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    Andrea Dawn - Peter And The Sheep video
    From the new album "Theories of How We Can Be Friends" - BUY IT at andreadawnmusic.com or on iTunes - http "Peter and The Sheep." Copyright 2012. Music and Lyrics by Andrea Dawn Mixed and Mastered by Brian Zieske (www.brianzieske.com) Loosely based on the classical composition "Peter and The Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev. The classical piece is about a boy (Peter) and his gang of forest animals that are hunting a wolf. In this song and video, Dawn puts a new twist on the classic tale, and makes it a love story. Sometimes we can't help but hurt those we love the most.

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    vortrobos
    8. Soft Speaker — Vortrobos | Review | Buy for $5.99 We might only be nearing the halfway mark on my list here, but already we’ve reached the point where I’d like to introduce my favorite song of the year. Off Vortrobos, “Ask the Guild” is nearly eight minutes of cutting hooks and addictive guitar flair. Hell, you’ve got to get nearly three and a half minutes deep before any vocals appear. It’s a majestic piece of music, and the lead track off that album I’m handing out down at the end.
    ins101996
    3. Soft Speaker — I’ll Tend Your Garden | Buy for $5.99 Soft Speaker played the best live show of the year, and their first of two full-length albums of 2011 nearly ascending to the top of my favorite recordings, too. You heard correctly: Soft Speaker released dos albums in under a year, and both got placement on this master list. They’d certainly be on the shortlist for city band of the year if I did that kind of thing here.
    What makes I’ll Tend Your Garden great? Or, at least, greater than Vortrobos? It showcases a peculiar brand of psychedelics. One of adventure and improv, as if its tunes are being handcrafted right there before you. It has an edge, but isn’t offputting. It’s fun, and doesn’t go stale.

    1167600330-11
    1. Apteka — Gargoyle Days | Review | Buy for $7.49 Just a few weeks ago, I brought to work my iPod loaded with Gargoyle Days and got it fired up and going by the time I began another day in the office. One spin of the album came and went, so I casually went back and played it a second time. And then a third. And then a fourth. I think I may have been in the middle of or even completed five cycles before I got control of myself and realized what I had let happen.
    Gargoyle Days is hands down my album of the year. You see, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with letting it spin around and around again as you comfortably ride its roller coaster of tempos. (“Sriking Violet,” then “Monterey” will give you a good sense of its range). On Gargoyle Days, Apteka has bottled a kind of psych rock that is at times tough, at times gentle, at times an odd combination of the two that just works wonderfully for these guys.

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    Congrats to Soft Speaker and Apteka, 2 of 10 albums selected by the Chicago Triune for their best of 2011 list. It was awesome working with both of these unique bands!

    149484140-13145133

    This quartet builds an expressway to your skull in the grand tradition of Sonic Youth, Spiritualized and other guitar armies. On its first full-length album, Apteka luxuriates in the sound and physicality of humming amplifiers, but crucially, the band doesn't forget the songs.

    5. Apteka, 'Gargoyle Days' (aptekamusic.com)
    121418180-13145822

    9. Soft Speaker, 'I'll Tend Your Garden' (softspeaker.com)

    The first of two full-length albums released by this co-ed quartet this year, "I'll Tend Your Garden" is a haven for guitar lovers. Six-string tones overlap and crash, sometimes hurtling ahead, other times creating huge, cavernous spaces for bass and drums to roam. Though the vocals are fairly nondescript, they become another almost subliminal texture in the band's widescreen sound.

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    Apteka "Gargoyle Days" LP
    10/5/2011
    Produced, recorded, and mixed at The Gallery of Carpet by Producer Brian Zieske, available on Vinyl.



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    Pink Frost on Vampire Diaries
    10/5/2011
    Pink Frost "You Should Know" was recorded and mixed at The Gallery of Carpet by Producer Brian Zieske.



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    'Girls of Athens' on Switched at Birth (ABC Family) 6/21/2011
    The Pet Lions song "Girls of Athens" was featured on the ABC Family show Switched at Birth on Wednesday June 20th. "Girls of Athens" was recorded and produced at The Gallery of Carpet by Producer Brian Zieske.



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    Pet Lions On "Greek"
    2/14/2011
    The Pet Lions song "Roman History" was featured on the ABC Family show Greek on Monday February 14th. "Roman History" was recorded and produced at The Gallery of Carpet by Producer Brian Zieske.

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    Examiner's Top 10 Indie Rock Albums in Chicago
    12/31/2010
    King Sparrow, King Sparrow: If I had to pick the one album by a Chicago band that blew me away this year, it was beautifully mastered self-titled full-length from Chicago rock trio King Sparrow.  Being very familiar with the band (and all the songs present on the album) prior to its release, I was not expecting any surprises, but my jaw still dropped the first time I heard the finished product.  It's that good.  The band's sound runs the gamut from gritty and nasty to surfy and poppy, and listening to the finished album, you can tell it was an intense labor of love for all the parties who had a hand in its creation.  It is absolutely spot-on, in terms of songcraft, performance, andproduction.  (Unsigned; available in CD and digital formats here).
    Check out an audio interview and live acoustic performance with Eric Georgevich of King Sparrow here.

    Produced by Brian Zieske at Gallery of Carpet Recording

    Continue reading on Examiner.com
    Top Chicago indie albums of 2010: Part one - Chicago indie rock | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/indie-rock-in-chicago/top-ten-chicago-indie-albums-of-2010-part-one-review#ixzz1sMGK3ETf

    Secret Colours, Secret Colours: This full-length debut from Chicago psych-pop revivalists Secret Colours is thoroughly enjoyable, from start to finish (read a full review here).  The album blends foggy psychedelic flavoring with a sweet naivete that wears very well indeed.  The band members definitely wear their influences on their sleeves on this record, but there isn't a bad track in the bunch.  (Unsigned; available in CD and digital formats here).
    Check out an audio interview and live acoustic performance with Secret Colours here.
    See Secret Colours live at Subterranean on Saturday, January 8, 2011.

    Recorded at Gallery of Carpet Recording

    Continue reading on Examiner.com
    Top Chicago indie albums of 2010: Part one - Chicago indie rock | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/indie-rock-in-chicago/top-ten-chicago-indie-albums-of-2010-part-one-review#ixzz1sMGSHxQ9

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    10 Great Chicago Releases of 2010
    12/29/2010
    kingsparrow
    King Sparrow - self-titled LP
    I've been doing my best to spread the word about power-trio King Sparrow ever since I first heard their debut EP and saw one of their seriously rocking live gigs, and this year's debut LP has made me even more determined to champion the band. In fact, it's probably the record that I've played most this year (which is saying a lot since it didn't come out until October). The songs are tight, compact and hard-hitting, but also have a keen sense of melody that quickly pulls you in and keeps you coming back for more. 

    Produced by Brian Zieske @ Gallery of Carpet Recording
    Listen
    Here

    Check this out:
    In the recording studio with King Sparrow

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    Welcome to Ashley's "Beyond the Pale" Chicago Tunes Top 10 of 2010!
    12/28/2010
    album_cover_1270662115
    7. Welcome To AshleyBeyond the Pale (review)
    Coley Kennedy gave a tour de force performance when I caught these guys at
    The Empty Bottle a few months ago. They played a lot of tunes that were not on this release, which I was perfectly fine with. But the songs on Beyond the Pale seem to be a bit richer both musically and lyrically than their previous work. Specifically the tracks “Thursday” and “What A Day It Was For Dying.”

    Listen
    Here

    Recorded and Mixed at the Gallery of Carpet
    Magnetically documented by Brian Zieske

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    "I like this record because of it's sound..." -Richard Milne 93.1 XRT Chicago
    11/21/2010
    Audio: King Sparrowon XRT Local Anesthetic
    11/21/2010

    Listen to this and more as King Sparrow is interviewed on XRT's Local Anesthetic
    here.

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    CD of the Month: King Sparrow
    10/7/2010
    1453202218-1

    King Sparrow has a new self-record that will be released on October 15th in conjunction with a release show at Schubas with Pet Lions and This is Versailles. The alum was recorded and produced by Brian Zieske of Gallery of Carpet. The end product has such a warm and balanced sound. It kicks off with the energetic track "Resonator" which is complete with guitar solo and driving drums.

    The pace doesn't slow with blue-collar anthem "Conveyor Belt". "You give up to on, You get up to get off". It's the perfect 5 pm rush hour track. However, my favorite track on the twelve track album is "Leave it All Behind". It is the song on the album that adds a refreshing dose of acoustic contrast and it shows that the band can slow things down when they need to. It is also a beauty love song without any bitterness or trickery. The album is filled with great lyrics, inventive instrumentation and layers of warmth and energy.


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    Chew Heart "Messy Snarls" Review on The Deli
    8/9/2010
    Chew Heart

    l_e958a622e3ac4f4a940c4519713ca4b6

    I've spent the weekend digesting the debut album,
    Messy Snarls, from Laura Granlund and Curt Swank (aka Chew Heart). The duo has been performing together for the last six years, and finally entered the studio, with the talented Brian Zieske (Gallery of Carpet), to capture some of that live energy. Messy Snarls finds the duo wearing their influences on their sleeves and pouring everything out through their instruments. The album was recorded live and you can tell in the sound, but I feel that adds to the nostalgic feel of the album.

    What sets Chew Heart apart is that they do give a subtle nod to their love of '60's pop, but they don't drown in it like many bands today. In fact I would say they are more influenced by '90's indie rock than anything else. In fact I would say this band is a combination of Saturday Looks Good to Me and Frente. There is a raw edge, but sweet innocence that ultimately prevails.

    Chew Heart celebrates the release of
    Messy Snarls on Sept. 12th at The Whistler, but you can purchase it from their etsy page for just $5.

    Published on August 09, 2010



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    'Nasty, poppy, '60s, weird': In the studio with Chicago's King Sparrow
    7/30/2010
    FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010
    'Nasty, poppy, '60s, weird': In the studio with Chicago's King Sparrow


    Posted by Frank

    king+sparrow

    Photo by Catticut Palich

    If you’ve visited this site with any regularity over the past couple years, you’ve probably seen the name “King Sparrow” more than once. When I dig something - when I really, truly believe something is special - I can’t shut up about it. And that is most certainly the case with King Sparrow, a Chicago indie three-piece who are hands down one of the most genuinely talented, sincere bands I’ve had the pleasure of hearing and getting to know since I began Windy City Rock.

    The guys – vocalist/guitarist Eric Georgevich, bassist Sean Price and drummer John McGeown – are set to release their debut full-length this Fall with a record release show set for Friday, October 15 at Schubas, and recently invited me to spend some time with them in the studio as they worked through the mixing phase. They recorded the album this Spring with Brian Zieske at
    Gallery of Carpetstudio, which we highlighted a while back in our article on some of the greatest recording studios in the Chicago area. Brian, Eric, Sean and John were all incredibly cool in letting me hang out and giving me a look into the process as they prepared their art to be unleashed unto the world.

    It was a wonderful thing to experience. All four of these guys are so incredibly dedicated to this record (which, for my money, is shaping up to be nothing short of phenomenal), that no nuance of each and every song has gone overlooked. King Sparrow have a steel-solid vision, and they’ve been sacrificing sleep and sanity to make sure it’s born properly. Brian has been right there with them, working behind the controls like a man possessed. This is the kind of collective energy that spawns the world’s most inspired records.

    brianz

    Brian Zieske of Gallery of Carpet studio


    While I was at the studio, Brian and the band worked on two of the album’s tracks, “Moonshine” and “End Goal.” The two are among the tracks the band refer to as “nasty,” meaning they are the grittiest ones, the ones most likely to make you stop whatever you’re doing and rock out on the spot. “Moonshine” is a relentless number that manages to do a hell of a lot of rocking in under two minutes. It’s one of the first songs the band started playing together and a staple of their live shows, so it’s excellent to see it finally getting a proper recorded debut. “End Goal” rocks just as hard, plowing through from its first second with a gnarly surf guitar riff and some wonderfully gristly vocals from Eric. These two tracks are perfect examples of what makes King Sparrow so special. Their material is surprisingly accessible, pulling you in immediately while never sacrificing its glorious punky edge, rawness and swagger. It’s a combination of grit and magnetism I’ve seldom heard executed so well.

    In addition to the down-and-dirty rockers, the LP will feature songs with a poppier - but equally driving - approach such as the soaring, optimistic “The River” and “Resonator,” which boasts killer hooks and a sweet vocal harmony. Other songs the band have been working on will round out the album with what they refer to as a “weird/'60s” sound, such as the cryptic, chugging “Derailer” (which originally appeared in an earlier version on the band’s 2009 debut EP) and the eerie "Lie."  All of these sounds come together to define King Sparrow's style, and to serve as a reminder of what makes rock and roll so damn exciting in the first place.

    This is going to be one hell of a record. A record that people must hear.

    While at Gallery of Carpet, Brian and the band took some time out from the mixing madness to sit down with me for an interview. We talked about the recording process and how everyone’s been working together, as well as both the band's and producer's background and unique vision. Here’s what they had to say:

    WCR: How's the experience of making this record been going?

    Brian: The motto's been “nothing good is easy." We figure if we work harder it'll be that much better.

    Eric: We've been flying by the seat of our pants the whole way through.

    Sean: It's very focused, though. The whole thing has been very focused on getting a good sound. It's fly by the seat of your pants, but there's definitely been a plan to it. It's been efficient, but it has been intense.

    Eric: The sense of urgency is causing us to go with our gut instinct.

    Brian: When we knew it was good, we moved on. We did a couple extra takes of the vocals so we could have options, but when it came to the tracking, we'd set up, get a tone, make sure the instruments were in tune, get the levels right, and play it like it was the first song of a show. And then boom, we'd capture it. The energy was in it. We'd capture things in one take. If somebody messed up, we'd have to do the whole take again, which meant everybody re-cut their parts.

    Eric: Yeah, the energy is there. One day we were trying to get tone for the song “Constellations” and it went on all day long. We couldn't capture it. It went on 'til like 12 o'clock at night and we couldn't do it so we figured we needed to stop. We shut everything down, feeling pretty defeated. Then all of a sudden Brian's eyes got this weird little twinkle and was like “how would you guys feel if we tried it one more time?” We all shot up...

    Brian: I had an idea, it clicked. Something we had to do with the guitar to get it right.

    Eric: You got the tone, we were ready to go, then all of a sudden we hear “oh shit,” and then we look at each other thinking like, the console fried, or something blew up.

    John: Brian looks at me dead in the eyes and goes, “we're shutting down all the power to the studio right now. My circuit board was popping.” Then when he turned it back on, we got right down to it and we nailed it in one take. The day ended victorious. By three in the morning we were good.

    KS_studio

    King Sparrow at Gallery of Carpet studio


    Brian, what's it been like working with these guys as opposed to other bands you've worked with?

    Brian: The amount of preparation they came in with. Super professional. Before we started, they wanted to meet me, see the studio, talk face to face. I met with them over a year ago, so I knew them and had been paying attention to what they were doing. Then they started talking to me again about the full-length. It turned out we liked a lot of the same things. We're all the same age. We had an understanding of how music feels, the colors of it. And it's cool because they have their own sound. So it's not like something where I have to take it up to a bar. It's already well above. What I can bring takes it even further, magnifying what they have. Their preparation has been extraordinary. They not only know their individual parts and how to play them well, but they know how to play together extremely well. The feel, the touch, the nuances. There's a lot of detail, even when the music's at its most simple.

    They have a sound they've created on their own, so all I have to do is document that to do my job well. As a producer I just have to bring my fresh ear, get them to look at things from different angles. Everyone's got a high standard for this project, everyone wants to get to the next level. I'm feeling the songs and that doesn't happen all the time, for every song to be good with a full-length. I could listen to them all day and enjoy it. That's a big bonus. Liking the songs, liking the style, liking the swagger.

    Same question for the band, but reversed: What's it been like working with Brian?

    Sean: The attention to total detail has been a really big difference. His attention to detail has colored the record in a different way then we might have colored it on our own.

    Eric: It's colored it in the most natural way possible.

    John: Another thing that's really helped us along is that everybody has clearly defined roles. The relationship between band and producer is really clear cut. And everybody understands that, yes, we made the music, but there's a lot of things that are beyond our control and as a musician. Letting somebody take it to the next level is what has made it so special.

    Sean: It's hard to let go. You're trusting somebody to take it to the next level. We've been rewarded for giving that trust to Brian.

    Brian: I see such an opportunity in working with King Sparrow because of what I enjoy in their art. It gives me a great chance to do my best art. It's fun. This is what I've always wanted to do, my whole life.

    Speaking of that, Brian, give us a bit of background. How did you start the studio and get to this point?

    Brian: I was in a band and started recording my own band's demos. Then I started recording local bands. I thought it was really cool to capture something that's real and then manipulate it into something beyond real. The science, the technology, the art and musicality.

    The first band I did all the way through, start to finish, was The Academy Is... They ended up getting signed. Then I started recording all these emo bands. There was a big emo explosion in Chicago.

    Then I just started buying a lot of gear. I worked with my friend out of his basement.

    Now I've been trying to do more “timeless” stuff. But I still record whatever people call and want me to do. It's a craft. It's a trade. It's a job. I see the art in pretty much any genre. I try to approach every project by going with what the band totally wants and focusing that. Constantly seeking their approval and then pushing back. If I just did what I thought would be great with every record, they would all start sounding the same. I just want to make really cool sounding records that have something memorable and unique about them.

    Chicago's not L.A., but it's big. It's not New York or Nashville, and there's this opportunity here. Maybe King Sparrow will be the next record out of here that gets people's attention on the city.

    king+sparrow+chicago

    Photo by Catticut Palich


    I hope so. As a band, what would you say is different about what you guys are doing?

    Sean: We're from a very similar time and place. There was a certain set of music we were into for a long period of time. We're all from the North side, all went to the same high school. We have such similar experiences that they overlap. We always have somewhere that's a common place that we all come from.

    Eric: And we all went away and did completely different things for four or five years, and when we came back we all grew as musicians and people.

    Song-wise, we like catchy hooks, we like dissonance. Trying to balance the two – have something that you grab on to right away, but then there's this weird shit and you're like, "what the hell?". If we do something that has a weird post-punky beat, I want to do more major chords to brighten it up. Finding that balance.

    John: I think we definitely have made a focused effort to play to our strengths. A lot of times you find yourself wanting to explore and do these new things; I don't know if it's proving to yourself or to everyone else that you're that awesome, but you have to reign it in and do what you're best at. Really hone it. We have to make songs that we like. You can't please everyone all the time. It's not Christmas every day. So please yourself, and then when you play it for other people, hopefully that enthusiasm translates properly.

    Brian: They'll feel something regardless, though.

    Eric: Terror...

    John: Disgust?

    Eric: Disdain.

    Sean: Confusion!

    This is what we're going for. (laughs) 

    Eric: Molten shrapnel. 

    Brian: Yeah, that was sort of one of my themes. Aluminum molten shrapnel. Those guitars have some sort of cauterizing, fuckin' burning hot teeth. Not clean like a razor blade, but nasty like aluminum.

    The word nasty has come up a lot with this record.

    Eric: We had a board out there where we grouped our songs into different categories. There was “nasty” and “poppy” and “'60s-slash-weird.” That's the record.


    ks_studio2

    Brian, Sean, John and Eric at Gallery of Carpet studio

     ###
    Windy City Rock



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    Pet Lions on ABC's "The Gates"
    7/25/2010
    "Girls of Athens" is going to be featured on Sunday's episode of the new ABC show "The Gates" at 10/9c.

    "Girls of Athens" can be found on Pet Lions
    Soft Right EP

    Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Zieske and recorded at The Gallery of Carpet.

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    Gearwire Interview: Chandler Limited TG1 And More: Browsing The Racks At Gallery Of Carpet Recording
    6/24/2010
    "The influences that Brian Zieske lists all have one thing in common - lush, ambient analog tone. Tipping his hat to such influences, Brian opts not to use computer plug-ins while he's engineering at Gallery of Carpet Recording.

    In this clip, Brian takes us through the equipment in his rack, talking about some of his favorite pieces from API, Chandler Limited, Manley, SPL, and a whole lot more."
    -gearwire on youtue.com



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    Gearwire Interview: Otari MTR-90 II: Brian Zieski Mixes Tape And Digital Recording For The Best Of Both
    6/24/2010
    "Tape is to Brian Zieske of Gallery of Carpet Recording as wood is to Raymond Calitri of Gone in 60 Seconds. Brian talks about how he uses his Otari MTR-90 II along with Pro Tools to get his mixes.

    Brian likes tape not only because of the thicker sound, but because it imposes limits on musicians; limits that help the music breathe."
    -gearwire on youtube.com



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    Gearwire Interview: Otari MTR-90 II: Tape Vs. Pro Tools, Round Two At Gallery Of Carpet Recordings
    6/24/2010
    "Brian Zieske continues his comparison of Pro Tools against his Otari MTR-90 II. Brian talks about some of the techniques he's been employing at Gallery of Carpet Recording.

    Be sure to pay attention to how Brian gets a harpsichord sound without an actual harpsichord or even a sampled harpsichord. It's good stuff."
    -gearwire on youtue.com



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    Gearwire Interview: Trident T-24 Console: Brian Zieske's Board At Gallery Of Carpet Recording Studios
    6/24/2010
    "Brian Zieske, the owner of Gallery of Carpet studios, shows us his Trident T-24 console. From his beginnings recording with only two karaoke machines, Brian has come a long way.

    The Triton console in this video has been modified, both by the unnamed company that sold it to Brian and by Brian himself as some API and Neve pieces really beef up the classic Trident sound."
    -gearwire on youtube.com





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    Chicago's Bailiff to Headline Lincoln Hall
    1/9/2010
    Frank Krolicki
    Chicago Rock Music Examiner
    bailiff_photo
    Bailiff
    Bailiff have been buzzed about in the Chicago music scene for a while now thanks to their debut EP, Mm Hmm, and tight live performances both headlining and supporting acts such as Poi Dog Pondering, Gringo Starr and The Cave Singers. The band will soon start recording their debut LP, but first they will headline a show at Lincoln Hall on Saturday, January 9.
    The term "blues" usually comes up when describing the three-piece's music - and while blues elements are undeniable - there's much more to the picture. To my ears, it's gritty, slow-burning rock and roll that's as experimental and progressive as it is traditionally bluesy.
    At Lincoln Hall, the band will not only play tracks from Mm Hmm, but also debut new songs that will appear on their forthcoming record. To check out their sound, download a track below and click
    here to get a copy of the full EP. To learn even more about Bailiff, read my Q&A on Windy City Rock with guitarist and vocalist Josh Siegel.
    Download mp3: Bailiff - "Even I Know the Rain"
    --
    Also with
    Loose Lips Sink Ships and Son of Cops 2424 N Lincoln Ave 773-525-2501 10 p.m., 21 and over $10. More info and tickets


    Continue reading on Examiner.com
    Chicago's Bailiff to headline Lincoln Hall 1/9 - Chicago rock music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/rock-music-in-chicago/chicago-s-bailiff-to-headline-lincoln-hall-1-9#ixzz1sKm4B700

    Examiner Website



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    Color Radio
    12/2009
    Color Radio's most recent EP reviewed by Performer Magazine

    Performer Magazine December 2009
    (page 29, and continued on page 31)
    Performer Magazine

    Pasted Graphic

    "”Jeff Tweedy has a posse”
    Color Radio
    Be Safe, Beware
    Chicago, IL
    Produced and mastered by Brian
    Zieske at the Gallery of Carpet in
    Villa Park, IL // Additional recordings
    by Mark Yoshizumi at Studio Chicago


    The latest four-song EP from Color Radio, while over too soon, exhibits exquisite attention to detail. Be Safe, Beware delivers solid hooks amidst airy production. This is definitely a “headphones” record, and one warranting many repeat listens. If you only grant it one go-through, you might not notice all the bells and glockenspiels that creep in under the catchy-as-hell guitar riffs and refrains. Its cranial infiltration is a stealth mission, however, you will not know the songs are catchy until four hours later when the title track is still looping through your brain without intention to stop. Wilco once used similar tactics on Summerteeth, and Color Radio seem to owe much to their fellow Chicago natives. They have the same tendency to philosophize off-handedly over solid rock progressions and swirling ambiance, though the lead guitar riffs would be likelier found on a Cold War Kids track. Poignant closer “Curds and Whey” reaches the same affective heights that Jeff Tweedy is capable of, though Color Radio avoids lyrical enigmas in favor of frank and simple narrative.

    Be Safe, Beware certainly embodies “quality over quantity,” but it leaves us wondering why we can’t have both, already. Color Radio has demonstrated here that they have the range and capability to tackle a full-length. While the EP maintains tonal consistency, each song distinguishes itself considerably from the rest and each is strong enough to be a single in its own right. At this point, it’s likely just a waiting game for the LP. (self-released) >Sasha Geffen< www.myspace.com/colorradio"



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    Five Great Recording Studios in Chicago, The Examiner,
    8/3/2009

    Frank Krolicki
    Chicago Rock Music Examiner

    - Gallery of Carpet Recording (Villa Park) – Villa Park’s Gallery of Carpet was established in 2002 by producer Brian Zieske and has consistently helped up-and-coming indie bands produce outstanding, professional quality recordings. Local acts such The Academy Is, The Hush Sound, Pet Lions, the Rikters and Bailiff are just a few examples. In a 2007 Illinois Entertainer article, GOC client and The Long Gone Lonesome Boys leader John Milne described Zieske as a “wunderkind.” “In terms of being an in-studio genius Brian’s right there,” Milne said in the article. “But he’s not smug or arrogant. I suggested some really unusual ways of working, and although he expressed doubts, he was willing to try things and recognized what worked.” The studio’s Web site offers a hefty amount of information on its capabilities, gear and rates, and this recent Gapers Block interview with Zieske sheds light on GOC’s history and its owner’s approach to recording.

    Continue reading on Examiner.com
    Five great recording studios in Chicago - Chicago rock music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/rock-music-in-chicago/five-great-recording-studios-chicago#ixzz1sKhBlPlD
    The Examiner Website

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    Rikters Aim for Straightforward...., The Daily Herald,
    7/29/2009
    It should come as no surprise to find the Rikters named themselves after a Midwestern figure as straightforward and nononsense as their music.

    "I think we just originally thought it sounded good with 'Ditka,'" said drummer Riley Ryan.

    That's right. Sorry to disappoint the Sonic Youth fans out there, but the Rikters are named not after painter Gerhard Richter, who contributed what turned out to be the cover of the classic album "Daydream Nation," but more or less after Da Coach, Chicago's own Mike Ditka.

    That's fitting, in that there's a plain, earnest, Grabowski-esque, yet distinctive quality to their songs, a tuneful, but rocking Midwest feel common to groups from Cheap Trick to the Insiders and beyond. It was something bassist Owen O'Malley immediately seized on when he joined the band a year and a half ago, shortly after transplanting from New York City because he "just got tired of it."

    "I've been trying to define it," O'Malley said. "There's New York hipsters, and there's Chicago hipsters. Chicago hipsters are just truer, more ornery. They're completely broke. They're not just the kids of rich parents. And yet the Rikters feel like a Midwest band to me because there's no pretension to be part of the cool kids.

    "That was the kind of music that I liked when I first started getting into music," O'Malley added, even though he grew up on Long Island. "I like something that rocks hard and isn't trying to be cool."

    For Ryan and Doug Jenkins, the band's guitarist and lead singer, it came more naturally. They grew up in St. Charles and got to know one another in the St. Charles High School jazz band. When they got out of college and returned home, however, about four years ago, they discovered a mutual affinity for more basic rock 'n' roll.

    "It just sort of happened," Ryan recalled. "We were hanging out in the same bar, the Scotland Yard. We actually ended up getting a residency there, where we would play two times a month, every other Thursday."

    They started out heavy on covers, of course, but then Ryan started to get to know Jenkins' originals, and they began to write songs together, a process that continued with the addition of O'Malley after he replied to an audition post on Craigslist.

    Now they've resettled in Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood and are out with their first album of original material, "The Rikters," self-produced but available on Apple's iTunes. They'll be promoting it with a series of shows over the next week in Crystal Lake, St. Charles and Chicago. It finds the group mastering the soft-loud contemporary dynamics of a song like "Ava," but specializing in the more rousing "All My Life" and the anthemic chorus of "Give Me Tonight." Jenkins, who writes most of the lyrics, doesn't go in for the gritty and overemotional, but tends to emphasize the melodic line of the songs in a way that almost croons, while the three-piece band displays a rare ability to play off each other rhythmically and set each other up for moments that deliver a punch.

    The album also has a crisp, clear, live sound, thanks in large part to producer Brian Zieske, who made a point of recording it not digitally, but on analog tape at the Gallery of Carpet in Villa Park.

    "With the limitations of recording on tape, you have to record it live," he said. "You can't manipulate the performance using a computer. We wanted to keep it sort of like how people did records in the '60s and '70s, playing it until it's right and then mixing it down - keeping it simple, keeping it raw, capturing it raw and primitive and keeping it authentic."

    That's the Rikters' sound in a nutshell, combined with a distinct lack of attitude O'Malley, for one, finds refreshing after being in a series of other bands in New York City.

    "To me, it's really nice to find a band where there's no egos," he said, "nobody telling everybody else what to do."

    Not even Da Coach, although as their sort of namesake he'd certainly be welcomed at any one of their shows.



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    Albums You Need to Hear Now, Metromix,
    6/22/2009
    Sounding like the album Our Lady Peace might have made in the early ‘70s, the debut disc from locals the Rikters comes packed with slicing guitar rock equally interested in hooks and hell-raising. (Its most compelling wails, such as on “Give Me Tonight” and “All My Life,” tend to be its loudest, most honest pleas.) The album was recorded with producer Brian Zieske (The Academy Is…, The Hush Sound) yet delivers considerably more force than the aforementioned Chicago bands, as the Rikters favor rock snowballs that frequently gain momentum and full-fledged stadium rockability a minute or two in. (Is it too late to go back
    and pop in the escalating, apologetic “Ava” into “WallE”?) Some tracks dawdle (“What You Said That Night,” “Simple to Start”) rather than jangle, and thematic variety would prevent singer Doug Jenkins’s lovelorn howls from blending into each other. Still, this is a record unafraid to truly rock without concern for attitude or hipster posturing. Recorded on tape to capture the Rikters’ thunderous live performances, “The Rikters” is a promising start for a Chicago band that’s more than just another addition to the indie rock pile.

    CD release show: 10:30 p.m. Sat at Beat Kitchen
    Posted June 22 by Matt Pais

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    Gapers Block Transmission
    5/27/2009
    FEATURE THU MAY 21 2009
    Brian Zieske's Gallery of Carpet
    By Jason Behrends
    The deeper I delve into the Chicago music scene the more fascinated I become with all of the various aspect of our self-contained industry. From the bands, to the venues, to the labels, to the recording studios, and even the duplication services, all aspects are represented in our city. A studio that has worked with some of the best up-and-coming acts around the city is Gallery of Carpet. Their client base includes the likes ofSnowsera, Bailiff, Pet Lions, Color Radio, Sars Flannery, The Academy is...,The Hush Sound, The Rikters, and many more. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the producer/engineer and owner of Gallery of Carpet, Brian Zieske.
    GOC_pic_3-thumb-400x300-1349
    Gapers Block: What prompted to you start your own recording studio?
    Brian Zieske: I started recording my own band over 13 years ago when I was in high school around 1996. I was really into the concept of documenting a music performance live and manipulating it later to enhance or color the tone. I started with a basic dual deck cassette tape karaoke machine and some really crappy plastic toy microphones. I would then playback the recorded performance and record on the other deck while performing through the mike. This would combine the recorded track with the additional overdub. This process then became more and more complex. I must have had 15 "Y" adapters going in order to increase the number of microphones I could use on the drums. I eventually purchased a digital 8-track recorder, which used the failed Mini-Disc Data format and sounded thin and nasty. I started recording other local bands and producing their Eps and continued to purchase new gear. I graduated Columbia College Chicago a few years later and helped break the Academy is... to Fueled by Ramen producing and recording their debut Ep at various studios and in the basement. This was the start to my professional career as a producer, engineer, mixer and studio owner. The Emo explosion in Chicago was very lucrative and I began investing in high quality analog gear that I planned on owning for the rest of my career. Business was exploding and it was time to move out of the basement. At this point I chose my current studio's location.
    GB: What type of steps do you have to take to turn a gym-like facility into a studio?
    BZ: The location was pretty raw, it was built as a movie theatre in the early 1900's. Later it was renovated to be a YMCA gymnasium and eventually a roller rink. When I moved in it was a very raw ware house office space. I tore open the walls and insulated them as well as replaced all the electrical in order to be properly grounded and up to code. I built isolating walls within the space to create separate rooms for the control room and live rooms as well as various isolation booths and a lounge. I had to re-floor the entire facility and put in new ceilings as well. Then I painted, put up lights and strategically placed acoustic paneling to balance the live room acoustics. I also balance the control room acoustics to help give me a "flat" response in the listening position located directly in front of the board. This took me about 2 months of construction time before I was able to start working.
    GB: What role does the engineer play in forming a bands studio sound?
    BZ: A music recording engineer is closely involved in the creative technical aspects of how an artist's desired sound be recorded to the analog or digital medium. For example if the artist wants a dark, and spacious sound I would translate that into tone using the tools at hand, tone knobs, Eq, mics, instruments, etc. Drawing from experience I would choose the tools that would best suite the artists requirements. Sometimes this requires experimentation and further manipulation. An engineer will use all of his tools, skills and experience to manipulate the recording process in order to achieve the sonic and aural vision of the artist. There are many ways to manipulate audio within the studio setting starting with microphone placement all the way through mixing and mastering.
    GOC_Pic_1-thumb-400x300-1345
    GB: I hear it all the time, a band is trying to capture their live sound or their live energy. How do you typically work with a band like that?
    BZ: Live music is performed by humans playing individual instruments together. I found that recording music live in the studio is the most exciting way to capture a performance. There are many ways to go about this as it all depends on the artist's vision. I can isolate the amplifiers and instruments in any of my three booths. This allows me to capture each instrument cleanly while the band performs together in the live room with the drummer. This is a great way to pound out a recording, as you can punch in individual instruments and not effect the other musician's performance. This core live foundation has much more synergy than if you record individual tracks one at a time. Another option to recording live is to place all the amps in the same room as the drums and let the instruments bleed into each other's microphones. This can create amazing results as well, creating a very three dimensional sound. Each project is a unique challenge and requires a unique approach to achieve the best results. I love to experiment and force limitations to create unique tones and recordings. Sometimes I am not able to record live and have to layer overdubs, the goal still is to create recording that is alive and human. Limitations force creativity.
    GB: You briefly touch on it on you website, but what is the difference in the roles of a produce vs an engineer?
    BZ: I like to keep this one simple. Engineers are audio technicians focusing on the tones, colors, and audio documentation. Producers are music technicians focusing the artist's musical vision, performance, arrangement, songs etc. I believe there are 2 types of producers. There are the old school Phil Spector types who do not know or care to know about the engineering aspect of recording music, they write, arrange, compose, and inspire the artist to perform like a legend. And there are producers who are also engineers. With project budgets always shrinking the old school producers have become a dying breed.
    GOC_pic_2-thumb-400x300-1347
    GB: I know you work with all types of music, but is there a sound that is easier to work with?
    BZ: I really love working with all types of music, there is something universal about music that crosses over through all genres. I love music that is performed with emotion and dynamics. I love rhythm that brings a tap to my toe, a swing to my stride, a skip to my step, stomp to the ground or a bump to my hump. Melody is what takes my ear colors lyrics. Harmony can give me goosebumps. I tend to like music that has it's own attitude, I like music that uses dynamics to create an emotional response. I like hearing music that is human, being human is not "perfect" and this is why I can connect to it. The easiest music to work with would have to be rock, its usually the same formula, drums, bass, guitars, vocals, maybe keys. Rock music is loud and punchy, and should be played with attitude. It would be awesome to record a Paul McCartney record, Radio Head or Wilco one day. Its ok to dream, right?
    GB: What does it mean to you personally to see an album you worked on find success?
    BZ: I like it and wish some of the less known artists I worked with found success. The music industry is a strange place, I understand now why it is failing. Many labels have lost sight of the art in music, and an entire generation doesn't understand fidelity and think mp3s are quality audio.
    GB: Are there any big plans for the studio in the near future?
    BZ: I am looking into relocating to Nashville. There is a thriving indie rock scene that appeals to me and a successful music industry to boot. The cost of living is much less than in Chicago as well. I hope to connect Chicago and Nashville somehow. Whatever I do I plan on making records, its what I do.
    For more information on Gallery of Carpet please visit their
    website.


    Gapers Block Website



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    They Found Me They Named Me Absolute Punk Review
    06/30/2008
    Posted on 06/27/08 by Chris Fallon

    They Found Me, They Named Me - Ship As State (EP) Record Label: Verse In Transit Records Release Date: May 2008 Who? Hailing from Batavia, IL, the experimental indie-rock quartet They Found Me, They Named Me have taken a versatile influential pallet to bring one of the year's most enduring EPs, Ship As State, to life. Dominated by Chris Geick's passionately-strained vocals and Andy Schroeder's unrelenting percussive fortitude, guitars take second-billing to flowing bass rhythms and electric piano melodies. They Found Me, They Named Me has not only created a lavish soundboard for themselves, but has crafted a five-track EP that leaves you hungry for more. How is it? Twelve minutes has never seemed quite as epic as it does on Ship As State, where no track goes over the three-minute mark, yet demonstrates an ample amount of versatility, weaving in and out of musical territories, remaining unpredictable and lush all at the same time. Geick sounds like he is singing into a Playskool recorder most of the time, emphasizing his incredibly fanatical vocals (“Chucole”) over the peppy Rhodes piano provided by Matt Lemke, who pushes his guitar-playing to the background for a majority of the time. “See It” follows a bouncy bass line, courtesy of Brandon Souba, and Schroeder presents a cascade of percussive elegance all under two-and-a-half minutes, as Geick viciously remarks, “You never see it the way I see it / To understand.” “Stroke Radio,” a vocally-charged number with an organ refrain that sounds like the distant cousin of Derrick & The Dominoes' classic “Layla,” is the record's longest cut, reaching barely under the three-minute mark. The perplexing thing is, these songs don't feel at all rushed - they are carefully punctuated to create depth and bloom from one another. Ship As State is short of perfection, though, as Geick's domineering vocals sound almost too much like Graham Fink's (The Outline) as the record comes to a close, and when he gently hushes into the microphone, it's eerily similar to early Dustin Kensrue (Thrice). Nonetheless, it's forgivable - however, Geick's strikingly similar vocal pattern is what prevents the record from soaring as high as it should. While a plethora of bands relay this experimental sound, They Found Me, They Named Me is skillful and intelligent, providing lush orchestrations to distract listeners from the familiarity (for those who listen to The Outline, at least) of Geick's vocals. All in all, the band masters the art of the perfect strategy for an EP: leaving your audience just unsatisfied enough to the point that they eagerly anticipate more. Recommended if You LikeThe Outline, Cave In and At The Drive-In Tracklisting
    1. Paintchips
    2. See It 3. Stroke Radio 4. Interlude 5. Chucole
    Additional InformationBand: Chris Geick: vocals Andy Schroeder: drums Matt Lemke: guitar/electric piano

    Brandon Souba: bass

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    Sars Flannery in the papers
    04/18/08
    Daily Herald

    Future Looks Fab

    It isn't every day that an album gets mastered by one of Paul McCartney's engineers at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. But Northwestern film major Sars Flannery, whose inspirational idols blur among circa-1965 rock pioneers and film director Quentin Tarantino, isn't your everyday musician.

    Neither is Villa Park engineer Brian Zieske, owner of Gallery of Carpet studios, who helped Flannery pin down the Beatles-influenced sound that landed itself at Abbey Road months after recording began.

    Though Flannery worked solo on his debut album last year without a backing band, he commissioned Zieske -- producer of The Hush Sound, The Academy Is … and The Audition -- as well as an ensemble of local musicians from the likes of Villains of Verona, Dorian Minor and Company of Thieves to help him record it. "When I got to Gallery of Carpet," Flannery says, "I just realized that this is the center of the (suburban) music scene."

    Two songs into production, Flannery and Zieske found out that Steve Rooke, the engineer who mastered music wunderkinds The Breeders, David Bowie, The Cure and, of course, John Lennon, would work on Flannery's debut album. After hearing news like that, it seemed only right to salute a piece of Beatles trivia in the album name. Flannery decided on "Sale of the Century," for the big Beatles auction in the early '80s.

    "It really just motivated us to do as good a job as possible," Flannery says now, five months after the disc's first two tracks returned from Abbey Road. "We really slaved over it. All in all, I'm definitely very satisfied."

    Because Flannery happens to be the type of musician who immerses himself in the art of recorded music rather than live shows, and whose personality rivals Rivers Cuomo for the articulate examination of song construction, he likely had much of "Sale of the Century" written in his head before approaching Zieske and the tight-knit group of indie rockers that hang around Gallery of Carpet. But Flannery credits Zieske with helping him identify the '60s pop strain that's now so prevalent throughout the album and which pushed the project's hand-clapping single "Empty Gun" into sing-along local success.

    Flannery cites the loud, kind of distorted guitar riffs in "Empty Gun" as one of the turning points for the album's focus. "How are we going to get that sound?" Flannery says he and Zieske contemplated during recording. Of course in theory the pair knew exactly what kind of jangle-pop chords they wanted but, in the end, didn't know how to achieve them. Per true Flannery style, they investigated other 1960s-style music for inspiration and landed smack dab on the Beatles.

    The fact that the song found its way to Abbey Road is, well, nothing short of fateful - and is pure icing on the cake for Flannery, who just wanted to create a solid first album. "They'll run the songs through the same signal patches (as the Beatles')," Flannery declares of Abbey Road production. "I have no idea what the hell he's talking about, but it sounds kind of cool."

    Originally from upstate New York, Flannery moved to Evanston for school, namely for a film degree that he hopes might help land him a job working on movie scores sometime down the road. Flannery says he quickly recognized the Chicago and suburban music scenes as breeding grounds for college-age musicians, so he began unloading all of his teenage music research into songwriting and recording about a year ago.

    Most recently, after adding a permanent guitarist and bassist to the mix, Flannery switched his focus from writing to studying live performance, a music art form that he says must elicit emotionally compelling reactions from audiences on an entirely different level than the recorded songs.

    "I was at a Hush Sound concert at Beat Kitchen," he says, also pointing to bands like the Kings of Leon for effectively moving, live-show examples. "I'd heard their album … but their live show was captivating."

    "Sale of the Century" makes its debut this summer. Until then, Flannery plans to play the Chicago area as often as possible, even if it means ignoring his native New York where the scene remains saturated with the cliquey sounds of Vampire Weekend. The suburbs and city will stand in as his stomping ground until graduation, when Flannery ultimately hopes to decide whether Villa Park-grown indie pop can keep him rooted in Evanston or movie soundtracks will shift him to Los Angeles, where silver-screen scores are already proving themselves tempting.

    Either way, he'll always have Abbey Road and the Beatles. At least for the time being. "That's the kind of music that we strived for, for this album," he says. "I'm not sure that's what I'm doing with the next project." When he says this, Flannery mentions something about conjuring an '80s feel for his next album. When I suggest that he try a Sufjan Stevens-esque

    "decades" theme, he half laughs, saying that he isn't sure he could pull off Led Zeppelin in time for the 1970s disc.
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    An Article in the RedEye about Sars Flannery
    4/16/2008
    RedEye Article

    Not yet old enough to take a legal drink, Sars Flannery has nevertheless taken it upon himself to shoulder his way into the Chicago music scene, and he credits it all to a childhood obsession with the Beatles.

    "I was fascinated with '60's music, but particularly British Invasion bands," Flannery says. "I'm probably the only person who would name a song like 'World Without Love' that Paul McCartney wrote for a one-hit-wonder British band [as an influence]."

    Flannery attends Northwestern University, where he majors in film, but much of his time is spent shuttling between Evanston and Chicago, where he plays in clubs such as Metro, Schubas and Subterranean. It's there where he really gets a chance to show crowds how those British Invasion bands influenced him.

    Flannery, whose first name is actually Sarsfield says he has a specific mind-set when he writes a song.

    "I think most great modern pop music attempts to achieve a mixture of joy and sorrow," he says. "I once heard Beck describe it as a mixture between happy music and sad lyrics, or sad lyrics and happy music. … It's about the tension between those things that makes it exciting."

    Has Flannery moved past his '60s obsession yet? Yes and no, he says.

    "All music is about ripping off enough bands to sound original," he says. "There are a lot of bands out there right now that I love to listen to and learn from, especially on the Chicago scene. … The Office is a band I really admire."

    While Flannery puts together a full band to back him during his live shows, he also is hard at work on his first album, "Sale of the Century."

    The album is named after the famous auction that sold off all of the Beatles recording equipment from Abbey Roads Studio after they broke up--a fitting tribute to the band that got him started with music.

    [ Stephen Markley is a RedEye special contributor. ]


    Click here to find out more!
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    Chicago Tribune, Bailiff
    1/11/ 2008
    Archive for Friday, January 11, 2008

    Bailiff getting the hang of ‘this music thing’

    By Andy Downing
    January 11, 2008

    When Bailiff played its first show on a snowy Wednesday night in April, the trio expected the venue to be half empty. Instead, the Beat Kitchen was jampacked for its six-song set, a turn of events that left the band members shaken and its frontman considering an early retirement.

    “I just remember not being able to hear anything,” says singer/guitaristJosh Siegel. “I felt like I couldn’t hear my voice. I couldn’t hear the drums even though they were extremely loud. I remember thinking, ‘This is the way it’s going to be forever?’ At that point, I didn’t know if I could do this music thing.”
    Fortunately, Siegel’s anxieties faded after the first performance; Bailiff has now played more than a dozen local gigs and is primed for its Saturday return to the Beat Kitchen in celebration of the release of its first EP, “MmHmm.” Evan Sult, drummer for Bound Stems and Harvey Danger, was one of those in attendance for that first show. In a testimonial posted to the band’sMySpace site, Sult offers the three-piece his unabashed praise: “There’s no one jumping around slinging sweat and drawing a lot of attention, but they’re somehow mesmerizing.”

    “Mm Hmm” continues that effect, sounding at once effortless and scary intense. The band works tension and release to perfection on songs such as”Even I Know the Rain” and “What I Was,” building from a spectral chime to a thunderous, foundation-rattling groove on the latter. All four EP cuts have roots in the blues – the three bandmates are fans of Buddy Guy’s “Sweet Tea”– but the crew frequently stretches this influence until it’s distorted and unrecognizable.

    Working with engineer Brian Zeiske at Gallery of Carpet Studio, the band concentrated on recreating its live sound (listeners can hear the wooden rattle of Ren Mathew’s drumsticks at the onset of “Even I Know the Rain”),preferring to record to 2-inch tape rather than use digital equipment. It was, says bassist Marc Bonadies, an effort to preserve the raw feel of the songs.

    That’s not to say that the band is ignorant of music’s ongoing digital revolution. Siegel notes that CDs and digital music files are becoming more-or-less promotional tools – aural advertisements designed to get listeners out for the live performances. With that in mind, the trio is planning to spend as much of 2008 as possible crammed in a van, crisscrossing the country.

    “It’s the reason we’re all in this band,” says the newly confident frontman. “Now we’re ready to get out there and do the work.”

    Bailiff
    Big and getting bigger, so stand back
    When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday
    Where: Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave.
    Price: $7; 773-281-4444

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    Illinois Entertainer, Studio Happenings,
    3/30/2007

    Committed To Tape
    ilentertainer | Mar 30, 2007 | Comments 0
    Saying analog recording is becoming a lost art is no longer even a debatable subject. Heck, just a few years ago it seemed the technique was on the verge of extinction when Quantegy Inc., the last company to manufacture reel-to-reel tape, abruptly shut its factory doors and filed for bankruptcy, putting studios in a tizzy and scrambling to snatch whatever tape they could.
    Old-school recorders breathed deep sighs of relief when Discount Tape Inc. swooped in and bought Quantegy, reviving the manufacture of tape, but digital recording is still the preferred method among a majority of studios. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of engineers and producers out there still providing analog services, though. And sometimes they come in unlikely packages. Take, for example, Gallery Of Carpet Recording in Villa Park and its 25-year-old producer/ engineer, Brian Zieske.
    Twenty-five-years old? Yep, a child of cell phones, 128-bit gaming systems, and plasma televisions who prefers to record to tape.
    “The records I grew up listening to, I always listened to them for the emotional contact,” Zieske says. “I found that when I record on analog tape it’s a much more organic process. You’re forced with these limitations, you’re forced as musicians to perform. Even if you’re not perfect, it’s real, and after you do a whole record that way it starts sounding better and better. It starts sounding more and more like an organic performance and not a quantized, digital . . . it doesn’t sound like a bunch of parts, it sounds like a band.
    “The best projects I do are the ones that sound the most stripped down,” he continues, “because you do it to tape you don’t add effects, you don’t layer. The tape is so fat it doesn’t need layering. It exposes the band and their qualities. Everybody’s records today are about accuracy, about precision, and not about feeling.”
    Zieske, who started GOC Recording four years ago is, of course, competent digitally. He knows analog isn’t for everyone and does plenty of ProTool jobs as well. He also does a lot of hybrid projects where clients record to tape, then Zieske transfers it to ProTools HD at a high sample rate to preserve the quality. “You can take a sonically beautiful recording and then make it precise in ProTools,” Zieske explains. “That’s kind of the ultimate way to do it.”
    It’s not just the sound of analog that gets Zieske going, though, he admits. Often times it’s the challenge, like it was when he worked with jazz/rock fusion act The Coop on their most recent release, Lost In Thought.
    “We basically tracked it live, then did overdubs. I had to hire an assistant mixing engineer to help me, but we did all the mixes off the tape – it was extremely challenging. I had never done a record like that. I called it the ‘Analog Challenge,’” he recalls with a laugh. “Nothing went into the computer, no computers were harmed; we did it like they would have in 1970. I wanted all these drum sounds to happen, so to set up these six drum tracks I had to split the board into 27 tracks for drums.
    “During the song I had to work in tandem with the assistant engineer to mute the instruments, move faders, and it became a performance. You had to learn the song, you had to know when to boost the saxophone, when to pull it down, when to turn up the reverb, when to mute the drums. And you had about 400 moves to make within this song.
    “I kinda did it for my own curiosity and bragging rights, I guess,” Zieske now admits. “It didn’t need to be done that way – I could have achieved it in ProTools a lot easier, but I think it really kind of helped. It sounds a lot more edgy and aggressive.”
    Though he already has pieced together an impressive resume that includes The Academy Is . . . , The Hush Sound, and The Audition, Zieske often finds himself forced to prove himself because of his age. It’s one thing to convince a young band of 20-somethings doing their first pro recording that you’re able to deliver the goods, but it’s a whole different ballgame when clients are experienced vets more than twice your age.
    But, Zieske claims, he isn’t insulted when his age and experience are questions because he’s always confident his product can convince doubters.
    Consider John Milne convinced. Milne is the 52-year old leader of Chicago country act The Long Gone Lonesome Boys, who recorded Crawling Back To You and their most recent, Lonesome Time, at GOC. “Brian is a wunderkind, no doubt,” Milne gushes. “I’ve worked with a few guys like him, like Kevin Gilbert, he cowrote and produced lots of Sheryl Crow’s hits and engineered some later Michael Jackson stuff, [and] in terms of being an in-studio genius Brian’s right there. But he’s not smug or arrogant. I suggested some really unusual ways of working, and although he expressed doubts, he was willing to try things and recognized what worked.”
    “They are a lot older than me,” Zieske says of the Lonesome Boys, whose other members are 47, 33, and 26-years old, “and they challenged me just because of their experience, and they knew what went on in the studio. I think they were impressed with what I was doing and what I was doing for my age, though.”
    For now, Gallery Of Carpet’s best known attribute might be its quirky name, a moniker derived from the fact the first version, housed in then-assistant Ted Elliason’s basement, was covered floor-to-ceiling in carpet to attain a dry sound. But it might not be long before the buzz is about its analog whiz kid.
    “Yeah, they think I’m crazy,” Zieske says of people’s reactions to his enthusiasm for old-school recording at such a young age. “It’s cool, though.”
    Gallery Of Carpet Recording is located in Villa Park. For more information visit
    www.galleryofcarpet.com or e-mail info@ galleryofcarpet.com.




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