Saturday, June 27, 2009

The telescope that made a Vietnamese karoake record

We have here the reason why two Grammy nominations went to a guy in a home studio in Midtown St. Louis last year.

When I moved home from New York five years ago, my old friend Adam long had accumulated an apartment full of astronomical gear in my absence. He had a bunch of telescopes, with this being the biggest, and was just about to buy one even bigger and better than this.

At the same time, he was a recording studio gypsy, renting rooms and paying room rates all over town to engineer the projects he was recording. Offhandedly, with no sense that I was changing his life (or even leaving an impression on this supremely willful dude), I suggested he do without the bigger and better telescope and begin to invest in a home studio instead.

Five years later, he seldom works anywhere but in his living room. In that room, he mixed an original Broadway cast recording and a gospel hiphop record that both made Grammy shortlists last year. That's also where he mixes the projects I produce with Poetry Scores.

I am thinking of this because Adam just thanked me for a client referral. My wife and I are regulars at Miss Saigon on the Loop, and friendly with the owners. They have confided in us that they love to sing Vietnamese karaoke.

At some point I mentioned that one of my best friends is a Grammy-nominated recording engineer who would probably work for delicious Vietnamese food, and is affordable anyway. I guess they finally took me up on the suggestion and called Adam.

"Thanks to me," I told Adam, when he called to thank me, "you are recording your first Vietnamese karoake record."
A pause while he thought. "No," he said. "Second."

The Attitudes hat on the telescope, by the way, is from what used to be his favorite lesbian bar. I say "used to be". Adam is a passionate scholar on the subject of lesbian bars. It's not possible to say what is his favorite at any moment without asking him - at that moment.

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