Friday, September 15, 2006

OktoberFest in Lake Geneva


Yeah SWITZERLAND!

Soul Amp's fall house party tour added a second date. The infamous
Oktoberfest Party in the Lake Geneva Region of Switzerland! Yeah right
off Williams Bay...Lake Geneva...Wisconsin. I am such a huge liar.
Private party...if you were invited see you there.


Friday, August 04, 2006

We're not dead....

well we booked gig in September...so we aren't hanging it all up yet...still on summer break...stop by our homepage and grab our recent tunes

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hannah and The Fray

So Hannah and her buddy Joey got to meet The Fray at Summerfest. Hannah gave them a gift bag with bubbles and one of her CD's "Lets All Get An F in Chemistry"

Hannah is in the studio now laying down tracks for her next demo and EP...

So I have been helping her to learn the ins and outs of MOTU AudioDesk...like any modern techno kid she is picking it up rather fast.

I saw The Fray with Hannah at the Rave and I was quite impressed by them. One of the best shows I have seen in a long time. So many great songs.


Hannah in obvious teen idol heaven.


Here she hands them the gift bag...they said "Wow...no one has ever given us a gift bag before!"

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hannah's music

Be sure to check out Hannah's music on her myspace page:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=30545986

Quite the chip off the old block... so to speak... or is that "blockhead"? =)

Seriously, Hannah's got some great music... be sure to take a listen.

You can get more free music of the soul amp variety by going here: Free MP3 Index for Soul Amp

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sweet 16

My daughter, Hannah had her 16th birthday party last week. I set up a stage out of some pallettes and some left over panels from a old trade show booth. Ones we used in the Cat Box studio.



With the little Peavy PA, a digital delay and some good mics it was a nice sound get up.

Hannah had her music friends and special guests, Hayward Williams and a portion of Soul Amp - M2 and I. We kicked off the show with a 30 minute set of improvised jams and a few punky Soul Amp tunes. M2 had his Gretsch kit in the garage behind the stage and I set a condensor mic up for to send it to the PA...sweet sound with the guitar amp miced and vocal coming through. (Hannah put us first to get us out of the way...lol)

Hannah had sk8tr Lance Keotah, James and Jason (123 Jimmie) and herself in the show, each played 30 minute sets as did the keynote act, Hayward Williams to finish. Hannah and her buds had fun and the adults stayed out of the way....for the most part.

All in all a good time. Happy B-Day H - <3 Dad

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A few words from M2....

Fisk came out to the Love Shack sunday afternoon. I sold him the Tama drumset with a bunch of hardware and cymbals. He'll have a nice setup for the studio. I've got my eye on a Gretsch bebop jazz kit..nice and compact. I'll have to replace most of my hardware too..and cases..to get it to fit in the new Focus..yikes. I've been talking about downsizing for quite some time. Junking the '85 Cutlass, and the lull in my musical life, have allowed me to follow through. I played a Church gig sunday morning in Waukesha with the remnants of my old "praise band" Joyfull Noise. They recently lost their drummer to the pits of alcohol. It was kinda fun and kinda dullsville..not at all like a gig at the H.O.G.. As time away from Soul Amp marches on, I see more clearly the issues that led to our breakdown, and more clearly the need for us to mend our pain. The morphing of the "modern rock trio" into whatever Soul Amp was becoming was the first trigger in my separation. That coupled with my "id" driven desire to gig, and my increasing aversion to studio work to increase my mind funk. Then Fisk bowed out..at least temporarily. That was the nail in the coffin. Brad and I had discussed the possibility of slugging on, doing a different style of music. It sounded good at the time. What a tag team that would have been. Then I kinda freaked. I made some comments about hating studio work, and that alt rock was for gorgeous 20 somethings 'cause nobody gives a rip about us 40 somethings..regardless of talent. Those comments weren't taken well. I don't know where the remainder of my musical career will be spent, but I hope with all my psychotic being that Soul Amp, whatever it is, will someday be healed...M2

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Soul Amp is pushing up a field of tulips...that's not negative.
Pushing Tulips 5.5 mb mp3

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Negativity killed the band....

The creativity was killed by the negativity.

Soul Amp became Soul Crusher (good name for another band, eh?).

To jam and hang out was an attempt to start the healing. It wasn't taken that way.

The love of the members should've been much greater than the product being produced.

Success should have been defined as the joy of making music together. Making music that made us feel alive and part of something.

Success in monetary terms or reviews or number of discs produced can kill creativity and love.

Success can be monetary as a side effect of great music produced from love and hard work and respect for each others gifts.

Goals are part of the process and we had those and were working on achieving them. But goals that we have no control over are crushers when they are not met.

Soul Amp was not a band of session musicians.

I do not know where the future of Soul Amp lies. But I do know that negativity will not resuscitate it, because that is exactly the thing that killed it.

Soul Amp was eating me up and shouldn't have. It used to make me very happy. But the last 6 months have been painful.

It was something very special. Allow it to sleep for a while and rest.

Brad be pissed off for now... but I hope you let it go someday. I know that both M2 and I still care about you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Soul Amp's Epitaph

Yeah...I was wrong again...Soul Amp IS dead. Quivering slightly but terminal....I don't think there is going to be any glorious resurrection...

M2 quit. M1 was thinking about quitting and wants to write alone for a while. I was tossing around getting another singer on board and to start work on the next disk...we got a nice space to work in now...and a methodology that seems productive...and high quality but water under the bridge now...

As we were sitting at "bean scene" the other day. M1 asked..."So should we get together and jam next week." There was also talk of jamming at some parties, or other impromptu affairs...all of which had no real appeal to me at the time.

So when the question came up....I just sat silent. We had a nice time socializing up until that point.

Right at that point I had zero desire to play. And all the recent whining from us all about singing, "just rocking" and just "just letting the music happen" all rolled off my back like a big gob of spit and splatted on the floor. I felt no desire to clean it up.

No goal, no purpose = no desire. I'd rather invest my musical capital on something that has a goal and a purpose. I might be "scattered Brad" but I am not "pointless" Brad.

I'm listening to Strip Mall Heaven right now and frankly you don't make something like that "just rocking". "Just rocking" is an illusion pushed on fans by musicians. They purposely make it look easy through a lot of hard work. Even if that work is fun...we made our last show "just rock" and we rehearsed it so....we practiced it and we fucking rocked it.

Another point is that even the most creative musical genius worked at making the music sound to what they envisioned...even the most obnoxious crass punk band worked at making their disk or show sound just as they wanted...they argued and negotiated about that sound.

Effort, soul and desire, that is a lot to ask.....but remove any one and it falls apart.

That is why Soul Amp is where it is now....in the dust bin. I'm pissed off...and ready to move on...to the next musical whatever. Start over and do it again...

I need to remember the emotional investments required in getting from musical "point A" to musical "point B" and beyond are costly.

I can't make people cross those lines too many times....No point in it if they aren't putting in all three requirements.

Thanks to those who enjoyed our music. I know there are a few out there.

Peace

Brad O.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"...news of my death is premature..."


So it seems....

An emotional unstable bunch musicians are.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Toasted Another Drummer



Appears Soul Amp is down to two. As it began.

M2 after much soul searching has opted to look into a realm of music that is more in keeping with his background. We bid farewell to him and will still harp on him from time to time for some conga work. But for right now it looks like Mike Netteshiem, drummer for Soul Amp for the past two years has left the building. I thank him for his time behind the kit. We asked a lot of him and he delivered as evident on our disk. YOu gotta do what you gotta do in music and for M2 Soul Amp looked like it was heading somewhere he didn't really want to go.

So looks like Soul Amp is on the skids for a while. Right now M1 and I are slated to get together and just hang out and play some acoustic and Hammond M3 at my house and rebuild some ideas looking to the future. We'll be writing a lot and gathing a list of songs to work on later. Possibly do a few coffee house gigs here an there this summer. We'll let you know on that. Need to do some healing now.

So we might be a simple duo for a bit. Or simply toast for a while. It takes a long time to find the right person to put up with me and Mike when we ramp up into production for the next release. So we'll see how that goes. I can't predict the future but I think there will be something.

So any drummers who happen to read this drop us a line. It's a pretty good gig.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hogolodian

Thanks to friends, fans, family and random college urchins and mushrooms that showed up at House of Guinness last night. We had an exceptional time. The beats were smoking and the fire belching from keys was inspiring.

If you missed it...well....you missed it.

We made up s four jams on the fly and played the new tune "Technology" yet to be recorded.

Right now we are taking a break for at least a few weeks for some much needed R&R and to take in the spring. Where Soul Amp is headed is pretty much up in the air for now. Where it goes I am sure it will good there.

Hang in there. We love you.

Brad

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New Comments from CDBaby

Here is a quick review from our CDBaby album page.

"Excellent album. Soul Amp has been a favorite listen for a couple of weeks now. The lyrics are pretty interesting. Many of the songs tell a story. My favorite track is Shove, a funky tune with vintage sounding keys like from the 70s. I think that song's about conquering addiction... at least that's what I got out of it. Most of the other songs are good as well. They are kind of an eclectic mix of genres that's hard to pin down, but there's some classic rock, punkpop, and altcountry in there. Check it out. I looking forward to what they put out post-Strip Mall Heaven." - Jim Kiln

I don't know if this is random or someone we know. Either way. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What the heck is going on?

Yeah I am sure you are wondering....all four of you....

Well here is the deal. I'm (Brad) not really wanting to carry all the singing chores for Soul Amp anymore. It is that simple. I'll sing backups and maybe a few songs. And continue to sing our old stuff, but I'm stepping aside because of several factors...incuding the comments posted earlier.

At some point the stuff adds up. And with the aid some interesting technology I came to a decision to start the process of stepping away from lead singing duties. As much as I love to sing that it simply is not enough to love to sing. I think after a point you also need something back...and after some thought and careful analysis I have concluded that my voice does not have the "right stuff" to carry this band forward.

I base that some very thorough analysis with sonogram visualization technology. Being the computer geek that I am I have analyzed my singing and compared the sonogram of my voice and SOul Amp's songs with a variety of other bands whose singers have voices that I find most pleasing to listen to.

I asked myself the question...what is it about the voices of singers that endears them with the listener. I realized that there is a certain characteristic that is common to all vocalists that you find are moderately successful...i.e. they make music for a living.

When looking at the sonograms of pleasent sounding voices they look very instrument like. In other words there are a series of semitones that make up the pitch that is being expressed. The pitch is made up of a range of individual frequencies all spread across a sprectrum of frequencies. This produces a very rich sound when sounding vowels like Ahhhh, OOoos etc...

I looked and lots of people including male and female voice, Josh ROuse, Ryan Adams, Kathleen Edwards to name a few also singers form bands like The National, Calexico, The New Ponographers even Buck Ownens and Neil Young. Basically just about every godamn song in my iTunes library.

The results were all similar, the voices all had a rather rich series of semitones spread across 200hrz to 1k depending on the key of the song and the gender of the voice. Ussually there were 8 to 10 or more semitones that made up the vowel sound. (Vowels are the long notes, obviously you don't hold T's or P,s S, etc.)

Then I looked at mine. I watched the sonograms in realtime as the song played via a iTunes plugin. The sonogram spills across the screen producing a picture that clearly shows the frequency, dynamic range and left, center and right channels. You can easily pick out the hunman voice, drums, guitar, synths...quite facinating to watch.

Well any way, my voice rarely produces the rich range of semitones. I have basically two bands. ONe around 300 Hrz that is a resonante boominess from my chest. And a narrow bright band around that hovers around 800Hrz to 1k That is the meat of my voice. Tt is basically a slighly nasal brightness with a boomy lowend. With not much in the way of tone from the neck, throat or my head. Sometimes I am able to achieve a good spread of semitones on more breathy, folky type songs in a very narrow key range. But the spread of tones is not consistent or regular.

I've been doing the analysis by the way for about three months now. And I have been trying to find those tones and have realized that they simply aren't going to happen.

Harmonic exciters might be able to aid this issue but I am unfamiliar with these devices and it seems to be more of a crutch that a solution. My solution was to simply accept the fact that thoguh I can sing on pitch, with dynamics and add emotional changes and have reasonably good sence of phrasing and melody..(maybe) it is all rendered moot by a voice that simply does not stand out as being instrument like.

Think of it terms of a Hammnond organ. I would be one only two of the drawbars pulled out compared to another singer who has 5 or 6. pulled out. THose of you familiar with Hammond will understand. The Hammond produces a pure sin wave for a particular frequency when the key is depressed. Drawbars control the semitones produced for that note and can adjust the volume as you pull the draw bar further out. The result is a mixture of tones to produce a more complex tonal structure. A brilliant invention really.

I'll put some of these studies and comparisons when I am able to do some screen shots and annotate them. It is really quite facinating stuff. To see the pure sin wave of a full organ or the absolute beauty of Kathleen Edwards Pink Emerson Radio...her voice layered over a slide guitar.

So based on some technology, and the fact that our debut disk was more or less ignored by everyone. And the fact that I don't get people telling me they really like my voice over the past year and a half...I've decided to shift away from singing lead.

Interesting enough I have theory as to why people in the past have commented on my backup singing and harmonies when I played bluegrass. I add this low and midrange comonent to the harmony that doesn't compete with the the main vocalists spread of tones and by matching the phrasing and backing off the consonants the harmony becomes very clean.

That is it. If you were interested. I suppose the title of this blog will probably change to Chronicles of a Modern Rock band....at some point. At least I hope it does.

Sounds like fun...I like the idea of adding another voice to the band.

So nothing is really going to change all the much for a while. I'll still be singing. But we'll be looking for a fourth. Someone with that voice.

Brad

Monday, April 03, 2006

Last Chance to see the Modern Rock Trio

Well Soul Amp is going to go through another change. Not sure what that change will be and even if the band Soul Amp will remain in the end (name could change... different singer.... additional musicians... who knows what'll happen).

Just wanted to let you all know that in case you want to see us one last time in this format of three members with Brad on vocals and guitar, me (M1) on keys and Mike (M2) on percussion.

We will be at the House of Guinness in Waukesha on April 13th. So please check us out for our last Modern Rock Trio performance!!!

(There will almost certainly be free stuff to be had... posters and the last of the scratch CDs... and who knows we might even give a way a few Strip Mall Heavens!)

So best of wishes to our fans and Rock On!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Grilling for Soul Amp



"I don't like your band because the vocals are shite and the music sounds like something urban middle-managers in their mid-50s who spend their weekends dressed in khaki shorts, topsiders, and short-sleeved button-down shirts (top two buttons open - I like to think I'm relaxed) like to 'chill out' to while they grill steaks because they think it's hip"?


AND

"I don't like bands who sound like Soul Coughing on 'ludes and record their music on outdated cheap equipment that unintentionally emphasizes the weakness of the vocal melodies, plus my toenail is off."

I guess that pretty much sums it up then...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cool New Friends - the J.B.s



I cracked open myspace last week and posted Setting Traps there and lo and behold we had a new friend request from James Brown's former backing band..The J.B.s. Check out the classic funk jams on their MySpace page



I posted somewhere sometime ago that being early 60's kids, late boomers so to speak, we were pretty young through most of the formative years of rock, R&B and funk. And for some reason even though we didn't listen to a lot of funk back when we mulletheaded AC/DC fans....the funk seems to always been around and in our heads.

So check out The J.B.s, it takes a while to load myspace tunes....as you probably know. But it is worth the wait...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Or perhaps...

he's a Landru wannabee....

Could be that...

Brad is Landru.

Are you here for the festival?

M2 wants to ROCK!

Joy to you, Friends,

Just received word from M2. He's sleep deprived and listening to Joan Jett, Ramones, The Donnas, Stray Cats, Toadies, and Sex Pistols. He's imprisoned by work (he's not getting a day off until April 1st). I'm exhausted myself from a couple of 16 hour days and it's time to let loose... so expect some noise from the next post... a deviation from the more mellow stuff we've been pumping out. Tonight... I do suspect, depending on Scat's proclivities... to cut loose and blow out some windows... So enjoy... all 5 of you.. our devoted audience!!

CRAP! I accidentally edited this last part out...---Brad

Man, mucking up my post... Dude, you are messing with my freedom of expression.... too bad I can't recall what I wrote... I do recall it being both witty and insightful and now it's lost... - M1

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Setting Traps

Day Three SXSW Saturday

Hey what a DAY!!! Wow I am stoked!!

I woke up went to breakfast. Had blueberry pancakes then went home and loafed. Had an old band buddy come by to pick up a digital delay and reverb unit so he coudld use it for his new band. I then went to the studio to record with the band. That would be Soul Amp.

Here in Wisconsin. Not Texas. Not Austin. If you haven't figured out we did not go to SXSW this year. Then give yourself a forehead slap. While you are slapping your head...listen to this song and slap your head along with our hand claps at the end of the first and second chorus. We wrote and recorded this song while "alls yall" been drinking and doing the glad handing in Austin.


Setting Traps - MP3

My Day 2 - SXSW Friday

I'm writing this after a wild early evening of pints at the House of Guinness. St. Patricks was celebrated with much enthusiasm at the HOG. I was home by 7 p.m. played some guitar and recorded a song on the borrowed 4-track. Then went to sleep.

The day started out like any other I woke, made coffee, dressed and went to work. I thought about how many bands I would of seen had I went to SXSW....for a couple of minutes. But at work I did remeber to bring my headphones and I listened to Tapes n Tapes recording from Austin, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Calexico and of course Ryan Adams. Also Mogwai, Pine Top Seven, Sufjan, 31 Knots, Final Fantasy and Soul Amp.

I commented on Tapes N Tapes to myself say how cool they were and knowing that this was the BUZZ band of the blogs at SXSW. Then I ate lunch in the corporate cafeteria. I had a Mushroom and Swiss burger and soem fries. It made me sleepy.

I believe how much fun I am having this year at SXSW. It could only be better if I actually wsas there. But that is not really that important. It is the spirit of "being there"....yeah....that it...spirit. More from Today, tomorrow. Soul Amp takes to the studio a rare weekend session.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ryan Adams Underwear




Ryan Adams might wear plaid boxers.

The one thing I like about MP3 blogs is it only takes a few days and Ryan Adams will show up. I mean I can't really survive a day or two without some Ryan Adams b-sides and bootlegs. So in keeping with the live blogging of Day 2 of SXSW I found a picture of some plaid boxer shorts that I am sure would appeal to Ryan Adams.

I think he is definately the plaid boxer short kind of guy. In fact I bet he is a multi-day underwear kind of guy. I get that feeling from his music. A bit sweaty, a little grungy from being on the road. Boxers do hold up well to gigging by the way. "Gig butt" is much easier to deal with. "Gig butt" is simililar to what skaters call "swamp ass" but from a musician's persepctive. Boxer briefs or briefs only trap all that sweat and other stuff. Boxers breath. In fact I am listening to some Ryan Adams right now as I think about how long he wears his underwear.

Is that wrong?

Yes, it is.

SA Coasters Sold on Amazon



"Please use a coaster..." - The Coasters

I'm not sure what to think of this. You send out CD's for review or give away a few here and there. And they show up on Amazon as used. Well I hope they buy a pint with the profits. Lets see the places are shipping from Illinois...so that must be Pitchfork or some club dumped a crate of CDs on some bookstore. Now what to do with the boxes of coasters I have...hmmmm.

I guess I shouldn't be care too much. Seems to me I have a dozen albums that have the that gold embossed stamp that says: "For promotional purposes only - NOT FOR SALE"

I 've bought lots of those over the years.

I think we'll consider doing a "direct to used bin" release sometime.

Well not to diminish the greatness of The Coasters here is a cut - Down In Mexico - mp3

My Day 1 - SXSW Thursday

Well I'm late getting this post in. I wanted to offer up my day...my first day of the biggest indie music festival SXSW in Austin.. Thursday.

I woke up in my home in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Turned on the radio and listened to NPR. Then I shuffled off to the kitchen put on a pot of water for coffee. Then I went to the bathroom to pee.

I drained the sink of dirty dishwater, prepped my coffee cup and filter and went back to the bedroom and got on my work clothes. The water is ussally hot by now. So I made coffee said nice day to Wife and Daughter and drove the 11 miles to work.

I spend most of the day at work working. I forgot my headphones so I didn't listen to any music. After work driving home I listened to a report on NPR about some Australian bands attending SXSW. I arrived home fetched my swim bag and went to the Y for a hot tub and a swim. I spent about 20 minutes in the whirlpool then swam a 500 in 8:10. Did some kick board work for another 200 then returned to the whirpool. After that I showered, dressed and stopped at House of Guinness for a pint. There I had a nice political converstaion with Baz over two pints of Blue Moon. HOG favorite, the Irish folk-rock band, Reilly was setting up. I returned home and dropped my daughter and friend off at the sledding hill and returned to the HOG for one more Blue Moon. I caught three songs by Rielly and then picked up my daughter.

My wife returned home and we chatted breifly and we all turned in. I thought briefly about SXSW and then closed my eyes and fell to sleep in anticipation of Day 2 SXSW. Friday and St. Patricks Day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Decade and a 4-Track


M2 bought me a present the other day. He picked up a nice copy of Neil Young's Decade. The Three Album epic from 1976.
I was most interesting listening to it and opeing up all the sleeves and pulling out the jackets. Not much to say really other than it is a sweeping collection of live and raw recordings. Pretty much captures the state of NY by the mid 70's as he was just starting to go into the country thing. I really don't know much else about the story behind Decade other than it is a compilation of material of NY's work of the past ten years. Hence "decade"...It was a pleasure to listen to.

I borrowed M1's 4-track to work on new songs in my room at home. It is a Tascam 426.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Well I downloaded some of YHF by Wilco from Aquarium Drunkard along with some Loose Fur and and other odd bits and pieces. Also on another there was a bunch of Replacements and Paul Westerberg bootlegs and outtakes.

I really like these. Funny thing is that having played in bands for so long one of the luxuries I had to dispence with surprisingly enough was music and stereo equipment. Of late I have tried to do some catch up by putting together a system listen to music with, apart form my car stereo. Having basically reduced my TV watching to a scant two or three hours per week I needed some entertainment. I know that is hard to believe. How does one reach 40 something and not be listeing to music. Well I was....mostly in the car...or live. The old Scott stereo reciever died back in 1990 or so and was never replaced and the AR-1 speakers were sold at a yard sale.

So now my iMac is tied into my Pioneer stereo with newer AR bookshelf and 62' vintage Elac speakers, a pioneer PL-112D turntable and old Sanyo cassette deck. I put a 20 gig drive in this old defunct iMac aloing with a new motherboard. So now it sits in my stereo rack slashing out the iTunes visualization and music to the AUX input on the Pioneer.

Any way. Today I've listened the cuts YHF for the first time, twice. And have digested a lot of Loose Fur as well... I first became a fan of Wilco when I first heard a Ghost is Born. I personally count that as being one of my all time favorite albums. Where have I been...in a hole? Of sorts....no doubt.

The ten years I spend playing bluegrass and Americana has left me a bit naive to the developments of modern rock over the past decade. Unlike the keyboardist, Fisk who is very up to speed on all things new in music. I was kinda there in the early 90's but after burning out on rock nad getting a banjo I was soon lost to the world of Earl Scruggs, Alan Munde, Tony trischka, Bela Fleck and JD Crow. Along with all the great bluegrass bands old and new, I absorbed all that like a sponge. Jim And Jesse, The Clinch Mountain Boys practicaly the entire catalog of ROunder Records...Plus I spent a lot of time simply playing bluegrass with people, regular everyday folk...I guess that is why they call it folk music.

Now...it is all water under the bridge....but I found a disk of some recordings of several orginal tunes I recorded with Handful of Grass and I'll post those up when I get them encoded. Including a D.A.M. Cd from the heady days of MP3.com way back in 2000. Seems like an eternity. Any way I'll post some of those too. I had a number one hit in country that came up from the Americana genre for a while and actually got a few checks from MP3.com back then.

But anyway. I am having a wonderful time "discovering" some music that I have a very close affinity with. So much great music coming from so many directions. All I can do is join in an jump into the fray. That reminds me I saw the Fray with my daughter the other day. Good show...but that is another post no doubt.

So if you are reading this don't forget to stop by http://soul-amp.com/freebies and grab our early takes on songs we are working on. Most other them are also found as posts here too...just hit go back in time and you will find them.

So I sit and listen a lot now. there are lots of things that are the same and some new sounds. But one thing still shows through and that is emotion. When it is in the music it is good. I don't care what genre it is.

Sometimes I hear a new young indie-pop band from one of the blogs and I wonder what the musicians will be doing in 20 years and what strange paths will they take...if they have as interesting of jounrey as Tweedy....it will be interesting for sure to keep listening.

Note: When you write crap late at night it is pretty much crap. I had to edit this for stupidity today...haha - IDRGAC

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fine Thin Line



Art Work - "Thin Line" Copyright © 2000 Ashby & Alfred publications http://www.timcantor.com/ThinLine1.htm
(Hey you posted it on the web so don't blame me if I found on google images...)

Fine Thin Line - MP3 7.3 mb 192 kbs, 48 khz encoded direct from master - recorded live in studio.

Friday, March 03, 2006

No HOG Gig this Month!

We are not playing the House of Guiness this month. Fisk is on vacation and we've been doing some recording. We'll be back soon.

I'll be editing the website to reflect that this weekend.

Brad

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hi Slashdotters...!

Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy the music by geeks for geeks. (well mostly)

Oh and your app...well, the SQL wasn't tuned very well and was destroying the production DB....I had to kill your app server session...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

News and Stuff

"New and improved..."

Well we've pretty much settled into the new space. Some of the first sessions have been done and we're getting the kinks worked out and have made some huge improvements to the way we record. One of the biggest is using two mics on the Motion Sound one on the horn and the other on the low rotor simulator. The Motion Sound has a 800 hrz crossover (just like a Leslie) so after some experimentation with various mics we now have way more flexibility. The Kurzweil PC2 piano is now brought into the MOTU 828 via SPDIF stereo input. So now we have total control of the key board tracks...now four. (R&L stereo on the SPDIF and two mono on the motion sound.)

So the last four mp3s posted on this blog and on our website have this configuration for keyboard tracks. The result is a much more defined and complex sound. We have way more control over where things go in the mix now... We can pan the low end from the motion sound to one side and bring the spinning horn up front.

If we lay in a vocal on these experimental writing/recording session we pull one of the drum overheads. We did this on Perception track. Probably not a long term solution but these tracks we release are early version of more developed tunes...

So anyway the freebies we pony up are really working mixes from our studio. Not final versions of anything and sometimes we are simply on fishing expeditions looking for interesting sounds and combinations of sounds.

These tracks were recorded live and mixed that night so the guys could have burns of them to listen to. I post the mp3s on the blog so I can get at them at werk and from home and share them with anyone interested in following the progress of band as they write new material. When we post a Mp3 link to this blog it is automatically podcast. Those familiar with feedburner know what I am talking about.

I went back into the archives of this blog and already I can see there has been a lot of changes in the two years we've been together.

"We don't need no stinkin' direction...."

Where are we going? I don't know...if you've listened to any of our stuff you can pretty much tell that. We have a multitude of ways we are working....maybe that is bad...maybe it is good...I guess the next disk will tell if we are on the right track. My gut tells me we are and yet it also tells me we need to focus and take more chances musically...one thing that is appearing we are adding more textures, definitely doing more jamming...and letting things organically develop. We're not playing any gigs in March to get caught in the studio....we'll gig some in April and submit for Summerfest and Harborfest...

"What's the tempo Kenneth..."

Right now we are dealing with tempo issues. We're trying some stuff. All of us are making the point to spend some time with metronomes at home when practicing. We all have little quirks that when we combine them together causes some issues. Nothing major....as long as it is musical. You can hear this work happening in the that long jam Fuzzy Rainbow Monkeys...with the pulsating Wurli loop Fisk devised. I dig play these jams they loosen up everything and as a result we wrote recorded a rather cool take of Perception right after Fuzzy Monkeys...

Well that's it 4 now. I'll post some snaps of Farkusville studio soon. Thanks for reading.

Brad

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fuzzy Rainbow Monkey - and more free music


smoking the drapes...get your smoke on fuzzy rainbow monkey

Fuzzy - 19.2 Mb 15 minutes LONG funckers! Exquisite Fuzzy Rainbow Monkeys Smoking the Drapes

For more free soul amp music go to: Free MP3 Index for Soul Amp

What is your Perception....


More new stuff for your sonic delight from Farkusville Studio

14AMatchD-30 - Mp3 7.3 Mb

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

McAuliffe's Pub and The Dammitheads Show



A big huge thanks goes out to The Dammitheads - David and Steve, Jennifer, JJ and Ryan McIntyre.

I can't say enough about how comfortable we were playing at JJ's club in Racine this past friday. The vibe was genuine. The crowd was great, friendly and they love live music.

It was one of those moments.

Thanks for having us.

Brad

Friday, February 10, 2006

2 a.m. Post Gig Post

Well I just settled into bed....the fold out futon. It's 2 a.m. and I'm a bit amped up from the HOG gig and I wanted to jot down my thoughts with the buzz I have going.

Soul Amp - loves you...I love you. No shit. tonight I got to watch faces as the lights were not blasting in my face. I was able to make eye contact with lots of people tonight and I saw faces. I saw the faces of my generation...and they were smiling, laughing and talking with people I know....

I felt this love and I had to tell them. Right there on stage I said "I love you". I know it doesn't sound like much as we have heard all the big names say "I love you..." but now in some strange way I think that maybe they really do.

We are such an age classified society. The young challenge all that is old and the old negate anything young so as to not encourage them. That is just wrong...fortunately sometimes you get both young and old sharing a moment, together. Strangers. That happened at the HOG. For a time the early older corwd combined with the younger late crowd and we were there on stage, a bit akward but it happend. The twentiy somethings mingled and mixed with the 40 somethings...

It was good. that is when I said I love you.

It was true. Okay....I maybe I'm little tired and bit drunk...maybe not but I can't really tell...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Despite all reports....

The Rolling Stones rocked the SuperBowl....

There are only a handful of bands that could play the Super Bowl without a safety net and the Rolling Stones in all their chewey sloppiness showed the Super Bowl watchers that they can still rock. They were gritty, spicey and skinny like a meat stick. Keith still looked like death warmed over like he alwys has, Mick was stomping like he always did with a little less grace a little less crispness but still was entertaining and giving it all. Watts was solid on the kit as usual.

So I tip my hat to these uber rock geezers. In a time of painfully self conscious and introverted indie pop it is simply refreshing to see some good old slop bucket rock and roll. It is what is was and it was one of those great moments in rock on TV. - Nirvana Unplugged, The Replacements and recently System of a Down on SNL and Elvis Costello playing Monkey to Man or Wilco's apperance on Letterman. Some may disagree in putting the Rolling Stones on that list but I think time will show that it was yet another peak in an amazing career for the Stones and possibly the swan song.

The Rolling Stones have continued forging new ground in Rock. Maybe not musically, but showing what a life time career in rock is and may actually redefine what everyone thinks a "rock" life is supposed to be.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hey....we got blogged...

My Old Kentucky Home blogged one of our tunes.

Check it....here.

Thanks My Old Kentucky Home

Monday, January 16, 2006

Gut Wrenching Read

The Day The Music Died - New Orleans

We lost so much as a nation to Katrina.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Burn Versus Cassette



Last summer I set up a "old school" stereo system. I bought at a yard sale a Cassette deck and old JVC with a silver metal face and big honking VU meters, microphone inputs and individual recording level knobs. Really simple...non-logic mechanism. I got it because I had a bunch of old band stuff on tape that I wanted to digitized for prosperity. Well as things would go daughter quickly took to using it for recording her own songs. So I recently replaced that deck with other thrift store "gems". An Akai that won't record but looks awesome. Another JVC that is a adaquate deck but with some issues and I picked up a Pioneer dual cassette deck that plays and records fantastic, sounds great but looks stupid with the vintage silver face Pioneer receiver.

Well getting back to the story....I wanted to record some of the recent albums I picked up onto tape some casual playing. In doing so I rediscovered the joy of "recording" versus simply copying or ripping. Time was when you got ready to record you settled in for a relaxing few hours of listeining to music and paying close attention to levels, and cleaning records, setting up the cassette deck for top performance. I did all this. Cleaning the heads, testing the various settings for noise reduction and finally picking two album that will occupy the same tape. Always a interesting process.

So taking a step into the new, I thought it might be cool to put my favorites from iTunes onto tape, as my carpool has only a cassette. I found this was not easy. I have over a two hundred songs feeely downloaded and all were considered favorties....so now I had to put together a list and organize for recording.

I picked the top 15 songs from the top of the top. Then arranged then to fit snugly on the 45 per side of a 90 minute tape.

Then I queued up the songs in iTunes and ran a line into the aux input on the Pioneer reciever. And Played them, recording them to tape watching the tape slowly advance and eyeing the levels as each song went. Funny thing is as I put together the list it took me a significant amount to time to pick, prep and actually record the tunes. Contrast this with ripping 6-8 audio CDs to MP3s and burning them MP3s to a data disk for transfer to another computer.

iPods are Conehead "mass quantities".

5000-10,000 songs. With playlist generated any number of ways. Very little investment in time to produce. And possibly...thought.

It seem our appetite for more has made obsolete the 90 minutes found in a cassette tape. But to me I find that it is just different.

Picking songs to fill a cassette now is no easy task. One bad tune can make or break the entire cassette. I found a party mix tape made in 1987 or 88 by the singer in the band I was playing in. He made ame a mix tape of various music he thought I would like from his huge vinyl collection. Including Husker Du, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Gear Daddies, Clapton, Peter Himmelman and ::::shudder:::: Concrete Blonde. the result is a tape I like but when it gets to Concrete Blonde and can't take it and stop the tap there. "Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man"....:::::shudder::::::.... Despite that one song I really like everything else on it. And now that much of what is on it is rare it is even a bigger treat.

The trick with cassettes was getting a tape mix that would last all the way through both sides. I think this is almost lost as with a lflick of a finger you can simply move to another song. Select a massive number and move them here and there. With so many songs at ones disposal so quickly one can never learn to grow into a album or song.

In some ways it seems that music is not as special to the iPod generation as it was for those of who made our fist mix tapes on 8-tracks and cassettes.

I have a long hustory with cassettes that goes back to my orange super beetle in 1976. I installed a cassette deck with a 4o watt EQ and some three way speakers in wood cabinets for that little place in the way back of the bug.

For many years after my music collection consisted primarily of cassettes. I learned to appreciated a find cassette deck and when I met someone I would ask if I could bring some tapes, beer and some smoke and pass the time picking some albums to record. Ussually the audiophile would be more than eager to spend a evening making a some recommendations and supervising the recording process. A prossess that would net me three or four tapes worth of music a buzz and a chance to learn more about music I hadn't heard yet.

I found more out about the Talking Heads, The Jam, REM, James Gang, The Band and host of others making tapes with friends.

Not to pine for the old days. Because I like carrying on my notebook with 20 albums and hundreds of free mp3 downloads. BUt I found today I missed the process. The technical beauty of analog tape and taking time to really fully absorb yourself into the pure enjoyment of making a cassette tape. A tape that I am sure will be found in a box twenty years from now, played and enjoyed again.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Family...Teen Invasion....

This is what happens when teens are allowed to be creative....I'm proud of them....they are so cool.



My Daughter, Hannah, 15 is a Myspace teen phenom. She's got this acoustic Emo thing going, that is really unique. Hannah played violin and cello for 6 years and decided she wanted to sing and play guitar instead of pursue the orchestra thing. She'd pretty much commandeered my Martin and so she had to have her own.

Hannah has a fresh intimate and sweet sound with a wonderful sense of phrasing and melody. Her songs are unconventionally structured and influenced by the popular Emo punk bands. With lyrics centered on those relationships that totally saturate daily existence.

We're working on her first EP. Should have the first pre-production burns ready for her show at the Waukesha Battle of the Bands for the cities winter festival the Janboree.

She plays a sweet Auditorium Martin acoustic..

Listen to her songs here.




My nephew Russ - 18 plays bass in Minority Party in NC. When I was in Minneapolis playing in the Masterbeats in the mid-eighties he was a little guy. I didn't get to see him and his brothers much as they were growing up but we hung out some a summer ago. Hannah got to know her cousins a little better.

Hope I get to see a show sometime. One thing about Rock and Roll when something new comes around it never really goes away. It simply evolves. Punk is very much alive and well all across America. Minority Party does a great job of keeping references to the classic punk from the late 70's while introducing the more metal and hardcore aspects from the 80's and screamo in just the right amount in catchy high energy songs that no doubt fill mosh pits.

Classic freakin' hardcore punk. With all the energy, angst and political drama and crass humor you would expect from suburban punks.

Give a listen to them here.



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hang With Us....



On January 12th...Thursday we'll be doing a show....well maybe not so much a show but more "playing our tunes" at the House of Guinness in Waukesha. We'll be going on at about 8:30 ish and we might do two sets maybe three....

We typically have a pint after the show and your welcome to hang out and introduce yourself. We'll have some giveaway CD burns of new stuff we've been writing for the next album. And certainly we'll sell you a copy of Strip Mall Heaven and toss in a Pint too for $10 bucks.

So come hang with us....we'll make sure we put our teeth in.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Trapped In Your Clothes

Here is a another freebie from Farkasville studio.

Trapped in Your Clothes

If you like this tune and are planning on keeping it go to iTunes and check out the cut "Division" off our current full length release "Strip Mall Heaven". We think you will like that one as well.