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|Beyond 2013 and Beyond!
January 26th, 2013
Welcome to 2013 everyone! Can't say I'm sorry to see the last half of 2012 wave goodbye. Especially with that Sandy character bumming everyone's high around these parts.
But we move forward, right?
Anyway, saying hello to you all and let you know there is exciting things coming in spring 2013!
But first, congrats on Free Energy releasing their second record, a wonderful piece of work called "Love Sign" It was a blast working with them and these guys are so fun and talented, the lovesign points to "Awesome." They are touring the record right now so check them out somewhere in America!
With that done, Spring will bring an end to a Winter to dismember! It's freezing here in the Northeast. Spring will bring rebirth, renewal and some awesome records I did last year.
In the latter half of last summer, I had the pleasure of working on the new Phosphorescent record. I was a fan going in, having liked the last record record and having seen them live a few time. Well, expectations exceeded! This new record, "Muchacho" is wonderful and Matthew Houck is one of the most talented, awesome and righteous dudes I've ever met. Release date is March 19th on Dead Oceans.
An artist I've been working with since the late '90's, Jay Farrar, will be releasing a new Son Volt record on Rounder, March 13th. The album is aptly titled, "Honky Tonk" It is a great record with a real country vibe to it, chock full of great Jay songs. There's no pseudo, "Man I Feel Like A Woman" country bullshit on this record. It is straight up honky tonk with fiddles and lap steels and some more great Jay singing. Every time this record pops on in my house, it blows my mind how Jay continues to put out records that are great and different from each other.
So, early last October I started a record with a band called The Thermals. We were working at Water Music Recorders in Hoboken. It was so great making an immediate, rocking record that had "to the point" songs. No filler at all. Ten songs about post apocalyptic times and survival and love's endurance. Although the 4 of us had never met before, it was love at first sight when we started working together.
Things were going great when, Sean, the studio engineer mentioned to me about this weather event coming the next week. Some Hurricane Sandy. Well, knowing that Hurricane Irene was not so kind to Hoboken, I informed the band we were going to burn the midnight oil to finish the record before the hurricane hit, which was about 4 days early. And that they were going to stay with me and family in Jersey City.
Well, the rest is history. We got out of there early Monday morning. Hurricane Sandy bitchslapped Hoboken and other parts of the New York and New Jersey area. It was terrible. So many people lost so much, I was thankful to have all my favorite people close by and safe. The band stayed with us 5 days and when we dropped them off at the airport, it was like sending my kids away to college. Except I like The Thermals. hahahaha, joke.
So the record rules and I have an intense personal connection with it and the band. "Our Love Survives" ends the record and that how I feel about them. The record comes out mid April on a label I'm not allowed to mention right now but you will love it and them.
And then there's Kurt Vile. The Vile, the myth, the legend and did I mention, the Vile! We started making a record, on and off last May. Woodstock, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Manhattan. The record is epic in it's tapestry. "Smoke Rings" was such a cool record and so well received, there's always pressure doing the follow up.
Well, Kurt brought something special to the tables starting with the songs. Sprawling, beautiful and powerful. And those are the b sides! hahahahaha. I can't wait for it to be released. It's going to freak out current fans and convert the heathen who doubt!
So more details later on that, but you heard it from me. That record is special!
To leave this continent for another, right before working with Phosphorescent, I had the pleasure of mixing a record for a French singer named Pamela Hute. She is the owner of a big, beautiful voice and she writes some wonderful songs. She is the queen of the pop hook and excels at synth pop and jangle, guitar rock. The album is called Bandit and it will steal your heart. Or your wallet.
At this time there is no American release, but I do hope it sees the light of day here. It's too good not to. I believe it's a March release there and believe me, I'm ordering a couple!
Okay, I think that covers it.
Things to do while printing mix stems, number 54. Update website!
August 18th, 2011
|Hello Cymbals Eat Guitars and Male Bonding!
I can't believe the summer is practically over. I spent most of the month either in Sweden or in Brooklyn working with the great Norwegian band, Dirt Inc. Goteborg was a wonderful place to record. SGS, owned by my buddy, Kalle is one of my favorite studios in the world. And Kalle is one in a million.
We finish mixing this current EP on Friday and after going to see The War On Drugs that same night, I will prepare to leave on vacation Saturday. So I'll have spent all of one day in August at home. Living the dream!
The end of August will bring the release of not one, but two of my productions. In chronological order, the new Male Bonding record was recorded at Dreamland Studios in early March and mixed at Headgear Studios soon after that. Dreamland Studios is an old converted church outside of Woodstock that has wonderful vibe, gear and setting.
The Male Bonding guys were wonderful to work with. They are part English gentlemen and part power punk revivalists. I'm really psyched with the record and they will be here the end of the month to start touring.
Right after Male Bonding was complete, I started a record with Cymbals Eat Guitars. These guys are so talented, it makes me nuts. We actually had been doing pre production on and off for months previous to starting the recording, so we hit the ground rolling.
I'm so proud of the record and they too will be touring in support. Too bad they couldn't arrange a co bill.
So keep your ears and eyes peeled for these records. Male Bonding's "Endless Now" is on Sub Pop and Cymbals Eat Guitars' "Lenses Alien" is on Barsuk.
Some other notable info. In July I mixed Lee Ranaldo's solo record. What a fun time! I haven't worked with him since "The Eternal" and we had a blast. The record is his first solo record ever and it's great. Can't wait for that one to see the light of day.
And I did a great single with Philadelphia's Free Energy. What a great group of dudes! We had tons of fun and the two songs came out great.
In the middle of July, I flew to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival. It was a great time and I got to spend a bunch of time with my main man, Kurt Vile. His set on Sunday afternoon was awesome and he had the mid afternoon crowd totally psyched. He also played a "secret" show Saturday night that was ridiculously crowded, but also awesome.
The current record, "Smoke Ring For My Halo" is doing great and Kurt and the Violators are touring like demons.
Ciao for now.
Enjoy the rest of summer.
|Spring Is Coming In With A Bang!
March 11th, 2011
|Loads Of Things Going On In Agnelloworld.
Hey everyone, I hope 2011 has been good for you so far. I wanted to keep you all in the loop, because my shit is blowing up, figuratively, of course. If it was literally, I'd be at the hospital as opposed to updating my website.
Anyway, there is a ton of stuff to talk about. First, this last Tuesday saw the release of Kurt Vile's "Smoke Rings For My Halo," his new effort for Matador Records. Kurt and the band spent the entire day playing three instores and then playing up at WFMU, in my neck of the woods. The reviews have been exceptional. Pitchfork gave it 8.4 out of 10. Uncut gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Spin gave it 9 out of 10 stars. And the wonderful Charles Aaron said some nice things about yours truly.
The bottom line is this is a great record and Kurt has evolved into one hell of an artist. And the Violaters are a great band. Chris and everybody at Matador were wonderful and all the studios we frequented on the record, and there were many, treated us great. It wasn't the easiest record to make logistically, but it was worth all the effort.
Kurt is supporting my old friend J Mascis on tour, who is also releasing an album. His first solo acoustic studio record. It's a great record with a bunch of great songs and of course J shreds! It has some great guest stars and I loved mixing it at Bisquiteen Studios. I've been working with J since 1993 and it's hard to believe it's been that long. He's one of my favorite people in the world. His wife, Luisa is an angel for putting up with him.
Let's see, what else........
Okay, in honor of all my friends who are going to SXSW, I'd like to hip you to two unsigned bands that I have worked with who will be playing numerous shows down there.
First up is Shayna and the Catch, who are a wonderful, organic pop band who play great songs that are influenced by folk, calypso and other styles of popular music. And Shayna, the lead singer is a wonderful woman with a big voice and a big soul. Not shitting you. Check em out down in Austin. And when they return to NY, they are doing a residence at the Living Room in April/May.
Second is a great band from Boston called Mean Creek. Powerful rock with a great singer in Chris Keene. These guys have a great sound with double guitar, and the wonderful Aurore on lead guitar and backing vocals. They recently released a great EP and played a release party show at Pianos in the LES of Manhattan. They packed out the room in Pianos and killed it. Their super fan, Adam Duritz was in the house.
One other band to check out down there is the Spanish band, Capsula. They are a hard rocking three piece from the northern part of the country and if you like your riffs heavy and your songs psychedelic, this is for you! I saw them in Cadiz 2 years ago and I fell in love with them.
So all you peeps down in Austin, try to take some time to see either of these bands. You will not regret it!
December saw me hunker down with my main engineer man, Ted Young at the famed Magic Shop, in NYC to work with The Young Presidents, a cool new band. We had a blast making the record and it came out great. They will be playing around the city and expect to hear more from them.
I am currently working with Male Bonding, a great three piece from London who are on Sub Pop. We tracked the record up at Dreamland Studios in West Hurley, NY, which neighbors Woodstock. An old church with loads of vibe and great gear and a wonderful sounding record room. It's actually an old church. This record is great! It fires on all cylinders, from songs thru performance. It doesn't sound bad either. And me and the band have gotten on famously. Look for this record in the summer.
Up next is Cymbals Eat Guitars, a young quartet from NYC, who evoke the spirit of Jawbox, Sonic Youth and the like. Four young kids who make wonderful noise. Throughout rehearsals we've tweaked arrangements and worked on approach and by the time these kids get into the studio, they will be ready to kick ass!
A few other things before I go. The great Norwegian band, Madrugada, who I've made a few records with are re releasing their records, remastered with extra tracks. They asked me to do liner notes for the remastered, "Nightly Disease" and I was thrilled! It's the first time I've ever done anything like that. Totally exciting.
Also, it looks like I'll be hosting an indie rock forum for the website Pro Recording Workshop. That should be happening soon. My mentor, William Wittman asked me to do it and I couldn't say no. Once again something new to this guy. Maybe you can teach an old Italian Producer/Engineer new tricks.
Well that's it for now. Whew. Long post this time. Be well everyone and go buy the Kurt Vile record!
November 26th, 2010
|It's that time of year again.
I hope this post finds you all well. I'm celebrating this Black Friday by staying the hell away from anything that resembles a store. Just sitting at home with a big cup of tea, catching up on my internet to do list.
This has been a great year so far with so many great artists who have approached me about work. Some I could not accommodate, due to scheduling concerns, but I've had some wonderful projects.
When I last posted, I was on the precipice of finishing a record with my main man, Kurt Vile. We mastered the record, but then it was agreed that we should go back in and record a couple more tunes. Not because of the fact that we didn't have a great record, but more to add a couple more rockers to it. Yeah, this record is a wacky one. In fact , we have too many great songs which made it hard to cut down to an 11 song record. As it stands now, it'll be a great record, but some of my favorites didn't make the cut. Which means that sometime after the record comes out, there will be an amazing EP in the works. I am not shitting you.
Around the time we were recording the last two songs for KV's record, I was in the process of mixing the J Mascis solo acoustic record. That was so much fun. I never need an excuse to visit or work up in Western Mass. with J and the family. It's always a great time. J's new record is totally great. It's got great songs and some wonderful guest appearances. If I'm right, the first single is an awesome song which will reminiscent of a particular '70's supergroup.
Just after that, I spent my obligatory 2 plus weeks in Spain attending the upstart, but wonderful Monkey Week Festival. This being it's second year, they improved greatly from the previous year. All I can say about it is that it's setting is a wonderful town, called the Puerto De Santa Maria, the gentleman who run it are wonderful and the talent is improving every year. The main shows took place in an ancient Monastery, which was the coolest setting ever. I spent the second half of my trip with my good friends, Paco and Muni, working in the studio with a great artist, who's new record will be out early next year.
Of note for me is a record I just finished which was a great experience. The band is called, Shayna Zaid And The Catch. A 5 member band, who are as super talented as they are super nice people. The music is rootsy and kinda pop in a traditional way, with a lead singer who's voice is as big as her heart. We are mastering the record tomorrow and I can tell you it's an amazing record.
Right after I returned from Spain, I had the pleasure of mixing a record by a band I really like called Capsula. They are part QOTSA and part psychedelic. I've seen them live and they really bring it. That record will be released in Spain, but I hope it sees the light of day here. It's very cool.
One other fun record I was involved with was The Baseball Project record. Those guys are a great hang and there are some great songs on the record. If you're a sports fan, you'll love this record. If you're a music fan, you'll love this record.
So that's it for now. A couple of random thoughts before I leave.
Making records is fun.
My little girl, Bella is a blast.
If we ignore Sara Palin, maybe she'll go away.
I love the Autumn.
Fantasy football is addicting.
Legalize pot, please.
I miss my big girl, who's in Thailand.
And, I'm a lucky husband.
Okay everybody, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!
June 23rd, 2010
|Welcome to summer!
Hey everybody, coinciding with England's and USA's victories in the first round of the World Cup, I write you to give an update on all things Agnello!
It has been a remarkable 2 plus months since my last update. I've been incredibly blessed to have some great records come through my doorway!
First and foremost, the Dead Confederate record, "Sugar" will be coming out on my birthday, of all things! This record is really special. My favorite tracks, "Giving It All Away" and "Run From The Gun" should get plenty of airplay. I can't wait for these southern shit kickers to get on the road to support the record.
After a quick mix for a rising, Norwegian artist, Andre Holstad, I had a week off before starting a record with someone who is becoming my one of my favorites. And that man is Kurt Vile. He is a trip and a great artist. We took a 6 week break in the middle of the record while he and his lovely wife had a beautiful daughter.
And now that the record is just about mastered, I can tell you that it is really great. Kurt's a great singer and this batch of songs are really melodically beautiful. It's a bit on the mellow side, but it's one awesome song after another.
We had a blast making it, with trips to Amherst and Philadelphia. We had a great midnight drive back to my house from Amherst, where i tortured him with lots of '70's prog rock and other great records.
While I was breaking from his record, I started a record with a great band I had seen at Piano's last November. They are called Sherlock's Daughter.
The had approached me via internet and me and Sharon were blown away by their set. So after they relocated to Brooklyn, post SXSW, we got down to the business of arrangement and rehearsal of the songs.
It was awesome doing pre pro with them. Great band with great ideas and lotsa energy and talent. Fronted by the beautiful Tanya Horo, who I can honestly say is my favorite Kiwi.
So like the Kurt record, we took a 6 week break, which drove the band nuts, while I took a 2 week vacation around weddings and Mother's Day and then finished the Kurt Vile record.
We eventually got back to work finishing the Sherlock's Daughter and it was worth the wait. Not yet mastered, this record will knock your socks off.
Many instruments and rhythms and all these kids sing! It was a lot of fun making the record, whether we were hard at work or certain drummers were climbing trees naked or recording autoharp in the garden or bbq'ing at my house. Love these guys.
Kurt's record will out sometime in the Autumn. Don't know about the Sherlock's, but we'll see.
A couple of other thoughts. Also in the last months, I've been involved in some other shorter projects. Mean Creek, a new band from up in Boston are comers. They have a raw energy that will rip your face off. I did a 7" with them for Old Flame records and it was 2 awesome days. I hope to talk about a full length with them.
I mixed an EP for The Heavenly States. Great band from the west coast. I've known them for 5 years and Ted is one of the funniest guys I've ever worked with. Special guests on the EP include Britt from Spoon and Eugene Miramen!
Last and not least, I did a great record with a wonderful singer named Amy Bezunartea. She is the significant other of Jennifer O'Connor and boy she has a great voice. In fact they sing great together. That record is being mastered right now by Alan Douches. Very Excited!
Looking back on the year so far, it's great to have been involved in so many cool projects. Like last year, the first two quarters have been exciting.
And if any of you haven't heard, my 6 month stay at Work's End, err I mean Worlds End did not go so glowingly. So I am back to working with my dear wife, Sharon. We are more of a mom and pop organization anyway. And this way, I know how I'm being represented and I know what projects I'd like to go for. Okay, be well everyone!