Catching up on our blogging ( 7″ update, Video shoots, Upcoming Shows, and Reassessing the whole 7″ plan)

Hello folks,

It’s been a while since our last update so it seemed a good time to post one and let you folks know about our next show, where C is for Cthulhu stands, and elaborate on the how we decided to revise our whole 7″ plans after this next release. Maybe I should start off with the whole 7″ thing.

OK, well, much like my getting a fat lip from tripping on my shoelace on the tennis courts the other day, when the LP4 fails at something, we do so spectacularly.  In this case we have to admit that the whole idea behind releasing 7″s looked great on paper but in practice, eh, not so much.

If you remember, last year we announced out idea for releasing 7″s instead of albums.  The way we figured it, we would release two 7″ EPs a year and so would have a steady stream of new releases.  Nice idea sure but in the end, impractical.  The biggest monkey wrench in our plan was the fact that we now make videos.  Seriously, if we were just releasing music, this 7″ would likely have been out by now but that’s not the case.  This “C is for Cthulhu” shoot is our most ambitious to date and there were and are a lot of issues with completing it.  First we had to build miniature sets (which takes forever) then everything from green screens, light rigs, location shoots, scheduling a bunch of folks with conflicting schedules, and so on conspired against our best laid plans.  And now, while some stop-motion work and one crucial live-action shot have been completed, the rest is effectively on-hold until the second week of May and it’s all because of schedule conflicts.  Once those Green Screen scenes are shot in May, the most complicated work will be behind us leaving me with just stop motion and a few more location shoots to wrap it up.  That would be fine except that when I look at the calendar, it’s a bit disappointing given our plan for this to have been a winter release.

That’s all incredibly inefficient.  On the other hand, if you are releasing an album, you can make one flagship video for one song and call it “go” time.  Lots of music and one video to help get the word out – done.  Maybe, if you have some time you can make a few other videos along the way but those aren’t make or break.  But when you have a 7″, the video to song ratio is much worse.  You just don’t get as much mileage out of the same amount of video work.  That’s not to say that making videos isn’t fun or rewarding – they are – but just that if you took half the songs on an album and released them as singles, you’d have a lot more videos to make and the time involved in making them doesn’t get any shorter.  The end result is that the music takes a lot longer to be released and the amount of music you release slows down exponentially and, while videos are super fun to make, the main work of a band is to make music.

So where that leaves us is that “C is for Cthulhu” (long, long ago recorded and mastered) will be the last in this 7″ release experiment.  We are now expecting it to be released some time in the late summer (July or August).  The artwork is nearly done and the masters should be off to the plant soon and of course our video should be completed by then too.  To be sure, the wait will be worth it.  Everything from the music, to the 7″ cover art, and the video will be over the top awesome but you’ll have to just wait a bit longer than we had hoped and we’re sorry about that.

After this release we’ll move back to releasing full length records or 12″ EPs.  In fact we already have the title track for that next endeavor worked out.  It’s  track called “Ampalanche” for which we already have a video planned and we should be recording in the next few months.  Sure, we may be 9 to 12 months away from that project’s release date but the good thing there is we can promise you guys a lot more music than just two or three songs in that next release so more bang for your buck for you.

Oh and as I mentioned, we had an all day shoot for the “C is for Cthulhu” video at Valhalla last month that went really well.  Here are some shots Larry and Clinton took and a video Steve posted.

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It was a lot of work, a lot of fun to be sure, and we were pretty happy with the rough cuts of the footage.  Christian Best and Stevie Sims were both great in their roles and the Valhalla staff was pretty accommodating and nice enough to play along with all our silliness.  I’d show you some of the footage but I don’t want to spoil it for you guys.

Oh and let me close this post with letting you know about our next show.

We ‘re playing with Only Beast at Rudz on Saturday 03 May which should be a lot of fun.  We’re playing second because we kind want to kick back and have a few beers while Only Beast kicks out the jams.  College Station’s Ex-Optimists will open and we plan on bringing the whole multimedia thing out for this one.  So come on down and slam a few beers with us.

Until next time…

 

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Bad Idea #46 : When Recording Kiss, Drink Like Ace

IMG_0931See that there on the left? Them’s the makins for Russians! Black, White, it don’t matter!   All that matters is Vodka and 70 proof Kaluha Especial (that’s Kaluha w/ Rum) will, as Clinton and Charlie would soon find out, take you down… and hard.

So, why provide hard booze to middle aged rock dudes who handle their liquor with the same restraint and grace as a dorm of college freshmen? It’s because we were assigned with doing a cover of Kiss’ “She” for an upcoming anthology of Kiss songs and being the Kiss scholars we are, it seemed in the spirit of things to get completely shit faced drunk in honor of The Spaceman himself, Ace Frehley.  Check out Ace’s most glorious cinematic moment below!

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“Leave it to me, Starchild, I’ll bend these beams with [think Ace, think!] myyyy mind.” I dunno about you but given Ace’s infamous debauchery and drunkenness, that sounds more in the spirit of the kind of drunken bet you’d make at a bar. Luckily, Gene is there to talk sense into Ace.  All joking aside, we are glad to hear that Ace seems to have his booze problems in his past but we did kind of think this might be a good idea at the time.  You see, beer kind of restricts your throat a bit while harder booze seems to loosen it.  So we thought not only was it in keeping with Kiss’ legacy but also good for Charlie and Clinton’s vocals.  That’s not quite how it ended up.  That 70 proof Kaluha was gone by the end of the night and the Vodka was a mere shadow of its former self.  Split between a lot of people that wouldn’t be so bad but what we didn’t realize at the time was that Clinton kept going back to the well and Charlie didn’t even to bother mixing a Russian – he just knocked back a 50/50 mix until the bottle of Kaluha was expertly depleted.  The result was THIS and  THIS!!!. He didn’t threaten to bend bars with his mind but man, I now know so much more about Star Trek Voyager now.

IMG_0932Meanwhile, Clinton (seen here before the booze got the better of him) was so bonked out that he couldn’t finish the session that night and ended up crashed on the sofa (Steve kindly set his alarm to wake him for work the next day).  If he meant to channel Ace Frehley, he ended up more in Nikki Sixx territory or maybe that lead guitarist from Twisted Sister.  Needless to say, diminishing returns was an understatement that night and the next morning a hungover Clinton Heider sent us this e-mail..

“I think we need to add “White Russians” to the list of beverages that are banned from band practice.  Vodka is evil.”

 

POSTSCRIPT: Clinton safely slept it off and did return a week later to complete both his vocals and his guitar parts. They we dubbed indubitably bad-ass by all.

Not much is known about Charlie outside of the fact that he did complete his vocals that night but he doesn’t say very much about what happened after the session. All we do know is that we got a call from Bob Costas in Sochi asking us to please come pick him up the next day, something about a fight with the Olympic bear mascot in a bar, and to please, please keep him away from the Vodka.

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Next Week – Live with Brooklyn’s Huntronik and Jealous Creatures

Hey y’all a bit of short notice but we’re playing a show next week. With Brooklyn’s Huntronik and Houston’s ever awesome Jealous Creatures over at Mango’s Music Cafe right in the heart of Montrose.  It’s going to be an early show with us going on around 10pm and Jealous Creatures going on around 9pm so come on out and don’t sweat work or school on Thursday.

Check back soon as we’ll have updates on this show soon and also a wrap-up on the Kiss recording sessions tomorrow.

Feb19

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“Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights” is out today

So here it is months later and our Kate Bush track is finally seeing the light of day.  We’ll be celebrating in the studio with the usual beer and booze while recording KISS’s “She” for another anthology and stepping out between breaks to see CJ Boyd (who just happens to be in Houston performing) just down the street at Cardoza Art (Here is the event link on Facebook).  It’s a free show and BLACKIE is playing too so it’s gonna be some serious whoop-up!

Now, folks, if you’d told me when we started this band that we’d be recording a Kate Bush cover, I’d have laughed in your face but here we are on the 4th of February 2014 and Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights is out today and yes, we are right there in 0s and 1s doing just that.

I’m sure Steve will be happy if I go on the record here and state that Steve (the most Rock and Roll member of the LP4) hates Kate Bush’s music.  Others in the band may not care for her work but Steve really, really cannot stand it on every level – her voice, her composition, the recordings, you name it.  I’m sure if I even gave him a tosser like “But dude she’s Kate Bush, CBE!”   Steve would not even acknowledge that “Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire!” is a badass title to have.

So, how do you approach a cover if you are the only person in the band who is a fan?  I mean, yes, of course, I knew if everyone voted to do it, Steve would put his grumbling aside and take to the task like a pro but that didn’t mean that I could discount his distaste entirely and walk on eggshells I did.  I picked 4 songs which I felt could be adapted but eventually, with some help from Larry, chose “Watching You Without Me” from Hounds of Love because it would be the most wide-open of all the songs for adaptation.  The final approach I took was to only have Larry and Mlee hear the original song and let Steve, Clinton, and Charlie wing it.  Giving people only the barest of direction can be pretty annoying for musicians in a recording session but by doing this, not only would I not torture them with music they didn’t care for but more importantly they could approach it with a clean slate and not have any preconceptions of the track.  It was just a lot of booze, here are two notes and “Larry, hit that beat!”  Steve ended up inverting the bass line, Clinton channelled Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan,” and Charlie heard echoes of Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand.”   I had a ton of reverb so I just kind of went all Will Sargent on my open-tuned guitar and the ever brilliant Mlee brought it all together.  I thought her drunky drunk live scratch track was pretty awesome as they were but Mlee came in the week after and redubbed that track with all these layers of vocals to get that cool etherial vocal thing she does so well and just nailed it perfectly.  Honestly, while the jam was pretty cool, without her vocals, the track just wouldn’t have held together as well as it does.   In the end, everyone was pretty happy with the results and we were all pretty thrilled to be able to contribute.

It’s a very cool and thoughtful project to be sure and we are very grateful to C.J. Boyd, Molly McDermott, and Daena Lower spearheading this idea. As we mentioned in the last post, the anthology is a fundraising tool for  reproductive rights organizations, low-cost abortion clinics, and other pro-choice advocates.  For a mere $20 you get 28 tracks from diverse artists and the beneficiaries of this project will include places like Kentucky Support Network in Louisville, KY; The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project in Richmond, VA;  WV FREE in Charleston, WV; Texas Equal Access Fund in Dallas, TX; The Body is Not An Apology in Oakland, CA; and The National Network of Abortion Funds. Cool comp, good cause, so go check it out.

Oh and one last thing.  GIMP Master Clinton, felt he didn’t get enough mileage out of this visual malapropism in the band e-mails, so I’ll go ahead and post it here…

Crate Bush

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Kate Bush and Cthulhu updates

It’s shaking up to be a busy year for us this year so we figured we’d let you in on a couple of projects that should be completed the next few months. First Up…

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We just got word from C.J. Boyd that our version of Kate Bush’s “Watching You Without Me” made the cut for the anthology and that Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights will be available on February 4th on Bandcamp. You can check out album’s bandcamp page here:

http://runningupthathill.bandcamp.com/

It’s a pretty nice line-up and as a fan of Adventure Time and LAKE (who do the show’s  closing theme) I’m pretty amused that former drummer Lindsey Schief kicks-off the comp. The idea behind the whole project is pretty neat. C.J. and Molly McDermott will provide postcards for various reproductive rights organizations and those organizations can use it to raise funds or however they want at no cost to them. The sales on Bandcamp will go to offset the royalties and other costs involved until those are paid. After all those costs are paid, the remaining Bandcamp money will go to National Network of Abortion Funds. So, kind of cool to be involved and kudos to C.J. And Molly for making it happen and being nice enough to extend us an invitation.

Our other project is of course the “C is for Cthulhu” record which I can tell you is recorded, mixed, and mastered. We even have gotten our good pals Wo Fat and Southern Train Gypsy from the DFW tentatively set for the record release shows once we set a date.

So, you may ask, what’s the hold-up on the so-called Winter EP and will we finish before Springtime?

Well, to the first question, the reason is not the music but all in packaging and the video. As you can see in the picture above, the stop-motion set is largely completed but there are still a few small things to work out before I can start shooting. At the moment, I need to create a stepper motor controlled track for the camera to get shots exactly how I want them. (I’m researching right now on how best to do this and will likely order all the parts I need this weekend and have it built soon after.) In other words, it’s all been months of building this and that oddball item.

But stop motion isn’t everything; there is arranging all the live action shoots and even that hasn’t been just about casting and coordinating schedules. We had to buy a large green screen, lights, and I built (with a lot of help of my dad) a light control box which will let me control the lighting for up to 12 lights from six dimmers. Did I mention that we haven’t shot even a single frame outside of test shots at this point?

So, yeah, the video shoot is working out to be a bit more involved than we initially expected and our goal is to have the video completed or at least substantially complete before we set a release date which is a big big factor in the delay.

As for the packaging, well that’s the other part of the puzzle.  Clinton recently found an artist who he thinks will work perfectly for making the cover art. He runs a site called the Cryptocurium (http://www.cryptocurium.com/inner-sanctum/) that does all this crazy Cthulhu stuff. In fact, we’re using one of his idols for the video which is how Clinton found him.  We’re looking forward to working with him and can’t wait to see what he dreams up.

Which all brings us to the big question.  Given that Winter ends on March 19th, will the Winter EP really be a Winter EP?  Well, to borrow a line from Captain Barbosa , the LP4 Pirate code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.   Yes, it is possible we finish by the end of Winter but it will be tight if we do make it and the odds are that the release won’t happen until April.  In the end, it’s better to have something we’re really happy with and be slightly late of our self-imposed deadline than to just rush it out just to get it out.

Regardless of whether we make that deadline or not, as we start shooting and moving forward in the project we’ll be posting a bit more so you guys can see how utterly insane the project has become.

Happy New Year

 

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Charlie’s Back-Up for tomorrow night.

Charlie’s nursing a cold so we’re all waiting to see how he holds up tomorrow night.  But there’s no need to fear, friends!  In case Charlie is too ill to perform tomorrow night, we thought it might be a good idea to have a back-up.  I mean what could go wrong?  So, after a small search we found this guy on Craiglist.  —>

We rung him up, asked him if he Rocked, and he replied that his “function is to probe for biological infestations, to destroy that which is not perfect.”  Works for us!

See you guys tomorrow at Rudz!

 

 

 

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4th Annual Christmas Blowout at Rudyards, this Saturday!

1459730_691182584228029_2101148910_nSo yes, it’s that time of year again!  Our esteemed colleagues in Project Grimm, that project that is Grimm, will be hosting their annual Christmas Blowout this coming Saturday, December 21st, at Rudyards on Waugh.  Only $6 measly stinkin’ dollars from out of your ass pocket, and you can see/hear three rippin’ rock bands that will make you question your belief system, and possibly come to believe something crazy like the whole universe is a hologram.  It rocks JUST THAT MUCH.  And you could be there.

 

We’ll be opening, so get there early.  Usually shows like this kick in sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., so be there on the early side, and enjoy a fine-ass Rudz burger if you’re a meat-eater, and several shots if you are not.  Or maybe the black bean nachos.  I can’t be sure which is more vegetarian-acceptable.

 

As an added bonus, if you buy one of us a beer, we promise to look at you appreciatively during the subsequent song we play!  So there’s that.  What a guarantee!  What a bargain!  What a show of affection from the band who’s been irritating your earholes for nearly 20 years!  That’s us.

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Just in time for the Holidays – Linus Pauling Quartet Xmas Cards

We were chatting it up on the set of our latest video and one thing we all agreed on is that, generally speaking, Christmas Cards kind of suck. So, we got to talking to the star of our upcoming video (which is for the title track of our upcoming Winter release which we hope to have out sometime early in 2014) and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture while he was on-set for a really bad-ass Christmas card.  Not only was he so good as to stick around for the picture but we even got to include some other famous celebrity villains who just happened to be carpooling with him that evening to their annual Villain Conference.   So below is the result of that endeavor. Now you can say Merry Christmas just the way the big JC himself would like to celebrate it – with the LP4 and Cthulhu.

Thanks Cthulhu for being such a nice guy to work with and Happy Holidays everyone.

(Click for full size image.  Then save, print out, and send to your friends and Family)

Click for full size image. Then save, print out, and send to your friends and Family!! (Cthulhu puppet (c) 2013 the LP4)

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November Reviews and Junk

Ptolemaic Terrascope has been to us what the monolith in 2001 was to the apes.  Thanks to its influence we now know to beat each other with jawbones when settling arguments. But seriously, we love the zine and all it stands for so we were happy to see a belated review for both “Bag of Hammers” and “Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords” ( http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_November_13.htm#LP4 ) by the much too kind Simon Lewis which, along with the review of the summer EP back in July by the illustrious Jeff Penczak (link), gives us a better season than our local football team.  There is also a very short shout-out in the print edition of The Wire from the super all around nice guy Byron Coley which is always neat to me because I used to read reviews from him back in university and his recommendations would often end up on my list when I’d go to the record store.

And speaking of records stores… it was nice to get an order for our summer 7″ from House of Records over in Eugene, Oregon which we thought was kind of neat because well, we just love indie record stores.  We’re blessed in Houston to have some great ones like Cactus and Vinal Edge who we love dearly but it’s always nice to hear from stores outside out fair state.  Here is a little preview for a doc on HOR. Check it out.  Cheers, y’all.

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Saturday! Saturday! SATURDAY!!!! CCSD NOVEMBEERFEST 2013!!!

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Saturday!  Saturday! SATURDAY!!!! 
November 02, 2013!  One evening only!!!  At the world-famous Catty Corner Icehouse..IT’S…

CCSD NOVEMBEERFEST 2013!!!

SEE Deadend Cowboys! (echo: cowboys, coyboys cowboys)  As they jump over 17 school buses, end to end!!!

EXPERIENCE: the mouth searing country flavors of the Smokeridge Boys (echo: …ridge boys, …ridge boys, …ridge boys) as they go head to head with mechanized, fire-breathing, Gundams from Japan!  

HEAR: The deaf defying Linus Pauling Quartet (echo: ..artet, ..artet, ..artet) as they try to clear Disaster Areas’ record for universal loudness armed only with a pignose amps! 

FEEL: The might of Houston’s Project Grimm (echo: grimm, grimm, grimm) as they lay the riffs of doom upon all challengers in the barbed wire cage of death!

YOUR HEART WILL RACE as DJ Moonstomp (echo: ..oonstomp, ..oonstomp, ..oonstomp) arms then eats live hand grenades while being shot out of a cannon!  

All this and some of THE finest Homebrew you will ever have the privilege of sliding down your throat!

But wait there is more!!!

Brats, beans, pretzels and a WHOLE ROASTED PIG by Grillmaster Quy.

It all starts at 2pm and runs through 9PM at the Catty Corner Icehouse, 895 Wakefield Drive!!!!

BE THERE!!!

For more info check out CCSD’s Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/482866041798008

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