A Blog called>> Black Coffee

a recording anecdote 

i recorded this band a year or two ago.  they were/are *awesome*.  they played interesting, enjoyable, beautifully crafted music, and they performed it very competently. they set up to do the stuff "live", which means, everybody is mic'd up and performs the song at the same time, as opposed to, say, having the vocal or singer perform on top of an existing recorded performance. i drove home on a high from the sessions. "I'm the MAN, motherf*&^ers!!" I thought. "I'm the KING OF GETTING SOUNDS!"

Literally…Read more

A New Song... 

I've got a "Bandcamp" site now.  It's yet another site for musicians.  It's pretty slick though!  Anyhoo, I dropped a new tune on there for you to keep you thinking of me.  Be warned, however, it's a sad number. Hope you enjoy...


Say ZuZu Road story #328 - "Farm Aid Crashers!" 

one time, when the great say zuzu was on tour, we had a cancelled gig in chicago. how odd. it happened to be the same day as farm aid, which was in oak lawn, IL that year - not too far away. being acquaintences with some of willie nelson's band (a story for another time), we called their bass player, Bee Spears to see if we could get some help getting in (see: backstage). we had lunch with bee the day before the show, and hung out with a bunch of willies crew, including a lightning plug of a man, "tommy…Read more

thoughts on recording and the importance of arrangements... 

i record other folks a lot these days. it's a weird thing to be the guy at the board after making nine(?) records with my  Say ZuZu (RIP 2003), and on several others as a guest on others' recordings.  i find it fascinating. it's really bringing into focus a lot of lessons that i hope (someday!) to implement myself.

this idea won't work for every song/band/genre of course, but it's my opinion that it applies to most music!

anyway, lemme get to the point without rambling first.  not that i'm…Read more

There is no "right" decision.... 

So I'm just gonna start putting out music.  We've got one tune in the can, and almost finished.  I'm gonna post it somewhere when it's done.  I have PLENTY of tunes to record. I'm guessing I'll try and get an album together tat some point also, but first things first:  gettin' something done.

Goal: new tune number one in two/three weeks.  That gives me plenty of time to finish overdubs and mix it, I think.



one song every other week? two EP's a year? an entire album after a while? you tell me! 

i know i haven't put out an album since like, 1972, but hear me out on this one....

is the album, as a form, mostly kaput from a consumer's standpoint?  i think of myself as an album guy, but the truth is, that even when i have, say  The Beatles' "Revolver" in the CD player in the car, i skip around.  no "eleanor rigby," "here there and everywhere", "for no one" or "love you to".  i'll listen to "taxman" once, then "im only sleeping" a couple of times in a row (so good!), then i'll binge on "she said she…Read more

SIRIUS / XM is cooool.... (hello new music source!) 

the nolan fam just got a new car!  nothing fancy.  just a get there and back rig.  it is *new* though, with new car smell and everything.  it's a hyundai elantra, in case you were wondering.  do you think tom waits drives a hyundai?  nevermind.

the thing is though, it comes with XM installed!  you get three months free, but i haggled and got another year on top of it.  i've been so psyched!  everytime i get in the car i now im going to hear something cool.  EVERY. TIME.   this is awesome. i had a CD player…Read more

A new backing band! 

Steve Ruhm, my ye olde drummist from Say ZuZu flies private jets for a living.  He prolly figured he had a better chance of flying in one if he learned to fly it himself.  God knows Say ZuZu was never destined to have one.   We woulda been freaked out anyway.  Skynyrd and Otis Redding and Buddy Holly kinda ruined that idea for us.  Anyhoo, seems he was just about to go nuts unless he started playing music again, even casually.  Friday midday became an informal jam with Steve and a few friends.  I scooped…Read more

Studio. Old demos. Heat. 

I'm mixing the new Tim McCoy and The Papercuts record this week!  This, my friends, is a good thing, because it comes out in three weeks.  Yikes.  Mix number one tomorrow.  Cross yer fingers.

Found an old cassette tape(!) full of half finished songs.  Got the wheels spinning a bit.  I know, I know. I'll believe it when I see it too.

Today was one of those hazy, slightly humid days that we usually only get in June or July.  Lucked out and snagged one in May.  Awesome.

I'm Hosting an Awards Show... 

specifically, the spotlight awards!  the spotlight magazine is the weekly entertainment magazine that comes with the portsmouth herald newspaper.  t'will be good times.  or, i might freeze up and faint.  you should come and cheer me on.  or heckle me.