Until next time....
Kateri Lirio and I randomly decided to go to an open mic last night to play some songs. I had never played at an open mic event before, as I have always played with bands. This was my first time playing anything for strangers on my own (though she sang with me on one song). It was an interesting experience. I think we'll do this every now and then to try out new songs in front of people. For any of you in the Orange County area looking for a cool place to play a few songs check out Lost Bean (coffee and tea) in Tustin, they are conveniently connected to Lost Vine (Wine and Beer) if that is more your speed. While there I met a bartender with a great band called Work Friend. I highly recommend checking them out. In addition to getting some good feedback, it was fun to hear a wide range of performers. My favorite was a guy who sang an a capella version of a Billy Joel song (an artist I genuinely do not care for) that just blew me away. Such a great voice. He played flute for a bridge and an outro as well. Really special. Anyone that can make me enjoy a Billy Joel song is really doing something amazing. Kateri played a lovely cover of Billy holiday's God Bless the Child, in addition to an original. I know she says she has no plans to release the Billy Holiday cover, so you will definitely have to see her live to hear it. I promise it is worth the trip to any of her shows.
I've been kind of spaced out lately. Just going through the motions. Do you ever have days like that? I guess everyone does. It has been hard to find motivation, but I'm trying to push through it and find inspiration around me. The Sleeping Fields 7 inch lathe cut 'The Hunters' has been available for a few weeks now. We have a few left if anyone wants to snap them up. I think with the time change, and the weather finally beginning to change, lots of other people are feeling disconnected. The progress on other releases has slowed a bit. Sammy (Lucille Furr) and I have had trouble with scheduling to get her record done. I have a rough demo of it, with a few tracks finalized. Hopefully we can get it tracked before the end of the year. I'll try to post a preview of one of her songs soon. Kateri's album is being mastered currently, though we still have yet to finalize a release plan and pick a format. She is mostly releasing it solo, and we are providing some additional infrastructure and support. The release party is this Thursday night (12/04/14) at Hoson House in Tustin. It starts at 7:30p, come out if you'll be in the area!
Until next time....
As the final touches are being put on The Sleeping Fields' record I have turned some of my thoughts to what comes next. I figured it was time to lay out some timelines, or at least thoughts on what is to come.
To that end, Kateri and I met up for lunch today to discuss her album and future plans. It is looking like we will have two simultaneous offerings from Kateri: 1) A limited edition lathe cut with two songs & 2) A four song EP issued on CD in a slightly larger run. The four song version will also be available from the usual range of digital retailers.
I have also recently checked in with Carlo (of C is for Carlo), who says he has not been happy with his recordings, but is definitely still working on a record for us. In the meantime, he has been dedicating his time to a wonderful app for iPhone called UnWine. Any of you wine drinkers out there should check it out in whatever iOS calls its store (sorry guys, I'm an Android user).
The Lucille Furr album has had a slight delay. A sudden change of apartments has had us push pause, hopefully to resume in the first few weeks of October. We just need to track some violin and backing vocals and decide on format. It will likely be released as a 5 song 7" lathe cut. however, CD or cassette is also possible.
As for my own music...I know what songs I would like to issue. I just need to figure out their arrangement and get some recordings I am happy with.
I would imagine that 2014 will see two releases: The Sleeping Fields 7" and one other...though I'd be hard pressed to figure out which one the other will be. The rest will likely follow in the first quarter of 2015.
The records arrived! So exciting. I have screen printed the front covers, as you can see above in a terrible picture taken on my cheap phone. The cover was designed by kidslikefran, a great artist I was fortunate enough to find on fiverr. I think took his design and hand transferred it to a silk screen and screen printed the covers. I still need to print the back covers and type up some basic liner notes. I would imagine it will be available within the next few weeks. I will definitely let everyone know.
The records themselves sound great. Just to remind everyone: they are lathe cuts. As such, the sound is different from a modern record. It has a higher noise level and in some cases some mild distortion. The records are cut using a cutting lathe from the 1940s. They are cut in real time, one by one. Each record is a truly one of a kind object, from the cut itself, to the shaping of the record (hand shaped), to the home screen printing (my first attempt). I think they are wonderfully personal art objects as well as being filled with great music. The records come with a little slip about lathe cuts, with information on where to get advice if your stylus does not sit in the groove right (something I do not have an issue with on my table, but that was an issue on my Mother's turntable).
I'll update again as soon as I finish the back covers. At which point the labels first release will be available!!
In other news: we are still working on the Lucille Furr ep, but it is sounding good. At this point it is looking like it will be between 5 and 6 songs, released in the same manner as the Sleeping Fields single detailed above. We just need to track some violins and fix up a few parts before sending it off to get cut.
Well, vinyl might not be completely accurate. I am looking into getting some short run lathe cuts done (likely in the 10-25 quantity level). We will likely start with a 7" or two and see how things go.
I know it has been a little while since an update occurred. To be honest, not a lot has been going on with the label. People are working on songs, albums, recordings, etc. In the meantime, we wait, and I plan. Hopefully we will have something for y'all to feast your ears on in not too long. Thank you for your patience!
I had a very lovely meeting/chit-chat session with Frankie & Rufus this evening. Such nice people! It looks like they will be releasing a small ep through Sage Canyon in the not too distant future.
We had the most wonderful conversation...about amazing music, not making any money, riding the white horse, good hip hop....just really fun. It'll be a little bit before the release (they are working on a separate album first), but in the meantime, y'all should visit their website and listen to their musics!!!
A lot of good things are happening. I had a meeting with Sammy (Lucille Furr) on Sunday and confirmed plans for her release and its recording. We will be getting together in late June to do the basic tracks. After that we will probably schedule a day or two for overdubs. There is talk of adding a string section!!
I have meetings later this week with a few other local artists that are new to me. A few old friends have tentatively joined on. One of them (C is for Carlo) will be putting together some songs from his home in TX. Just last night a wonderful song-writer was over and we had a great conversation that ended with an agreement to release an EP with an accompanying short story collection....or is it a short story collection with an accompanying EP?
Lots of good things. Of course, I will soon be swamped and my apartment will be covered with scraps of paper/packaging, and my bank account will be empty. But that is okay. I'm really looking forward to hearing the great sounds/songs that everyone puts together!
A friend took this photo of me at the tide pools in Laguna Beach, CA around five years ago. In that time, hobbies have come and gone, I have changed jobs, most of my friend group has moved away, and I have not played as much music as I did in the five years prior. You see, the five years prior was spent with my former band Glider. It was my baby and I loved it, but sometimes hated it when it grew up differently than I wanted it to. I spent almost ten years of my life with it. Eventually, communication broke down, situations changed, and we were just no longer able to keep going. I was really quite angry about that for some time. Sometimes I'm still angry, but mostly that it took me so long to move on. I had made a habit of looking back at what could have been instead of really trying hard to move forward. Sure, I involved myself with other projects and other little things, but none of them really felt like they had a shot at being....something truly meaningful to me.
Fast forward to now. I've been writing songs with a renewed intensity, all the while feeling so disconnected from the current music culture. So, the logical thing to do was to e-mail an old friend (Glider's former drummer Christopher). I asked Christopher if he'd be willing to produce an album for me. I'd worked alone for a some time and couldn't seem to get the results I wanted, or that I heard in my head. Having someone I trust help out sounded like a good call. I sent him some extremely rough versions of songs I had been writing (sometimes nothing but a single verse of lyrics and a guitar part). We are planning on starting the pre-recording process soon. I am really looking forward to it.
Around the time I e-mailed Christopher I decided that I'd release the new music myself. Having dabbled with a label in the early to mid naughts, I had some experience to draw from. Since then, the idea has grown to possibly encompass a few friends' music. One of those friends has even pointed some of their friends in my direction. Hopefully I can build up some momentum and start releasing music I am truly excited about, all in lovingly hand made packages and limited runs: a back to basics diy approach. Sage Canyon will hopefully be the launchpad to the next chapter in my, and with any luck some other people's, musical evolution. Thanks for visiting! I hope to have more content added shortly, with more blog posts as we get toward our first few releases.