Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another week, another update.

We played our first show in two months and nothing caught on fire. Ocala was presented a 7 song setlist consisting of only 2 songs from "Sarcasm" and the rest of the tunes were tunes that will be on our record. They were even the first people to hear 2 brand new songs as well! Bert and I almost saw our dooms! We played a dark stage that loomed several feet above the ground. Bert was positioned dangerously to the left of the stage and whilst rocking out, nearly slipped off the stage. He was saved by the arms of Mike from Hey Nice Guy. During the breakdown of our final song, Girl Like Her, I decided to once again climb the amps and got some crazy air with guitar in tow. When I landed I somehow managed to wrap my leg around a mic cable and I also began to topple off the stage in the same direction Bert had. Once again, Mike from Hey Nice Guy was there to keep me afloat and injury free. The crowd was very receptive to the new songs (if clapping and yelling when a song is over is considered "receptive") and overall it was a good show even though the crowd was sparse. It was the ideal way to present new material to people who actually listen to our songs. The other bands were quite good. It was my first time seeing Mashlin in years and Hey Nice Guy was fantastic as always.

We didn't get lost in Ocala this time around (we're finally starting to understand it) but it's nearly impossible to find any cheap food within the downtown area. Our fans brought us 100 sugar cookies to keep us going, and it's always nice to get baked goods. They ensure that we stay alive long enough to get back to their town eventually.

This show was to help us shake off some rust and I think we're quite ready for our next show on Sunday evening with Rory, Fallen From the Sky, and My Getaway at Back Booth in Orlando. Again we'll dish out the new tunes to an unsuspecting crowd of folks who probably don't listen to us... yet.

As far as the record goes, Travis is really hoping to have the mixing done this week and I'm looking forward to hearing some of the changes that he has made and taunted me with.
It's getting to the point where I've started to think more and more about which single to push from this record, titles, artwork, and tracklistings. All the nitty gritty details that have to be thought out before the thing even goes to press.

I've also started to make a list of ways to really promote this thing and get the word out there. Thankfully, I have quite a lengthy list, it's just a matter of making things happen. I really don't care for doing interviews because in the past they have all been generally terrible experiences, but if we can get to the right people, we might be able to say something decent.

We'll so the typical targeting of the radio, web, and press and hope for the best!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mix #2

A few nights ago I went to see the Wizard...er... Travis to get an update on the mixing process. Poor guy probably hasn't slept since we finished tracking. He had done a crazy amount of work in a very short period of time. I admire his dedication. I got a quick update on the changes and edits he had made to the songs and things are really sounding quite good. No... wait.. amazing.
I walked out of there with updated versions of 7 tracks. Some have come a long way just since I last heard them. One of the songs was pretty much a finished product and sounded exactly like what I heard in my head. I'm so happy with how these are shaping up.

He's aiming to have everything complete by the weekend and hopefully by next week we will have gotten everything right where we want it to be. Then we're on to Mastering and Artwork, and Duplication!

Slowly but surely we're heading in the right direction.
There's really no telling when you'll be hearing tracks from the record, but it will probably be after we've chosen a "single" to push via the internet.

This record is really shaping up to be everything we wish the last record was and we owe Travis so much for being both an awesome producer and mentor to us throughout.

We'll be playing in Ocala, FL this weekend and we still have a lot to do, so I am off to band practice so that we sound awesome.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Record, records, and shows.

What's happening with our record you ask?

It's being mixed. Check back in a month.

I visited with Travis a few days ago to listen in on the mixing progress. He's currently in the editing/mixing phase which is always the most time consuming. Tweaks are currently being made to parts of songs that were not either 100% perfect or just needed some additional flair.

Here's an interesting tidbit... we actually have Travis doing quite a bit of programming on songs, so don't be surprised if you hear things that might be considered.... dare I say... electronic. It'll be awesome, I promise.

Second... there are a few records that were recently released that I'm highly enjoying. Pick these up:

The Academy Is... - Santi
I loved this bands first record. I played it over and over in my car on a cassette that I made and then the tape melted and I kind of forgot about them for a while. The band is back with a brand new record and some slick production. Everything is bigger and better sounding this time around. The band takes more of a straight ahead rock and roll approach this time around, but most songs still have the flair that you expect from the band. My only complaints about this record would be that A.) The lyrical content this time around is a little more vague and unrelateable. Most of the time, I have no clue what the dude's singing about. B.) The good songs on this record are GOOD and the bad songs are downright bad. There's not a lot of middle ground. But on the bright side, there are only 2-3 tracks I find myself skipping.

Standout tracks include: Same Blood / Neighbors / Seed

Limbeck - Self Titled
Limbeck is one of those bands where I will listen to and love everything that they release, so in my eyes they can do no wrong. This album keeps the alt-country tunes coming. All the instrumentation is phenomenal and each song tells a great story and provides great mental imagery. My only complaint about this record is that it's just more of the same. I believe they still have a lot of ground to cover as a band, and I can't wait to see them mature a bit more.

Standout tracks include: Trouble / Big Drag / Let's Get Crazy

Now I'm going to ramble a bit about shows.

When it comes to shows that we are involved with, we'll be playing the next 2 weekends. It's time we got back in the swing of this live show stuff considering we haven't been on a stage since mid-February!
We've been practicing whenever possible to try and shake off the rust and we'll see just how things go next Saturday when we return to Ocala, FL to play at the Capitol. We had a blast playing there last time to a packed house and are looking forward to doing it again!
Joining us will be our buds Hey Nice Guy, some touring act, and the 111 Records band, Mashlin. We're systematically befriending all the 111 Records bands it seems.

The following week we're getting to play an awesome all ages shows at Back Booth in Orlando with our pals (also on the 111 Records roster) Rory and the bands Fallen From the Sky and My Getaway. This might be the first show where we've played with all of the bands before.

This is also a huge month for going to see shows. This Friday is Brand New at House of Blues followed by Piebald at The Social on Sunday. The next Saturday, Limbeck is hitting up The Social as well. Good month for music!

Lastly, I just want to make known that writer Kurt Vonnegut died today. He wrote some fantastic books that you probably won't understand. They are way funny though if you're a bit off and have little to no morals.
Pick up Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions or Slapstick for some old fashioned social commentary covered up with shallow characters and bad metaphors.

Who am I kidding.
No one reads anymore.

More record news coming soon!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Rough

This past Wednesday was my birthday (Yeah, thanks for all the cards) and it was a heck of a good day. Not only did I get to eat a lot of good food and take it generally easy throughout the day, but I grabbed some lunch with Travis and he provided me with a rough cut of our record. Really rough.

We needed something to reference so we could pick up additional parts that we added during the recording process, but it's awesome to be able to hear the songs that we put so much into. I'm still very excited to hear the finished product, but there's a whole bunch of tunes that sound fantastic even in their rough state. Again, the finished product should be pretty killer.

I've listened back through all 12 tracks numerous times, and I know the rest of the band has been doing the same. There's still work to be done and Travis has been working dilligently on these tracks. The drums sound much bigger than they did and I'm looking forward to hearing the same magic all over the rest of the instruments.

A few of the NEW songs are sounding awesome. Those are going to be exciting to release.

It's about that time for us to begin playing live again!
We booked our first show in almost two months for the end of April. Our buddies in the band Rory asked us to open for them at an all ages show taking place at Back Booth in Orlando on Sunday, April 29th. The show will also feature our old pals My Getaway.
It'll be a great way for us to get back up on stage. We're a little out of practice. It'll be a lot of fun putting together a brand new setlist. Over the last 5 or 6 months we had basically been playing the same setlist, just in a different order. Out of the 7 songs on our "Sarcasm" EP, it had gotten to the point where we were only playing maybe 4 of those songs live, but now we have an additional 12 to choose from making things way more interesting!
We're going to begin incorporating more and more new material into the live shows to (hopefully) build some excitement for the new record.
It'll give a little more focus to our practices, at least.

We're still waiting to hear if/when we'll be showcasing at this year's Florida Music Festival so we'll be sure to make that announcement as soon as we hear something.
If we hear something. You never know.

Things are slowly kicking back up and I'm ready for it! Playing on a stage beats playing in our kitchen any day of the week.

We're still aiming for the record to be released in June, so watch for plenty of dates to pop up around then!

Tonight is record celebration #2!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

B-Day or Bidet?

Happy Birthday to our own bassman, Bert Long, who turns 22 years young today.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Aftermath

I must say that I'm actually scared to write in this thing anymore. For one, I feel like I have nothing of interest to say now that our part of the record has been completed. For two, if I do keep talking about the album, then I'm afraid that I might say something that I will regret. Perhaps I'll accidentally drop a few song names. Perhaps my fingers might wander and leak some album title ideas. Who knows, I might even be tempted to release an MP3 or two.

In reality, I'm an adult and have full control over my actions... I'M JUST SO EXCITED!

Last night we had our first practice in eight years.
Okay, so it wasn't really eight years... maybe 2 and a half weeks is a better guestimate.
Anyway, we plowed through the songs in their newest incarnations. We still have plenty of work ahead of ourselves, but things flowed pretty well for the most part.
It's rough when we don't actually have a copy of the record yet, so there are changes we made that I'm sure we forgot about. I know I changed a lot of lyrics and the way they were sung, but until I can sit down and listen over and over, I'm just going to bumble my way through.

This record is really big on the vocal end. Lots of harmonies and big gang vocals. The rest of the band is going to have to step up to the mics in the coming weeks.

Hopefully this week Travis will have something for us to listen to. I'm getting antsy again. I used to hear these songs everyday for hours and hours straight, and now that I can't hear them, I REALLY want to.

As far as album titles, track listings, and artwork ideas... these are all yet to be discussed. So much of that stuff is really going to depend on the songs themselves. I feel like if we cooked up a record title right now, we'd probably just change it later anyway. These songs have to direct us where to go. For the album cover, we can't just grab a paintbrush and fill the canvas with an image of a Sorcerer battling a Dragon. It just won't work!

Here's my one promise to everyone:
This record will have the lyrics inside.
That's my #1 stipulation.

I finally got a bit more work done on the video that I promised to be done with weeks ago. It's very close to being complete!
Does anyone even care?

More news when we have news!