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The “Undercover” project proceeds apace! There are now around 17 songs recorded in at least a preliminary way–some more preliminary than others. And not all with make the cut. But still, that’s a lot of work accomplished and the consensus is we’re still on target to release around May. There are a few more to record and then a whole lot of polishing, rerecording, mixing and mastering before that can happen.
No, you cannot hear what we’ve done so far. These songs have never before been heard by human ears–nor will they until release day.
But oh how I’d love to let you. Some of this stuff will blow your mind!
I’m off on a week’s vacation, but I just wanted to tell you that Endless Blue has been hard at work on our new album. Thursday night’s recording session was inspirational. The creativity and talent I’m working with is really awesome. Right down to the sock we used for a mute on my bass. I can’t wait for everyone to hear this stuff.
Remember that video we did to support our Kickstarter-funded album? Here’s the live performance by itself, minus the interviews. Me and click-tracks don’t always make nice, but it’s still a great vid. Dig it.
There’s just a couple days left to get “Undercover” with Endless Blue!
We have already raised enough funds to ensure that the project is going forward, but there’s still room for you if you want to get in on this action. Score some early downloads, a CD, fun swag…or have us put your favorite song on the album!
The video’s so great you should watch it again in any case.
Connie observed this evening that I’ve been grumbling about my music lately. It’s true that I’ve been doing a bit more hand-wringing than usual and I think I know why. Years ago as an active musician I did a lot of live performances but not much recording. Now that I’m back into music again and doing a lot of recording, I find the red light can be intimidating. Sometimes when the record button gets hit, I choke.
I think it’s just the perfectionist in me. Instrumentalists who are charged with carrying melody don’t have to play like metronomes all the time, but we in the rhythm section do. If something is a hair off beat it’ll make me wince every time on playback. They say when the bass player misses a note people hear it all the way down the block. I therefore try hard to get everything just right.
Problem is, trying hard can be inhibiting. I find I play it safer, use fewer notes, take less chances. Doing so can really help lock things down. But it can also stifle the music. Worse, sometimes the red RECORD light can be as frightening as the flaming eye of Sauron. It can lead to excessive errors and multiple retakes. Once I start down that path it’s easy to get rattled.
Fortunately, I’m working with two terrific people who not only have golden ears and subtle engineering skills, but also the patience of saints. I recorded some stuff last week in what I lovingly refer to as “EB Labs” and things seemed to go poorly. (Same piece of music we performed live for this video, if you’re curious.)
I listened to the final mix this evening and…it’s amazingly good. I wish I could share it with you, but you’ll just have to wait until the album is finished! It’s going to be fantastic.
You may know that I recently joined the fantastic local trip-hop group, Endless Blue. Well, one of the ideas we’ve been cooking up is an album of all covers–that is, other people’s songs that we record in our own distinct style. Problem is, paying royalties for the songs has quite a price tag.
That’s where you come in. You and Kickstarter.
Kickstarter enables you to help us get our project off the ground–”kickstarting” it, if you will. When we reach our fundraising goals, you’re debited the amount you pledged and we use the money to make the album. (If somehow we fall short and do not reach our goal within the stated timeframe, you keep your money and we go make a different album that doesn’t cost as much.) Simple.
But wait, there’s more! In fact, this is where it gets really interesting.
We don’t want this to be a one-way street, just you giving us something. Sure, you get to listen to the album once it’s done, but that didn’t seem like enough of a give-back to us. So here’s the deal: We want you to pick the songs.
No, really! At higher pledge levels we’ll actually record the song you pick and put it on the album. Even pledging one dollar allows you to at least suggest a song. And there are plenty of in-between funding levels with lots of Endless Blue swag and goodies to accompany them.
Since getting back into music six months ago, I’ve played with several different ensembles–basically anyone who would invite me to a rehearsal. So far, the only constant of my adventures has been my good friend, songsmith and guitarist, Adam Wrass. I have now, however, found another home for my musical pursuits: Endless Blue.
It’s an exciting project to be part of. It can be a viscerally rewarding thing to make honest, rootsy rock music with nothing but attitude, poetry, tube amps and wooden drumsticks. But it can be another thing entirely to engineer a piece of aural shock and awe using modern studio magic. Endless Blue is the latter.
“Trip-hop” may or may not be a familiar genre to you, but I think everyone can appreciate the artistry of both the performances and the post-production wizardry that goes into producing pieces like this and this.
(Pro tip: if you have good headphones, now’s the time. This soup’s so chunky you could eat it with a fork–but use a spoon to get every drop. Seriously.)
Here’s their 2011 EP, Unfriend, on iTunes. Check the previews. My current favorite is “Losing Me.” See what you think.
EB isn’t a gig-every-weekend type band. They record, they publish–and they do a small number of live gigs every year. I’ll let you know, obviously, when the next one is on the horizon.
My musical life is taking off just as I hoped it would. I can’t wait to share more recordings and gigs with you as time goes on.