Today, the Internewts brought good things, instead of Nigerian bank scams from the very polite con artist "Mr. Colin Nbwewa" or comments from Russian spambots trying to hotlink sexual performance enhancements. DENIED. What was ACCEPTED, and most gratefully so, was a music performance Garage Band file from the extra-awesome dad-and-son combo of @_punkrawkboy and @Bitter_Hipster (Twitter handles, for the non-Twitterers). Mom @tuned2chords handily facilitated said transfer and served as a most enthusiastic supporter to everyone.

This lovely rockin' family lives in Florida, and I live in Washington, and we all like music and we like to play music and sing music and do musical music things. So it was decided that we would try a little Garage Band combo effort via the magic of binary information transfer. The song I requested was "Fault Line" by our very beloved Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It's one of my favorites, and I've wanted to cover it since I first heard it, but never got around to it. I was delighted when the guys said they would give it a shot. Here's a lovely live performance by Peter Hayes of BRMC of the song, in case you are unfamiliar with it.

BRMC, "Fault Line"

The last time I did a long-distance musical collaboration it was done on cassette (hissssssssssss) because there were no personal computers. NO, REALLY KIDS, IT'S TRUE! This time, instead of a tape taking a week to get from Arizona to Wisconsin, I had a file that traveled from Florida to Washington in an instant. NICE.

Here's a little bit about how the process went. Dad Punk Rawk Boy and Son Bitter Hipster recorded an acoustic guitar track and an organ track in Garage Band, zipped and shipped to me. I opened, it loaded perfectly into my Garage Band on my Macbook Pro, and I started thinking what I wanted to do, and then I did this:

-- Copied and doubled the guitar track, keeping one close to as is, and one super-loaded with a reverb preset called "Guitars in Space." Panned them L & R, slightly, and tweaked settings.

-- Super-compressed the organ track and then used a preset called "Telephone Wires" to change the sound to more of a melodica. Tweaked. Bitty pan.

-- Got out the midi keyboard, plugged it into the computer and brought up "Drum sets" picking "Hip Hop Kit." Played simple pattern with a bass drum, claps, and a tambourine.

-- Still using the midi keyboard, loaded up "Strings" and then found some atmospheric-y preset and played a simple bottom support line.

-- Time for vocals. Went to bedroom closet in pajamas, got the USB mic, sang the melody line, then sang a harmony line. Ooh oohed at the end. Added reverb.

-- Looked at the harmonica. I don't play harmonica. I don't know how. Frowned. Played with it a little, deciding less-is-more in my case here, and recorded a small harp line for warmth and link to the original.

-- Cut out hissy dead air from any tracks that had it, faded ending to match the fade already on the guitar/organ.

-- Fretted over mix. decided one can only do what one can do. selected "Master Track" preset "Rock Hi-fi Highs and Lows."

-- Finished before the cleaners arrived this morning so I didn't scare them. Sent mixed and MP3'd track off to Florida, and DONE.

That probably sounds like a lot for something that is still low-fi, huh? Thankfully, I like low-fi and we hope you do to. Please to enjoy. We are now called "Tsunami Chat Room," because I always thought that would be a good band name. More than one person counts as a "band," I think.

Tsunami Chat Room, "Fault Line"

  Fault Line by MarianneSp

If you happen to REALLY like it, you can download it for free at Soundcloud there, and all of us thank you for listening!

Today's sky in Florida...

Today's sky in Washington.