Both shows are Saturdays, 7 to 9PM at Freddys Bar.
(Remixes and originals appear below this post.)
I have always wanted to collaborate with Mitch Wells. I’m a folk-rocky singer-songwriter. He’s an electronic dance composer. When we first met, I was playing Irish music, and he was producing electronic Death Metal. I played him a toe-tapping reel on the banjo. Then, I put on headphones to listen to one of his tunes. All I could hear was my own fear. A year later, he was producing and writing for a Korean dance pop singer, K-Bot. It was sweet. It was danceable. It made me feel dirty.
I was intrigued.
When I started to plot out my most recent album, “Slugger,” I hoped Mitch could pump up a few songs with some current-sounding beats, maybe something from his trove of vintage drum machines, synths and un-nameable gizmos. We got together at his place in the East Village. Sitting on the couch under his painting of the three fathers of the analog synthesizer, we listened to my demos and picked a few songs to record. I put down vocals and guitar. He started creating drum, bass and keyboard tracks in Logic. But, there wasn’t much for me to do after that. I mostly stared at his back and listened. Sometimes I looked at his fish tank. There were few fish. Many had died during the electrical outage caused by the Hurricane Sandy.
As I listened to Mitch work, I realized he was effectively re-writing the songs.
Mitch and I went to the coffee shop around the corner and talked about it. We had it backwards. What he normally does is remix the song after it’s fully recorded. So, we stopped getting together on Sundays. I started working in the studio. But I encouraged him to remix any songs he wanted—however he wanted—afterward. That way, we could collaborate, while each of us did exactly what he wanted with no compromise. It was beautiful.
When I was done recording, I simply gave Mitch three song files, each with individual tracks he could remix as he saw fit. Those songs were “Mama Had a Bongo,” “When” and “Second-Rate Rainbow.” A couple of months later, we went out to dinner and I listened to the remixes below. These tracks are funky, complex and beautiful and I’m very happy with them.
Now, here’s what Mitch Wells has to say about them … .
Here’s a link to a good review of “Slugger” from Tris McCall at the Star-Ledger. Read the review here.
I love the first line,” Just from the cover of his latest album, you can tell that Dave Keener has both a good sense of humor and a fair bit of barely suppressed aggression.” That Bill Wadman cover always gets a reaction,
We’ve got September 21st an October 12th. Already got John S. Hall and Serena Jost for September 21st. Going to be a great show.
Great news. The new album, Slugger, is all done and prettied up for a hot Saturday night on the town with your ears! Here’s a free download of the opening song, “When.” (Just click and enter a zero for the price.)
Or, you can buy the whole shootin’ match at Amazon or iTunes. “When” is a catchy little number about the fact that my friends and I have to do so many other damned things before we actually get to sit down and play music. I’m sure you can relate. My friends Dave Foster of Bubble (bass) and Jen McDearman of Bobtown (percussion) round out the band on this track.
I want to thank Jon Altschuler who worked with me weekend in and weekend out at The Seaside Lounge to make this record over the course of May and June. I’d also like to thank the musicians I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with on this and many other projects over the years: Russ Alderson, Tom DeVito, Dave Foster (that’s the entire band, Bubble, by the way), James Morris, Karen Dahlstrom, Jen McDearman, and Bill Wadman (who also shot and designed the cover).
Despite an advertising day job, I have no marketing plan for this record. I am winging it day by day. If this free download does well, I may switch to another song for the free download and continue doing that all summer. So, somebody might pay 99 cents for a song that is later offered free. There are worse things.
If you’ve ordered a CD and it hasn’t appeared, I apologize. They haven’t yet arrived from the manufacturer. I didn’t think online CD sales would be offered until I provided the CDs. Oops.
Enjoy the song. Thanks. — Dave