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Posts Tagged ‘Salon De La Guerre’

I know you did not believe me when I said I had written a lot of music in the last three months, dear reader. For documentary proof, I submit to you my first symphony, which I completed over the last month. It’s called “Gravitas: A Life,” and it was my way of stress-testing my iPhone software as well as seeing if I could write a long-form musical piece. I’m happy with the results.

I’ve put the entire thing on YouTube to share it with friends and get feedback. In a month or two, I plan to put it on CD Baby after doing a bit more mastering (there are a few treble problems I’d like to fix, since I’m all about that bass).

I’m not sure if it’s a real classical piece, a pitch for me as a writer of film scores or a bit of muzak, but you might enjoy listening to it as background music or for contemplation, if nothing else. Enjoy. And if you do, please leave comments here or on YouTube and feel free to share it with your friends. Hurry, before I start charging for it!

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Roses Don't Push The Car Home_edited-1At the beginning of this year, fans, I thought I might be done with music for a while. I had just released my seventh album, “Clam Fake,” which I thought was my best achievement with music so far, and I was ready to go back and work with some other media. (I also love spending time with my beloved 4-year-old son, but that’s another matter).

Because I’m an untutored music producer, most of my musical experiments have been made on a very old laptop with a very, very old version of a musical production software called Cubase LE. There is no support for this thing or for many of the old electronic boxes you could talk to it with (if you think the major software companies are unconcerned about the life cycle of the products they make you depend on, imagine the unmerciful attitude of a company whose business is musical equipment). With my old Cubase cutting out on me and my understanding of the next generation product practically nil, I felt as if I were going to have to learn a new language, and I thought, “No more music for me.”

But then I made a small discovery: My wife had bought me an iPhone 6 for Christmas, and tucked away on this tiny smartphone like a pea among many other apps I’d never use was a cute little version of Garage Band. I’d never had a Mac, and my initial confrontation with the product on the iPad didn’t give me confidence the phone version would be any good.

But then I made a song with it. Then another. Then, folks, I’d shamefully admit that I started to go fucking crazy. Since the beginning of this year, I have made almost four albums’ worth of music. Forty-five brand new songs. On my freakin’ phone! I made music in bed. I made music waiting for the treadmill. I made music while waiting for my wife to get out of the bathroom. I’ve made music on the train to work.

I do not want this to sound like an advertisement for Garage Band, necessarily, but there’s probably no hope of it sounding otherwise. A lot of the rawness of my producing that’s fairly obvious on my previous seven albums has been greatly reined in by Garage Band’s sound compression (it automatically gets rid of ugly frequencies I had to adjust for manually). I have also availed myself of loops and beats. So anybody familiar with my old stuff might be in for a shock and wonder what was up. No, the earth shattering reason for my change in sound was actually a banal software change.

What you have, of course, is a new album with almost no live instruments on it (real guitars appear only on two tracks, which were held over from “Clam Fake.”) There are some people who might find this offensive and fake. I’m one of those lucky people who don’t care. I like playing a real guitar and have on occasion done it well, but I feel that anybody who calls himself an artist works with imagination first and foremost and doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about the materials used so much as the spirit that’s brought to them. Of course that means I can play rock music on my phone. Why the hell not?

That attitude is hopefully the continuity you might otherwise not see between my older work and the new album.

My eighth release is called “Roses Don’t Push The Car Home.” As of today (May 27) it is available on CD Baby and Amazon, and it will soon pop up on iTunes and other places where music is (still) sold.

Check out a sample of “Roses Don’t Push The Car Home” below:

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If you buy one album this year … it should really be “Blackstar” by David Bowie. If you buy two albums … then maybe you should add “La vache qui pleure” by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

But if you buy 23 albums this year, I hope one of them might be my new release, “Clam Fake,” now available on Amazon and iTunes and other places where music is (still sold).

 

 

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Clam Fake Album Cover_edited-1

Dear readers, I returned to music in the latter half of 2015 and my seventh (!!!) album is coming out this month. It comprises 12 new songs of rock and pop and a wee bit of jazz. The record is called Clam Fake, and it drops in a week or so on iTunes and Amazon (as well as other sites like CD Baby). By “drops” I mean it will be released or issued. I have not physically dropped anything. That’s just slang to make me look more hip and knowledgeable.

Those of you who are fans might be surprised by some of the new territory I’m staking out. After almost 27 years, for instance, I picked up an alto saxophone, an instrument I had not put my fingerprints on since I was a teenager. My new interest in this instrument was sparked partly because I wanted to see what a sax sounded like next to a trivially tuned guitar orchestra. I was also mildly curious to see what I could still do with a dear woodwind so estranged from me. The saxophone is the only instrument I’ve actually been tutored on, but I learned nothing about music theory or chords from it. I gave it up partly because I wanted to learn songwriting on instruments like the guitar that I had taught myself so that creativity, discovery and technique could grow together. In other words, I wanted to be a punk and not know how to play the instrument I was playing.

But I was pleasantly surprised in one 10 minute jam that I could not only squeeze music from the sax but do it for some 10 uninterrupted minutes of long, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman-inspired improvisation. This jam became the basis of two songs on Clam Fake, one of which is called “Red Clay Moses” (attached here).

The rest of the album relies heavily on guitar, however, and will be more familiar to my fans (such as they are), though I am also very proud to say that I’ve grown as a singer, guitarist and producer, and that Clam Fake is more listenable all the way through than my previous efforts.

You might have noticed my new songs already in the list on the right. The ones at the top are from Clam Fake, and are interspersed with six outtakes (in a hat tip to the nice critic from the Equal Ground who said I should filter more, I have left weaker songs off the album this time, though I am quite pleased to say that I now boast some 95 songs among my intellectual property, all of which are at home here on my blog).

If you like what you hear on this page, you can hear more on my Soundcloud page, and if you like that too, please spread the word!

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Last year I released an album on Amazon, iTunes and other fine outlets called “Diasporous.” This album includes some of my oldest songs, things I wrote in my ’20s, in probably their fourth or fifth versions.

One of them seemed as if it would never be good, never reach its potential. It’s a punk-pop song, whose strengths are think are obvious, yet I managed to mangle it so many times I’d come to hate it. My first set of lyrics for it were vaguely about 9/11, and a vague song about 9/11 tends to be automatically in poor taste. Either you have a point of view about that day or you ought to shut up. So I gave the lyrics what I realized years later was my strength: a story. And I clarified the melody. And when it popped up in my iTunes queue a couple of weeks ago, I realized: I finally don’t hate this thing I made.

So here it is: A pop song I made that I no longer hate enough to hide.

It’s called “Patriots/Crossed Lines.” And it’s loud, by the way. Enjoy.

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My latest album, Your Eyes Have Mystic Beams, is now for sale on Amazon.comĀ and iTunes, among other fine outlets. Please check it out, and if you like it, feel free to tell the world how you feel about my band, Salon de la Guerre, in an Amazon review!Image

 

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The new album “Toe-Tapping Songs of Pain and Loss” by Salon De La Guerre

As my regular readers might have noticed, I’ve added quite a bit of my new music to “Beauty is Imperfection” in the last couple of months. Salon De La Guerre now has almost 80 songs and six albums’ worth of material.

Better yet, you can now own my songs. Two of my albums, “Time-Traveling Humanist Mangled By Space Turbine,” and “Toe-Tapping Songs of Pain and Loss” are now available on iTunes, Amazon, MySpace and Spotify, among other well-trafficked music sites.

You can see my Amazon page here. In the next couple of months, I hope to upload four additional albums, as well as launch a dedicated music home page and Facebook page for Salon De La Guerre. You can also enjoy my avant garage rock experiments right here, of course.

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