In case you've been wondering (and let's face it, who hasn't?), work on The Early Mixes is proceeding. There is a major shoot Sunday morning for which preparation is underway. We met with Darren last night ostensibly to go over the material we'll be covering on Sunday, but due to scheduling issues we weren't able to get the other actors. It was, however, a perfect opportunity for us to get a few odds and ends that we needed to tie the story together. We got three brief but key moments for the finale of the film that will fit together with the footage we'll be shooting on Sunday and that which we shot many moons ago.
Filmmaking is what truly makes time travel possible.
I wasn't posting when it came out, but I feel it is important to mention Valleys of Neptune, the first Experience Hendrix release of studio material since the box set. And it is just plain awesome.
There are a couple of studio versions of live favorites like "Sunshine of Your Love." There are several familiar titles ("Stone Free" "Fire"), but these are completely different renditions. And this disc adds further evidence to my theory that Hendrix could never do too many recordings of "Red House" (the version on this disc rivals 12 minute jam from the Isle of Wight festival on Blue Wild Angel).
The remasters were done by Eddie Kramer, but it's been about ten years or so since the last Experience Hendrix studio release, and the advances in technology mean that this disc sounds a whole hell of a lot better than the previous ones, which are being re-issued as well. If they are actually new remasters and not just re-pressings of the old Experience Hendrix discs, I might be tempted to double-dip on them.
The notes are pretty cool, getting into detail as to why Hendrix was moving away from the Experience and more toward Gypsy Sun and Rainbows/Band of Gypsys. While they don't get into the contract wrangling that was necessary to get these tracks legally released, they address the presence of some of these tracks on bootlegs. The only moment that comes across as truly "unfinished" is the recording of "Fire," which has a horrible backing vocal by Noel Redding that would no doubt have been either replaced or overdubbed had Jimi had a chance to work on it further.
The cover art is gorgeous.
I was asked shortly after the release of the album to define what made Jimi Hendrix who he was. My answer: There have been other guitarists who were more technically polished, but what Jimi had was raw talent combined with an innate understanding of the instrument, and no matter how technical the process, the results always felt organic. His sound was a unique voice, full of soul, power and beauty.
Due to a Facebook conversation had with an old high school friend about my recent Man of Steel compilation. He mentioned an old tape of Conan I had given him many years ago, which naturally led to discussion about Let Me Tell You of the Days of High Adventure. The conversation inspired me to make a very slight change to the master of that disc.
When I originally assembled it, I didn't know what the exact capacity of the discs I was using was, and so I made some conservative estimates. This led to me cutting a piece out of the cue "Death of Rexor," and while I did create a neat little method of doing it, the fact that it was done for technical reasons rather than artistic always made it seem to stick out on that disc to me.
During this conversation, I checked the timing and realized that the remainder of "Death of Rexor" would fit comfortably onto one of these discs, now that I know what the exact safe recordable time is (83:29⅝). I decided to add the missing sequence back into the track.
Ironically, once I started doing so, I found that the section with the reprise of Thulsa Doom's "Dies Irae" theme was a bit repetitive, so I mixed a shorter version of that particular segment, otherwise, "Death of Rexor" plays out in full. The new version runs 82:55, and "Death of Rexor" is the only alteration I made to that program.
I did, however, slightly update the cover art to add texture to the lettering and the franchise logo.
Incidentally, despite all of my griping about the horrid "3-D" fuzz seen in Clash of the Titans, I can recommend How To Train Your Dragon, which, while not terribly ground-breaking, is breezy and fun with some amiable characters and a fun John Powell score. The 3-D version is well worth seeing, it is perfectly crisp and the flight sequences are more exhilarating than anything seen in Avatar. This is one movie that makes your drive home just seem so much more dull because you just spent the past hour or so soaring through the clouds.
This is from a while ago, but still terrifying and cute at the same time:
The Uninvited: Classic Film Music of Victor Young (Stromberg/Moscow Symphony)