Recording “Take Me Home”

Just in from the Control One Studios. Just in from a drunken cab ride through the heart of midtown: past drag queens crossing 23d Street (as “American Girls” played on my minidisc), past the Empire State building (white tonight), up 10th Avenue and the Lincoln Tunnel — my favorite view of Time’s Square — through Hell’s Kitchen and slowly up the stairs…

Unbelievable. First, Kevin’s studio’s amazing. It’s in the heart of the neighborhood formerly known as “Silicon Alley,” between the Flatiron Building and MetLife, right in the shadow of the Empire State. Very New York. Inside has cool. low-rent indie-nerd vibe: old Macs, a sit down Star Wars arcade game, an antique Coke machine that dispenses beer. We started on “Take Me Home.” He’d already tackled the beats and keys, so I laid down a basic acoustic (Ovation), an arpeggiated acoustic (Ovation), and anthemic acoustic (Gibson), and a distorted electric (Gibson ES330). Meanwhile, we concurrently attacked some beers, which I’ll get to here in a sec…

Went into the vocal booth to record a scratch vocal and, eek, Phil Collins has a high voice. Mine was shredded from talking and singing all day, so I apologized, and pledged to nail it next time.

The track sounds incredible, insane. What that guy can do with ProTools, I’ll tell you what — amazing. It sounds huge and digital and organic and a total collaboration between our acoustic and electronic worlds.

But his remix of “Summer’s Gone”… monster, epic, completely re-thought. The only thing left is my original vocal. Everything else is all keys and huge bass beats and the kinda’ thing you’d hear cruising in South Beach with the top down and nothing but SPF 45 on your shoulders. Unreal. You will be astounded. I am.

I’m back at it next week, when we’ll finish up what we’ve got, and do a pass on “Hollywood Arms.”

Just one thing: no beer next time. Or less anyway.

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