Seems our Cicadidi demo was accepted by Gorilla Music Group. The tip came from an A&R rep for Warner, so I'm not taking it lightly. For now, it's chop wood, carry water. The banjo is all set up to record, when the opportune moment arrives.
Tere's a clip of the follow-up to "Over," just below the first track, up yonder. Just a rough guitar mix, for the moment. (From the end of the break.) About to add a little banjo, among several other acoustic instruments. This will be for Cicadidi.
So, Cicadidi broke the Top 40 on Reverb Nation! We are officially a new indie band, in 2023. Working on the follow-up track, and then back here, to finish out this first playlist. Think I've mentioned that there is an audio production certification course underway. So, naturally, these songs may end up slightly mismatched, as experimental/outtake recordings usually do. However, they'll all be keepers, for sure. The new version of "Hush-a-Bye" will have a kind of electric Ozark appeal, with another round of pennywhistle, to top it off. (Going out like that.)
In other news, I've procured a camera with a decent zoom. Nabbed a shot of the blue moon, as it was passing over the Southwestern horizon, and wow! You can see all the craters! There is definitely a future video in formation. Won't say much more, just yet.
Before I continue with Flowers For Kristin, I think a laid back, lap steely version of "Hush-a-Bye," all the way through, is in order for the queue. I wrote the melody while planting clover, last Spring. Just started whistling and, wouldn't you know it, the notes just happen to fall right on the standard scale of a tin whistle tuned to Eb. So, yeah ... by all means, more feadog. I'll see if I can work in some cowbell, too, but that's really asking a lot.
This will happen at cicadidi.net, with the possibility of a video, to follow. Think of these songs as experimental, I guess. Now that I'm able to use high sample rates and have a grip on all of these crazy Waves plugins, the quality is likely to improve in mad leaps, by the final outing. (Planning 3 EPs with the same cover, total.) Cicadidi will stay relatively the same, in that respect. I don't care much about the volume wars, anymore. Clarity and dynamics seem like a more engaging focus, for this.
Free track, over at the other site. (<-- Click.)
Picked up a custom '52 Tele clone, by Vintage guitars. Distressed butterscotch. Unbelievably bodacious. Going for a baritone neck, next month. I'll grab a photo, when it's finished.
(Btw, K's vocals were not done with AI extraction. I suppose a more official statement is in order.)
So, a funny thing happened as I started putting together the bass tracks for this current endeavor. A musical discussion that took place between Kristin and I began to surface in my mind. We came up with this cool idea for a kind of folk punk solo act, based on tremolo Strat chords and very little else. I wanted her to sing, of course, and she said she would, but she was determined to go back to school, for her master's degree. I wrote and recorded the rudiments of a song I thought would work with a female voice, but I'm obviously based in a baritone. (My voice is slightly deeper than Mark Lanegan's. We're still going to do Flatlands but hear me out.)
So, the melody and lyrics turned out alright, but my voice didn't quite fit. That's where I got tripped up sending her homespun country blues recordings. She realized I had a foghorn to deal with, started talking about old Tom Waits records. I, in turn, started talking about Chester Burnett. And, of course, I'm not going to sing a song just to hear, "Hey! Do Tom Waits!" I mean it was fun and all but kind of half-assed, and I didn't even really know how to record myself properly. Still learning. Made her laugh, though, and that was the goal. She also realized I did actually know something about music production and began to show interest in the idea, herself.
I was simultaneously lamenting over the idea of her unfinished work, while this is going on inside my head, and I realized what I had been trying to trace, musically, by starting this first little experimental rewind -- how the folk punk idea somehow just slipped through the cracks of our long-term conversation and lay dormant, like a cicada in the earth, until just now. Our discussion began some years before that, with Ry Cooder's work on the film Paris, Texas. She liked a lot of music but was especially fond of homespun folk rock with a punkish, abstract nuance. And she loved country music. Adored it like no one I've ever met since my grandparents.
I'll still keep adding to the flowers. I have 3 definite E.P.s planned, at the very very least. But, there is indeed a new project in the works, as well. I wasn't expecting her voice to suddenly materialize out of the matrix. (Imagine my surprise.) So, figure tremolo Strat chords, maybe even a little grumbly and unkempt. Figure some lap steel ... the song of cicadas ... a ghostly voice on the wind, somewhere along the Missouri River. Static glitch and the sound of thunder. I may back her on the vocals but the focus won't be on me. I never wanted to be a singer. I just found out, by accident, that I could in fact sing a few things, many years ago. No, I had it in my head that I was going to follow Keith Richard's lead through my own life and sing a little harmony while playing guitar. I was just fine with the idea.
So, that's how this song is going to end but I'm going to start the project soon, with another website under a different name. I'll be promoting it more, as the playlist grows, but there won't be a lot of gabble about it. The site will be artful but relatively nondescript, as well. The idea is to churn out some great guitar and lyrics for Kristin, one after the other, in between the sessions already in progress. I mean ... there are spools of experimental tape and there are concrete works, even if they involve spools of experimental tape. I think you probably get the idea. Anyway, that's what's up. For the moment, I've got to finish mixing down some bass tracks for the song in progress.
Adding a layer of fretless bass, now, after some 12-string chords and a swathe of harmonic echoes. Thinking some lap steel and acoustic slide. Probably some hillbilly harmonica, although I'm a little more schooled in cross-harp.
Btw, I've updated the lyrics and song notes, on the free tracks page. Got caught up in school and chores. Studying Physics of Sound, at AIMM.
No more teasers, on the clip.
(It's at that point where it needs to be licensed in order to be totally legit. Here it comes, though.)
I should mention that we're going jangle rock, next E.P. It's decided. Some seaside shoegaze guitar... probably some loungey surf, with the Strato and the VOX combo organ... another cover, for sure.
A little old-timey.
New song up, on the free tracks page. Total hairball of an endeavor but I think I saved it with some club sub. (A little excursion into the late 80s, as promised; the veritable musical mothership, for myself.)
You really need a team of scientists for big ensembles, but I had to make a big deal out of it, to start. No regrets. I totally went into the piece thinking: "This will be the one that gets me centered, musically, and it did." The tracks to come will be much easier to produce and therefore take less time. I may still do some long ones, but probably not so crunched for frequency. Looking at some shoegaze ambience, jangle rock, and a bit of old-timey, retro acoustic. "Neo-traditional," as it were. Next track will be a cover, by the seaside, as we veer into something more focused and even minimalistic, at times. Three more short ones to go and I'll fade them together for an official E.P. The cover will be made available via CD Baby, as soon as it's ready. (They have an easy licensing program.)
All three mp3s are now updated and contain the final cover art. Cheers!
I knew this first EP was going to be a mess of digital glitch, latency, hiss, and frustrated CPU levels, as I went down the rabbit hole of laptop recordings with my old i5, seeking musical direction within the context of a fantastical EVP session. So, instead of pulling too many teeth over the tech, I decided to color outside of the lines a little, and stuff it with every little thing, from white noise to lap steel and ocean waves, and just make it sound something like an old radio mix tape or sound board recording that your friend gave to you, back in the 80s. You know, regardless of precision and clarity. Turn the rabbit hole into a tunnel of light. A star-studded memorial concert on King Biscuit. Kristin dug stuff like that and it seemed to fit, for an opening set of tunes. The ones to follow will be a bit more up front, as I strip down the ensemble and find the sweet spot of the new workhorse I got for production school.
Currently remixing Hush-a-Bye with some parallel compression and one of my new shoegazer guitar pedals. Then I'll put them together. They're really the same song, anyway. Mars will stay basically the same, save a volume tweak and a little radio fuzz. (I like the retro feel of it. Didn't want to touch it with any new compression or bass tweaks.)
Krypton ... is a shade of blue.
As this day of the year comes round, once again, I find myself in the middle of the first vocal layer of a song I've been working on since last summer. This phase of the process is always the strangest. The vocal emulator sounds so fake, at first, until I start adding effects and her voice suddenly jumps out at me, from the computer. Riveting, to say the least. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
This is a very quiet day for me, typically, so I'm going to leave it at that. I did get the new Waves subscription, however, so I'm looking forward to adding a layer of trippy harmonies, as I near the finish line. Anyway... little preview.
Waiting on a last run 90s-era classic Strat from the Ensenada plant. Barely a scuff. 50s pickups, soft "V" neck, skunk stripe, the whole bit.
The model was mass produced until 2019. However, there was a fire at the plant, in 1994. To compensate for losses, some kind of swap occurred between Ensenada and Corona, until 1998-99ish, and a bunch of super-charged MiM Strats made it to the public, that are still talked about to this day. I've owned a '96 standard model and can attest to the quality. Whatever the case, this "new" one appears to be quite special.
*Update 2023: It plays like a $2,000 guitar.
Updated the Fables page. Accidentally erased all of my posts, here, so... I'll work on that. *ahem* (Eventually, this will all be contained in some form of album notes or another.)
Listening to The Jokers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6aIXf-yupQ