New Direction

No, the title of this post doesn’t refer to some pop sensation. Unless, you consider me something of that sort in which case, you should probably listen to more music before you try to use that classification here. I’m referring to a new direction for the blog on this site. This site has historically been a resource for those who are interested in seeing me play live shows or would like to buy my music. While, anyone will still be able to accomplish those things here, I’ve decided to add a new curve to the site.

For a while now, I’ve had people asking me about my process; specifically, my songwriting and recording process.  In fact, some have suggested I show the more raw material and talk a bit about what I’m thinking as I’m writing new songs.

To help speed things along, some friends of mine and I have started a weekly songwriting challenge of sorts. This challenge came from recording artist Bob Schneider. Bob and a few of his friends started this same “challenge” years ago and it keeps them writing continuously and informs a lot of their work to date. I like to think of it as a songwriting work out buddy. You know, when you start getting fat or tired or both and you just can’t do the gym on your own. It helps to have a buddy to inspire, or at least hold you to your shit, right? Well, does for me anyway. So, that’s what we’re trying here. Each week, my friend Tim Wilsbach, or one of the others of us, will throw a phrase out to the group. We will each record our take on that phrase and deliver it to Tim by the end of the week.

So, my hope is to post some of the things that I record during these songwriting challenges and even in between. While I’m at it, I hope to talk a bit about what I was thinking as I was writing, my inspiration, and if I think the idea will have or should have traction beyond the demo.

Most of my demos will be pretty rough. Probably iPhone recordings and sometimes more. But, if an idea feels good enough to pursue further, I’ll commit it to a more complex recording with further instrumentation and more oooomph. I hope to post those here as well. But, for a while be prepared to hear some rough ass stuff and know that it’s my first spew of that song, not the finished product. So, don’t judge me! Actually, do judge if you like. I’ll be judging the shit out of myself.

Here’s the first song.  The phrase our group went with was “I wish the wind would blow me through”, which is a phrase Bob Schneider mentions in his NPR interview about the songwriting “game”. 

Here’s my take:
[audio:|titles=01 Sky Is Alive Demo]

So, the demo on this one was recorded using an iPhone app that makes the recording sound like a fuzzed out 70s tape recorder. I dig the sound, but realized later that the recording wasn’t loud enough. I’ll be doing my next recording in Logic as I do most of my stuff.
I started writing this on a Saturday and it took me about 30 minutes to finish the song lyrics and music. I spent another 30 honing it and recording it that Sunday before sending the track off. I really liked having the deadline because it forced me to get out of my head and just let the song flow. Hope you like it.

Again, let me emphasize, this is a rough rough demo for a first run. I would never think of releasing this full scale. That happens later and I hope to show everyone what that looks like as it comes.

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