Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I used a lot of quotation marks.

I wonder if it bothers anyone that I change the look of this blog every few days.
I wonder if anyone who is not in Early Next Year reads this.
A guy can dream.
Regardless, I will continue to vomit randomness and useless facts onto this until someone changes the password, preventing me access.

Now that I've had over 24 hours to digest the Piebald record "Accidental Gentlemen" I will go so far as to say that it is more enjoyable, accessible, and catchier than Brand New's "Devil & God..."
Yes, I totally went there.
Congratulations Piebald, there are a whole bunch of standout tracks on this disc and the little ditty entitled "Oh, the Congestion" might just be their best song since "American Hearts." were this record released in 2006, it would go right to my Top 5 albums of the year.
Speaking of the Top 5 lists. They are coming soon. Very soon.

I really wish I had subtance here. Maybe one day I'll get all deep and talk about depressing things and post black and white photography. Until then I will continue to write about insignificant things and make fun of Doug's mother.'

Yeah, that'll work.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I used a lot of hypens.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we're back!
Well, everyone but Bert is back. He comes in just in time for a Tuesday evening ENY rock-a-thon. That was my fancy way of saying band practice. I had a great mini-vacation in Port St. Joe, FL with Amanda. The little town is located up on the panhandle near Panama City. We spent Thanksgiving eating way too much and spent the rest of the time in the middle of nowhere being generally lazy. The beach was a convenient two blocks away, so Thanksgiving afternoon my toes were in the sand, and the sun in my eyes. It was a lot of fun, but now I'm back to reality where I have to work to make money in order to pay gobs and gobs of superfluous bills. A six hour drive there and then a 7.5 hour drive back since we had to ditch I-75 and take the backroads home from Ocala. Why do I always end up lost in Ocala? It's a curse.

Upon returning to Orlando, Doug gave me the best Christmas present a guy could ask for. Somehow he got his hands on the new Piebald record called Accidental Gentlemen which isn't due out til mid January. What a guy! I've been spinning that pretty non-stop and I'm really enjoying the new songs. They took what was great about We Are the Only Friends We Have and All Ears, All Eyes, All the Time and smooshed them together into one big super-album. Not a lot of slow stuff, everything is pretty upbeat and catchy and they even brought the piano back for a few tunes and they are some of the stand out tracks on the record. So pick that up when it gets released. Or be really nice to Doug or Myself and maybe we'll hook you up with an illegal copy. Sorry mom, I broke the law by accepting stolen music. I'm such a bad son.

Onward and upward...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Brand new Brand New.

Yesterday was an action packed day of working 8 hours and then moving for 2 and emptying bins/bags/boxes for an additional 3. My arms feel like jelly. Maybe I'll develop some muscle. Although, that's probably about as likely to happen as Jimmy Walker becoming the next American Idol.
On the bright side of things, before jumping in the van and starting the moving process I opened the mail box to be face to face with the brand new Brand New record. Bert and I spun that in Van Diesel but mostly talked over it. Good background noise. I've listened to it all day at work today, and I thought I would take the time to review it here just in case you were thinking of picking it up.

Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
It took me a while to get into BN's first record Your Favorite Weapon. After a while I thought it was amazing. It took me a few months to get into their second major release Deja Entendu. Once I did, I thought it was absolutely phenomenal. After hearing the original demos for their new record and seeing them live just weeks before it was released, my expectations were quite high.
For right now, I can only hope that this record will eventually grow on me and change my life because as for right now I can sum up the record with one word: Eh.
I'm not going to tout this release as the greatest thing since sliced bread because in all honesty, aside from the tracks Sowing Season, Millstone, Degausser, and Archers, everything kind of drones on and seems like one song all the way through.
By all means, pick this record up. I'm sure that I will feel differently about this record in a few weeks, but for right now, I'm gonna listen to Deja.
3.5 Stars out of 5

Only a few more hours of work and then I can go eat some homecooked food and answer to no one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's a cold, cold world.

Doug is off to Ohio. Bert is soon to follow.

I spent my weekend helping Amanda pack for a big move across town. Actually, I was more of a supervisor in that I watched her pack while standing around making snarky comments. It's what I do. Tonight is the actual moving process.
What is up with this weather? It's FREEZING!
Florida has ruined me. I spent 19 years living in Ohio where cold was 20 degrees below zero. Now it gets to be 60 degrees out and I shiver like a lap dog. It's 59 out right now. Ridiculous. Enough weather jibba-jabba.
That was a Mr. T reference.
Generation gap?

I got to play the Nintendo Wii last night as our house-friend Jeremy managed to snag one and it was immediately plugged into Bert's big screen TV. So he, JoAnna, Bert, Amanda, and myself spent some quality time trying to Box, Bowl, and play baseball by waving our arms around like maniacs.

I've still been listening to and heavily enjoying the +44 record. I wish it were a little longer. Seems like it's over just as it begins.

We have an official "comeback" show on Saturday, December 16th at Back Booth in Orlando. As per our new policy, we were only going to take shows that matter during our hiatus. This one matters. We get to play with our friends in the band History. If you are not familiar with them, please research immediately. They have a Moog player as well. Hopefully he'll be starstruck when he sees the Little Phatty hit the stage. Of course, I'm starstruck when I see him rocking the Opus-3. Alright, enough geek talk.

I wrote a new song in my head today. I'll probably have to wait until next week to record a demo of it, but I think it's going to be a real interesting combination of music styles. I've had a lot of weird music ideas lately, so I've just decided to go for it and see how it sounds. You may or may not hear it one day.

I'm in town for another day and a half, so expect to see more droning about nothing.


Friday, November 17, 2006

This is a thing of beauty...

What are you looking at in this picture?
You are looking at Moog Music's warehouse where the FINAL 35 Little Phatty Tribute Editions have just come off the assembly line.

That's it. No more of these are being made.

Do you hear that? That noise?
That's the sound of my investment climbing in price.
I'm such an elitist.

As you were.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Psh. Like you could do it any better....

I go through these phases where I completely forget that the ENY blog exists. Big apologies and big thanks to Doug for keeping the scene alive!.... or something like that.

We've got plans. Big plans.
If all goes according to plan then you, the listener of all things ENY, will be getting a special treat. But we're awesome at making empty promises, so hate on me if this all falls through.
Since almost everyone will be out of town next week for the holidays, we're squeezing in practices whenever possible trying to shake off the rust and get these new songs up and running.
So far things are sounding pretty good. Instrumentation is almost squared away and then we begin the task of getting the vocals oh so perfect. This becomes difficult when you're not a good singer to begin with and then have to vocalize over instrumental lines that do not in any way, shape, or form go along with the beat to which you're singing. That's my beef anyway. Makes things interesting at least.

What else is happening?
Nothing of note, really.

Anyone checked out the new +44 record When Your Heart Stops Beating?
I've been iSpinning it for the last couple days. I have to look at it as a new Blink 182 record since it's the closest thing we're gonna get at this point. It's quite solid, very catchy, very surprising, and kicks the crap out of Angels and Airwaves which was possibly the biggest disappointment of 2006.
As Doug mentioned below, we'll be sure to share with you our Top 5 Albums of 2006, probably the second or third week of December. We have a lot to think about and he and I have already discussed how insanely difficult this task will be.

Moral of the story? Pick up the +44 album and enjoy it thoroughly.
Also, be sure to pick up Brand New's The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me next Tuesday. I'm hoping to a higher power that my pre-order will make it here before I leave town.
I was able to catch Brand New when they came through Orlando last week. Amanda and I went to see them at the UCF Arena. So did about 10,000 other people. We got to see the band jam out a few songs, mostly new stuff, and then hit the road before Dashboard Confessional took the stage because honestly, who gives a crap about them?
Bert and Doug got to see them at a headlining show show in Jacksonville the next day. Go check them out if/when you get the opportunity.

Why do I always walk around with so much loose change in my pocket?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More of the same

Hey everybody. It's still a slow time for Early Next Year but we don't want any rumors of our demise spreading around so we'll try to keep this thing updated every few days. We are planning a couple practices this week to keep ourselves sharp on the old material and further hone our skills at playing the new stuff. This has been said before but we are all really excited about the new songs and feel they are a giant step forward, so we can't wait to play them for you as much as we know you can't wait to hear them. It's getting to be that time of the year where there seems to be a new holiday every 3 days so the 4 of us will be in and out of Florida over the next few weeks eating a ton of food, spending time with our families, and at least in the case of myself, Bert and Wes, freezing our asses off. We have declared that 2007 will be the year of ENY so please help us make it that way and join in the celebration. Until then here's some music that you should all listen to to help pass the time until we give you some new tunes.

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (yes, seriously)
Heavens - Patent Pending
Foo Fighters - Skin and Bones
Latterman - ....We Are Still Alive
Me First and The Gimme Gimmes - Love Their Country

Enjoy those and we'll see you all Early Next Year (pun definitely intended)


P.S. It's almost time for our annual year ending Top 5 albums lists, and it's been a great year for music so it's gonna be REALLY hard to do that.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I wish I could leave this blank.

Here's the part where I fill you in on all the exciting stuff that happened over the last 4 days.

This concludes my journal entry.

Joking. I felt like after that last deep entry I wrote, I needed some humor on here.
Last night Doug and I took a look back at some of the demos we did in the studio and re-recorded a few guitar parts for Lifeless and Something That I Miss. Everything is sounding pretty rad. Over the weekend I think we'll be re-recording some bass lines and then hopefully mixing a few of these tracks for our own personal use. Mostly so we can listen to them on our iPods while no one else can. Muahaha!
They're good. We sound like we know what we're doing. I guess playing the songs for a year doesn't hurt either. After recording, I headed over to Amanda's place where we watched the movie Hard Candy. It was bizarre. Watch it if you're into really really REALLY messed up movies. It was almost like a second cousin to the Saw movies.
Bert bought a massive TV a couple of days ago. It's freakin' huge. Maybe he'll start locking the front door now. Oh, snap.

Keep an eye and ear out for some newer demos. Full band stuff. None of that Wes-plays-everything-over-crappy-sequenced-drums stuff. I'm telling you, we're gonna blow some minds. And if we don't blow minds, maybe we'll at least get a new fan or two.

My world of music has been interesting as of late. I've found lots of inspiration in the following albums which have been digitally spun on my iPod in recent days...
Action Action - Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Years Fashion
Moth - Provisions, Fiction, & Gear
The Progress - Merit

Speaking of The Progress, they have some interesting side projects going on lately. Check out both Emergency! and Relief.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Time to Face the Music

I started writing this blog on July 11, 2006. I feel that I'm finally ready to post it.

I look at our debut EP "Sarcasm Is Your Friend" as a generic poppy, punky, immature stroll through adolescence, experimentation, and pure luck. I had never written a CD before. I just wrote songs. I never knew what it meant to write an album. I had no idea what I was doing. Most days I still don't, however I feel like that's been changing over the last few months. I went through a period of time where I was really pressured to write new music and have it be a certain length in a certain style, with certain instrumentation and certain melodies. This pressure wasn't from any outside sources, it was all coming from myself.

Nothing's certain in music.
I'll probably say that 100 times throughout this rant.

I have a complete understanding for why bands will release Sophomore records that their fans hate. As songwriters we figure out what we like, what we don't like, have ideas on what we'd like to try, what works, and what doesn't work.
Sometimes I want a challege, other times I know what's safe to write and I don't get in over my head. In the end, I'm writing music that I want to listen to. I don't write it for you, I write it for myself, and if you happen to dig a song here and there, then bravo. That makes me feel good about what we do and gives us some purpose.

Maybe no one will like it. Some days, that's how it looks.
Nothing is certain in music.

For a long time I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish with our next CD. Our first full length. Our first album. I've become so sick and tired of hearing records that sound exactly the same the entire way through, and I'm sick to death of listening to CD's where the songs don't have any kind of collective feel to them.
I've listened to a lot of styles of music in the past year and a half, tried a lot of new things, some which worked, others which tanked, but I feel better about what I can and cannot tackle musically.

I decided very quickly after "Sarcasm" was released that I wanted our full length to be very cohesive. I want it to have hooks and melodies you cannot get out of your head. I want it to have tracks that you'll skip over but mean the more to me persoanlly than they ever could to you.
I want it to sound more mature.
I want to write about real things.
Real people.
Real events.
I want it to be real.
I don't want to sugarcoat anything anymore.

I feel as though my writing slowed down simply because I was afraid to say what I wanted to. I don't want to offend anyone with the music. Especially people that I know. I feel as though my songs represent a moment in time and not how I feel all day every day. A song is like a picture. You look at it, get some sort of vibe and that memory comes back to you. It's like an audio photograph. Or this blog. Much the same. Just because I hated someone for a 24 hour period and wrote a song about it doesn't mean that person should be offended when they hear that song months later.
I felt like if everyone would just assure me that nothing I say would get to them, we'd be three albums deep at this point. Instead I use metaphors. Metaphors with a catchy guitar riff behind them. Everyone wins.

I once even had delusions over writing a whole concept record. I love them. I think that when done well, they are the best pieces of music. Music usually tells a story. It's insanely hard to tell a coherent story over 11 or 12 tracks, so I always give kudos to bands who manage to pull it off. Green Day, Say Anything, Armor For Sleep, and even The Early November who just recently released a massive 3 disc concept album. Bravo to them all. I tried to gear my writing towards this for the longest time, but I don't think I'm ready to tackle it, so instead I'm sticking with the theme album idea.

I have a vision. The rest of the band is cool enough to baby me and deal with my little tantrums and occasional music-nazi attitude. I don't know if they see and support what I'm trying to accomplish, or if they just deal with it and trashtalk me when I'm not around, but it's cool that they appear to be supportive of this vision of mine and give me the time I need to create it. Never do they say "Hey Wes, how come you haven't written a new song yet?"
It took me 11 months to complete 3 songs and I ended up writing the bulk of them in 5 days. Pressure apparently brings out both the best and worst in me.

For a while there I thought that maybe the well ran dry.
Now I feel like the well is backed up and overflowing into my neighbor's yard. And they're pissed.
See? I just used the well as a metaphor from the mystical place that I draw my lyrics and melodies from. I would name that place if I could. It could be a planet or something. I think it's more of a black hole. Ever try to walk around all day with a melody in your head just waiting to get home so you could play it on the guitar and then when you get to your house you have forgotten the melody? Happens all the time. That's why the "Voice Memo" function on my cell phone is jam packed with snippets of my humming, singing, and reciting various lyrics and melodies that I am desperate not to let slip away.

It's gotten to the point lately where I'm really starting to feel like I've centered myself with certain ideas that I'd like to accomplish. I have songs in mind that I know my bandmates will hear for the first time and laugh because they'll think it's a joke. I want it to be a CD that I'm proud of. That the band is proud of. I want to release a record that I look back on and love. I'll be completely honest here... I can't even listen to "Sarcasm" anymore and really don't have much desire to play more than two or three of those songs live. I've grown. I've moved on. I think all artists feel that way. You love it when it's fresh and new, but here I am now, 22 years old still singing the same old songs about stuff that was relevant to my life when I was 18 or 19. I need to talk about where I am now. What's happening now. How I feel now.

Were this blog posting a movie, this next part would be a flashback.
Of course, were this a movie, the plot development would probably be way quicker and the characters more interesting.
Oh, and I would be played by John Cusack.

I recently took a week long vacation off of work. It was getting to the point where I had so many music ideas in my head and little time to get them out that I thought I was going to explode. So during this week off, I hunkered down in my bedroom and recorded three new songs onto my computer. I recorded these songs as if I were in a multi-million dollar recording studio. I used all sorts of crazy effects and other bells and whistles that will never happen in a live setting, but again, I wrote the songs that I wanted to hear. I'm so proud and happy about how they turned out and it makes me excited to one day hear the finished product if/when it gets recorded in a real studio. Nothing is certain in music.

End flashback.

As things stand right now I feel that we have six really SOLID newer songs that I would be proud to put onto a record. Obviously six songs isn't enough for a full length release, but I'm confident that I can pump out an additional five or six others before the end of the year. When I played the 3 newest demos for my bandmates, they met the songs with a positive outlook and I know since then that JoAnna has been working on making the drums beats awesome, Doug has had some of the tracks on constant repeat to absorb them, and Bert has added his own style of flair to bring you some wicked basslines. I work with good people. There's definitely an advantage to living with your bandmates. You get to create music with your best friends and everyone gets to play an instrument they love to create songs that they also love. It's an amazing thing.

We've had several different opportunities pop up lately and have quite a few ideas on where we'd want to record an album, and who we might want to record it with, but due to the fact that currently we don't bring in a lot of cash means that we have absolutely no budget for recording at this time. We are lucky enough to have access to recording studios here and there and will be recording and re-recording demos as much as possible to make sure that these songs are exactly where we want them to be.
We hope to get these demos into people's ears who might be able to help us out with getting our record recorded and released, but in this industry, there is no certainty. All of our newer demos will be held tightly under wraps and if they leak then chances are I will scrap them and write new material to replace it. There will already be songs on our next record that people have been hearing live for almost a year. That's cool. If you know three of the songs already, then you've gotten a taste of where we're headed, but I want the rest to be a surprise and blow your mind.
But then again, nothing is certain in music.

We hope 2007 to be our year. Help us make it that way.

Ding Ding Dingy-Ding.

Saturday was our last show.
For a while anyway.
November and December are host to a bunch of holidays and since we will have bandmembers in and out of town for them we have decided to take the final two months of 2006 to hunker down and finish up our new record. I say all of this very loosely. We'll be practicing 2-3 times a week in our kitchen getting these newer songs ready for public consumption. We've been working on the newest 3 for a while, but we're trying to get them to where we feel like they are second nature. We've been playing songs from Sarcasm for almost 3 years now and they've all become embedded in our brains, so we want the new tunes to be just as solid.

I say that we're taking a break from shows, but this isn't entirely true... we're going to take any good offers that come our way and will mainly be focusing on getting the word of ENY out there both locally and nationally. We need to build some hype if we're gonna release a new record, so we have to build up some steam.

That's really all I have to say about things at the moment. Big thanks to the Ocala kids who came out and supported us on Saturday with our friends Along the Sidelines and Pop.Culture.Clash. Hopefully everyone had a good time and we'll see you again in the near future. Also a big thanks to everyone who picked up one of our newest shirts. Sport them well.

My minds kind of all over the place, so I'm gonna end this now before I get in over my head.

A more coherent blog to come, I promise.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Hey everyone!
We have some new shirts that are now available for purchase at shows and online at the Early Next Year Webstore.

Check them out and be sure to let us know what you think!

Both designs are $10 and come in sizes Youth Large, Small, Medium, Large, and XL!

Trailing Stars Tee

Berries and Cream Tee

Tonight we head up to Ocala to try to sell the majority of these shirts. Should be a great time.

Also, turns out that my sister is 27. My bad.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Studio Wrap Up.

We just finished night number 2 at the studio. Since we got most of the instrumentation out of the way last night, we were all about the vocals, Moog, and weird noises for this session.

I may post one of the tunes on MySpace if it still sounds good in the morning, so keep an eye and ear out for that.

Below are a few random pics taken at the studio by one of the engineers.

Here's me thinking about a new Moog part for a song:

Actually, that's a lie, I was just kind of sitting there looking for something to do.

Instead, here's me recording that new Moog line on the Little Phatty with Bert and JoAnna cheering me on. Don't they look excited?

That was true.

We're quite photogenic. In poor lighting.
Pictures are always fun though. Sometimes words just don't do life justice.

Ocala show on Saturday.
We might have new shirts by then.
They will blow your mind.

Also, a very big Happy Birthday to my sister who turns 26 today. I think.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From the director of "Seven"

Last Friday I went to see Saw 3 with Doug and Amanda. It was grand. If you were a fan of the first two, then please go see this one. It will answer most of your questions, thrill you with a nail-biting storyline, and even open up a whole new set of questions that will likely go unanswered.

On Saturday we played a show at a tiny bar in downtown Orlando called Central Station. Aside from Doug blowing out his amp twice during the set we played quite well and since we don't pull a crowd in Orlando, we were fortunate enough to have a Pub Crawl come through just as we took the stage, so we had lots of costumed folks dancing around us while we played. Once we finished, they all left. Sorry second band. I was sick all Friday night so I wasn't really feeling up to sticking around for the rest of the show, so once we collected our money we were out like shout.

We spent our Halloween evening in the studio where we tracked drums, bass, guitars, and synth for some updated demos of Send A Letter and The Extra Twenty tonight we go back to do vocals. Hopefully we'll have something we can toss up onto MySpace in the coming days.
It always amazes me how different a live show versus the studio are. Completely different animals. When we're playing live we're there to have a blast and just rock out, but once we're in the studio paying attention to every little detail of each song it makes you realize that maybe one song is amazingly tight, but you also start to hear little things that sound bad that you never really heard before. It's awesome that we have access to some great studios and we can get in there once every few months to see how we're progressing.
Hearing yourself play like crap is definitely the best way to tighten up as a band and force yourself to become better.
Hopefully next time we get some studio time we'll be able to record some of our new jams. I'm looking forward to seeing how those turn out once they're recorded as a full band.

More on this as it develops.