Discography : Simple And Bitter

1. Into 3:29
2. Lightning Strikes Twice 4:07
3. Watching The Clock 3:37
4. Little White Lies 4:47
5. Family Tree 4:12
6. Seeing The Green 3:47
7. Tow The Bar 3:15
8. The Beginning's End 3:40
9. My Side Of The Story 5:22
10. Feel Free 4:14
11. The Battle Of Wissahickon 5:55
12. You Were There 2:01

Produced by Jimmy Fishman
Mixed & Mastered by Ben Kenobi
Recorded & Mixed @ Rock Spot in Philly, PA
May 9, 2004 - April 30, 2005
Studio Hours Logged : 166.5
All songs by Chris Oberlin [1999-2002]
All instruments & programming by HUGE Down HERE
Released May 17, 2005 by O-Yo Records
Total running time 48:30

Simple, Bitter Instruments
To record, mix & master:
ZOOM MRS-1044 MultiTrak Digital Recording Studio
To make noise:
2004 Taylor 610ce guitar
1998 Epiphone PR-200 guitar
2001 Squier Standard Stratocaster guitar
Mali gueni 9"x18" traditional African djembe
Vic Firth Hickory 5A drumsticks
To record noise:
Marshall MXL 1006 condenser microphone
Rolls phantom power for ^
Raxess popper stopper
On Stage microphone stands
To make noise possible:
Dunlop nylon .73mm guitar picks
Elixer medium gauge acoustic strings
Martin SP phosphor bronze acoustic strings
To make noise listenable:
Seiko ST-727 digital tuner
To monitor noise-making:
Sony MDR-V500 headphones
To make noise mass-producable:
Sony RCD-W10 Compact Disc Recorder
Sony blank CD-R discs

CD packaging & design by oB.
Labels and liners by Fellowes/NEATO
Created with MediaFACE 4 design software
Cover photo by Carl Hansen and used without permission,
© 1995 Smithsonian
CD and back cover photos courtesy of The National Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration - from the public domain @ http://www.photolib.noaa.gov
Cover photo: Unidentified flower high in the Panama rainforest canopy with dark ants feeding on its nectar, by Carl Hansen; circa 1985-1991
CD photo: Unidentified flower in the People's Republic of China, by George Saxton; Fall 1979
Back cover photo: Climbing a mushroom coral rock in the Phillipines, by Captain William M. Scaife; 1926
Band photos by Chris Oberlin, Stephanie Ellis, Erin Price, Desiree Haneman, Wendy Oberlin

Total # copies pressed : 36 (1)
© ℗ 2005 O-Yo Records

Notes: This record was already titled (w/ cover art) by summer '01 and tracklisted by mid-2002, well before the first record was even completed... some of these songs were considered for the first record, including "The Beginning's End", "Seeing The Green" and "Watching The Clock" but they were eventually picked to be in this batch of 12 songs for thematic reasons... I still don't own a bass guitar, so the "bass" on the record is still just me playing guitar on various guitar settings (using the studio effects) that are more "bassy"... there are 5 songs with programmed drums on this record (tracks 1,3,5,8,&10) and the others don't because I'm still using a studio that doesn't allow for tempo changes in the middle of a programmed drum song, so whenever there's a change in a song, it's impossible to change the beat tempo, thus rendering it impossible to program drums for it... there is, however, a full-length djembe percussion track on "Lightning Strikes Twice", which also has no guitar fills except for a "bass" track - just one straight acoustic track, bass and the djembe... the new Taylor 610ce guitar (Tess) was used for every single acoustic note on this record, with the exception of a few fills on one song, "The Battle of Wissahickon" - Tess wil continue to get the bulk of the work but Essie will always get a few chords in a song or two on every record... in fact, every single note played on Tess was played on the SAME SET of strings on the entire record... every single guitar track (rhythm acoustic, acoustic fill, electric fill, bass) on "Little White Lies" was played with the same guitar - Tess... "Tow The Bar" is not an autobiographical tune but it is about a real person - the title is a hint... two of these songs in their most basic form (album acoustic track and a scratch vocal only, with other instruments removed) were recorded on a CD and entered into a songwriting contest (LST & WTC) but didn't make the "finalist" list... a couple of very early titles for this record (before the first one was even recorded) were "Nothing Is Subtle" and also "Little White Liar" after the song of similar name, and cover art was even created in a couple of very crude versions (one of which is below)...

I'd been having some lingering, chronic, minor sinus problems prior to doing all of the vocals, which were recorded after all of the music was done - and I was very nervous about being able to get decent vocal sounds, or having to go see my doctor and then waiting for whatever attempts to fix the problem - but I took Tylenol Severe Congestion practically every day and just sang through the mucus, in effect... I still don't consider myself a good singer, but I like to think I've improved and am emoting better this time around... the recording process for this CD took just over half the time of the first one (that's calendar time, not # of hours - even though that was much less, too), thanks to experience, confidence and a much better guitar... I loathed but attacked the mixing process, completing all the mixes in about a week - unfortunately I found out quickly that I needed to redo them all... the first record's sound levels annoyed me because it was so quiet, you had to turn it up much louder than any other CD to hear it at good a level (though I wasn't sure if it was because of my mix levels or if that's just what happens to burned CDs from my source)... anyway, so when I went to mix all of these tracks, I mixed them high so they would be "louder" - they all sounded great on the studio console - however, when in the process of transferring them to CD I found out I was getting distortion in the finished product... I figured it out when I had already burned the first track and was listening to the second, which even before it was transferred was mixed too high, so then I listened more closely to the first one and found a bit of buzzing... after listening to all of the songs and doing test burns on all the tracks, I realized I needed to remix them one by one, even though a couple were almost ok (while a few of them weren't even close)... and that pretty much sucked - I had already decided on a release date (the 10th) but pushed it back a week to tackle The Great Remix... after all the remixes were complete, I did some test CD transfers and I was bummed that they all sounded so low and flat - like the first CD; I seriously though I might have to remix them all again, and maybe even have to redo some guitar tracking on Watching The Clock, which was really causing me trouble... I went back to it and tried turning up the volume on the master fader, which brought up the levels but didn't do much to hurt the sound... I thought I had a master CD after I turned up all the tracks a full +6 db, then realized they were all a little hot, so I re-did the entire master once again, at around +3 for all, and it finally sounded strong but not hot - I think (ironically in plenty of time to make the original release date)... although I think I lost some of the bass sound (and some acoustic guitar punch) on a few of the tracks when I mixed them down... all of the songs are old tunes and none are newer than 2002, because we've got lots of good songs in the bank that we want to record... the 3rd record will try and catch up to the present, more or less... one minor printing error was discovered after printing up 30 copies of the CD artwork - the single 's' in the word 'productions' on the CD itself was in a font size 9 while the rest of the entire phrase was in size 11, and upon very close inspection you can notice it is indeed smaller and sits slightly off the rest of the word, and we have no idea how that happened and why we didn't catch it until we did...