Doug Van Sloun and Focus Mastering; TSITR, UUVVWWZ, SMD tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 6:42 pm February 20, 2008

As a primer to the feature I just posted about Doug Van Sloun’s brand new Focus Mastering studio (here), you may want to read (or reread) my interview with Doug from 2003 (here). Then come back and read the feature about Focus, where Doug gives full disclosure on his new state-of-the-art mastering studio. Most readers of this site know who Doug is, but for the few who don’t: Van Sloun is the guy who mastered every major indie release out of Nebraska for the past 10 years or so. His name is as synonymous with Nebraska indie music as Saddle Creek Records, Mike Mogis and Bright Eyes. His new studio will blow your mind. Read about it, then check it out for yourself Saturday March 1, at his open house. I warned Doug that he’ll have more than just potential customers out there to hear what perfect sound sounds like. We go beyond the new studio in this week’s column, where Doug talks about mastering in general, the recording industry, mp3s and other fun stuff. Consider it part 2 of today’s feature, online tomorrow.

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Here are my misgivings about tonight’s show at Slowdown:

Ever have someone go on and on about a movie that you “just have to see”? They tell you how the film “changed their lives,” how the plot and acting and cinematography were beyond clever. How the sound track will make your head spin. How they laughed and cried and held on to the edge of their seats for what was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill ride. The words “Oscar” and “Best Picture” are tossed around matter-of-factly, along with phrases like “You MUST see it,” and “Unforgettable.”

So you go. And the movie might be good, but it never, ever lives up to the build up. And ultimately, you’re disappointed.

That’s what I’m worried about with UUVVWWZ. I hope I didn’t oversell them in my review a few weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong, they were frigging amazing. To me. But I don’t know if they’re going to be the answer to everything that ails you. I don’t want you going to Slowdown Jr. tonight expecting the second coming of PJ Harvey, Bjork and The Pixies all rolled up in one. UUVVWWZ isn’t that. They are what they are — which is one of the most talented new bands I’ve seen around here in years. And hopefully they’ll be that for you tonight. If they’re not, there’s always The Show Is the Rainbow’s usual fun-loving bag of tricks. Darren never fails to entertain. And from Edwardsville, Illinois, near St. Louis, comes tonight’s headliner, So Many Dynamos. Their name, as you may or may not have figured out, is a palindrome, just like Slap a Ham on Omaha, Pals. Spell it backwards and it spells the same thing. They began working on a new album last year with Death Cab’s Chris Walla at Tiny Telephone. Their stuff on myspace reminds me of early Dismemberment Plan. Odd, but spunky. $5, 9 p.m. As we used to say back in old days, Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog!

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