ensemble recordings. Tristan, Tony, and Matthew are old friends from back in the ol' college days and we are so happy that Tristan has opened his studio to us. We are scheduled to be back in early Dec. to finish our string sessions, followed by brass recordings. Speaking of brass, we made a new friend with Justin Amolsch (Mucca Pazza, 7th Kind) who came in and laid down some sweet horns for Going Up. We knew Justin was going to be a blast to work with as soon as he pulled up on his bike that had custom holsters for all 3 of his horns(French Horn, Trombone, and Trumpet!). We look forward to working with Justin in the upcoming weeks and hopefully we will be able to get him on stage with us. Finally, we were lucky enough to get Anthony D'Amato back for a few days to do some more vocal tracking. Matthew and I are consistently surprised by the talent that is Anthony D'Amato. The music is sounding better then ever and I cant wait to release this record!

We are currently polishing up what we have and prepping for the upcoming sessions. I promise we will be sharing some more music just as soon as its ready. Besides our upcoming ensemble recordings we are re-tracking bass, guitar, and some drums. The checklist is getting smaller everyday for completing this album.

The leaves have fallen and the cold has arrived in Chicago this week, which makes for good times inside a warm studio. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and check back soon for some new music and video.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Updates and some other music

Hey Everyone, its Jody!

While everyone has been carving pumpkins and watching The Bears (0-12 on 3rd down conversions...really!?), we have been busy in the studio preparing for some big studio sessions coming up in the next few weeks. We are scheduled to record our string, brass, and horn ensembles for the whole album and Matthews been locked in the studio like a mad scientist transferring the arrangements to sheet music for our performers. We are excited to have our buddy Anthony (Tony) Berg coming into town to help us track everything. Tony has many years of experience in the studio and has previously worked with Matthew on several projects including Harvest 10 by James Mitchell. We are really looking forward to these sessions as it will be a major hurdle in finishing the album. Be prepared for some upcoming audio/video from our time in the studio...

In the past month or so, besides writing and arranging for the album, we have also worked on some different music to help build our portfolios and we even got a call from an old friend of mine Jon Wain to help out on a couple of tracks for The Oprah show. We had a blast having Jon in our studio and we are planning on working together again very soon. One of the tracks we did to help out our portfolios is this Soundtrack piece. We resurrected the song from some writing Matthew did last year and it turned out sounding pretty great. We have a couple of ideas for what to do with the track but those are going to have to wait for while until we finish some more of this album. Either way its a great jam and I particularly enjoyed listening to it while cruising down Lake Shore Drive with the sunroof open the other night. We would love to hear what you think of the track.

We hope you enjoy!