parodies by nacrowe
check out HERE this recent streaming video episode of DEER GOD RADIO celebrating the production catalogue of veteran record producer / engineer / mixer ERIC VALENTINE!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO are available here at the DEER GOD website as well as in the MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC archives.
and if you haven't done so already get the FREE PHONE APP for IOS/ANDROID and enjoy listening to MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC 24/7 at your convenience!
photo & text by nacrowe
as some of you know, my cousin BRIAN is a recording engineer with production credits ranging from MACMILLER, A$AP FERG, and CLAMS CASINO to YEASAYER, DIRTY PROJECTORS, NEIL FINN and RAIN MACHINE among many others. when DEER GOD was still a viable entity as a recording studio a few years back, i had a front row seat to witness both IN-THE-BOX PRODUCTION via PRO TOOLS as well as the interplay of mixing such with our modified MTA 980 console.
in the years since, watching the CELEBRATED veteran recording engineer ERIC VALENTINE (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, GOOD CHARLOTTE, THE DWARVES, TAKING BACK SUNDAY, SMASHMOUTH, THIRD EYE BLIND, THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS) deconstruct his WORKFLOW and RECORDING TECHNIQUES at length and in EXHAUSTIVE detail on his MAKING RECORDS WITH ERIC VALENTINE YOUTUBE channel has been an equally EDUCATIONAL experience for an interested layman like me. its also pretty COOL to see the amount of overlap with what my cousin used to do regarding computer PLUG-INS, MICROPHONE PLACEMENT and other general RECORDING STRATEGIES.
VALENTINE has recently begun publishing new content on his YOUTUBE channel after an extended break that saw him sell off his longtime BAREFOOT RECORDING STUDIO in LOS ANGELES and moved with his wife to VERMONT where he converted a large barn on their property into an EXTENSIVE recording facility. in honor of such reengagement, i wanted to post some past video "production deconstructions" of NOTABLE songs he's either engineered, produced and/or mixed. i find this stuff FASCINATING, especially when it comes to the THOUGHT and EXPERIMENTATION that goes into capturing MEMORABLE sounds that fit the intent and vibe of his client's songs. you really get a PALPABLE sense of the ARTISTRY involved with bringing your favorite recordings to life beyond just the physical performance of such. there is so much more involved in he PRODUCTION of such. i also included two INSTRUCTIONAL videos he did for the SOUND ON SOUND magazine's YOUTUBE channel a half decade ago that saw him both explain how he utilized reverb chambers and a myriad of amps to create lush aural textures, such as "GOD OF WINE" on THIRD EYE BLIND's debut THIRD EYE BLIND (ELEKTRA, 1996) album as well as EQ'ing those ICONIC fuzzed-out tones on QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's iconic SONGS FOR THE DEAF (INTERSCOPE, 2002) album. fun stuff.
whats so cool about VALENTINE is his VERSATILITY, creating both irredeemably CAUSTIC and DOWN-AND-DIRTY PUNK ROCK a la THE DWARVES as well as the immaculately orchestrated SURF ROCK palettes of more pop fair by the likes of SMASH MOUTH at their peak. it is beyond INCREDIBLE that the same dude is responsible for producing such DISPARATE sounds from seemingly opposite ends of the ROCK N ROLL spectrum.
at the very least, his YOUTUBE channel is worth checking out. if not also his extensive production catalogue as well. enjoy!
photo & text by nacrowe
i remember first hearing the debut THIRD EYE BLIND (ELEKTRA, 1997) record my freshman year of high school. for most people entering high school is a major stage in their life, but for me it was probably a bit more intense. it marked my first time away from my family for any extended period of time as i was attending a boarding school in NEW ENGLAND while they stayed half a world away in NIGERIA. a fresh start in an unfamiliar setting (which is probably a good a title as any for my life story come to think of it). boarding school was tough. i was bullied by upper class-men while the dorm heads looked the other way, you know "boys will be boys" or some bullshit. i was lucky though, others my age had it much worse, even this happened while i was there. it was alienating being around students whose parents were dignitaries, film directors, royalty, senior government officials or the heads of state and industry; the level of privilege my peer had was positively suffocating. i was happy to leave after my sophomore year to rejoin my family, then stationed in the MIDDLE EAST.
the soundtrack to those two years was that debut THIRD EYE BLIND album. i know the songwriter and frontman STEPHAN JENKINS was writing about personal themes related to DRUG USE, ABUSE and SUICIDE all throughout, but for me it felt like the central concern was LONELINESS. maybe that was because id listen to the gorgeous ERIC VALENTINE-produced LUSH, REVERB-DRENCHED sonic landscapes on those frozen bus rides to and from classes surrounded by empty snow blanketed farmland. this record sounded so BEAUTIFUL and RICH that it only made the experience of listening to it that much more EMOTIONALLY RESONANT. to this day hearing songs like "LOSING A WHOLE YEAR," "THE BACKGROUND," "THANKS A LOT," "NARCOLEPSY," "GOD OF WINE" and especially "I WANT YOU" bring me right back to 14.
moving to NIGERIA was the turning point of my life, when my perspective and identity as a naive SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN ended. surviving two years of boarding school in a sometimes abusive environment was similarly a moment of personal PROGRESSION and AUTONOMY. but looking back i just see a lonely kid who felt like his whole life up to that point was marked by continually being in the wrong place at the wrong time, losing more than just a year in the process. i havent been back to NEW ENGLAND since and have no plans to, even before the pandemic.
i still listen to this record regularly even though im glad im i dont have to be that teenager anymore. thank god. great record that should be celebrated. definitely worth revisiting and checking out again.