Making The Grade

After two day-long recording sessions the Elektra Kings are slightly more than halfway through the process of producing a full-length album.

We first arrived at Lightning Boy Recording Studio in North Collins on Saturday morning and began the lengthy and, I’ll admit, confusing, conversation about techniques and the overall sound we wanted to attain. After a couple hours of setting up and miking the drums, we got the guitar and bass up and running and began the process of tracking.

We opted for an 11-song album comprised of nine originals and two covers that we arranged to suit our instro-surf stylings. We ran through them one at a time, recording the drums and bass to a metronome and the guitar to the other instruments. This process took about 3-4 hours. Approximately half the songs were completed in one take, but others took anywhere between two and four takes.

At this stage only the drums were being officially recorded for use. The bass and guitar were laying down “scratch tracks” that we used as placeholders to get us all through the songs from start to finish and so everyone would know where their entrances and cues were.

Sunday we returned to the studio and yours truly took center stage. I was a little nervous because many of those bass lines are much faster and more involved than what I play in Cold Lazarus. It was, however, a bit of a relief to know that we can get through most of the tracks in five minutes or less if we nailed it one take. That’s something I wasn’t accustomed to, as tracking in Cold Lazarus took much longer — mostly due to the fact that those songs average at about twice the length of Elektra Kings songs.

Regardless, I performed well under pressure thanks in large part to the “punch in” method. Basically I would record each song start to finish and then go back and re-record certain notes or phrases that I either screwed up or utterly missed in the runthrough. This allowed me to finish all 11 tracks in about two and a half hours.

So, with that all said and done, all that remains is to track the guitar parts, which is unfortunately going to be the most involved part of the process due to the complexity of the guitar lines. And, of course, because timing is a virtue and we’ve never really prided ourselves on our accuracy in terms of an entire unit.

After that comes the mixing and mastering, which likely won’t take nearly as long as it did on the Cold Lazarus album both because the tracks are much shorter and we’re using far less instrumentation and effects. The guitar is slated to be tracked two weekends from now, but it remains to be seen whether that will be fully achieved in a single session. Thus, I’m unsure of a time frame in which the album would be completed.

If everything goes smoothly I’d anticipate seeing a finished product about a month from now, but I should probably know better after how drastically I underestimated the release date of the Cold Lazarus album.

In any case, I’m glad that the Elektra Kings are finally getting our music officially and professionally recorded, and the process ended up being more enjoyable than I anticipated.

And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.


Little Theatre To Present ‘Send Me No Flowers’ This Weekend: The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will conclude its two-week production of “Send Me No Flowers” this weekend with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Under the artistic direction of Todd Pullan, the Little Theatre production has employed some creative license by updating the original 1960 adaptation to include references to the present time and local reference rather than the Westchester County and New York City region — the setting of the original play. The show is a three-act comedy that follows its protagonist, George Kimball, who’s favorite hobby is hypochondria. When Kimball mistakenly overhears his doctor discussing another patient with heart trouble, he prepares to meet the end bravely, sure it is “his time.” Putting his affairs in order, he writes a heartbreaking letter to his wife to be read as his eulogy. He even arranges a good second husband for his soon-to-be widow, with a cemetery plot for three: himself, his wife and the new future “Mr. Kimball.”

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is located at 18 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 483-1095 or visit

‘Chautauqua’s Got Talent’ Auditions Set For Feb. 19: Auditions for the ninth annual, five-week “Chautauqua’s Got Talent” competition will be held Monday, Feb. 19, at the Spire Theater, beginning at 7 p.m., when contest hopefuls are invited to display their talents before a panel of judges. Co-presented by Big Time Productions and The Post-Journal, “Chautauqua’s Got Talent” offers Chautauqua area residents a unique opportunity to compete against one another using a variety of skills and abilities. In addition to singers and musicians, the contest also encourages other types of entertainers, such as comedians, magicians and dancers, to perform in front of a live audience over a five-week period. The contest also welcomes groups as well as solo acts.

Auditioning hopefuls should come prepared to offer a sample of their talent for approximately one minute, and bring a parent or guardian if under 18. If hopefuls are unable to attend the audition, there is an option to send in a video audition by emailing a video file or YouTube link to any time up until midnight Tuesday, Feb. 20. The contest will begin its five-week run Monday, March 5, and will conclude Monday, April 2. Each competition round will begin at 7 p.m. on its respective date. Presale tickets to individual shows are $7, and are available for purchase through the Labyrinth Press Company, located at 10 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown, or online at A pass to attend all five competition nights is also available at the aforementioned locations for $30. Individual tickets on performance nights are available at the door for $9.

The Spire Theater is located at 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information on auditions, or this year’s “Chautauqua’s Got Talent” competition, contact The Spire Theater at 450-7357, or by email at

Chautauqua Institution Announces 2018 Popular Entertainment Concerts: Chautauqua Institution has announced two favorite big-name acts and confirmed dates for the Silkroad Ensemble’s Week Seven mainstage performances, including a show featuring founder Yo-Yo Ma, as part of its programming for the 2018 season this summer.

On Friday, July 13, Huey Lewis and the News will perform at the Chautauqua Amphitheater in an 8:15 p.m. concert. Huey Lewis and The News are truly one of America’s great rock ‘n’ roll bands. As they enter their 38th year together, their contagious brand of music has outlasted countless trends, and is as fresh today as ever. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide, selling over 20 million albums in the process, earning them the right to mark their place on the pop history map. These GRAMMY Award winners have written and performed such classic Top 10 hits as “Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Stuck With You,” “I Want A New Drug,” “If This Is It,” “Hip To Be Square,” “Do You Believe In Love” and “Workin’ For A Livin.” The group also wrote and performed “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” for the hit film “Back to the Future.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the amphitheater will host “An Evening with Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi” at 8:15 p.m. Stunning Chautauqua during her 2017 performance, Giddens returns to the amphitheater as a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. Giddens is an American artist specializing in folk and traditional music, equally adept performing on banjo, fiddle and voice. Creating a show for this special evening at Chautauqua, Giddens is joined by Turrisi, an Italian pianist, percussionist and accordionist specializing in jazz, early music and Mediterranean music. Together they trace a distinctive musical globalism. Join as they journey from Africa and the Middle East, through southern Europe and England, and over to the Americas for a hand-crafted evening of music across cultures.

The GRAMMY-Award winning Silkroad Ensemble will give two 8:15 p.m. concerts on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and Friday, Aug. 10 — with the latter featuring world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Silkroad Ensemble represents dozens of nationalities and artistic traditions, from Spain and Japan to Syria and the United States. Its Grammy Award-winning album “Sing Me Home” was developed and recorded alongside a 2016 documentary feature, “The Music of Strangers,” which will be shown as part of Silkroad’s enticing week at Chautauqua. Ma’s multifaceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music, or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 357-6250, email or visit


To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.


The Karl-Marks Show: 7 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown

Comedy open mic: 8 p.m., Labyrinth Press Co., 14 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown

Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10:30 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown


Brian Hanna: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown

Screamin’ Lou: 8 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

Kyle Gustafson: 7:30 p.m., Fresco, 2 E. 2nd St. in Jamestown

Karaoke: 8 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 865, 41 Bigelow Ave. in Jamestown

Short Bus: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown

Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 9 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown

Pressure Sensitive: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy

Highway Lines: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown


Steve Strickland Duo: 7 p.m., Craft Burgers and Brews, 60 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

Adam McKillip: 7:30 p.m., Fresco, 2 E. 2nd St. in Jamestown

“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” screening: 8 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown

Wasted Whiskey: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy

Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown

Smokin’ 45: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown


Karaoke: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown


“The Disaster Artist” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown

Karaoke: 10 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown