I’ve been sorta kinda organizing my back log of tracks now that I’ve got a good chunk of my projects sorted out. It’s funny what you find just sitting there.
This is an instrumental that is kinda wandering and pretty. Cellos swirling, as they tend to do, and a kind of trance-y beat. I must have, well I’m sure of it to tell the truth, recorded live with loops.
Was reminded that yesterday was June 12 and thus of one of my more gut kicker songs emotionally “Week Of June 12”. Decided to put up that whole album “Still Dream” because it was requested and though I was hesitant I was happy to discover I did not hate it as much as I thought. In fact I did not hate it at all.
That might sound a bit weird, hating your own album, but albums can get to be like siblings growing up: you love them, you can’t live without them, you would do anything for them, and you secretly even like them. But you get this closeness and it’s just irritating. Especially when they won’t just go away.
Still Dream is my second full album. I wish I could tell you I remember exactly the true story of its release so I’ll tell you the true myth (I’m pretty sure this is right) of it. It was the end of my first year of college, I should say the end of OUR first year of college because in the Merrill Dorms (and beyond) at UC Santa Cruz we had this kind of incredible circle of friends. Like you do as a freshman in the dorms.
So, Week Of June 12 is a song about leaving all that. Geez I still get kind of emotional thinking about it because the thing is: I wasn’t wrong that all that was over and it was sad. Beautifully preserved in the amber minds but my inkling to resist time, which haunts all my music, was correct.
That said, no matter how much of a terrific disgrace it felt to somehow leave our 18 and 19 year old selves behind, thankfully the fear of what that meant for me transmuted into 1,000,000 other achingly beautiful moments and friendships.
In other words:
“as the lights zoom by and the sunset stalls,
wonder for me child
what we leave inside these walls
and as the passions rest
you can feel it in your chest
take your last breath left
start the breathless quest”
Hope you enjoy the album. As a PS I chose not to include two songs which I am kind of embarrassed by, but they come with the “bonus” version of the album if you buy it.
E’ry so often I put ye old iTunes on shuffle and here something perfectly podcast worthy. Here’s an older live on-air performance from KDVS live in studio A. So much reverb! I believe I requested that. I can never have too much reverb.
Got that image from here, you can get a print of it even.
Here’s the second part of the album I made for making things to. Make whatever you want! Again what we want is ambience and a lack of drama, without aspiring to New Age.
I had a friend who had a ranch out in the hidden part of Mendocino County, and one of our past-times during an amazing Summer visit there became “rock-hopping”, where you hop down a mostly dried up creek bed, ideally reaching a state where you don’t think between leaps. For some reason this song reminded me of that.
A while ago I made my girlfriend Katy an album. She has a certain playlist she’s created for painting and has talked about the perfect music for that kinda thing… meditative and non-disruptive, but interesting enough maybe to be listenable over and over. So obviously I created a polka/deep-house mashup. And that didn’t fit the bill. So I tried this.
Just a live cello performance using some looping, and a very brutish beat to pull it all along.
It’s long, and it’s a pretty good quality mp3 if you are into that sort of thing.
This is the first of three parts to that album.
to give you a minute of cellos intertwined
I think I’ll use these as interludes on the coming album.
Came across this early version of “You Can Get Far” (video from the album REDWOOD SUMMER here).
And it reminded me of when I recorded it, at Canyonlands National Park, sitting up on a cliff’s edge. As you can hear not a lot is different in the studio version, just perhaps a nicer mic and the absence of the sounds of rocks scraping underneath my shifting weight. And the view I had was incredible.
This song is made famous by the lovely Skeeter Davis.
We made a version of it a while back, with vocals by the also lovely Katy Unger.
And obviously. This one, hard to believe, was very close to making it onto REDWOOD SUMMER. I like it. I was playing around polyrhythms, where you have different rhythmic times all stacked up on top of eachother. A lot of African music gets crazy with polyrhythms.
I used weird instruments on this one, one in particular called a ukelin. It’s this very odd looking beast, which mysteriously was given to me by my physics teacher in high school. I can’t even really explain why h would just give me such a gem, and why it was given to me by my physics teacher and not my music teacher, but I’m not complaining. It has like 300 strings. Ok, it has like 60 strings. I haven’t ever figured out how one is supposed to tune it, let alone play it.
The other instrument you hear is a mandolin. And frame drums. And weird lyrics (per usual).
It didn’t make it to REDWOOD SUMMER because it didn’t fit. The album is kind of all over the map emotionally as it is, I didn’t feel like “super whimsical” was what was needed to be added.
So yes, enjoy. Thank you for stopping by. And happy holidays. Oh yes, I forgot, that is the reason I went ahead and published this now. It could, in some parallel universe, or exotic country, or in your stereo perhaps be some type of holiday song somehow. It has the timber, I suppose.
Stardust Is Stardust
B sides are always around in my boxes. I have a lot of ideas that eventually would lead to a melody, but sometimes, like in the case of this one, will never be duplicated because the performance is so unique.
So here you go, so amazingly uncut or edited:
Here Is Enlightmenent
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I was playing around with vocal range in this one, total Mariah Carey inspired (kidding), it’s pretty rambling for sure. I’ve got a “holidays” ish song coming next week, so stay tuned!
Canyonlands National Park a few years ago… there are these amazing ledges that drop many hundred feet. Stopped and played guitar and recorded this song there…
From the clipping room floor… And yet… I post it here. A rough sketch for all to enjoy and cherish.
I like getting back to Mendocino County style anthems on acoustic guitar…
An old song, recorded and writ in Arches National Park….