"It was just a waste of time.
Yeah, you were just a waste of time.
But I don’t mind.”
One of those days.
Jonathan Richman - City Vs. Country
A constant struggle I deal with.
I want to live close to downtown to be near my friends
I want to be close to them,
And still be out by the trees and the wind
Havin’ both will be hard to find I’m sure,
But then ain’t that the way of the world,
I want the city but I want the country too.
I want to be with my friends by the fire and the starlight
But I want music, music in my life
Yes, I want a bar hoppin’ music scene
And I want to pick from ten or fifteen
I want the city but I want the country too.
A few months ago on a Friday night we went down to Hungry Andy’s in Fells Point for dinner. I parked the car a few blocks away and on our walk we passed a garbage can on the corner. There was a photo album sitting right on top of it, like someone had placed it there only minutes before. It wasn’t dirty at all, just a little beat up with the spine twisted. I opened it up real quick and looked inside to see it was full of photos. It seemed kind of sad someone would throw it away so I walked back and put it in the trunk of my car. It sat back there for weeks before I brought it inside. Then it sat on a shelf for another few months.
Tonight for whatever reason we remembered it’s existence and decided to open it up. A few photos have possible names written on them but not many. All of the smaller photos were taped to larger ones that seem kind of out of context to the rest, as if someone combined two unrelated photo albums together. However the small photos are the interesting ones.
From what I can gather it seems that a man named Will (probably William) who has photos of himself very young wearing a US Navy outfit, probably WWII, grew up and perhaps owned a local bar. I see a photo of the outside of a bar that says “Harry’s Miniature Bar” and another reference to “Dallas Pleasure Club” at 926 Gay Street. Can’t be sure if any of these photos are actually from inside those places though.
You can see plenty of Baltimore references all over the place. Gunther and National beer boxes stacked high. A sign on the ceiling mentions the name Art Donovan. Another photo features a display for Bromo Seltzer.
I can’t be sure all of these photos are from the same place. There are some photos in the album from the 1970s that look very much like the Canton or Highlandtown area. The roads have a bit of curve to them as well as arcitecture that matches that area. The one thing throwing me off is in the distance is one single tall building, it looks similar to an apartment building near Greenmount Cemetery. It is possible this place has been completely demolished and something new has been built on top of it.
I see references to the last name Wise but nothing in the album is written very clearly. There is a very faded photo on a card of some sort with what looks like William in his 70s or 80s with his grandchildren.
If any of this rings a bell to anyone let me know. Finding out where Harry’s Bar was may be the key.
Amazing, amazing pieces of the past. Everyone looks so happy.
My laptop doesn’t seem like it can handle GarageBand anymore. Now how the hell am I going to mix my record?
Looks like my next best option is to use my old desktop computer with the ancient mixing and editing software I used to use way back in the day. If the computer can still work, that is—I haven’t turned it on in almost two years. I imagine that the mixing and editing process will have to be even more meticulous using the old software. The mixing program is very easy to use, but the audio editing program I have has a lot of options, and I haven’t touched in it ages. I’m really hoping that this is a blessing in disguise.
I wish I could afford a new MacBook, but I just don’t have the funds right now. My old beast from 2008 will probably be used until it doesn’t turn on anymore. It’s already having issues where random mp3’s will just be dead and not work, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other files started having the same issue. It’s an old dog.
I’ll have to fire up the old desktop when I get home today and start importing the audio files. I hope that this works out for the better.
I’ve really been picking up speed on finishing the principal recording for my album. I’m starting to get into perfectionist mode. Just last Sunday, I spent about two hours trying to get the guitar sound and solo just right on one song. Imagine that: the same song over and over and over and over and over and over again for two hours. And I’m still not sure I got what I wanted. I stopped when my brain felt like nacho cheese.
After the drums are added, it’s likely I’ll go back again.
Last night, I spent most of my evening redoing some guitars that didn’t sound quite right on a couple songs, and laying down some bass on a couple others. It’s funny, I rarely get to play this much bass at one time, and my hands have been feeling the work. I had to stop last night just to give my hands a break, and to eat.
I’ve got to say though, it’s nice to finally come back to my old perfectionist self. I’ve missed recording like this, I used to do it all the time when I was a kid.
Happy International Polar Bear Day!
Science reporter Deborah Netburn talked to the chief scientist for Polar Bears International, the conservation group that founded International Polar Bear Day, about ways people can help polar bears. Number one on the group’s list: turn your thermostat down a few degrees.
Video: A polar bear cub experiences snow for the first time. Credit: Toronto Zoo