:html> Skates Sharpened and Repaired

This music has been audio-optimized for a moving car with the windows rolled down.

skates sharpened and repaired: listen
[what is this .ogg business?]
July 7th, Everyday,
with Dave Hendrick.
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I sang, played guitar, mandolin, and harmonica. Dave played lead guitar and offerred indispensible help during the recording progress. I wish he was around more often.
August, ?? Blue Skies,
by Tom Waits
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This track was recorded live to Minidisc in the Steinway store in downtown San Francisco. Thanks to Nick for holding the mic, and to Eureka for the Pink Floyd intro. (And for running interference so we didn't get our butts kicked out of the store.) The vocals are a little quiet, but that's what you get when you're making guerilla music in a Steinway store.
August ??, Grapefruit Moon
by Tom Waits
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Same setup as Blue Skies. The shuffling noise you hear is Nick moving the mic deeper into his sleeve so the store lady doesn't give us the lineman's boot. I hope Tom doesn't mind me playing his music. I should look into how he handles that stuff.
September 15th, Matthew
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Recorded live to Minidisc in the lobby of Anderson Chapel at North Park University. I played my 12-string Yamaha acoustic guitar.
September 15th, Green Pastures
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Same setup as Matthew. I got this song from Emmylou Harris. It is an American folk song. My version is very much like the Emmylou version (as opposed to the Ralph Stanley version). It only occurred to me recently that the lyrics are a paraphrase of parts of the 23rd Psalm.
September 15th, I don't know where here is
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This was actually the first song to be recorded in my living room in Chicago (like they were all supposed to be, originally...). I play everything, with great lengths of mediocrity. No, seriously. This track really showcases that "taking it as it comes" philosophy of Skates. I play my 6-string, my creaky Hammond organ, and my Sony Dream Machine radio. And sang. Note: I had always meant to have AM chatter in the background of this song, it just turned out that the only English AM chatter in Chicago was either WTC stuff of ESPN stuff. So I used the WTC stuff, although I wonder if I don't regret not using some korean banter or something. Anyway, this song is not about WTC, although some of the themes of isolation and pride, etc., go well with the AM stuff. Oh, and this song, perhaps more than any other, will probably be torture for people with perfect pitch. *shrug*`
September 29th, Peace of Mind -- rough acoustic
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This is an old redvinegar standard. When I got my banjo, Phil and I thought it would be fun to do this real laid back, country-style. We changed the key to G (for the banjo's sake) and slowed it down. I also really dig the harmonies that Phil throws in. (He's also playing the acoustic guitar.) This was recorded with my stereo condenser mic directly into my minidisc player. It's rough -- we're going to try and fix some things, etc., but I thought it was good enough to put up for y'all to hear. It's also 7 minutes, 24 seconds, so it'll be a large download. Finally, just FYI, this is just about the absolute simplest thing you can play on the banjo. It's like, beginning banjo, page 2 music.
October 4th, Ok -- out in the cold version
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This song is probably my most popular song, at least from the point of view of people who heard me play a lot in college. It gets tiring to play the same thing over and over, especially given my whole conflicted understanding of the fact that I write a lot of sappy love songs. So I don't mind playing it, but it's one of those things where you're not crazy about the songs that people like the most. Oh well. Dave Hendrick came down from the North Country to hang out last Thursday, and late at night, we set up in the chapel at North Park and just played. I played the chords that start the song, and Dave played along. Somewhere after we played for several minutes, I needed something to sing, and realized that I could use ok's words to these chords. This is the first take of the combination, after the original experiment. That night it was pouring rain, so after Dave went to bed, I sat and listened to rain for 15 minutes to throw behind the music. This was recorded on the MD player, and a few edits were made on the background rain tracks (because I didn't think they were long enough). It's long.
December 4, Explain
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This song was written by Jeremy Enigk (of Sunny Day Real Estate fame) and was recorded by him on his solo album, Return of the Frog Queen. Laura actually loaned me this CD way back when we had first became friends, so it has a lot of personal importance for us, in addition to it being a great song. We actually joke about this arrangement, that it's like a Peabo Bryson/Linda Rondstadt duet, from American Tail III: Fievel goes North, or something like that. Either way, we recorded this live to MD in Hanson Hall 23 on North Park's campus. I played piano, Laura and I sang.
December 20, I don't know where here is -- acoustic/cta version
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Ok, so this will be the last I dont't know where here is song for a while. :) It's a stereo recording of me singing the song with Phil's guitar, and was recorded the same night that he and I recorded the acoustic Peace of Mind. Some time ago, I had tried merging this version with some trainsounds that I recorded when I was visiting Nick and Friends in SF, but the futuristic trainsounds didn't seem to fit with the song, and I set the idea aside, promising that I would go and get some El noises. So, last week, I took the minidisc player on a trip to Laurie's Planet of Sound at Lincoln Square and recorded some train sounds specifically for this recording. I mixed them together last night with Audacity which is a great, Free Software audio editor capable of doing cool multi-tracking type stuff. I really like how this one turned out; you can be sure that it will be on the final version of Skates.

I should mention that due to new advances in sound compression, the .ogg file for this song is less than half the size of the .mp3 files. This advancement is not available for .mp3 without paying a premium for it, but .ogg development is done for free, by volunteers who aren't trying to soak artists and content providers. If you haven't started using .ogg files, perhaps now is the time to start! Email me if you have trouble getting Ogg to work.

Easter, March 31st, 2002, i have decided to follow jesus -- banjo sketch
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I'm thinking of doing a different version of this hymn, with some more instrumentation, and maybe a harmony track. But maybe it will just stay the way it is. Anyway, I love the simplicity of this hymn, and the straightforward message; it's one of my favorites.
November 5th, 2003, i'll go on downtown
by Robert Earl Keen
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With Peter Carlson, and apologies to Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and most of all, Robert Earl Keen.

I heard Gillian Welch and David Rawlings do this song, which subsequently introduced me to Robert Earl Keen. I think this song is absolutely great, and captures something that I think almost everyone feels at some point -- that restlessness that grabs you for reasons that you can't explain or understand. I also really like the main character in the song, because he's seems like a nice guy who has everythig together, but he still isn't content. This 8th grade exposition of the song brought to you by Skates Sharpened and Repaired.

The song was recorded with my stereo mic live to mini-disc by myself and Peter Carlson. Erik Anderson helped with the mic while we played.

All music (c) 2001 Peter A. Peterson except where I say that it's been written by someone else.
Email me if you want to perform or record these songs.