One of my favorite records when I started making music was The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse. Calvin Johnson of K Records and Beat Happening fame produced it, and while I presume it was actually a pretty basic and intuitive recording process, I've always been enchanted by the sound of that album. It was recorded mostly at a place called Moon Music in Olympia, WA, which may be gone now. I've never been able to find much information about the studio and zero pictures, but I've always been curious what kind of room/rooms that record was recorded in. It has an incredibly natural and spacious sound--the only obvious post effects are an occasional saturated reverb guitar or snare overdubs and a few sparse tape loops. The drums are rather high in the mix for the most part and panned around the stereo picture. They come through very clearly and I've wanted to know for a long time how they miked the kit and the room. Evidently it was done with a relatively light touch in mind, as ghost notes on the snare and cymbal textures are easily discernible. The vocals sometimes sound like their done from about fifteen feet away, which I think is super appropriate for the band's sound.
I've always had an affinity for spacious sounding records, and to be able to achieve that with minimal effect seems to hearken back to records of old (thinking of "Kind Of Blue," made at Columbia's 30th St. studio in NYC, or Chuck Berry, Clyde McPhatter, or other rock n' roll, r'n'b stuff from that era). The band also recorded their debut album and a few singles at Moon Music with Seasick Steve Wold as producer, but, while there are similarities in the use of the room sound, none of them has the dry and direct feel that LCW does. I guess one could logically attribute that to Calvin J's influence since he is the variable here, but I can't be sure. Alas, the recording process of this album remains a frustrating mystery to me!