TAPE KEEPS A-ROLLING: The hard questions get asked right here. You won't necessarily find the answers here, but we've got questions. For example: Will Whoopi Goldberg's version of "Mellow Yellow" revive Donovan's career?
Good question, right? No one knows the answer, though. Another good question: What the hell are we yapping about? OK, we've got an explanation for that one. We recently spoke with engineer Bill Cashman of Cavern Studios about recording projects he's worked on in the past year. They included some work on Goldberg's movie Boys On The Side, partially filmed in town in May and June.
"We recorded three songs for the movie," Cashman says. The songs were "Take Me To The River" (an old Al Green song covered by Talking Heads), "Mellow Yellow" and "this polka thing.
"I think it's going to be a little grittier than her last few movies," Cashman says. "The vibe I get is that it's going to be a little more youth oriented. She plays an up-and-coming, struggling rock singer--it should be a pretty hip movie."
Cashman and Cavern also taped a portion of Goldberg's reading of the Amy Hill Hearth best-selling novel Having Our Say. That was done during the filming of the new movie (to be released later this year), when Goldberg had some spare time.
Oddly enough, Cashman also worked with Ted Danson (is this tabloid journalism or what?) in early '94 on a movie called Neon Moon. On that occasion the recording engineer was out in front of the cameras instead of behind the scenes. He and fellow members of The Saddle City Band played the roles of a country band--not much of a stretch of their acting abilities.
"That thing evidently bombed," Cashman says with a laugh. "It opened in like 10 theaters. It's on its way to video stores right now, I think. Siskel and Ebert reviewed it about six weeks ago...thumbs down."
Other Cashman-Cavern projects include the recording of new material by local artists Joe Rush, Tribe Azure, Propaganda Child, Permanent Trip, Sog and a former Tucson band, Copper Canyon.
He also recorded a new album by harmonica player Pierre Herbineaux and pianist Bill Penn, called Voila. He says it's about half original material and half covers, with an emphasis on light classicals. They also do a Gershwin tune and a new version of Bread's "If." (Dudes! Rock on with your bad selves.)
Also in the pipeline is an album by Born & Bred, a local band fronted by vocalist Dave Burdick.
"That's going to be a really, really smoking album," Cashman says. "Just in-your-face hard rock. It's not thrash or heavy metal. It's a little more radio accessible."
He also spent time on another project in which he's an active participant--The Melonheads, a group of locals who have had songs aired on Dr. Demento's syndicated radio program.
"I would characterize it as fun songs with bad taste. They're not dirty or anything, they're just exploring the absurdities of life," he explains. Sounds like the perfect recipe for more airtime on the good doctor's program.
MORE RECORDING NOTES: San Jacinto label owner Rich Hopkins (guitarist and vocalist with Luminarios) is working on a pretty darned amazing project due to be released this year: an album by imprisoned guitarist Billy Sedlmayr.
"I'm going to be putting out a compilation album of all his stuff from back in the late '70s to the present day," Hopkins says. "That's sort of something I've thought about for the last couple of years. He's a very talented guy and unfortunately he's in prison, but I'm going to do whatever I can to make it a good CD."
Sedlmayr went off to the big house a few years back as a result of ongoing problems with a drug habit and the bad things he did in order to feed the addiction.
Hopkins says Sedlmayr (once upon a time with The Pedestrians and Giant Sandworms) has been sending tapes of music he's been recording in prison to friends. Hopkins plans to take tracks from those admittedly poorly recorded songs with songs Sedlmayr wrote and recorded in his pre-prison days.
"He has written incredible songs while he's been in prison. He was in solitary confinement for a whole year--until about half a year ago. He's had some rough times in there. Most people have blown him off. He never burned me so I don't have any bad history with him, where some of his older friends probably do."
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Did you see that D.H. Peligro (former drummer with Dead Kennedys and Red Hot Chili Peppers) is going to be at Club Congress on Friday, January 27? It was right there in last week's Big Noise calendar, in case you missed it.
As it turns out, Peligro won't be at the club that night (he and his eponymous band will be there a week later--Friday, February 3). The absolute lord and inventor of surf-rock guitar--Dick Dale--is playing Congress on the 27th.
LAST NOTES: The monthly Club Rhythm Dance Jam is from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, January 6, and Folk singer Erica Wheeler unravels her insightful songs at the Southwest Center for Music on Thursday, January 12.
Few lyricists equal her ability to dig down to the both the bitter and sweet roots of relationships and love. Call 884-1220 for ticket information.
The Southern boogie of 1970s and '80s hitmakers .38 Special pounds The Outback on Sunday, January 8. The song they're probably best known for is "Hold On Loosely."
Call The Outback at 622-4700 for more information.
| © 1995-97 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth