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"?


"I don't like bands who sound like Soul Coughing on 'ludes and record their music on outdated cheap equipment that unintentionally emphasizes the weakness of the vocal melodies, plus my toenail is off."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

Monday, March 20, 2006

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 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 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 a hole? Of 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. 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 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 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 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 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
(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.