Photo: Meg Sheff-Atteberry
PopMatters has had plenty of nice things to say about Baltimore’s the Oranges Band (specifically here and here. When the band announced that they were headed into the studio to begin work on their new record, having soldiered through personnel changes and struggles at their label, Lookout Records, it seemed like an excellent time to catch up and to allow them to speak for themselves by cataloging the happenings. Over the next several weeks, Oranges Band frontman Roman Kuebler will write in with updates from the sessions for the band’s third full-length. Judging from the preview of the songs that the band gave at a recent show at Cake Shop in New York City, the arrangements are denser and the lyrics step a city block away from the sundazed atmospherics of their last album. Always an excellent live band, I’ve never heard them sound better. The hope now is that Kuebler will help us better understand the process, or at least the process in this specific case, of taking a group of people and a set of songs and bringing them into a studio for a set amount of days, singing and playing into microphones, plugging and unplugging effects boxes, adjusting levels, hoping nothing important breaks or gets lost or erased, and then, hopefully, walking out with a finished document that comes close to your expectations and which you can then turn around and call your new album.
Doug and I met in NY to rehearse the new Oranges Band material. We had a couple shows scheduled before we hit the studio. My best pal Rachel from Palomar let us use their practice space to get our crap together. There was a minor commotion caused by new kittens… who can resist?!
The Name of This Band Is The Oranges Band
So we’re making this album and when making an album it’s important to remember that a recording is a factual document for the most part. It is the representation of a performance that happened for real. (It’s important to remember that when listening to an album also.) It is a point of view that doesn’t necessarily change anything but it does, for better or worse, kind of level the playing field. So, no matter what the budget, or where it was done, when the engineer hit the record button, David Bowie physically performed the lead vocal to “Young Americans”. (It is also rather funny to think about this fact when you hear it come on the PA at K-Mart while shopping for household items.)