Recording Studio Excerpt from Vaporized
The short cab ride through Friday night traffic ended in front of a nondescript, dark, metal door in lower Manhattan. Jon pushed the buzzer next to a piece of paper with the handwritten word “studio” taped to the doorjamb. Entry into the exclusive world of multi-track recording was an invitation-only affair, and the location of the doorbell was a carefully guarded secret. Anonymity was a critical element of survival because robbers saw the cache of expensive equipment as an inviting target, clients, some indulging in illegal stimulants, needed to avoid detection, and well known artists who could afford the $1000 a day card rate of fully equipped studios like Heard Tracks sought refuge from the pressures of notoriety in the secretive comforts of a well appointed creative environment.
Musical Performance from Vaporized
Freddy twirled his neon-tipped sticks before clicking them together for the count-off. The guitar player grabbed the downbeat with a whole-tone slide, and the keyboard player used his left hand to sketch out a mid-tempo, minor-key progression. High octave keyboard string pads, played with his right hand, set the tension, and the bass thump followed Freddy’s one and three kicks. The guitarist stabbed upstroke chords along with the snare on two and four, and Freddy let the syncopated energy build before coming in with vocals. A clever three-note, pre-chorus riff, played in unison by the keyboard and guitar, ratcheted up the dramatics. The momentum elevated as Freddy delivered a plaintive lyric about coming home and the audience was sold and delivered. All the small talk stopped as the performers preened, stretching their moments with extended keyboard, bass, and guitar solos. The barrage of inspired playing overwhelmed the defenses of the girls in the front row, and they joined the faithful in rapture. Freddy’s drum solo at the seven-minute marked the highlight of the number, and the rest of the shortened set was a meandering coast down from the emotional heights of the opening jam. The audience’s energy subsided along with the performers’, until everyone was thinking about the time and tomorrow. The last song rocked to a false close with contrived staccato urgency, then revived itself, only to die again a few more times, unconvincingly, like the villain in a bad western. When it was finally over, everyone, including the band, was relieved that it was. The polite clapping was not accompanied by calls for an encore. It was way past time to go and everyone had had enough.
NYC Description from Vaporized
The air was warm and the rain had washed a layer of fumes and dust from the cityscape. Rebecca’s optimistic pink and white tennis shoes squeaked on the dampened pavement as she headed uptown, staying as close to the East River as possible. Although naturally reserved and aloof, she still found comfort in the company of other people, even if they were complete strangers. Walking briskly, she acknowledged her emergent neighbors with a pleasant knowing smile that was the accepted visual currency New York pedestrians exchange. Saturday morning exercisers were walking out their workweek worries, stretching muscles that had cramped from the confinement of office politics and city living. Young mothers pushing strollers smiled proudly as Rebecca admired their charioted offspring. Shopkeepers swept the puddles and litter from in front of their stores, inviting weekend shoppers into their arrangements of produce, clothes, and dry goods. The reduced weekend delivery truck, commuter bus, and car traffic flowed more easily through the busy streets that, for once, seemed wide enough to accommodate the population. Saturday morning in the residential areas of Manhattan always had the feel of the morning after a terrible disaster, when the survivors come out of hiding to see who had endured the pressures of the preceding week.