My History Of The Doobie Brothers-Part 1-SiriusXM This Week

My History of the Doobie Brothers-Part 1 – Spotify Playlist

I made this in my bedroom.

Normally I go to the brand spanking new SiriusXM studio in Hollywood, but needless to say, we’re all sequestered at home. So, one week we did a rerun, and then we had a History of the Beatles episode in the can and now…

And now, I made it all myself on GarageBand on my Mac!

It was a learning curve, not a steep one, but there was definitely stuff to figure out.

Let’s start with a USB mic. I thought I had a couple in storage, and I blocked out a ton of time to look for them, but actually it took me less than ten minutes to find them. I’m using the Apogee HypeMic, which I highly recommend. It comes with a tripod and a pop filter, and you can check it out here:

Apogee HypeMiC

Unlike the usual $100 models, it comes with a ton of features that you can figure out quite easily.

So, I plugged it into my iMac.

First thing I had to learn was that it is not automatically selected. That you have to go into System Preferences and pick the external microphone.

And then I loaded GarageBand, which I’ve had for years but have never had a reason to use.

I couldn’t shut off the damn metronome, but then the Sirius engineer, who was on FaceTime, figured it out.

Recording is quite easy. The only issue is the levels. I’ve always heard you want to go occasionally in the red. Then again, we’re not using tape, so there’s not an issue of being so low that you get tape hiss. As for distortion? The Sirius engineer, Alex, wanted input set low. So I adjusted the levels of both the mic and the program to get it where he wanted it. There was a lot of experimentation, but it wasn’t hard once you put your mind to it.

Recording is damn easy.

Sharing, not so much.

First I thought it was like any other file, I always save to the desktop.

But then I found out you have to open the package to find the actual file. And then, with research, I found out you can share directly from GarageBand, it’s easy, like taking candy, from a baby! Only the default is a 192kbps file, and I needed a wav. Turns out there’s a drop down menu, and you can select “Wave.” Huh? Doesn’t everybody spell it wav, or .wav?

Sharing via Dropbox was not hard, but it turned out sharing via Apple’s Mail Drop was far superior, it was certainly easier for me, but Alex said he preferred it this way, I sent it all three ways, the foregoing two and as an attachment to an e-mail. For the PC crowd, Mail Drop allows you to send large files directly from the e-mail program, and this one was just under four hundred megabytes.

Now, back to the studio.

Like I said, I cut it in the bedroom, because my office is too noisy, there’s no sound absorption. First Alex told me to put on a hoodie and then a pillow on each side of my iMac, but then talking with Doug, the podcast engineer, it occurred to me I hadn’t told Alex I also had a laptop, and discussing sound reflection and such, Doug suggested my bedroom.

So, I’m kinda proud of myself, I learned something new, you get a great sense of accomplishment when you push your personal boundaries.

Anyway, it’s been well-established that I love the Doobie Brothers. I made a playlist for the uninitiated, even for those who think they know the Doobies, it’s at the top of this screed, but let me give a few notes, go song by song.

1. “Nobody”

This is from the very first album, which almost no one has heard, because back then you had to buy it to hear it, and without a hit or a big story, no one would buy an album. But “Nobody” is a hit, even though it was not.

2. “Listen To The Music”

This is the one that broke the Doobies big, it almost needs no introduction. But it was so perfect, one wondered if the band was a studio concoction, kinda like hearing the Eagles’ “Take It Easy”… It was so good, was it really a band or a bunch of studio cats?

3. “Jesus Is Just Alright With Me”

The other radio track from the second album, “Toulouse Street.” I always thought it was a cover of a Byrds song, but the truth is it was written by Art Reynolds, I’ve included his and the Byrds’ versions here.

4. “Rockin’ Down The Highway”

The thing about the Doobies, is they rocked, and they were mellow too. I vividly remember this coming out of Jimmy Kay’s 8-track in that condo at Mammoth where we spent the month of May ’75, where I was hammered daily by the Doobies and realized how great they truly were, and still are!

5. “Toulouse Street”

This is the title cut of the LP, and presently my favorite on the album. It’s a Pat Simmons number, quiet and ethereal, from back when albums were our best friends and we put them on and they set the mood, and let our minds drift away.

6. “Cotton Mouth”

Another Tom Johnston rocker, but the truth is it’s a Seals & Crofts song! I’m also including the original.

7. “White Sun”

Quieter, but it’s Johnston, not Simmons. Once again, this is not in your face, maybe not your idea of the Doobies. It’s quiet, with great harmonies and great playing.

8. “Disciple”

This is the longest cut on the album, nearly seven minutes, and not a second is wasted, it’s a rocker, but it evolves, another must-listen.

9. “Long Train Runnin'”

And now we get to the third album, “The Captain And Me.” This was the gigantic hit, the one that broke the band through, that got them on all the late night music shows, like “In Concert.”

10. “China Grove”

The other big hit from this album, I preferred this to “Long Train Runnin’,” you can’t listen without nodding your head, getting into the groove.

11. “Natural Thing”

The opening cut, and for a long, long time my favorite on the LP, it’s now been superseded, but “Natural Thing” is still great. The singing, the changes, they’re all great, but the synthesizer sounds created by Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff put it over the top. The two made records under the moniker Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, but they’re most famous for the sounds they created for Stevie Wonder’s legendary breakthrough, “Talking Book.”

12. “Dark Eyed Cajun Woman”

Sets the mood immediately, and is supposedly a tribute to B.B. King, it’s got that feel.

13. “Without You”

Another Tom Johnston rocker that might seem generic to you, at least generic Doobie Brothers, but hang in for the breakdown at 2:25, it’s magical. “Baby, baby, I can’t live without you…”

14. “South City Midnight Lady”

A leavening of the rock by Pat Simmons. The chorus is what makes it.

15. “The Captain And Me”

The title track, this is now my favorite on the album. Never made to be a hit, the picking is irresistible, as is Tom Johnston’s vocal, he doesn’t get enough respect for it, nor the creation of the magical Doobies chunka-chunka guitar sound.

Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday March 31st, to Volume 106, 7 PM East, 4 PM West.

Hear the episode live on SiriusXM VOLUME: HearLefsetzLive

If you miss the episode, you can hear it on demand on the SiriusXM app: LefsetzLive

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