It's been awhile! Not a whole lot o' fandom goodness to report on, that's why. I did see James and Ghost of the Robot at San Diego IndieFest. Woot. IndieFest of course is always fun, and I took many pics, and I do want to do a report, but so far I haven't had the heart to do it. So! Moving along, I almost went to the Bard Bash (James doing Shakespeare, singing, Q&Aing, etc) in New Jersey. Alas, it was canceled. I saw NYC anyway! Yay! Ton of fun there. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you were royally spammed by me. Mwuahaha. I mean, sorry. :-D What else. Just did San Diego Comic-Con. Had a GREAT time. Maybe I'll do some reportage on that. But first! I wanted to tell you about the party that Ghost of the Robot hosted last night (29 July) at the Swing House Recording Studios , Hollywood.
It was a listening party for their new CD "Murphy's Law". The master was hot off the press, and James hadn't heard it since they had finished mixing it. So about 37 of us sat in a room and listened to it for the first time. I don't know who was more excited, James or us. And wow! It was soooo good, peeps. I'm not lying here. It just blew me away. And James was thrilled too. But, allow me to back up and tell the experience from the beginning.
seapealsh and I arrived first, and were joined soon thereafter by oanimation. We were dismayed to find we were the only ones there. Well, except for James and his crew. They arrived about the same time we did. And when James came out to move his car, we got big hugs and had a nice opportunity to talk with him. He looks REALLY good, and I told him so. He's happy and healthy, and was so excited about hearing the CD. He introduced us to Micah who is doing backup vocals for them, and Jordan who is their new drummer. Kevin joined us, and it was really nice talking to him again.
James told us that Ziggy Marley was inside. "That's great! Who's Ziggy Marley?" I asked James. He informed me. And said that Ziggy was leaving *ahem* a gift wafting in the air. He said that all we need to do is breathe deeply when we get inside and the CD will sound better and better. LOL! Well now, we were gonna have some fun. :-D
I was curious about who was doing the mixing and whatnot on the CD, and James said that they were all doing it. For some reason, I thought that James just did the vocals and guitar, then others did the other production stuff. Well, wrong! James does it all, man. ;-D Somehow the subject was changed to a BBQ and pool party James was having at his house after the listening party. He got sheepish here and confessed that he's using propane to heat the pool, and the conservation gods will not be pleased, but it's only for one night. I agreed that they're pissed at him. ;) Anyway, James went to move his car, drove the wrong way down a one-way street, moved an orange cone, and achieved parking nirvana. He then went inside, saying that he'd see us later.
I asked Kevin if Aaron Anderson (GotR 1.0 drummer) would ever play with the band again. He said that he's busy now with his other band Fictionist. I brought up how he's also getting married, which is great. But Kevin didn't say that we'd never see Aaron play with them again, so who knows, I guess it could happen someday. :)
Other fans finally came. Kevin shared about buying a table cloth for the party, and sheets for his bed for the first time in his life recently. I asked what characters were on the sheets, maybe Peanuts? ;-D He said a paisley print. And now you know, dear readers, what kind of sheets Kevin has.
Eventually Kevin let us in, and we went to Stage 1. Here's a pic taken by Ivy Dickerson during the party (and posted in
this article from collegepulsemag.com). Why didn't I take my own pic? Because any cameras or cell phones were forbidden. They didn't want their hard work being bootlegged and played on YouTube. So that's understandable.
On the chairs and sofa from left to right: Charlie De Mars, Micah, Jordan Latham, James Marsters, Kevin McPherson, Sullivan Marsters. I was sitting directly across from them on a sofa.
For the first half hour or so, everyone was just talking and relaxing. James was moving about, trying to talk a bit to everyone. When he ended up at our sofa (yeah, we scored a sofa to sit in haha) I told him that his solo CDs were produced in such a way that I preferred his live performances better. He nodded and said he agreed. I asked if that would be different with this new CD. He said it would, and that the way it was being produced reflected his style, and would sound like him this time. I asked who gets the last word on the production of a song. He said whoever wrote it does. Then he said but it never comes to that. They all have input, and use the best ideas. Other info divulged: The release date is Nov 15 for iTunes, but they will eventually be selling actual CDs for those who prefer that. I asked how many songs Sullivan played on, and he said three. (He's off by a bit. More on that later.) He joked that they had to leave Charlie something to play. lol Finally, I asked if "Over Now" was going to be on this CD. He said no, but it'd go on the next CD. YES! Should have gotten that in writing or something. Haha.
James left to talk to other peeps, and I went over to Patricia and talked with her for a bit. She's so lovely and charming. She gave me a big hug and said the last time we spoke was at the L.A. Theater Works production last year. I had to think about it for a second, but she was right. It's been a really long time. She's very happy and spoke about what her goals are and what her passion in life is (acting.) I wished her all the best! Then I told Sullivan about his Dad saying that he'd played on 3 songs, and I was wondering what they were. He lists off a whole bunch of them. Moonshot, Truth Is, Go Luck Yourself, One Love One Exception, and a couple more. I think that's more than 3. ;)
OK so it was time for the listening part of the party. They said that there was 16 songs and that they'd play 4 at a time, then break for any questions or comments. James said that the genre is varied (and man, is he right.) There's some country, 50's, 60's surfer, etc. James said he loved sharing this experience with us, hearing it for the first time with us. Kevin pointed out that so many of us there were long-time fans that were there at the beginning, and they really appreciated us being there. They plan on using an RV to tour the West Coast next summer. (Yay!) They have had difficulties with Sullivan playing with them because he's underage and therefore isn't always allowed to use the bathroom. He can go on stage, but can't pee. lol The album is exactly 51:50 in length. James pointed out that is the code for being a danger to yourself or others, which he said he's had experience with. lol
After Truth Is, James said that when they posted that video on Facebook, many fans thought they were just goofing off, but they weren't. They were actually recording a track, and it ended up on the CD. It's not right out in front, but you can hear it.
After The Key (I think), James said that Charlie's vocals have really improved, and they wanted their voices to mesh and be difficult to tell apart. I'm not sure if he meant just on that song, or on all of them, where both are singing. But yeah. I could tell on some that it was Charlie singing, but I wasn't always sure. But he does very well with the vocals.
Here's the song list:
1) Go Luck Yourself (I think Charlie wrote this one.)
2) One Love, One Exception (Sullivan wrote the melody. James wrote lyrics, but Charlie wrote better ones and "lost" James'. ;-D)
3) Too Fast
4) Cowboy Song (or maybe called "Alone" now, not sure. It's still a cappella.)
5) Truth Is
6) Blind Eyes (Charlie's song. Ends with a heartbeat sound. Really cool song.)
7) Issues (Kevin wrote the melody, Charlie wrote the lyrics.)
9) Moonshot (James high-fived Sullivan during this song.)
10) Stripper (Charlie's song that he wrote years ago. It's metaphorical.)
11) Finer Than Gold
12) If This Is Love (Yay, I love this one.)
13) Transferring Energy
14) Men Who Die
16) The Key
While we listened, James would sometimes close his eyes and just immerse himself in the song, foot-tapping and head-nodding along. He'd high-five Sullivan during some of his parts. We could tell he was loving it. After "If This Is Love", where the song ends with "I'm gonna be the man you fell for, and put that gold on your slender hand," he looked over at Patricia and pointed at his wedding ring. How sweet is that? Anyway, like he said, song styles/genre were wildly varied. All of it VERY good. They've all progressed so much with their own talents and what they have to offer in the past few years, and now they've come together again, and are completely prepared to offer us an amazing sound. Props to them and everyone involved. About half are James' songs. The other half are mostly Charlie's (with assists from Sullivan and Kevin.)
Here, have a sketch! Who needs those heavy cameras anyway. *sells Canon on Ebay* A moment in time at the listening party. Ghost of the Robot sitting on a sofa, listening to their CD. James exclaiming how awesome it is. :-D
They posed for photos (with their photographer taking the pics) and after the band all posed together, James called Sullivan over to pose just with him sitting on the sofa. He said, "Look shorter." LOL It was really a lovely moment though.
Afterward, James walked around and talked to people again. He gave me a big hug and said that he was hoping I'd be there, and was very happy to see I was. We both started talking about how great it was to hear the CD, what we thought of it, and how well Charlie did and...well I'd have more to tell about our mutual squeeing session, but a fan interrupted to give him something. Another fan who had somehow gotten a camera, stood behind James, aimed the camera at his butt, and took a pic. I said, "Are you really taking a photo of his ass?" She said "Yes." At this point, James literally covered his ass by laying down on a sofa and talking to some other fans.
*sigh* Really, Fandom? Sometimes I just can't with you...
Anyway. James stayed on the sofa for awhile talking to fans, and I went over to where some other fans were talking to Patricia. I took a photo of her butt then I interrupted...wait. I actually just asked her what her favorite song on the new CD was. She said that she was crying during "Finer Than Gold" and other songs. She really couldn't pick a favorite because she likes so many of them. Aw. She was so happy and thrilled to be there, and said she wouldn't miss it. I told her I'd missed seeing her at San Diego IndieFest. She explained why she couldn't go. I asked her if she'd be going to DragonCon in early September, and she said she couldn't because of family being in town.
Talked to Charlie a bit. Gave him a hug and told him how talented I thought he was. I also said that James had promised to put Over Now on the next CD. Haha. I'm like covering all the bases, right? Charlie said that he was planning on putting all new songs on the next CD, and wasn't Over Now on one of their previous CDs? Why no it wasn't, I responded. It's special, Charlie! I've waited a long time to hear a studio recording! Damn, I was selling that song. He said he'd think about it. Well all right then. :-D
Mars Police news. They're looking for a teenage drummer, preferably in Northern California. PJ's the only one doing vocals (and does very well.) So far. Come on, the rest of you guys. Take the risk. ;) Patricia was right there when I was talking to them, and I told her how much I enjoyed her singing/video on YouTube. She said it was really a lot of fun doing that. And she said that she hoped to do more. Excellent.
After listening to parts of the CD again, and talking to friends, etc. I decided to say bye to James. We hugged and he thanked me over and over again for being there. I thanked him for sharing the CD with us. I then told him how I'd missed seeing him at the Shakespeare thing. He thought I meant the Big Apple event in NYC the following month (which I didn't attend), and said that he was glad I missed it because it was awful. (So tell me what you really think. lol) But I told him that I was talking about the Bard Bash that was canceled. He said he couldn't do that one because he was working, but he hoped to do another next year. OK. I told him I was planning on seeing him at Dragon*Con in Atlanta so he'd better show up. :-D He promised me he would. Haha. James can cancel stuff, I can get hugely disappointed, give him a hard time about it, and he takes it like a man. Yay him. ::adores::
Somehow the subject of his hair came up. Rosie (I believe) was trying to sell him on the virtues of letting his curls show. James starts running his hand through his straightened hair and saying how he likes it that way and how some of it flops onto his forehead. lol I said, "But your fans love your curls." He wasn't budging though. He ran his hand through his hair a few more times and said that he'd worked hard to get it that way. :-D
So that was it! We left the studio, talking amongst ourselves. Rosie snagged one of the printed out signs for the event that were posted outside of the studio. They said, "Ghost in the Robot Listening Party, Stage 1". Note the "in" there. To throw people off track, no doubt! lol I snagged a couple, one for me and one for seapealsh. As I started walking to my car, James drove out in the driveway right in front of me. He and Patricia saw me and waved goodbye. :-D So James and family/friends were off to his BBQ with heated pool, and oanimation, seapealsh and I went to IHoP to indulge in a little post-party revelry. What an amazing night. We were all so happy with how it turned out, and that we were able to share it with James and the rest of the band. Yay!
November 15th, release date! Can. Not. Wait. \o/