Thursday, November 29, 2007

the new album is cursed

so i officially declare the new album cursed. after what seemed like the end of problems as the album had been mailed off and all necessary paperwork filled out. This is the last e-mail i sent out on Thursday, 11/15:

Hey Sam, The Proof Looks great. we approve! you can proceed with the printing. so assuming that the printing process starts tomorrow, given the 12-15 business days (minus thanksgiving) that should put us somewhere between Dec 4th-Dec7th. sounds great! I'll be out of town w/ no e-mail access from Nov 18th-Nov28th. but you can contact my bandmate Alex at the address attached if you have any questions/issues. thanks again, and let us know if you need anything else and when we should mail out the 2nd check (and for how much). -eric

a few days later we received this e-mail, Monday 11/19 ... title "Master Failed":

Eric, We ran into a snag with your audio master. It has failed and we cannot use it to replicate. My mastering guy sent me an e-mail detailing the reason:
"The CD-Text length field in the Size information block does not match the actual amount of data that is recorded. This error typically occurs when reading CD-Text from a CD. The CD-Text data is formatted into Packs, one of which describes the length of CD-Text information. This error occurs when the length specified does not match the actual length of the CD-Text data that is read by the CD-ROM drive. If we are to Fix, Please Provide what the CD-Text should be. Or we can Delete the CD-Text all together." Please advise as to what you would like us to do...........

Thankfully they sent this only to me, and since i was running around europe, i had little time to get to a computer. so i thankfully responded 11/26 (after using the computer in the lobby of the hostel). Why they chose not to contact Alex and continuously e-mailed me, i dunno. but basically printing has now been delayed a week and most likely it won't affect our deadline, but honestly. "Master Failed" what the heck?!

i'm fully expecting people's CD players to burst into flames upon the first listen. perhaps we'll do some promo "fire extinguisers with the first 10 copies" ... or maybe garlands of garlic to ward off whatever beasts come out of the subwoofers.

time to invest in disclaimer labels "if you die from listening to this cd, it's not our fault."

UPDATE: apparently the album made it through their last checks and all is well now. they'll be providing an update to me when the printing is completed. phew!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

new songs?

i'm not sure if this will work, but Mark Murphy, who put together the whole GREEN Exhibition @ the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, asked me if i knew how to embed or post music in blogger links, and i've never done it before, so i figured i'd figure it out here, for your (my) listening pleasure. if you didn't make it to Santa Monica last saturday, we had a blast, and the exhibit was most excellent - highly recommended if you are up in that area. which was an impressive area - parking lot at the end of a shady-looking alley, surrounded by about a dozen galleries, with lots of complimentary beer and wine, at least on opening saturday night. anyways, i digress... let's try this embedded flash player thing out! ... and i'm not sure how the powers that be feel about free things, but eric is on a whole other continent right now (he went to Europe without the rest of us Modlins...) soooo if you want, you can right-click the title below and Save As... to get yourself the mp3:

The Modlins - You Said

i think i like the look of that a bit more than if it was just the standard quicktime embed. maybe?

The Modlins - She Won't Miss Me

i guess i could just put the whole ms player up, but that sort of defeats the point, i think. but on that note, i did see that apparently we can have 6 songs up on our page now, so i'll talk to the other 2/4s of the modlins at practice in 2.5 hours, and maybe just maybe throw another new one up there tonight tonight.

Friday, November 16, 2007

calm before the storm

after this saturday, it's gonna be pretty quiet around the modlins practice space and the blog. i'm going out of town on sunday, and won't be back in town until Dec 5th. *single tear. so don't expect much updating. but to hold you over check out our shout out in the new CityBeat's "notes from the smoking patio". (thanks Rosey!)

oh, and here's the piece that patrick did that would in turn become the cover of our album (damn that guy is talented):

GREEN Exhibition - this saturday (last nov show)

so we're playing one more show before our CD release. it's up in santa monica at this gallery, exhibit details (and lots of amazing pictures) can be found here:

the location:

Robert Berman Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue / C2 / Santa Monica / CA / 90404
310.315.1937 /

and here's the "press release":

Over 40 artists were invited to participate in the upcoming exhibition GREEN, curated by publisher/designer Mark Murphy.Green will feature original paintings, (24" x 24" and 24" x 36") that look to explore human interaction with nature. Green will be take place at the Robert Berman Gallery, in Santa Monica at Bergamond Station, gallery C2 on November 17th featuring traveling artists, inspired artworks, and the music of the Modlins. “The art work is amazing.”Check out or for more information and gallery show times : Green will be on display until December 22 :

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the modlins and technology don't mix

well, as if we couldn't have any other problems, we did. as of 5:45pm friday, my protools Digi002 unit is dead! not sure what happeend, but it turns on and is unresponsive. the mute button lights up, nothing else. so let's see, this recording project has killed a hard drive and a protools unit. great.

but we did the FINAL mastering session on sunday with kyle, which was comical because the last thing that separated us and the CD was hitting "eject" on his laptop. we got the rainbow pinwheel of death. to the point that we actually had to force quit the application and restart his computer just to eject the CD. figures that it even something so simple would be laden with problems for us. but i mailed the CD and artwork off yesterday. overnighted. so they should be getting it today and they'll get started with the printing. as i updated on friday, two new songs are up on myspace now. i'll try to get them up here soon too so you all can listen (for those with myspace blocked at work like me)

our usual band practice resumes today. and we'll start brainstorming ideas of promotion and preparation for the album release show.

we'd love to hear your feed back. how do you like the new songs? ideas for the CD release? things you'd like to see the modlins do (cartwheels?) ... music video ideas? maybe that was one too many requests to put into a post.

Friday, November 9, 2007

2 new songs

hey everyone, check out our myspace .... 2 new songs posted. You Said and She Won't Miss Me. hope you like 'em. have a good weekend.

okay, maybe one more day

well last night was like putting all the gift wrapping paper on, but having to wait another day to put the bow on.

due to a mix-up in who was bringing beer, we ended up with a 12 pack of PBR, 6 pack of Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, and a 6 pack of Pizzaport Sharkbite. a guaranteed win! we ended up going through all the songs, doig the final bounces. watching kyle work his EQ magic. but unfortunately there wasn't quite enough time to do the final mastering to even out the levels and get the times between the songs right. but, other than that, we've got the finished songs. just wanna put that last bow on it. but that means we have a few days to sit, let all the songs soak in. assess the order.

so real Real soon we'll have a song up. but since we can still make some changes (and i have a few minor ones) we don't want to post something that might not be the final. so ... a few more days. but stick through it. it's gonna be worth it.

.... but last night we worked nearly til midnight, had to come home and then burn CDs for the gang. so it ended up being too late to go to the SD Dialed In show. I hope it went well (is there any doubt? of course not), i'll be waiting for Rosey to post her review of her show so i can see the party i missed. but there will be others. We saw Jason yesterday and we were talking about the show how we both wanted to go but had plans that night and we said "well, not a huge thing, since we did see a nearly same line-up a month ago at zombie lounge" (sub in Pocket Utopia for Henry Clay People) but still would've been fun. hope you all made it out to that show.

and we're still polishing up artwork and stuff, so it'll be a bit before we get a copy of the cover for your viewing pleasure.

but yes, expect in the next few days, week or so, 1) Cover Art, 2) a song or two to indulge in 3) pre-order ability for the new album. stay mod and have a safe weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

one more day

so last night was a busy night. we all met up at the house, started discussing the tracklist, showed some footage of my friend gen's film .. specifically scene's of us playing live or the characters talking about "going to the modlins show" ... hah!

then jetted over to kyle's place to listen to snippets of some of the more polished mixes he had worked on. i dunno if it was just his headphones, or what he had did, but it sounded amazing. bad night's sleep is gonna be a gem, esp. a gem as the closer.

the closer? why yes .... after much discussion we've settled on the tracklist, unless there's some cold feet by one of us, expect the tracklist to look much like this:

The Modlins - With Friends Like These
1. Her Political Heart
2. She Won't Miss Me
3. Full Moon
4. With Friends Like These
5. Why Did It Take So Long?
6. For The Good Of The Armor
7. Oh--OKay
8. You Said
9. Warm Up (Or Say Goodbye)
10. Not Everybody
11. We're Not Quite Through
12. I Could Have Died
13. It's Up To Me
14. Bad Night's Sleep

there's still some discussion on the cover art, so we'll get that to you (yes you) as soon as we can. as for tonight. Tonight! is the mastering session. we're meeting up at kyle's at 6pm and going til it's done. which means that there's a chance we may miss the SD Dialed In Blogaversary at The Ken Club. But that means you all should go (since we can't go, and you can't come with us. we'd like to take you, but there's no more room in the car, so sorry. what you have a bus pass? still no. my you're persistent...) Swim Party, Writer and Pocket Utopia. an awesome night of music. Pocket Utopia is a friend of mine's (mike) band. i haven't heard them yet, just read rosey' review relating him a bit to bright eyes, but if his music is as good as he is as a person, you're in for a treat. and also, why did that have to come out like a saturday afternoon noon special cheesy moment. "good as he is as a person' who am i? someone who speaks the truth my friends. and with that, know that writer is a band worth checking out. we saw them at the zombie lounge with swim party a couple weeks back and they were most excellent. i hadn't heard of them before and i'm not sure why. they rocked. so do yourself a favor and check em out. swim party? yeah, they're good i guess. if you're into that whole awesome music thing. personally, i'm not. why do you think i'm in the modlins? (oooo dig!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

album title: with friends like these

that's right. i'm sure we've dropped hints about it (ahem, blog title), probably even explicitly said it (hello! blog title). but as far as i'm aware, there's been no official announcement. so to make it official, here it is.

the modlins 2nd album will be titled: with friends like these

kill me with a brick!!! 5:30am?

so i got into work not too long ago, after our latest night (or earliest morning) to date. matt and I had to get everything finished up (all of the fixes al shot us over yesterday, mixing the last few songs, bounces, write up where everything is for kyle, etc. etc.) .... and sadly, that took til 5:30am.

what really sucked was this was also the last night our friend Nafi was in town for the Neuroscience conference. he had been visiting for the last 4 days and we hadn't been able to spend as much time hanging out as we would have liked. thanks a lot album. but thankfully he's a cool guy, and since i have to go to houston for a work trip in early dec, i might try and meet up with him them. but i digress...

the album is so close to do it's in the "sunny side up" stage. basically, some people like it this way. it's not flipped "over easy", or cooked extra long .... it's basically, edible at this point. butyou know, we're a .... hrmm ... actually this example makes no sense. let's just say the album is mixed, but it still has a few things left to make it uberfantastico. so kyle's eq'ing today. the boys are meeting up tonight to make sure we're all good with all the levels. we master tomorrow. i sleep indefinitely after that.

hopefully a good night's sleep. last night was a bad one.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

choosing a tracklist

as the songs have pretty much taken full shape, we're left to ponder one of the final questions. so what's the track list?

well, this album isn't some great concept album (unless you want to consider girls a concept .... oddly philosophical, eh?) so we don't have "death march vol.1" as the opener with the other 7 volumes to follow. instead, as i sit here and listen to the tracks and try to make sense of the madness, i can't help but thinking of high fidelity (probably my favorite movie of all time ... well at last up there with Eternal Sunshine and Science of Sleep, that Michel Gondry is a genious ..., and high fidelity is one of the few movies that does the book justice, in my humble opinion) ... anyway, the perfect mix tape. you gotta start strong, the take it up a notch, but you don't want to blow your wattage too early ..... is it wattage of voltage, or something else. load? ... regardless, if you've ever made a mix tape for a friend, or a boy or girl, you know the stress. imagine if that boy or girl was every fan or friend who ever wanted to hear your music and you'd have a sense of the quandary we're in.

i'm often kicking around track lists long before we even have the songs written so needless to say this one's been on my mind for awhile. the last few days are the most exciting, becuase you start to say "hey wait a second, that song is awesome, maybe it should be the opener ... oh this song should definitely follow this one." ... i dunno, i get a thrill out of it. like a puzzle. with no real right answer, just one that in your gut you go "yup, solved it" ....

.... so i just hope we solve it before it gets printed next week.

so close, so tired

So matt and I have been up til about 4ish both last night and the night before. Good idea, releasing lots of music. bad idea, deciding that you need to resing an entire song because the "best take" wasn't good enough. but, all's well that ends well. Her Political Heart got the special treatment last night, and it shows. tonight's gonna be another doosie. final mixes of 3 more, and a couple shorties.

we also met up after work at al's place to go over album art. He's spearheading the layout with all artwork contributions by our dear friend patrick.

since my posts are normally pretty boring, lots of text, and i know we're visual folks. here's a couple shots. of matt and i recording short songs and working on music for our friend gen's film.

heh, my zvex pedal shirt. i got it free when they accidentally sent me 2 ooh-wah IIs and i sent one back. stupid honesty.

matt preps the mics for some acoustic guitar.

Monday, November 5, 2007

four days to go and a weekend to rest (hopefully)

well, the frantic schedule is (hopefully) coming to an end. we spent approx 16 hours (no joke, 9:30am-2am) on saturday mostly mixing, picking a few takes, cleaning up tracks. yesterday, more of the same. i think matt worked about 13 hours, most of the time alone was spent cleaning up the sessions, deleting out muted things, making sure there were not "pops", fading parts in and out. you know, the boring stuff (snoozefest!)

but the secret apollo/swim party/drowning men show was excellent! glad we able to catch that one. if you missed it, well, i feel sorry for you. and all those around you. mostly for those around you. cause you, you're already a loser, but the people near you are like "aww man, i gotta be near these people ... they didn't go to the show, did you hear?" ... it's just sad. ...... at this point, i'm not sure what i'm talking about, so i'll digress.

okay, so today and tomorrow, more of the same. mix like madmen, and burn out like heroes. tuesday night, we're all meeting up to go over the art work. wednesday, kyle does his extra special "kyle mixing" which is basically like putting all the songs through the "awesome machine" ... so that'll be fun. we'll check all the levels one last time, thursday meet up with K-dog (i opted not to use K-Tom, but perhaps i should just call him kyle thompson) .... he's mastering it that night .. and viola!!! the album is done. or is it? well, hopefully. if not, we've got the next 3 days to make sure it is right. after that, sending off the music to be printed on monday with the grand hopes that it all should be returned to us just before the release show.

some would say we are mad. those people would be right. but you know what? how many bands do you know release 2 albums a year? (aside from Ryan Adams and all artists from the 50s and early 60s) not many eh? yeah. so keep your opinions to yourself. cause you're getting new music just in time for xmas.

in the words of one of my dear friends, cuong nguyen (takin' out of context, but it applies regardless) "are you kidding me? no one's gonna say 'hey, turn that good music down'" ... perhaps it's a bit out of context, if you get it, good. if you don't, well come to our release show and i'll explain to you fully the circumstances that lead to the quote.

oh, and most likely we'll have some songs for you in the VERY near future. so keep looking here (and our myspace page) as those will be the first to debut our new songs.

Friday, November 2, 2007

tonight! tower bar!

hey all, if you don't already have plans, you should head out to the tower bar. it's adam from secret apollo's bday, they're playing a show along with swim party and the drowning men. alex, stoph and renee will be there for sure. hopefully the rest of us will be able to make it out as well, depending on the progress in the earlier part of the night. this is gonna be one helluva show!

DISASTER STRIKES!!! (but the mods are ready)

So remember how i was telling you about that great deal on an external hard drive? So in case something bad happens we would have our album in two spots? something bad happened.

last night, after a few hours of cleaning up Full Moon, our old workhorse (the hard drive that contained the masters of Here's To Being Happy, and the one we were using for this album) died . He, like so many others, died before his time. Deb is takin' it to her studio, they've got something that may potentially make it salvageable, but we learned a valuable lesson.

1) save your work often
2) always have a backup, in case something bad happens

we started this album back in ... july? august? something like that. and if we would have lost it, well, i don't think anyone would've wanted to rerecord everything. would've been a sad. our friends in the band Spanish Archer (now The Parklights) had recorded this song called "Counting Converse" years ago and apparently had an awesome version of it. it got lost. they had to rerecord it. and apparently, they say it just wasn't the same, but they couldn't capture the energy on the original recording. so sad.

So, to be safe, we ceased work after this little episode, and resigned ourselves to non-album activities. I'm picking up ANOTHER hard drive today so we have a back up (some people would say "but modlins, you've got a brand new hard drive, it'll be fine" to these people i say "you like to live dangerously, don't you? you probably go off and ride motorcycles into dragons mouths, all while shooting up Drano?")

more posts to follow today (progress made, a review/comments on the Kevin Drew show in LA) but yeah, phew. we're still on to have an album. we can now breathe a sigh of relief. for now.