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Here’s a playlist of songs I liked this year. They coulda been released any year but I liked them in this one. Happy New Year.
My pal Allen Henderson, who made the famous Which Way Game and Steamshovel Harry (that I did the music for) has a new website of his animation up. It’s full of secrets (hint: click the balloon on the first page.)
Also here’s some old test animation Allen did for a project called Frank and His Exposed Brain. I recorded three theme song ideas that you can hear there.
I believe the idea was that Frank would be having a normal day but then run into problems (birds, soccer balls, weather) because his brain was completely exposed.
I’ve been winding down the “real” work (aka hourly, billable, profitable, stable) in favor of doing music full time (aka unlimited hours, not billable, unprofitable & very unstable) which has been slower and harder than I thought. But I’ve been finishing up a few projects and songs and getting ready to crank out new Brad Sucks material all over the place. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the first bit of 2015:
Bee & PuppyCat
I’ve written a few things for the awesome Bee & PuppyCat show that I’m excited about. The song I’m finishing this week is sung Felicia Day. I got to direct her via Skype which was a new and cool and frightening experience for me. It was pretty awesome to hear her singing words and a melody I wrote.
Natasha (B&P creator) posted this shot of me on the monitor in the studio while I was handsomely directing Felicia Day from my desk here in Canada:
It’s been really fun working on this, I’d love to do more. If anyone reading this runs like an uh, awesome, successful project that needs… bad music… you know, get in touch.
I Don’t Know What I’m Doing on Vinyl
A while back I asked on Facebook if anyone’s interested in a vinyl pressing of I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, which was first manufactured as a real packaged CD in 2005. People seemed enthusiastic so I’ve been moving forward with it.
Honestly, I’m not a person who cares much about vinyl records. I own two: Micheal Jackson’s Thriller and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry and they’re hanging on my wall. I don’t own a turntable. I’ve got more nostalgia for cassette tapes and 128k MP3s downloaded from Audiogalaxy. Pressing (and shipping) vinyl is ‘spensive and a big commitment and I’d like to avoid having hundreds of my own old-ass record in my basement, so I’m hesitant (aka scared).
But I have a bunch of vinyl quotes and I’ll figure out the next steps soon and probably re-ask that everyone’s suuuure they want my 100% digitally recorded album in an old, giant, fragile, heavy, noisy, expensive to manufacture and also expensive to ship format.
My friend Bruce’s album
Over the past year I’ve been helping my Texan chef friend Bruce Enloe out with bass playing and some recording and mixing on his new record Unseasonably Cool (soundcloud link). (Tracks 2, 3 and 7 are my faves.) I also played bass at the CD release show last week, which had this cool poster (designed by Mark Ettinger, drummer of the band):
Also there was an article in the big local city paper about Bruce and the record.
Just got back from a vacation in Nova Scotia. Man, I really needed that. What a beautiful province, I ate so much chowder and so many mussels and looked at so much ocean. I also was really surprised at how much I loved the Alexander Graham Bell museum. Turns out I knew almost zero about him, what a rad dude with a rad wife.
I’m really excited about music and recording again. I wasn’t sure that’d ever happen. I’m going to start recording drums for new songs in the next few weeks — it’ll be my first shot at using a live kit and human drummer for Brad Sucks songs so I’m curious/nervous to see how it’ll go.
I’m heading back to XOXO in Portland in September this year. If you’re in town, let’s grab a drink. XOXO was really inspiring last year, it really nailed home for me that my independent Internet creator angst is not in any way special or unique to me.
I’ve been loving the latest Queens of the Stone Age record the new Freeman record (by Aaron Freeman from Ween.) What have you guys been listening to?
Hey all, how have you been? Post-album it’s been upgrade season around here. New gear, better health, hopefully more positive attitude. I’m getting ready to start finishing up some new music. Still not sure what to do with it yet but I’m excited (& nervous) to get back at it after such a long break. Some of these upgrades:
New monitors (Event 20/20bas -> Focal CMS 65’s), new bass guitar (Yamaha RBX260 -> Fender American Standard Precision), new amp (Tech 21 Power Engine -> Surf Green Fender Blues Jr), better audio interface (MOTU Ultralite mk3 -> Focusrite Scarlett 2i4), new self help strategy (CBT -> ACT), new drum skills (couldn’t play drums -> can sort of play drums now), better guitar skills (could not play 7ths all over the neck -> can now play 7ths all over the neck).
I drink these smoothies now. They have bee pollen in them. And the color green.
Hey, we did that show in Toronto a while ago and it was good I think. I lost my jacket and gloves, I remember that part.
Since then I’ve been reading about and practicing cognitive behavioral therapy (my favorite cognitive distortions: magnification and jumping to conclusions). I’ve been working at jobs for money and also working on music and recording and looking for fun new projects. Some of what I’ve been up to:
1) I have about 18 Brad Sucks demos I’m working on. Not sure what’ll happen to them just yet. Post them online? New album? Singles? I don’t know what the right thing to do is in this crazy new future.
2) I helped record a live performance of Chef Bruce and The Burning Sensations at his cool place called The Branch in my home town. On Saturday I saw Jim Bryson there and his lyrics and songs made me cry a little. Uggghhh emotions, why do they exist, what are they even for.
3) I helped my friend c.layne do the Dodged a Bullet Songfight which is apparently still in progress. c wrote and did all the hard work on the song, I just gussied it up a bit.
4) Today I’m wrapping up a quick last-minute song for Astroloco — an upcoming adventure game about space trains (trains in space!!) that you can vote for on Steam Greenlight here. I was really into adventure games as a kid, particularly the funny ones like Space Quest and Monkey Island, so it’s fun to be involved in that even only slightly at the very end.
That’s all I can remember. Catch you later.
I’m pretty sure the album’s available everywhere it’s supposed to be. iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, CD Baby, Spotify, Rdio and now finally Jamendo (thanks to everyone who helped out with that). Oh and I’m slowly getting it on Soundcloud. Also a big thank you to everyone who’s been buying it. For a while I wasn’t sure if I’d get to still be a musician but it looks like I’m OK for now.
It’s -28C outside right now. That’s cold.
It’s been 2013 for like two days! Happy New Year, everybody. 2012 was a tough one but overall good. With the album out the door I’m excited about working on new stuff and getting better at writing and recording music. It’s been really nice, I forgot how much I missed it while I was in album finishing hell.
My first step was to upgrade my monitors. After a lot of research I bought a set of Focal CMS 65‘s and oh my god I’m happy with them. I feel like I can hear everything in the mix now. It’s actually a little horrifying because there are all these recording choices I didn’t realize I was making but it’s exciting, it feels like I can control sound better now.
Meanwhile, I’m getting ready for our Toronto show on the 26th.