is the name of my home/project studio, wherever my gear (and I) happen to be.
I would like to boast that I was a trailblazer in this whole home recording thing, upgrading from the OK-for-lo-fi Tascam 488 (cassette multitrack on which Dan Bryk, A**hole was begun) to my first DAW the Korg 1212 I/O with BIAS Deck (which was a little ahead of its time) before settling on the (expensive and underpowered yet still the only sensible choice since Pro Tools was the gold standard) initially 8-track, then 16, then 24-track Digi 001 that made the Mississauga Rattler Demos as well as the first Bicycles recordings.
This is where I note that I indeed continue to do freelance record production: co-writing, arrangement, recording, engineering, mixing. I also design and consult in the creation of Digital Audio studio systems and environments. Reasonable rates. Your place or mine.
Before we had laptops robust enough to make records on, I used to travel with a customized red suitcase containing a Mac G4, drives, a Firewire 1814 and a couple of mics to do remote recording with. I had this in the trunk once while crossing the Buffalo border down to Jersey City for my friend Thom’s wedding.
I don’t know if you know that scene in Highway 61 where Jello Biafra plays the archetypal US customs agent haranguing Don McKellar and Valerie Buhagiar: “WHY should I let YOU into MY home?” For me, that was the wrong day and the wrong immigration guy:
“How do I know you’re not going to take this SUPER HIGH-TECH RECORDING GEAR (Mac G4 and an 1814, lol) and RECORD A BUNCH OF BANDS FOR MONEY?”
First time in life I was refused entry to the US, and here my troubles began. Once you are refused entry that first time there is a big red target on your head/passport and subsequent trips to the US became an ordeal. I had been traveling back and forth to NC to be with my eventual wife, and all of a sudden I had no guarantee I would see her. At that point basically I had to drop music and get offered a day job in NC. Which the INS insisted could only be in the field I had a degree and previous work experience for. Which in my case was graphic design. No latte-slinging for me.
Anyways, thank g_d they make laptops robust enough to make records on these days. With interfaces and 3TB drives that fit in your backpack. And magic boxes of DSP that give you a close enough version of that 50 lb. tube limiter we paid $250 to hire to mix with back in the day.
As I’ve moved around quite a bit over time, each location has received its’ very own tagline, beginning with Christmas Record.
- Flabby Road (ie. the original): Mississauga ON
- Flabby Road 2: The Klumps, Durham NC
- Flabby Road 3: Rise of the Machines, Raleigh NC
- Flabby Road 4: This Time It’s Personal, Upper West Side NY
- Flabby Road 5: The Empire Strikes Back, Dar Es Salaam Tanzania
- Flabby Road 6: New Nightmare, Washington, DC
Upon my/our family’s return to Durham we searched for a home that could provide Flabby Road with a hopefully more permanent and customized space. This amazingly manifested itself in the fairy-dusted, readymade decor of a tween’s former bedroom, complete with fake plastic trees and fairies.
Many, many fairies.
While it was tremendously tempting to call it Furious 7, it seemed like time to retire the Flabby Road iterations in favour of something less brittle.
Currently we are going with The Fairy Prince Rainbow Room, a reference to a recording that has never actually been released, though we will get to that one day.