Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pastiche

Pastiche:
- medley, a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
- a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work

I used to be in a band called Pastiche.  It only lasted about a year and half but it was to this day probably my favorite band experience because of how functional it was.  In the time we were a band we recorded two EP's.  Pastiche was all about how to appeal to our listeners so the melodies were fairly simple and the lyrics were colorful.  Leif at the time had been listening to a lot of Interpol and it's obvious; especially in the first EP titled Street Life.  To us, that was okay because having a band named Pastiche meant that we were trying to take from our favorite artists and mold into something of our own.  We did receive some criticism but the positive energy we got by far weighed out the bad.  We managed to get a lot of people to come to shows, we sold plenty of merchandise and got a great name around Bellingham.   It's a bit of a shame that we disbanded but half the band was leaving Bellingham and moving on with their life.  It was a fun ride and I've learned a lot about how to run a band successfully.

I created a Bandcamp profile for Pastiche so that anyone that wants to can listen and download all of the Pastiche library for FREE!  If you like it, feel free to share it.  


<a href="http://pastiche.bandcamp.com/album/rabbits-ep">Move Out Of The Suburbs by Pastiche</a>

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Great Waves

One of the great things about meeting/living/knowing great musicians is that you never who you're going to meet.  A few weeks ago I stumbled out of my room from a quick afternoon nap when I heard voices in my living room.  It was Sarah my roommate and three strangers to me that happened to be the majority of the band Great Waves.  At this point their name and music was alien to me but we all hung out and walked to New York Pizza in Bellingham.  They drove up from Issaquah to meet with Sarah and discuss some of their new songs that they were putting together for their upcoming EP that they're going to record this month.  In case you're not up on local music, Great Waves won first place in the EMP Sound Off this year.  This was all news to me to me.

After pizza, we all sat and down in our music room and played some of the songs they working on.  The thing that stuck out to me was the alternate tunings that Will Holmes used on his guitar.  I use alternate tunings as well so naturally I was intrigued by Will's methods as he's a very great guitar player.  The next thing that appealed to me was the vocal style of Ashley Bullock.  Her style to me, has hints of Jonsi from Sigur Ros who is one of my favorite singers.  She has an amazing way of pulling out very flavorful notes and melodies within the song that aren't immediately noticeable.  I couldn't help but wonder who these nice and very talented people were.

When they left I pulled up their Band Camp site and listened to their songs and it was very impressed with the quality of the songwriting and the production.  They have released two EP's from a professional studio and are working on a third one to come out before their Bumbershoot show on September 4th.  I also learned that they are playing in the slot right before Idiot Pilot that day.  So it'll be really cool to play such a fantastic show with them.  Without further adieu, here is a live video from their winning EMP set and a link to their Band Camp site to which you can not only listen to their songs in full, but also download them and your own price.  I have been playing their two releases almost everyday and I really have been enjoying it.  I encourage you to please donate to this fantastic band.  Enjoy!


<a href="http://great-waves.com/album/at-the-bottom-of-the-well">Sleepers by Great Waves</a>



Friday, July 23, 2010

Summary What I've Been Up To

Momentum is gaining since I decided to pursue music as a career a little over a year ago.  I have a long way to go yet, but have surely been making great progress.  Realizing this, I felt it appropriate to post because I haven't done it in a while.

Since the beginning of 2010, I've done three drum tracking sessions for bands including Post Human Era and Idiot Pilot.  I'm really excited to hear the results because some fun ideas were experimented with.  Yesterdays session I recorded an hour and half of different beats and rhythms at different tempos for Idiot Pilot so Dan and Mike can build songs around it.  Similar to what Blink-182 did for their self titled release in 2003.

It's hard to believe that it's been exactly four months today from when I went SXSW with Idiot Pilot this past March.  It was five days of constant sensory stimulation, crazy experiences and amazing bands.  I hope to go again next year.

What revamped my rebirth of musical drive over a year ago was the yearn to create songs, not just play drums.  I have so many ideas recorded and I recently went through them and picked out a solid eight to embellish and make into and EP.  All writing and arranging will be done at the end of August or earlier if possible.

On September 4th, Idiot Pilot will be playing at Bumbershoot in Seattle.  Being a Seattle native, I have never been to Bumbershoot and I think it's a little funny that my first experience there will be performing.  That day Neko Case is performing and I'm almost more excited about that then performing!  She is one of my favorite artists and I guess one of the perks of performing is that you get side stage passes.  I don't even know how to express my excitement for that.  Bob Dylan is also performing, I've never been a fan of Mr. Dylan but it'll be great to see him just to say I have.

That's all for now, but more exciting things to come!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Los Angeles - The Ghost And The Grace

While the upcoming album is getting done, this song has emerged!  Just to let you know that we're still here.  It was cool to be approached by Daniel out of the blue about this new song, give him a couple round of mixing notes and then bam!  It's up on the new The Ghost And The Grace Bandcamp site.

Listen to it for free and as much as you want here or at:  theghostandthegrace.bandcamp.com.  Then if you like it enough, please feel free to purchase it for only a dollar.  Support your local artists!

<a href="http://theghostandthegrace.bandcamp.com/track/los-angeles">Los Angeles by The Ghost and the Grace</a>

Friday, April 9, 2010

Me + Idiot Pilot = The Tail of a Jet Black Swan

Here is some news I'm stoked about:  there is a new Idiot Pilot song out and they haven't released a new song since their full length album, Wolves, in 2007.  On the record Wolves, the main drummer was Chris Pennie (The Dillinger Escape Plan and Coheed and Cambria) and also featured Travis Barker (Blink-182) for one song.  I was hired to play drums for their new song titled The Tail of a Jet Black Swan.  I had big shoes to fill and this was my highest profile gig I've had yet, you could say I was a little nervous but mostly excited!

Working with both Michael and Daniel was a comfortable experience.  They were encouraging and laid back which allowed me to really focus on performing my best.  The drums were already laid out and I played the song as written.  As we got solid takes of the 'as written' drums I started embellishing and changing a few patterns slightly which is always kinda risky when laying down tracks for an artist because you don't want to get that: 'um, please play the song as written,'  which I have definitely gotten before.  Mike and Dan are up for feeling out ideas if people have them which is another really amazing benefit while working with them.  I was flattered because a few of my ideas made it to the final cut of the song.

That being said, check it out!  It's streaming on the front page of the Idiot Pilot website.  If you like it, you can download it with a suggested donation of a dollar.  Listen: here!

Here is a picture of my drums for The Tail of a Jet Black Swan tracking session.  It's hard to tell but there are 23 microphones around my drum kit!



Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Ghost And The Grace's Second Album Sneak Peak

In November and December of 2009 I played drums for Daniel Anderson on his second album for The Ghost And The Grace.  We've gone on a few car rides to listen to the new additions and edits for this album and each time it gets a little better.  Slowly, more artists are making appearances and it's really starting to become a rich piece of work.  Sometime this year this album will be released and it will be awesome.  But for now here is a one minute teaser.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unravel

I'm taking some time and learning how to write in a way that is beneficial to my final product.  Lately, as anyone learning to do something well, I've been hitting some walls.  I've gotten some good insight from some talented close friends and I believe I may have found what will help.

As I am taking some time to get familiar with this new way of writing, I have decided to record and post five cover songs.  This to me is a great debut project as it's small and it'll get me to finish something.  I'll posting the first song: "Unravel" by Bjork.  If you haven't heard it, take a listen.  The song is a heart string puller about how love can cause false hope with the burden of distance and time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reason And Record

Okay I'm shaking off the holidays, got a new job and I've started the flow of income again. Before I can start making musical purchases again, I have to shrink down the pile of bills, sigh. But luckily it isn't too bad - one month ought to do it.

Luckily for me, I have a loving, supportive father with similar musical interests as me. So for the holidays I added to my collection Reason with Record with a MIDI keyboard to go along with it. Wowza was I stoked! I've barely gotten my feet wet with it but man-o-man does it make Garage Band look like child's play.

So I'll be taking some time to convert the songs I've written and enjoy in Garage Band and and give them a whole new makeover in Record. I have so many options and patches it's fantastic. So whilst I take the next week and do this I'll be soon finally releasing what I'm doing for a band because it's starting to come into focus. That's all for now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The North Wind Blew South

A little while ago I featured my friend Michelle Newman and her photography site in a post I did. I said there would be shows soon and here one is!

"A collection of photographs by Michelle Newman will be on display at Book Fare Cafe located in Village Books, December 1st - December 31st, 2009

Opening reception,
Artwalk Friday
December 4th at 6 - 8pm

Book Fare Cafe, Village Books in Fairhaven
1200 Eleventh ST., Bellingham, WA 98225
360.671.2626
Monday - Saturday 10 am - 9pm
Sunday 11 am - 7 pm"

Check out her site for more details and awesome photographs: www.michellealexisnewman.com


Friday, November 27, 2009

The Ghost And The Grace Holiday EP

Happy Black Friday. I'm not going anywhere!

There is love all around, it's Christmas! So start busting out Charlie Brown Christmas and those weird claymation Rudolph and Frosty The Snowman movies; Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone (don't watch past the 2nd one!) and make treats and drinks anytime you can. Don't forget to gain holiday weight and then resolution it all off on January 1st. Oh America...you're so weird. But I do love myself some Christmas!

Anyway, remember the post I had recently about drumming on The Ghost And The Grace Holiday EP(scroll down just a little if you don't)? Well now, we get to literally hand you the fruits of our labor. These are three original holiday songs written by the creative brain of TGATG Daniel Anderson. They're a different view of Christmas that you don't hear a lot with an unmistakable Christmas flavor. Definitely original, but I don't want to give everything away...

So here's the Scoop: These are up for you download and we're asking for a suggested donation of $3 but you get to make that choice and pay whatever amount you'd like for the songs. We are also donating part of the proceeds to the fight against breast cancer.


Thank you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"I Can't Find The Books, They Must Be In Lahoya" *


Saturday night I was privileged enough to witness a fantastic show with The Books. This duo is probably among my top 20 favorite bands. Sadly, I feel they don't quite have the recognition they deserve. But to be fair, they're an acquired taste and usually people ask me who that is when I talk about them. But once you're into them you can really appreciate their fantastic musicianship and crisp production quality. For those of you wanting a new musical experience, they can be heard best on nice speakers and turned up really loud.

The duo consists of two men named Nick and Paul, who live, play mainly a guitar(also bass) and cello along with their music that is largely an eclectic collection of samples mixed in with music. I had never looked up YouTube videos of The Books because I wanted to experience the show with no bias. They both sit and play along to their music with videos of snippets of old handheld camera footage that they largely collect from thrift stores and the like-which they also create. So if you can imagine, you're witnessing a long artistic piece of music and video. When leaving the venue I felt as if I had just watched a fantastic movie. My brows furrowed and my head slightly tilted as I walked out of the venue thinking: "Damn, that was really, really good."

Earlier that day, since they were playing at Western Washington University, they put on a free lecture at the university. Naturally, I was there and curious on what they'd share with us. It took no time at all to see that Nick and Paul were really nice and very knowledgeable guys. They took us through the process of how they wrote a few of their latest pieces of art; both on the musical and visual side. They shared how they came up with the samples they use and how they build songs around them. It really showed me how confident and generous these guys are because they shared tactics and techniques that probably came with lots of trial and error. Valuable tools and tips for anyone looking to make their art their way of living. They then opened it up for questions and even asked us our opinion on whether they should continue like they normally do and master their next album themselves or give it to Bob Ludwig for mastering(who if you don't know, is one of the biggest names out there for mastering). I haven't found many artists that will ask their fans questions. I found the whole experience really inspiring.

I also wanted to mention how excited I was to see Bellingham's very own Pan Pan open for The Books. I've seen them a handful of times and this was by far the best show yet. Having a professional stage set up and an impressive 17ish piece band to march up behind the crowd and make their way to the stage while playing the opening song really made a lasting impression and an impressive way to start the evening. The rest of their set was brilliant and I'm amazed on how solid everything was. Pan Pan rules. Go here to check them out! And here for The Books.



video

*Title of this post comes from the song: "If Not Now, Whenever" by The Books off their 2005 release Lost And Safe.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pastiche Archive 1 - Pigeons

I was going through some old videos of the band I used to have called Pastiche and found this little gem called Pigeons off the second EP, Rabbits, that we released. We rushed to get this song down for the show and it shows for the first little attempt there. I left the mess up part in because it really shows a cool side that you don't normally get to see in bands. It's not usually a great moment but we pulled together and showed why we wanted to play the song so bad...cause it rocks. If anyone would like this song or any other that we released, let me know and I'll be happy to send it to you for free. Hope you like it.


video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TGATG Drum Recording Session


Well as I stated before, I have moved to drums for The Ghost And The Grace. Due to the switch, we're figuring out the live situation. Doesn't mean that we're twiddling our thumbs. Drew Fitchette and Sarah Jerns are keeping their own bands alive and well in Rooftops and Pan Pan. Both bands have great shows coming up. Pan Pan will be opening for The Books on November 21st. So mark your calendar cause that show is going to be great.

This past weekend I went into the Bayside recording studio in Bellingham to record drum tracks for a Christmas album Daniel is releasing for The Ghost And The Grace. But most of the tracking was for the upcoming full length that is in the works.
The first day I spent 12 exhausting hours in the studio and we still needed another day to finish the takes. The second day we spent about 7 hours but we got 10 songs done. All with multiple takes and including one "Keith Moon take" for most of the songs. These entailed that I play along to the song as normal but also to have no fear of playing a ridiculous amount of fills and flash like Keith Moon of The Who. It definitely worked well for the most part and channeled a difference in my creativity.

So 10 songs down and 8 more to go. I'll be updating once I get those songs finished. But for now, enjoy this video of highlights of the two days of drum tracking.