San Diego Sessions

by Like Wild

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Between August 24th and September 9th my friend, recording engineer and guitar player, Kurt DeMarra and I took a trip out to San Diego California. We had agreed to do some work for Kurt’s cousin and in return got financial reimbursement, a RV to sleep in, and food to eat. During our free time, we hit up beaches, shops, and ate a TON of authentic Mexican cuisine. Additionally we found some time to record two tracks; a new Like Wild song called “Rapture Love” and a Tom Waits song titled “San Diego Serenade”.

We had prepared to do some jamming and minimal recording before we came out so Kurt brought his laptop with Protools, a cheap M Audio interface, and a couple of mics. However due to the extra fees and hassle of bringing instruments on a plane, we decided we would just use Kurt’s cousin’s stuff; An entry-level Dean acoustic guitar and dirt cheap beginners drum kit. Once we bought new strings and drumheads we built our makeshift studio in the RV and began tracking.

First we recorded the drums. We had a super minimal set-up using just the snare, kick drum, and a pair of brushes. Since the snare was super loud and slappy we put a tea towel on top to dampen the sound a bit. After going over the songs a couple of times Kurt busted out the tracks in no time.

Next up were guitars. Since we didn’t have any mic stands, we kind of “ghettoed” up a rig of our own. We attached two condenser mics to the snare so that it was at just the right spot. Once we got the right positioning and some new strings on the guitar, I finished up the guitars in no time.

Finally we got to vocals. Similar to the guitar, we connected a condenser mic to the snare and sat it on top the bed so that it was the perfect height for me to stand and sing. We completely forgot pop filters so we just put the sleeve of a button up shirt over top of the mic to take away the horrid “Puhs” and “Tuhs”. After having the mic/snare combo fall on me 100 times, I finally finished up the vocals.

We then recorded shakers, tambourines, and made a simple mix of the tracks. But before we could really do anymore to the songs, it was time to head back east. Since I really wanted to have some vocal harmonies in “Rapture Love”, I called up my friend from home Kory Gable to help me do some vocal production. The guy is a super talented, up and coming producer and just so happens to also be my boy. So we took a couple hours one day at his studio to throw in some vocal harmonies. I’m pretty terrible at coming up with harmonies, so I give credit to Kory for his natural ability to hear things I can’t. I think they came out great.

In the end we were really happy with the results, especially for recording in a RV with barebones equipment and not the highest of quality instruments. Just goes to show you can make a lot out of nothing. I also feel like these songs really captured our time out there: A fun, laidback, and beautiful experience in sunny California.

That folks, is how “San Diego Sessions” was created, and now I’m giving it to all of you for free.

Download it, spread it, and enjoy it
- Pat

credits

released 19 October 2010

Rapture Love written and performed by Patrick Hatt.
San Diego Serenade written by Tom Waits and performed by Patrick Hatt.
Produced and Engineered by Kurt DeMarra and Like Wild. Vocal Harmonies in Rapture Love produced and engineered by Kory Gable at Pin Up Recording.
Artwork created by Doug DeMarra.

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Track Name: Rapture Love
One day our graves will be ashes
Spread along the eastern coast
Our limbs will turn into pieces
And we'll be coming home
But to fear what is near is foolish
Even if the times get tough
We'll hold hands till the end surrounds us
In this rapture love

When the sea begins to rise
And there's fire in our eyes
I'll be right there by your side
Into the night, and we'll be alright

Pretty soon we're all doomed I am sure
As the sky falls down on us
Lightening bolts and the folds in the earth
Won't leave us with much
But I'll have a lot if I've got my girl there
And even if our time is up
I'll have a smile all the while we're burning
In this rapture love

When the sea begins to rise
And there's fire in our eyes
I'll be right there by your side
Into the night, and we'll be alright
Track Name: San Diego Serenade (Tom Waits Cover)
*ALL WORDS WRITTEN BY TOM WAITS

I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine till you turned out the light
I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line till I was leavin' you behind
I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
And I never spoke I love you till I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight till it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears till they rolled down your face

I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine till you turned out your love light, baby
I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody till I needed the song