June 15th, 1910
ALERT’ ! Rasputina now has an official facebook page, often updated by Melora and Daniel with awesome articles!
ALERT’! Rasputina also has an official Youtube Channel, called Rasputinaville. Go check it.
Promo photographs of the band
Pictures of Melora and Ivy, taken by Christy Kane
Pictures of Melora by Fionn Reilley and Dawn Micelli
Touring images(w/DeJesus and Melissa Bell) taken by the band
The 500 first orders received a set of four postcards :
All band pictures by Chris Middleton
Sister Kinderhook Poster
Sticker given out for the Street Team members
Fan with artwork by Daniel DeJesus
Double LP Vinyl
A Summer with Sister Kinderhook.
The story behind the creation of SK, written by Daniel De Jesus, current bandmember, on his myspace.
The concept for the album was in the works about a year ago now, (perhaps even longer) and Melora was very specific as not to share with me very much until she felt ready to work on the recording. Everything was changing in Rasputinaville, the former members had gone and I was a new member of the village that Melora had built. She was getting me acquainted to her musical history and it was always exciting for me to talk to her and hear stories of her adventures with Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, and Rasputina tours of the past. It was also helpful to understand the context of how she worked on her songs. There is a lot of research that goes into a Rasputina album. All over the house are interesting books about Emily Dickenson, Abraham Lincoln, Kinsky, colonial American history, Victorian design books, art history books, and for this project books on the history of the first settlers of the Catskill Mountains. We took field trips to visit the homes of Friedrich Church (a famous landscape painter form the Hudson River School) and Martin Van Buren, the 8th president of the United States. It was there that one could imagine life in the new America, and how the Irish settlers toiled the land and how the Dutchmen were in constant power struggle over property and politics with the British. Upstate New York is very beautiful; I highly recommend the trip to see Olana, Friedrich Church’s home.
Another resource was the current gossip news from the latest celebrity blogs. In the song Kinderhook Hoopskirt Works, the line of “to examine her collection of 225 smiles” references Tyra Banks collection of 225 smiles in her modeling portfolio. I thought that was hilarious! Melora also keeps binders full of clippings, articles, Xeroxes and pictures, from her books and online findings. All of these collected resources stew into the pot of the songwriting process. Melora writes all of the music, I mean everything! The lyrics, all of the cello parts, the vocal harmonies, even the drum parts for this album came from suggested and recorded notes for Catie to work with. Not only that, But she also acted as recording engineer for the album and even mixed most of the record.
The time for recording was a bit of a process too; there was much talk about working in a recording studio in Hudson that was recently established by Henry Hirsch in an old church. It was beautiful, exciting, and extremely expensive. Alas, it was not possible and Melora continued the search for someone to produce the recording with her. She approached several potential co-producers with a few of her samples and was told that she herself possessed the talent to record the album. It would be best for her to record on her own as she was obviously capable of creating something very professional in her own home. So began the recording in Melora’s home studio and the creation of Sister Kinderhook. I had received the scratch recordings long before we got together to work. At first, I felt completely useless to her. The scratch tracks I received already sounded so complete. As a fan, I was so excited and giddy over this new project and I was listening to it everyday.
Over the summer, Melora and I set out to work on the recordings. Every morning, after breakfast, my first task was to listen to the cello parts and transcribe them for her. Melora often writes music as one would make a painting; she creates an overall impression very lightly as her under painting, and then experiments with colors and shape as she goes. Eventually the overall structure of the song is established and certain edits are created for the finalized sketch. In order to record however, we need to transcribe the music and make additional edits. One song would often take half the day to transcribe. I would sit with the earphones and listen to each individual part over and over and write out every note. Often we both would sit and work on one song to write out all of the parts. I did learn, that this was a great way to work because by the time we sat down to record, it was effortless as we both were very familiar with the structures of the songs.
It was important for me to appear professional even though we spent most of the time in the house. At times it was difficult to work when the dog wanted to play or when there were other distractions of Internet surfing and amazon.com shopping. To help myself, I would dress in corporate attire, in slacks and a button shirt with black shoes. It was the summer so I often chose not to wear socks but that was fine. I would ix my hair and shave, and always carried a pencil to be ready for that morning’s transcriptions. I would often refer to Melora as “Boss” whenever we were practicing.
“So Daniel, in the section we just played, try to be softer and less staccato.”
“Sure thing Boss.”
This made her laugh often and I choose to use every now and again.
Sister Kinderhook gathers several stories that take place during the federalist era. The songs have a variety of subjects; farmers discovering the bones of ancient giants, the Leavens girls who are sisters born 200 years apart, jealousy amongst factory women, and somber laments of a young maiden longing for her soldier to return to her in the middle of the coldest and darkest February. As we recorded the songs, I often thought of the possible music videos we could create for this album; I had one idea for a video of dancers in the forest waltzing and Melora and I would be playing our instruments in the nearby field with beautiful night sky with stars and fire flies glowing all around us. Maybe that will be my next painting.
While we were recording, Dawn Miceli from the world famous podcast Dawn and Drew show came to record final interviews and sessions for her documentary called “Under the Corset.” It should be finished soon and made available by the time the album is going to be released. We had a lot of fun making this and Dawn was so much fun to be with. She always made me laugh and was yet another distraction from working. Dawn first met Melora several years ago when she interviewed Melora after a show. You should hear the interview if you are not familiar with Dawn and Drew as it is one of the funniest podcasts out there now. To hear the interview go to http://thedawnanddrewshow.com/celebrity-interviews/....
While we were at the house, Dawn also interviewed me and you can listen to that here.... http://thedawnanddrewshow.com/dnds-867/
Well that is all for now. I hope to write more sooner than later.
Daniel de Jesús