Now that the Save Sonic Iguana Kickstarter Campaign has passed the minimum funding limit, EVERY DONATION COUNTS! Before that, it was all theoretical: IF the campaign funded, THEN the pledge would actually go to saving the studio. Now, it has gone to the stage in which your contributions will make a real and tangible difference from the moment you pledge! The link to the Kickstarter is in the prior post on here, and now I am including a PayPal button for those who do not want or like to use non-PayPal options. This is for direct donations only, but I will happily give some reward for your kind support (just let me know)!
In 1994, Mass Giorgini recorded and mixed the Screeching Weasel album How to Make Enemies and Irritate People on the Leaping Lizard Mobile rig of Sonic Iguana Studios. That album was recorded in the basement of drummer Dan Panic and mixed in the living room of the singer songwriter Ben Weasel. Rest and coffee breaks were taken in the kitchen of guitarist John Jughead, who also happened to be Dan Panic’s next-door neighbor. The only then-band member of Screeching Weasel who did not live in Chicago at the time was bassist Mike Dirnt, whose obligations with his other band meant that sessions had to be scheduled around minor details such as appearances on the David Letterman Show. The sessions were crazy, but great fun, and ended up producing a fantastic album!
How to Make Enemies and Irritate People has gone on from its initial long sold-out Lookout Records pressings to a later edition on Asian Man Records, and most recently, on Recess Records.
Mike Dirnt is doing his part to help the Save Sonic Iguana Kickstarter campaign by autographing three of the rare and sold out vinyl LP editions of How to Make Enemies and Irritate People originally released on the Lookout Records–which will be the new reward for the $350 of contribution!
Here is a link to the Save Sonic Iguana Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/912734450/save-sonic-iguana
While we prefer to emphasize positive news in our posts, occasionally life hands us situations which can only be seen as positive after some thought. One such situation is that Sonic Iguana Studios suffered its third major disaster in recent weeks–a burst pipe which filled both studios with at least 700 gallons of water–and I’m only now completely digging out of it after hundreds of man hours of my work and that of wonderful and selfless friends. Between damages to the studio facilities, lost studio time, destroyed equipment, and other costs, the studio is now in a crunch to cover massive expense in a short period of time. Fortunately, dear old friends of the studio have offered some advice in addition to the help we’ve received in clearing up the mess, and we have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to rebuild and improve the studio so we can continue to offer professional studio services to musicians at the lowest cost possible.
In the past, we have done a great deal of very low-price sessions and pro bono mastering jobs to help deserving bands. Some sessions turned into free ones against my wishes when labels went out of business or bands broke up before completing albums. Now we are asking that music fans who have enjoyed albums produced, recorded, mixed or mastered at Sonic Iguana to help support the studio and get it out of this urgent situation and back into full operation–we’ve put together lots of interesting ways to support the campaign, including having contributors act as classical benefactors and fund the albums of future bands recording at Sonic Iguana–and those same contributors would have a hand in choosing those bands.
If you’re not much of a fan of group funding sites and prefer to offer direct contributions or even larger low-or-no-interest loans, we are all ears. There is a clock ticking, and it’s only a few weeks off, so make your voice heard soon! Please contribute what you can to the campaign, and also notice that all of the rewards are also great values in case your band is looking for mastering or mixing work!
So where is the silver lining in all of this? Here it is–if all succeeds, Sonic Iguana Studios will be back better than ever, and by recruiting contributors to help choose and fund some recording, mixing and mastering projects to give for free to some deserving bands, this turns into a real musical community service. That would be a real accomplishment and would take the legacy of Sonic Iguana Studios to a new and even higher level. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/912734450/save-sonic-iguana
In an article published today by SPIN Magazine, there appears a listing of the Top 20 songs of the history of Lookout! Records. Singer/Author Frank Portman (aka Dr. Frank), who also fronted the Mr. T. Experience (chosen as number one on the list, although not by Frank), was asked to compile a list of his own choosing and accompany it with liner-note-style commentaries. Among the 20 appear 6 songs either produced or mastered by Mass Giorgini at Sonic Iguana Studios.
The Sonic Iguana-related tracks are:
The Lillingtons “You’re the Only One” from the Death by Television album.
Screeching Weasel “Peter Brady” from the Anthem for a New Tomorrow album.
The Groovie Ghoulies “The Highwayman” from the Travels with My Amp album.
The Smugglers “She Ain’t No Egyptian” from the Selling the Sizzle! album.
Cub “Way to Go” from the Box of Hair album.
The Queers “Love Love Love” from the Grow Up album.
The complete listing with liner notes can be seen at http://www.spin.com/articles/20-essential-songs-late-lookout-records?page=0.
The past month has been a productive one at Sonic Iguana! The newly redesigned site has brought increased traffic – so much so that April 2012 saw more visitors to soniciguana.com than for the entire preceding year!
On the Mastering front, Mass Giorgini completed and shipped two separate projects for Adeline Records. The first of these is the compilation album The Thing that Ate Larry Livermore, due for release on May 29, 2012 and featuring tracks hand-chosen by the digested individual of the title from some of the top up-and-coming pop-punk bands of today. Larry was asked personally by Adeline Records founder and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong to put together the collection of today’s most promising melodic punks.
Of course the relationship between Larry and Sonic Iguana founder Mass Giorgini is also a very long one – Mass first became involved with Lookout Records (founded by Larry) in 1988 when he helped book shows for the only Operation Ivy tour. A few years later, Mass produced both Screeching Weasel and Queers records for Lookout Records. Soon after that, Mass’ own band Squirtgun signed to the label. In 1994, when Larry’s band the Potatomen toured the Pacific Northwest, Mass filled in on bass guitar. Over the course of the following years, several dozen Lookout releases were eventually produced at Sonic Iguana.
To share with you some of this recent project, we are exclusively streaming a sneak preview of the opening track of The Thing that Ate Larry Livermore, a song titled “Walking Distance” by the band Dear Landlord. Enjoy!
Audio watermarked by request of Adeline Records.
Welcome to the new Sonic Iguana web site! After several years of the same tired old page, we are introducing an updated look. Interestingly, the logo which is the centerpiece of the new site is actually the original logo designed for Sonic Iguana by Aldo Giorgini – renowned artist with several pieces in the Smithsonian Collection – and also father of Sonic Iguana founder Mass Giorgini. In a similar way, the rest of the site is meant to share what is new and fresh about the studio while still proudly celebrating the notable albums which have been produced at Sonic Iguana over the past 22 years.
While the studio has a long and significant history (as celebrated by the partial list of albums produced here on the Credits tab), the current projects being completed at the studio are just as exciting – from the releases completed in just the last few weeks, such as Mass Giorgini’s work on the latest Anti-Flag album The General Strike and master of the upcoming The Thing that Ate Larry compilation for Adeline Records to the current projects in the mastering studio (the upcoming release by San Francisco’s One Man Army on Adeline Records being mastered by Mass Giorgini), in the recording studio (Lady and the Monsters from California, PA being produced by Philip Zumbrun) and also at the mix desk (New Castle, Australia’s Excite Bike being mixed by Philip Zumbrun and mastered by Mass Giorgini).
Finally, in order to celebrate our history in a way that truly has a significant effect on the present, we have decided to stick to the same rates we have had since January 1, 2000 – despite the several thousands of dollars of additional investment in improved and expanded studio equipment in the studio since that time.
Thank you to Punk Rock Geek at TPU Design for designing and putting this site together. We hope you all enjoy the new site, whether you are just visiting, or plan to record with us or master a new release here in the future!
To inaugurate the new site, here is a link to the recently released video sponsored by Amnesty International for “This the New Sound” from Anti-Flag’s latest album The General Strike.