Part Six 2000-2003
Santuary and Hope

By January 2000, the studio was essentially complete. A little tidying up was still needed but it was fully functional. Christened "The Womb" by my friends Seraph and Edna because it was warm, cozy and the sound room was plush with floor and walls of red carpet. Sessions began in earnest with a vast variety of styles of music being created.

Early Womb pics from the old website

Kira and I were back to writing dozens of songs. Having our own studio afforded us much more opportunity for experimentation and growth. Edna and I continued with some of our advant-garde projects. Seraph, who was just beginning to learn to play guitar was commonly present to contribute and absorb what she could. I even had a handful of outside clients who came to have their sound preserved.

Recording Frank's Closet at Waveburner Recording back in 1997-1998 introduced me to desktop computer recording.
Man, what an absolutely incredible music making tool. I wasn't so interested in digital recording (I still prefer analog) but the processing, editing and mixing capabilities simply blew me away. It was about a year before I finally got a computer into
The Womb but once I did, things really got rollin'.

Wavelab (early version)
This is the version Dalton used when we recorded
at Waveburner Recording

Wavelab 4.0
The version used at The Womb with multi-tracks
and multi-effects capabilities

Because of The Womb, my friends Seraph and Edna became close friends and were soon producing avant-garde audio/visual/performance art pieces together. I would partake in some of these adventures but mostly from more of a technical angle as opposed to a creative. However, their antics naturally seeped into the studio producing a myriad of results.

Circa summer 2000
A few still photo examples of Seraph and Edna's 'performances'.
They labeled themselves The Video Poets
Some of their creations can be seen here and here
Note: sections of the "Carnival" clip were fillmed by me.

May 27, 2000 at a local festival
Edna Floretta, Chazz Avery, Seraph Jordan

Several acquaintances of mine, Kira's, Edna's and Seraph's began to be regular visitors to The Womb.

The other primary Womb players...

Stella Vyne (Rhonda)
guitar, drums, vocals

Richard Repp
multiple instruments and vocals

Shannon Hess
vocals and odd instruments

Ambrose Pearse

Jeni Lemke
vocals, keyboards

Jason Valence

Corey Tamás
guitar, bass, vocals

Dalton Brand
drums, tech support

Smokin' Joe Weaver
My old friend Joe passed on a few years ago. I miss him a lot and think of him often.
He was the biggest Hendrix fan I ever knew. Hopefully, he's jammin' with Jimi right now.

Can't forget about Kira's cat, Simon
the studio mascot
I had found Simon in 1997 as a stray and Kira chose to keep him.
He was small enough to hold in my hand. He would become my good buddy in the studio.

Surprisingly, not too many still images exist and most of what does exist are already found in Chazz and Kira's galleries.
Seraph took some digital stills and Stella took some analog stills. However, several hours of video exist. These come from two primary sources. The first was a stationary VHS camera on a tripod in the studio which was occasionally moved. The second was Edna's digital camera which typically captured many angles. Even more strangely is the fact that hardly any images exist from 2001 (although, there's hours of audio). Below are dated links to galleries of (mostly) screen captures taken from the various videos. Due to the lighting conditions in The Womb, some of these images are a bit grainy but they present a fine representation of the activities that occured and tell the story of The Womb more than anything else.
Please refer to the photos above for the peoples' names mentioned in the galleries.
Please bear in mind, a handfull of these pages have many pics and might take a few seconds to load.

These links will open in a new window.

Sept-Dec 1999

As I dismantled The Womb, I nearly gutted it back to it's original condition.
Here's a video of me leaving it for the last time. Note: I still have the flower.
Watch the video

The summer of 2003 also brought a surprise I never thought I'd witness again. Iggy Pop would reunite with the original, Funhouse-era Stooges. Could this be real? Yep, it sure was. And the icing on the cake is that Mike Watt (formerly of The Minutemen) had been recruited to replace The Stooges' deceased original bass player. Finally, in August 2003, I saw The Stooges first Detroit hometown show in almost thirty years. Back in 1970, The Stooges were the first concert I had ever attended. It was as if I had come full-circle.

Note: The original date was cancelled due to the big North American black-out

The Stooges in Detroit August 25, 2003

September 2003 marked the end of The Womb. Kira moved and I no longer had use of the property. One of the most exciting times of my life was gone. If I hadn't had so much gear and such a backlog of recordings, I might have given up playing music. But it was in my blood. I couldn't stop. Because I had been going at it strong for about six years, I didn't do much for the rest of 2003 but toward the end of the year, I began to reassemble the gear in my basement.
It wasn't The Womb but it was, at least, something.

To date, many of the Worm or Kira and Chazz Womb recordings, are still unmixed and unmastered properly but I work on them a little bit at a time.

During the Womb years, my musical tastes continued to expand. I continued to be inspired by female artists and a few new favorites were Fiona Apple who falls well into the PJ Harvey and Tori Amos catagory, Sheila Chandra creates soundscapes that are out of this world and the all too cool Yeah Yeah Yeahs absolutely fuckin' rock!.

Fiona Apple

Sheila Chandra

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Way back, during the late 1980s, I began listening to a commercial-free college radio station out of Detroit. WDET-FM featured the most diverse and eclectic playlist I had ever heard. You would hear anything from Iggy Pop to Frank Sinatra. Also featured was excellent blues, jazz, folk, celtic and classical programming. In 1997, WDET essentially became the ONLY radio station I listened to and remains so today. Sure, occasionally I dial over to the alternate rock or oldies stations but WDET rules the airwaves on my radios to this day.

My employment, from 1997-2005, afforded me much time to listen to the radio while working. Most frequent times were in the evening during which WDET runs an excellent jazz program hosted by Ed Love. Mr. Love sure knows his jazz. Because I wasn't hearing too much interesting coming from the rock world, I began to explore deeper into the jazz world I had been missing. Jazz continues to grow as a listening favorite of mine and I see no reason it won't continue to do so.

Thelonious Monk

Miles Davis

John Coltrane

I also began to explore and purchase other genres of music.

Folk music

World and ethnic music

Just as The Womb was ending, two albums by two legendary artists would surface that would have profound effect and influence on not only my music but also on my life. Johnny Cash and Buddy Guy created albums that were clearly purging a lifetime's collection of demons. I could have sworn they were singing about my life. What these men had to say really meant something to me and I've never viewed life the same again.

Johnny Cash
American IV: The Man Comes Around

Buddy Guy
Sweet Tea

2004 would be a new dawn and actually bring me a certain degree of fame compliments of The Beatles.

On to Part Seven