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Studiophile: September 2010

| August 31, 2010

I’d Like To Be Like Lauren Frost

At OAKDALE 3B STUDIO in Chicago, Lauren Frost, current indie/acoustic rocker and former Disney star, recorded what might be regarded as her signature song, “The August,” with songwriting partner Ashton Likes. One of the more requested songs from her live show, Frost gave us the backstory on the song and how it came to be. “The August” was written by Frost and Likes for their friend and bass player, Tom Gallagher, as a wedding gift. “The first time we played it live was for Gallagher and his new bride at their wedding reception. The two were married at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion. Tom is a photographer and his wife is a painter, so those themes are incorporated into the verses of the song. Additionally, the photo used for the single release was taken by the groom.” The popularity of the song grew during Frost’s month-long Double Door residency, where audiences clapped and sang along to the song as it was being developed live. “It was because of the great response that we decided to take the wedding song into the studio.” Frost and Likes began recording with their good friend and Frost writing partner Matt Scutt at his home studio, Oakdale 3B in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. “Our goal in recording the song was to keep it as raw and organic as possible to keep from overproducing the track.” Without the possibility of using a drum kit in the small apartment, and wanting to stay away from pre-programmed midi beats, all of the percussion sounds came from what they had to use at the time: Beating the back of an acoustic guitar for the kick drum, using shakers and mouth noises for hi-hats, and snaps, claps, and tambourine for the backbeat. “The August” can be downloaded from Frost’s Web site at

AT GRAVITY STUDIOS in Wicker Park, it’s been a busy summer, Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora came in to cut vocal tracks for an upcoming release with Ian Spudes. It was quite a surprise when the band walked through the door, you don’t figure Bon Jovi as a Wicker Park band (Gold Coast maybe?). But just as quickly as they appeared, they were off to their next gig – two sold-out shows at Solider Field . . . Studio honcho Doug McBride recently finished an album with Rollo Time and began the final touches on a new record with Anna Fermin (of Trigger Gospel fame) and an EP with Slow Match . . . Joseph Peven recently completed a three-song EP with Athel and a two-song single with At Rifts End. A lot has changed at the studio this summer, according to Peven. “We totally rebuilt the A control room, featuring a Tonelux summing mixer, as well as adjustments to the acoustics that translate amazingly well to other environments.” Peven says not only is this system sleeker and more compact than the bulky consoles of yesteryear, “but it provides a more efficient work flow and instant recalls on demand.” The Gravity crew is so proud of their new set-up and invites prospective artists to visit it online ( or stop by for a tour. Just call ahead – they’re busy! Also of note, Gravity’s mastering services have increased in a flat economy. McBride has mastered albums for Aiden (Victory Records), The Million Dollar Quartet, and American Idol winner/Mt. Prospect native Lee DeWyze.

At MILLION YEN studios in Chicago, über producer/former Jawbox and Burning Airlines frontman J Robbins recorded Small Town Bike for No Idea Records . . . Scott Lucas finished a covers EP to be released by Local H and another mini album for his side-project with The Married Men; studio owner Andy Gerber assisted.


Category: Columns, Monthly, Studiophile

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