Monday, July 28, 2008

tiny zombies

i keep getting sidetracked. this happens to me anytime i'm working on a project. i'm really obsessive about something when i first start it, but then my brain goes on tangents. it makes it hard to finish anything.

along those lines, i've interupted my zombie canvases to start making tiny little zombie watercolors. the good thing is, at least they're still zombies. which means i can kindof stay on task. progress? digress? dress?

so here's the last full-sized zombie painting. he managed to talk me into finishing him before i started on the little one.

and then here are some of the little zombies. they're done on a quarter of a sheet of watercolor paper. so 4x5 inches or something. also, there's a sheet of rough thumbnail drawings for possible new paintings. i like to work out the shape and composition at that size first. then if i like it, i redraw it bigger.

here are two of the small watercolors close up:

thanks for looking

Friday, July 25, 2008

the dark knight

hey yall.
i saw batman the other night, and again yesterday. imax style! holy crap! it's amazing.
if it's playing in imax near you, please see it that way. don't see it normally if you can avoid it. some of the scenes are simply breathtaking in imax. especially with that sound system! by the end of the film, i was sitting in a puddle of my own pee. too gross? sorry.

the movie is absolutely perfect. i had a little trouble with the ending the first time i saw it. something didn't sit right with me about it. like the writers were forcing us towards something. but then after the second viewing i was okay with it.

i know this has been said a million times, but it's such a shame that heath ledger can no longer give us spellbinding performances like this one. he is simple mesmerizing as the joker. in every respect. his mannerisms, voice, attitude. all perfect.

the other night i saw a special on the history channel about batman and all his gadgets. it was a really cool show, because they basically showed you that everything batman has is completely plausible. and in some cases, the military is already using a lot of it. i so love that christopher nolan went to such ends to make sure the series is grounded in reality. i mean, i love the tim burton batman(s?) as much as anyone, but i definitely prefer this direction.

yikes, that's a lot of babbling. in any case, see it. multiple times.

in other news, i just went to michael's crafts and bought a bunch of zombie-making supplies

and oh, here's that target lamp, graciela =)

-pete, the dork knight

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

listening party

we had the listening party last night at georgetown masters in nashville. it was a lot of fun. we invited everyone who was on the album, plus people from the label. we also had a few other friends come by. we put chairs in two of georgetown’s three studios.

it was so exciting for me to finally hear all the songs together, as one big piece. people responded very positively. it was very encouraging to have everyone noticeably impressed with it. neil and i are extremely proud of this album, and we’re both quite excited to get it out into the world.

Monday, July 21, 2008


mastering is the process of making every song sound like it belongs on the same record. usually it involves making everything a little louder. some decisions are made about lead vocals levels, to let them sit right above the instruments. we listen for clarity. we listen to make sure nothing is distorting, or is pushed too hard. this process usually takes a day.

my favorite part of mastering is the giant speakers we get to listen on. each speaker is taller than me. there’s a magic spot in the room to sit, so that you hear everything sonically just right. tomorrow night, we’re going to have a listening party to hear the whole album straight through.

[picture of speakers]

Friday, July 11, 2008

two more zombies!

hello again,
i just finished two more zombie paintings today. i bought a lamp from target, so i can actually see what i'm painting. =)
i'm thinking of making prints of this series to sell in the online store. is that a silly idea?


Thursday, July 10, 2008


we approached mixing a little differently this time. last album, neil and i sat in the studio with craig, our mixing engineer, while he worked. mixes take about a day per song, so we were there for almost two weeks. sitting. this time, neil decided to send a harddrive down to craig with neil’s rough mixes. craig worked his mixey magic and sent mp3s to neil for review. then after all the songs were at a comfortable place, neil came down to nashville for two days of final touches.
since i am staying here in nashville, it was easy for me to drive by the studio to hear craig’s progress. which was fun for me. it was exciting to hear how each song was progressing at this stage. a lot of times, craig has to make decisions about instrumentation. sometimes instruments occupy the same sonic space and it gets confusing. sometimes, he needs to punch a hole for the lead vocals to poke through.

[use critical hit verse example rough vs final]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

zombie paintings!

hi superfriends,
i finished a couple zombie paintings today. here they are:

it's been raining a lot these last few days here in nashville. i hope that stops soon.

Friday, July 04, 2008


i really wanted 'wanted' to be good. i wanted to enjoy 'wanted'. i can say that i had fun watching it. but alas, it's not a good movie. not at all. i can forgive a lot in action films. especially when they try to create an interesting world, like 'the matrix', where the rules are different from our world.

in 'wanted', you have to be willing to accept a world where people can bend bullets. you have to be ready to suppress the gag reflex when watching a man leap through glass from one building to another. i can. accept that, i mean, not leap from buildings.

but whatever rules a movie sets up for its world, they have to be consistent. and the world of 'wanted' is not. and unfortunately, the worst infraction of its own rules happens at the film's climax.and then of course there's the message. the final line of the film made me feel a little annoyed. i said, 'really? that's really how you want me to feel right now?'

what did you guys think?

john hancock

we've been in the van for two straight days on our way to casper, wyoming for a fourth of july show.
14 hours yesterday and 10 hours today. so of course, the first thing we do when we get to town is go see a movie! woohoo! and already i love this town: there are four movie theatres within 100 feet of each other. next to one of them is an art supply store. and next to that is a commercial space for rent. hmm. i could live there and paint and see movies everyday.

ok, so on to hancock. superb! (that's super with a b). it was waaay better than i expected. it's very funny. of course jason bateman is amazing. i love that guy. i'll see just about anything with him in it (apparently they are making an 'arrested development' movie?).

it's a fun, unique story, with a lot of unexpected moments. the action is exciting. the performances are all great. the effects are sortof stinky. but they are consistent, so it ends up working as a 'look'.

anyway, it was a lot of fun. i'm interested to hear what you all think. tomorrow, i'm going to see 'wanted'. and then apparently we have to play a show? =)