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Mar 142010

Nine of us sat in my cold basement, sitting on amplifiers arranged in a circle and armed with guitars of all shapes and calibers.  We had just recorded a level-check for the all guitar episode, and Charlie was uncomfortable.  I shared his worry that the episode may degenerate into a cacophonous kludge of competing frequencies, each guitarist in his own little world.  We solved the problem by dividing the show into mini-concepts lasting between 5 and 15 minutes each.  It wasn’t long before the tape rolled and JJ sprang into action as one concept’s conductor; waving, pointing, raising and lowering his appendages, signaling players when to play and with what intensity.  After an inspired smoke break, Will Floyd orchestrated the theme of a bank heist as told through guitar.  Charlie played the carefree bank customer whose happy notes took a turn for the sour when the bank robbers shot up the place with distorted axes.  Charlie’s departed ghost rose from the grave and played a sweet coda as the bank concept ended.

All in all we recorded an hour and seventeen minutes worth of material — some good, some bad, some golden.  When I edited the show a month later, I had forgotten most of the themes, which was probably for the best.  Free of our intentions, I was able to edit simply on what sounded good.  The parts that didn’t work or felt too much like a jam band got thrown to the side, leaving a brisk thirty seven minutes.  All Guitars stars Anthony William Herndon, Brey McCoy, Charlie Rauh, and first-time participants Ben Lowry, Brady Sharp, and Adam Louis.  Each brought something unique to the table, and I look forward to having them on again.  Will Floyd and JJ Jones each directed a segment.  We recorded live to my Tascam 80-8 reel to reel tape recorder.  I did the live mixing and editing.

We had a great time making this one, and I hope you get the same pleasure out of hearing it.  All Guitars.  Enjoy.

Dec 132009

Chaos surrounded me. On November 8th, I stood in my basement, surveying the visual cacophony of cables, music gear, and impatient faces staring at me to get my shit together. We were all set to record the first podcast of the new version of ~ORE~, and we were already one hour behind schedule. We couldn’t find enough headphone adapters, and I didn’t have enough outputs on my headphone amplifiers to send everybody the live feed. On top of that, a near-record of 10 musicians answered the call to be on this show, and I wasn’t prepared for so many.

Luckily, we worked it all out. We divided the episode into segments and let a smaller group perform on each segment. This approach ended up working out splendidly as it let things breath and brought new timbres throughout the show. There’s more variety here than any show we’ve ever done. It also serves as a perfect introduction to what we do here on Theatre Intangible as so many of the players are series regulars.  You might call this an all-star episode.

The 2nd Annual Halloween Extravaganza explores the topic of haunted houses. In preparation we recorded hours of interviews with haunted house creators, attendees, and even live 3d binaural walkthroughs of the haunted houses. (The setup was two SM58 microphones embedded in the head of a Styrofoam skull, appropriately enough.) While using a Porta-Potty outside one of the haunted houses, Cody Bottoms got splattered with sewage when a kid in a clown costume took a running splat into the side of the Porta-Potty.  These are the slings and arrows we must suffer when creating ART!

After assembling the field recordings and interviews, we put out a call for musical participants; and on November 8th, we assembled in my basement to record the show. I instructed the performers to create improvisational, textural sounds inspired by the recordings they were hearing in their headphones (which I live-mixed into the feed alongside the music.) The running-time went over 90 minutes. I have edited and reorganized the recording into a well-paced 60 minutes. What results is one of the most entertaining episodes we’ve ever put out. You’ll learn about the secrets of haunted house management, the psychology of clown-fear, a live psychic reading, and Cody’s fascination with funeral homes. This was the most difficult and time-consuming episode I have ever produced.

This episode features Jamison Sevitts on Rhodes Keyboard and trumpet, Charlie Rauh on acoustic guitar, JP Patterson on keyboard, Anderson Cook on modified electric guitar and percussion, Cody Bottoms on percussion, pimpdaddysupreme on records and vocal intro, Brey McCoy on Ableton Live sounds and wind instruments, Craig Schenker on saxophone, Lauren Estes on percussion, and Anthony William Herndon on theremin and synthesizer.

The episode features a variety of interviews, most notably Nathan Hamilton, founder of Haunted Nashville (comprised of the haunted houses House of Distortion, Turbidite Manor, and Riddles of Horror) . His dialogue became the backbone of the episode, and the show wouldn’t be the same without him. Special thanks to Nathan, to all the interviewees, the musicians, and also to Landon Lee, owner of Death Row Haunted Prison. Both of these haunted houses are extremely entertaining (and scary!), and I most-emphatically recommend you attend them next Halloween. All interviews used by permission.

As with all our shows, this episode is licensed under Creative Commons. You may sample it, slice it, dice it, and appropriate it in your own non-profit work. We just ask that you give us credit and let us know.


Where’s the 1st Annual Halloween Extravaganza you ask? We recorded it on Halloween 2008 on our since-cancelled WRVU show ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible. We will premiere the podcast version of that episode (and many other WRVU-era episodes) later in the season.

 Posted by at 11:35 pm