January 3rd, 2013

After I posted that video of the reunited Last Splash–era Breeders last night, I was reminded of this great 2002 New York Times Magazine story documenting the making of their much-delayed third album, Title TK. The piece is kind of a ’90s alt-rock Hearts of Darkness. I highly recommend reading the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

The session started at the Magic Shop, in SoHo; Kim couldn’t find a drum sound she liked there, so the band decamped to Midtown. They moved into a venerable studio, reputed to have the most extensive collection of vintage recording equipment on the East Coast. One night while Deal was holed up at the mixing board, her bandmates began making trouble in the waiting room. ”Everybody was smoking crack in the lobby,” Kim says. ”I will never be allowed there again.”

The operation moved to Avatar Studio, the former Power Station, where, in an episode now legendary among New York’s assistant engineers, Deal spent an entire day fussing over a “click track”basically a recording of a metronome that plays in the musicians’ headphones but is removed from the final mix. ”All these technical hoodoo things,” says one engineer, still irked by the memory, ”that no one would ever hear or knowbut that she heard in her head.”
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Official Tumblr for Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, a Time magazine book of the year. (Now in paperback; purchase info here.) The blog is run by the author, freelance writer/editor Mark Yarm; he is of no relation to Mark Arm of Mudhoney.