• So much for leather couches, fresh capuccinos and solicitous receptionists. Recording during the not-so-great depression.

I exaggerate, I admit. I mean, recording at Hyde Street is hardly to sit in the lap of luxury while art pours forth. But, compared to sitting at my desk at home, Hyde Street was like being at the Ritz (not that I've ever been to a Ritz).

However, the economy being what it is -- a total shambles as a result of Uncle Sam thinking he actually knows what he's doing -- costs must be cut, without cutting corners. For me, this has meant doing more tracking at home and at other people's homes, where the rent is already paid and the engineer is yours truly, but sticking with the musicians who have become so integral to my music creation efforts.

So today, there I was, side by side with bassist Sam Bevan, cutting tracks in my apartment. Before us, my old desk, bought used off of craiglist awhile back, and pocked and scarred from years of use. The recording "gear": an Apple laptop connected to a 23" monitor, a Digidesign Mbox Pro 2, some hard drives and a pair of speakers. Oh, and my trusty, age-old AKG headphones, true marvels bought back in the '90s at some sort of killer discount through my friend Cory Verbin (check out his blog, it's great).

Sam and I were pressed for time, so we made the best of our two hours, working through bass parts for two songs, Water Under The Bridge and Yo Yo. For me, the upside of home recording goes beyond cost. First, I'm home where I can lie down comfortably if I need to, and two, the recording process really flows, because it's just me and the musician, no intermediaries. In between takes, Sam and I discussed the parts, hummed back and forth, I would strum my guitar maybe, he'd tap rhythms on the desk. Grand.

The plan is to record at my place once more next week, and then I will haul the tracks to Hyde Street, where ace engineer Jaime Durr will make pasta from the wheat I've gathered, or something like that. Basically, my goal during recording is just to dial up a strong, clean, hard-hitting signal and get the best performance possible, so that Jaime has the raw ingredients he'll need to get the tastiest sounds.

Worst of all possible outcomes? I have something good to listen to while the USofA collapses under debt.