I will be adding vocals to this eventually, but…

…I really like how this sounds right now! Check it out. It’s just kind of this downtrodden beat with organ and guitar chords, but it’s kinda nice.

     Reappear (Instruments Only) (MP3, 6.6 MB)

[PTS015 - SONG] I Want Christmas All Year Long (Not Six Months Only)

Here’s the song I did for the SubSprawl Holiday Comp. I already talked about the song here, so just enjoy! (Special thanks to Dan, Billy and my wife for their contributions of drums, bass and sleigh bell, respectively.)

     I Want Christmas All Year Long (Not Six Months Only) (MP3, 6.2 MB)

Suburban Sprawl Holiday Compilation contribution

Last night I finished my contribution to the Suburban Sprawl Holiday Compilation for 2009, which should be out in a week or so, I’m told.

The recording started off pretty strong, as we laid down drums and bass on the same day, and it was sounding pretty nice. Then I discovered the snare drum was clipping when I got home. Not having the time (or desire) to reorganize the recording session, I “solved” the issue by snipping out the bits of the snare wave that were clipping. They were tiny tiny amounts, and it’s almost imperceptible that I did anything. Sort of saved the track too.

Overall, I think it’s a solid tune, but my recording and mixing could’ve been better. At my current sound engineering skill level, I’d probably have needed to start re-recording stuff in order to get the sound I had in my head, but at a certain point I figured, hey, it’s a Christmas song for fun… why should I stress over every last detail? So I called it “done” at around 8pm last night.

It was a fun project, though it was somewhat difficult to come up with something appropriately holiday themed. The song ended up being called “I Want Christmas All Year Long (Not Six Months Only)”, and is sort of a sarcastic statement about wanting Christmas to start earlier in the year than it already does. Check it out at the Suburban Sprawl Holiday Compilation website next week!

Mission accomplished?

On Sunday, I was in Lansing finishing up vocals and other embellishments on the EP I’ve been working on since 12/29/07 (and actually, earlier than that, because I had to write the songs and practice with the drummer before our first real recording session on that day).

At this point, it is sounding like I’m done with recording all the parts! Now (well, in a couple weeks, when John gets his new faster better computer) starts the mixing. I wanted to thank everyone who contributed parts to the songs, too. Everyone’s stuff is awesome and really complements my simple songs and makes them incredibly good!

Dan Bernard did drums and a bunch of great little guitar parts.
Chris Holt did organ, piano and some sweet sax parts.
Ian Graham played bass on half the songs.
John Krohn engineered and had some great ideas on changing parts, and played bass on half the songs.
And a mystery trumpet player added a trumpet part to a song when I wasn’t there. Thanks mystery guy! (I’ll definitely get your name for the liner credits).

Now to get some artwork for the cover. It’s looking likely that maybe 4 out of the 6 songs will be released as a 7″ record (only 4 due to length limitations of a 7″ record) on John’s vinyl label, Lower Peninsula Records… More on that later. One step at a time…

[PTS014 - SONG] A Better Explanation

What? You don’t get it? Me neither.

     A Better Explanation (MP3, 2.9 MB)

“How Does It Know?”: my “Chinese Democracy”

Just a quick note to those paying attention — I’ve been working on an EP called “How Does It Know?” with my friend John Krohn up in Lansing since 12/29/07. We record like once a quarter (or so it seems), and my progress on finishing has been incredibly slow. In between sessions, there was a lot of writing and figuring and arranging. This is the longest I’ve worked on a project, and now that it’s so far into it, I want to make sure it’s really good so as to warrant the amount of time I spent on it.

Anyway, at this point, we’ve got all drums, bass, organ, piano, saxophone, guitar (though there might a bit more of that) done, and we’ve got lead vocal done on 5 out of 6 songs… The sixth song is missing lyrics still, and it’s been stumping me for a long time. Love the song, don’t know what to sing. These days I’m trying to finish writing all the vocal harmonies so I can get those recorded when John gets back from tour with his band, Frontier Ruckus.

I did declare at first session this year that this was the year I’d finish this record. Better get to work. But it will be finished, if not released this year. It’s going to be awesome.

The Low Hello, 1.27.07, Elbow Room soundboard recording

Some more the Low Hello stuff from the archives — I found this soundboard recording and some photos from this show at the Elbow Room in Ypsi… I remember the night being really exciting and electric in some regard. The crowd was well drunk and we got a lot of positive feedback and shouts of enthusiasm from the audience. I may have been well drunk myself — proof of that is evident if you listen to the full recording and happen upon the way I inelegantly screw up Recess and have no idea how to recover, though the band tries to guide me in one direction or another. But the crowd was forgiving, and it turned out being one of the more memorable shows we did, to me at least. The rest of the songs sound pretty damn good, as well. I (purposely) left off an individual MP3 version of Recess (which is the 4th song in the set) due to it not being good AT ALL (and to make you dig if you really want to hear me embarrass myself).

     01 Downside
     02 I Got Carpet
     03 Nostalgia Makes Confusion
     04 Summer Insects
     05 Check Your Pockets
     06 Lying Down

I found some old the Low Hello videos

I’m trying to make some space on my hard drive and going through old stuff, and I found these two videos from the Low Hello that weren’t on YouTube already for some reason. I like these songs.

Summer Insects

I Got Carpet