Posts Tagged ‘Recording’

“Mayday” — new single from The Suckers

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I’ve just released a new single about what happened in downtown Seattle this morning. It’s my attempt to “Born in the USA” the smashers with a chorus that sounds jingoistic but verses that underscore the stupidity of it all. Here it is:


There are a couple of B-Sides, too. Really the whole single has a Seattle feel. The first B-Side is a quick ditty called “Give Me a Break” that’s about the upcoming vote on gay marriage in the state. The final track is a cover of “Message in a Beer Bottle” by Screeching Weasel and its link to Seattle is a little more tenuous… the narrator of the song describes walking in the rain. It’s weak, but I’ve got to have some sort of theme!

The whole single is available for download on the Music section of the site. I guess this means it will be a part of some new Suckers album at some point in the future. Stay tuned.

Upcoming Projects — Solo Album, Markovs, and Dr. Horrible Covers

Monday, September 26th, 2011

First, I’ve finally resumed work on my new album. It’s tentatively titled From the Big Sky to the Rainy One, and I will probably finish it by the spring of 2011. I’ve narrowed down the song list to about ten, and I know a few more will pop up as I work on the others. It looks like it’s going to be more folk-influenced than inside, and I think this time the political songs will be kept to a minimum. That’s the same thing I said about the last album, though.

I’m also working on a new album from the Markovs, which is going to be straight-ahead punk rock (as opposed to the pop-punk of the Suckers). This record is a bit further along in development than the solo album… I have about five tracks laid town and nearly all of the songs are written, though not yet finalized. I’m looking to finish this one before the end of the year, if at all possible.

Finally, as kind of a fun thing, I’m working on a full-album cover of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I’m going to employ my friends for the different parts, and if I can find enough singers I won’t even be providing vocals at all. It’s harder than it sounds to cast the three main parts (Dr. Horrible, Penny, and Captain Hammer) because apparently I don’t know any altos or tenors. I might need to ‘go public’ with it and find some singers on Reddit, for example. Despite the complications, one nice thing about this will be that I can create karaoke tracks by removing.the vocals. I’m working on this in parallel to the albums mentioned above.

It’s a lot on my plate, so I’m sure things will slip. As I get closer to finishing each project I’ll start nailing down official release dates.

Video – My Freeze Ray (Dr. Horrible Cover)

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

I thought it would be cute to do a cover of “My Freeze Ray” from the fantastic mini-musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Then I did a search on YouTube and it turned out that 90 other people had the same great idea. But I went ahead and recorded it… anyway.

Fifth Christmas Album

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I’ve started ‘pre-production’ on my fifth Christmas album, which is as of yet untitled. Every year since 2006, I’ve recorded a Christmas album as a gift for my mom. She’s really into Christmas, and I suppose I am, too. My parents’ house is ridiculously decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it looks wonderful every year. Carrie gets a little sad because she says I disappear for the last few months of the year to work on the album. Actually, I’ve been getting better at getting these records recorded — two years ago I finished it on Christmas Eve, and last year I was done in time to FedEx it to my parents before Christmas. These albums are fun to make but slightly detrimental to my discography because they’re almost entirely covers, and usually more than half are encumbered by copyrights that prevent me from sharing them without worrying about paying royalties.

Right now I’ve got two tracks arranged, a cover of “Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton and a cover of “Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More” by Relient K. I’ve chosen most of the songs that will be on this record. I’m in no dangers of running out of tracks. Even after four albums, I’ve got a pool of about 100 songs that should last me for at least the next seven albums (at fourteen tracks a pop). And I never said I wouldn’t record new versions of songs.

Christmas always starts way early for me because of these albums. I even start listening to Christmas music (for inspiration) before Christmas merchandise appears on store shelves, if you can believe it. I’ll probably post one or two tracks as Christmas approaches. Obviously I’ll select them from the carols or other public-domain works I cover. There’s also one original song on each album, so I’m sure I’ll post that one, too.

In the meantime, enjoy the lull in Christmas ads, which would have started appearing on TV, if not for the fact that it’s an election year. On second thought, I guess the political ads might not be an improvement.

The Suckers – Sour Grapes

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

The Sour Grapes album cover depicts a fox disdainfully turned away from a branch of grapes that hang just out of his reach.The newest album from The Suckers is finally available to download for free in the music section. There, you can listen to or download individual tracks or the full album zipped up. There are 17 songs on this record, and I’d go as far to wager that some are even a little catchy. The music is pop-punk, in the vein of The Ramones, Screeching Weasel, Teenage Bottlerocket, and other bands of their ilk. Each song has slightly more than three chords and an attitude.

The cover art, which depicts the literal fable “The Fox and the Grapes”, is a photo montage made from free images courtesy of the Morgue File, and these authors deserve due credit: aquaio, jak, badeendjuh, and missyredboots.

Coming Soon: New Album From The Suckers

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I’ve been working on this album for a long time (since my last year of school, if you can believe it). It started out with direct-input guitars but I decided I didn’t like the sound and re-recorded with real, live guitar running through an amp into a microphone — something I hadn’t done since Misanthropomorphic. I also went back and re-sequenced the drums because I didn’t like their sound. I had started on vocals in early summer of 2008 (before Carrie came back from Europe when I had the house all to myself), but stopped for a long time with only about a third of the songs complete. I finally got started with the vocal re-recording around late January (starting from scratch), right before we decided to move. So I got over half the vocals laid down in Montana, and have started work on the remainder. I also considered re-doing the bass lines with my new bass (as my old one had started developing tuning problems), but decided to keep those in the interest of ever finishing the record.

The Suckers are a pop-punk band. When I say pop-punk, I mean in the traditional sense: three chords and simple melodies. Influences include The Ramones, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Teenage Bottlerocket, Teen Idols, and other bands like that. Since I’ve been mixing as I go, I can post a few preview tracks:

  • Bumper Sticker Warrior — A fast, snotty song about people who outwardly appear to care about an issue, but don’t do anything about it.
  • 4 a.m. — A short little song about being unable to sleep.
  • Not Buying In — A song about trying not to be defined by what you don’t have.

I’m actually going to announce a release date ahead of time, in the effort of giving myself some sort of pressure to finish the album and not endlessly tinker with it. Look for it on August 24, 2010.

Music Section is Live

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

After months of having a tantalizing-looking ‘Music’ link in this site’s main navigation but no payoff after the click, I’m happy to tell the world that the music section is live. There isn’t too much up now, aside from some free MP3s and an archive of music news, but there will be more content when I have more time. I would like to include some info about the lovely Why?-Fi Studio and how I record a song, but those will require a lot of work. I also plan to have an ‘upcoming albums’ section, but that might be unrealistic, as I would feel obligated to give all the projects I’m working on actual deadlines, then would feel the need to meet those deadlines. You see my dilemma.

Someday I’ll have an online store. The plan includes physical copies of CDs as well as digital downloads, initially in mp3 but probably in FLAC eventually. What’s going to be neat is that the digital downloads will feature a ‘Pay What You Like’ option (yeah, yeah, “Simpsons Radiohead did it”), which will go all the way down to free if that’s what people want to pay. I’m having a little trouble with the logistics of the whole project because I would like to include cover songs (I’ve recorded a lot of cover songs, my Christmas albums are almost all covers, and even The Suckers recorded a full-album cover of the Ramones’ first record), but I have to deal with the nasty reality of licensing, which looks to be as much negative fun as making the songs in the first place was. So the covers are going to have a minimum price so I don’t wind up losing money on the venture.


Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

It’s half past midnight on a Thursday. I’m brushing my teeth in the first-floor bathroom of Jesse Hall. As the mundane events of the day tumble through my brain like grains of sand in an hourglass, I hear something. It’s quiet, but unmistakeable. “Ode to Joy.” Beneath my feet. Someone’s playing fiddle in the music practice room. Not super-fancy music-major pyrotechnics. Just good, honest-to-God fiddle.

I like to record music, and since I’m the only person I work well with, I like to do it alone. Unfortunately, my music misses the instrumentation I can’t play myself — pretty much everything but guitar, bass, and keyboards. Here’s a chance to get a real instrument in one of my songs, a musician besides myself. Of course, I have to get the building’s master key (I’m on the staff) to get into the music room. Would that seem weird to the fiddler under my feet? “Hi, I’m Dave, and I like to record music. Care to work with me?”

Or I could just go to bed. It’s late. Work is early tomorrow morning. And my teeth are brushed. What if the mystery fiddler is an exchange student, and I somehow intimidate him or her? What if they say no?

Ultimately, time becomes the deciding factor. As suddenly as it had started, it stops. I spit out my toothpace, race to the office, and grab my master key. At the elevator, I press both the down and up button, in case I catch the fiddler on his way up. He should be pretty easy to see, right? The guy with the fiddle?

I get to the basement and the door of the music room. No fiddling. I open the door, and there’s Nick. He’s a student in my building. We say hi when we pass by each other. We’ve even had one or two philosophical conversations. There’s a fiddle at his feet.

“Hi,” I say. “Wanna make some music?” I don’t have a fiddle part written. I don’t even have a song written.

But there’s plenty of time.