Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Adam Fieled: Streetlakes (Fieled)

In comparing architecturally grandiose Philadelphia with butt-ugly New York, one notable aspect of life in Philly is how the city looks and feels at night. Neo-Romantic art is sodden with it: a sense of the ghostly, the apparitional, the spectral, and also the gravitas of architectural soundness and solidity. Streetlakes, from Ardent, is an attempt to manifest some of these vistas in rock music, complicated, in this case, by a sense that life in the street, living in an urban fast-lane, has to end at some point if a serious creative path is to be pursued. By throwing in the closing monologue, which attempts to formally address Charles Baudelaire’s prose poem "Crowds" from Paris Spleen, I knew I was risking accusations of preciosity and pretentiousness. If I was willing to risk it, it’s because I had a real point I wanted to make. I was preparing to write entire books, and even as all the PFS and the Highwire Gallery adventures loomed, I knew my life on the street would have to be reined in at some point.

The recording sessions for this at Main Street West were notable for Matt’s improvisations towards making a slide guitar sound unique, involving mike placements and an echo box. Matt also accidentally erased an entire bass track and I had to do it twice. The Streetlakes sessions were all late-at-night ones. We had routines going by this time: I would lay down all necessary tracks, and then lounge around, usually stoned, perusing Matt's ample collection of sci-fi, rock, and comic books while he mixed the track. The studio at Main Street West was a mess, but a minor one, and the books formed a series of piles on the floor near the door, which led directly down a winding staircase to a landing, and Matt's bedroom on the second floor. Carrying amps and other equipment up that winding staircase was no fun, but I liked that, as with Buttons Sound in Manhattan (and unlike the Eris Temple to come) we were high above street level. Eris Temple was more mole-like.   

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