Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ghetto blaster retro cool and other news…

Not to be competitive but what’s your brain like to live inside? Quite often my thoughts resemble nitrous oxide fuelled party poppers- going off like the clappers but sadly mostly pointless…spent 50 minutes speed talking my stream of consciousness whilst circular breathing on a car journey recently…you know the usual when you have a captive audience locked in the car with you? Oh, I see….maybe you’re the captivee rather than the captivator…anyway, generously (I thought) turned to Himself and asked for a download of his thoughts and he actually thought about it for a moment and came out with “I really fancy a beer”…and that was it…oh lovely; simple, uncluttered, minimalist chic that. Yes, ok, I admit I did have a moment of brain envy…

In other news, I am feeling a need to dig my chemistry set out of the cupboard, get my evil laugh on and clone the Bossman and myself because WE JUST DON’T STOP WORKING HERE…I’m so late getting this chalkboard up this week because there’s just not enough Jen to go round, y’know? No, no, it’s ok, it’s better this way, less opportunities for getting into trouble…

Loads of music vid filming which involves me running around with a ghetto blaster in hand (don’t even…), several cameras round my neck, a stepladder over my shoulder and my coffee in a handy thermos mug…oh yeah, I’m a cool dude, me…

Loads of editing said film and working out better shots for these music vids…and I can’t remember why but I insisted on a mug of Grand Marnier during one session- apparently I was quite adamant it would help but I think it just helped me to get lippy…

More Story Of Film soundtrack work with Mark Cousins, lovely lovely man, pleeeeeeeze can I interview him next?

Gavin Blackie in working on a NEW song- but I can’t tell you anymore about it, it’s all hush hush…honestly, secrets are no fun if you can’t share them 😉

An artist who cannot be named was in doing a dirty electronica track…rrrrrr…

Joanne Livingstone’s in again mixing down one of her tracks…

Another Offbeat Rhythm Section cover track into an artist’s dropbox (I think this one may have been in a hotter country, maybe the Bossman can dropbox me over there?) In this case, Iain McKinna playing your very own virtual band for a backing track for live gigs…you see why I need to clone him now?

Maggie Aitken’s been in finishing the Heritage Detectives‘ sound effects…

The Offbeat Rhythm Section is getting revved up for the new album coming out soon…the rumour going around is that there are drums getting recorded and mixed down this week for a track called “Pressure On”…watch this space coz there will be a new webpage going up very soon with sneaky peeks of tracks for this album and more on the ORS with interview footage galore…

We’ve had a few meetings with artists in between sessions and I’m sure they probably wonder why the bags under our eyes are a little alarming but seriously, we’re living on coffee, Grand Marnier fumes and the natural high of being in the music biz…ahaha, or in the style of the new lingo I learnt off the naughty girls in the Prestongrange radio chatroom on Sunday night at Tam Mac’s Sunday service, lmao…oh yeah baby, getting hip to the jive now 😉

Offbeat Featured Client- Jim Connor

I can rarely make my husband laugh…well, on purpose anyway, he laughs all the time at things I come out with that I don’t mean to be funny… I wouldn’t mind but he makes me laugh on purpose all the time…I tell him it’s because I have a more eclectic sense of humour than him but to tell you the truth I’m always secretly worried…so it’s somewhat affirming to meet someone with the same sense of humour; when Jim and I emailed each other recently to touch base about his interview with me, Jim’s parting line was

You did say to keep the answers light. Hope you don’t regret it. I do much prefer discussing the origins of the universe…I will now return to my darkened room.

One day Jim, you and I will go on a journey into space, into the great cosmic latte that is our beige universe and hopefully we’ll make it as far as the restaurant at the end of the universe because the question can only be truly worked out over a very good dinner and several bottles of gigglejuice…

Drift Away by J A Connor;

Buy Drift Away at the iTunes store

Beautiful Day by J A Connor

In the meantime here’s Jim’s interview with me; are you sitting comfortably?

Do you have musicians who you admire?

Yes

What’s the story behind your name? Nicknames?

I got my name from my Mum & Dad

Seriously, there is another artist called Jim Connor, hence the JA Connor tag.

Has anyone ever bought you an embarrassing present and how did you react?

No one buys me presents.

If you were on a desert island with electricity and you could take 4 dvd’s what would they be?

As an old fashioned gentleman, I’ll let electricity choose.

What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?

I know you’ll find this hard to believe but my sense of humour has sometimes backfired big style.

If you could only have one picture on the wall where you live, what would it be if it couldn’t be a picture of your family?

Difficult one, I’ve got 4 walls.

What’s the process that you and Iain go through to create each track? Tell me what it’s like working with Iain McKinna, our producer at the Offbeat studio?

Writing my own material I can never decide on the preferred sound. Using Dropbox I’ll send Iain the drum and vocal track. After that the Offbeat Rhythm Section takes over and delivers the goods. We then add the vocals, harmonies and associated effects in the studio. This process works for me, as Iain has the gift of identifying the right feel for the song.

(Just don’t mention the pipes).

Is there a moment in your life that defined you as a musician?

You mean………. I’m a musician?!!

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen with your own eyes?

I go along with my doctor at my last physical.  I have an amazing nose. Apart from that it has to be Angel Falls in Venezuela.

If you could play a gig with any musician throughout history who would it be and why?

There is this guy called Iain McKenna or McKinna, something like that. He’s quite cool. Second choice, Jimmy Buffett as long as we do a Carribean tour.

If you had a time machine, where and when would you go for a vacation?

1950’s California.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’ll tell you when I grow up.

If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

Don’t wait for tomorrow, do it today.

Where in the world has been your favourite place to visit and why?

There’s been a lot of cool places, Havana, Dallas, Mexico’s Pacific coast. But my favourite place at the moment is Offbeat in Edinburgh, because that’s where I finally got my songs sounding the way I want them.  Oh Shucks!

Aw Jim, flattery will get you everywhere 🙂

Read the Bossman’s Blog On Jim

Find Jim on Offbeat Records

If you want to find Jim’s website it’s at;

http://www.ja-connor.com/

How to do the breakfast meeting successfully and other news…

Oh yes yes yes, joy of joys the Bossman took me for a breakfast meeting this morning 🙂 I see a fry-up and my eyes get all dreamy and I start to slaver shamelessly…I gotta tell you I have the requirements for this type of meeting down pat…take it from a pro, this is how you do it;

elasticated waistband for extra room for stuffing in sausage and egg etc and remaining comfy…

a big napkin/apron for collecting said sausage/egg fallout…coz you’re yapping about work at the same time…nobody said it was pretty…

a doggy bag kit for taking extras home…

a travel pillow for compulsory post -meeting snooze on a park bench en route to pick up sprog from holiday club…

rennies for post fry up tummy regrets…never give in to the guilt…

Ahhh, it was goooood, in spite of the scolding we got from Offbeat Kirsty for falling off the veggie wagon…her addition to my list was to take a sick bag but the Bossman and I have tummies that are well practiced in the art of coping with the meat laden fry-up…and I promise I started the day with a healthy apple and carrot juice so it all balances out, right?

In other news, this week we have already had Gavin Blackie in session, laying down a new track…and having a giggle at teabreak 🙂 No I can’t tell you what we had the gigglies about coz it was extremely naughty and rude, obviously…

Filming interviews- remember the rehearsals last week? Well this is it, the beginning of the “for reals” now…the artists are all really well behaved, it’s me who’s driving the Bossman mad 🙂

Then of course there’s all the editing of the interviews…yawn…more CSI chalkduster…

Joanne Livingstone’s in for sessions this week with Tom Findlay, the jazz pianist, laying down jazz keyboards and recording and mixing for gig demos…

Mandy Hinchey In Wales is having Dropbox sessions recording and mixing backing tracks with the Offbeat Rhythm Section, recreating the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Connie Lush tracks. Cool or what? Mandy sends her tracks to the studio by Dropbox, the Offbeat Rhythm Section records and mixes the tracks (while Mandy can do other things like enjoy a cuppa, check her emails, other multitasking taskies…) and then we dropbox the mixes and she can decide on any changes she likes. Mixes then fly back and forth through cyberspace till she’s happy with what she’s got…personally I’d be doing this from somewhere hot and beachlike but Wales is great too… oh yeah and she uses these backing tracks in live gigs…the Offbeat Rhythm Section, your own virtual band…

Maggie Aitken is in from Daisy Chain Associates editing sound effects for the Heritage Detectives performances coming soon…

Iain McKinna, producer fabuloso, is taking a masterclass in studio production…I have to sit there all day listening to how great the Bossman is from everybody- yawn, yawn…no gossip only praise :-p

Actually, to round off the week and seeing as how we’ve been working incredibly hard these last few months, me mainly at working the coffee machine to death, I’m allowing the Bossman some time off this weekend before he gets in trouble with “her indoors”…and before I get into trouble with “him indoors”…my other half got a shock the other night when he saw I had 2 ears instead of a phone permanently glued to the side of my head…

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