Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Dire Wolves Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band live at Acme Records and Music Emporium in Milwaukee on April 13, 2019 (afternoon show)

Here is the recording from the afternoon set that the Dire Wolves performed at that eminent and enjoyable palace of recorded and live music in the Cream City -- the one and only Acme Records. I was energized and elated to be behind the band and watching them perform for a packed crowd on Record Store Day.

Please see the previous post for some of my thoughts about this wonderful band. I can summarize, however: this band is the most interesting and unpredictable rock group in the US. It takes a lot of effort to make improvised music gel into a coherent experience -- effort and a willingness to be flexible and incorporate into your performance something related to what others are doing on stage with you. It can be a painful experience watching two or three stubborn musicians perform at the same time, each one wanting to go their own way so that it sounds like two (or three) different recordings being played back simultaneously, without the wit of someone like John Cage to make the chaos sublime.

This group seems like they have been playing together every week for years (but they haven't -- that's the amazing thing) and make it look effortless -- a lot of effort is needed to make things look effortless.

I briefly mentioned in the previous Elkhorn post that there is no "sound person" per se at Acme and that I volunteered to help the band on a last-minute basis. There wasn't anybody else there to do the job, and Acme was chaotic enough with a packed crowd for record store day, bands coming in and out the back door, everyone including musicians carrying stacks of LPs they were buying, and so on.

Taralie Peterson asked me if I had a DI box (Direct Input box -- this changes the impedance of an audio signal so that a microphone-level signal can be inputted to mixer requiring a line-level signal, and vice versa) and I quite unhelpfully informed her that I did have one, but it was at home.  My apologies to her, and I am going to donate my DI box to Acme for future shows.

Much to Taralie's credit, she expressed concern to me throughout the show that Arjun's violin was buried in the PA. I went out in front of the speakers several times to make sure he was there for all to hear. Arjun provides one of the really unique audio textures for the band and often the interaction between his longer lines of melody and Taralie's abstract broken vocal sounds is the most enjoyable thing happening in the mix.

This recording was made using a 50:50 mix of the soundboard feed and a Superlux S502 stereo microphone (fixed ORTF configuration) which was placed at the stage lip, a bit stage left of center. These two sources were recorded in four channels to a Sound Devices MixPre 6 and then combined with Audacity. Some very gentle compression and minimal parametric EQ were applied using Audacity. xAct as always was used to prepare ALAC/m4a as well as mp3 files.

The SoundCloud stream is below. You should be able to stream the audio without using the SoundCloud app. Please remember that downloading the files (see the end of this post) will result in higher fidelity than the mp3 stream which SoundCloud provides. I am very happy with how the recording turned out:

Please support these fine artists and decent people by going to their shows, buying multiple copies of their merchandise (your friends need the music -- why aren't you buying music for your friends?), and talking to them like they are real human beings after shows. If they don't mind.

Dire Wolves Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band is:
Arjun Mendiratta: Violin
Brian Lucas: electric bass
Jeffrey Alexander: guitar
Sheila Bosco: drums
Taralie Peterson: sax, vocals, percussion


(suitable for burning to CDs)

(lossless compression audio file playable on iPhones and computers)

320kbps mp3 file (76 MB)
(highest quality mp3 possible)

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