Sorry for long delay. I tried to write some newsletters but they were boring, so I ditched 'em and went back to work. This one's probably boring too. But I finally had a day to think. So much happened in the last year...
Somewhere around one year ago, there was a Tsunami benefit show in Seattle, and Alice In Chains, uh, "reunited" for the show. Obviously they had other people helping on lead vocals, notably a guy from Damage Plan (possibly the best one), a guy from Puddle of Mudd (embarrassing), Maynard from Tool (quite good) and strangely enough Ann Wilson, who actually kicked ass. They also did an excellemnt acoustic set. Overall, the entire show was flawless, and Jerry did his half of the many harmony vocals, and they even did some songs from the third AIC record such as "Again" that I imagine might never have been performed live! Now I hear there may be a tour this year but I haven't heard who will be singing. Doubtless there are people on this list who are more up-to-date than I am... but ANYWAY, it was a pretty cool show.
Also, a year or so ago there was a preview showing of the long-awaited Andy Wood documentary. The movie itself was pretty cool, largely for the never-before-seen interview footage with Andy himself, plus plenty of interviews with all the Mother Love Bone/Malfunkshun guys, family, friends, even yours truly. After the movie we all retired to a private club where a sort of Andy tribute show took place. Original Malfunkshun drummer Regan and guitarist Kevin played a short set of three or four M-Funk songs with a friend on bass (I regret I didn't get his name) and none other than Shawn Smith on vocals, who NAILED Andy Wood's falsetto delivery, and they finished by bringing the house down on "With Yo' Heart Not Yo' Hands". Have to admit my eyes got a little watery. As far as I know, the movie never got a distribution deal, and now I don't know what the hell is going on with it. Maybe a DVD of it will appear someday. Kevin Wood has an interesting website at (wammybox.com).
Speaking of which, this year, a record company I've never heard of called "Livewire Recordings" decided for some reason to release a "grunge" comp. Title: "Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge". (Yeah, not too imaginative.) They got the "Deep Six" recording of "With Yo' Heart Not Your Hands" on there, to my surprise... first time it's been available in years I think. Livewire had help choosing tracks from Clark Humphrey, author of the great Seattle music history book "Loser". While it lacks the big names like Soundgarden, Nirvana and AIC, Mark Arm is represented by Mr. Epp, Green River and Mudhoney, and I recorded 7 of the songs on the comp. Skin Yard is on it with "Hallowed Ground", the title song of our second album from 1988, although the liner notes incorrectly say it's from 1992.
(BTW, I recently remastered Hallowed Ground, VASTLY improving the sound, but we have no plans to "re-press it"... for info on how to get a burn of it from me, read on.)
Jumping back to last year, in late July I went to Brazil for two months and made a CD and a DVD of a 25-song live concert for my friends Titas, my fifth album with a band who are a national institution in Brazil. It was my first crack at 5.1 "surround" mixing and was a resounding success, and the CD is already "Gold" in Brazil. I described the experience somewhat in my last newsletter (October) which for some reason I never archived on my website until now. In fact, I haven't significantly updated ENDINO.COM in over a year except for little "what's new" notes and the regular additions to the discography. I need to get on the ball... look for changes this year. I'm looking very hard at making a proper "blog" and doing some podcasts.... CSS... RSS... but in view of how busy I am in the studio, you should probably be skeptical.
Near the end of my stay in Brazil, Katrina happened, and I watched the destruction of New Orleans on hotel TV. I emailed a friend of mine and said "This is it. Bush is done. He doesn't know it yet, but he's done. Just watch." Federal government incompetence was exactly as I expected. I thought of my friends there in the band Supagroup...
Right after Brazil, I spent a few days doing some tracking for The Atomic Bitchwax for something which may or may not have been released by now... great band though... followed by Zamarro, from Switzerland, doing their second record with me, "The Beast Is On Your Track", released in Europe on a German label. If you go to my own MySpace page (myspace.com/jackendino), my "Top 8" has links to tracks by Zamarro as well as several other bands I've worked with lately.
In October 2005, my third solo CD "Permanent Fatal Error" came out on the tiny Wondertaker label from SF. Seizing the indy-rock bull by the horns, I attempted to take as much responsibility as possible for the promotion and mailouts of the CD, as it has been years since I've been involved in putting out a record. I had amassed a pretty huge list of media contacts. The CD got a lot of great reviews and some college radio airplay here and there, and the reviews are still trickling in... but getting US distribution was like pulling teeth. IDC and Carrot Top were first on board, and then Lumberjack-Mordam took some, but each of these distributors probably only took a couple boxes of CDs. In Canada, I had no distributor luck at all. In contrast, Cargo in Germany got all excited and ordered a thousand, and have already paid us for a good chunk of them, and I got a huge barrage of press all over Europe. Go figure. So I've had to rely on zine reviews and the web to get the word out in North America. Print advertising is pretty much out of the question, as the expense is way out of proportion to the sales it would generate. If you go to Endino.com right now, you may notice that my "front page" is now a 'hard sell' for my CD, with a sampling of the reviews it got. That's because I'm proud of the record and frankly want people to know about it. Four of the songs are streaming at myspace.com/jackendino as well. MySpace, while being a huge time-sucker (you know what I mean), has helped a lot in getting the word out. I may shortly have it available thru iTunes or eMusic... I'll publicize if/when it happens.
If you order a copy of "Permanent Fatal Error" with PayPal from me via the "garage sale" on my website, or for that matter order any Skin Yard CD, I'll throw in a CD-R burn of the remastered "Hallowed Ground" as a bonus if you remind me.
After my record came out I did a short West Coast tour with the mighty Dirty Power as my volunteer backing band. For some reason their bassist couldn't make it so I assumed bass duties each night for a Dirty Power set, and then Patrock and I switched instruments and they backed me for a set of songs from Permanent Fatal Error with me on guitar/vocals. I must hereby give huge props to Patrock, Steve Perrone and Jeff Potts for learning my twisted rock tunes and playing so well. We had a nice little mini-tour, and then we spent 4 days in a studio here in Seattle cutting tracks for a new Dirty Power album, which we will be mixing pretty soon.
Then I moved to a new house for the first time in ten years, which was traumatic. Too many books, vinyl records, CDs, recording equipment, gadgets, tools, computers, magazines, and junk. I still haven't really "unpacked" six months later because I work too much. If you sent me a demo last year, it's probably still in one of those boxes. My existing client base has kept me working solid the last 12 months while hardly taking on anyone new. (And here's advance word for all: I'm taking some extended time off this summer, and I am going to FIRMLY stick to that unless someone of the magnitude of U2 calls me... yeah, sure!)
2006 has been interesting. Winnebago Deal came over from the UK and made another record with me, this one for the Fierce Panda label. Nick Oliveri (formerly a Stone Age Queen) visited and added some "guest vocals" to a couple songs, and it was cool meeting and hanging with the gentleman. The record will be called "Flight Of The Raven" and it is even more loud, noisy and violent than the last Winn Deal record... mission accomplished, in other words. I love my job!
Couple weeks ago I found myself in Vancouver BC as a guest of the "New Music West" conference, giving a two-hour presentation to a paying audience, billed as a "Master Producer's Workshop". It was partly sponsored by the Vancouver Film School, so I had a sort of theater/classroom to do it in, with a computer and Protools rig that projected onto a huge screen. It was basically studio geek talk and interesting anecdotes from my career, plus some more technical show-and-tell stuff, followed by questions/answers. The two hours went by way too fast. After my thing was a similar two-hour thing with Garth Richardson (aka GGGARTH), and meeting him and shooting the shit was a highlight for me, as we both had to "Not worthy!" each other repeatedly, a pleasant surprise as he's got way more platinum records than me. Apparently he left LA some years ago and established a residential studio on the Canadian coast... see (www.thefarmstudios.com) for a look!
I will be attending the annual TapeOp conference in June in Tucson, AZ, and doing a couple of panels. For more info, see tapeop.com.
There's a picture of Bruce Dickenson in a recent issue of KERRANG... and he's wearing a Skin Yard T-Shirt. Good taste, the man has.
The new Neil Young album is out, "Living With War", and I have to say I found it a total delight. Go, Neil. Also, the new Pearl Jam CD (on Clive Davis' label!) sounds pretty good so far, and the new Killing Joke also.
And on a final note, The Seattle Weekly, our local Village Voice affiliate, just held their annual readers' poll "Seattle Music Awards", and I got an award for "Lifetime Achievement". I was so busy in the studio that I didn't even realize I was nominated, so the whole thing was a pleasant surprise. You can read about it here:
Apparently, I am Synonymous With Grunge. ;-)
As Chad Channing put it in a congratulatory message to me, "Lifetime? You still have some mileage left!" Damn straight!
'Till next time,
"You can't polish a turd, but you can grind it into the carpet." - Ben Perrier, Winnebago Deal